Tag Archives: Icon Gone

Icon Gone: blow-by-blow

After weeks of steady preparations by Museum staff and intense training by the competitors, this past Sunday’s Icon Gone confirmed that Whistler’s greatest historical icon is none other than the beloved Boot Pub. Angie Nolan, assisted by Cathie Coyle, took home the glory after defending the Boot’s honour against Jamie Bond and Gaper Day, in an epic final showdown between an “Icon Gone” and an upstart icon-in-the-making.

Angie showing off her Icon Gone Championship belt while Jessica “Pika” Turner dons the crown (Angie felt the honours should be shared since Rabbit and the Boot Pub were inseparable in their day). A well-dressed Cathie Coyle looks on. (Belt designed “with love and angst” by the Whistler Arts Council’s Andrea Mueller)

As promised, the competition was fierce. The new head-to-head format proved ruthlessly efficient, perhaps no more so than during the final first-round match-up when odds-on favourite Jessica “Pika” Turner’s heartwarming presentation about her father John “Rabbit” Hare was defeated by the eventual champions. The audience called for a tie, but Stephen Vogler and Jennifer Miller, who as judges were forced to pick just one, were swayed by Angie and Cathie’s theatrics.

Icon Gone ensures that community pillars like “the locals’ living room” are gone but not forgotten.

The evening’s presentations were consistently compelling, but of widely divergent styles. Few dry eyes remained after Chris Quinlan’s touching tribute to late restauranteur Joel Thibeault or Hi Brooks’ case for an on-mountain memorial to fallen mountaineers, while Jamie Bond’s elaborate Gaper Day schtick and Jackson Crompton’s Broadway-style ode to Jeanie the Bear had the crowd crying with laughter (as did Jamie’s wry remark that Jack’s “bear” costume was actually a gorilla suit better-suited to Gaper Day during their semi-final showdown).

Unable to withstand Jamie’s punishing verbal blows in the semis, Jackson/Jeanie secured the final podium spot with a little Aerosmith and aerobatics.

Kevin Damaskie delivered a deadpan recollection of The Whistler Answer that reinforced Whistler’s proud tradition of satire, while realtor and freestyle-ski queen Stephanie Sloan’s biography of Guiseppe Garibaldi was highly informative, but her narrow first-round elimination denied us the chance to learn of Whistler’s own “three wars.” Here are the final results:

Keeping the event running smoothly and the audience in stitches, Maureen Douglas returned to host the event for the fifth straight year. No one’s ego was safe from her razor-sharp wit. The GLC, a Whistler icon in its own right but a newcomer to the Icon Gone scene, proved the perfect venue for the informal community celebration.

Big thanks to everyone who came out, as well as the Province of BC, the GLC, Whistler Foto Source, Araxi, and Sushi Village for supporting what may have been the best Icon Gone yet. Tons of well-deserved credit goes to all of our competitors, judges, and MC for taking time out of their busy lives to take part in the event simply for the fun of it all (and perhaps some bragging rights). That’s what Icon Gone is all about!

Jamie wins over the evening’s MC and judges with his Gaper Day gospel.

Icon Gone: The Battle for Whistler’s Soul!

It’s no secret. You hear it all the time in other B.C. ski towns, but it’s a common criticism around these parts too. Whistler has no soul.

Whether or not you agree, Whistler has clearly had a relatively short, though turbulent history. As a result you will find widely varying opinions on topics such as our shared heritage, our sense of community, our cultural icons. Such concerns lie at the heart of the Whistler Museum’s annual community celebration, Icon Gone, which returns for round five this Sunday at the GLC.

The 2008 competitors.

The format is simple: eight prominent Whistlerites get up on stage to make the case for a Whistler “Icon” about which they are especially passionate. Using a competitive format, with liberal helpings of feisty smack-talk and audience participation, a champion is crowned.

The event’s initial inspiration came in 2007 following the loss of a few Whistler icons, most notably our beloved Boot Pub. Incidentally, the Boot’s iconic status will be defended at this year’s Icon Gone by local performing arts Renaissance woman Angie Nolan, with assistance from Village Host head honcho Cathie Coyle.

“The Locals’ Living Room”

We all miss the boot, but such reminiscence begs the question, are Whistler’s icons all gone? Has Whistler sold out? Or, to paraphrase Mark Twain, have rumours of Whistler’s demise been greatly exaggerated?

No matter your opinion, this year’s Icon Gone line-up has something for you.

There will be something for you cynics, for whom reveling in the nostalgia of Whistler’s “Golden Era” (however defined) serves as a cathartic rejection of this would-be wonderland that has apparently lost its way.

If you value the role that sharing and preserving stories play in building our sense of community, then Hi Brooks’ heartfelt dedication to the loved one’s we have all lost to the mountains is sure to pull at your heartstrings.

Needing an “Iconic” cover for their 5th anniversary issue, Mountain Life Mag designed this cool photo collage of Rabbit.

If you feel that beyond the mountains, the snow, the facilities, and the hype, it’s the characters that make this place special, then you can’t miss Jessica “Pika” Turner tribute to her father “Rabbit” Whistler’s quintessential ski bum, or self-described “political hack” Jackson Crompton’s musical homage to Jeanie the Bear.

Cherish Whistler’s contrarian nature? Kevin Damaskie returns on behalf of the iconoclastic Whistler Answer.

Remember Stephen Vogler’s 2007 Icon Gone-winning story about the “secret” meaning of the “G” in GLC? (hint: it was gravity) Well realtor-extraordinaire Stephanie Sloan is here to set the record straight with the real meaning, and the story is just as cool.

If you’re looking for a surprise, Chris Quinlan has chosen to play his hand close to his chest. His Icon remains top secret.

If you need a break from all the bickering in local newspapers, facebook pages, and coffee shops for an evening, and simply want to have a laugh at the expense of our ridiculous community (it is after all, important to stop for a laugh when things get too serious), then Jamie Bond has your fix.

Did you know that Jamie’s Icon, Gaper Day–everyone’s favourite year-end ski circus–has been proving that Whistler’s free spirit is alive and well for fifteen years? Here’s some proof:

Or if you’re simply looking to be reminded of what makes this town great, you’ll get eight compelling examples presented by our passionate, outspoken competitors.

Icons—our shared experiences, cherished landmarks, and beloved neighbours—are the essence of our identity, the difference between a collection of people and a real community. So what are Whistler’s greatest icons? Do we even have any left? Come with an opinion, and come prepared to laugh, cheer, maybe even cry at one of the few events that can truly claim to be “history in the making.”



  • When: Sunday, November 6th, 7pm-10pm, doors at 6:30pm
  • Where: GLC
  • Who: 19+
  • Cost: $10 advance purchase from the Whistler Museum/$15 at the door (all ticket proceeds go directly to supporting the Whistler Museum & Archives Society)

Tickets can be purchased in person at the Whistler Museum (4333 Main Street) or by calling 604-932-2019.

Brought to you by the generous support of the Province of B.C., The Garibaldi Lifts Company, Whistler Foto Source, Araxi, and Sushi Village.