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Cornucopia turns 10

Abba cover band headlines entertainment

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Package tickets are now on sale for Whistler’s biggest wine and food celebration, Cornucopia, Nov. 9-12 in Whistler.

Top of the list are tickets for the festival’s naughtiest rendezvous, the infamous Bearfoot Bistro afterparty.

Owner Andre St. Jacques is reshaping last year’s circus-themed night of debauchery (touting more than 2,000-plus people partying it up under the big tent) into a more intimate soiree. This year’s Moulin Rouge theme includes a live show from Abracadara, the renowned ABBA cover band. Tickets are already being reserved for the party.

This local and international favourite moves from its usual Saturday nighttime slot to Friday. Now festival fans can attend both the Bearfoot and Araxi afterparties with Araxi’s Bubbles, Jazz and the Sea on Saturday night and bigger than ever with the restaurant celebrating its 25th anniversary. The elegant evening of live music, champagne and sea treasures spans everything from oysters and prawns to Joel Wantanabe’s award-winning sushi. The event is fast becoming a festival favourite.

Crush! Continues to be the festival’s signature event with more than 75 wineries showcasing wines from around the world paired with cuisine from Whistler’s top restaurants.

Crush! may be the signature event, but the Winemaker’s Dinners are the soul of the festival, with restaurants throughout Whistler hosting set-course menus designed specifically to highlight selected wines. Dinners can range from $100 to $250-plus.

New this year, the Washington Wine Commission hosts the House Party gala with a focus on the region’s cabernets, syrahs, rieslings and pinot gris. Wine glasses will also toast DJs spinning a funky ambiance along with Pacific Northwest cuisine.

Party at night, educate by day: the festival includes a variety of seminars along with farm luncheons that always sell out fast. A few workshops to check out include Oysters 101, Rare Wines with David Scholefield, East/West: The Cuisine Switch, and Uncover Australia: Aussie Age and Diversity.

Women, Wine and Books returns again, only in the afternoon hours this time round with a literary luncheon.

The festival wraps up with the annual Farwell Brunch at the Fairmont Chateau’s Wildflower. The Four Seasons also hosts a new brunch venue this year with the Bubbles, Ice and Jazz Brunch as well.

Package tickets for weekend stays are now available. Individual tickets go on sale Sept. 18.

For more information, visit www.whistlercornucopia.co m.

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