Vancouver’s Olympic cauldron ablaze in Jack Poole Plaza

Vancouver's Olympic cauldron was ignited at 8 p.m. this evening. It will stay on for two hours tonight. Brian Coxford, Global News

UPDATE February 12, 2014 – The B.C. Pavilion Corporation also known as PavCo will ensure Vancouver’s Olympic cauldron will be lit tonight at 8 p.m. to celebrate the anniversary of the 2010 Winter Games. The flame will stay lit for two hours.

Depending on how much private funding can be found, the cauldron will also be lit at 6 p.m. on the day of each Canadian gold medal win and also on the day of the closing ceremonies.

Anonymous donors are reportedly paying the cost of lighting the cauldron tonight.

The provincial government was under fire earlier today due to the cauldron not being lit.

PavCo says that due to the substantial cost of lighting the cauldron, they opted to illuminate it with red lighting instead.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone said at the Legislature Wednesday that the cauldron could be lit, and that he had just become aware of the issue due to complaints from Vancouver residents.

Story continues below advertisement

He said that the government was planning on firing it up at the end of the Sochi games.

He estimated it would cost $200,000 to light it for the remaining duration of the games, but hoped the cost could be covered by corporate sponsorship.

Previous story:

While Canada’s athletes are competing in Sochi, there are questions about how we can better show our Olympic spirit here in Vancouver.

One of the ideas being floated is to light the Olympic cauldron at Jack Poole Plaza. Montreal and Calgary have already lit theirs to coincide with the Sochi Games, and like the cauldron in Calgary the flame at Jack Poole Plaza is fueled by natural gas.

However, our cauldron remains dark on the four-year anniversary of Vancouver’s opening ceremony.

Former VANOC CEO John Furlong said he assumed the flame would be lit today.

“I just assumed that it would be lighting today and there’s lot of reasons for it,” he said. “One of them is of course for the games. But it’s also a way to send a message to Sochi, it’s respect to them a little bit, it’s a cheer for our own athletes over there who are doing heroic things, and it’s a thank you to the Blue Jackets [Vancouver volunteers], who did all of that work to deliver the games against great adversity.”
Story continues below advertisement

Furlong said he suspects that by Wednesday night someone will have a solution and the cauldron will be lit.

Since the 2010 Games, the flame has been lit a number of times.

For example, it was lit in April of 2013 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Rotary Club in B.C. It was also lit in March 2013 for the opening of the Cactus Club Cafe at the Convention Centre. The Cactus Club paid to have the torch lit.

If the flame is re-lit, it is not yet known who would cover that cost. There are reports it costs $5,000 to light the cauldron for four hours.

The cauldron was built by Terasen Gas, now called FortisBC, and was first lit during the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic Games by Wayne Gretzky.

We have reached out to the Vancouver Convention Centre for some information on the cauldron and the costs associated with it, but have not heard back at this time.

Video: VANOC CEO John Furlong speaks with Global News on the anniversary of the opening of the Vancouver Olympics. 

Sponsored content