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Cultural plan process underway

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The long-awaited Whistler Comprehensive Community Cultural Plan (WCP) process is finally underway.

Council has directed the Whistler Arts Council (WAC) to spearhead the plan, which will address everything from the infrastructure needs of the arts, culture and heritage sector to municipal policies. The WCP will address exactly what Whistler needs to support and nurture a diverse local culture.

The plan will differ from the Cultural Tourism Development Strategy (CTDS), which was completed in late 2010 and addressed how Whistler can use its pre-existing culture to drive tourism. One of the recommendations of CTDS was to develop a comprehensive cultural plan.

According to WAC executive director Doti Niedermayer, the WCP will be a "community-wide plan based on a broadly defined understanding of culture, with integrated goals compiled through community consultation." Everyone who wants a say can weigh in through a community consultation process, which will begin later this year.

The WAC board is now seeking Whistler artists to apply for two volunteer seats on a 10-member steering committee that will provide oversight to the planning and consultation process.

Applicants should be practicing artists with strong community orientation who are familiar with the challenges and opportunities facing the local arts community.

Deadline for submissions is Monday, May 21.

The WAC is also seeking an external consultant to help with the community consultation, assessment and analysis to ensure that the WCP is fully meeting the community's needs.

The contract will run from August 2012 to February 2013. The deadline for expressions of interest is 12 p.m. on Friday, June 29.

For more information on both positions, email info@artswhistler.com

Sara Leach nominated for awards

Whistler's very own Sarah Leach has been nominated in two children's book competitions.

Her picture book Sounds of the Ferry has been nominated for a Chocolate Lily Award while her novel Count Me In has been nominated for a Red Cedar Award in the fiction category.

Both novels were published in 2011. This is the first time that Leach has been nominated for a major book award.

We tried to reach Leach for comment but calls were not returned by press time for this issue. Oh well. Good luck to you Sara!

Jorgenson returns with photography workshops

After two successful runs, celebrated Whistler photographer Blake Jorgenson is holding his third series of Whistler Outdoor Photography Workshops from June 22 to 26

The four-day course, which starts on June 23, will include four days of shooting and instruction, four evening lectures and the presentation dinner, where students put together a slideshow of their work during the course —all for $800.

Instructors include Jorgenson and four other award-winning industry heavyweights: Jordan Manley, Showdown winner Scott Serfas, Paul Morrison and Eric Berger.

This year, the general public is welcome to the evening lectures, beginning June 22. The instructors will each have one night to discuss a variety of topics related to photography using visual examples from their own portfolios. Each lecture will build on the previous night's discussion.

On the first night, Jorgenson will discuss how to pre-visualize shots before taking them. On the second night, Morrison will discuss the fundamentals of composition, lighting and other technical attributes.

On evening three, Berger will discuss how to sell your images once they've been completed. The final night will feature Serfas discussing the world of professional photography and the skills and knowledge that are needed to make a living.

Tickets are $40 per lecture or $120 for all four.

More details for the workshops can be found at www.blakejorgenson.com/workshops.

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