Gay Whistler Summer Camps on hold 

Organizers cite conflict with other events, need to focus on WinterPride

Organizers at Alpenglow Productions and Gay Whistler decided to pull the plug on a proposed Summer Camp weekend due to conflicts with other pride events in the region and the need to focus more energy on their WinterPride offerings.

Smaller, more local events will be held through the summer, but according to spokesman Dean Nelson the gay community will have to wait at least one more year for a large-scale summer event.

“We’ve been working really hard over the spring and summer to lay down the foundations of WinterPride in 2008 and getting that up and going,” he said. “With our schedules and the schedule of other gay events happening around B.C. and in Vancouver and Seattle, we decided it would be too much of a conflict. This year we’re going to keep things low-key.”

This Saturday, July 14, Vancouver Pride is hosting its annual Picnic in the Park. The following weekend is the Playland Gay Day at the Pacific National Exhibition. Vancouver Pride Week follows, from July 30 to Aug. 5.

“This weekend was supposed to be part of Summer Camp, but there were some conflicts,” said Nelson.

Alpenglow and Gay Whistler ( www.gaywhistler.com ) are still helping to facilitate local events with the Greater Vancouver Gay and Lesbian Ski and Snowboard Club. Last weekend they had their annual paddle down the River of Golden Dreams and social barbecue. On Saturday, Aug. 11, they will be hosting their annual Tea Dance, and on Aug. 25 the annual alpine hike along the High Note Trail to the top of Piccolo for a picnic. Whoossh will also return in the fall, and organizers are planning a Fall Fling in Whistler.

As for Summer Camp, Nelson said the idea is still alive.

“First we want to make sure that WinterPride is a success, and we’re going into our third year of producing that event,” he said. “We really need to concentrate our energy there and get things nailed down, at which point we’ll work with our sponsors to get them excited about a summer opportunity. When it does come out, we’ll come out flying and it will be amazing.”

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