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December 15 , 2009

Follow the flame with innovative online partnership
CTC, Coca-Cola, Tourism BC team up

As the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay makes its way through Canada, travel enthusiasts from around the world can get up close and personal with some of the extra-ordinary Canadian sites along the way.

Online videographer Chris Wheeler is following the Olympic Flame and producing authentic, lively travelogues about the great Canadian communities participating in the relay, while promoting the local flavours of Canada along the way.

It's all part of an innovative partnership between the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), Coca-Cola and Tourism British Columbia who initiated the program as a way to share the excitement of the Games. Coca-Cola websites, www.icoke.ca and www.cokenews.ca, are showcasing the 43 videos and they're carried as well on www.HelloBC.com/2010torchrelay, www.YouTube.com/2010torch and www.YouTube.com/canadiantourism. A social-media outreach program will ensure that the stories are made known around the world.

"This relay marks the seventh time Coca-Cola has sponsored the Olympic Torch Relay, and we are very excited to share this journey with the Canadian Tourism Commission and Tourism British Columbia. The videos capture the excitement and the moments of happiness that torchbearers are experiencing around the country, while highlighting the beauty and uniqueness of Canada," said Mickael Vinet, Manager, Olympic Torch Relay, Coca-Cola Canada.

"The CTC seeks out dynamic, ground-breaking partnerships to expand the reach, impact and return of our marketing programs," says Michele McKenzie, president and CEO of the CTC. "Online videos are a fresh, fun way to share some of Canada's hottest travel spots and we're thrilled to work with our partners at Tourism British Columbia and Coca-Cola to use this amazing opportunity of the Olympic Torch Relay to show off our country."

Among the many excited, everyday Canadian torchbearers, Wheeler will capture in their moments of glory are international torchbearers from CTC's global markets who are part of an international media program. These sports and media celebrities were chosen by VANOC, in collaboration with the CTC, to maximize international media coverage of the relay and spread the excitement and Olympic spirit around the world.

Watch for Wheeler's reports still to come from: Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Calgary, followed by daily video reports in British Columbia where the Flame returns for its final 22 days prior to the Opening Ceremony of the Games in Vancouver on February 12, 2010.

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Mark Henry
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