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Art workshops expand

The Whistler Arts Council’s (WAC) summer workshops are so popular that they’re being beefed up with additional classes and new instructors.

The Whistler Arts Council’s (WAC) summer workshops are so popular that they’re being beefed up with additional classes and new instructors.

The Whistler Art Workshops on the Lake are typically two-four days and focus on introductory to advanced level instruction in a variety of mediums, from life drawing to oil, acrylic and watercolour painting. The classes are taught by well-known local and national artists, like Richard McDiarmid, Kiff Holland, Janice Robertson, Grant Fuller, Suzanne Northcott and Isobel MacLaurin.

And this year, the WAC has made some new additions to the program.

“There’s nothing else like (the workshops) up here, from what I understand,” Ali Richmond, marketing coordinator for WAC, said, adding that it’s also a great opportunity for artists at any level to network and get to know their peers.

Cameron Bird will teach a one day oil class on Sunday, Aug. 10, after finishing his series, Painting on the Peak, with the Adele Campbell Gallery. Lori Goldberg, a Vancouver-based artist, will teach all levels of acrylic painting. A local artist, Maeve Bellmore, will kick off the workshop series on Monday, June 9, with the first of a series of weekly life drawing sessions.

In addition to the changes in programming, Nita Lake Lodge, a new boutique hotel in Whistler, has come on-board as the official accommodation sponsor of the 2008 Whistler Art Workshops on the Lake, offering an Artist’s Getaway Package, which includes three nights accommodation, three full days of art instruction, and a take-away lunch, starting at $468.

“We find a lot of the participants in the art workshops are coming from the Lower Mainland,” Richmond explained. “Some of them are second homeowners in Whistler, but a lot of them are coming here and they’re looking for accommodation anyways, and so this is perfect.”

Inspired by Whistler’s natural environment, the workshops are held at the Alta Lake Station House, a rustic heritage home that offers a picturesque view of the Alta Lake waterfront, with Whistler, Blackcomb and Wedge Mountains in the background.

For a detailed schedule of workshop dates and fees, or to register, visit www.whistlerartscouncil.com .

 

Changes for Cornucopia

Whistler’s annual five-day extravaganza of wine and food is in for a few changes now that Watermark Communications Inc. is at the helm. And it’s looking like Cornucopia 2008 will have a decidedly French flair.

France has been selected as the highlighted wine region for this year’s event, and Sue Eckersley, president of Watermark, said that means the house party will feature almost 25 French wineries, but French entertainment and cuisine, as well.

“There is going to be some really great value provided in that,” she said, adding that there will be some higher-end wines available. “It’s a $50 ticket and I mean, there’s only 350 tickets for that, but I imagine that’s going to be a very quick sell-out.”

Watermark is also taking a participatory approach to the event, and recently invited members of the public and local restaurant scene to a four-hour open house, which was held on Wednesday, May 14.

“We’re applying the same sort of model as we do with the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival, which is the more ideas and the more things that we can look at, the better, because then we can sort of figure out what works for everyone and just have open communication,” said Eckersley.

The event, which was produced by Tourism Whistler and a wine consultant in the past, will be structured in much the same way as in previous years, with a few changes.

At the open house some interesting feedback from community members and the newly formed Whistler Restaurant Association was gathered.

“The number one thing we heard was that they don’t like food to be participating in Crush!” Eckersley said, adding that the association members seemed to feel that the dinners at the event take away from local restaurants’ business.

Typically, there are about 12 food stations at Crush!, ranging from cheese to bison.

“Basically, we’re still going to have food stations, but they’re more of the things that you would traditionally see at a wine tasting, like cheese and chocolates and bread,” she explained.

About 40 members of the restaurant association, as well as about six other groups of people, attended the meeting to find out what organizers have in store for this year’s event.

 

The Five Ring Circus comes to town

Seeing past the Olympic hype is often hard to do, but one filmmaker has taken on the task, producing a documentary that explores the impact the 2010 Games will have on the environment, society and economy.

Conrad Schmidt’s, The Five Ring Circus, features interviews with the mayors of Burnaby, West Vancouver, members of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, and 2010 Watch, and includes appearances by Sam Sullivan, Gordon Campbell, and members of the Vancouver police department.

AWARE and the Whistler chapter of the Council of Canadians are hosting a screening of the film on Saturday, May 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the Whistler Public Library, in hopes that the film will stimulate discussion about the upcoming Games. Admission is $5 at the door.




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