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.

In order to participate, artisans must apply by Friday, Aug. 21.

WAC also provides assistance to one to two emerging local artisans exhibiting at the Bizarre Bazaar for the first time, returning 50 per cent of the booth fee to these participants. New artisans of any age and students who have been enrolled in craft training programs who have been in their craft career for three years or less are invited to apply for the fund. For more information or application forms, e-mail info@whistlerartscouncil.com .

Sea to Sky aboriginal artists to shine in 2010

When visitors enter any of the Olympic/Paralympic venues during the 2010 Games, they will be welcomed, first, by Canada's First Nations people.

That's because each of the Winter Games venues will feature works of art by more than 90 Aboriginal artists. First Nations, Inuit and Métis artists participating in the program are from every province and territory in Canada, and some from right here in the Sea to Sky region. Aaron Nelson Moody, Pamela Baker, Ray Natraoro and Wade Baker of the Squamish Nation, Bruce Edmonds, Johnnie Abraham, Jonathan Joe and Rosalie Dipcsu of the Lil'wat Nation, and Dionne Paul of Sechelt Nation are just a few of the skilled artists who have been selected by VANOC to create pieces designed to inspire athletes and spectators, and celebrate Canada's cultural diversity.

"These works of art by some of Canada's most established and up-and-coming Aboriginal artists will be front and centre in our 15 Olympic and Paralympic venues and will remain there as a permanent legacy of the Games beyond 2010," Dan Doyle, VANOC's executive vice president responsible for Aboriginal participation, said in a recent press release.

"In some cases, these beautiful artworks are seamlessly integrated into the structure of the venue itself."

More than 140 pieces of original artwork will be produced as part of the more than $2-million program, using a range of mediums that include textiles, copper, steel, concrete, yellow cedar, glass and caribou tufting to depict Aboriginal symbols like the raven, bear, salmon, sun and canoe in a combination of traditional and contemporary styles. More than 40 of these works will become part of the Games permanent legacy at the venues.

The program is also designed to leave an educational and cultural legacy by pairing established artists with at-risk youth from urban and rural areas across Canada to create three original sculptures.

"Canada is experiencing a renaissance in Aboriginal art from First Nations, Inuit and Métis and the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will showcase this incredible talent to the world," B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell commented in the press release. "Their works will inspire everyone - from the world's best athletes to visitors alike - as they act as a permanent cultural and artistic legacy of the Games."

Summer of Funny

Pique Newsmagazine is hosting the Summer of Funny, a humour-writing competition, with $400 in cash up for grabs for the top entries.

Send your stories, poems, scripts, long-format jokes or other humorous pieces to Pique Newsmagazine at andrew@piquenewsmagazine.com by Thursday, July 23. People can enter as many times as they like, with a maximum length of 2,000 words per entry. Editorial staff will judge the entries and award prizes, with a maximum of $250 going to a single outstanding submission. The winning stories will be printed in the July 30 issue of Pique.