"You're going to China on vacation, right?!" was the question posed by a colleague.
Reply, with smile: "Not exactly!"
As a part deux of work that began in Torino in 2006, for 30 days I'll be in Beijing for a client of Edelman public relations, home for the last nine-and-a-half years of my career. As in Italy's northern metropolis, while in Beijing my host (and media relations assignment) is with client The Province of British Columbia, and more specifically B.C. Canada Pavilion (be sure to watch the video!).
In Torino, the Province built the hugely successfuly B.C. Canada Place "log cabin" on an urban piazza not far from the Shroud of Turin (the lines at B.C.C.P. were affectionately nicknamed "The Crowd of Turin"). In the Chinese capitol, the Province took over part of a museum adjacent to Tiananmen Square, and I'll be spending time with many of the Canadian friends met in 2006, as well as colleagues/friends from Edelman Vancouver and Edelman Beijing. B.C.C.P in China is one of several Olympic clients for the firm, most of which are part of Edelman Sports (we're just one big happy Edelman Olympic Family with several folks bound for the Olympic City).
The B.C.C.P. setup is a bit different for the summer Games, but I'm sure we'll find time to fit in a game of street hockey, and hopefully host some of Canada's favorite sons and daughters (shaking hands with Alanis, Celine, Leonard, Avril or Alex would be very interesting, but impossible to top Tom Green's visit in '06 -- no, this was not my video, but his appearance on The Tonight Show from the B.C.C.P. was hilarious yet not available online).
Our mission is to tell plenty of B.C. Stories and get business, tourists and Olympic fans to experience all the Province will offers before, during and after the 2010 Winter Games.
No vacation, but definitely a pleasure to be back in the company of red & white-clad friends.