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Hot like Chili

Whistler’s Renaissance man Chili Thom adds TV host to his credits



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“I came up here to have fun and got a job working at Sushi Village… I wasn’t really thinking about art. In Christmas ’98 I went home and was visiting my mom and found some old art supplies. I thought, I’m going to try to do a painting. So, I did a painting for mom and thought ‘It’s all right.’ I did another one… and thought ‘I kind of like it,’” he says, pointing to a modest-sized canvass detailing a multi-coloured river winding through a canyon.

His third piece was a combination of the two styles. That was the first painting he sold.

“I developed my style really quickly. When I look back on my older pieces I think my style was set in my first four pieces.”

Within a couple of years of picking up the brush, he served his last California roll, a move he admits was kind of scary. About that same time, he started producing outdoor theme parties.

“Six years ago when I got together with Kelsey I started doing a bunch of outdoor parties to give something back to people. Crazy outdoor events up logging roads and stuff.”

Scott Arkwell, a.k.a. DJ Vinyl Ritchie, convinced Thom and Nash to bring their show inside and Shits ’N’ Giggles Productions was born.

“Music is probably the most powerful art form. You can make someone cry with a song or completely overjoyed… you can bring back memories from the past instantly.

“Music goes really hand-in-hand with the artwork for me. I can’t really paint without music.”

DJing, art, guiding and filmmaking, what’s going to finally win out?

“I think if one was to die off, the others would be affected. I find it all works together,” says Thom who admits it’s not uncommon for him to come home from a night of clubbing and paint until six or seven in the morning.

And then there’s the matter of his commitment to Heavy Hitting Films and the immensely popular B-Grade Horror Movie Festival that he created with one of the first friends he made in his adopted hometown, Feet Banks.

“Feet trained me at Sushi Village to be a busser. He was going to film school in Victoria and I was his replacement. He rock climbs. I rock climb. So we got a little climber bond. We went out climbing and became friends. Then I ended up going to Victoria to help him with his student film.”