B-Grade Horrorfest takes a break 

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Here's a bit of sore news for fans of blood and breasts and/or bloody breasts: organizers of the annual and much-beloved B-Grade Horrorfest have decided to take a year off.

Feet Banks and Chili Thom made the announcement over Facebook a couple of weeks ago. Banks says they made the decision as a measure to ensure that the festival is a creative success over the next 10 years. It's a short-term loss for a long-term gain.

"We'd like to grow the fest and continue to step it up and for a variety of reasons that was looking more and more difficult to do this year so we decided to give everyone a rest," Banks writes in an email to Pique.

"It always sucks ass cancelling the best night of the year but I think this way everyone — filmmakers, audience and organizers — will be able to come back next year with fresh energy and ideas that will help drive this thing for another 10 years."

What this means for Halloween in Whistler is unclear. The Horrorfest was by far the biggest and most outlandish Halloween event in Whistler. Who will pick up the slack? There's some word on Facebook about a Zombie Ball, which sounds postively ghoulish. For all its faults, the Whistler party scene certainly knows how to do Halloween. We're simply dying to find out what will happen this year.

Between Shifts calls on actors

Squamish's celebrated Between Shifts Theatre Co. will tackle Sherlock Holmes this fall and now they're looking for actors.

Auditions for the play will be held this Thursday (Sept. 6) from 7-9 p.m. and Sunday from 2-4 p.m. at the Sea to Sky Hotel. They're casting five male actors ages 25-50 and one other male to play multiple smaller roles, as well as one female aged 25-35.

Rehearsals will be held every Tuesday and Thursday evening beginning Sept. 11.

The latest Between Shifts play will run Nov. 22-24 and Nov. 29-Dec.1 and will be directed by Carla Fuhre. Sherlock Holmes: the Final Adventure, penned by American playwright Steven Dietz in 2006, finds the world's greatest detective at the end of his career before being pulled into one final case: the King of Bohemia is about to be blackmailed and at the centre of the crime is a famous female opera singer. Mystery, intrigue and a little bit of romance ensue.

Sherlock Holmes will mark the start of Between Shifts' 18th season of performances.

Bratz Biz gets Bizarre

For the first time ever, Bizarre Bazaar and Bratz Biz are joining forces! This is exciting news for people who love artisan markets and stuff made by real people rather than machines.

The idea had been tossed around in the past but Bizarre Bazaar had historically been held on Fridays and Saturdays, which was difficult for kids. This year, however, the Whistler Arts Council has moved Bizarre Bazaar to the Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 24 and 25, to be exact), which makes it possible for the kids to take part both days.

The two events are technically still separate, with the Bazaar being held in the main hall of the conference centre and Bratz Biz setting up shop in the foyer.

Bratz Biz co-founder Susan Shrimpton says that this is a good opportunity for Bratz participants to showcase their work to a larger group of people.

"For the kids who are producing top-quality stuff, it's great exposure for them," she says, "and it's good for Bizarre Bazaar as well. It will bring in some lower price-point items and bring in a whole new group of people to their event as well. It works in both of our favours."

Deadline for applications for Bizarre Bazaar is Oct. 1. See www.artswhistler.com for details. Applications will be accepted for Bratz Biz at the time of jury, on Sept. 21 and Oct. 4. Applications will be accepted after Oct. 4 if there's room available. For more information, visit www.bratzbiz.com

WAC announces member group grant

Good news for Whistler arts groups: the Whistler Arts Council has announced 2013 Member Group Grants through the B.C. Arts Council's Member Groups Assistance.

The WAC has $2,500 total to give out to WAC member groups or organizations with "arts and culture projects comparable to the goals and mandate of WAC." See www.asrtswhistler.com for more info.

SAC goes Unplugged

This Saturday, the Squamish Arts Council is holding "Arts Unplugged" at the Squamish Valley Golf Course, which will showcase work from Squamish artists and attract new members.

This will be the first big event under the new SAC board as way to showcase "the new way of doing business" as a "collective, inclusive force," according to new chair Jan Durocher.


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