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Outgames invites arts community to meeting

Time to plan the Games' cultural events, chair says

 Vancouver’s 2011 Outgames organizers are looking for members of the arts community to help plan the Games’ cultural celebrations.

The Outgames are scheduled to take place July 20-August 3 next year.

Outgames’ chair John Boychuk says organizers hopes to include existing events, and encourage the creation of new ones, for the anticipated 3,500 Games participants and 100,000 spectators.

“We’ll market them to the athletes,” Boychuk says.

The North American Outgames is a sports and cultural festival that showcases both queer and straight athletes. The Vancouver event is the precursor to the next World Outgames, scheduled for Antwerp in 2013.

The events will take place around Pride Week 2011.

Boychuk points to the Pride Terry Wallace Memorial Breakfast as an example of a possible Outgames cultural event. He predicts the promotion of the annual Pride event through the Outgames will add hundreds more participants to the event.

He says the Outgames are not just about the queer community but about its allies as well.

Interested groups can attend an information meeting on May 19 in the corporate boardroom at 2101- 1177 W Hastings St from 4-5:30pm. A second meeting is planned for June 23.

Boychuk is encouraging representatives from Vancouver arts organizations to attend and see how they can become involved in showing Vancouver to the world.

Information provided will include marketing, licensing and obligations.