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Music for the Games

Third and final year of Cultural Olympiad programming takes shape; Blue Rodeo to perform in Whistler



There's more to come for Whistler.

That was the message from Cultural Olympiad organizers following Monday's announcement that Blue Rodeo, Corb Lund and an Austrian singer will perform in Whistler during the Olympics.

So far, there are just nine events slated to take place within the Sea to Sky corridor, a relatively small amount when compared with the total of 131 events that are listed on the Cultural Olympiad website.

And while the quantity of Sea to Sky shows may seem small in comparison to what's been announced for Vancouver, Robert Kerr, Program Director of the Cultural Olympiad, said there's much more in store for the Sea to Sky corridor, and Whistler in particular.

"There are many more to come for Whistler - this is just a small sample, a sneak preview, if you will, of what's happening in Whistler," Kerr said.

The Cultural Olympiad program is integrated with the Whistler Live! program, which will include dozens of performances - music, street art, visual, digital and video arts. The bulk of this programming will be announced by late October and early November.

Among the performances announced Monday are a First Nations-inspired dance and theatrical depiction of an aboriginal myth performed by Red Sky Performance. Raven Stole the Sun will take place at the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre between Feb. 23 and Feb. 25.

A previously-announced theatrical performance dubbed NiX: The Only Animal will be set on a stage of ice and snow at Lost Lake Park.

"That's really, I think, one of our jewels for the Cultural Olympiad overall, and Whistler is really fortunate to be hosting that," Kerr said. "... That's a one-of-a-kind, site-specific work that is really the first of its kind in the world and will be a true gem for Whistler to host and the international community to enjoy while they're in Whistler."

In Squamish, VANOC has stepped up to help the District of Squamish present the Spirit of Squamish 2010 Finale Celebration on Feb. 27, with performances by local bands Radio Karma, The Overcomers, and the Paul Coulture-Brown Band. The day will also include a public skate and lessons from the pros during the Figure Skating Exhibition Gala, which will be broadcast from the Pacific Coliseum.

VANOC also announced just a few of the acts that will be coming to town as part of the free Whistler Live! entertainment roster. Blue Rodeo, Canada's longtime beloved blues and rock band, leads the musical pack with a performance in Whistler on Feb. 28.

"They're Canadian icons and they have such great energy and great crowd appeal and are a high quality band, it just seemed like the perfect fit," Kerr said.

Alberta rancher turned singer songwriter, Corb Lund, and Montreal indie band, Karwa, are also set to take the stage along with two French Canadian groups, La Volée d'Castors and Misteur Valaire. On the international front, Valérie Sajdik, a popular multi-lingual Austrian songstress, has been booked to entertain the throngs of Olympic fans.

"With the Austrian's having such a strong contingent of... athletes in the Games, particularly in terms of their downhill teams and their ski teams, there was real interest to include some Austrian talent in the Games overall," Kerr said.



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