Events go on, as producers close operations 

SnowScene, Big Mountain Experience to go ahead after MASEV shuts down

MASEV Communications, the North American event production company charged with producing the upcoming SnowScene and Big Mountain Experience events in Whistler, closed its doors on Friday due to financial difficulties.

The events will go on as planned, however, with a few minor changes. MASEV staff involved with those events continue to be involved.

Stuart Rempel, the vice-president of sales and marketing for Whistler-Blackcomb, said: "We found out about this at the beginning of the week, and we’ve been in close contact with MASEV people. We’re working closely with the event planners at MASEV to ensure that these events go ahead, and are well executed. We’re working with the sanctioning bodies as well."

Rempel gave his vote of confidence to the staff at MASEV, saying that they have done a great job with Whistler-Blackcomb in the past, and that the mountains expect to continue to see the same successes in the future.

"We don’t know how it will be structured," said Remple, "or how the people we have worked with will be employed.

"We do know that the events will go ahead as planned, with the same balance of relationship between our staff and MASEV people. We’re still very involved."

According to Mark Taylor, the vice-president of event properties for MASEV until he resigned last week, the company is going into a stage of voluntary liquidation.

"We have various events and projects throughout North America, and our hope is to keep them running. The people, the skill set we have, is solid," he said.

"It’s an unfortunate situation that has forced us here, part of some bigger corporate issues that come from our dealings as a public venture.

"We expect our people to be back in the market, doing what they’re best at and what they love to do. There are some questions of the future of course, but we’re getting great support from all of our clients right now."

MASEV event producers will be setting up committees with event sponsors, partners, sanctioning bodies and co-organizers to discuss the future of each event with the intention of moving forward.

For SnowScene, MASEV will meet with Resort Municipality of Whistler, the Canadian Snowboard Federation, Whistler-Blackcomb and the FIS to ensure that the event, which includes a full schedule of Snowboard FIS World Cup competitions, will go ahead Dec. 11 to 14.

"We’re going 100 per cent ahead with that event. The only change to the event that we can see is not part of the event, but a concert held in conjunction with the snowboard competitions," said Taylor.

An AlexisOnFire concert was supposed to take place at the Telus Conference Centre at Whistler on Dec. 13, but instead there will likely be smaller parties at local venues.

"There’s still $150,000 in prize money, and the best athletes are still coming. We’re broadcasting the event to 60 countries," Taylor said.

Big Mountain Experience, which is planned for January and includes the Canadian Freeskiing Championships and the Life-Link Randonee Rally, is mainly a Whistler-Blackcomb event and won’t be affected at all, said Taylor.

The World Snowboard Championships, scheduled for Whistler in 2005, should also be unaffected.

Taylor hopes to stay personally involved in these projects, as do members of his staff.

"We don’t know what is going to happen in the future, but I personally hope to continue working with properties and events in the resort for years to come," he said.

Some of the other events MASEV was involved in include the Saab Salomon Crossmax Series, the Ripzone Snowboard Invitational, the Garnier Fructis World Skiing Invitational, Wakefest featuring the Wakeboard World Cup, and the West 49 Canadian Open World Cup Skateboarding competition in Vancouver.

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