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WAC's Performance Series returns with more shows

Live music, theatre, comedy and film are on offer at Millennium Place

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The Whistler Arts Council (WAC) is ramping up this winter's Performance Series.

"We've got a diverse lineup this year — live music, theatre, comedy and film," says the WAC's Michelle Butterfield.

"There are 15 acts this year because we were really successful in our grant applications. It wasn't our intention to bring more per se, but we were able to."

The WAC has brought back last year's #MoreThanAShow program of pre-concert events taking place in The Gallery. Also returning is a cash bar for 19-plus shows, allowing people to bring a drink into the theatre while watching the performance.

"The #MoreThanAShow concept was very well received. It's now built into this year's program as an integral part of each show we present," says Butterfield.

"For both of the kids' shows, for example, there will be arts and crafts in The Gallery beforehand."

Butterfield said they wanted to encourage audiences to come an hour before performances to coincide with art openings at The Gallery.

Several local businesses are also getting in on the act during the Performance Series, offering discounts for dinners and services prior to some of the shows.

All performances are at Millennium Place, times vary. Tickets for the shows can be purchased at www.artswhistler.com. Ticket packs are available for all shows for the first time.

The shows

Vancouver quintet Night Crawlers will bring an energetic show and pay tribute to the sound and vibe of the great 1960s soul bands with singer Dawn Pemberton. They perform on Oct. 25. Ages 19-plus. Tickets are $26/$24 for WAC members. The launch event in The Gallery includes craft beer from Whistler Brewing.

Shakespeare on Film is back for a second year. The WAC will screen productions by Britain's Globe Theatre — two plays by Shakespeare, Comedy of Errors (Nov. 4) and Antony and Cleopatra, (Jan. 13) and one by Jacobean playwright John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi (March 23).

Before each screening there will be a traditional long table celebration complete with English ales and freshly baked meat pies. All ages. Tickets are $14/$12 for WAC members.

Children's performer Will Stroet is the star of the preschool TV series Will's Jam in Kids' CBC. He performs interactive and educational music in English and French on Nov. 14. Suitable for ages two to six. Tickets are $13 for children 12 and under/$20 for adults/$18 for WAC members. A $60 family pack is also available.

There will be a superhero party and crafts in The Gallery before the show.

Gordie Mackeeman and his Rhythm Boys bring a flavour of traditional bluegrass and roots music from this Prince Edward Island band on Nov. 18. Ages 19-plus. Tickets are $29/$27 for WAC members. The launch event in The Gallery is an East Coast Kitchen Party.

Renowned jazz saxophonist Remi Bolduc performs a tribute to the late Dave Brubeck on Jan. 19. Ages 19-plus. Tickets are $29/$27 for WAC members. Caramba! Restaurante is offering a 15 per cent discount for ticket holders.

Chase Padgett tells stories of the rise, demise and resurrection of the best damn guitar player you've never heard of, Nashville Hurricane, on Feb. 5. Ages 19-plus. Tickets are $26/$24 for WAC members. Beacon Pub is offering a discount for ticket holders.

Montreal Guitare Trio brings a night of blazing music. They share the stage with the California Guitar Trio on Feb. 14. Ages 19-plus. Tickets are $29/$27 for WAC members. Caramba! Restaurante is offering a 15 per cent discount and Scandinave Spa is offering a 20 per cent discount that day for ticket holders.

Hamelin: A New Fable is a family musical-adventure play by Axis Theatre Company that focuses on the importance of keeping your word. Based on the Pied Piper of Hamelin, it is taking place on Feb. 20. Suitable for ages six and over. Tickets are $13 for children 12 and under/$20 for adults/$18 for WAC members. A $60 family pack is also available.

There will be a pajama party — wear your PJs! — and crafts in The Gallery before the show.

Canadian concert pianist Sarah Hagen is performing two shows in March. The first is with Soren Bebe on piano on March 3; the second is with cellist Ariel Barnes on March 30. Ages 19-plus. Tickets are $25/$23 for WAC members. The launch event both nights will be wine and cheese.

West Coast Latin dance band Mazacote brings its vibrant rhythms of horn-driven New York salsa dura and beats from Colombia, Puerto Rico, and Cuba on April 23. Ages 19-plus. Tickets are $26/$24 for WAC members. The launch event will be a free salsa class.

And back this year for seasonal fun is the Chairlift Revue Christmas Special on Dec. 17 and 18. The show is a celebration of Whistler Christmas stories as hilarious short skits, written and acted by local performers. The stories are all set on a chairlift going up the mountain. Ages 19-plus. Tickets are $22/$20 for WAC members. There will be an afterparty at Buffalo Bills Bar & Grill.

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