Troll Resort will host the 15th annual Telefest, a celebration of telemark skiing, music and community on Saturday, March 7, beginning at 9 a.m.
The inspiration for the event came from Quesnel resident, musician and longtime member of the Canadian Ski Patrol Dougal Hines, who pitched the idea to Troll Resort owner Hildur Sinclair after attending a similar event in Smithers.
“I was up in Smithers at the ski hill there, and they had a similar event going on with a bluegrass band playing and some telemark clinics so I told Hildur ‘why don’t we have a Telefest?’ and as soon as I said Troll Telefest, it just stuck — it sounded so cool, we had to do it,” said Hines.
Hines says when the world started to spread about his idea for a “Telefest” event, his musician friends were excited thinking that it was going to be a celebration for the popular Fender Telecaster guitar.
“At first, people thought it was a festival for guitars, you know Telecasters, so all the musicians were going, ‘Awesome, we’re gonna have a rock concert,’ and I said, ‘No, no, no, telemark skiing!’ but really, in the end with my love of skiing and my love of music, it really has kinda come together as a celebration of bot,” said Hines.
According to Hines, telemark skiing originally started in Norway in the 1800s. It eventually came to North America, particularly to Colorado, in the 1960s and 1970s, around the time of the Vietnam War.
Troll Telefest offers a full day of family fun, with telemark skiing lessons offered in the morning and afternoon, followed by a dinner and dance with live music being performed by the Correlieu Jazz Band. What originally started a sort of niche skiing celebration has transformed into a full-on community celebration, says Hines.
“This really is a community event,” he said. “It started out just being a Telefest for skiers, but it’s grown into a family event, and it’s not a gong show — it really is a fun time for everybody.”
There will be some demo gear available on a first-come, first-serve basis for those interested in trying out telemark skiing who don’t have their own gear. The event welcomes all skiers and snowboarders to come out to the hill with their gear and enjoy the festival.
Tickets for the Telefest cost $35 and include beginner, intermediate or advanced telemark skiing lessons, as well as a custom-made long-sleeve Telefest shirt and eligibility for draw prizes.
Tickets for the buffet dinner and dance portion of the event, which include the performance by the Correlieu Jazz Band, cost $25, with children aged 10 and younger receiving free admission.
Anyone interested in registering for the event can do so the day of at Troll Resort or ahead of time by calling 250-994-3200.