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Olympic club eyed by city officials

Richmond was a venue city of the 2010 Winter Games. -
Richmond was a venue city of the 2010 Winter Games.
— image credit:

Richmond City Hall is eyeing membership to an exclusive club to boost the city's international reputation and showcase Richmond as an international destination.

Senior officials are urging council to endorse a bid for membership in the World Union of Olympic Cities, a 27-member information-sharing organization based in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Richmond, a venue city of the 2010 Winter Games, would become one of the smallest cities to join the group, which started in 2002 to connect former and future Olympic host cities and promote the Olympic movement.

Vancouver, the host city of the 2010 Olympics, is not a member, nor are other venue hosts Whistler and West Vancouver.

Cathy Volkering Carlile, general manager of community services for Richmond, said membership would strengthen the city's "international" identity and "continue to build its reputation as an important member of the Olympic family" and leader in sport.

"Very few cities in the world have the opportunity to participate in this exclusive organization and thus influence the Olympic Games movement," she noted in a report to council Tuesday.

Chief administrative officer George Duncan would manage Richmond's membership, and Mayor Malcolm Brodie would serve as official delegate.

Joining the group comes with an annual fee of approximately $7,500. The larger potential cost lies in travel.

The group meets in Switzerland once a year at a summit the city has already presented at twice. Members also often attend the annual SportAccord convention—held this year in Turkey in April—and the Olympic Games.

"Expenses related to travel would be included in future operating budgets on an as needed basis depending on the location of the meeting," according to Volkering Carlile.

City council must still formally approve a membership application.

The current president of the World Union of Olympic Cities is Daniel Brélaz, Mayor of Lausanne.

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