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Arts News

Michael Shannon to be honoured at WFF

Wednesday is opening night of the Whistler Film Festival (WFF), and while our next issue will feature more extensive coverage of the festival, here's just a little taste of what's to come.

We've already mentioned the partnership between WFF and Variety magazine. We've mentioned "Pixar in the Pavilion" at Whistler Olympic Plaza on Saturday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 4.

We've also already mentioned that two actors to be honoured this year include actor/comedian Patton Oswalt, who stars in the Jason Reitman film Young Adults (which will screened on Wednesday) and Jay Barachul.

Another actor has been added to the roster of honorees. Michael Shannon, of the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, Revolutionary Road (for which he earned an Academy Award nomination) and, more recently, Take Shelter , which will be honoured at an hour-long ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Whistler Conference Centre.

Shannon, who is currently in Vancouver shooting the new Superman movie, Man of Steel , will accept the award in person.

"In terms of the kinds of things that we're interested in doing at the Whistler Film Festival, which is celebrating independent cinema and voices that are very unique in terms of film in the world, we think that Michael Shannon is one of the best actors of his generation," says Stacey Donen, artistic director for WFF.

Patton Oswalt will receive the Spotlight Award for Supporting Performance of the Year on Wednesday evening. Jay Baruchel will be awared the Screenwriter to Watch Award on Thursday night.

changes made to WFF schedule

The festivals, you know, they're hard to coordinate. So many films, so much maneuvering. As such, you know, sometimes things fall through.

But it's no big deal because the fine people at the WFF have been working tirelessly to bring to you, rabid film buffs of Whistler and beyond, a full program. The closing film, to be shown at the Closing Gala on Sunday, will now be Like There's No Tomorrow , a ski and snowboarding adventure presented by Warren Miller Entertainment and directed by Max Bervy.

Also new to the schedule is Highway Gospel , a funny and heartwarming documentary about a middle-aged skateboarder fighting to keep his Ottawa skatepark operational.

To view the full schedule, visit

Head honchos meet over FE&A

Regular readers of this fine publication will know that the Festival Events & Animation program is a hot topic around Whistler. We think it is anyway. With its $2.9 million in RMI spending, which included (and includes) that mostly loved, occasionally panned Whistler Presents concert series, the program has sparked a discussion, particularly among election candidates, about whether this has been a good use of RMI money and whether or not the RMOW should be in the business of hosting events.

And yet, we've heard almost nothing from other town leaders about what they think about FE&A...and we still don't. But we know that representatives of Tourism Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb, Whistler Museum and Archives Society, Whistler Arts Council, Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre and Whistler Legacies Society all sat down with the RMOW to discuss the "goals and strategies of the FE&A program," the "scope of 2011 program and means of assessing impacts," and "partner engagement, methodology and timeline to develop 2012 FE&A program."

According to an RMOW spokesperson, the meeting was "very positive" and they will "continue to meet with our partners to move forward." Pique requested more information about the specific ideas for goals and strategies that came out of the meeting, but the request was not answered by press time for this issue.

But at least they're meeting and discussing! That's good news...right?

As previously reported the RMOW is currently evaluating the 2011 Whistler Presents program, based on Tourism Whistler's visitor surveys and sales results. They are also consulting with entertainment industry experts and resort partners for ideas on best practices moving forward. Juicy stuff.

Yet another Lego building contest

There's a fad a-brewin' here along the Sea to Sky. Adults seem to be appeasing their inner children while their real children reap all the fabulous perks of said appeasement.

We're talking about the streak of LEGO building contests the region has seen in the last six months. Last month, there was a LEGO building contest for adults at the Whistler Musuem. The Whistler Arts Council brought a professional LEGO builder to town as part of the FE&A strategy and now there's a new contest in Squamish.

This one's for kids aged 5 to 12. It takes place at Ecole Les Aiglons in Garibaldi Heights this Friday, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Eager parents can live vicariously through their children as they build.