VANCOUVER, B.C. - Volunteer performers, dancers and athletes are invited to apply to participate in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Officials with the Vancouver Organizing Committee are searching for 4,500 volunteers to participate in the mega-productions that bookend the Games.

David Guscott of the Vancouver Organizing Committee said previous experience isn't a requirement, but taking quick action is because this is the only call for participation.

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"Above all, we're looking for volunteers with lots of personality, a positive attitude, tones of energy, and a willingness to perform on a stage in front of thousands of people live and billions more around the globe," he said.

All performers must be 17 or older by May 1, 2009 to apply. Possible opportunities for performers younger than this are still being considered.

Audition and rehearsal timelines

- Auditions will take place over several months starting in May. There will be no open casting calls and applying does not guarantee an audition spot.

- Candidates will be notified by this summer if they have been successful in landing a ceremonies role.

- Rehearsals begin in November and continue through to Games time, including over the December holiday period.

- Rehearsals will be held twice a week and each volunteer performer will rehearse over 100 hours to prepare for their role.

- Several rehearsals in February will last all day and attendance will be required.

- You will be responsible for your own transportation to and from rehearsals which will take place at to-be-determined sites in the Greater Vancouver area and BC Place.

- You will need to pass an RCMP security background check to participate.

- Ceremonies volunteers will not have access to Ceremonies tickets, nor will they be able to view the Ceremonies when not performing or working.

- Applicants may also choose to apply to audition for the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games Ceremonies, which take place in March 2010.

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