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Brace for Battle

Local musicians are busy warming up their vocal chords and tuning their guitars. Why? They're getting ready to face-off on Friday, April 24 for the fourth annual Sea to Sky Battle of the Bands.

Local musicians are busy warming up their vocal chords and tuning their guitars. Why? They're getting ready to face-off on Friday, April 24 for the fourth annual Sea to Sky Battle of the Bands.

Solo artists and bands come out in droves to compete for this local top-honour, and this year is sure to be no exception. The annual talent competition, which is presented by Late and Unique Nighttime Alternatives (LUNA) and Club Shred, aims to give emerging Sea to Sky musicians an opportunity to take their talents to the next level.

The competitorsĀ  will be judged by an industry panel, which will choose up to eight bands and solo artists to play in the semifinals on Friday, April 24. Then, on Friday, May 1, three bands and solo artists will play in the finals.

The grand prize includes an opening spot for a headliner from CIA Concerts, airplay and a radio interview on Mountain FM, a professional two-hour photo shoot with Darren Roberts Studio, a vocal training session with Hilary Wight, a screen printed competition poster from Sage Illustration, and studio recording time for the winner of the solo artist category from Waking Alone Productions. Runners up will receive airplay and a radio interview on Mountain FM and a paid gig at Merlin's from Club Shred.

The competition is open to performers with at least one member residing in or between Horseshoe Bay and D'Arcy and at least one member under the age of 35. Anyone interested in competing must submit an entry package with the entry form and fee, and a CD with two original songs, photo and tech rider, by Friday, April 10 at 4:30 p.m. For more information, visit .

Whistler Stories: the next generation's take

With the final years of the Whistler Film Festival's Whistler Stories series in the works, organizers have just announced a new opportunity for local youth to tell their stories from the community.

They're offering an opportunity for Sea to Sky residents between the ages of 14 and 19 to write, shoot and produce a short film, learning about digital film production and the film festival experience in the process, all free of charge. The program include two hands-on weekend workshops, which take place on Saturday, May 23, Sunday May 24, Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31. With the help of industry professionals, each team will write, shoot, and produce a short film based on stories from the Sea to Sky corridor. The completed films will premiere at the 2009 Whistler Film Festival and be included in the Whistler Stories legacy project to be submitted for consideration for the 2010 Cultural Olympiad programming.

Interested youth must submit a registration form by Friday, May 8. Capacity is limited to 20, so people are encouraged to register early. The Cultural Capitals of Canada and the Resort Municipality of Whistler are supporting the program. Forms are available at .

Leroy the Lobster invades

Pemberton may not be an Oceanside community, but this weekend, the crustaceans are coming to the kids when the ECMA-nominated children's entertainers, Down By The Docks, sail into town with Leroy The Lobster and Friends in tow.

They're set to take the stage with their energetic and educational show, entitled, Laugh With Leroy, at the Pemberton Public Library on Saturday, April 11 at 1 p.m.

Street entertainers this weekend

Hippity-hop down to the village from Friday, April 10 to Sunday, April 12 to catch some stellar local artistic talent.

The 2009 Whistler Street Entertainment series kicks off during Easter long weekend, featuring face painting by Cary and Paulo Lopes, roving Springtime Character Creations, live painting by Vanessa Stark and Olivier Roy, Easter crafts and the Whistler Cup Flag Parade.

For more information on times and locations of the entertainment, visit .

Arts and crafts for k ids

While Whistler has a plethora of outdoor activities on offer for kids of all ages, there aren't typically a ton of arts and crafts opportunities for the wee ones in our midst. One crafty local businesswoman is out to change that with her new kids art studio in Function Junction.

Layna Mawson, former co-owner of Sachi Sushi, is officially opening Orkidz Art Studio in May, but is holding a soft opening event Thursday, April 9 - a professional day for local kids.

"Basically, I'll be ready to go at the beginning of May with actual programs," she said.

Orkidz will offer a variety of arts and crafts projects, while allowing Mawson to fulfill her passion for crafting and working with kids. She plans to start running classes a few days per week, with the aim of eventually expanding to offer summer and teen programs.

"I just want it to be a community-based arts program, something that's kind of laidback and has a little bit of structure, but once you get in there, creativity - let it flow, let it go!" Mawson said.

Classes run from 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. for five to seven-year-olds, from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. for eight to nine-year-olds, and 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. for 10 to 13-year-olds.

For more information, visit .

Partying with patrollers

The winter season is drawing to a close, but before things wind down for real, the Blackcomb ski patrollers want to throw one last monster bash. They're hosting the Ski Patrol Ball, dubbed the "Red and White Party," at the GLC on Wednesday, April 15 at 9 p.m.

Providing the tunes for a party that promises to rock all night long is the six-piece roots and rock group from the Kootenays. The Tuques. The group is Glen Martin , on electric guitar, Gabriel Gaudet on banjo and acoustic guitar, Jonathan Provencal on mandolin and percussion, Sue Pepin on lead vocals, Jamphibian on bass, and Graham Tracey on drum kit and percussion.

Proceeds will go back to the members of Blackcomb Patrol for future training. And if all goes well, organizers are hoping to make this an annual event. Tickets are $15 at the GLC and patrol dispatch.

Mining Sea to Sky history

The B.C. Museum of Mining recently received $18,400 in grant money from the BC150 Heritage Legacy Fund to enhance visitors' experience through a project entitled, Gateways to Our Past.

The project includes a new glass barrier, which allows the doors of the 1923 mill to remain open for visitors to see inside without need for a tour guide. Meanwhile inside, a new bilingual, hand-powered audio guide fills the entire building with sounds of the mill, which were last heard during its final day of operation in 1974.

The museum's machine shop is used annually for summer art exhibits, and this year it will host Transforming Natural Capital, an exhibit documenting the B.C. Mining Industry by Lions Bay photographer Lawrence Hislop.

The B.C. Museum of Mining's annual general meeting is on Thursday, April 16, and includes a silent auction to raise funds for collections and education. For more information, visit .