WSSF: It’s started 

It’s in the air, it’s in the bars and for most of us, it’s in our blood. Snow sports, action-adventure hobbies and after dark good times are what most of us here live for and over the next 10 days expect all senses to go into overload.

Starting immediately, Whistler will become a party zone for families and hard-party goers alike as an estimated 200,000 people gather for the Telus World Ski & Snowboard Festival from April 11 to 20. Jam-packed days of snowsport competitions, live outdoor concerts every afternoon, a multimedia circus of artistic events, village-based parades and demonstrations, and then there’s the night-time parties to rival all others. Just follow your ears or follow the crowd – you’ll find it but here’s a stream-lined survival guide to help you through the party maze:

Kokanee Freeride Apres, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.: Whistler’s patios put on an après celebration like no other. You’ll hear this party way before you see it so pull up a patio table and join in the fun.

April 11 — Merlin’s

April 12 — Dusty’s

April 13 — Citta’s

April 18 — Merlin’s

April 19 — Dusty’s

April 20 — Citta’s

Kokanee Freeride After Dark Series, 10 p.m.: The live music continues to rock into the early morning hours – 10 bands, 10 clubs, 10 nights. Get up close and interactive with an exciting line-up of musical talent.

April 11 — Kazzer @ Crabshack

April 12 — Abstract Rude @ Maxx Fish; Killa Kela @ Tommy Africa’s

April 13 — Wide Mouth Mason @ Buffalo Bill’s

April 14 — Not By Choice @ Dusty’s

April 15 — Kia Kadiri @ Garibaldi Lift Co

April 16 — Sweatshop Union @ Garfinkel’s

April 17 — Billy Talent/The Salads @ Merlin’s

April 18 — WDC & Special Guests @ Moe Joe’s

April 20 — DJ Science @ Savage Beagle; Vinyl @ The Boot

Sony Pro Photographer Search, April 14-15, Delta Whistler Resort: From 38 entries, the six finalists will present their work. Sterling Lorence, Vancouver, B.C.; Peter Moynes, Slocan, B.C.; Ryan Creary, Canmore, AB; Jonathan Selkowitz, Jackson, WY; Dave Humphreys, Squamish, B.C.; and Matt Power, Aspen, CO. Three photographers will present on each night of April 14 and 15, with the Best of Show being named on April 15. Each 12-minute presentation is choreographed to music, taking audiences on a vivid journey through the eyes of the photographer’s lens into the world of action sports. Tickets are $10 each, available from Ticketmaster and the Salomon Store.

Sony Pro Photographer Showdown, April 17, Fairmont Chateau Whistler: Three internationally renowned photographers have been invited to present 12-minute slide shows of the best work of their careers in front of a 1,200+ crowd during this prestigious annual event. Each legendary in their own fields, the Showdown contenders are surf photographer Warren Bolster, Swedish-based outdoors photographer Mattias Fredriksson, and skateboarding photographer Jon Humphries. A fourth "wildcard" seat at the Showdown is reserved for the winner of the festival’s Pro Photographer Search. Tickets are $25, available from Ticketmaster and the Salomon Store.

Panasonic Filmmaker Showdown, April 11-16, Fairmont Chateau Whistler: Open to pros and amateurs, a total of 32 film crews have confirmed participation in the Filmmaker Showdown. Filmmakers will be required to attend a meeting in Whistler on Friday, April 11 at 10 a.m., following which, they’ll be given 72 hours to shoot, edit and produce a film up to 4 minutes, 30 seconds in length. The Showdown, to be held April 16, is open to the public. Tickets are $10 and available from Ticketmaster and the Salomon Store.

Raise the Ceiling Exposure Auction, April 18, Garibaldi Lift Co.: Hosted by the Whistler Photographic Society, the Raise the Ceiling charity auction and cocktail party will see photography that has been exhibited at the Exposure Gallery all week auctioned off to the highest bidders. Tickets are $10 at the door. All proceeds go to the Zero Ceiling Society of Canada and the Whistler Photographic Society.

Hullabaloo, April 20, Garibaldi Lift Co.: The festival’s infamous closing party will ensure you leave this year’s festival feeling well and truly exposed to the party spirit. This year’s party has the ’60s style in mind. Dance into the set of the mod ’60s TV show. "Hullabaloo" was famous for its fresh musical acts of the era and the infamous Hullabaloo-A-Go-Go dancers. Dress like a hip cat or risk certain fashion embarrassment from your party peers. Tickets available in advance from the GLC.

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