Angie' s world — celebrating Whistler culture one story at a time 

click to enlarge PHOTO BY DARREN ROBERTS - Angie Nolan
  • photo by darren roberts
  • Angie Nolan

'The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance."

- Aristotle

She's just so approachable. So totally unpretentious. "I am what I am," says her smile. "Nothing more, nothing less." And it works every time. She's the kind of person who can make a total stranger feel like a pal within minutes of their first meeting. So entirely up-front — so completely in the moment — that she inspires unquestioning trust in both colleagues and friends.

She's the girl next door. The easy-going chum who's up for any adventure. And she doesn't back down. When she says she's going to do something, it gets done.

Which in her line of work comes in mighty handy. Hmm... let me qualify that statement. To call what she does "work," implies some form of payment. And while Whistler actor/filmmaker/writer/director Angie Nolan derives much pleasure — and much emotional re-enforcement — from her multitudinous artistic endeavours in this valley, her financial returns are... hmm, how can I put this?... minimal.

Which is about par for artists in this town. For all the big talk about the importance of culture and art in a maturing Whistler, the delivery of funds to resident creative types has been well short of sustainable in recent years. And yet these same artists keep on producing quality stuff to wide acclaim. Locals here figure that Whistler-based comedians, actors, musicians — they just love performing for free. They must, goes the thinking. Otherwise, why would they keep doing it?

Case in point. I don't know how Angie Nolan keeps it together at this time of the year. A perennial favourite in the WSSF's wildly popular 72-hour Filmmaker Showdown — "I've experienced every scenario there is," she says. "From being a finalist to winning and from being late handing the film in to having technical blow-outs at the last minute" — Angie is probably already honing her strategy for next week's assault on the title. Meanwhile, she's directing GD Maxwell's always —entertaining Chairlift Review. Which, by the way, runs during that same festival.

OK, so "directing" may be understating her role a bit in that chaotic bit of absurdist theatre. Re-writing skits, coaching the neophytes, nursemaiding the vulnerable and/or modest — it's all part of the job description for Director Nolan. And she does it all with such grace, good-humour and positive energy that she robs self-doubters of their usual excuses. In other words, you just can't help yourself. Before you can even refuse, you find yourself immersed in the stage game happily following Ms Nolan's lead...

Did I mention her hippy transformation for last month's Icon Gone and her contest-winning riff on the denizens of Toad Hall and their importance to Whistler's overall gestalt? Or the fact that she won the event for the second year in a row — and against a stacked list of contestants? I mean, this gal just doesn't sleep. How can she? Her brain must be buzzing at a million miles an hour...


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