This Canada Day, Whistler will be missing a few important members of the artistic community. That's because instead of being set up along the village stroll, they'll be in Ottawa, representing Whistler for our nation's birthday.
For the last four years, Ottawa's Canada Day celebrations have included the artistic achievements of the Cultural Capitals of Canada, and as a 2009 Cultural Capital of Canada community, Whistler has been invited to send a group of artists to Ottawa to participate in the celebrations.
"Whistler is proud to have our local talent showcased in Ottawa on Canada Day," John Rae, RMOW Manager of Strategic Alliances, said in a recent press release. "Being designated a Cultural Capital of Canada gives us an opportunity to really create awareness of Whistler's talent and share our artistic expression and creativity with the rest of Canada."
Vanessa Stark and Olivier Roy, a talented team of local painters, are two of the artists who are heading to Ottawa as part of Whistler's Cultural Capital designation. Also selected for the trip was Chili Thom, another well-known painter, and the hip hop duo Animal Nation, taking the main stage to entertain the crowd with their enlightened lyrics and fun style. All of the artists were chosen by a selection committee for their ability to simultaneously showcase the Whistler community, their own art, and engage the public.
"We are all really excited to perform in Ottawa on Canada Day," Garnet Clare of Animal Nation said in the press release. "It's great that Whistler artists are being recognized and getting noticed by the rest of the country."
On the surface, Whistler bears may seem to be simple, furry, four-legged, garbage-munching, walking photos ops. But there's a lot more to these amazing animals than first meets the eye.
Bear biologists have long contended that we need to study bear behaviour to gain a full understanding of these incredible creatures that inhabit our backyards. Now, an internationally-renowned bear behaviorist, Else Poulsen, has joined in the fray with her new book, Smiling Bears: A Zookeeper Explores the Behavior and Emotional Life of Bears, which includes humourous and heartbreaking stories about bears she's worked with over the span of her career.
Poulsen will be at the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre in Whistler to present excerpts from the book from 1:30 p.m. until 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 31. Admission is $10 per person, $20 for a family, and $5 for students.
LUNA finds funding
One of Whistler's great summer activities for locals in the know is lounging at Lost Lake during the twilight hours, sprawled on a blanket, munching popcorn and watching a film under the stars, thanks to the folks at Late and Unique Nighttime Alternatives (LUNA.)