WinterStart has added elements this year 

Ice Sculpting at Winterstart
  • Ice Sculpting at Winterstart

What: Whistler WinterStart

When: December 7-11

Whistler WinterStart continues Dec. 7 through 10 with entertainment including the Ice Sculpture Competition at Village Square, the Stella Artois Fire & Ice Party, featuring the annual CanSki Winterstart Fashion Show, and Santa’s transport and kiddie rides from Canadian Snowmobile Adventures.

Whistler Winterstart continues to be a collective community effort to grow the annual winter carnival that Douglas envisions to be similar to Quebec’s Winter Carnival.

"Each year we try and add elements to WinterStart, including this year’s two new set facades featuring a Vaudeville-frontier look," says event manager Maureen Douglas. "We plan ahead and work with other event organizers like the Whistler Community Arts Council, who let us know ahead of time they were bringing the Louisville jug band act (the Juggernaut Jug Band) to town this month."

The festival started Thursday, Dec. 6 but really gets underway tonight (Dec. 7) with the Village of Light Opening at 7:15 p.m. in Village Square. Opening ceremonies are at 7:30 p.m. at the Westin Resort and Spa, followed by the Whistler Classic Awards presentation at 7:40 p.m.

The Ice Sculpture competition, taking place Saturday, features various teams including returning carvers Johnny Woo and Carl Sam of Mount Currie and Peter Chiu of Vancouver. Teams use small chainsaws and tools to carve their way to $1,500, $1,000 or $500 in prizes. Sculptors have a mere six hours to carve their masterpiece – not long to create sculpture from frozen material.

"The teams have to come in with their vision and know what they are doing, and they can work from multi-block pieces that are 1’ by 2’ by 3.5’," says Douglas.

"Once the sculptures are completed on the stage at Village Square we’ll highlight them with basic but effective coloured floodlights and hand out ballots for people to choose their favourite," she says.

Looking for some place to go and not get dressed up? The Stella Artois Fire & Ice Party Saturday features the CanSki Winterstart Fashion Show with ladies’ and men’s wear from various Whistler-Blackcomb stores. Starting at 8 p.m. at the Westin Resort and Spa Ballroom, models parade high end, alpine, and technical skiwear, snowboard gear, and apres-ski outfits. Charlie Wade of Victoria brings the Latin salsa and reggae sounds of Super Smooth and the Latin Caribbean Connection band to the Westin following the fashion show.

Outside, the ice sculpture awards will be presented at 9 p.m. in Village Square.

One of Sunday’s highlights will be snowmobile rides for children from Canadian Snowmobile Adventures, starting at 7 p.m. Canadian Snowmobile Adventure also transports Santa from the Whistler Conference Centre to the North Pole fantasy at WinterStart Post Office.

The Village of Light display from 4 to 10 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10 concludes the five day WinterStart calendar for Whistler 2001.

The weekend is presented by the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Tourism Whistler, Whistler-Blackcomb, and the Whistler Chamber of Commerce. Event management is headed up by Douglas’ moideas Management and Tracey Cochrane of Cochrane Management in Vancouver.

For more information about Whistler Winterstart activities call (604)935-4491 or log on to

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