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Pique'n'yer interest

The goodbye Kiss



The resort partners and concert promoters giveth, the resort partners and concert promoters taketh away.

I have no idea what logistical issues prompted organizers to cancel the Kiss concert scheduled for Sept. 15, and I really don’t care. Neither would any Kiss fans or hardcore members of the Kiss Army that reportedly booked trips from across North America to partake in what would have been the biggest concert ever to grace this resort. But instead of getting Demon, Star Child, Space Man and Cat Man, strutting around the stage in black leathers and facepaint, all we get are more excuses as to why yet another event has fallen through.

If I owned one of Whistler’s cabarets I’d be doing my best right now to book the nearest Kiss cover band for next weekend, if only to ease this feeling of being cheated.

Never mind that two other concerts, scheduled for Sept. 22 and 29, have also been cancelled (probably), even if they were supposed to be bigger acts than Kiss. We didn’t know who to expect, and therefore can’t be all that disappointed that they aren’t going to show.

What in the name of (Peter) Criss is going on?

Last year a Xavier Rudd concert in the conference centre was cancelled because the band promoters did not want to pay a $25,000 damage deposit to use the venue — something that is apparently unique to Whistler.

This spring we were informed that the theatre in the park project was cancelled due to a lack of sponsorship — when it was already too late to find the last minute sponsorship to keep it alive.

Partnerships with concert promoters like Shoreline that were expected to bring a lot of big name acts to town have so far failed to bring anyone or anything.

While all of these promised attractions have fallen through for completely different reasons, taken together they suggest that something is not working in Whistler when it comes to hosting major events — not an easy thing to consider in Whistler with the Olympics just two and a half years away.

Events Whistler, which was created to help facilitate things like Kiss concerts, hired Greg Albrecht in 2006 to act as the point man between event organizers and the trinity of Whistler-Blackcomb, Tourism Whistler and the Resort Municipality of Whistler. He had impeccable credentials coming into the position, having organized several Grey Cups as well as the Arts Country Fair concerts at UBC, but his contract was not renewed this spring. No reason was given, and he was not replaced.