Festival of lights preparations underway By Andrew Mitchell Plans for this year's Festival of Lights are underway, and organizers say it's going to be the best and biggest ever. On Saturday, Nov. 27, the main ballroom at Chateau Whistler will be the location for a gala dinner and silent auction, with all proceeds from ticket sales and the auction going towards local charities. Fifty percent of this year's proceeds will go towards the construction of Millennium Place, which will house a multi-denominational church, playhouse, day-care and other community facilities. The remaining money will be divided among local charities that festival organizers deem worthy. In the past, proceeds from the gala event have gone towards a wide variety of causes, including a theft-prevention system for the library, long-line rescue equipment and helicopter training time for Whistler Search & Rescue, and the Whistler Children's Centre. In its ninth year, the Festival of Lights is sponsored by the Association of Whistler Realtors. The event, which encourages people to decorate their homes and businesses with Christmas lights, is intended to kick off the new ski season and help put Whistler into the Christmas spirit. If you wish to reserve a ticket, donate a prize, or if you are involved with a local charity and wish to apply for a share of the festival proceeds, contact organizers at Whistler Real Estate, Sussex Prudential, ReMax of Whistler or Sea to Sky Real Estate.