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Happy 150th, eh!

Celebrate Canada's sesquicentennial birthday in Whistler with music, parades and pancakes

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You only turn 150 once, and Whistler is celebrating Canada's special birthday with something for everyone and extra sprinklings of maple leaves.

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) and its offshoot, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Institute at Whistler (VSIOW) return with 10 free performances over the long weekend.

As well, there are pancakes, ice cream and the resort's annual parade. Pique's Pedal Parade for youngsters on bicycles, with sign-in and bike judging starts at 10:30 a.m. The kids lead the parade, starting at noon. Meet in the parking lot by Whistler Fire Hall.

Along with the public events listed below, many of Whistler's hotels, pubs and restaurants are offering events or special dinners through the weekend. Check the advertisements taken out in the pages of this issue of Pique for more information.

As well, Tourism Whistler is running a scavenger hunt across the resort over the weekend — visit www.whistler.com or go to the Whistler Visitor Centre to get a list.

For those looking to light up the sky there will be no fireworks, sadly, due to the wildfire risk.

There will be free transit throughout the resort, from 5 a.m. on Saturday, July 1, to the last bus on holiday Monday, courtesy of the RMOW.

What's On — Friday, June 30

VSOIW Concerts — Free

Chamber music at the Audain Art Museum at 1 p.m. and at the Whistler Village Gazebo at 3 p.m.

A Storytelling Celebration of Canada's 150th Anniversary at 7 p.m. at the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre. Authors Bev Sellars, Paul Watson, Susan Juby and Joan Haggerty give readings. VSOIW Faculty Recital at the Maury Young Arts Centre at 8 p.m.

Saturday, July 1

Canada Day Pancake Breakfast — 9 to 11 a.m. at Whistler Olympic Plaza with Whistler Cooks Catering making the delicious breakfast.

First 150 people at the base of Whistler Mountain will receive a free gondola pass.

Whistler Farmers' Market — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Upper Village.

Canada Day Parade — noon. Winding its way from Whistler Olympic Plaza to Mountain Square along the Village Stroll, the theme of the annual parade is strong, proud and free.

Canada Day Gelato — 1:30 p.m. at Town Plaza. Free locally made Lucia Gelato. While supplies last.

Whistler Street Entertainment from 1:30 to 7:30 p.m. throughout Whistler Village.

Canada Day Wine and Beer Garden — 6 to 10 p.m. $5 entry, located at Whistler Olympic Plaza.

VSOIW Concerts — Free, 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Canada Day Chamber Music at the Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler Mountain at 2 p.m.

Student Chamber Concert 1 at the Maury Young Arts Centre at 4:30 p.m.

VSO Concert — Free, 8:30 p.m. Program includes Fall Fair Overture by Geoffrey Rideout, Fantasy on Scottish Melodies by Sir Ernest MacMillan, Carmen Suite by Bizet, Enigma Variations: Nimrod by Elgar, and the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky. With conductor Bramwell Tovey, and soloist Marion Newman, mezzo-soprano. At 8:30 p.m. at Whistler Olympic Plaza.

Sunday, July 2

Whistler Farmers' Market — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Upper Village.

Whistler Street Entertainment from noon to 6 p.m. throughout Whistler Village.

VSOIW Concerts — Free, 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Chamber Music at the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre at 11 a.m. and at the Maury Young Arts Centre at 8 p.m.

Student Chamber Concert 2 at the Maury Young Arts Centre at 1:30 p.m.

VSO Concert — Free, 8:30 p.m. Program includes Hungarian Dance No. 4 and Hungarian Dance No. 5 by Brahms, Fantasia on a Theme by Vaughan Williams, and Symphony No. 9, Op. 95, E minor, New World by Dvorak. With conductor Bramwell Tovey. At 8:30 p.m. at Whistler Olympic Plaza.

Monday, July 3

Whistler Street Entertainment from noon to 6 p.m. throughout Whistler Village.

VSOIW Concerts — Free, 2 p.m.

Whistler Institute Orchestra Concert at Whistler Olympic Plaza at 2 p.m. Program includes Mahler's Symphony No. 6 and Capriccio Espagnol by Rimsky-Korsakov.

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