Avril Lavigne to feature in closing of Torino Games

Canadian pop superstar Avril Lavigne will perform during the official closing ceremony of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino.

Canadian pop superstar Avril Lavigne will perform during the official closing ceremony of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy.

She is featured in a special eight-minute production designed to celebrate Canada and point the way to the 2010 Winter Games, which will be held in Vancouver.

The Torino closing ceremony has a live audience of about 32,000 people and is seen worldwide by a television audience of 500 million.

Lavigne is featured in a production by the Vancouver 2010 committee that organizers say will "begin telling the story of Canada's Games in 2010 by featuring a combination of uniquely Canadian talent and themes that reflect the country from coast to coast to coast."

Vancouver's Olympic organizers have not released other details of the entertainment lineup for the segment dedicated to Canada, but other Canadian performers are to be signed on.

The closing ceremony will be Feb. 26, 2006, at 8 p.m. Torino time and features the final gathering of the athletes, the dousing of the Olympic flame and the handover of the Olympic flag by Torino mayor Sergio Chiamparino to Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan.

The main theme of the closing ceremonies is Carnevale, the Italian masked festival, and it will include performances by some of Italy's most famous circuses. Popular tenor Andrea Bocelli is the headline performer.

Lavigne, a native of Napanee, Ont., has been nominated for eight Grammy Awards.

Known for songs such as Complicated and Sk8er Boi, Lavigne once styled herself as the anti-Britney. But the punk princess shed her skater girl image to appear in the January issue of Harper's Bazaar wearing Chanel and Gucci. Her 2004 album Under My Skin began an attempt to move out of the teen groove into more mature music.

The choice of an Ontario-born singer, rather than local talent, signals Vancouver's determination to make the 2010 Olympics "Canada's Games."

The Canadian Games will be held in Vancouver and Whistler from Feb. 12 to 28, 2010. Whistler will host the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010.