Don’t Telus, We’ll Tell You

The sun is out, goggle tans are rampant, the patios are busting and the whole town of Whistler is gearing up for its biggest party of the year. Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival 2009 storms into Whistler this Friday and I’m stoked!

10 days, 45 free concerts, hundreds of ski and snowboard athletes, fashion shows, artists and cultural . The snow sports industry’s elite descend upon Whistler every April and the already bustling town kicks into overdrive. Celeb and pro athlete sightings are probable and hangovers are certain.

I’ve lived and played in Whistler for two years now and I’m here to give you the inside scoop. My schedule is chock-o-block full for 10 days straight and I’ll be bringing you the latest from this marathon of good times; fueled by a constant supply of caffeine and Red Bull.

As far as music goes, the free Zune Concert Series is going to bring us eclectic acts such as Metric, Ozomatli, Team Canada, 54-40 and The Stills.

As always, the marquee events, Filmmaker Showdown and Pro Photo Showdown, are going to wow a sellout crowd. This year, Whistler/Vancouver local Jordan Manley is competing in the Pro Photo Showdown. You’ll see his work on the covers of the most popular ski mags in the industry. Jordan’s incredible eye for detail has helped him capture a mountain biker in a drop of water and a skier in an icicle. Watch for him on Thursday, April 23.

New to the Showdown program this year is Three Point Oh; a multimedia event combining all mediums. According to organizers, there’s been a lot of interest in this event. It should be good times.

Other new events I’m looking forward to are Skate and Deploy (April 17) and the Whistler Chef Challenge (April 18-19). It’s going to be like watching the Food Network live.

Finally, brand spankin’ new to the TWSSF roster this year are the Grenade Games, running for the latter half of the festival. This is their first time in Whistler since their introduction five years ago and the announcement has created a huge buzz in the snowboard world. Some familiar names on the roster include Justin Lamoreux, David Fortin, Spencer O’brien, Domenique Vallee, Kevin Sansalone, and Caley Vanular. Grenade Games feature a variety of snowboard events, including a dual slalom, a poker run, a superpipe comp and mini ramp jam. The grand finale is an invitational big air jam in Skiers’ Plaza on April 25.

The countdown is on, the stage is going up and the big air jump is being built at the bottom of Whistler Mountain as I type. Let the party begin.

Here are some photos from last year’s Telus Festival:

John Butler Trio

Michael Franti and Spearhead

Bev Vuilleumier wins Ullr Girl


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