Five Reasons Why You Should Check Out Arts Whistler’s Fall For Arts Programming

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The GOODS from Tourism Whistler

Whistler, BC | It says a lot of Whistler, a world-class ski resort, when it doesn’t rely solely on its skiable acres, named runs or even the winter season as its main attractions. For years its nightlife and off-slope amenities have satisfied non-skiers as much as shredders; its restaurants have exceeded even the most urban expectations; and its natural magnetism has been amplified by downhill biking, championship golf courses, ziplines and more. The area has evolved into a one-of-a-kind destination attracting spirited adventurers year-round, even in the tradition “shoulder” season of Fall. Indeed, this autumn’s Fall for Arts adventure program elevates Whistler’s reputation even further, packing the season with a major city-sized line-up of outstanding arts exhibitions, hands-on cultural experiences, film extravaganzas, food and wine celebrations, and a broad selection of stimulating entertainments besides. Here’s why you should check it out:

ArtWalk 2016

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credit: Andrew Strain

Going local is a focus of Fall for Arts general programming, especially during ArtWalk 2016. After grabbing a passport at the Maury Young Arts Centre, follow the red flags through a warren of more than 30 pop-up and established galleries. ArtWalk 2016 strolls on Thursdays through November 30, with 100% of the sales directed to the artists.

True to Whistler’s reputation, there’s plenty of aesthetic adventuring to be found between concerts and exhibits. A typical week features workshops such as sculpting and mosaic tile; experiences like “Mud and Martinis” (an opportunity to sculpt and sip simultaneously); as well as daily interactions with the Whistler Artist in Residence.

Cornucopia

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credit: Mike Crane

Now spanning 11 days, the renowned Cornucopia festival (November 10-20) has become a tradition for West Coast foodies and oenophiles. Celebrating its 20th anniversary but never known for resting on its laurels, the festival launches The Cornucopia Wine Summit and Cornucopia Kids this season.

The pedestrian village sets up like a ’64 Bordeaux for a weekend of tastings, from the intimate Cellar Door gathering to the Crush Grand Tasting, the Cornucopia’s traditional kickoff. A baker’s dozen of winery dinners, farm tours and several of the village’s best late-night parties (and after-parties!) vie for attention like winking flutes of champagne.

Whistler Film Festival

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Having begun as early snow season filler, the Whistler Film Festival (November 30 – December 4) has grown into a significant cinema showcase emphasizing Canadian talent and the natural environment. Known for new talent discoveries among its closely curated entries (numbering just under 100), the WFF includes the Music Café and the ever popular R:Rated Party, as well as the Celebrity Challenge Ski Race. Access sets WFF apart—the opportunity to interact with tomorrow’s cinematic geniuses, actors and other film lovers in a village environment.

Whistler Writer’s Festival

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credit:Mike Crane

WFF puts a wrap on the Fall for Arts season, a showcase unfurled three months before when the alder leaves were just beginning to turn. The Whistler Writer’s Festival, (October 13-16) reveals golden leaves of another sort, when more than 60 acclaimed authors present their works, conduct masters workshops for new and emerging writers and participate in The Literary Cabaret, an evening of words and music.

Arts, culture and heritage

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credit: Mike Crane

Whistler’s permanent exhibitions rival those found in cities across North America. The Skwxwú7mesh Lil’wat7úl (Squamish Lil’wat) Cultural Centre put the village on the global aboriginal arts map when it opened in 2008. Inside the Centre, carvings and elaborate weavings adorn the walls and dugouts display the nuances of different coastal fishermen and hunters.

By hosting exhibits, classes and live entertainment, The Maury Young Arts Centre remains the cultural hub of Whistler’s vibrant community. The Centre features a community art gallery, theatre, and Arts Whistler, which leads the local arts and culture scene.

The village upped its cultural cachet again last winter with the opening of the Audain Art Museum, a collection that displays one of the world’s largest exhibits of First Nations masks, a diverse series of Emily Carr paintings, as well as works from several contemporary artists, including Jeff Wall and Robert Davidson. The permanent collection is augmented with dynamic rotating shows unparalleled in the ski resort community.

The Audain Art Museum propels Whistler into rarefied aesthetic company as an arts and adventure destination, a reputation that mirrors the mountain town’s previous kudos as a festival focal point.

Fall for Arts in Whistler

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credit: Andrew Strain

Rated the #1 overall resort by Ski Magazine, Whistler is well known for going big, and that reputation extends from its slopes to its diverse arts and culture programming. But Fall for Arts isn’t just about the big events; there’s also a broad assortment of smaller happenings sprinkled among the larger ones, everything from fungus festivals and basket weaving workshops to the Whistler premiere of “The Walrus Talks”. Get all the details on each and every one of them and more in the digital Fall for Arts Magazine.

There is 1 comment

  1. Thanks for writing about Whistler’s under-appreciated cultural attractions. Also worth including is the Whistler Museum, Whistler’s longest-standing museum. We’ve been celebrating our valley’s unique stories for nearly 30 years, and have been in our current Main Street location since 2009. We’re open every day and have plenty of events included in the Fall for Arts program.