Warm Up at Winterfest this Weekend

We’re in the middle of winter, in the middle of the mountains. Unless you’re headed to Mexico sometime soon, you might as well celebrate. Pemberton Winterfest makes that easy… with 12 events planned for the four day cold-stretch of 19 – 22 January, it’s a chance to warm up to winter with activities that are geared at bringing us together, to pay homage to the might of White. There are so many ways to take part – indoors, outdoors, with kids or grown-ups, over food or over belly-warming beverages: share some stories at the library, watch a film, hit the dancefloor, play a little hockey, test your curling skills, enjoy a BBQ or crafts at the Winter Carnival, or take the Polar Bear Plunge. Check out the details at  www.pembertonwinterfest.com. The first event is a free film-screening at the Library,  Thursday night.

We checked in with Winterfest Committee Chair, Stephanie Nicoll, to find out what to expect.

It’s projected to hit -20 deg C this week. It’s dark at 4:30pm. I haven’t been able to feel my toes in weeks. Remind me why I’m celebrating Winter? Because we love Pemberton even more in the winter. Bundle up this weekend.

How has Winterfest evolved over the years since it began? (Is this year 5? Did it start in 2008, as part of the build up to the Games?) Year 7. Winterfest was evolved under the Spirit Committee as part of the Province of BC initiative for 5 years, leading up to the Games. Many BC communities no longer operate Winterfest in their community as the Province no longer financially supports the Spirit Committee. With the success of our sponsors, Pemberton Winterfest is still succeeding! Thank you to our financial sponsors: BC Hydro, SLRD, VoP, Innergex & Superior Propane.

What’s the single best change between then and now? (It looks like it’s set to be the coldest Winterfest ever.) Increased participation! J

What is YOUR personal favourite event? Polar Bear Plunge, those brave swimmers! I love the large amount of community participation, swimmers & spectators. But after this year, it just may be the curling event.

What is the not-to-be-missed, can’t-call-yourself-a-Pembertonian-if-you-do event of this year’s Winterfest line-up? Curling at One Mile, of course.

What is special about winter in Pemberton? The keenness to skate on One Mile Lake, the WINTER skip in everyone’s step and of course, Winterfest. J

What’s NEW this year? Changing the event dates from February to January so that we can enjoy the Pemberton winter, at its finest. Curling, Public Skating & Shinny Hockey.

What are the most important things a person should bring with them to a Winterfest event, in order to make the most of it? Family & friends, hand/feet warmers, camera & enthusiasm. Don’t forgot a toonie for the maple syrup taffy at the Polar Bear Plunge.

Where can people find a more detailed program, so they can plan their Winterfest Siege? www.pembertonwinterfest.com

Who are the bright lights behind this event? How does it come to be?  Winterfest committee members, James Linklater (Rotary), Rob Meilleur (Lions Club), Paul Vacirca & Courtenay Foxgord (Chamber of Commerce), Lesley Clark (Royal Canadian Legion), Shirley Henry, Chamber of Commerce & myself, Chair. Also supporting event, staff of the Pemberton Youth Centre, Pemberton Public Library & the Pemberton Community Centre

Why do you put your time into this event? Seeing the smile on the participants’ faces, enjoying seeing the success of the events that the committee has worked so hard to organize, working collectively, with a great team, to bring new events to Winterfest.

What motivates you to do that? Knowing that the community can Winterfest in Winter & of course, volunteering with the passionate committee members of Winterfest.

As you have been planning events and entertainment, who do you have in mind as your audience? The young and the young at heart & of course, the families of Pembie. Who is Winterfest, at its heart, for? The entire community and our neighbouring communities.

And finally, is it true? Two days of free BBQ? If a free sausage sizzle can’t bring a town together, then there’s just no hope… FREE BBQ (thanks for the Pemberton Fire Department & the Pemberton Valley Supermarket) for the plungers of the Polar Bear Plunge (plus a free toque for their wet head). Free hot chocolate to all spectators & plunger of the Plunge, thank you to Innergex. The Lions Club is hosting a BBQ at the Shinny Hockey event, for a nominal fee.

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  1. […] year, Choose Pemberton got the skinny on the history of Winterfest. This year, as the event celebrates its 8th incarnation, we’ve got the Schedule of Events, […]



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