Banner, Sydney 2000 Olympic Torch Relay, polyester, made by Selby's Flags and Banners, c.2000
This red polyester banner (2.9 metres long and 850 mm wide) featured on stage at the Sydney Olympic Torch Relay Celebrations from 8 June to 15 September 2000. Its design - a black stylised torchbearer against a red background - appeared on all Torch Relay merchandise and on many props within the celebrations. The banner is now a valuable record of the staged Torch Relay festivities and of the official images that accompanied the event.
From September 1998 onwards, SOCOG and Local Community Working Groups formed a schedule of daily festivities that would take place along the Sydney 2000 Torch Relay route. In all, 188 Australian communities would welcome the Olympic flame and host vibrant festivities to celebrate their culture, heritage and participation in an Olympic event. Ultimately, these celebrations would become major expressions of civic pride and Olympic spirit in the weeks preceding the Sydney 2000 Games.
Australian tourist commissions, ethnic affairs groups and local councils were instrumental in selecting communities to host the celebrations. Essentially, participating communities were spaced conveniently along the route, and were capable of accommodating a portable stage (folding outwards from a semi-trailer), seating, and the Torch Relay Crew. Preferably, they were a testament to Australia's diverse culture, melding indigenous and multi-ethnic traditions.
The celebrations uniformly took place at lunchtime and evening, and followed a routine format of an opening ceremony, community entertainment, arrival of the torch, lighting of a community cauldron, and departure of the flame. In spite of this repetition, each celebration provided a unique fusion of civic decorations and entertainment. Grafton residents, for example, honoured their jacarandas by decorating the main street with 45 kilometres of purple crepe paper and thousands of hand-made flowers. In contrast, Tenterfield celebrated its musical heritage by hosting a pipe band, an Italian cultural singing group, and the Granite Belt Choir.
The portable custom-built stage was the hub for official proceedings, community participation and the ignited community cauldron. The foreground, with two radiating segments, provided entry and exit points for torchbearers, and seating for sponsors and special guests.
This red polyester banner featured on stage at the Sydney 2000 Torch Relay celebrations. Its design - a black, stylised torchbearer against a red background - appeared on all Torch Relay merchandise, and on many props within the celebrations. The banner is now a valuable record of the staged Torch Relay festivities, and of the official images that accompanied the event.
Used during Torch Relay celebrations, 8 June to 15 September 2000
Made for and owned by the Olympic Coordination Authority/Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, and donated to the Powerhouse Museum after use in the Games.