Okay, so WinterPRIDE turns 20 this week and the RMOW will officially proclaim it Whistler's Pride Week next Thursday. This is big news not just for the gay community, but also for Whistler as a whole, as it has established itself as a welcoming, inclusive community for anybody and everybody.
This year, the festival is expected to attract 2,500 people —40 per cent from the U.S., 30 per cent from within in Canada and another 30 per cent from overseas.
According to Dean Nelson, 85 per cent of attendees are male, the majority of whom are of a higher than average income bracket. This means plenty of disposable income to spend on the array of (fabulous!) events that will dominate this town between Feb. 5 and Feb. 12.
But take one look at WinterPRIDE's event schedule and you see that there's an overwhelming abundance of activities to choose from. So many events! So little time! Your panic attack is completely warranted.
Fortunately, Pique has your interests at heart and has broken down the evening events for your consideration, so that you, and everyone else, can enjoy themselves. We'll only cover the events until Thursday, Feb. 9 in this issue, so check back with Pique next week or view our listings page online, for more detailed events throughout next weekend.
Saturday, Feb. 5
WinterPRIDE Welcome Reception (Whistler Conference Centre, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., $15 — includes entry to after party at Buffalo Bill's). This is the official welcome part-ay at WinterPRIDE. It's also a good time to catch up with old friends, meet some new ones and get an idea of what Whistler hospitality is all about while getting a little saucy before stumbling over the next phase of the evening.
Welcome Party (Buffalo Bill's, 10 p.m. – 1 a.m. $10 for those without tickets to the welcome reception) No; the party does not end at 10 p.m. All you have to do is shuffle across the way into Buffalo Bill's, which may or may not make an appearance in his finest buckskin pants and cowboy hat. One can only hope. Come 1 a.m. though, you're on your own for the afterparty. But we suggest you sleep. There's plenty to do on Monday.
Monday, Feb. 6
Après Ski (GLC, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., $12) The first of a weeklong string of après parties, the GLC will transform itself into the "Gay, Lesbian Club" and boast the liveliest, most cultured après experience that day. Guaranteed.
Up Your Kilt Party (Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub, 9 p.m. – 1 a.m., $15) After a full day on the hill, or nursing the previous night's hangover, or taking leisurely strolls through the snow, or simply enjoying not being at work, it'll be time for the first true party of the week. Whistler's own Ruckus Deluxe will play, so be prepared to get your jig on. Kilts are optional.