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Fiddler on the loose launches BC Culture Days

Jocelyn Pettit performs at the weekend's provincial launch at the Audain Art Museum

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Earlier this year, Squamish Celtic and folk fiddler Jocelyn Pettit was named a 2017 BC Culture Days ambassador and her skills will be on display at the official provincial launch of the annual event at the Audain Art Museum in Whistler on Thursday, Sept. 28, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

The 22-year-old is very happy.

"I'm excited about this. I will be performing as part of the reception, a fiddle-piano duo. It's going to be a busy weekend," Pettit says.

Having performed with her family for a decade, Pettit will be accompanied by her mother, Siew Wan Khoo.

"We will be performing pieces from our Celtic repertoire from the Celtic nations and Quebec, and there will be some waltzes and airs. Music to set the mood. Most are traditional, and a few are originals I've written," Pettit says.

"My father normally joins us and we perform as a five-piece band, with a guitar player and whistle player. We've just had a full summer of touring and festival."

BC Culture Days — the West Coast version of the festival, which is taking place across Canada — is on in Whistler from Thursday, Sept. 28 to Sunday, Oct. 1.

While young, Pettit has already released two albums. The most recent, Caravan (2015) got her nominated for World Artist of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards and the Western Canadian Music Awards in 2016.

Pettit has also shared the stage with the like of Irish legends The Chieftains, and is writing music this fall.

"I'm working on my third album. We've been compiling music and arrangements and I hope to be back in the studio before too long," she says.

BC Culture Days events

There are 57 public art installations and many more natural heritage information panels being displayed in the resort over the course of the weekend.

"BC Culture Days is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the Cultural Connector. It is an affirmation of Whistler's increasing reputation for the arts, heritage and natural history," Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden said in a release.

Along with the venues mentioned below, Whistler Museum, Whistler Public Library and the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre are also taking part.

There are events all weekend throughout Whistler, for more details, visit www.artswhistler.com/culturedays.

Audain Art Museum

• Thursday, Sept. 28, from 5:30 p.m.: Official launch for BC Culture Days. Admission is free this day from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

• Saturday, Sept. 30, from noon: Live painting with Doria Moodie.

• Sunday, Oct. 1, from noon: Live body painting with Paintertainment.

Family Dance

Outdoors beneath the Audain Art Museum, rain or shine, on Sat. Sept. 30, from 6 to 10 p.m. With music by DJ Foxy Moron and DJ Ira; food and drink by the Westin for purchase. Admission is free and for all ages.

Maury Young Arts Centre

• Friday, Sept. 29, from 3 p.m.: Drop-in lantern decorating, live painting with Natasha Plumridge, Whistler Writers Festival Workshop with Rebecca Wood Barrett.

• Saturday, Sept. 30, from noon: Live painting with Andy Anissimoff, First Nations crafts with Allison Burns Joseph, and lantern decorating.

• Sunday, Oct. 1, from noon: Live painting with Maeve Bellmore.

Cultural Connector

Whistler's arts and culture conduit, the Cultural Connector, winds through the resort with live art and entertainment through the weekend, the Young Artist Challenge at the Audain Art Museum (see Arts News on page 60), gallery receptions, and artisans at the Whistler Farmers' Market. From 4 p.m. on Friday, and noon on Saturday and Sunday.

Squamish events

Pettit is hosting the West Coast Kitchen Party at Centrepoint at 4th Avenue and Victoria Street on Saturday, Sept. 30, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

There is a silent auction; fiddle, guitar, and step-dance workshops from 3 p.m.; a performance showcase at 6:25 p.m.; and a traditional music session at 9 p.m. It is also an opportunity to check out the new home for the Squamish United Church and Squamish Community Services Society. Admission is free.

The first annual Squanderer Mural Festival is also taking place around Squamish. For more information, visit www.squanderermuralfestival.wordpress.com.

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