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54-40 to play Whistler Olympic Plaza



Vancouver's own 54-40 will headline a free show on Saturday, Sept. 10. The show has been organized as the entertainment component of the 2011 RBC GranFondo.

Vancouver's indie-soul king Kuba Ohms will play a free show on Friday, Sept. 9.

54-40, who found popularity in the '80s and '90s with songs "Lies to Me," "I Go Blind" and "Ocean Pearl" (still a shower-time sing-a-long classic for yours truly), have performed several times in Whistler over the years, most recently during the 2010 Winter Games.

The RMOW has also announced the Picnic in the Park for Sunday, Aug. 28, a family-friendly "jam-fest" featuring local musicians performing from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Plaza. Anyone who's been to a true "jam-fest" - Phish, the Dead or otherwise - knows they're drug-and-booze fuelled displays of unruly hippiedom, which may be why the press release has "jam-fest" in quotations.

Anyway, the fam-tastic afternoon will include live music by She Stole My Beer along with all five of the Mountain FM Whistler Anthem Project finalists: Chad Oliver, Rachel Thom, Jeremy Thom, Adam Leggit and Glen Mishaw.

One day before, on Aug. 27, the Sam Roberts Band will headline the plaza's grand opening, an event that CBC's Jian Ghomeshi will MC. Busy weekend, Whistler.

Children's Festival a success

Between 2,500 and 3,000 people attended the Children's Art Festival on Saturday and Sunday, a considerable number despite the poor weather on Sunday.

While attendance was down from last year, Magda Kwaterska, communications manager for the Whistler Arts Council, says it was still a successful weekend. Most of the children's workshops were sold out and Saturday afternoon found Creekside crammed with families.

"All of Creekside was transformed into a children's playground. Anything a kid could possibly do, even if they were too young to register for the workshops, they could still enjoy everything else that was going on," Kwaterska says.

So, well, that's good news. We need to hand it to the arts council employees for working incredibly long hours, to pull this event together. Put your hands together for them, please. Right now.

Chozn has another fashion show

Chozn Clothing has returned with its 2011 fashion line and it's bolder and better than ever. At least, that's how Madam Sharai Rewels, the brain and fingers behind Chozn, will describe it.

Sharai makes all the clothes from reclaimed fabric. She makes dresses from t-shirt, shirts from jeans, purses from scarves. She says this year's fashion show - at Tommy Africa's next Thursday - will have a similar vibe to her previous three shows but will be better than ever because she says she's more comfortable with her sewing skills and has matured with her designs.

"I feel a lot more comfortable selling these things," she says.

Rewels started making clothes out of necessity. She simply couldn't afford the clothes she liked so she started making her own. Utilizing "Machine Gun Betty" - the sewing machine given to her by her grandmother 10 years ago - she makes a variety of women's clothing, always from recycled clothes, that she sells out of her own home.

The clothes will be available at the show and at Evolution after the show. While it takes her up to six hours to make a dress, she says she likes to keep the price point at around $100 for a dress. The clothes are mostly for women only, though there are a couple of items that could be unisex if men are feeling a bit daring.

"It depends on how comfortable they are with their masculinity," she says with a laugh.

DJ Blondtron will provide music for the fashion show. Farfalla Hair & Esthetics will do all the hair, Kate Power will design all the jewelry and Pam Williams will do all the make-up to make the models look like "living dolls." Jack Daniels Sour Mash Whisky is sponsoring the event and is providing the décor, cupcakes and, of course, the drinks.

Tickets are available for $12 at Tommy's or Evolution. Doors are at 9 p.m.

Jazz Fest plans new events

The inaugural Jazz on the Mountain at Whistler, running Friday, Sept. 2 to Sunday Sept. 4, is going to be huge.

Now organizers have added new events to the already considerable line-up. The Mountain Top BBQ Jazz Series on Whistler Mountain will feature performances at Roundhouse Lodge on all three nights of the festival, including Ali Milner of Friday, Chris Smith on Saturday and The Night Crawlers on Sunday. Tickets for that event will be available through www.whistlerblackcomb.com.

Bearfoot Bistro is hosting a brunch with festival headliner Lorne Lofsky accompanied by house pianist Cameron Chu on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets are $49 and available through www.bearfootbistro.com.