A&E » Arts

Dance into 2008

Whistler First Night lineup includes live entertainment, activities, concerts and special teen and kid events



What: First Night

When: Monday, Dec. 31, 6 p.m.

Where: Whistler Village

Admission: $10/$5

Soul Funktion dancers performing at numerous outdoor stages throughout Whistler Village is only one of the new things New Year’s Eve revelers can look forward to at First Night Celebrations on Monday, Dec. 31.

“There is always a great mix of locals and visitors,” said Sue Eckersley of Watermark Inc., the company producing First Night. “It has exceptional value for families. Kids get to go home with neat crafts and they get to see some great entertainment.”

Although the 100 per cent alcohol-free event is geared towards family fun, the young at heart and those who are early to bed will enjoy the non-stop lineup of entertainment, activities and community fun, joining the other 5,000 New Year’s Eve revelers counting down the last minutes of 2007.

Some artists to listen for include family entertainer Norman Foote, with his all ages show. He’s hooked on music, but he also incorporates comedy and puppetry for an award-winning performance.

Allison Crowe will also be stepping up to the mic. This young singer/songwriter weaves the magic of blues, gospel and rock on piano for one beautiful, soulful experience.

Some talents to look out for include Marc Suess from Dancing Bear Theatre. Just look for the 40-foot inflatable whale he performs his interactive storytelling inside.

Mat Levy can’t keep his hands still for a second whether juggling, walking a tight rope, twirling a fire pole or twisting his famous animal balloons.

First Night guests can walk away with more than just community spirit. Mark Siermaczeski will be drawing up a storm with his caricature wizardry and Kathy Inglis from Kidzcrafts will make sure kids go home with a First Night memento.

Shaw TV will host First Night TV, where partiers can wish everyone a happy New Year and give the low down on New Year’s resolutions. The map spot challenge is also back, inviting guests to pinpoint where they’ve come from on a map of the world.

Kids and teens have their own party at the Telus Conference Centre. Kids can cheer on their favourite furry friends at the Mascot Challenge as Big Air Bear, Digger the Dog and others battle it out for grand champion. Norman Foote will ring in an early New Year with Slim’n Angel and Sasquatch at 9:30 p.m. The early New Year will include a kid’s countdown and fireworks.

The MuchMusic Video Dance Party takes over for teens 19 years old and younger, getting youth into a nightclub atmosphere of lights and live music.

“There is something for everyone to do, but it is certainly focused on family,” Eckersley said.

DJ Neoteric will bring on the New Year at midnight on the festival mainstage, followed by fireworks to welcome 2008.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children. Tickets are now on sale at the Tourism Whistler Activity Centre, Whistler Visitor Information Centre or whistlerfirstnight.com.