Small crowd voices support for LIVE at Squamish 

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A small crowd of Squamish residents turned out to meet the Vancouver-based LIVE at Squamish producers at brand.LIVE.

Based on what those in attendance were saying at the Squamish Adventure Centre on Tuesday evening, Squamish seems mighty excited about the upcoming festival, running from Aug. 24-26, and what it has to offer Squamish for the long term.

"We're hearing the same thing from everybody here. Everybody's stoked, everybody's coming. Lots of people haven't bought tickets yet but they've arranged camping in their friend's back yard," says festival executive producer Paul Runnals. "If this is the assumption of the audience that you choose to believe, then the buzz is real."

Festival staff held the meet-and-greet to engage the community for potential opportunities for local businesses and to engage community interest in the festival. As Runnals told us last week, the hope is for Squamish to make the festival its own.

Of the 20 or so individuals who turned out for the two-hour event, all are enthusiastic about what the festival has to offer the town, from potential business opportunities to exposure to all the live music.

"(My friends) are so excited... that the Tragically Hip is playing in the field that we go walk around in. And I'm like, you don't even know how great all the other bands are. Living up in Squamish they are kind of isolated from all the new music," says Tamara Stanners, a Squamish local and a producer with Vancouver radio station 100.5 The Peak.

"Now that we're a month away, the energy (in town) has definitely picked up. I can feel it."

Resident Karen Tapp says the festival might help raise the profile of local talent.

"The fact that there's a local's stage, so the local bands have the opportunity to promote their music, and to promote music in general because I don't think we do that enough," she says.

Hilary White, a local music instructor, adds: "It's good for our young people to have something that's accessible, that's right there in their town so they can have something to aspire to."

The festival's family-friendly atmosphere, which organizers have worked hard to achieve, is a selling feature for many locals. This year, brand.LIVE has enlisted the District of Squamish to hold band camps for children on Saturday and Sunday mornings, before the festival begins.

White says, "I went to Pemberton (Music Festival in 2008), which was brutal for families. "But it's such a nice feel here. It's great because now (my daughter) can walk around, play in the grass and it's really family friendly. And Squamish is all about families."

The one issue on everyone's minds, however, was the weather. Runnals says he checked the long-range forecast for the first time that day and was relieved to see nothing but sunshine.

But even rain won't necessarily spell disaster for festivalgoers.

"I've done tons of outdoor shows where it's poured rain," Runnals says. "It doesn't do anything for motivating people to buy tickets the day of the show, but it actually binds the audience together. The adversity kind of brings the people together."

So there you go. Fun will be had, rain or shine.

Go watch the Olympics at the Plaza

The RMOW has struck a deal with CTV to broadcast the 2012 London Summer Games live at Whistler Olympic Plaza.

The Games will be broadcast on two big screens, beginning with the opening ceremonies this Friday, from 1-4:30 p.m., concluding with the closing ceremonies on Aug. 12, from 1-4 p.m.

The Games will be shown everyday in between, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and 4-8 p.m.

The RMOW is presenting the Games under its Whistler Presents banner, part of the Festivals Events & Animation program aimed at enhancing visitor experience. But, of course, locals are welcome too.

And go watch movies at the Plaza too

The RMOW has also partnered with the Whistler Film Festival for its Whistler Presents: Celestial Cinema series.

The movies include Woody Allen's Oscar-nominated Midnight in Paris on Wednesday, Aug. 1.

The Whale, a Ryan Reynolds-narrated documentary about a young Orca whale who lost contact with his family off the coast of B.C., will be screened on Aug 8.

Marley, the definitive documentary about Bob Marley from Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald, will be screened on Aug. 22.

A fourth film, slated for Aug. 29, has yet to be named.

The screenings are geared for family viewing and all the films are rated G or PG.

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