Castellani to talk about 2010 opportunities 

Torino's mayor part of Nov. 23 webcast

Valentino Castellani knows first-hand about struggling economies and the ebb and flow of business opportunities.

As mayor of Torino in the1990s, Castellani witnessed the decline of the Italian automotive industry and the exodus of related businesses from his city.

Once seen as the Detroit of Italy, Torino was a city in search of a new focus. With the Alps nearby, dozens of lakes, a rich history that goes back thousands of years, and some of Italy’s best vineyards, the decision was made to focus on tourism. But while the Piedmont region of north-west Italy has all of the same attributes that draw tourists to Tuscany, it lacked the profile.

Hosting the winter Olympics was an opportunity to change Torino’s image, draw attention to Piedmont and stimulate business opportunities. And Castellani, as president of the Torino 2006 Organizing Committee, was at the forefront of the effort.

Castellani spoke about Torino’s experiences and ways local businesses can leverage economic opportunities from the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games. at the Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver Tuesday. He will also share his expertise during a live web cast from CTV’s Vancouver studios on Thursday, Nov. 23 at noon. Viewers can watch the interview, hosted by newscaster Pamela Martin, and e-mail questions which may be answered during the web cast at

“I hope that by sharing my experience from Torino, communities and businesses in British Columbia will come away with numerous ideas of what they can do to harness opportunities both before and after the 2010 Winter Games,” Castellani said.

Castellani’s presentations are part of the RBC 2010 Legacies Now Speaker Series. The event at the Wall Centre is co-hosted by the Spirit of Vancouver. Tickets are available at

Sponsored by RBC Financial Group, the B.C. Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Secretariat, CTV and presented by 2010 Legacies Now, the RBC 2010 Legacies Now Speaker Series was developed to provide communities and local businesses with opportunities to hear and learn from individuals who have played key roles in developing business, tourism, community and economic opportunities at previous Olympic and Paralympic Games. Castellani is the third featured speaker being presented to B.C. communities in person and via the Internet in 2006.

“As we look ahead to 2010, it’s important for communities to have the opportunity to learn from past Games,” said Bruce Dewar, Chief Executive Officer, 2010 Legacies Now. “Bringing Valentino Castellani to B.C. to share his Games experience will spark new ideas to help communities develop plans and implement strategies to reach their goals for the 2010 Winter Games.”

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