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Richmond Olympic museum to include an outdoor cauldron

An outdoor cauldron, wall of fame honouring local sporting heroes and a retail shop are all planned pieces of a $5.6-million Olympic museum inside the Richmond Olympic Oval.

With design work finished, project officials are now finalizing the museum’s storyline, sourcing artifacts and drafting contracts.

Construction inside the oval is now scheduled to begin at the end of February, and exhibits are expected to be installed mid-August—in time for a fall opening, according to a report presented to city council Monday.

Called the Richmond Olympic Experience, the attraction aims to “reignite the excitement felt by residents and visitors during the Games, inspire viewers to excellence” and educate youth, according to project documents.

An artist has been selected to design the project’s cauldron on the riverside plaza—which will form the last stop in a torch route feature of the museum—and the concept will be presented to civic politicians in the spring for approval, according to Jane Fernyhough, director of arts, culture and heritage services for the city.

A symbol of the Olympic Games, the publicly-viewable Olympic cauldron of the 2010 Games still stands at Jack Poole Plaza at the Vancouver Convention Centre as a permanent landmark.

A retail shop for the museum will be combined with retail space for the oval in the lobby, and the wall of fame will be located on the ground floor. Other exhibits and interactive activities are also a part of the project, including an education program targeting school groups.

On Monday council heard project officials have undertaken “an aggressive search” for artifacts, tapping into sources at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, the Canada’s sports Hall of Fame, BC Sports Hall of Fame, Museum of Vancouver and sporting organizations. Other donations or loans are being arranged with individual athletes.

“All those contacted have been generous in their support of the project and will be providing many items on long-term loan,” noted Fernyhough.

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