By Nicole Fitzgerald
More than 150 artists and performers will celebrate the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games with a two-month festival hosting a variety of entertainment, including literacy and fine dining to live comedy and local film.
The Whistler Arts Council heads Celebration 2010 showcasing Canadian and Sea to Sky corridor talent for all of February and the first two weeks of March at various venues around Whistler.
Out of Bounds: Tales from the Backcountry photo exhibition and contest kicks off the celebration, displaying the works of both professional and rising-star photographers who are battling it out for the top prize of a heli-skiing trip provided by Coast Range Heliskiing. The public votes for Best in Show with each vote giving participants a chance to win a second heli-skiing trip. To check out the best of backcountry adventure, drop by MY Millennium Place between Feb. 1 and 28. Admission is free.
Culinary teams battle it out for gold, silver and bronze as part of the Gold Medal Plates fundraising dinners hosted across Canada to support Canadian and Paralympic athletes. Whistler hosts the Gold Medal Plates Grand Finale Final Challenge with seven chefs from Halifax, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Calgary competing for gold Saturday, Feb. 3 at the Hilton Whistler Resort. There are also a number of all-day food and wine events hosted by Olympians such as Steve Podborski and Ross Rebagliati starting on Thursday, Feb. 1. For more information, visit goldmetalplates.com.
Check out local artists’ works at the Winter Pride artist display Feb. 4 to 11 at the Telus Conference Centre.
The official three-year Olympic countdown takes place Feb. 12 at 3 p.m. with cake, entertainment and activities at the 2010 Information Centre.
Canadian comedian extraordinaire Lorne Elliott, of Madly Off In All Directions fame, brings his one-man, comedic show to MY Millennium Place Feb. 12.
Learn more about Olympic and Paralympic sports at the daily Sport of the Day events, which include sport demos, equipment displays, special guests and interactive fun Feb. 13 to 28 at the 2010 Info Centre.
Hockey lovers are invited to get in on the action at the Street Hockey Tournament Feb. 17 to 28 at the 2010 Info Centre.
The Whistler Writers’ Group is back with Literary Leanings Feb. 18 to 20 at various venues around Whistler. Along with local scribblers, reading events will showcase literary greats such as Ivan E. Coyote, Noah Richler, Warren MacDonald and more. For more information, visit theviciouscircle.ca.
Get to the heart of the community with the Whistler Museum’s newest presentation of Community Now Feb. 22 at MY Millennium Place. Get first hand accounts of Whistler’s party days where nudity and untracked powder reined then grow with Whistler as the rebel town matures into today’s world-class resort where businesses and families reside. Who needs to be remembered? What effect will the Olympics have? When did the RCMP building sport a marijuana flowerbed? Find out the inside scoop in this locally driven film, one of four that will come together into a feature-length film screened in 2010.
The People’s Choice winners of the Olympic Snow Sculpture competition at the 2006 Torino Games are back in Whistler to transform ice and snow into seriously chilly art Feb. 24 to 26 in Whistler. The Canadian Snow Sculpture team will build numerous artworks over the two days, so audiences will be able to witness the artistic process from start to finish.
The Cultural Cabaret, which features Canadian artists, musicians, dancers and entertainers, will embrace everything arts at the Cultural Cabaret March 12 at MY Millennium Place.
Whistler’s notorious Street Performers will be on the prowl with their silliness, theatrics and incredible stunts on weekends for kids and families alike. Local artisans will also display their wares at various Whistler hotel lobbies.
Look out for special film screenings from the Whistler Film Festival Society as well as a celebration hosted by the Squamish-Lil’wat Cultural Centre.
For more information, visit whistlerartscouncil.com.