For the fourth year in a row, the Victoria Day long weekend was marked by bikinis on the slopes of Sunshine, though this year with a new twist.
“We had 30 participants and people signed up on the day, which was great,” said Marie-Claire Bergman, Sunshine events co-ordinator. “It’s a little bit less than last year – this year we had a different format, we had bikinis and boardshorts and were also raising money for prostate cancer – I guess it’ll take another year for the format to catch on.”
The event, which took place on Sunday (May 20), involved participants wearing bikini tops and snow pants while plummeting down the slopes. While in past years the event has been for women only, to raise money for breast cancer, this year saw the inclusion of men as well.
“The idea started four years ago, it was a joint idea between the sales and marketing department. We wanted to do something for a great cause and decided it was a nice, original idea to have bikinis coming down the ski hill,” said Bergman.
An estimated $14,000 was raised, which will go to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and Prostate Cancer Canada.
“I want to thank all the girls and guys for coming to Sunshine and supporting a great cause,” said Bergman. “Breast cancer and prostate cancer are very real issues in society today and it’s great the girls and guys have taken the time to raise money for the cause.
“I’m really grateful for the opportunity to come in and take over something that’s been such a great event for the past four years – I think it did fantastic and we raised a lot of money.”
Canmore resident Shelley Collier raised $2,285, more than any other participant.
“I work at Athletic Evolution as a personal trainer and my clients and regular members contributed a great deal to that,” she said. “And friends, of course.”
Collier only learned to snowboard last year.
“It’s a great cause, a good way to finish the winter season and an Australian in bikinis on the snow is very far from home,” she said. “It was really fun. It was well organized, the weather was good and sunny. It was fun and I’m glad I did it.”