Inaugural Skiing History Day set for Feb. 21 

Whistler Blackcomb history projects recognized with Skade award

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO - One for the books Whistler Blackcomb's 50 Years of Going Beyond has been recognized for its contribution to regional ski history.
  • file photo
  • One for the books Whistler Blackcomb's 50 Years of Going Beyond has been recognized for its contribution to regional ski history.

In April 2015, Canadian snowboarder Max Parrot was in Whistler to attempt a trick nobody else had landed — the Cab Quadruple Underflip 620.

When Parrot nailed the trick, he etched his name into snowboarding history while simultaneously adding yet another footnote to Whistler Blackcomb's (WB).

But Parrot wasn't the first to leave his mark on Whistler's mountains, and he certainly won't be the last.

"I think Whistler is a place that was built on dreams, and progression and momentum are kind of in the lifeblood," said Lauren Everest, WB's public relations and communications manager.

"It's always about chasing that next thing, that next dream, that next something special... that's just the essence of this place."

On Sunday, Feb. 21 the resort welcomes a new kind of history, when it plays host to the International Skiing History Association's (ISHA) inaugural Skiing History Day.

"We're honoured, obviously, that they chose us to host their first event," Everest said. "We're really excited, and I think it's particularly special that this is happening during our 50th anniversary season."

The one-day event will be centred around a ski day with veteran Whistler guides followed by après and a guest lecture on the early days of freestyle at the Whistler Museum.

The event costs $95.85 for WB season pass holders or $170.85 with a lift ticket.

Spots are limited to 30 skiers and must be booked in advance. Call 1-800-766-0449 to reserve a spot.

"Whistler is a fascinating story, and as the largest resort in terms of acreage on the North American continent, it's significant," said Seth Masia, president of ISHA.

ISHA's mission is to preserve and popularize the history of the sport, including snowboarding and other forms of Nordic and alpine recreation, Masia said.

This being WB's 50th anniversary, Whistler was a natural choice for the inaugural Skiing History Day, Masia said, and while the day is primarily about skiing, he also hopes to raise the profile of the ISHA.

"I'll probably give a talk at breakfast encouraging people to join and support our organization, and join and support the Canadian Ski Museum, which is in dire need of help," he said.

"But it's going to be great skiing."

The ISHA is also recognizing WB's 50 Years of Going Beyond project — both the film and book — with its Skade Award, which is presented to outstanding works on regional ski history.

The award will be presented at the 24th annual ISHA Awards banquet in Aspen on April 7.

Mike Douglas of Switchback Entertainment, who directed and produced the 50 Years film, and Leslie Anthony, who wrote and edited the book, will receive the awards.

"They are the ones that dug deep into the archives and worked with the museum and talked to the locals, and they really found those stories and they packaged it into little packages that were an amazing way to tell our story," Everest said. "We're super grateful that we have people like them here that we can work with for projects like this."

For more on the ISHA head to www.skiinghistory.org.

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