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Third annual Fall for Arts highlights the diversity of Whistler's cultural offerings

Celebration of arts, culture and heritage gets underway with Kickoff Week on Sept. 18

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As the rest of the resort takes a much-needed breather after another busy summer, Whistler's arts and culture sectors kick into high gear next month for the return of the third annual Fall for Arts celebration.

"It is the season where we celebrate and promote all things art, culture and heritage in Whistler and the Sea to Sky," explained Maureen Douglas, executive director of Arts Whistler. "It's the showcase season where there's a chance to elevate an entire cultural community during that time when it's not all about the summer activities."

Continuing through the end of the year, Fall for Arts gets underway with Kickoff Week, running from Sept. 18 to 23.

The festivities begin Sept. 18 with Feast & Tours—The Story of Hunters and Gatherers at the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre (SLCC). The tour includes a First Nations-inspired feast of local salmon, wild game and bannock while enjoying the views of Blackcomb Mountain. The event starts at 6 p.m.

That's followed, on Sept. 19 and 20, by the original theatre production, All Relative: A Space-Time Odyssey, featuring a cast of local actors and directed by Angie Nolan.

The sci-fi-inspired dramedy was originally produced for the annual Flag Stop Theatre & Arts Festival earlier this month at The Point Artist-Run Centre. The show kicks off at the Maury Young Arts Centre at 8 p.m. on both nights, with doors at 7 p.m. [Editor's Note: All Relative was co-written by the author of this article, who also performs in the production.]

The celebration rolls along on Sept. 21 for the opening party of Arts Whistler's returning Teeny Tiny Show, which proves that good things do come in small packages. Running from Sept. 10 to Oct. 14, this exhibit will include over 70 Sea to Sky artists who have produced work in a variety of mediums. The only caveat is each piece must be three inches by three inches in size or less. These mini-masterpieces will be available for purchase at the opening party, which also includes snacks and refreshments. It runs from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Maury Young Arts Centre.

Kickoff Week includes something for music lovers as well, with the third annual Hear and Now on Sept. 22 and 23, two days of free, local live music by some of the corridor's brightest musical acts. The festival takes place at Village Square.

Fall for Arts coincides with the release of Arts Whistler's latest issue of Arts Scene, a catalogue of arts and culture events taking place in the Sea to Sky, Lions Bay and Bowen Island. The three-times-a-year publication has grown in both size and stature since its first issue hit the stands, Douglas said.

"Our very first Arts Scene was a two-page piece of newsprint. The second one was pretty glam when we went to Arts Scene as you know it now and it was Fall for Arts branded and really elevated the marketing. But we still had cultural organizations going, 'What's this? Where's this going to go? What's this listing about?'" she explained. "And now, (we press) send on the next Arts Scene and we have more listings coming from far and wide. So, it's true for each issue, but the arts and culture community get that opportunity to really get out those messages in the fall as well. They've really come along with us and helped us grow the amount of programming that's in the season."

To learn more about Fall for Arts and all the events on offer for the remainder of the year, visit artswhistler.com/fallforarts. The fall issue of Arts Scene can be viewed at artswhistler.com/discover/arts-scene.

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