First Eco-Fest supports Eco-Challenge event 

Golden, B.C. the hotspot for summer ‘fest Aug. 16-18

You can run… or you can rock.

Or you can watch both at the Canadian qualifier for the world’s toughest expedition, the Eco-Challenge.

The Eco-Challenge Canadian Championship takes place in Golden, B.C. next week, and is complemented this year by a new festival.

Subtitled Eco-Fest—The Adventure Music Festival, the lineup features several Whistler names and wraps up the end of the Eco-Challenge week, Aug. 16-18.

The event is in its first year.

Entertainers include singer John Ford, the Whole Damn County, DJ Vinyl Ritchie (Scotty Arkwell), as well as Universal recording artist Holly McNarland, who is based in Vancouver.

Edmonton jazz-Latin band Bomba also performs.

"This event is really an anchor, summertime event for the community of Golden," says Shauna Hardy, event organizer with Hardy & Associates.

"Sports and the concerts really complement each other, and provide entertainment for guests on all levels."

Steve Menzie, race director with Adventures Racing Canada, says "Eco-Challenge is the ultimate goal in the sport of adventure racing… we are tremendously fortunate to host it in a world-class location."

Additional Whistler personalities taking part in the event include event co-producer Kasi Lubin, World Ski and Snowboard Festival music producer Kristen Robinson, and Les Ecker. The boys from Garfinkels, "go-go gals Ace Mackay and Kelsey, and two former Whistler residents, Kirsten Downes and Kim Roebuck, who now live in Golden, are also helping out with the three-day festival.

Festival passes are $20, which includes two-night access to the outdoor concert series.

Eco-Fest is sponsored by the Community of Golden and the Rotary Club of Golden.

Sarah Nichols, spokesperson with Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, says "the event adds exposure for the summer adventure experience in Golden. We hope Eco-Fest is the start of an annual tradition."

The live outdoor concert series Friday night includes Bomba, Whole Damn County, and Vinyl Ritchie.

An athletes parade and awards presentation takes place from 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 17.

The Eco-Fest section of the event includes an outdoor farmer’s market, a beer garden with live entertainment (and a direct view of the race finish line), and an "ecostore."

A pancake breakfast takes place on Sunday morning, followed by the adventure fair.

The Eco-Challenge Canadian Championship is the only public qualifying event for Eco-Challenge.

The Sea to Sky corridor hosted the Eco-Challenge in 1996. Stacie Smith, media relations with Adventure Racing Canada, was there.

"It was pretty cool at that time because the event was still grass roots.

Now it’s more mainstream – you know when you see Entertainment Tonight covering the event, it’s bigger."

In Golden, 30 teams of four people race 24-hours a day, combining the disciplines of mountaineering, mountain biking, trekking, canoeing, and whitewater rafting.

They compete for two Canadian Eco-Challenge qualifying spots, and one American qualifying spot.

"We’re looking forward to a successful event, centred around the Eco-challenge," says Hardy.

Athletes begin the race on Aug. 12 at 6 a.m., and must finish by noon on Saturday, Aug. 17.

Passes for Eco-Fest are available through Ticketmaster at (403) 777-0000 or online at


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