Function Junction just might be Whistler's most interesting neighbourhood.
Tucked away in various corners you'll find tattoo studios, clothing companies and a growing number of places to procure tasty treats.
Amongst all of that, you can also find Gather Creatives, which, on any given day could be hosting a photography workshop, macramé lessons or sessions on how to create plant art.
"It's our creative space for creative (people)," says Anastasia Chomlack, a well-known local photographer who runs the space. "I needed a space to work and I knew a couple other young women entrepreneurs who needed a space to work, so we moved in above The Green Moustache and created an artist loft."
Initially, Chomlack and the other female photographers who make up the Whistler Wedding Collective used the space for their photography work and other creative endeavours—like calligraphy workshops or as studio space for photo shoots. Occasionally, Chomlack—who has led workshops on request over the years—would host sessions for burgeoning photographers there as well.
"We started workshops immediately," she says. "We had them in the past, but had rented space in (places like) the library. We've been doing them for a long time, but it wasn't something I pursued."
Over the last two years, the space started to evolve organically. Through word of mouth and the collective's social media, creative entrepreneurs reached out about using the loft—until it reached its current bustling state.
"We're busy," Chomlack says. "A lot of us are moms and we're trying to live this lifestyle in Whistler, Pemberton and Squamish and running one to three businesses each. But also having a space you know you'll be supported in—I want to see women succeed. I want to see young women in particular follow their passions."
To that end—ahead of the busy summer wedding season—Chomlack has been hosting weekly "Instagram in a Day" drop-in sessions to help entrepreneurs curate their feed and create a month-long post plan. As well, they've been hosting entrepreneur nights "where we collect women entrepreneurs who come and talk about business," she adds.
"I'm offering real-life advice: 'I made this mistake; let me share this with you.' For creatives, it's really beneficial. Gather facilitates that—that's kind of where we're moving and what's happening," she says.
As that side of Gather grows, the collective has launched a website to keep track of the eclectic variety of workshops, gatherings, and sessions that take place in the space.
"We feed off the energy of each other and we're able to network and share," Chomlack says. "It's a good environment."
To see the list of workshops and events visit gathercreatives.ca.