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Whistler Film Festival reveals opening and closing films

Also in arts news: the Cultural Plan takes a step forward and arts grants come up for grabs

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December might still feel far away, but the Whistler Film Festival has already revealed a handful of the films that have been secured to screen at the festival's 13th installation this year.

Around 90 movies will be shown from Dec. 4 – 8. Paul Gratton, who took over the position of program director last year, said in a release that the range of films would offer "something for everyone."

"Whistler continues to be a must-attend event for hip, young film buffs and emerging filmmakers, and we are pleased to carve out our own unique niche by offering a large number of Canadian premieres," he said. "This year's titles cast a wide net in terms of subject matter, and our summit will complement our film programming by addressing key challenges and opportunities facing the industry this year."

Jason Priestly's film Cas & Dylan will open the festival and feature Tatiana Maslany, who starred in last year's Borsos Film Award winner, Picture Day. The road trip film will be one of six movies to compete for the award.

Other films confirmed are Patch Town, Uvanga, Afterparty, Sex After Kids, Meth Head and Jimmy P.

Also on the roster is the Canadian premiere of Lucy Walker's The Crash Reel, which will close the festival. That film chronicles the rivalry between two snowboard legends and the drama that unfolds after a childhood friend is seriously injured.

Councillors take a look at Cultural Plan

The Whistler Community Cultural Plan was put to council members at a Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday afternoon.

It was the first time the finalized plan, designed to map out the direction of arts, culture and heritage in Whistler, has been presented. Council seemed pleased with the 31 recommendations drafted by Professional Environmental Recreation Consultants (PERC), but asked a few questions about its content as well.

"When you talked about the new museum was there any discussion about where it might be located?" Coun. Andrée Janyk asked Brian Johnston, president of PERC, who presented the final report.

Consultants determined a new museum could be part of an existing building, like the library or even Millennium Place where the meeting took place, or it could be built as its own stand alone structure.

The consultants have spent the last several months collecting input from the public to create the report, which, in the end, had 31 recommendations. They ranged from short-and long-term commitments with small to large investments, the new museum being one of the latter.

The draft plan was put to the public for last time in June before consultants took those last comments to shape the final version for council. The report will go back to council next month for adoption.

Arts grants up for grabs

The Whistler Arts Council has grants available for arts, culture and heritage groups to support ongoing projects.

Groups can apply for between $400 and $1,000 to help fund a project that will happen some time in 2014. The projects can range from things like professional development to art exhibits or venue rentals.

They're being offered through the BC Arts Council's Member Groups Assistance Program and they are open to members of WAC.

Applications are available at artswhistler.com and they're due by Sept. 18 at 5 p.m.

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