My Insta-Reaction To the Olympic Closing Ceremonies

You know how, in The Producers, the audience for “Springtime For Hitler” is left slack-jawed and horrified at what they’ve just seen? And then, just as they’re about to walk out, they start to realize that the whole thing is so over-the-top that it’s funny? And finally they’re loving it and saying it deserves to run ten years?

That’s me with the closing ceremonies. The mountie costumes. The two guys in a pair of canoe-shaped pants. The slide-whistle sound effects to take away the guest star’s dignity. The beavers. It all felt so ridiculous and so sincere in its cheesy showbiz phoniness that I couldn’t help but be won over; it was like The Simpsons Family Smile-Time Variety Hour came to life and had a Canadian theme.

So, to the producers of this show, and the little old ladies who presumably invested in it: I don’t know what you were thinking, but I’ll take it.




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My Insta-Reaction To the Olympic Closing Ceremonies

  1. Final verdict: that was terrible. The entire world is watching and the best you can come up with is giant inflatable beavers, jokes about peeing in the snow, Nickleback and Avril Lavigne?

    Sorry if I'm being a downer but that was truly embarrassing. Why not Arcade Fire instead of Nickelback? Why not Emily Carr instead of giant inflatable beavers? Why not Margaret Atwood telling a story instead of Michael Bublé cheesing it up in front of chorus girls dressed as mounties? Why not more of Joannie Rochette? Or Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue? Or all the other wonderful athletes from Canada and elsewhere? Why not a peep from our wonderful Governor-General?

    We could have had something classy instead we went with an embarrassing display that barely concealed the cultural inferiority complex beneath it (almost everything was preoccupied with how Americans view us).

    Very, very lame.

    • No where else in the world could someone pull off that much tongue in cheek with as much bravado…

      Well maybe Jamaica but hydraulics would be the least of their problems.

      Canada is every where. Every layer of every international agencies has Canadians involved and playing big roles. We're in the G8 and we don't technically qualify for the position. We are truly a unique nation in this world.

      The last thing the worlds needs to see is us trying to be like them, because what has defined us and what has inspired them is how different we are,

      • I'm a big fan of self deprecating humour, and I understand Jaime Weinman's pont about so-bad-it's-good, hell I love so-bad-it's-good, but this occasion called for deeper and more profound emotions. It called for real art not some stupid variety show/Canadian Idol schmaltzathon.

        I guess in its defense some of it was just boring instead of awful.

        And there were a few okay moments, like Catriona LeMay Doan and Neil Young. But mostly it was a colossal train wreck.

    • Actually, I was a little unsure how I felt about the ceremony but I gotta admit they had me when I saw the flying moose.

      But you`re right, the only way this event could have been improved would have been to have a soul-sucking 45 minute recital from Margaret Atwood.

      • Oh go listen to Nickelback common man,

    • Nickelback, Avril Lavigne and Simple Plan. All three…embarassing as a Canadian.

    • couldn't agree with you more!

    • Agreed, very VERY lame! If it was supposed to be "tongue-in-cheek"…ah funny…..it was so NOT! I too was embarrassed. I thought the opening ceremonies were dull and unexciting – but at least they were somewhat appropriate. I hated the chicks in the Mountie skirts behind Michael Buble. What up wit dat? It was more disrespectful than funny and who in the world would get it anyway? Gotta' love the inflatable beavers and moose. Geez! Now everyone out there thinks we're a lame, kitchy nation with a taste for stereotypical entertainment. Kim Mitchell would have rocked the joint. Celine Dion never showed up either and what about Cirque du Soleil? Now, that would have been a show!( Guess they saw this coming and didn't want to be involved) Neil Young was ok ( but then…the dude wasn't known for his singing back in the day either!) He's a good songwriter – but PLEASE! The best part of the show was the preview of the Russian olympic location with the ice dancing overlooking the sea. It put our entire show last night to shame….Sorry, hated it!

  2. I agree – we were waiting and waiting for something to happen and all of a sudden fireworks and that was it.
    How embarrassing for the whole world to watch this cheesy production of a "variety show".
    Even the athletes looked bored and we actually saw one of the dignataries YAWN!!!!
    Were we working on a budget? WOW what a let down.

    • I think that with the exception of the initial comedy, the Russian contribution, and some of the speeches, the closing ceremonies were a major embarrassment. Very lame and poor taste. Remember Norway's finale or the Calgary Winter Olympics. Does anybody think that Shatner or O'Hara were actually funny? We went to friends for dinner and to watch the ceremonies and ended up putting them on mute until it looked like something worthwhile was on. And those dumb hats! I guess they should have brought back Bob and Doug McKenzie, who could have done a much better job of "making fun of Canadians" or the Royal Canadian Air Farce, Dave Broadfoot, or Rick Mercer. How about having Stompin' Tom singing "The Hockey Song." It would have brought the house down. Perhaps they should have featured some real stirring local entertainment like the six-time World Champion Simon Fraser University Pipe Band. That would really have stirred the soul and added to the patriotic fervour. After such a build up of hype and hysteria over the Olympics and Canada's overtime victory in hockey, the Closing Ceremonies were a big bust. The only thing I'm sorry for is that they hired Atkins to produce them. Who else would try to change a country's National Anthem, something that was sung thousands of times during the games from official ceremonies to bars to streets to public transport.

  3. My favourite shot was of one of the athletes stone faced during Catherine O'Hara's poorly written "jokes" (and normally I adore Catherine O'Hara .)

    • I thought the exact same thing ,watching Catherine O Hara , William Shatner and Michael J Fox. Very badly written jokes. I also have liked Catherine O Hara in the past.

  4. Seems everybody with the above comments, missed the whole idea behind the clsoing ceremonies!!! Closing ceremonies are party time and Canadians know how to party, its Canadian humor folks relax!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Yea.. Pee'ing in the snow.. :)

    • Kevin, how Orwellian of you to think something so pitifully sad is funny. Please do not insult the rest of us Canadians by calling that humour, hope you enjoyed the Canadian spelling.

  5. They apparently didn't get the press kit before the show started.

  6. I don't get it. The opening ceremonies were just brilliant. Despite all of the bad weather, the death, and other technical problem, the Vancouver Olympics is something we could be proud of. And the fact Canada ended on such a high note by winning 14 gold medals, we leave the world with THAT? Utterly horrible, and a true embarrassment to what was an amazing Olympics.

    I get the idea of wanting to make fun of ourselves, but that would require the performances to actually be funny. Who was putting together a bunch of giant beavers and hockey players and saying to themselves, "damn, this is really funny!!" I'm just hoping by closing ceremonies most of the world was too drunk from the hockey game to remember what they just saw. Or better yet, on the re-runs, lets just take the opening ceremonies and play the lighting of the flame backwards so that people think the torch is going out instead.

    • I agree Brian, but cause nothing screems Canada like a Giant Beaver, a flying moose and pee'ing in the snow. Mr. Vancouver Script Writter guy.. that may have been FUNNY in the bar at 130am after a few molson products, but not so much on TV with the world watching……… They had mounties, why not Tazer a guy :) just to be THAT much more FUNNY!!

    • Really did they think they were doing Saturday night live??? Do the producers really think we are defined by a couple of Canadians who moved south and became stars,……I wish they had taken that time and shown clips of Terry Fox and Rick Hanson – their contribution to our country. What defines Canada – the immigrants who came to this land and helped create a diversified culture which we are very proud of. I'd of loved to see the RCMP musical ride instead of all the slapstick around the RCMP (which I found very distasteful). How about Circus de Solei……..and was that an after thought having Neil Young sitting out there all alone with two amps……………good grief how about some props…….personally the whole thing came cross like it was an afterthought and thrown together by ameteurs with no budget…………….what a shame given the wonderful quality of the opening ceremonies, the games themself and the incredible showing of Canadian athletes………….it was an embarrassment………………….shame on the producers and those that agreed to this mockery of being Canadian.

  7. Well, I do think one of the evening's highlights truly speaks to Canadian humour – the of-the-moment reference to the initial torch-lighting ceremony. It was fun and light, and demonstrated that Canadian humour is best when thinking on its feet.

    Must admit I gave up watching in boredom and embarrassment right after the Buble/Mountie clothing tear-away scene, unfortunately missing the cheeseball parade which might have been good fun. While Neil Young was a great surprise, the rest of the musical acts did not reflect the wealth of Canadian talent we have actually living in the country. I wish the show had been fun to watch, at least the non-speech and Sochi portions over which understandably planners had no real control. Albeit, did love the glowing bubble people, and hope they make a come-back!

    I did learn, however, that William Shatner was Canadian. Suppose the evening reflects what happens when a preliminary artistic plan is committee-d to fruition.

    • The closing ceremonies wear great, it showed how ridiculous these stereotypes really are. For those of you that didn't like the entertainment well we love our new younge atheletes with up to date talent, but we are critical of our younge up to date world loved entertainers. Canada is a great multicultural country, filled with polite well cultured people and that was very clear at closing ceremonies. Those of you that are complaining sound sterotypical american. Canadians don't whine, we accept and make light or fun of a situation.

  8. i was embarassed by Canada's contribution to the closing ceremonies.

  9. I had the same reaction as the writer. It was pure Canadian and fun. How does the world view us but by mounties, beavers, moose etc. It was schlokey but fun. Those that are not impressed should lighten up. It was pure Canadiana.

    • "How does the world view us but by mounties, beavers, moose etc."
      —————————————————————-

      See, that's exactly the problem. It was all about how the world (i.e. Americans) supposedly views us (when in truth, the world mostly ignores Canada). It shouldn't have been about how we're viewed, it should have been about who we really are. It should have been about the best that Canada has to offer the world.

      In the end though, I think the real problem is that not enough Canadians understand what it is about our country that's special. Not enough Canadians really appreciate the great artists that Canada has produced. Instead we seem fixated on the ones who made it big (or semi-big) in Hollywood.

      • "It shouldn't have been about how we're viewed, it should have been about who we really are."

        That was the opening ceremonies. The dances, songs and the slam poet with the "we are more" piece. That was who we are.

        The closing ceremonies was who they think we are. Though, I admit Catherine O'Hera has lost her touch… that was rather "yawn." And it was good to see Michael J. Fox. For a moment it looked like he was having trouble at the beginning but he made it though.

        Oh and the Olympic anthem sung by two of Canada's best opera singers (Measha Brueggergosman in the opening ceremonies and Ben Heppner in the closing) along side Neil Young I believe does show Canada's wealth of talent.

        • "It shouldn't have been about how we're viewed, it should have been about who we really are."

          Until this week, you'd be hard pressed to find a Canadian who really knew who we were ;)

  10. I thought the closing Ceremonies were very unique, and awesome.

    The theme of humour, poking fun at our Canadian stereotypes, Canadian pride, and our respect of other cultures was enjoyable to watch……very well done.

    • Same here. I would have normally found that type of humour boring but they put it together brilliantly. I didn't hear any complaints from the British press either. OK, some teased us about the beavers but it's part of our heritage and David Atkins pulled it off. Watching that bit with Buble singing the Maple Leaf Forever made me proud to live in Canada.

  11. This was fun. It really capture our collective sense of humour. One of our most endearing qualities is our ability to laugh at ourselves. The world has seen the best of us for the past two weeks, now they've seen us let our hair down and celebrate while giving them a 'nudge, nudge, wink, wink'.

  12. It captured our slapstick nature. Can anyone say "Canadian Bacon"? One and a half thumbs up.

  13. I didn't enjoy the ceremonies very much. I appreciate that others did, but to me it came across as a self-conscious nation trying to prove its worth and ultimately overdoing the schtick. The Sochi presentation (and even our opening ceremonies) was classy and timeless.

    The giant beavers et al were cringe-worthy and entirely aimed at a domestic audience. The ceremony focused so heavily on Canada and our stereotypes that international athletes and viewers must have been bored, confused, or offended that the Olympic spirit of internationalism and brotherhood among nations was ignored in favour of cheap inside jokes.

    Still, this calls for a poll!

    [polldaddy 2774102 http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/2774102/ polldaddy]

    • Wow at the negative reaction. Some people must live sad, sad lives. Pity them. Actually, scratch that. Don't pity them. I bet they're all negative nancy liberal types who just can't ever get positive about anything. That's not worthy of pity. That's just downright worthy of ignoring them, except to point out the fact how negative they are and that they do not get one iota of my sympathy.

    • Go ahead, be down on the ceremonies; it's your right. It's just sad that I mean, some of you here obviously feel that your way is the way to be, and even when given facts to the contrary (just ask the rest of Canadians out there), they loved everything about these Canadian Olympics.

      But again, as I said, go ahead and just be negative about it. Just do it. Oh, it feels oh so good doesn't it, to "know better than the rest of us" what a real production should have looked like. I'm sure we should have all held hands and sang kumbaya and danced around a campfire and then woke everyone up when it was over.

      I got two words for you: a word that rhymes with "shrew" and followed by a "you".

      Your opinions suck.

      • Ryan, there's no need for the ad hominem attacks. I loved watching the Olympics and got more and more into them as they went one. I'm merely saying that the closing ceremonies were cringe-worthy, and I know I'm not alone in that opinion.

        Grow up.

      • "Your opinions suck."
        ————————-

        I see a big future for you in internet messageboard commentary kid.

  14. I think folks are missing the point.. even though they pretty much laid it out there with Shatner, O'Hara, and Fox.

    These closing ceremonies were Canada's way of saying to the world, "Sorry for being so serious the past couple of weeks, we'll make it up to you now."

    I mean, come on, moose antlers for the audience, mimes helping Canada get it up with leMay Doan, Giant beavers, moose, and Avril Lavigne. Surely none of you thought this was intended to be serious at all?

    The whole ceremonies, with the exception of the formal bits they had to put in, was simply as anti-serious as you could get. It was Canada's way of saying, "Don't worry about it, eh? We're still good for a laugh, grab a beer on your way over."

    • No I get the point Thwim. I just think it was a stupid point that was badly executed.

    • I agree 100% we are always trying to be to serious, but we want world peace. World peace comes from multiculturalism and having fun. Lay back with a canadian beer and relax stop being so serious, that's what makes the world so uptight all the time. RELAX CHILL, HAVE A LAUGH and only the Canadian's can say this so well. Thank you Vancouver 2010 for showing the world that we need to come together and RELAX have some fun.

    • That's pretty much it. But on balance though the ceremonies focused too much on American stereotypes. To appeal to an international crowd you'd have to display baby seals clubbing Inuits who are digging for oil and strike a maple syrup deposit which is shipped to Siberia by flaming water bombers over the northwest passage which is protected from Argentinian submarines by Blue Beret Foot Soldiers toting Olympic bouquets of broccoli. Instant hit!

      • Now that's funny. We could have used this last night.

  15. ill be quick that closing ceremony sucked ass and i wish it didn't even happen

    not good enough complete waste of time; what is sad is the potential of all it could have been

    o'hara was a painful fail wtf?

  16. Awfull!! Piece Of JunK!!!

  17. I think folks are missing the point.. even though they pretty much laid it out there with Shatner, O'Hara, and Fox.

    These closing ceremonies were Canada's way of saying to the world, "Sorry for being so serious the past couple of weeks, we'll make it up to you now."

    I mean, come on, moose antlers for the audience, mimes helping Canada get it up with leMay Doan, Giant beavers, moose, and Avril Lavigne. Surely none of you thought this was intended to be serious at all?

    The whole ceremonies, with the exception of the formal bits they had to put in, was simply as anti-serious as you could get. It was Canada's way of saying, "Don't worry about it, eh? We're still good for a laugh, grab a beer on your way over."

  18. A complete embarrassing trivial afterthought is what these closing ceremonies were.

    I felt like I was in a bad souvenir shop in Niagara Falls.

    In my opinion when the world's eyes are focused on your for 2 hours, you pull out all the stops with something that is magical and sophisticated….things that leave people saying "wow how did they do that" ….things and people that inspire… Things that are so memorable you can talk about for them years afterwards.

    What we got is best forgotten as soon as possible.

  19. Wow Canada, that was a pretty LAME closing ceremony, it put me literally to sleep. Sure didn't look like it took a lot of money or effort to put the whole thing together. Mostly gimmicky and then just a bunch of pop singers that one can see all the time in those variety charity concerts or fests that they show, esp. on PBS. As for the little humor there was (ie peeing); juvenile! Seemed like little inside jokes, focused on impressing America because I'll bet most were lost on the rest of the world. Lastly, most of the world has heard about Vancouver's much touted Asian population and culture, yet with there was zero representation when they make up at least 30% (?) of the city?
    Just goes to show Canada is still so provincial and still has much to go getting over its inferior complex.
    Hope London does a better job!

    • You're an idiot.

      • That's a brilliant intelligent response to Jill. Who's the idiot?

  20. A reasonable show but Catherine O'Hara – what a low class/low life act. Didn't anyone review her script? This was disgraceful. The silence of the crowd during her act tells the story.

  21. The best part of the performance was Sochi!
    Canada's was a total embarrassment.

    • Sochi was brilliant but so outdated, stuck up and boring. World peace means fun, relax, multiculturalism and not so serious.

    • totally agree

    • Yes, jess, I couldn't agree more. The choir was incredible and their rendition of the anthem so classy. I was completely bored with the stupid humour and the music. But perhaps that was just my opinion.

  22. If I wasn't so patriotic I would have taken my Canada jersey off with embarrassment.

  23. The closing ceremonies were mind numbing to watch. An endless line of Canadians talking about Canada. The Olympics should be a world event that celebrates the young athletes not a jingoistic display of Canadian blather. Why did the Canadians have the goose stepping Mounties and dinosaur size beavers march across the stage. I felt sorry for the athletes who had to wear the white hospital gowns and endure this maple leaf torture. The games started off with a boy's unnecessary death then went onto anti-gay remarks about a skater and onto the Hitler youth rally covered in Maple leafs. Sweet Jesus protect us from the Canadians.

    • The anti-gay remarks, if you mean the ones I heard about, happened in Australia.

  24. I thought it was all pretty darn funny, and the humour very Canadian. The Americans are getting more and more used to our humour, so some of them probably enjoyed it as well and got the point. What concerns me is that the audience for Olympics is much broader (the entire world) and I think somehow the organizers forgot that. Thinking of all the places far and wide where folks would have their TVs on, I cringe to think how that came across. It may have actually perpetuated the stereotypes instead of making fun of them.

  25. I agree. Canada is much more intelligence then what was shown on the closing ceremonies. If they wanted more Canadian based jokes they should have gotten Rick Mercer from CBC Television to do it. At least it would have been intelligent humour and not embarrassing bathroom jokes.
    I am still cringing! I was always taught "less is more". They should have stopped it after the 4th torch was lit and a few speeches were made. The rest of the world must be giving their heads a shake. I am a proud Canadian…that certainly did not make me proud.

    • Rick Mercer! I totally agree! Hadn't thought of him, but he would have been way,way better than Michael J Fox, Catherine O Hara and William Shatner ..for the "humor"part.
      Oh and thanks ..whoever chose the artists….for letting lousy artists like Nickelback and Simple Plan represent us. Geez.

  26. First, to the people of Newfoundland, thank you for your humanity during the 9-11 tragedy. With our sad news media here in the U.S., most of us never knew. To O'Hara, Shatner, Fox and Gretzky and your pro hockey players: screw you. Make fun and talk down to the U.S. all you want. Where did you become millionaires? In Ontario? In Quebec? In B.C.? To the decent people of Canada, I apologize for my rant. You have the same problem we have in the U.S. with people in entertainment and sports. No sense of apprectaion.

    • They were making fun of Canada, Rick, not the US.

  27. Whether or not one liked the overplay of Canadian tourist momentos or what was meant to be tongue in cheek over the topness but ended up being rather schlock and tacky; last night I saw something that was shocking for its un-Canadianness: rudeness towards our guests and the world that calls for an apology. I furthermore was dismayed by the gloating: evidently we do not know how to be good winners. For my part I am sorry for both those things.

    • Oh F off.

      For my part I completely disagree with this guy's apology and instead give a hearty F you to the world to make up for it. I do apologize that it had to come to that, but to make up for this guy's apology, it's the only way to do it. Without this guy's apology, we'd have avoided my remarks just there, but since he felt the need to apologize, I have to up the ante and reverse his apology with an obscene remark.

      The new Canada is this: we're the best, we're rude, and if you don't like it that's your problem; not ours. This Canada, this new Canada being brought in by the 20 somethings, is how Canada is going to be from now on. If you're over 50 and you don't like it, too bad.

      We're going to stand up for Canada for once and we're going to make sure everyone knows it.

      • [repeated elsewhere but putting it here for Gordon]

        Just want to say sorry about the part of the comment that was directed at you, Gordon. I still keep the other comment to the rest of the world though in an effort to reduce the affect of your "apology".

        Just annoyed to see so many negative comments. I can't help but think nothing would have pleased the commenters here. Just hate to see negative comment after negative comment which breeds more negative comments since it seems the "cool" thing about Macleans commenters is to just be negative.

      • See, we differ there. I don't want the new Canada to be rude. And I agree with Gordon in one respect: O'Hara's act was insulting. Accusing our guests of trashing the place is not something we do to their faces. (Admitted, we *do* grumble about it in private as we're cleaning up) but as Canadians we prefer to lead by example, not by insult.

        I'll agree that we're the best, and have every right to be proud of that and indeed, shout it from the rooftops. But that's a different kettle of fish from insulting others.

      • Wow Canada, at least your making us Americans look like the humble patriots of north america.

      • Your cursing is just a perfect way to make the world love Canada (not, in case you didn't get the sarcasm there). I join Gordon is feeling the need to apolgize for the suggestion that our guests have overstayed their welcome and for forcing them to sit through our hoser, low-life, provincial, embarrassing inside jokes.

      • "We're going to stand up for Canada for once and we're going to make sure everyone knows it. "
        ——————————–

        Oh God. One fears for the future.

  28. Again there were highs and lows as there were in the Opening ceremonies. Avril looked and sounded like she just woke up from a week of partying too hard. K-os is just BAD – period. Why were acts like Spirit of the West, Trooper, Rush, April Wine, Blue Rodeo, Kim Mitchell, or even Chilliwack for that matter, not included?? The 'peeing in the snow' reference?? – WHY?? Loved Buble. Could have done without the opening trio (Nikki et al). Alannis – p-ass. Nickelback – typical (all their songs sound the same).

  29. And now for a comment not in a reply.

    All you negative types in here should be ashamed of yourselves. You congregate to these boards to feel good about yourselves. You're liberals, you're negative types, you're self-pitiers. You're the types of Canadians that have held Canada back for so long from realizing it's true potential.

    Now that we're finally awakening from this "socialist slumber" we've been mired in for far too long now, you can't stand it and it would be impossible for any ceremony to have possibly pleased you.

    Come to grips with the new Canada or get left</> behind. Emphasis on the "left" for the liberal ideology holding you back.

    • If that ceremony was a sign of our reaching our full potential – God help us. Is your last name Sparrow by any chance?

    • I guess if moving to the left means opting for being tacky and embarrassing, I'll be glad to sit here on the left. What makes Canada stand apart, especially from the US, is not beer, bad coffee and toques but the sense of collective responsibility that we are letting slip away because of people who can't think beyond themselves.

    • "You're the types of Canadians that have held Canada back for so long from realizing it's true potential."
      ——————————

      Yep, your dream of Canada being just as obnoxious as the United States is within reach. Fight on noble warrior!

  30. When the flame went out, and the over-the-top shenanigans began, I turned to my wife and said, "This isn't for the rest of the world anymore, is it? This is just for us."

    And if you watched those closing ceremonies with the usual Canadian shyness and self-consciousness about 'how the rest of the world sees us', you might have felt embarrassed or ashamed, or any mix of feeling that normally accompanies our usual Canadian low-self-esteem when presenting internationally.

    But that would mean you missed the point.

    It's true that the World, or America, does indeed see us as a bunch of polite, quirky, affable folk who love their hockey and maple syrup, who live in a land populated by moose, mounties, and beavers, and who usually cry, "Yeah, but that's just a stereotype.. we're much MORE than that!".

    The closing ceremony after-party, filled with giant moose, mounties, maple-leafs, canoes, table-hockey, bears, and all sorts of stereotypical Canadiana, took another outlook. It said, "You know what? We ARE all of those things! We love this stuff!"

    Are we more than that? Sure. But we're past the point where we should feel that our national obsessions, our past-times, our quirks and our *history* is something that we need to get past, and get over, in order to 'grow up' and be more.. what, American?

    No.. this is who we are, we know it's all a little strange to the rest of the world, but here it is, on display in all it glory!

    It doesn't matter what the world thinks, and I – and Canada – no longer cares what the world thinks. Come and celebrate our Canadian-ness with us, because it's not going away. We *are* all grown up now, but grown up as Canada, no anyone else.

    • Great post JWG. Hit the nail right on the head with your last point.

    • That's all well and good, but is the closing ceremonies the place for it? The opening ceremonies introduce the host country. The closing ceremonies are supposed to be a big party for the athletes and the viewers. As a dual citizen who has heard an earful of Canadian complaints about the US, I could not get over the self-referential aspect of the ceremonies. This was supposed to be about the athletes and the Olympics. You show what Canada is made of by showing the athletes and the Olympic movement what they/it means to us. You can get some Canadianness in there, but that shouldn't be all it is. This is a great country. The closing ceremonies, unfortunately, did not reflect that as well as it could have. Too bad.

      • Exactly right Amy.

  31. As someone in the audience at the closing ceremonies I am shocked at the reaction to the ceremonies. It might have looked tacky on t.v. but it was a party at BC Place. What it was meant to be. I had a group of Dutch people beside me and they had nothing but compliments for the show and the wonderful time they had in Vancouver. I suspose as they say…you just had to be there!!

  32. Just want to say sorry about the part of the comment that was directed at you, Gordon. I still keep the other comment to the rest of the world though in an effort to reduce the affect of your "apology".

    Just annoyed to see so many negative comments. I can't help but think nothing would have pleased the commenters here. Just hate to see negative comment after negative comment which breeds more negative comments since it seems the "cool" thing about Macleans commenters is to just be negative.

    • So . . . you thought you'd leave a really negative comment.

      • Just to re-affirm my un-sorryness for our closing ceremony, yes. If someone feels the need to apologize as a Canadian because they disagreed with the ceremony, then I feel it is my duty to show just how unapologetic I am.

        Maybe I'm just feeling overly patriotic today though, and am willing to get into a shouting match.

        • . . . I feel it is my duty to show just how unapologetic I am. . . . and am willing to get into a shouting match.

          You are Helena Guergis. I claim my five pounds.

        • @ James Connors LOL

          @ Ryan — I get your point, but just to be clear: you're taking a stand, one which doesn't in itself relate to the goodness or badness of the closing ceremony, right? I mean, you're not weighing in to say that you thought it was good, just that we might as well turn a blind eye — if necessary, a very blind eye — to the badness of said ceremony in the event of its having been apocalyptically bad. I could get behind that.

          • Nah, I took from his other comments elsewhere that he was 20 something, he had chosen to be born in Canada, and he was proudly going to yell to the whole world how smart he was for doing so, something along those lines.

          • Moreso it was just the "piling on" in saying that it wasn't liked going on in this comment section, when it seems that elsewhere the opinion was more a positive one. I suppose it can be just an anomaly, but I generally disagree with much of what's said in these comment sections anyway; so it just came to a head here. I can understand general disagree with political issues, since there is always grey areas… but it seems that here, joining the chorus of negativity against the closing ceremonies is the order of the day.

            For once, it would have been great if all of Canada could just have been positive about a collective experience, but there still has to always be a few who dislike this or dislike that.

            I suppose I feel their points are invalidated by the need to be appeased personally.

        • "Just to re-affirm my un-sorryness.."
          ————————————————-

          Stirring.

  33. The closing ceremonies were painful !!!! What's with Harper's wife NOT singing Oh Canada ? Someone should teach her the words !!! Her lack of participation was disgraceful. As for the atheltes they spent more time taking each others pictures which speaks volumes of what was going on!!!!! The highlight I enjoyed was Micheal J. Fox I think he did an awesome job. I am so glad I DID NOT have tickets to that mess !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. The " flying moose " as dorky as they were beat Catherine O'Hara's insulting attempt at humour, anyday. The closing ceremonies did not pay due honour to all the atheltes and fell way short of humour…it ended with hardly any cheering and CTV couldn't wait to pull the plug on that mess !!!! I like many Canadians hung in there to the bitter end thinking 'this has to get better '… and it didn't….

    • I hung in there too, hoping for something that tied it all together and made me think, "Ah ha! I get it." Instead, the whole affair ended with a whimper after K-Os's performance. I wonder if that was the real end or if CTV just said enough.

  35. I enjoyed the fun making of the fourth arm in the final closing ceremonies, what I didn't like was that O'Hara woman thinking she was funny. Absolutely not and she was paid for that. Ouch!

  36. Can't believe I just said things like "collective" is good and "personal" is bad, considering my right-leaning views..

    *typo above "general disagreement"

    • This is the danger of working off the talking points. Beware of the Freudian slip.

  37. The bloated beavers and meandering moose were so bad they were actually funny. And then throw a perambulating canoe and a posse of drag queen mounties into the mix, and voila, the kitschiness reached new heights of madness! Loved it!

  38. I think the closing ceremonies were AMAZING. And to everyo ne who doesn't like the perfomances, the people they had were purely canadian and they did play amazingly. And all the humour was pure Canadian

  39. Those closing ceremonies were mortifying. No class, not actually funny and not representative of the Canada I actually felt proud of during the games. Pathetic and embarrassing. It shows that we are still just a nation of hick hosers.

  40. that should be "if moving to the RIGHT means being tacky…"

  41. I was swept away by the opening ceremonies and equally saddened by the wasted opportunity represented by the closing ceremonies. The weak and juvenile humour, the mountie chorus girls, the giant beavers, the constant references to our inferiority complex as seen through the American lens – it was all so unnecessary. Why not do as we did in the opening ceremonies – present ourselves as capable of a truly world-class artistic and technical statement summing up the experience for all concerned. I was anticipating a closing ceremony that recognized the remarkable achievements of both organizers and athletes and left the world feeling they had just seen something they would remember for a good part of their lives. The sooner this is forgotten, the better…..

  42. I thought it was good that we can laugh at ourselves but the abysmal lack of multi cultural entertainment talent was embarrassing. Why were virtually all the acts WHITE – where was some adequate representation of the true melting pot that is Canada. There are some incredible first nations, asian, afro-canadian, cuban/latino canadian and much more talent in this country and they went with some hasbeens and some sell outs (I mean really what has Avril really done in years)

  43. I'm Canadian, and I loved the closing ceremony. I found it visual, funny, entertaining, and uplifting. I guess you could say " I got the joke "…..and I thought the send off was brilliant. I'll take the word of the previous poster who attended the ceremony, and said that it was a huge party for everyone in the stadium ( including foreign athletes ). I believe that.

    For those who didn't enjoy it, I understand that it wasn't everyone's cup of tea. But then again…..there is no such thing as 'everyone's cup of tea' is there. So, a hit with some and a miss for others. Oh well, that's how it goes. For the record, I hated the opening ceremony which I found dull and boring. So, I was happy with the uplifting, humourous and energetic tone of the closing ceremonies.

  44. Absolutely brutal! I knew the opening ceremony is going to be embarrassing, I just hoped I wouldn't be cringing with embarrassment." It was a channel changing cringe-fest! And, if it was even possible, the closing ceremonies were even more pathetic.

  45. As proud as I was with the performance of our athletes, I was vastly more embarrased and shocked at the closing ceremonies. Classless, crude, second rate. What a sad way to end an otherwise successful olympics.

  46. I am an American. I want to say 'congratulations' to Vancouver and the rest of Canada for hosting what looked like (despite NBC's typically uneven Olympic coverage) a wonderful Winter Olympics.

    As for the closing ceremony, I got (and appreciated) the joke… but aside from the curling bit I was NOT amused by what Catherine O'Hara had to say. The should have brought out the 'Canadian Please' people instead!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWQf13B8epw

  47. The Catherine O Hara "joke" were very poorly thought out. The part where she is jokingly saying what a mess the olympic athletes have made ,while staying here….was bizarre and didn't come across the least bit funny..in fact …it felt AWKWARD.

  48. I'm from the US, I thought the closing ceremonies were a bit too self deprecating. Canada is a great country and I don't think that was the appropriate time for being modest. Also, I find it unlikely that anyone outside of the US and Canada really got the jokes.

  49. I very much agree with " liberal anon" here and a lot of others who have commented here…. it was so embarrassing and painful to watch that I had to change the channel… I have always disappointed with the quality of entertainment production in Canada( look at CBC programs and shows and compare it with BBC and other European Channels) and I felt it may not matter much because who watches TV anyways but now I know it does matter when it somehow represent our culture like last night….

  50. Definitely lacking! Didn't hold my interest.

  51. I think that with the exception of the initial comedy, the Russian contribution, and some of the speeches, the closing ceremonies were a major embarrassment. Very lame and poor taste. Remember Norway's finale or the Calgary Winter Olympics. Does anybody think that Shatner or O'Hara were actually funny? We went to friends for dinner and to watch the ceremonies and ended up putting them on mute until it looked like something worthwhile was on. And those dumb hats! I guess they should have brought back Bob and Doug McKenzie, who could have done a much better job of "making fun of Canadians" or the Royal Canadian Air Farce, Dave Broadfoot, or Rick Mercer. How about having Stompin' Tom singing "The Hockey Song." It would have brought the house down. Perhaps they should have featured some real stirring local entertainment like the six-time World Champion Simon Fraser University Pipe Band. That would really have stirred the soul and added to the patriotic fervour. After such a build up of hype and hysteria over the Olympics and Canada's overtime victory in hockey, the Closing Ceremonies were a big bust. The only thing I'm sorry for is that they hired Atkins to produce them. Who else would try to change a country's National Anthem, something that was sung thousands of times during the games from official ceremonies to bars to streets to public transport.

  52. is there anyways to really say we expect quality? I'm really interested to know. This is not what people of Canada deserve….
    I'm really disappointed(and embarrassed)… loving this country doesn't mean to only talk about it, it means to represent it the best way possible and that wasn't the best of Canada…. a wasted opportunity….

  53. Il liked the kitschy aspect of the closing ceremonies. It was our chance, as a nation, to say "Yup, this is us!" and not be apologetic for it. We weren't catering to anyone, we were just being us!
    Yes, we could have went with something more artistic but we didn't and why because what we saw was a reflection of ourselves and you know what, we should be proud of that.
    I thought Neil Young was a perfect send-off to officially close off the games, the "Michael Buble Extravaganza" was funny and I couldn't wait to see what they were going to do next (the flying beaver/mooses reminded me of a Pink Floyd concert, only funnier), but the musicians that came after felt more like a variety show than an appreciation of the talent we have. The choice could have been better as well – there were absolutely no country music performers (Shania Twain, Terri Clark, Paul Brandt, Stompin' Tom), and Rush, BTO/Guess Who, Anne Murray or Gordon Lightfoot would have been welcome additions.
    Overall thought, I think it was fun and funny, and it captured the Canadian spirit! Ain't nothing wrong with that!

    • "We weren't catering to anyone, we were just being us! "
      ———————————————————————

      Yeah well there's the us that's dressed in a tuxedo and then there's the us that's dressed in dirty boxer shorts picking our butts. We went with door number #2.

  54. Can none of you see that the closing ceremonies were a tongue in cheek roast of ourselves and our funky ways? Nothing wrong with poking fun at ourselves, we are a little hokey by times but the Olympics did us proud!

    • You know Robert. It's not so much what they were (although they WERE unfunny and self indulgent), it's more about what they could have been.

      To give just one more example: we could have had Leonard Cohen sing (or Buffy St-Marie…or Neko Case…or Feist…) instead of the winner of &%^ing Canadian Idol.

  55. No one who wasn't Canadian was in danger of getting the joke. The rah rah rah Canada thing makes us look just like Americans to the rest of the world. Even for Canadians, the joke was poorly delivered. I was in pain over that VANOC CEO's horrible French. It wasn't even written correctly, let alone spoken coherently. Yikes! We should have skipped closing ceremonies and ended with that wonderful hockey game.

  56. Should have had Drake and George Reefah perform. Two of Toronto's best.

  57. This was a total cringe producer!! Tacky and awful, not funny…surely we can do better than these raunchy rock bands. The whole world watching…couldn't we do something beautiful?????

  58. With all the hype about it being better than the opening, I bought in. At first, a good hearty laugh. The celebs – not too bad can I can take the funky mooses and the likes. Buble was OK. But ending on these HORRID BANDS AND MUSIC -what were they thinking. This is not party music -this hurts! Here was the greatest chance of a lifetime to end on a great note – albeit harder to find than the hockey win, and in the end – a let down. As Rene Zwelleger said "Stop it – you won me over at hello!" BTW – where was the men's hockey team on the floor?

  59. i was pretty underawed at he whole thing. At first this quickly became an issue of being pee'd off at the stereotypical Canadian thing being broadcast to the world aka the opening ceremonies . Then i calmed down cracked a cool one and i realized that it was kind of a fun thing. Well thats the only way i could take it. It was really too bad shania and even ( God forgive me for saying this) Celine could not make it for one song each. Half way through the bizzare parade i laughed and told my wife wouldnt it be great ot have bob and doug mackenzie just kind of walk through all this, as a side show and walk off without any spotlight.
    Because the thing is , if i go travelling NOW foreigners will either think I am a haida indian/eskimo, or a cape bretoner , with the profession of a mountie, a hockeyplayer, or hunter/trapper.

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