At the sixth edition of the Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival, hosted by Dairy Farmers of Canada, more than 160 ambitious competitors and 11,000 cheese lovers gathered together in Whistler, British Columbia – all for the love of Canadian cheese! Canada’s most exciting and much anticipated festival featured cheese rolling races, a costume contest and other fun activities for the whole family.
Competitors spent a wet afternoon chasing an 11-pound wheel of Pacific Pepper Verdelait cheese, produced by British Columbia cheese maker Natural Pastures, down Blackcomb Mountain during the Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival. The two Grand Champions each went home with the wheel of Canadian cheese and a Whistler season’s ski pass for two.
The men’s Grand Champion, Clayton Tinkley from Richmond, BC, won the men’s race in a time of 9.4 seconds and the women’s Grand Champion, Danya Meakins from Perth, Australia, won the women’s race in a time of 15.6 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, 98 children participated in uphill races.
“The Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival was a huge success!” says Sandra Da Silva, program manager, public relations, Dairy Farmers of Canada. “Dairy Farmers of Canada was thrilled to showcase the wonderful cheese produced in this country and share the love of cheese with Canadians and visitors from all over the world again for the sixth year in a row.”
A costume contest was held again this year for the chance to win a $500 gift voucher from IGA Marketplace. Prior to each race heat, the official cheese roller awarded costumed contestants a ribbon. After all race heats were finished, 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 by acclamation.
The costume contest winner is Annie Taylor from Bainbridge Island in Washington State, USA. Dressed as the official Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival hat, Ms. Taylor was the crowd favourite.
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.
Vancouver native and Breakfast Television host, Riaz Meghji, was this year’s event emcee.