A road trip south of the border led to a new band for Whistler musician Matt King.
King, who already performs around the resort with Big Mountain Rhythm, was on a musical odyssey to the EMP Museum in Seattle when the universe sent him a clue that he ought to go for it.
"I'd been looking to put a crew together for quite a few years and it was a very inspiring trip. Along the way, I found an electric guitar that I really wanted, which was a step back in time. I've been an acoustic guy for years. It prompted me to look for different players and put something electric together," King says.
The result is Blame the Weekend, fronted by King and singer Rachel Thom, and backed by Gary Yoshida, Rajan Das, and Jason Chaulk. They play everything from classical rock, to pop, to indie.
"They are all friends and people who have been on my radar for many years. They're great players in town and it just so happened that everyone was available for a project," King says.
"It's been an outstanding process. I'm really proud of how far we've come."
Now the band is launching hard with a series of shows in August and September.
They open at Garibaldi Lift Company (GLC) following Michael Franti's free concert on Saturday, Aug. 1 at 9:30 p.m.
For more information visit www.blametheweekend.com.
WWF launches comedy writing competition
The Whistler Writers Festival (WWF) is in search of Whistler's comic potential with a new competition for writers.
Comedy Quickies is the brainchild of co-producers Brandon Barrett and Ira Pettle, who approached the festival's executive director Stella Harvey about their idea.
"Brandon and I were anxious to create art or theatre," Pettle says. "We weren't sure what. And a few drinks later Comedy Quickies was born and we brought the idea to Stella and she loved it.
"We want to challenge people to come up with a comedy piece — whether a skit, stand-up routine, song, poem, monologue, puppet show — of under five minutes. It can be anything."
Submissions are welcome from the Sea to Sky region and beyond. Beginners and experienced writers are encouraged to take part. The deadline is Aug. 15.
Ten finalists will be selected and their work will be produced onstage at the Whistler Writers Festival in October as readings or performances.
There will be up to $1,000 in cash and prizes for the Best Writing Award; and up to $500 for the performers who take home the People's Choice Award for best act on the night.
"We're really excited to be offering something new to the theatre and writing community, marrying them together and creating an opportunity for up-and-coming amateurs of the world to create as writers or performers," Pettle says.
Pettle says they are still looking for a title sponsor for the event and welcome all enquiries.
For more information and to enter visit http://whistlerwritersfest.com/comedy-quickies.
Lawrence Hill headlines Whistler Writers Festival
Award-winning Canadian author Lawrence Hill is headlining the 14th annual Whistler Writers Festival.
Hill, best known for his novel The Book of Negroes, will be joined at this year's festival by Grant Lawrence, Nino Ricci, Eleanor Wachtel, Eric Walters, Amanda Lindhout, William Deverell and Linden MacIntyre.
The festival takes place from Thursday, Oct. 15 to Sunday, Oct. 18, with one extra day being added to the festival for the first time.
Hill has visited the festival before, most recently in 2012. He is the recipient of the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and CBC Radio's Canada Reads.
His new novel, Illegal, will be released in September.
The full program for the Whistler Writers Festival will be released on August 10. Tickets go on sale the same day.
For more information visit www.whistlerwritersfest.com.
Whistler bands at BBQ championships a tasty option
This weekend's Canadian National BBQ Championships has plenty for the taste buds but hasn't forgotten the eardrums, with the Barnburner Concert Series.
Popular Whistler band The Hairfarmers plug themselves in and go electric. They are adding a drummer and bass player to their gig at Dusty's Whole Lotta Ribs night on Friday, July 31. They are onstage at 9 p.m.
Will Ross, the winner of the 2014 Whistler Music Search, is performing at Dusty's following the Bottomless BBQ Buffet on Saturday, Aug. 1. He's onstage at 9 p.m.
On Sunday, Aug. 2, Guitar Doug performs at Dusty's at 1 p.m., followed by the Hairfarmers at 6:15 p.m. and Whole Lotta Led at 9:30 p.m.
Squamish Logger Sports' new Monday picnic
This year's Squamish Logger Sports Festival is holding a picnic for the first time.
Picnic at The Pavilion takes place on Monday, Aug. 3 and includes live music, food vendors and cold refreshments.
The Overcomers, The Will Ross Band and Dentville will be playing.
The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information on the festival visit www.squamishdays.ca.