Torch Relay Expert Shares Lessons With BC Communities

Table of Contents


The RBC 2010 Legacies Now Speaker Series brought Torch Relay expert Di Henry to British Columbia in December 2008 to share how BC communities can get the most out of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays when they come to BC in 2009 and 2010.

Henry, who is from Australia, is one of the world's most experienced event managers – she has worked on 13 Olympic Torch Relays. She presented in Vancouver, Victoria, Cranbrook and Kamloops as part of the speaker series.

Henry described a day in the life of a torch relay, which can visit up to 20 communities a day and involve 200 torchbearers, each carrying the flame 300 metres. There is usually an additional 200 organizing staff travelling in up to 30 vehicles. As Henry said, "We make a nice economic impact when we come through town."

The Olympic Flame will travel 45,000 kilometres across Canada in 106 days, passing through every province and territory. Twelve thousand Canadians will carry the Olympic Flame and 189 community celebrations are planned.

"The relay brings people together – it's about having fun and building relationships in the community," said Henry. "Also, communities can create legacies to commemorate the relay. In Australia, two million trees were planted along the torch relay route following the Sydney Olympics."

Local businesses can benefit when the torch comes to town by supplying goods and services to visitors and spectators, organizers, and media. Henry encouraged businesses to contact their local Torch Relay Community Task Force to learn about opportunities. In addition, national and international media coverage can increase tourism in the area. As Henry said, "If you've got a story to tell, invite media to your party."

The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay is proudly co-presented by RBC and Coca-Cola in partnership with the Vancouver 2010 Organizing Committee.

The RBC 2010 Legacies Now Speaker Series hosted ten internationally-acclaimed speakers who shared their Olympic and Paralympic expertise with businesses and communities throughout BC. From 2006-2008, these speakers visited several communities to share their knowledge and experience. They also participated in an interview which was webcast live and archived online at The program was sponsored by RBC, CTV, the Province of British Columbia and the Vancouver Sun.