Snow is on the menu at the Cypress Point Winter Carnival 

Fun for all ages, competitions, music and art at The Point Artists-Run Centre

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO BY DAVID BUZZARD/WWW.MEDIA-CENTRE.CA - Carving time Preparing for the ice carving at the Cypress Point Winter Carnival in 2014.
  • File photo by David Buzzard/www.media-centre.ca
  • Carving time Preparing for the ice carving at the Cypress Point Winter Carnival in 2014.

Third time is a snowy charm.

It's the snowiest February for the Cypress Point Winter Carnival since it began in 2014 and the setting is bound to be the prettiest so far.

"We had those two very strange winters, so it is really nice to have the snow, both for the carnival and in the valley in general. It puts a different face on things," says organizer Stephen Vogler.

It's too soon to say what the weather will be like; the carnival will take place at The Point Artist-Run Centre on Saturday, Feb. 20, and Sunday, Feb. 21.

At any rate, Vogler is not encouraging people to walk across the frozen Alta Lake this year to reach the centre, unless a major cold snap grips the region. The ice is too dangerous — he knows this because he almost fell through earlier this winter.

"The lake froze strangely. There are layers and some are weak," he says.

"I fell through one layer as I was walking across Alta Lake; I fell five or six inches before the ice beneath caught me. I just about had a heart attack!"

Events celebrating the season include indoor and outdoor activities; live painting with Lisa Geddes, igloo making and children's theatre with Michele Bush.

The paintings made over the weekend will be auctioned off at The Point's fundraiser in May.

New this year is a snow sculpting competition, replacing the more complicated ice sculpting from the first year.

"It's like what they do on the beach with sandcastle building," Vogler laughs.

"Last year, we had not snow or ice. We played volleyball instead."

Wannabe sculptors can take part in the children or adult categories. There are prizes for the winners in this and the other events, he adds.

And on Saturday the carnival will have a dinner and entertainment night, starting at 6 p.m.

Singer-songwriter Emily Molloy performs at 6:30 p.m., Get to The Point Improv is on at 7:30 p.m., and roots-rockabilly band Railtown Prophets takes the stage at 8:30 p.m.

"And we'll have the kitchen going throughout the day, so there will be plenty of chili and hot smokies and drinks," Vogler says.

The Point is a community arts amenity where locals and visitors mix.

"We get a few visitors. Last summer we got visitors from Vancouver because some of the artists taking part we're from Vancouver," Vogler says.

"I like that locals get the chance to meet up and interact with visitors, too. The valley has so many of its own charms. The mountains are the big draws, but there is a lot to enjoy here, too."

Festival events on Saturday and Sunday are free. Tickets for Saturday night's entertainment are $27 with dinner and $12 for the show only. Tickets are $20 with dinner and $9 for the show only for children aged 12 and under. Parking is limited.

Tickets are available online at www.thepointartists.com and at Armchair Books in Whistler Village.

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