Maxed out 

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the Festival of belief, it was the Festival of incredulity, it was the... excuse me.

"Hyel'lo. You're kinda interrupting me here. Wazzup? Been done before, you say. Who? Charles who? The Dickens you say. How long ago? So what's the problem? Public domain, isn't it? The contract says I'm supposed to come up with original material each week. Define 'original'. Never been done before... changing epoch to Festival doesn't cut it, eh? Y'alright. Gotcha. Leave it for now but the rest has to be original. 10-4."

Where was I? Editors, jeesh. The only thing worse than editors are publishers... and the only thing worse than publishers are drunken publishers. You'd think after half a week of power drinks and something aptly named Detox, a guy might be cut some slack if he inadvertently borrows a couple of words from some dead author. I mean, originality is so last year. The only original writing today is all being done on Twitter. Besides, what's so special about... excuse me.

"Hyel'lo. What, again? This is getting annoying. What is it this time? I'm confusing original with banal. Again. Hang on." Where's that damn dictionary. B...ba....n.... Here it is.  Hmmm... Meaningless... hackneyed... trivial. "Damn, when you're right, you're right. Sorry 'bout that. Can I blame it on the bar scotch they were serving last night? Damn stuff left me with a headache the size of our property tax increase. And I hadn't gotten rid of the one from the night before when that witless girl kept screaming into the microphone. One long vowel movement after another. Okay, got it. I'll do my best."

Where was I? Oh yeah, the Festival. That'd be the TELUS (pays the bills) World Ski and Snowboard Festival for those of you just emerging from the skunk cabbage patch, much in evidence as winter recedes and spring springs. Funny how the stuff seems to cluster around the mainstage though.

If ever there was a year when we were sorely in need of a festive boost, this would be the year. After a season more plagued than the Old Testament, in a year the word economy - at least when used to refer to the wealth-generating capacity of nations and individuals - threatened to become almost as meaningless as the word sustainable, in a time when sponsors and advertisers were vanishing as fast as high-end real estate sales, we desperately needed something, anything, to celebrate.

The Women of Watermark came through like goddesses of creative rage. From the Skate & Deploy kickoff event that'll probably never happen again once our municipal leaders turn the parkade at the conference centre into another slush fund generator, to the opening power chords struck by Thornley on the sunlit mainstage, the 14 th edition of WSSF has punted the naysayers squarely in the tush. Any doubt about the Festival becoming a tired, pale ghost of itself has been laid to rest. The energy's been abundant enough to power our collective psyche into, if not a state of bliss, at least a higher level of excitement than it's reached since the heady days of hope last autumn.

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