Whistler’s landscape will be
celebrated through an outdoor dance performance thanks to funding building the
Cultural Olympiad — an arts festival leading up to the 2010 Olympic and
Paralympic Winter Games.
Arts Partners in Creative
Development (a partnership of the provincial government, City of Vancouver,
Canada Council for the Arts, Vancouver Foundation, VANOC and 2010 Legacies Now)
awarded $1.7 million in funding to 24 B.C. arts organizations last week.
Whistler was one of the beneficiaries.
“This is an incredibly
exciting development for the Whistler Arts Council – the most ambitious project
we have ever undertaken,” said Doti Niedermayer, Whistler Arts Council
executive director. “We are thrilled to have such a vibrant team of artists to
work with us in portraying the values of our community in such an innovative
The multi-disciplinary work,
entitled Inspired by Place, will be composed by professional artists who will
lead community groups to develop an original work that will be performed as
part of the Olympic Arts Festival and the Whistler Live Sites program.
Aerial choreographer Julia
Taffe of Aeriosa Dance will lead the $100,000 adventure. The former Whistler
resident and backcountry mountaineer will also work with contemporary
aboriginal dancer Michelle Olson, composer Francois Houle and project designer
The team will perform an outdoor
artistic interpretation of athletic achievement in the natural environment,
accompanied by the sounds of primal and evocative music involving professional
musicians and a regional youth choir.
Lighting and media
technology will draw the surrounding environment into the presentation arena
with inspiring images of wilderness dance in Whistler’s pristine backcountry.
“This enables us to
accomplish two goals,” said Niedermayer. “The first is to present a
professional work that conveys a unique story of the values and heritage of
Whistler… and the second is to build local capacity of our own artists, and to
showcase them alongside visiting professionals.”
Inspired by Place was only
one of many projects benefiting from this year’s round of funding from Arts Partners
in Creative Development; the organization will invest $6.5 million in arts over
Grants were also given to
the Prince George Regional Art Gallery Association to commission Peter von
Tiesenhausen to create a bronze sculpture, The Vancouver Art Gallery to
commission an installation by artist Reece Terris, Axis Theatre to produce a
production of Don Quixote, and the Coastal Jazz and Blues Society to create a
musical piece called Ice Hockey: Canada vs. Sweden, among others.
Arts and cultural
organizations interested in applying for the next round of funding can visit
www.vancouver2010.com for a Request for Proposals form.
Organizations interested in
co-producing or co-presenting an event, exhibition or installation in the Sea
to Sky Corridor or Lower Mainland should be in operation for a minimum of two
years and must have a history of presenting professional arts and cultural
events in public context.