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Nice I hope it stays there after the Games,

July 13, 2015 @ 3:47 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I'm told it will be at Nathan Phillip's Square until the end of the year and then it will move to other parts of the city.

July 13, 2015 @ 3:47 PM

Ryan G / hobogauntlet.blogspot.ca

I'm glad it's not staying permanently. It's a touch on the nose don't you think?

July 13, 2015 @ 6:51 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Here's the original, photographed by yours truly.

July 13, 2015 @ 7:40 PM


Well I had my first PanAm experience today. My friend and I headed out to Welland to watch the canoeing and kayaking. Nice medal haul too.
We arrived very early and got great seats (no assigned seating) - however there was no protection from the sun.
Fast forward a few hours and I started to feel not quite right - so I left my friend in search of some shade. As I was approaching the first shady area I saw a lady stopped me and told me it was for VIPs only. I said okay I was just looking for some shade - so she asked me if I was ok - I looked 'funny' she said. I told her I was hot - so she called over the St. John's ambulance guy and he escorted me into the VIP area to cool off!
There I was sitting there and all the athletes (Adam van k, Mark O, Mark Tewkesbury, Kurt Harnett, a skiing guy who won some medals I cant recall his name right now, etc, etc!) were just milling around general chit chatting!
My friend (who is a really big fan) poked her head around the corner but the lady wouldn't let her into the VIP area. So there I sat watching all the action, cooling off and checking out the athletes. It was awesome. Interesting to see how much glad handing those athletes have to do. WOW! Kudos to them for keeping a smile on their face, when im sure at times they want to run and hide.
We won one Gold so we got to hear the Canadian anthem. It was awesome. There was a large Brazilian contingent and they were having such a great time. Lots of Mexican fans too.
Very well organized, friendly volunteers, overall a great day.

July 13, 2015 @ 9:12 PM

Rick C in Oakville

Very cool experience GUNTer.

July 14, 2015 @ 5:44 PM


Another misstep by the idiots running the T.O. Pan Am games - they book Kanye West to close the games. Geez, where do I start? Let's see, he's an untalented, arrogant prick for starters and an American to boot. Shouldn't they have booked a Canadian? Oh and one who knows how to sing???

God, I hope he belts out "Bohemian Rhapsody" as he did such a stellar job in Britain recently.

July 15, 2015 @ 11:48 AM

Ben V

LOL Argie do you actually like anything?

Kanye is big, he'll draw in a @#$@ load of people to watch the closing ceremonies. No press is bad press with this guy. Yes he has a massive ego, but there are very few lead singers or solo singers that don't. It's PanAM not the Canadian games, they have serena ryder there to open so that should help fill your Canadian quota.

July 15, 2015 @ 1:27 PM


I like you!

July 15, 2015 @ 3:40 PM


I agree it's a questionable judgement call choosing Kanye, but it's not going to make much of a difference to me. Chances are if it was local talent getting picked I wouldn't be interested either.

My main Pan-Am experience was getting to go to the opening ceremonies dress-rehearsal. Downside: so many terrible speeches. Upside: the Cirque stuff was incredible, and so much better in person than what you could see on TV on the actual day. I was bummed that the BMX acrobatics were almost completely cut from the live broadcast.

July 16, 2015 @ 8:33 AM


Here's the thing with Kanye.

I would never allow my kids to listen to his music- because it sends very bad, and dangerous message. I've never agreed with the amount of profanity in Rap music, because it suggests that you can't speak without swearing. I've never agreed with him being sexist and degrading to women as he is (and never will). I've never agreed with him using the word n*ggar in his lyrics. Can't even write it on a blog comment. Yet the closing ceremonies are supposed to be a "family" show??

There are hundreds of artists that deserve the honour much more than West, particularly from Canada. They did not need to degrade the performance to this yahoo's standards.

July 17, 2015 @ 10:05 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I happen to be a Kanye fan. I've always like him, and then I heard My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Wow.

My son loves Kanye as well, and listens a lot. He also likes Eminem. On the written page, there's lots of content there that isn't PG. We talk about that... the context, particularly. It's art, and some art is obscene.

Is Kanye a good choice for the closing ceremony? I don't have a problem with it, but I appreciate the arguments that we should have a Canadian closing the games, and I appreciate your argument about the swearing, etc.

My advice to everyone who doesn't like Kanye or doesn't like that he's performing is that they don't attend and don't watch.

I have a much bigger issue with Pitbul's participation.

July 17, 2015 @ 10:11 AM


I disagree with the "art" association.

However the point is, he's the wrong type of performer for this venue. They could have done much better by recruiting The Hip, Rush, or even Prince. Can you imagine the show if they were able to secure all 3???

July 17, 2015 @ 11:16 AM


As for the Kanye issue. I don't know what some in city wants. They complain that the Pan Am games is too "small time" for the city. The bring in one of the bigger current acts in music and the same people are saying "We don't have somebody local". The same people who mocked local gal Serena Ryder when she was the lead entertainment announced.

I have shut out the negativity ever since I heard the same people who said Pan Am is going to be a disaster because nobody cares, and in the next breath talk about how it will be a traffic nightmare as the city can't handle all the visitors. And guess what it's been neither so far.

If you don't want Kanye in because you he's a douche. I can almost understand that,. But the "He's not Canadian" aspect, is so hickish and small town. Who cares where he's from, BTW how would you feel if America blackballed a Canadian just due to where he/she was born?

As for his content, guess what, almost EVERY major artist in history pushes the boundaries from Elvis, to The Beatles to the Stones. To act like Kanye is any different from major musical artists in the past, is completely hypocritical and absurd.

July 17, 2015 @ 4:20 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Could you imagine if the only acts we invited were those with completely safe lyrics and lifestyles?

Kanye is massive. Yes, he has a big ego, but for the most part he backs it up with talent. He's a huge draw, especially the the younger crowd.

July 17, 2015 @ 4:26 PM

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