Vail Symposium’s celebration of 45 years scheduled for March 23 |

Vail Symposium’s celebration of 45 years scheduled for March 23

Daily staff report

Dr. Charles Garfield speaks at the Vail Symposium in 1983. Photos of former speakers will be on display at the Vail Symposium’s celebration of 45 years on March 23.

VAIL — The Vail Symposium has rescheduled its 45-year celebration party for March 23 at Donovan Pavilion. The party was originally scheduled for Dec. 8.

While the organization will, at that time, be 45 1/2 years old, the idea of coming together in celebration of longtime thought-leadership in the valley remains intact. All proceeds from ticket sales will go directly to funding the future of the Vail Symposium.

"We felt that our original December date would not allow for ample recognition of the wonderful minds and hearts of previous leadership at the Vail Symposium," said Kris Sabel, executive director of the Vail Symposium. "We've since been able to reach out to a number of these people and will be able to recognize their ample contributions to the organization."

Night of celebration

With music from Vail's own Rewind band, the Vail Symposium invites the community out for a night of food, drink, dancing and celebrating the score of individuals who have come together under the banner of the Symposium in the past 45 years.

The night will include toasts, speeches and video tributes to a journey that has seen the Vail Symposium transform from a once-annual summer conference held to guide Vail's development in the early 1970s to where it stands today — holding nearly 50 events each year to explore pressing issues in geopolitics alongside breakthroughs in health and wellness, adventure, consciousness, culture and technology.

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"The night is a celebration first and foremost," Sabel said. "There won't be a paddle raiser or any kind of auction. It isn't that kind of party. There will be great food, drinks, music, dancing and a chance to enjoy a milestone achievement among friends and Vail locals."

The Symposium, in its history, has presented Pulitzer Prize winners, artists, authors, politicians, scientists, social reformers, celebrities, adventurers and diverse storytellers. The list of speakers, in addition to President Gerald R. Ford and Sir Ken Robinson, has included names such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Edwards Abbey, Christo, Gary Hart, Tom Brokaw, John White, Bud Palmer, Barney Frank, Cecil Andrus, Steph Davis and many more.

The second purpose of the celebration party will be to look forward, to examine the value of information and knowledge and what role the Symposium will play in the future of the community.

"It seems that information is becoming more and more powerful and that being informed is ever more important," Sabel said. "We look at the future of our community and consider our role in it to be a very significant one. We want people to come out and celebrate what has been done, but we want them to engage with us excitedly as we go forward."

If you go …

What: Celebrate 45 years with the Vail Symposium.

When: 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, March 23.

Where: Donovan Pavilion, 1600 South Frontage Road W., Vail.

Cost: $150.

More information: Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 970-476-0954.