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Museum looking for Whistler films

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Search your attic and your basements.

Whistler Museum is looking for film and video to add to its archives chronicling Whistler from birth to world renowned resort.

It’s well known that a picture is worth a thousand words and Whistler Museum curator Pat Gemmill hopes using film as part of the exhibit can make the past come alive.

"We are hoping to have a mutli-media exhibit which will engage all ages, bringing history to life," he said.

"I see video and film working really well as part of a new way to look at history."

While the museum is anxious to start collecting footage immediately, some of the new ideas about how to display it will have to wait until the new museum-library complex is completed, likely the end of 2004.

Gemmill said footage could run with a narrative by well known Whistlerites capturing the spirit and excitement of the time.

And he hopes it will generate enough interest to organize a fund-raising event in the future. Perhaps a food and film night.

Gemmill said the museum is primarily looking for three types of footage: Pioneer and historical, tourism and promotional, and sports.

That doesn’t mean they want home videos of little Jane learning to ski. But if you have footage of Whistler characters, or those who have gone on to capture the limelight of fame, dig them out and hand them over.

It’s hoped old film can be transferred to VHS so it won’t be lost and copies will be available.

Gemmill is being helped in his task by recent UK film history graduate Simone Pyne.

"We are really looking for stuff that documents change," she said.

"Film of something that may not even exist anymore, something that could almost be forgotten."

• The Whistler Museum and Archive Society is hosting a brunch fund-raiser at the Westin Feb. 17, 2002. Tickets are $47 or buy a table of eight for $350 from the museum, which is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. The brunch will feature live entertainment, a silent auction and raffle draw, and wedding photo stories new and old to help celebrate Valentine’s Day and Heritage week.

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