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Whistler launching pad for BC Culture Days

Arts News: Whistler Independent Book Awards shortlist announced

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Whistler is hosting the launch of BC Culture Days in Canada's 150th year.

The annual event, which takes place this year from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1, is part of a cross-Canada initiative to raise awareness of arts and culture and to increase access and participation in communities.

At two meetings at the Maury Young Arts Centre on May 31, members of the arts community came together to start planning the party.

Maureen Douglas, the executive director of Arts Whistler, chaired the meeting, which included Audain Art Museum executive director Suzanne Greening, Whistler Writers Festival executive director Stella Harvey and representatives from the Whistler Film Festival, Tourism Whistler and more.

"At the heart of it, it is a volunteer-driven initiative across the country, involving everything from amateur artists to professional groups, with all points in between," Douglas said.

"But I think the one defining thing is that it is meant to bring community into the arts. That's an interesting thing for Whistler, because we have 12,000 or so residents and then all these visitors.

"There is an opportunity, given the time of year, for this to be a very strong community driver and bring more local participants into our arts programs."

Greening says they were first approached to host the BC Culture Days opening ceremony on Sept. 28 in 2015.

For more information, contact Arts Whistler at 604-935-8410.

Independent Book Awards shortlist announced

This Whistler Independent Book Awards shortlist has been announced.

Nominated for the 2017 fiction award are: Annie Daylon for Of Sea and Sand: The Kerrigan Chronicles, Book 1; Elen Ghulam for Spoonful Chronicles; Emma L.R. Hogg for The Fourth Wall; R.L. Prendergast for The Confessions of Socrates; John Pringle for Spirals: Stories of Northwest Ontario; and Farida Somjee for The Beggar's Dance.

 The 2017 non-fiction nominees are: Marilyn Laura Bowman for James Legge and the Chinese Classics; John Early for Tales of the Modern Nomad: Monks, Mushrooms and Other Misadventures; Larissa Fleurette for Becoming Silver Girl; Monique Layton for Notes from Elsewhere: Travel and Other Matters; Patricia Sandberg for Sun Dogs and Yellowcake: Gunnar Mines — A Canadian Story; and Paul Shore for Uncorked: My Year in Provence.

The finalists, three in each category, will be selected from the shortlist by judges from Canadian Authors-Metro Vancouver, part of the national Canadian Authors Association which was founded in 1921 to promote and encourage works of literary and artistic merit. The finalists will be announced on July 17, with the winners' presentation at the Whistler Writers Festival, Oct. 12 to 15, 2017.

Judges are Gail Anderson-Dargatz and Darcie Friesen Hossack for fiction. The non-fiction judges are J.J. Lee and Susan Oakey-Baker.

Jointly produced by the Whistler Writing Society and Vivalogue Publishing, the Whistler Independent Book Award is now in its second year and is the only juried Canadian award for self-published authors.

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