VANCOUVER -- While fans of the CFL have been enjoying the races for postseason positions in a number of years, the 2011 Grey Cup committee has been hard at work planning next year’s celebration. Today, those plans were laid out before a packed room of media members who also got their first glimpse of the 2011 Grey Cup Festival brand.
Premier Gordon Campbell, who was represented at the event by Minister Colin Hansen, sent along his best wishes.
"Just like the 2010 Olympics and Paralympic Winter Games did, the 2011 Grey Cup will bring Canadians together from coast-to-coast," said Premier Gordon Campbell. "I want to thank all partners and all sponsors for coming together and organizing what will surely be a remarkable event."
Next, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson kicked off the morning of announcements by pledging city’s support for the week-long celebration of Canadian football.
"We showed at the 2005 Grey Cup and 2010 Winter Games that Vancouver is a world-class host city," said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. "It's great to have the Grey Cup coming back to Vancouver - I know that next year's will be the best yet."
Grey Cup chairman Moray Keith then unveiled the 2011 Grey Cup Festival brand developed locally by Barnstorm Creative Group. As in June when the committee unveiled its official Grey Cup Championship brand, the festival brand incorporates the Lions colours as well as unique west coast elements such as the Pacific Ocean, mountains and the new-look BC Place. In fact, the festival’s theme Raise the Roof speaks to the week-long party atmosphere that will come with Grey Cup events while noting the new retractable roof currently being built for the renovated stadium which last played host to the Grey Cup in 2005.
“The logo doesn’t just represent the Grey Cup Festival, it also reflects Vancouver’s re-emergence as Canada’s event and entertainment capital,” said Keith. “The Olympics showed the world that our city truly embraces and celebrates events that unite us all and the 2011 Grey Cup Festival will demonstrate that once again.”
In addition to introducing the festival brand, Keith also announced that BCLC has joined the list of premier partners which currently includes Safeway, Scotiabank and the Vancouver Sun and Province newspapers. BCLC was also onboard as a partner for the very successful 2005 Grey Cup Festival.
“We are thrilled to welcome BCLC to our roster of those lending their support to this iconic Canadian celebration,” noted Keith. “As we have said in the past, their support of the Grey Cup Festival will undoubtedly be the cornerstone of its overall success and we thank BCLC for joining us today.”
BCLC will be the title partner of the Grey Cup Street Festival which will operate on Friday, Nov. 25th and Saturday, November 26th, 2011.
“The Grey Cup is one of Canada’s premier sporting events and we’re thrilled to be a partner for what will be a very exciting Grey Cup celebration,” said Kevin Gass, Vice President, Corporate Affairs. “For more than 10 years BCLC has proudly supported the BC Lions and we look forward to sharing this great Canadian tradition with football fans during next year’s Grey Cup Street Festival in Vancouver.”
Scott Ackles, General Manager of the 2011 Grey Cup began his list of important announcements by releasing the schedule of events planned for next year’s celebration.
“The Festival has two outstanding focal points that will run simultaneously,” said Ackles. “The first is the Vancouver Convention Centre which is one of Canada’s best hosting facilities. The other is Robson Street and Terry Fox Plaza which are located at the doorstep of BC Place. Both locations will provide the perfect backdrop for fans across the country to gather and celebrate our nation’s biggest sporting event.”
Events slated during the 2011 Grey Cup Festival include
• Gibson’s Finest Player Awards (Thursday, November 24th)
• Grey Cup Festival Beer Gardens (Friday, Nov. 25th - Sunday, Nov. 27th )
• BCLC Street Festival (Friday, Nov. 25th – Saturday, Nov. 26th)
• Scotiabank CFL Football Experience (Friday, Nov. 25th - Sat. Nov. 26th )
• Team parties (Friday, Nov. 25th – Sunday Nov. 27th)
• Scotiabank Gala Dinner (Saturday, Nov 26th )
• Vancouver Sun Fan Fest (Saturday, Nov 26th)
• Safeway Grey Cup Festival Parade (Saturday, Nov 26th)
• Pregame Tailgate Party (Sunday, Nov. 27th)
• 99th Grey Cup Championship (Sunday Nov. 27th )
Tickets to the 2011 Grey Cup are expected to be a hot item and Lions season ticket holders will get first crack at attending the big game. Prices will range from $125 to $375 when they are released to the general public next June, but 2011 Lions season ticket holders will be able to get priority seating at prices that range from $100 to $295.
“It’s important to reward fans who have been loyal to the club and this is their exclusive opportunity to secure the best possible seating locations,” said Ackles.
The 2011 Grey Cup Committee now turns its attention to this year’s Grey Cup to be held in Edmonton. “We have 20 committee members who will travel to Edmonton with Vancouver Tourism to promote our event in 2011 as well as spend time with local organizers to ensure the 99th edition of Canada’s national championship is the best ever.”