MONTREAL, Canada – More than 137 ambitious competitors and 13,022 cheese lovers gathered today in Whistler, British Columbia to celebrate at the Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival. Dairy Farmers of Canada hosted and celebrated the fifth anniversary of Canada’s most exciting and unique sporting event and family-oriented festival in cheesy-style.
Competitors spent the afternoon chasing a giant wheel of Canadian cheese down Blackcomb Mountain during the Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival. The two Grand Champions each went home with an 11-pound wheel of Canadian cheese and a Whistler season’s ski pass for two.
The men’s Grand Champion, Tyler Belan of Kitchener, Ontario, won the men’s race in a time of 5.03 seconds and the women’s Grand Champion, Joslyn Kent of Sydney, Australia, won the women’s race in a time of 7.08 seconds. There were 11 race heats – seven men’s and four women’s – before the final Grand Championship races. In addition to the men’s and women’s races, 86 children participated in uphill races.
“This Festival has reached a significant milestone and we are thrilled to celebrate this achievement with cheese-loving Canadians and visitors from all over the world,” said Solange Heiss, assistant director, marketing and nutrition communications, Dairy Farmers of Canada. “Dairy Farmers of Canada continues to proudly sponsor the Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival and showcase the wonderful cheese produced in this country.”
New this year was the addition of a costume contest with the chance to win a $500 gift voucher to Gone Village Eatery, a locally owned and operated hot spot for quick, fresh, healthy meals or a relaxing coffee with friends. The gift voucher is also redeemable at their six affiliate locations around Whistler Village including Moguls Coffee House, Zogs Dogs, The Lift Coffee Company Mountainside, The Lift Coffee Company Nesters, and The Lift Company Function.
Prior to each race heat, the official cheese roller awarded costumed contestants a ribbon. After all the race heats, the Emcee gathered all ribbon-awarded costumed contestants at the base of the course, where a panel of judges selected their top five favourite costumes. The top five costumed contestants were judged by the crowd and the winner was selected through their applause.
The costume contest winners are Rebecca Sharar, Annie Taylor, Sylvia Stellmacher and Laura Chipman from Bainbridge Island, Washington State, United-States. The team wore costumes representing a cow, a farmer, a milk bucket bearing the 100% Canadian Milk symbol and the Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival logo.
In addition to the races, cheese lovers took in a host of other fun activities including cheese Twister, free cheese seminars and a Cheese Market full of delicious samples of Canadian cheese made from 100% Canadian milk.
Renowned Canadian and award-winning stand-up comic, improviser, actor and writer from Western Canada, Roman Danylo, brought comic relief and fun to his role as the event Emcee.
For the fifth consecutive year, Canadian cheese maker Natural Pastures produced the special 11-pound wheels of delicious Cracked Pepper Verdelait cheese for the Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival.