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Vectorial Elevation to light up Vancouver nights during 2010 Winter Games
Worldwide online audience invited to create spectacular patterns of light in sky.

Vancouver, BC — Beams of light pointed towards the stars will illuminate English Bay and the night sky in downtown Vancouver this coming February as part of a Cultural Olympiad and City of Vancouver special event for the 2010 Winter Games.

Starting at dusk on February 4, 2010, 20 robotic searchlights will create a quiet canopy of light in the night sky above and on the sparkling surface of English Bay below with designs created by people around the world and delivered via the Internet. Called Vectorial Elevation, it is the first time the internationally celebrated work of art will be displayed in Canada and over a body of water.

The 10,000-watt lights will move and create patterns silently from locations in Vanier Park and Sunset Beach that cover an area of 100,000 square metres and be visible within 15 kilometres of the city’s downtown core, stretching to Richmond, the peaks of Cypress and Grouse mountains and freighters and boats on the water.

This large-scale temporary public art installation is co-commissioned by the City of Vancouver’s Olympic and Paralympic Public Art Program and Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad, presented by Bell, with support from the Province of Quebec. The installation — considered one of the world’s largest interactive artworks — is by Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and is part of CODE, the Cultural Olympiad’s Digital Edition.

“As Host City for the 2010 Winter Games, we’re happy to collaborate with the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad and the Province of Quebec to bring this amazing artwork to Vancouver,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Vectorial Elevation is a unique, magical work that local residents, visitors and people from around the world can enjoy. The installation will not only brighten our night skies, but also bring the Games to the world in an unexpected, interactive way.”

More than two million people are expected to view the installation in person in Metro Vancouver, as well as internationally via or The event runs regardless of the weather until February 28, 2010.

Visitors to can design how the lights will move, their angles and how they are clustered in timed sequences to create their own patterns for the world to see. A personalized webpage will be automatically created for each participant to document their design. Organizers estimate 130,000 different patterns will be created in the 24 days the project operates from dusk to dawn.   

Vectorial Elevation is world-renowned and we wanted to see its majestic choreography unfold over Canadian skies for the very first time as part of the 2010 Winter Games,” said Burke Taylor, vice president of culture and celebrations for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC). “Lozano-Hemmer’s inspired work manifests the spirit of connectivity that we want to convey through the entire CODE project. It’s about using the power of digital technology to include the world in our celebrations.”

A real-time video stream of the work from four cameras placed around English Bay can be accessed on the Internet. Those who opt to create patterns can also send a personal dedication to friends or a sweetheart anywhere in the world at The project was developed in consultation with the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation.

Vectorial Elevation is a quiet, contemplative display of light sculptures that will connect many countries around the world with Vancouver. When I saw English Bay I knew it would be the perfect spot to create our largest canopy of light to date and for the first time we are also able to use renewable energy,” said Montreal-based Lozano-Hemmer.

Previously, the installation was staged in Mexico, Spain, Ireland, and France where it received accolades such as Lyon’s prestigious Trophée des Lumières.

About the City of Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Public Art Program

The City of Vancouver’s Olympic and Paralympic Public Art Program is an ambitious collection of newly commissioned temporary and permanent artworks for 2010. The program includes more than 20 public art projects, spanning large-scale legacy installations and artist-initiated works. For more information about the Olympic and Paralympic Public Art Program, visit the Creative City section of the Host City website at

About the Cultural Olympiad

The Cultural Olympiad, presented by Bell, is a series of multidisciplinary festivals and digital programs showcasing the best in Canadian and international arts and popular culture. Launched in 2008, the program culminates in the 60-day Cultural Olympiad 2010 (January 22 to March 21, 2010), which begins before and continues throughout the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. CODE is the Cultural Olympiad’s digital edition, a series of programs developed to creatively engage national and global audiences through the use of digital technology.

About Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

Montreal-based electronic artist creates interactive installations that seek to provide critical platforms for public participation. His projects have been commissioned for the Millennium Celebrations in Mexico (1999), the UN Summit of Cities in Lyon (2003), the Expansion of the European Union in Dublin (2004), Madison Square Park in NYC (2008) and the 40th Anniversary of the Tlatelolco Student Massacre in Mexico City (2008). His artworks have been shown in three dozen countries, including Art Biennials in Venice, Istanbul, Havana, Sydney, Liverpool, Shanghai, Seoul, Seville, New Orleans and others. His work is in collections such as MoMA in New York, MUAC in Mexico, Daros in Zürich, and the TATE in London. He has won two British Academy Awards BAFTAs, an Ars Electronica Golden Nica, a Bauhaus Award and a Rave Award from Wired Magazine. His website is at


Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing consumers and business with solutions to all their communications needs, including Bell Mobility wireless, high-speed Bell Internet, Bell TV direct-to-home satellite television, Bell Home phone local and long distance, and IP-broadband and information and communications technology (ICT) services. Bell is proud to be a Premier National Partner and the Exclusive Telecommunications Partner to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). For information on Bell's products and services, please visit For corporate information on BCE, please visit

The Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad is grateful for the support of the Government of Canada and the governments of all of Canada’s provinces and territories and their respective cultural agencies: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Yukon. In addition to the Cultural Olympiad’s government and corporate partners, CODE is proudly supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the National Film Board of Canada. New Media BC and Wavefront Innovation Society are also both active participants in the project. The National Presentation and Touring Program is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.


VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit

For More Information:

Karine Charbonneau

Websites for Previous Versions of Vectorial Elevation

Mexico City

Mexico 1999-2000

Millennium celebrations,
Zócalo Square


Spain 2002

Opening of the Basque
Museum of
Contemporary Art,


France 2003
Fête des Lumières,
UN World Summit
of Cities


Ireland 2004
Expansion of the EU
O'Connell Street

See other projects by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
Download high resolution images of previous projects