The opening ceremonies happened a week ago, and the closing ceremonies are just over a week away — but a contentious question connects the two.
In a city where “visible minorities” have become the majority, some are asking whether VANOC failed to showcase Canadian multiculturalism.
Alden Habacon is the founder of Schema Magazine, an online publication for “cultural navigators.” He described the Feb. 12 kick-off as “the whitest-looking opening ceremonies.”
“Vancouver won their bid on the argument that Vancouver is the most diverse place on earth,” wrote Habacon. “The ceremony was hardly representative of Canada’s (and especially Vancouver’s) multicultural diversity.”
The comments section below Habacon’s editorial reflects the diversity of opinion on the matter. Although some comments were predictably incendiary, a few readers attempted to composedly express their views.
“There certainly was a lack of cultural representation and though I don’t think the producers intentionally organized a predominantly “white” ceremony, they probably could have made it a LOT more interesting by putting together a more diverse and/or multi-ethnic production. And why not?” wrote a user named Claudia.
She referenced poet Shane Koyczan, who performed at the opening ceremony, “We are cultures strung together \ then woven into a tapestry \ and the design \ is what makes us more \ than the sum total of our history.”