Cultural Connector gets focal point in bronze sculpture by Susan Point 

New artwork to be unveiled in October tells the tale of Whistler's Olympic experience through the people who came to enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime event

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A significant bronze sculpture by Coast Salish artist Susan Point is to be a new artistic focal point in Whistler, and part of the Cultural Connector route now under construction.

The Timeless Circle reflects the multitude of visitors who came to the resort during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

It will be carved in wood and then cast in bronze, and will be erected with a target date of October 15, says Anne Popma, the community cultural officer for Whistler.

The sculpture will be located in front of Millennium Place in Village Park East, where a sculpture of a bear family currently resides. The latter sculpture will be moved to another location.

"The Timeless Circle will be five individual installations with 43 double-sided faces, 86 unique faces in all," says Popma.

The cost to the municipality for the artwork is $198,000, provided for as part of the Games Legacy provided by the provincial government.

Martin Pardoe, the Resort Municipality of Whistler's (RMOW) manager of resort parks planning, and Popma discussed the sculpture and other plans for the Cultural Connector at the RMOW's Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, June 9.

The Cultural Connector is a pathway that will pull together the six main artistic areas of the resort, the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre, the Audain Art Museum, Whistler Public Library, Whistler Museum and Archives and the Lost Lake PassivHaus.

"It's a parks plan that is improving the walkway between these cultural institutions," says Popma.

"It's more than a pathway, it's more than wayfinding, it about finding a story about what connects these institutions. There is a sense of the undiscovered, of exploration, and under-realized community assets for the visitor."

The corridor will tell stories at different stages, she added.

Popma was at the COW meeting to specifically discuss a Heritage Canada grant that they had applied for to expand on the Cultural Connector concept. She said they would find out if they are successful in August, with construction starting in September.

"We realized there are other connectors throughout the village. There are also galleries and working studios, and valley-wide cultural amenities like The Point (Artist-Run Centre)," she adds.

KidsArt gets $5,000 grant from WB Foundation

KidsArt, a new program that provides financial assistance to enable children from families in financial difficulties to enroll in Whistler arts education courses, has received a grant of $5,000 from the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation.

KidsArt is a collaboration between the Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS), the Whistler Arts Council (WAC) and Whistler Blackcomb Foundation.

Grants can be used for registration fees in qualified workshops or course fees, lessons, camps, or rental of musical instruments.

The program will provide up to $200 annually for each child aged five to 18 years. Applications to the fund can be made at any time throughout the year.

The WCSS will monitor the fund disbursement and work with families to determine if they qualify.

Art teachers who wish to be included in the list of qualifying teachers should contact WAC. For application forms and a list of programs visit the WCSS or the WAC websites.



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