What: 3rd Annual Words and Stories (TWSSF)
Presented by Pique Newsmagazine
When: Sunday, April 10, 8 p.m.
Where: MY Millennium Place
Im afraid of Jeff Holden.
I dont know him personally, but I know of him, as does anyone that has ever watched the Heavy Hitting Films Parental Advisory Vol. I.
Theres that one unforgettable segment where Holden perches on a piece of snow over what appears to be a 150-foot cliff. Even more terrifying than the dizzying spectacle is that Holden is miked.
We hear him breathing. A little harder, and then... he hucks it.
Later in the film he lays his soul on the line, allowing himself to be filmed burning his possessions to a tribal-influenced percussive song of his own creation.
Who is this person? Its something you want to know but are somewhat afraid to find out.
There may be some insight at the World Ski and Snowboard Festivals third annual Words and Stories event on Sunday evening, for which Holden will be delivering a spoken-word piece.
The details are the easy part. Hes 29 years old, a resident of the Kootenays ("somewhere between East and West") a student and instructor of Ashtanga yoga and a spoken-word/hip-hop performer under the MC moniker Holdenspace.
He grew up in Stoney Creek, Ontario and migrated West in the mid-1990s, making his name as a freeskier by seeing and attempting lines most others could not fathom.
Winner of the inaugural World Freeskiing Tour in 1998, he continued competing and eventually judging, remaining in contact with writer and freeskiing advocate Michel Beaudry.
The founder of the Words and Stories event, Beaudry was looking to shake things up this year with different forms of storytelling and a more diverse lineup.
Holden was a natural fit.
He wont say exactly how hes planning to interpret the "Tales from the Mountains" theme only that "there will be insight."
Insight into the mindset that considers mega-hucks reasonable endeavours? Its entirely possible. Holden says he sees an interconnectedness in his skiing and "wordworking."
"With this particular piece I will probably be more exposed than I ever have been before," he muses. "You have to stick your lines both ways."
Joining Jeff Holden on stage for this years Words and Stories event will be Vancouver hip-hop artist Kinnie Starr, Whistler bon vivant the Reverend J. Michael Varrin, ski journalist Kevin Brooker and Beaudry, who will also reprise his perennial role as emcee. The event is sponsored by Pique Newsmagazine. Tickets are $10.
The Telus World Ski & Snowboard Festival runs April 8-17. For more information go to www.whistler2005.com.
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