Credit: Forward Focus Productions Ltd.
Source: Mary Anne McEwen fonds. Crista Dahl Media Library and Archive, VIVO Media Arts Centre, Vancouver, Canada.
Office Manager, Mary Brookes, works on paperwork at her desk in the Celebration ’90 offices at Enterprise Centre. It’s the day before the athletes start to arrive and registration opens . She pauses her work to answer the interviewer’s questions.
Interviewer: “Mary, could you just tell me what you’re up to?”
Brookes: “Uhm, I’m trying to make sense of everybody changing their mind on their housing situations. We’ve got probably 100 couples that have broken up since they requested hosted housing and now they want to be housed at opposite sides of the city.”
Brookes: “It’s further complicated by the fact that the computer crashed four days ago and we still haven’t got it up and running so things have to be done by hand It’s really dragging the whole system out.
The hardest thing at the beginning was trying to even let people understand what it was about. Only a handful of people had been to San Francisco back here in Vancouver knew what the Games were about. So there we were trying to set up membership base and volunteer records and making contact with people on a subject they knew next to nothing about. And we didn’t really have the full picture. We just knew we had this plan, this dream, and we were trying to sell that to people who thought we’d lost it, you know?
Trying to get enough volunteers has been an ongoing problem. Vancouver doesn’t have that large a population to begin with compared to cities like San Francisco and New York and the population we have, especially in the women’s community they’re already greatly involved in its political struggles or its social struggles and getting issues dealt with . You’re already talking to over committed people and asking them to give yet more time for something that’s very different – off-base- for them.”
Interviewer: “Are you going to feel a sense of relief, are you going to be glad when it’s all over?”
Brookes: “It won’t be all over then. There’ll be a sense of relief in that I can get out of this office, I can get out and start enjoying some of the things that I’ve helped to organize knowing that it’s going to be wonderful and perfect. But it won’t be over for a long time after that. Even August 11th won’t be the end for us because come August 12th is when we start putting all this into book form, information to pass on to GG4 and return all the rental equipment, take the trucks back, the displays down, there’s a lot of work to do afterwards, but the pressure’s off a bit then. Yeah…”