WSSF – The “T” is Silent

There’s no easy way to say this… Wait. Yes there is.

Stop calling it “Telus Fest”, everyone.

For the first few years, the Canadian phone giant was the headline sponsor for this 10-day celebration of skiing and snowboarding, with huge names gracing the main stage like NaS, Justin Timberlake, Toots and the Maytals, Xavier Rudd, a handful of Marleys, and Hedley. Now, though, the festival is in its 20th year, and TELUS hasn’t sponsored in 4 or 5 years.  Yet, a quick search will reveal something telling. See that on the right?

Get your s**t together, Google.

It’s not just Google, though. While the festival organisers themselves and employees of Whistler Blackcomb (the host mountains) are encouraged to “drop the T” in day-to-day life and emails, a scan down the page shows that third party tourist sites still refer to it with the now-defunct title sponsor. Now, these sites are of course out of date, but what the hell are they doing on the first page?  Similarly, local Whistlerites still use the shorthand “Telus fest”, and I fear that the beast may be eating itself.

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You see, without a title sponsor to take the reins from the phone company, the budget for WSSF has had to undergo certain changes and restrictions. That makes sense. The problem now is that when people still refer to it as one thing and see the other, they wonder why it’s gone so downhill economical. Meanwhile, TELUS still reaps the benefits of the name, without putting any more money into it. I can only assume the good people of TELUS have funnelled their money into top-quality service for their customers at a reasonable rate… and that, right there, is why we as a society need a sarcasm font.

Update: “Sartalics” exists.


I love the Festival. I love the people it brings here, both on stage and off. As a bartender in my “real life”, it’s more money in my pocket. As a writer for good ol’ Mountain Life, it allows me to see and comment on various events (press pass for the win.)  It’s practically the reason we started the phrase, and subsequent hashtag, Party in April, Sleep in May.

I really hope we get to see a 21st, and with a big name in the title as well. Until we as a collective can drop the “T”, I don’t feel like our belle at the ball will have many suitors courting her. Imagine if a rival company – or any company, for that matter – put up the scratch to blow us all away, only to have people shouting “Best TELUS Fest Ever!!”. It doesn’t reap reward, and so makes zero business sense.

Drop the T the way they dropped us, if you want to see the party survive past drinking age in Vegas. What’s wrong with simply “The Fest”?

Rant over. Go play.

(Oh, and buy your tickets to Mountain Life’s MULTIPLICITY show right here. It’s always a good time!)