Not to be out done by the Bearfoots MasqueRaves body-painted nude women, a new vintage to Cornucopias wine this year is the Women, Wine and Books Italian Renaissance soiree with mens nude bodies falling under the stroke of a paint brush as they are transformed into Renaissance statues for the music-and-literature filled evening, Thursday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at a multi-million-dollar mansion.
"I wanted to create something sexy and fun to bring attention to our Whistler Reads program as well as host an entertaining and engaging night," said Paula Shackleton, event organizer and founder of the Whistler Reads program. "Weve got authentic Renaissance music, Antinori Rosso wines, an amazing author and body-painted servers. We wanted to liven things up and turn the tables on the MasqueRave event and give the women something to look at."
Bookbuffet.com and Womenwine.com have combined forces to host an intriguing evening of Italian and B.C. wines, live Renaissance music, Tuscan-inspired nibblings and a reading by award-winning author Pauline Holdstock from her novel Beyond Measure, a historical-based fiction tale running the gamut of love, lust and artistry in 16 th century Italy.
The new event joins Cornucopia, Whistlers biggest food and wine festival, Nov. 9-13. The marinated evening of words and wines will be hosted at a private residence in Whistler.
Proceeds from the event benefit Whistler Reads, a Whistler-wide reading program. The program aims to gather bookworms in discussion at a monthly book club.
"Its something different to do as an alternative to sports," Shackleton said of the book club. "Its intellectual, social and engaging. The program is made for people who want to get to know people in the community and discuss different authors work."
She said one of the biggest challenges book groups face is book availability. Often only one book of a certain title is available at the library, making it either costly or difficult for other group members to obtain a copy of the book in time for meetings.
Shackleton hopes to attain sponsors for the program with event funds going towards buying multiple copies of one book. She said once the book lot was used, the books along with research on the author, discussion group questions and group feedback would be included to make a package that would be available at the Whistler Library for other Whistler book clubs to use.
"It would become a renewable resource," she said. "If a person cant get their hands on a book on time, it affects the group discussion."
The Whistler Reads group meets once a month at a local coffee shop. The only cost is the purchase of the book up for discussion.
In addition to hosting a readers group, Shackleton founded a Web site, bookbuffet.com, which helps book groups get in touch with author information, book critiques and reading lists. Each reading group can have their own Web page posted on the site, allowing organizers to post meeting dates, book titles and other information for members to easily retrieve. Book lists from all registered groups are compiled, so groups can tap into countless discussion ideas and book titles of fellow reading groups around the world.
"It allows people to communicate on books: whether they are good or not," Shackleton said. "The research (components) also jump start a group into conversation to get right into (the books) themes."
The site receives 100,000 to 200,000 hits a month with more than a thousand members in Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Europe and New Zealand.
The Whistler Reads book club is already up and running with its fourth book, Beyond Measure, (the same book showcased at the Cornucopia event) to be discussed at the group meeting today, Thursday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. at Esquires.
Women, Wine and Books is the first of many reading events Shackleton intends to host.
Tickets to the intimate evening are limited with less than 25 tickets currently available. Tickets are $59 and can be purchased by visiting www.bookbuffet.com or calling 604-907-2804.