The countdown is on and the party begins next Friday. The TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival kicks into high gear April 17-26, 2009. The only thing to do is get yourself to the centre of the action. Here are some highlight of what's on the adjenda, including some new events you'll want to check out.

The best things in life are still free. Zune Concert Series line-up promises 10 days of pilgrim-worthy free outdoor concerts, featuring Ozomatli, Ten Second Epic, The Stills, Metric, and DJ Ztrip.

Grenade Games lobs into town. Snowboarding’s infamous end of season party is by the riders, for the riders. Giving Canadians the chance to become Grenadians for the first time in its history, the Grenade Games’ line-up includes a Poker Run, dual slalom moguls course, pipe and slopestyle comp, and entices legends of snowboarding out of retirement to ride alongside current pros and up-and-comers.

Discover tomorrow’s artistic superstars. Debuting at this year’s Festival is the mutant sibling of the Pro Photographer Showdown, the ThreePointOh Multimedia Challenge. Plus, State of the Art, the Canada-wide Designer Search and Expose, and the new Chef Challenge.

Skate comes to the party. The new Festival opener, Skate & Deploy, followed by the Skate of the Art Opening party offers the perfect segue from winter to spring for fans of flow.

Graphic mastery gains momentum. Enter year four of the open crowd-sourcing collaboration that introduces graphic design talent to snowboards as canvass. Masterpiece in Motion entries are due March 1.

Ticketed events are known to sell out in advance so avoid disappointment and get your tickets early. Get yours online now at the Festival E-Store.

Faces of the Fest prepare to face-off to be the Festival’s 2009 on-air video host. Our very own Alex Hearn, voice of the Whistler Blackcomb snowphone, is one of the five finalists! "VOTE HARD, VOTE HEARN" VOTE NOW! The winner will be announced Monday, April 13th.

Looking to come up and enjoy all of the action? There are some awesome deals on now, including 2 day lift & lodging from just $82 pp/pn. MORE INFO

Another sweet deal...Buy your 5 or 10-Day 2009.10 EDGE Card now to ski at Whistler Blackcomb from $57 per day next season plus get unlimited spring skiing NOW for just $79! BUY NOW


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