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Muralist Kris Kupskay wins national artist competition

Whistler artist takes $25,000 prize from Hewlett Packard
Winning style Whistler muralist and street artist Kris Kupskay won #BendTheRules 2014. File Photo BY Zoya Lynch

Whistler street artist and muralist Kris Kupskay has won Hewlett Packard's artist competition #BendTheRules.

Kups, as he is known, was flown to the company's headquarters in Toronto this week to collect the $25,000 first prize.

Kups beat two other artists, Toronto musician Merna, and publisher and photographer Lanaya Flavelle of Vancouver, in an online voting competition in September and October.

Kupskay's work with Zero Ceiling, a local charity that brings adventure-based learning to vulnerable young people wanting to make life changes, was featured in a video diary piece made for the competition.

Whistler Writers Festival gets $30,000 from BC Arts Council

Whistler's writers group The Vicious Circle has been granted $30,000 by the BC Arts Council.

The funds will be used to hire contract staff for the Whistler Writers Festival, which takes place each fall, says the festival's executive director Stella Harvey.

The festival will celebrate 15 years in 2015.

"It is meant to help our capacity in terms of staffing, because basically we are a completely volunteer-run organization. We would use it on a contract basis for certain positions that might assist me to move responsibility for the festival from somebody like me, a volunteer, to people who are paid," Harvey says.

The longevity of the festival and its long-term health is dependent on the ability to have paid staff, she added.

"I would like to see, for example, a festival manager who I would work with and do some knowledge transfer... or we could hire someone on a contract basis to hire someone to go after corporate donations, fundraising."

Harvey says the $30,000 covers one year and she hopes that the money will be a stepping-stone to draw more permanent funding.

"We are very thrilled. It was such a successful festival this year and I was on a bit of a high anyway," she laughed.

"It makes you feel that people have faith in you. Everything that you worked for and towards, you aren't just doing it alone. There are people out there who also believe in what you are doing and want to support it."

The grant was part of $1.86 million in funding announced provincially. The Vicious Circle was the only recipient of BC Arts Council funding in the Sea to Sky region in this round.

WAC artisan market seeks applications

The Whistler Arts Council invites Sea to Sky artists and artisans to participate in this year's Made In Whistler markets.

The market will be held every Saturday at the Westin Resort and Spa, and runs from Jan. 3 to April 4, 2015. There is also a special Made in Whistler holiday market on Sunday, Dec. 21.

The market is in its fourth year and provides an opportunity to sell locally made handcrafted goods, with easy access to hotel guests.

For more information and to apply, visit

Sketchy Film Night party at The Point

A local film and art night will put partygoers in the picture.

The Sketchy Film Night at The Point Artists Run Centre on Alta Lake will have short films by local filmmakers Angie Nolan, Conrad Schapansky, Lisa Fernandez and Rebecca Wood Barrett, and Gynette Mercier, as well as live art from Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School.

Musical entertainment is by Kid Kicko and Lozen.

"The Point hosted a film night last November and it was really well-received," says Point artistic director Stephen Vogler.

"The locally made short films set next to some early Whistler footage (often humorous in retrospect), creates a nice sense of continuity in Whistler filmmaking. And we've got some live art-making and music to round out the evening."

It takes place on Friday, Nov. 28. Doors are at 6:30 p.m. and films start at 8 p.m. at The Point Artist-Run Centre on 5678 Alta Lake Road.

Tickets are $12/$22 with dinner at and at Armchair Books.

Polar Express brings Christmas on a train

All aboard the Christmas train to the North Pole!

Children and parents are invited to kick off the holiday season at the Polar Express trip at the West Coast Railway Heritage Park in Squamish.

Children and adults will enjoy the one-hour train ride and visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus. There are also treats, refreshments, music and stories. The North Pole Workshop has been expanded and there is a Gingerbread Village in the Roundhouse.

Polar Express takes place on Nov. 29 and 30, and Dec. 6, 7, 13 and 14. Departure times are 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

The address is 39645 Government Road in Squamish. Tickets range from $27 (coach) to $39 (first class) and can be purchased at