Thankful for good eats, great music 

The fifth annual All-Original Orphans' Thanksgiving celebration returns to The Point

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - Good friends and food The All-Original Orphans' Thanksgiving is an annual treat at The Point Artist-Run Centre.
  • photo submitted
  • Good friends and food The All-Original Orphans' Thanksgiving is an annual treat at The Point Artist-Run Centre.

So what is it like to make Thanksgiving turkey with all the trimmings for an intimate gathering of 60 of your closest friends (old and new)?

Is it chaotic?

"Yep!" laughs Stephen Vogler, executive director of The Point Artist-Run Centre and convivial host of the fifth annual All-Original Orphans' Thanksgiving celebration, taking place on Saturday, Oct. 7.

"But we have a good number of revolving chefs who know what they're doing and who can cook up something wonderful."

This year's chef is John Vance, owner of food truck Smoke Shack 99.

"He has cooked for us a number of times with his assistant Kishan (Habib)," Vogler says.

"They did it last year, as well. John made his grandfather's recipe, 'Russell's Brussels sprouts.' And he will be doing it again this year. It's a famous historic tie-in with his grandfather's managing the restaurant at the Highland Lodge (in Creekside)."

They're already busy getting turkeys and all the ingredients. There is also a vegetarian option available.

Vogler explains where the idea for the community dinner came from.

"One of our volunteers, who was from a small town in Alberta, was helping out in the summer of 2012, and she said they always had an Orphans' Thanksgiving dinner that people who didn't have family would come out to," Vogler recalls.

"She said we should do it at The Point, and I thought it was good idea. We wanted to give it an arts flavour and used it to showcase original music from the area, as well."

The Whistler version, it should be emphasized, is for everyone, not just orphans.

"For a little while, some people thought it was only for those who didn't have family there, so I almost took the word 'Orphans' out. It's really about the music and having a great community feast," Vogler says.

"That is why it is on the Saturday, rather than closer to the day when everyone is with their family."

After dinner, the audience will swell to 100 to hear the musical offerings by Whistler performers Gordo (Gord Rutherford), Venus Envy and Northern Ignition.

Vogler says it is important to bring in local bands writing original music.

"It says something about the depth of musical talent in the Sea to Sky, and all of these artists have never played The Point before," he says.

Soulful rocker Gordo and high-energy country rock group Northern Ignition are well-know artists at resort venues, while Venus Envy is a new all-woman band led by Susan Holden.

Vogler says the popular event sells out every year, and recommends getting tickets well in advance.

Tickets for both dinner and music are $30 for adults, $20 for kids 12 and under; show only is $15, and $10 for 12 and under.

Volunteers are also wanted in exchange for dinner and entertainment. For those interested, email

Tickets for dinner and party can be purchased at Armchair Books or online at



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