Organizers of the World Ski and Snowboard Festival (WSSF) have unveiled more details about which arts events are returning for this year's festival.
On the list: State of the Art, which has been renamed Art & Soul, Multiplicity and the 2nd Cuts Filmmaker Screening.
"When our two teams, Whistler Blackcomb and Gibbons, sat down and were going through this reimagining process going forward, we knew we wanted this component of the festival to be part of what we were putting on for 2018," said Julia Montague, communications manager for WSSF.
Last month, Whistler Blackcomb announced that its in-house event producer Crankworx Inc. would be teaming up with and Gibbons Group to bring back the season-end event after Watermark Inc. said that 2017 would be its final year producing the event. (Tourism Whistler also stepped back from its one-third ownership stake.)
That initial announcement explained that the festival would be six days instead of 10 —running from April 10 to 15 — and would mark a return of big-name events like Big Air and the Saudan Couloir Ski Race Extreme. But on top of that, they also confirmed that the 72-Hr Filmmaker Showdown, the Pro Photographer Showdown and the final party, The End, would all be included in the festivities.
"It's been interesting. The initial response when the release went out that WSSF was coming back, the overall responses were positive, but there were questions about what wasn't on the schedule. We were getting all our ducks in a row," Montague said.
To that end, she confirmed the newly named Art & Soul would return with a similar format to State of the Art at the Whistler Conference Centre. However, the opening party for the exhibit is set to take place on Tuesday (April 1) from 3:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., as opposed to the traditional Friday night kick off.
"As mountain people we do so many activities that feed our soul," Montague said. "The art created in our community reflects that... (The exhibit) gives artists in our community a platform to share their art with (not only) fellow artists and people who live in Whistler, but also the festival-goers."
Multiplicity, likewise, was a community favourite and fits well with the festival, she added. "It was a no-brainer for us," she said. "It's like the spirit of sitting around a campfire. It draws on a rich human tradition of story telling."
Gibbons, meanwhile, will be at the helm of the music lineup. There will be no main stage this year, but rather DJs and/or bands will be incorporated into other events like the Big Air.
No lineup has been revealed yet. "We're in a development phase. We're leaning on our partners to collaborate together," said Katrina Frew, director of festivals and events with Gibbons, referring to sponsors Monster Energy and Kokanee. "We're looking for something that will be a perfect fit, something Whistler will be excited about."
Keep an eye on wssf.com for updates.