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Masquerave setting expectations high

Party to benefit new charity dedicated to water issues



André St. Jacques promises the upcoming Masquerave is going to be second to no other party.

The event on Nov. 12 at the Bearfoot Bistro is going to be a charity fundraising event for St. Jacques' favourite new charity. Funds raised will go to One Drop, a charity started by Cirque de Soleil founder Guy Laliberté.

"I'm putting my heart and soul into this and I hope the rest of the town is too," St. Jacques said of his efforts so far in bringing the resurrected event back to life after a five-year hiatus.

The Bearfoot owner said he loves wine and he loves food and his passion drove him to make Masquerave bigger and better each year. By the tenth anniversary edition of the party, St. Jacques said the event had grown to become what he described as Whistler's biggest party featuring alcohol.

"I do push the boundaries," said St. Jacques. "The municipality and Tourism Whistler felt it was just almost too much so they sort of said I could do it again but I had to have my hands tied behind my back. In 2006 that was the last time I did it."

According to St. Jacques, he was approached to revive Masquerave for this year so he said he would do it under his terms.

A company called Moment Factory will set the mood with their multi-media effects. St. Jacques said the entertainment for the party this year will be provided by international DJ's, live musicians, acrobats, dancers and contortionists along with burlesque-style entertainers.

"It is probably the largest production we've done," said St. Jacques.

To mark the 25th anniversary of Cirque de Soleil one of the Cirque sponsors, Infiniti, is donating a G3 car to the event. The car was body painted by Montreal artist Heidi Taillefer and it will be auctioned off to benefit One Drop.

According to St. Jacques, the body painted car is on display at Pacific Centre Mall in Vancouver.

St. Jacques said the cost of the Masquerave tickets represents great value for access to the food prepared by some of Canada's top chefs along with the wine, spirits and champagne that will be served.