Whistler Stories to air next week 

Reality show follows the lives of Whistler residents

WHAT: Whistler Stories

WHERE: Life Network (Channel 70)

WHEN: Premiers Thursday, Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m.

There isn’t a million dollar prize for the winner of the reality television show Whistler Stories because there isn’t a winner – but in a sense all of the characters are survivors of one kind or another.

For a period of more than four months last winter, camera crews followed the lives of 10 busy locals, chronicling their very different experiences in saving lives, organizing events, making art and music, wooing sponsorships, planning weddings, driving taxis, getting married, and doing the best they can in a town that moves so fast it almost defies description.

The cast of supporting characters is practically everyone the main characters come across in their daily routines, as well as all the people who ski the slopes and partake in Whistler’s aprés ski nightlife. If you watch carefully, you might even spot yourself in there.

The Life Network calls Whistler Stories "a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at the true Whistler that goes well beyond the glossy magazine spreads and tourist brochures. Challenges on the slopes, a thriving nightlife, and every day struggles and triumphs all come into play as the cameras roll in this extraordinary town."

The project, which was put together by The Eyes Multimedia Productions, was produced by Stan Feingold, an acclaimed producer and director. Most recently, he received international accolades for Heroines, a documentary on drug addiction, prostitution and survival in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

With Whistler Stories, Feingold used multiple crews and shot literally thousands of hours of footage to put together 13 half-hour episodes.

"Our crew was at the mercy of the weather, alpine conditions, and the whim of our characters," he says. "But that’s what makes Whistler Stories so much fun – and it can be pretty unpredicatble."

None of the Whistler locals who participated knew what the final format for the show would be, and had very little interaction, if any, with the other characters. Sometimes the action is completely spontaneous, while at other times the featured characters are giving interviews and encouraged to ham it up a little for the cameras.

Who are the characters?

The main character is undoubtedly Linda Stang, Miss Yamaha Canada and the organizer of the World Freestyle Snowmobiling Association Pro Bowl for the past two years. Stang is featured in 11 of the 13 episodes, with camera crews following her dogged, and often frustrated efforts to single-handedly organize a snowmobile big air event.

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