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Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival

Telus FestivalIt’s April, and while most minds wander to the sweetness of summer, baseball, barbeques and beaches, folks at Whistler-Blackcomb remind us there is still snow to be celebrated and shredding to be done.

North America’s largest ski resort is the site of the 16th Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival and this year’s edition promises to be a “Sweet 16” indeed.

That’s because event organizers have jammed the ten-day schedule, beginning April 15, with an exhaustive list of competition, music, art and film – truly providing a destination experience.

Folks behind the TWSSF are so sure it will be a ruckus, good time, they are running with the tagline, “Party in April, Sleep in May”.

The merrymaking begins with the world of freeskiing on display, as the World Skiing Invitational and Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) World Championship take center stage with the amplitude and style that accompany slopestyle, big air and halfpipe competition.

The likes of Bobby Brown, Sammy Carlson, Jen Hudak and Sarah Burke will throw down for thousands in prize money, and in the case of the men’s big air competition, a new Chevy Cruze.

Afterward, it’s time for “The Show” over at Blackcomb. Half party, half competition, “The Show” is a site to behold with mogul, boarderstyle and halfpipe events occurring on the slopes with a virtual frat party being staged on the sidelines. The revelry of the day transitions through the night as local bars offer music, food and drink well into the wee hours of the next day.

Telus DatesAnd, just in case you aren’t gorged after all that, additional attractions like Mascot Mayhem, product demonstrations, the Whistler Dogfest and others, should do the trick.

Assuming you’ve had your fill, or snow sport just isn’t your thing, a celebration of the arts is ongoing at TWSSF. The headlining event, 3PO (Three Points of Origin), will once again invite artists rtists to meld a collection of their favored artistic mediums into funny, dramatic or socially relevant shorts, from 3-5 minutes in length – all in the effort of winning best in show and $3500.

Spontaneity is the name of the game at the festival’s 72-Hour Showdown, giving competitors just three days to conceive, shoot and develop award-winning artistry before it’s screened in front of a couple thousand people and judged. The rules are simple – all video must be shot within 100-kilimeters of Whistler and must come in by deadline.

The 72-Hour Filmmaker Showdown will dole out $10,000 for the best film as voted upon by the panel of judges.

While 3PO and the Showdown are the most popular artistic happenings at the TWSSF, they are accompanied by a wide array of additional attractions (12 in all) including the Olympus Pro Photographer Showdown and the VAIO Fashion Show.

And, because you can’t be everyone at once during this massive event, Best of the Fest wraps a bow on all of the artistry on the final night by providing a glimpse at the best films, photos and fashions from the entire ten days.

Music junkies can get their fix with ten days of the Axe Concert Series taking place at Skier’s Plaza or the numerous shows being staged in and around the various bars and clubs that make up Whistler. Be ready to dance late into the night to the sounds of Tokyo Police Club, Dilated Peoples, Ozomatli, Broken Social Scene and a number of other bands.

With a seemingly endless list of activities at the year’s Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival, maybe summer can hold off for just a few more weeks.


-Ryan O'Leary

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