Get in the Games with a guide

Shortly after noon Thursday there were officially 77 days, 10 hours, 54 minutes and 25 seconds left till the 2007 Winter Games.

Shortly after noon Thursday there were officially 77 days, 10 hours, 54 minutes and 25 seconds left till the 2007 Winter Games.

It’s pegged to be the largest sporting event in Yukon history, and will bring hundreds to the territory for two weeks of competition and culture.

Now visitors and locals alike have a colourful tool to help navigate the affair.

Forty-thousand copies of a new city guide, Whitehorse Winter Visitor: Your guide to the 2007 Canada Winter Games, hit magazine racks around the city last month.

It pegs the Yukon capital as a “creative city with a unique northern culture.”

It tells visitors how to get to Whitehorse, how to get around Whitehorse, where to stay, where to eat, and what to do while they’re here.

Some highlights: dog sledding, ice fishing, snowmobiling, bathing in the Takhini Hot Springs, the MacBride and Beringia museums and, of course, two uniquely Yukon cultural festivals.

The Frostbite Music Society will be presenting an abridged version of the music fest on February 16 and 17, and the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Society will put on its cabin-fever busting event from February 16 to 18.

It also includes descriptions of all Games venues and an itinerary of events.

The guide even tells visitors how to dress for what could be some of the coldest months of Yukon’s year in “a winter coat, toque, mitts, long-sleeved shirts and long pants, wool sweaters, warm boots, good socks and even long underwear.”

The guide was a collaborative project between the city l’association franco-yukonnaise’s economic development sector and the Canada Games Host Society.

The project began in September, says city tourism assistant Oliver Halickman.

The groups took about a month to pin down the content, then local firm PR Services designed and printed the guide — a service it donated to the city free of charge.

Pat Reece of PR Services, a veteran publisher in tourism, put forward the idea to develop the guide for the Games.

Then he donated his company’s skills and experience in layout, design and printing to make the idea into a 48-page full-colour glossy guide.

“It was a really nice gesture on their part,” said Halickman.

Half the guide is in English, but flip it over and it’s ready to be used by those who speak Canada’s other official language, French.

“I don’t think there’s been anything like this before — if you flip it over, it’s fully bilingual,” said Halickman.

There’s also an online component at www.whitehorsevisitor.com, where a running clock counts down the days, hours, minutes and seconds to the start of the Games.

There will be 40,000 guides printed in total. They’ll be sent out to families coming to town for the Games and they’ll be up for grabs by locals and visitors at Whitehorse businesses and at city hall.