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10 fun facts about Vancouver and Whistler

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Whistler is the perfect locale for the movers and shakers of TEDActive 2014.

TED is ready to learn every word to “O Canada.” For TED2014 — our 30th anniversary spectacular themed “The Next Chapter” — we are moving our annual West Coast conference to Vancouver, Canada. There, we’ll enjoy sweeping views of the harbor and North Shore Mountains, a theater custom-built to maximize the impact of talks and the return of 100 beloved TED speakers from the past. While TED2014 takes place in this spectacular city, TEDActive 2014 will be just 90 minutes away in the gorgeous ski resort of Whistler, pictured above.

With registration just opened for TED2014 and TEDActive 2014, here are some fun facts about Vancouver and Whistler to get you in the British Columbian spirit.

Vancouver is Canada’s third largest metropolitan area, with a population of 2.3 million. It is also one of Canada’s most diverse cities — 53% of residents do not speak English as their first language. [StatCan]

Originally known as Gastown, Vancouver sprouted up around the Hastings Mill sawmill and tavern, established in 1867. Twenty years later, the city was incorporated and named after Captain George Vancouver, of the British Royal Navy, who explored the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii and Australia. [Wikipedia]

Some bands and musicians who’ve called Vancouver home: The New Pornographers, Tegan and Sara, Kid Koala, Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan, Heart and Michael Bublé. [Wikipedia]

Stanley Park, Vancouver’s largest, is 1001 acres—making it 10% bigger than New York City’s Central Park. [Canadian Geographic]

Vancouver is sometimes referred to as Hollywood North. It is second to Los Angeles in television production and third behind New York and Los Angeles in film production. 21 Jump Street, Fringe, The L Word, Smallville, Hellcats, Battlestar Gallactica, MacGyver, and The X-Files were all filmed there. [Wikipedia]

In 1971, Greenpeace was established in Vancouver, and the city has its sights set on becoming the world’s greenest city by 2020. []

Whistler Mountain was once known as London Mountain because of the fog at its base. The name Whistler was inspired by the unique noises made by the hoary marmot, which make their home there. [Whistler’s Base]

Now visited by more than 2 million annually, Whistler was basically undeveloped until the 1960s. Whistler Mountain opened in 1966 with an eye toward a bid for the 1968 Winter Olympic Games. [Wikipedia]

Currently, Whistler gets an average of 469 inches of snow a year. []

When Vancouver hosted the Winter Olympics in 2010, more than 2,800 athletes were housed at the Olympic Village at Whistler. In that Olympics, Canada set the record for most gold medals won by a country in a single Winter Olympic games — an honor held by the Soviet Union since 1976 and only matched by Norway in 2002. [Wikipedia]


The view from the roof of the Vancouver Convention Centre, where TED2014 will be held.