A&E » Arts

A year in the life of... Chili Thom

Whistler’s Favourite Artist, as chosen by Pique readers in the Best of Whistler 2004 poll


As told to Shelley Arnusch

For the second year in a row Pique readers have voted Chili Thom Best Artist, recognizing there is indeed something special and quintessentially Whistler about his loopy yet profound snowscapes, reverent seascapes, and graphic partyscapes.

The self-supporting artist is a local creative tour de force wearing several hats (most handcrafted by his wife KLC). He’s also a prominent local DJ under the nom de spin Mr. Fister; a filmmaker and half of the notorious duo that founded the smashingly successful Halloween B-Grade Horrorfest; and he throws parties/decorates major local events for Shits n Giggles, the production company he and KLC run.

2004 was quite a year for Major Thom, packed with highlights, lowlights and spotlights, definitely worth revisiting in brief as a new year looms ahead. We open to find our hero in the land down unda’ a.k.a. the birthplace of his wife...


"Me and KLC started travelling in Australia and felt really free without any possessions. I found it quite inspiring and switched from painting to graphic drawing out of necessity due to excessive heat and dust."


"February was basically spent surfing, DJ-ing on the floor of our tent trailer and drawing while warding off mosquitoes. Lots of naked sunbathing."


Spent a lot of time in the rainforest in the area around Byron Bay. Lots of waterfalls that gave me a really organic kind of inspiration just because of all the roots and the vines and everything growing over top of everything else.


I arrived back in Canada on 4/20 and was immediately reminded what it was like to be part of the Whistler community and how f***in’ key all my friends here are. It was right in the middle of the World Ski and Snowboard Festival and everyone was out.


Being fully into surfing and swimming in the waves I got right back into things and did a series of wave paintings out at the working studio gallery in Pemberton we had at "Club Bubbs."


The Whistler Farmers Market started up so I spent time getting stock together for that. I also started DJ-ing on Saturday nights at the GLC. It was our third summer in a row. We’d been in Mexico, then Australia, then summer in Whistler – about 20 months of straight summer. I didn’t really mind.


Things were in full swing with commissions and paintings. I did the first Whistler ArtWalk with Sushi Village. Heavy Hitting Films proposed the first ever Mockumentary Film Festival and on July 14 th the 14-incher came into play. Our truck got stolen in Vancouver. It was found two days later. We lost a big box of fleece, a giant rubber snake and all of our skull truck accessories in the robbery. July in general was busy. Paintings were flying off the walls at Sushi Village and I had a hard time keeping them in stock.