Rain steals the spotlight at Whistler Film Fest
Among the movie stars walking Whistler's red carpet this weekend is Barry Pepper, one of Will Smith's co-stars in the soon to be released 'Seven Pounds.'
Like most, he came for the film festival and to ski.
"Hopefully, tomorrow brings a little more snow," he jokes.
These days, in Whistler, that hope springs eternal, and the rain seems unending. As does the number of race cancellations.
"The conditions are not what we'd love them to be. You know it's a little bit marginal up there," says Shauna, one of the Whistler Film Festival organizers.
The poor conditions are why the annual Celebrity Ski Challenge is just the latest race that won't happen. Biathlon and cross country races were also called off this weekend. There's simply not enough snow at the Olympic venues in the nearby Callaghan Valley, or on the mountain.
Related stories: First no snow, now 2010 ski team faces new hurdle
Right now on both Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, there's only a combined total of 11 runs groomed and open. The last real snowfall was on November 26th. Back then the resort opened with a snow base of just 55 centimeters. That number has now decreased to only 40 centimeters.
With the film festival in town, mountain operators tried to put on a good show, setting records for snow making, converting nine million gallons of water into snow earlier this week, in just 24 hours.
But there was little applause.
"I haven't been out snowboarding," says comedian Tom Green, "I snowboard, but unfortunately there's no snow here."
With the Olympics just 14 months away, it's not the review Whistler was hoping for.
"We can take the race course from bare to race ready within 10 days," says Whistler-Blackcomb's Tabetha Boot.
It's something they're prepared to do come 2010, but not for a celebrity ski race. So instead, the stars are spending their time watching movies.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Sarah Galashan