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Photographers compete for 'King of Storms' title

Shadow puppets Jan. 11, flooding closes Maxx Fish

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It's that time of year again: the snow is falling, storms are brewing and six photographers are set to capture it all.

The ARC'TERYX Deep Winter Challenge will send six pro shooters into the elements of Whistler Blackcomb with 72 hours to document athletes as they hit everything from the bowls to the après ski bars. The photographers will select their best images and create a slide show for a live audience Jan. 19 at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.

"I'm eagerly looking forward to the competition," says Whistler competitor Reuben Krabbe, who won the Deep Summer Photo Challenge last year. "It offers such a concentrated mix of creativity, skiing and culture. Deep winter has been a major catalyst for the craft of ski and snowboard photography over the last several years and the highlight is always seeing how differently the same conditions and terrain can be interpreted."

Other competitors include Salt Lake City's Adam Clark, Russell Dalby, a staff photographer for

King Snow Magazine and Monster Energy, Mike Helfrich who has shot for major magazines, including Snowboard Canada, Nic Alegre whose work has appeared in the New York Times and Chris Christie, who has worked for a variety of commercial and editorial clients.

Last year, Robin O'Neill, Whistler outdoor lifestyle and portrait photographer, became the first woman to win the contest.

Submissions will be judged by industry professionals with a grand prize of $9,000 and the title of "King of Storms." Last year, tickets for the event sold out well in advance. Grab yours for $20 at any Whistler Blackcomb guest relations location or call 1-800-766-0449.

Those unable to attend can still vote in the People's Choice award online. The winner of that category will score a heli-skiing trip from Whistler Heli-Skiing. For more info visit facebook.com/whistlerblackcomb.

Puppet show

Creative 5 Eclectic continues to live up to its name, this time with shadow puppets.

A Vancouver duo, called Mind of a Snail, will use overhead projectors to create the puppets, along with masks and "light experiments." For their Jan. 11 show at Dusty's, they will team up with live music accompaniment called Against Gravity.

The pair, Chloé Ziner and Jessica Gabriel, has been working on their unique performance — which they describe as a "multi-layered style of visual storytelling" — since 2003. They've performed for organizations around the Lower Mainland, including the Pacific Rim Whale Festival and Still Moon Arts Society.

They call the approach "compost-modern," exploring the "interconnectedness between what is natural, what is artificial and where everything blurs in between."

Admission is by donation. The show starts at 9 p.m.

Maxx Fish temporarily closed

Village hotspot Maxx Fish will be closed for at least two to three weeks after it was damaged by a flood, the club's manager tells Pique. All scheduled events will be cancelled, but they'll be back "ASAP and better than ever," they say in an e-mail.

Stayed tuned for news on the grand reopening.

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