COC Unveils Rio 2016 Canada Olympic House

TORONTO — On Thursday, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) announced its partnership with internationally renowned Canadian design firm, Yabu Pushelberg – the masterminds behind the design of Canada Olympic House in Rio.

For the first time ever, Canada Olympic House will be designed by a Canadian firm. The design team, led by George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg, is honoured to work with the COC pro bono in supporting Team Canada in their pursuit of Olympic excellence and bringing its ‘comforting Canadiana’ concept to life. This was achieved through residentially-inspired spaces that are relaxed and welcoming. The transformation of simple, readily available objects into spectacular sculptural installations, paired with the repetition of honest materials and bold colour provide continuity within the interconnected rooms.

COH was made possible with the support of Team Canada’s corporate partners. Yabu Pushelberg collaborated early in the design phase with the COC’s partners to integrate them in a unique and authentic way. An example of this collaboration is with Canadian Tire Corporation. Canadian Tire and Sport Chek have provided product and furniture to make the space feel like home with some of the product being transformed into stunning design installations.

The COC would like to thank the following partners for their generous contributions to the Rio 2016 COH: RBC, Bell, Canadian Tire Corporation, Hudson’s Bay Co., Petro-Canada, Deloitte, General Mills, Molson Coors Canada, Mondelez, The Globe and Mail, adidas, Hilton, Oakley, P&G and Samsung. Rio 2016: Canada Olympic House design unveiled

The COC would also like to thank Yabu Pushelberg’s vendors, Moss and Lam art studios who designed and built the incredible, Canadian-inspired art installations, as well as Saint Damase and Quality and Company for their significant donations of creativity, energy, and materials to bring the design of the house to life.

Canada Olympic House (COH) is home at the Olympic Games for the loved ones of Canada’s Olympians. It serves as a haven for the family and friends of Canadian Olympic Team athletes, coaches, support staff, Mission Team members, partners and special guests. The idea behind COH in Rio is to create a patriotic oasis of “Canadiana” within the Olympic host city that can be a social hub for those linked with the Canadian Olympic Team – a comforting Canadian experience where memories are made.

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At COH, guests will have access to a multitude of products, information, services and resources. Canada Olympic House operations will consist of the following:

  • Comfortable viewing areas for sport and medal celebrations and competitions, provided by Canadian Tire Corporation
  • High speed WIFI connectivity throughout COH & product specialists stationed in the Bell Lounge
  • Complimentary event tickets courtesy of the Petro-Canada Canadian Athlete Family Program
  • A Canadian Olympic Team Store with replica gear provided by Official Team Outfitter HBC, with products also available from adidas and Oakley
  • Interactive experiences and event programming from RBC, Deloitte and Samsung
  • Personal product bundles including favourite brands like Crest, Pantene, and Gillette for all Canadian athletes and support team from P&G
  • Snacks and beverages throughout the day, compliments of Molson Coors Canada, Mondelez, and General Mills
  • Competition information and news services presented by The Globe and Mail
  • Concierge desk presented by Hilton
  • Premium event space for government, National Sport Federation and partner events
  • Dedicated special events for athletes and their family and friends, including Opening and Closing Ceremony celebrations
  • COC corporate operations headquarters

With double the capacity of COH for London 2012, more than 20,000 visitors are expected to access the Rio 2016 COH over the course of the Games. COH is a private facility that requires pre-registration and accreditation for entry. Guests will need to pre-register online. Onsite, a team of access staff, security staff and volunteers will monitor traffic and access to COH.

COH will be located at AABB-Rio (Associação Atlética Banco do Brasil), Avenida Borges de Medeiros No. 829, Leblon, Rio de Janiero, Brazil.


“When I was in London for the Games, it made the world of difference knowing that my parents had a comfortable, accommodating and Canadian place to go. Canada Olympic House is a great hub for everyone to band together and support Canada’s Olympians in true patriotic style. The Rio 2016 COH is going to be amazing – thank you to everyone involved who has helped create it.”

Sarah Wells, London 2012 Olympian


“We are honoured to work with such an incredible partner like Yabu Pushelberg and are lucky to work with a team of their caliber on a pro bono basis. This is the first time we have partnered with a Canadian design firm for Canada Olympic House’s design. They are internationally renowned and have designed some of the world’s most prestigious hotels, restaurants and residences. The incredible work that has gone into our Rio 2016 COH is outstanding and thanks to the financial support of many of our partners, is taking Canada’s house in Rio to new heights. This is important, because a safe, comforting place for the family and friends of Canada’s Olympians ultimately plays a role in helping the team’s performance, as so many of our athletes have attested.”

Chris Overholt, CEO, Canadian Olympic Committee


“The Canada Olympic House design is conceptually powerful and aims to represent all things Canadian with respect to excellence.  We are a proudly Canadian company, fortunate to have the opportunity to work on interesting, inspiring projects around the globe, and this was an incredible chance for our studio to come together with an amazing group of partners, suppliers and collaborators to donate our time and skills. It has been an invigorating experience for everyone involved.”

Glenn Pushelberg, Founder, Yabu Pushelberg


“Our aim is to show the world that Canadian design is progressive and sophisticated.  The design for Canada Olympic House is bold, smart, fresh and unexpected.  Creativity does not equate to the amount of money spent on a project; Rio 2016 COH celebrates the transformation of simple, readily available objects and materials to express a verve and vitality unique to this time and place.  An enforced rigor elevates the mundane, along with sculptural installations by a group of talented Canadian artists and artisans with a transformative approach to materiality.  The result is something much more impactful than the sum of its parts.”

George Yabu, Founder, Yabu Pushelberg


“At Canadian Tire Corporation, we believe in the power of sport to inspire us, to bring us together as a nation, and to remind each of us what it means to be Canadian. We are incredibly proud to be the title sponsor of the ‘Celebration Lounge’ within Canada Olympic House – the main hub where family and friends can come together to show their support for Canada’s Olympians. We’ve worked closely with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Yabu Pushelberg to select product to create a home away from home for those at the Games.”

Susan O’Brien, Head of Corporate Affairs, Canadian Tire Corporation

About Yabu Pushelberg:

Founded in 1980 by Ryerson University graduates, George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg, design firm Yabu Pushelberg is now one of the most recognized design firms worldwide.

The firm’s multidisciplinary approach is informed by an endless curiosity and driven by partnerships with thoughtful, creative like-minded people.  Evolving to encompass all aspects of design, each new venture reflects an edited approach that is imaginative, thoughtful and honest; continuously shifting between the rational and the intuitive.

George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg have been recognized as design industry innovators and have earned countless accolades for their work; in 2013, they were both appointed as Officers for the Order of Canada for their contributions to design excellence internationally, notably by bringing their creative outlook to public spaces, and for promoting the Canadian design industry.

With studios in Toronto and New York, and current projects in over 16 countries, attention to detail and a spirit of exploration remains a hallmark of the firm.

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