One of Whistler's oldest amenities, the Rainbow Theatre, has undergone a major renovation, reopening on Thursday, May 22 just before a major conference for the Canadian movie theatre industry was scheduled to use the facility.
ShowCanada, the annual gathering of movie theatre, film distribution and film industry representatives, is coming to Whistler for the first time, from Tuesday, June 2 to Friday, June 5.
The conference looks at the state of the industry from the Canadian perspective. The Whistler Film Festival (WFF) helped organize the event, the first of many it wants to bring to the theatre throughout the year
The renovation included work such as new drywall and paint, upgraded electricity, and new acoustic panels, ceiling tiles, lighting, stage covering, carpet and seating.
The municipality and Tourism Whistler (TW) confirmed $540,000 for the project, with $160,000 more coming from the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation and $50,000 from the American Friends of Whistler.
"We are pleased that the Rainbow Theatre refurbishment has been completed and excited to be moving forward with the purchase and installation of our digital cinema system this year, which will enable us to enhance WFF's profile, programming capacity, and ability to attract quality films and filmmakers to Whistler. These enhancements will also help us broaden our programming and the range of entertainment options," said WFF executive director Shauna Hardy Mishaw in an email.
"ShowCanada will be the first group to present films on a digital cinema system to its over 400 delegates from around the world... This experience will allow us to understand what needs to be done to ensure our digital cinema system is successfully implemented before this year's festival."
TW's president and CEO Barrett Fisher said she believed it was the first major work on the theatre in 30 years, as Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden officially reopened it prior to TW's annual general meeting on May 22.
After cutting the ribbon, Wilhelm-Morden said: "Oh, it's beautiful. As soon as you walk in you can sense the difference in the sound in the theatre from how it used to be. It was so worn and old and tired compared to what it used to be. I'm really pleased."
In February, TW projected the Rainbow Theatre would be used 80 more days per annum, in addition to the 40 days it is currently used. Revenues are expected to grow by $80,000 annually.-With files by Alison Taylor
Still time to visit WSS student art show
Want to support Whistler's artistic future?
The annual art show for Whistler Secondary School students wraps up at the Scotia Creek Gallery on Thursday, June 5, which means there is still time to check out the 50 pieces made by 40 students in Grades 11 and 12.
"The subjects are self-selected. They have to do a major personal project as part of their portfolio... by far the most common media is acrylic paint. There are also drawings and prints and photography," their art teacher Brenda Norrie says.
She had just taught her students how to use acrylics and stretch a canvas for painting.
"It was all fresh in their minds," she says. "Every year there is a mixture of them being terrified about having to show their work in public and excited by it. They work so hard on these pieces, so much of their personalities are poured into them."
You can even purchase a piece by the students if you like it.
"We sell works every year," says Norrie.
WMN Studio holds open house
The WMN Studio is holding an open house at its Function Junction location on Wednesday, June 4, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The studio, a 2,000-sq.-ft. production facility available for audio, video and photo projects, recently opened at #18-1005 Alpha Lake Road.
Along with being available for rent, the WMN Studio offers education programs, memberships for artists, and a location for developing new forms of entertainment.