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2012 in arts, culture and music

Pique looks back on the biggest entertainment stories of last year



This year Whistler (and Sea to Sky corridor) arts, culture and music news was dominated by numbers. It might sound boring (math, yuck) but those figures came in the form of funding (or a fight over funding), anniversaries and contest prizes.

There was the $34 million, five-year Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) cash, the $2.68 million for the Festivals, Events and Animation program, along with milestones like the Whistler Arts Council's 30th year and the Whistler Museum's 25th anniversary, to name just a few.

For our look back, we broke 2012 down into topics, from festivals to movie news to the announcement that Whistler will become home to the prestigious Audain Museum. So, kick back, relax and take a look at the year that was before heading into the year ahead.


The Two Acre Shaker featured an all-star DJ line-up this year with everyone from DJ Woody, a two-time world champion turntabilist, to Scientists of Sound, an electronic dance music duo from Halifax, plus Vancouver favourites Top Less Gay Love Tekno Party.

The event, which took place in August, was moved from McKinnon Farm to the Mount Currie Rodeo Grounds north of Pemberton after organizers were able to secure permission from the Lil'wat Nation to use the land. (Something they weren't able to do in 2011.)

As the corridor's answer to Burning Man, the Bass Coast Festival celebrated its fourth year with art installations, DJs, and workshops last summer. It might sound tame, but the event is always a "wild raging party," co-founder Liz Thomson told Pique. "It is also a place that is accepting of anybody and any idea. It's like a modern day university. It's a freethinking community and you're allowed to present any idea that you have."

Shunning corporate sponsorship, the event relied on ticket sales (which locals and visitors snapped up) to make it all possible.

Crankworx might be a mountain bike festival, but it also brought a ton of bands to Whistler this summer. There was Vancouver indie-folk act Said the Whale, Juno award winners Arkells and alt-rock Victoria band Jets Overhead.

On top of that, the festival hosted a brand new film competition called GoPro Dirt Diaries, which pitted six filmmakers against each other for $6,000 in cash prizes. Competitors completed six-minute films then screened them at Whistler Olympic Plaza. Similarly, the Deep Summer Photo Challenge — in its fourth year — gave five shutterbugs three days to capture large-scale action somewhere in Whistler's mountain bike park to create a slideshow for cash prizes.

Telus decided last year it would no longer sponsor the World Ski and Snowboard Festival, which takes place in April and serves as winter's last hurrah. But, as they say, the show must go on. And it did, with bands like Saskatchewan rockers (and Whistler favourites) The Sheepdogs, Calgary's The Dudes, as well as the 72-hour Filmmaker Showdown and the Pro Photographer Showdown (Pique "Best of Whistler" voters chose this festival as the best arts and culture event of 2012).

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