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Words and Stories showcase wordplay, poetics, mountain history and fun



What: Words and Stories

When: Monday, April 17, 8 p.m.

Where: MY Millennium Place

Tickets: $10

Trying to get a straight answer out of wordplay author and musical master Stephen Vogler foreshadows what audiences can expect from this year’s Words and Stories storytelling extravaganza Monday, April 17 at MY Millennium Place – plenty of fun.

What makes a great storyteller?

"Someone with a huge aversion to working at a real job," Vogler quips.

What makes a live storytelling experience special from a book one?

"You can bring a date and it requires no reading," he said.

What place does storytelling have in the mountains?

"Same as anywhere else," he said. "In the mountains, though, the stories sometimes bounce back at you from the other side of the valley. Prairie storytellers, on the other hand, are constantly chasing their tales across the open grasslands."

Vogler is one of five storytellers ditching the doldrums of a dry read at the annual event where print jumps off pages into poetical riffs and rhymes, while at other times heartfelt stories dating back to a time when Blackcomb Mountain didn’t have any lifts on it.

More than 40 years of mountain tales will be shared in a manner as unique as its speakers, ranging from the 70-plus Canadian Skiing Hall of Famer Jim McConkey, who remembers when ski passes were only $6, to the not-even-turned-30 passionate poetics of big-mountain skier Jeff Holden.

Get to know the people who built this town: Long-time Whistlerite Ace McKay Smith steps off her go-go dancing box and away from her turntables while author Vogler pushes aside his typewriter to take to the stage.

Globe-and-Mail-heralded columnist Ivan E. Coyote is the wild card for the event, all threaded together by ringmaster Michel Beaudry whose byline has appeared in everything from The New York Times to Pique Newsmagazine.

The unexpected, the intimacy and the sheer entertainment value of this signature festival event draws out audiences of all ages. Tickets are $10.