A&E » Arts

Canada’s birthday celebrations


On July 1, Canada turns 142 years old and the Whistler Chamber of Commerce is organizing a stellar celebration to commemorate the event, inviting all Whistler businesses and community groups to participate in the 2009 Canada Day Parade through the Village.

And since the theme is "Whistler Spirit - Let's Hear it! Celebrating Our Arts, Culture and Heritage," the chamber is calling on residents and visitors to come out and join in the fun.

Unlike last year, motorized vehicles will be part of the parade, though environmentally sensitive entries have been strongly encouraged. There are also four team prizes up for grabs, for the most innovative approach to a sustainable float; the best interpretation of the parade theme; the most team effort, involvement and enthusiasm; and the best musical entry. And one lucky participant will be dubbed Captain Canada for their best Captain Canada outfit.

Organizers expect a crowd of almost 6,000 people to gather along Village Stroll on Wednesday to participate.

The parade set up area this year will be day skier lot 4. The parade will travel from north to south through the Village, starting at the library.

Immediately following the parade, Mayor Ken Melamed will open a Canada Day ceremony, which includes singing of the national anthem and cake (of course) in Mountain Square.

To coincide with the parade activities, the Whistler Arts Council is also offering up an impressive roster of street entertainment, including Colossal Canadian "Live Art" in Village Square with Cary Lopes, plus face painting and balloon twisting in Mountain Square. Even VANOC is getting in on Whistler's Canada Day action, bringing along mascots Miga, Sumi and Quatchi, the 2010 Olympic Torch, sport demonstrations, plus athletes and guests for the grand opening of the Olympic Store. Activities will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. near the Whistler Olympic Store (former home of the Glacier Shop) in Town Plaza.

Artisan extravaganza

Calling all crafters: Whistler's original artisan market is looking for handcrafted artwork to showcase at the 21st annual Bizarre Bazaar.

Whistler Arts Council has started accepting applications for the 2009 Bizarre Bazaar, which takes place on Friday, Nov. 27 and Saturday, Nov. 28 at the Telus Conference Centre.

The two-day event typically draws a crowd of over 5,000 people for an impressive range of quality hand-made crafts coupled with entertainment, a silent auction and a festive atmosphere. It was originally created as a fundraising event for the Whistler Children's Art Festival, but has grown to feature over 100 artisans from the Sea to Sky region and from throughout the province, specializing in mediums ranging from ceramics, fine art, wood, glass, jewelry and metal to aromatherapy products, Christmas decorations and clothing.