http://www.lfpress.com/2013/03/07/wo...-march-11-17On the ice, there will be camel spins, rocker turns and axel jumps. Maybe even a few death spirals.
But off the ice, Londoners may be left spinning from the assorted attractions and activities taking place throughout the city as part of the world figure skating championships.
And while we don’t yet know whether the official prediction of about 35,000 visitors will materialize, we know the identity of at least two of the spectators planning to visit: Gov. Gen. David Johnston and his wife, Sharon, have accepted an invitation to become “patrons” of the gala.
Their Excellencies will attend the event and participate in the victory ceremonies after the ice dance competition March 16.
But even Londoners who never set foot inside Budweiser Gardens for the week-long competition will have a chance to share the experience.
Here’s a list of some of the planned events:
LIGHTS AROUND LONDON
Sites and buildings around the city will be decorated with purple LED lights throughout the competition.
Most of the lights are already in place and can be viewed at Victoria Park, London Life, the London Convention Centre, Museum London and downtown businesses such as Nash Jewellers, Kingsmills and Moxies. There are even lights at the so-called “Stonehenge” rock display on Oxford St. at Veterans Memorial Parkway.
In addition, LED lights have been strung on lamp posts along Richmond Row. Nine illuminated pillars, spelling out the word London, have been erected on the median just north of the intersection of York and Wellington streets.
And in Victoria Park, the ice rink will be adorned with eight LED pillars, as well as a seven-metre-long TV screen in the park bandshell that will broadcast the live CBC-TV feed from Budweiser Gardens.
Mayor Joe Fontana will attend a special preview of the new Market Lane display, between Covent Garden Market and Dundas St., Friday (March 8) at 7 p.m. The installation features an overhead canopy with more than 1,400 LED coloured lights that create a programmable pattern of colour and movement.
The Richmond Row Association and a handful of downtown businesses have arranged for a 28-seat limousine to shuttle patrons from Budweiser Gardens to Richmond Row.
There will be six pick-up/drop-off areas: St. Paul’s Cathedral, St. Peter’s Cathedral, Joe Kool’s, Station Park, Aroma Restaurant and Urban Outfitters. The limo will include a host/tour guide who will lead passengers through trivia contests throughout the ride.
The free shuttle will run from Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. till 4 p.m.
The Arts Project on Dundas St. is playing host to a week-long exhibit and silent auction of 22 skate-based works created by local artists.
Three local establishments — Aroma, the Dancing Greek and Windermere Manor — will offer “taste of London” appetizers to visitors at London International Airport on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday (March 10-12) from 2-5 p.m., when organizers expect most visitors to arrive.
Local culture, including performances by artists Brassroots and Karen Schuessler Singers, will be featured in a tent at Market Square, across from Budweiser Gardens, from March 13-17. Showtimes vary, but most weekday performances start at 5:10 p.m., while weekend shows get underway shortly after noon.
GOOD OLD WINTERTIME
Eldon House salutes the championships with exhibits tracing the history of London’s winter-sporting past. The exhibit runs daily, March 10-17. Admission is by donation.
The Canadian Tire Family Zone, located in a tent at Market Square, will feature daily activities for children, including dance and music lessons, from March 13-17.
The logs were being delivered Thursday. Six world-champion chainsaw sculptors — including Canadian Paul Frenette, American Ken Tynan and Takao Hayashi from Japan, will create wooden sculptures March 11-17 during Canada’s first Eco-Friendly Chainsaw Sculpting event. The carvers, who will use quieter electric tools during the day, will demonstrate their craft daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Bell building, 100 Dundas St., across from Budweiser Gardens.
SOUND AND LIGHT SHOW
A special premiere of the much-hyped show, which will be projected onto the Talbot St. wall of Budweiser Gardens, is scheduled for Sunday (March 10) at 9 p.m.
That show kicks off after the conclusion of a free 7 p.m. concert at the Grand Theatre featuring Denise Pelley and Amabile. At the end of that concert, show-goers will walk from the Grand — with glow sticks in hand — to Budweiser Gardens for the inaugural public demonstration of the show designed by Montreal-based firm Moment Factory, which has also designed effects for performers such as Bon Jovi and Cirque de Soleil, as well as the half-time show featuring Madonna at the 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis, Ind.
The local show, called Tree Of Light, will combine images of London with figure skating and will be shown twice every evening — at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. — Monday through Friday. There will be three showings on the final Saturday (March 16) at 8 p.m., 9:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
Nearly 70 purple-jacketed volunteers, many from Fanshawe College, will be stationed around the city as part of the concierge program to answer questions and offer help.