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Entertainer Michael Sicoly sits down with new originals at the Citizen of the Year Award dinner and dance

By Nicole Fitzgerald

What: Citizen of the Year Award

When: Friday, May 25

Where: Westin Resort and Spa

I should have known pianoman Michael Sicoly's response even before I asked him what makes a good citizen.

"Somebody who can sing," he says with enthusiasm from his Vancouver home.

Even though the entertainer resides in Vancouver, the world is the jetsetter’s extended family, including the Fairmont Chateau Whistler where he has spent the last 10 years sitting behind the piano for weekend performances.

To describe the performer as merely a pianoman is far too narrow. Tickling the ivories is only one small component of his act which includes his charismatic charm, Sinatra vocals and passion for cajoling even the stuffiest dance floors into a flury of activity.

The Whistler favourite will work his magic once again at the Community Foundation of Whistler's Citizen of the Year Award dinner and dance Friday, May 25 at the Westin Resort and Spa.

When Sicoly isn't visiting his favourite B.C. ski town, the resort hopper is frequenting Fairmont hotels from the Big Island of Hawaii to Banff, Alberta. Corporate shows fly the B.C. boy overseas to European hideaways in Italy and France. Not a bad life.

"Traveling always keeps me fresh," he said. "I love people and when you like people they can see it. I always interject new tunes and ideas to keep a show fresh. Of course seeing new faces always keeps things fresh too. That is why I couldn't be a house musician at the same place all your life. It's not a healthy thing for any performer."

But at the end of the day, Sicoly unplugs the mic, closes his grand piano and toasts his new friends for the evening adieu. His cover repertoire of fan favourites, such as New York, New York and La Bamba, is pushed out of mind, making room for original work.

Sicoly is currently working on a new album. The working title is Intrigue .

"I am a big advocate of original music," he said. "You are not a true artist unless you are writing your own stuff."

This will be Sicoly's third album, a follow up of his most recent recording, Mood Swings .

"The CD is more of a jazz-pop-swing type thing with classic flare — Nat King Cole flare — with lots of romantic ballads," he said of Intrigue . "Creating your own music fulfills you. It makes you feel worthy. Letting people know what you have to offer. Not just Fly Me to the Moon for the 100th time. People like to hear some original songs."

Both originals and covers will be on the music score for the Citizen of the Year Award dinner and dance. The Spring Gala Dinner and Dance will honour Whistler’s citizen of 2007 as well as other volunteers nominated by local organizations and businesses.

Executive chef Hans Stierli has prepared a three-course dinner for the celebration starting at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m., and awards and dancing at 9 p.m.

Tickets are $95. For tickets, visit