Spots open for Telus Winter Classic 

Tickets and packages are on sale for the 12 th Annual Telus Winter Classic, Jan. 30-31, a charity fundraiser for the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation.

It's a busy schedule this year, with six events packed into two days. You can purchase tickets to some of these events separately or as part of a team package.

Friday, Jan. 30

The Winter Classic starts off with the Sun Microsystems "Ski with a Pro" Day. Teams participating in the Triple Crown Race Classic can sign up to ski with one of Whistler-Blackcomb's professional skiers or snowboarders, fine-tuning their skills for the race the next day. Groups will meet at 8:30 a.m. and ski and ride as late as 3:30 p.m. if they choose.

After a day of skiing, groups can head to the Steeps Grill at the Roundhouse Lodge for the Kokanee Apres party. There will also be prizes for participants.

The evening's activity is Whistler Winetatstic, an evening of jazz and more than 150 international wines and cheeses presented by the Westin Resort and Spa and the National Cheese Company. Westin Chef Hans Stierli will be preparing hot and cold appetizers, and there will be an "instant wine cellar" raffle for guests.

The doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the event will run until approximately 10:30 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 31

Fuel up for your day on the slopes at the Start-Gate Breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at the Westin Resort and Spa Ballroom. You can also pick up your race packages there, including a button courtesy of SAS Canada that gives you lift line priority for the day.

The Triple Crown Race Classic gets underway at 11 a.m. at the Pontiac Race Centre on Whistler Mountain, underneath the Emerald Chair. The organizers are sticking with the new format they introduced last year, which includes a straight gate race, a skier / snowboard cross course and a GS course through some moguls. A combined score from the three different races will determine the winner in each category, and prizes will be presented to the winning teams at the evening gala.

The signature social event of the Telus Winter Classic is the gala dinner, dance and auction at the Roundhouse Lodge that evening. This year the theme is Paradise on Ice, and will feature hula dancers, Calypso music, and drink specials with umbrellas.

There is a buffet dinner, a live band, prize presentations, a 50/50 raffle, and silent and live auctions on incredible items.

You can upload on the Whistler Mountain Village Gondola between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Over the past 12 years the Telus Winter Classic has raised more than $2.5 million for the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, which provides grants to non-profit groups in the Sea to Sky corridor. Last year the Classic raised more than $150,000.

Tickets to every event sold out last year, so book early. For more information or registration, call the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation at 604-938-7321, or download the registration form at www.whistlerblackcomb.com/wbfoundation/winterclassic.asp.

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