A&E » Arts

Escape Route bringing Chic Scott to Whistler


To celebrate their 20th anniversary, The Escape Route is bringing one of the country's best-known biographers and chronicler of Canadian mountain history to Whistler for a special event.

Chic Scott has spent almost 50 years climbing and skiing around the world, organizing clubs and foundations and capturing many of his adventures on paper. Among his many mountaineering accomplishments, Scott was the first to conquer the winter ascent of Mount Assiniboine in 1967 and the first Himalayan summit reached by a Canadian in 1973. In recent years, Scott has received several awards from respected organizations like the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides and the Alpine Club of Canada.

His upcoming Whistler show traces the career of one of the Canadian ski industry's most influential pioneers, Hans Gmoser. The father of heli-skiing, Gmoser was also a talented rock climber, expedition leader, mountain guide, filmmaker and organizer, and played a major role in creating Canada's vibrant mountain community.

Scott will present an intimate portrait of Gmoser, collected from his diaries, expedition journals, film commentaries and personal correspondence. The final product is a tale of adventure, perseverance and serious blood, sweat and tears - a must-see show for any skiing enthusiast.

The show takes place at The Escape Route on Friday, Jan. 22 at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance, with net proceeds going to help Whistler resident Alex Wigley attend the World Championships for ski mountaineering in Europe next month.

Spirit of Squamish 2010

While the rest of Sea to Sky is going wild with Olympic fever, the artistic community in Squamish is going Wild at Art for the Spirit of Squamish Festival, which kicks off on the opening day of the Olympics, Friday, Feb. 12.

This year's festival includes a visual arts show produced by VISUALS, the Squamish Valley Artists Society, with an assortment of pieces that fit within the Water! H20 theme put on display at the new UpStares Gallery on Cleveland Avenue. An opening reception with the artists will be held on Thursday, Feb. 11 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the UpStares Gallery. For the duration of the exhibit (Feb. 12 to March 5), the gallery will be open from noon to 8 p.m.

A variety of musicians will also be performing at venues throughout town during the festival, while the Spirit of Squamish 2010 Finale Celebration marks the close of the Olympics on Saturday, Feb. 27. Festivities include a public skate and a Figure Skating Exhibition Gala, broadcast live from Pacific Coliseum at 4:30 p.m., plus an artisan market, children's area and music by The Overcomers, Radio Karma and Paul Coulter Brown. Admission is free.


Singles mixer Feb. 2

Haven't had any luck finding love at the local clubs? One local nonprofit group is offering a different opportunity to mix and mingle with local singles, just in time for Valentine's Day.

Late and Unique Nighttime Alternatives (LUNA) is holding their inaugural Singles Mingler, dubbed "The Love Shack," on Tuesday, Feb. 2. The event is designed for all local singles between the ages of 18 and 35 - gay or straight - with a special dating game, mocktails, candygrams, novelty treats, sweets and prizes for participants. The Love Nest will be on-hand to showcase their latest products in a fun, inclusive environment, while the S.A.F.E. Clinic will also be present to provide additional information. Local businesses like Scandinave Spa, Lush, Eco Chic Spa, Love Nest and ZipTrek have stepped up to offer great prizing, as well.

Tickets are $7 or $5 for LUNA members. Dress like you're on a date, and pick up your ticket in advance at Whistler Foto Source or at the door.


Full Moon snowshoe Jan. 29

Strap on some snowshoes and get ready for a fun full-moon trek with the LUNA crew, as they make their way across Whsitler's Medicine Trail under the light of a full moon Friday, Jan. 29. The snowshoe-clad group will clamber through the Callaghan Valley's ancient forest for a two-hour tour.

The $10 ticket includes transportation to and from the Callaghan Valley, the guided trip, snowshoe rentals, medicinal tea from the surrounding forest, and refreshments by the fire at the Moose Caboose base camp.

"We love discovering little-known, magical places in Whistler and sharing them with our community through LUNA events," Kiran Pal-Pross, LUNA coordinator, said in a press release.

This guided tour is open to LUNA members only, so sign up today. Tickets are available at Whistler Foto Source for just $10. The tour begins at 7 p.m. and participants will return to the Village by 11 p.m.


Weaving workshops at SLCC

The Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre (SLCC) is offering two very special weaving workshops with leading cedar and wool weavers this month.

On Sunday, Jan. 24, they are hosting a workshop with Chief Janice George, who will be teaching the traditional art of Squamish Wool Weaving. Then, on Monday, Jan. 25, one of Lil'wat Nation's master weavers, Melvin Williams, teaches the art of cedar weaving.

Space in the program is limited, but if you are interested in participating, contact reception@slcc.ca for more information.


What's up with WAC?

As of Jan. 1, public access to MY Millennium Place has been cut off as the facility is transformed for the Olympic period into the Whistler Media House, for members of the unaccredited media, and Norway House. While this means that Whistler Arts Council (WAC) has had to shut its doors to walk-in traffic, it doesn't mean that the WAC team has stopped working.

On the contrary: they're busy working on a variety of projects for Whistler Live! and their own summer programs. They've also paused their annual Winter Performance Series for the Olympics. Following the Games, two more events are on the calendar for mid-April: a musical performance by Matt Anderson and Wil, and a theatrical performance by Dufflebag Theatre.

Basically, anyone who wishes to meet with WAC staff should call ahead or e-mail to gain admission to the offices (604-935-8232 or info@whistlerartscouncil.com .) MY Place will be reopened for public programming by mid to late March.


Unearthing a buried treasure

Vance Shaw, the former principal cinematographer for Teton Gravity Research (TGR) has just wrapped up a new project on another "town that skis."

He has filmed, directed and produced "REV: A Buried Treasure," a unique documentary-style film that takes a heartfelt look at the people who call Revelstoke home. Emotions run high as this historic mountain town undergoes a transformation into a world-class ski area, with locals, visitors and athletes sharing their stories of a snow-seeker's gem cultivated by a group of passionate visionaries and snoweaters.

"Shaw doesn't shy away from the myriad of emotions surrounding the transformation of Revelstoke - from a sleepy industrial mountain town, to a world-class ski and snowboard destination," said Jason Tross of freeskier.com.

"The documentary uses skiing as a vehicle to identify what people love about the town, mountains and snow of Revelstoke they chose to make a permanent part of their lives. This film's greatest value is its rare documentation of the human story and potential boomtown in its infancy."

The finished product will be screened at The Pony in Pemberton on Wednesday, Jan. 27 and again in Whistler on Thursday, Jan. 28 at the GLC.