Whistler is mainly known as a skiing mecca, not least because of the Winter Olympics 2010, and is a mere two hours away from Vancouver. At Easter the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival took over the ski village from 15 until 24 April 2011 for a series of outdoor music gigs, international ski and snowboard competitions and much, much more. Not being much of a skier, I headed down there mainly for the ‘craic’ (as my Irish friends would say) and had an awesome weekend filled with sunshine and fun events.
After I checked into my accommodation (which I reached by taking a lift and dragging my belongings across the actual ski slope) I headed down to the conference centre for my first vollie shift at the Vaio Fashion Exposed Show (the only non-highlight of the weekend I’m afraid). We had loads of fun though taking tickets at the door for a sold out night and having drinks at the reception afterwards. The State of the Art exhibition in the foyer was brilliant too, so many works by fresh, local artists to admire.
Saturday was ‘dog day’ for me as I helped out with Dog Fest, a daylong fundraiser for WAG, the local animal shelter. It was the perfect event for me. I spent most of my time signing passers-by and their pooches up for the dog parade through the village later that day. There was also a doggie agility display and a rescue dog demonstration, which were both quite fascinating. If you’re ever headed to Whistler for a vacation and have an hour to spare, do get in touch with WAG to see if you can take one of their rescue dogs for a walk.
The rest of the weekend was spent hanging out with other volunteers from all over the world, having lattes in Mogul’s Coffee House and catching a few of the live gigs including Broken Social Scene. While the majority of Whistler visitors sure come for the powdery snow, the TWSSF proves that it can also be a great little weekend destination if you’re into arts and music. Just make sure there is a festival on before booking your trip.