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Read about Radar

Also in arts news: the debate over publishing, WAC hands out community grants and Pique's own reporter wins an award



Radar the Rescue Dog, a children's book written by former Pique contributor, Janet Love Morrison, will celebrate its initial launch at a party during the Whistler Readers and Writers Festival on Oct. 18.

The book was inspired by the real-life story of Whistler's first avalanche dog, Radar, who, with owner Bruce Watt, helped form the Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Association (CARDA). The story follows a group of kids who get lost on Whistler Mountain and have to be rescued by Radar.

It was self-published with a $5,000 grant from the American Friends of Whistler (AFOW) and $1,000 from Whistler Blackcomb. Because of the AFOW grant, the official launch will take place on American Thanksgiving weekend. The festival soft launch will take place at Millennium Place on Oct. 18 at 8 p.m.

Whistler Debates publishing

The Whistler Museum is holding its latest installment of its debate series in conjunction with the Whistler Readers and Writers Festival on Oct. 20 about different avenues for publishing books.

Author and Pique contributor Leslie Anthony and owner/publisher of Signature Editions, Karen Haughian, will defend conventional publishing against Janet Love Morrison and local writer, publisher and literary organizer Paula Shackleton who will lay out the merits of self-publishing.

The event will run from 2 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. and tickets are $10 at the Whistler Museum or on the festival website at theviciouscircle.ca/collections/festival-2013-registration. The debate series, which launched during last year's festival, is also celebrating its one-year anniversary.

WAC hands out community grants

The Whistler Arts Council has announced the recipients for its Member Group Grants, which splits up a total of $2,500 to give local organizations to develop arts, culture or heritage projects running next year.

The grants, which ranged from $400 to $1,000, were handed out to WAC members including the Whistler Pottery Club, Whistler Children's Chorus, Whistler Singers, Whistler Writers Group, Whistler Valley Quilters Guild, The Point Artist-Run Centre, Howe Sound Music Festival and Whistler Reads. Funded through the BC Arts Council's Member Groups Assistance Program, the proposed projects ranged from workshops to art exhibits to equipment rentals.

The projects must take place between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31.

Pique reporter wins screenwriting award

Pique reporter Cathryn Atkinson has won a national screenwriting competition sponsored by Simon Fraser University's Praxis Centre for Screenwriters.

The annual Feature Film Screenplay Competition selects up to eight scripts and invites their writers to a workshopping week at the SFU campus in Vancouver in November. There, they will have the chance to work with professional scriptwriters and editors, meet producers and learn more about the Canadian film industry.

Atkinson's screenplay, Bumpershines, is set in her hometown of Winnipeg and is a satire about love, sex and death. It tells the story of how two families cope (or don't cope) with revelations and lies after a woman drowns.

Bumpershines is currently under option with Fringe Filmworks of Winnipeg, with the involvement of director Danishka Esterhazy. Her most recent film H&G premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival in September.

This isn't Atkinson's first fiction-writing award. In 2000, she won the duMaurier Playwriting Challenge at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. In 2009, she was a finalist in the short story category of the CBC Literary Awards.