Category Archives: Spark of the Week

Destinations, Contests and Other Extras

Whistler Sabbatical Project

The WHO and WHERE: Located in the Coast Mountains  75 miles north of Vancouver, British Columbia. Whistler is Canada’s premier year-round leisure and meeting destination. Consistently rated the top ski resort in North America, Whistler was the Host Mountain Resort of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

The resort offers an extensive range of accommodations including 24 hotels as well as townhomes, condos, B&Bs and chalets. Whistler also boasts more than 100 restaurants and bars, 200 retail shops, 25 spas and countless activity options from world-renowned skiing and snowboarding, mountain biking and golf, to hiking, rock climbing, and watersports. The Resort Municipality of Whistler is home to a diverse community of more than 10,000 permanent residents.

THE WHAT: Tourism Whistler has launched the most exciting contest in the history of the resort, with an ultimate prize package that cannot be purchased: an invitation to experience the Whistler dream.

Launching this week is the Whistler Sabbatical Project: One month in Whistler. Expenses paid. Airfare, accommodation, lift passes, ski/ snowboard equipment, plus a series of extraordinary experiences.

Who wouldn’t want to spend a month at North America’s premier ski destination? It might seem like a no-brainer but Tourism Whistler recognizes that, for most people, there are many obstacles that make it impossible to un-plug from day-to-day life for an entire month. The Whistler Sabbatical Project aims to remove those barriers, by providing the grand prize winner with a four-week Whistler experience plus a salary (to a maximum of $4,200 CDN) to help offset the expenses of taking a month off work.

THE WHEN: Each Tuesday for the next 15 weeks, the Whistler Sabbatical Project will showcase unique and exciting Whistler experiences online – and ask the question: Would you do it? How contestants respond will set the stage for building an itinerary of adventure in Whistler that includes some activities you’d expect from this mountain town, while others you’ve never dreamed possible. From slicing the tops off magnums of champagne with a sabre (in a 20,000 bottle wine cellar) and access to a world-class spa facility to on-mountain adventures that are bucket-list worthy – this collection of Whistler experiences will create a lifetime of bragging rights.

“We’re encouraging people to go to the site every week, think about the question and answer whether or not they’d do that particular activity,” explained Kirsten Homeniuk, Tourism Whistler’s Senior Manager of Marketing Services. “Share the link with your friends, post it on Facebook, Tweet it … dare people to enter the contest,” she said.

The contest entry for the Whistler Sabbatical Project is available at

Visitors to the microsite get a special glimpse of each experience through Tourism Whistler’s 45 second videos. “These vignettes not only highlight elements of the Whistler Sabbatical,” adds Homeniuk, “they showcase many of the activities that help define what makes the resort such an amazing place to visit.”

In addition to the Whistler Sabbatical Project, contestants can enter to win each of the highlighted experiences as a weekly prize via Facebook at For this week’s prize, the winner receives a $600 (CDN) Whistler Blackcomb gift card towards new ski boots and a tab at the Garibaldi Lift Co. Bar & Grill.

The Whistler Sabbatical Project and the weekly prize contests are open to residents in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia. Contest rules and conditions apply. Weekly prize winners will be drawn randomly. The Whistler Sabbatical Project contest closes January 31, 2012 with 10 randomly-selected finalists drawn between February 1-10, 2012 and the grand-prize winner notified on February 13, 2012. The Whistler Sabbatical prize must be redeemed between March 1 – April 30, 2012.

The microsite for the Whistler Sabbatical Project is featured on the website – which has just been redesigned to coincide with the launch of the winter season and Tourism Whistler’s winter marketing campaign. Featuring stunning imagery, additional content and enhanced functionality, the website is a leading destination marketing organization site and the source for Whistler information and reservations.

Book by November 15 and save up to 36 per cent on winter stay and ski packages that include lodging and lift tickets. Early season packages including five nights’ accommodation and a four-day lift ticket start at $443 CDN per person. Plus, kids stay, ski, rent & shuttle for free. The Book Early and Save promotion promises the lowest rates of the season and the

Whistler and Blackcomb mountains are scheduled to open November 24. Last winter was the resort’s second snowiest on record, with Whistler and Blackcomb mountains accumulating more than 51 feet of powder. This year, meteorologists are calling for another La Nina weather pattern which means cooler temperatures and consistent heavy precipitation. With opening day only five weeks away, and snow already accumulating on the mountain tops, Whistler is buzzing with pre-winter anticipation. To view the alpine webcams visit or visit 


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