Kandyphlip wants to take you to heaven 

Duo plans to host Celestial Refrain, A Winter Party of Heavenly Proportions at Garf's on Dec. 11

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - party time Joey Cruz and Toby Dowding on "the planet Entropia" back in August.
  • PHOTO submitted
  • party time Joey Cruz and Toby Dowding on "the planet Entropia" back in August.

Whistler can be a funny place to start a new artistic endeavour.

On one hand, if you're doing something cool, word of mouth ensures the news will travel quickly. On the other, you can build up a following, only to have it disappear as the season changes.

That's been the case for Kandyphlip, a new party-producing duo who threw a series of popular bashes over the summer.

"The challenge with us now is finding this group of loyal people who love coming to our parties, their visas are up now," says Joey Cruz, one half of the pair alongside Toby Dowding. "The challenge is introducing yourself to the new people (arriving for the season)."

Kandyphlip first formed when Cruz and Dowding met at a big house party in Brio a-year-and-a-half ago, but it wasn't until this past summer that they organized their first party.

With the name and theme "Forbidden Fruit" they arranged to host the event (with permission) on a private property 25 kilometres south of the village. Organizing DJs, decorations and creating infrastructure from scratch was hard work, but the party was poised to unfold smoothly—until the torrential downpour rolled in.

"I had been doing some events, but not at this level," Cruz said. "(Forbidden Fruit) was a nightmare, but it was a success. The day before the sun came out and people already bought a lot of tickets, so they came, but it was a beautiful event."

In the end, though, "we just really enjoyed doing it," Dowding says. "Everyone was stoked about what we put on for them. It was different. Every one we do has a different theme. It's just fun to let your imagination out."

After that, their partnership was solidified.

"We sat down and said, 'let's do another (party) in that spot," Cruz says. "We wanted to do it perfectly."

So, they decided to leave the planet and travel to NGC 4414, a real galaxy, containing the fictional planet Entropia. "We pretended Entropia was a planet heading towards the black hole, so everyone (on it) appreciates life and enjoys life," Cruz says.

Then, at midnight, they used a massive board and light projections to depict the planet entering the black hole.

"Everyone was jamming," Dowding says. "When the projections came on people stood around starring and saying, 'This is sick.'"

The culmination of their efforts was the summer-ending Ovation bash near Pemberton in an outdoor location with nearly triple the capacity of their last two parties. "It rained, but instead of going under the tarp, they stayed in the rain," Cruz says.

After that, they figured their party-throwing days were done for the season—until Moe Joe's approached them to transform their club into a Halloween hellscape.

Although they had been drawn to outdoor venues where they could build a scene from scratch, Kandyphlip decided to give it a try.

"We (had to turn) so many people away," Cruz says. "We had a theme and we have slogans for every event. (This one was) Fire and Brimstone—no one is safe. We turned Moe Joe's into an otherworldly dungeon of hell."

Now, the pair is gearing up to take party-goers to Heaven.

On Dec. 11, they're hosting Celestial Refrain, A Winter Party of Heavenly Proportions at Garfinkel's.

"Instead of going to hell, we're going to Heaven," Cruz said. "We're changing the thematic colours, we've hired eight angels. Two will be in the photo booth and six will be dancing."

Instead of employing strictly women, the pair spread the love and will feature angels of two genders.

"We've been overwhelmed because we tried something new and it's like, 'I wonder if people will think this is cool,'" Cruz says. "At Halloween, I scheduled guy, girl, guy, girl (dancers), but there was a small time period with two guys (dancing). My friends, who are straight, were like, 'Yeah!' It was so good to have that."

Alongside the angels, partiers should dress in white and expect an otherworldly scene. "There's a certain level of expectation and we have to meet that," Cruz says.

For more on the event, or to buy tickets, search Celestial Refrain on Facebook.

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