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ReachOut! Whistler initiative launches with art pin

Aurora Moore’s image of Black Tusk is part of a new mental health and wellness initiative 
The new ReachOut! Whistler pins, designed by Pemberton artist Aurora Moore.

Black Tusk might be a common symbol of Whistler, but to hear Pemberton artist Aurora Moore explain it, it’s also the perfect symbol for being part of something bigger than yourself. 

“Black Tusk is such an iconic mountain to the area,” she says. “It seems to stand out on its own, but, really, it’s part of a bigger range. It felt right for getting that message across: you might feel alone, but you’re really part of a huge network and it’s there for you.” 

Moore’s depiction of the mountain, surrounded by the words, “You don’t have to stand alone” is set to be emblazoned on enamel pins that will both help raise awareness and funds for arts, mental health and wellbeing programs. 

The initiative, dubbed ReachOut! Whistler is a joint project between Arts Whistler and Whistler Community Services Society. 

“Creativity and participation in the arts is a proven pathway for better mental health and community connection,” Mo Douglas, executive director of Arts Whistler said in a release. “The ReachOut! pins will help us build community awareness and enable pin wearers to identify themselves as compassionate supporters. The funds from pin sales will support future community arts initiatives.” 

Part of the reason Moore submitted her design for consideration is because the cause is important to her. 

“One of the things that’s been on my mind is a lot of people don’t feel like they deserve help,” she says. “People are like, ‘My life isn’t that bad. I shouldn’t complain about it.’ But everybody deserves the chance to talk to somebody about issues they might have.” 

The pin project is just one item on a growing list of community initiatives and exhibits that Moore has taken part in since she first returned to art in earnest four years ago. 

“I’ve always loved drawing,” she says. “I pretty much always had a sketchpad on the go. Really, I didn’t start taking it seriously and getting into it until I had my daughter. Then I had so much time just sitting around nursing her on maternity leave … It rekindled a passion for it and slowly it became necessary. From there, I’ve been improving over the last few years and seeing that is really exciting.” 

Her work—ranging from local landscapes and animals to portraits—has appeared in exhibits like the Anonymous Art Show, the Teeny Tiny Art Show, and the Pemberton Art Hop, to name a few. 

“I feel like I can’t draw something without a mountain in it,” she says with a laugh. “A few years ago I got really into drawing people and portraits. It’s been a lot of fun watching that evolve. I blend women into mountain landscapes as well, which was a super cool project to do.”

More recently, she began to experiment with creating her own natural pigments from organic matter in the Sea to Sky.

For example, certain rocks can be crushed with a pestle and mortar, grated and mixed with a binder to turn into watercolours or oils.

“I’ve been keeping track of the pigments I’ve found in Pemberton,” she says. “There are some cool ones … It’s been fun to explore, especially with the kids. We’re finding things—like mushrooms. They make all kinds of dyes. I’d love to be able to bring that all together—get my set of paints and paint a mountain scene of the area.” 

The Black Tusk pin art, meanwhile, marked her very first project that was completed on a computer. 

“I was a little surprised to be chosen,” Moore says. “It was very cool.” 

Pre-purchase your ReachOut! pin for $7 at for collection in mid-February. 

To see more of Moore’s art, visit