Cultural Olympiads lead the way to the Olympics

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The last phase of Vancouver's Cultural Olympiad which begins on January 22 and continues throughout the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (until March 21) will present music, performing arts and visual arts events throughout Vancouver and its region for 60 days. At the same time, Sochi (Russia) is launching its series of events, four years before it hosts the Winter Games in 2014.

The eclectic lineup put on by Vancouver and British Columbia, comprising more than 600 ticketed and free performances, includes a Ugandan dance troupe, emerging Canadian talents brought together by Neil Young, as well as the best DJs in the world. Since Vancouver expects more than 250,000 tourists to its Games, the various visitors will be well entertained when they're done supporting their teams or champions in the 86 sporting categories.

This Olympiad was launched in 2008 as a series of three multi-disciplinary festivals that grew in scope and scale from 2008 through 2010: the last phase of this event between January and March will be the busiest.

Following Vancouver's example, Sochi, the next city hosting the Winter Olympics in Russia in 2014, announced that its cultural Olympiad will kick off in 2010, scheduling four years of cultural events with the participation of 10,000 Russian and international artists taking part in the celebration. (