Homestay launch headed for Squamish 

If you sleep naked, you’re probably not invited. Otherwise, iron your peejays and dishevel your hair: The Brew Pub in Squamish is hosting VANOC’s Homestay Program Launch on Jan. 22.

“It’s a great program that some people have really been anticpating,” said Maureen Douglas, VANOC’s director of community relations. “And this is going be a fun night.”

Among the dignitaries will be Miga, Quatchi and Sumi. You know: the 2010 Olympic mascots, who are actually real people sweating and waving in fantastical suits. Unlike you, they can’t eat the appetizers.

Maybe you’re thinking about offering your home to one or more of the 1,000 or so volunteers headed for the corridor come February 2010. But, then again, maybe you’re unsure about the whole deal. Like, how do you host a stranger? Do they get their own fridges? Do their own laundry? Pay for cable? Though there are incentives and qualifiers, those won’t be announced until the launch.

In the meantime, Douglas wants to underscore the importance of the program.

“It’s pretty important,” she said, “Particularly with a focus on the Sea to Sky corridor. One of the challenges we’ve talked about, from Mount Currie to Lions Bay, is that the whole corridor is a relatively small population and so many of us are engaged every day in the tourism industry, the recreation industry and the service industry. So many folks are already directly engaged in that, and it limits the volunteer pool.”

With those people already engaged in the larger functions of a host community, volunteers from outside the corridor are essential. And so, too, are their accommodations.

The launch will have homestay veterans from previous international sporting hoorahs, and they’ll tell you all about it. And, when you’re done listening, you can grab some information to take home for reading. 
Finally, he or she dressed the homeliest gets a prize.

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