Holiday happenings 

Wrap up 2006 with theatre, ski film, snow activities, First Night Fun

By Nicole Fitzgerald

Ring in the New Year with First Night Sunday, Dec. 31 in Whistler Village with music, activities, street entertainment and more.

The First Night concert mainstage packs in music from 6:30 p.m. to midnight starting with Squamish’s Black Swade band. While these rising stars aren’t even old enough to drive, don’t underestimate their power punch of hard rock that gets everyone on their feet.

Norman Foote switches gears to family fun, with the award-winning entertainer sharing great acoustic music with clever humour to engage both young and old at 7:45 p.m.

Zaki Ibrahim breaks out a poetic mixture of hip hop that shakes up beats with harmonizing vocals harkening back to the jazz era at 8:45 p.m.

DJ Grandtheft, most famously known as the other half of DJ duo Team Canada, spins out dance tracks at 10:15 p.m., bringing in the midnight countdown.

Other First Night activities include fire spinners, juggling, Giggi the clown, street performers, caricature art, First Night TV, the Whistler wishing chair, the global village map and talent show as well as the craftmaking of items such as party hats, noise makers, T-shirts, snowflakes and picture frames.

The Fire and Ice Show bursts into flames Sunday, Dec. 31 at 6:30 p.m. at Skier’s Plaza. The free show includes athletes jumping through the Ring of Fire along with fireworks and fire spinners.

The Mascot Challenge gets underway at 8 p.m. and the Kids New Year Countdown begins at 9 p.m.

First Night is a non-alcoholic event with RCMP conducting spot checks throughout the village. Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for kids under 12 and free for children under 2 years old. Advance tickets are available at the Tourism Whistler Activity Centre and Whistler Visitor Information Centre.

Free transit service is offered to the village from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m., with service suspended from 11 p.m. to midnight.

First Night isn’t the only fun happening this week. MY Millennium Place and Whistler-Blackcomb host a number of shows and activities as part of the A Whistler Family Holiday lineup.

Children have their chance to step up to the stage with the Queen Storytime Show presented by Amie Wolf Thursday, Dec. 28 and Friday, Dec. 29 at 4:30 p.m. at MY Millennium Place as part of the Real Canadian in Whistler series. Wolf hosts an interactive time of story theatre with children ages 3 to 12 invited to bring the concert to life by singing, playing characters and making sound effects. Admission is by donation with a suggestion of $3 per person or $10 per family.

Get into the Let is Snow spirit with Warren Miller’s latest ski flick Off the Grid on Thursday, Dec. 28 at 7 and 9 p.m. at MY Place. The film includes a world-record ski jump off a 245-foot cliff and skiers exploring Alaska’s rugged Chugach Range, then getting gnarly at the World Snowball Fighting Championships in Japan. Tickets are $10.

Get to know The Bard in Shakespeare’s Will on Dec. 29 and 30 at 7:30 p.m. at MY Place as part of the Real Canadian in Whistler series. The one-woman show starring Nicole Busby unearths the hilarity of Vern Thiessen, a Governor General Award-winning Canadian playwright. The humour and greatness of Shakespeare comes to life in a contemporary style with romance, reconciliation and revenge. Tickets are $25 for adults and $22.50 for students and seniors.

Mountain fun abounds with evening snow events and activities to slide into.

The Tube Park , with 1,000 feet worth of sliding, is open until 8 p.m. during the holidays at Blackcomb Base 2.

Learn to ride the rails at Ride Tribe Holiday Jib Sessions Friday, Dec. 29 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Blackcomb Kids. Teens ages 13 to 18 are welcome to join. Children can also learn to ride the rails at a kid’s Jib Sessions Thursday, Dec. 28 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Blackcomb Kids. Workshops are $45.

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