A&E » Arts

First Night New Year’s Eve Celebration

Wil Mimnaugh at main stage and Crab Shack



What: First Night New Year’s Eve Celebration

Where: Whistler Village

When: Saturday, Dec. 31

Tickets: $15/$5

In the company of Diana Krall, Bryan Adams and Corb Lund in not one but three 2005 West Coast Music Awards nominations for entertainer, producer and album of the year, Wil Mimnaugh was officially recognized for his acoustic stylings for the first time.

"Sure winning is fun, but recognition for something you love and do with conviction, it can’t get better with a trophy," said the Calgary musician and Whistler favourite of his nominations in a written statement. "I do this job of playing music because my soul says I have to and having fans to listen and love what I do, well it doesn’t get better."

Mimnaugh is always in good company, having shared stages with the likes of Colin James, The Tea Party, Big Sugar and Australia’s Xavier Rudd. Mimnaugh also spent a summer on a national tour opening for Matthew Good’s White Light Rock and Roll Review.

Mimnaugh’s high-energy and throw it all out there performance will be one of the four headline acts for the First Night mainstage show New Year’s Eve, Saturday, Dec. 31 in Whistler Village. Other acts include the African and Caribbean marimba melodies of drumming team Kutapira, Japanese drumming from the children’s drumming troupe Chibi Taiko and of course the longstanding tradition of beats from Whistler’s Best DJ, internationally-renowned scratch wizard Mat the Alien.

Mimnaugh will later make his way over to the Crab Shack for a New Year’s Eve performance as well as the 10th annual Locals New Year’s Eve party Sunday, Jan. 1. For all those hard working locals slaving away on the frontlines New Year’s Eve, the Crab Shack and Tex Corleone’s hosts an evening complete with Mimnaugh, dinner and champagne at midnight for a New Year’s Eve recreation, minus the New Year’s Eve price.

Other great entertainment to check out at the family-fun First Night celebrations include fire spinners, jugglers, face painters, Short Skirt Theatre’s zany comedians and the Mascot Challenge.

Kids don’t stand idly by with numerous participation stations to get their hands into, including designing a patch for the community quilt, sending out a New Year’s wish on Whistler Cable 6, and crafting party hats, lanterns and noisemakers in a large heated craft tent located in Skier’s Plaza, just to name a few.

Tykes can countdown early with a Kid’s Countdown at 9:15 p.m. in Mountain Square and youth can hangout at the Ice Palace, a cool lounge-like setting with music, dry-ice bar and anything-goes talent show.

The Whistler-Blackcomb fire/ice show flies at 6:30 p.m. at Skiers Plaza. The concert stage tunes in with Chibi Taiko at 7 p.m., Kutapira at 8 p.m., Wil Mimnaugh at 9:15 p.m., Mat the Alien at 10:45 p.m. and the New Year’s countdown at midnight in Village Square.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for kids and free for children under two. Advanced tickets are available at the Whistler Conference Centre, municipal hall, Visitor Information Centre and Meadow Park Recreation Centre.

Free transit is offered between 6 p.m. and 3 a.m. Getting into the Village after 11 p.m. is difficult, so plan early.

Road checks throughout the village by Whistler/Pemberton RCMP will ensure First Night upholds its zero tolerance of alcohol and 100 per cent fun promise.

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