Artists in Wonderland goes mad hatter 

The second annual Whistler Arts Council fundraiser takes place Sept. 15 at Nita Lake Lodge

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JOERN ROHDE/JOERNROHDE.COM, COURTESY OF WAC - tea party The Mad Hatter is the star of this year's Artists in Wonderland fundraiser for the Whistler Arts Council, taking place Sept. 15 at Nita Lake Lodge.
  • Photo by Joern Rohde/, courtesy of WAC
  • tea party The Mad Hatter is the star of this year's Artists in Wonderland fundraiser for the Whistler Arts Council, taking place Sept. 15 at Nita Lake Lodge.

For the Whistler Arts Council, pinning down a theme for their annual fundraiser was easy.

The challenge was finding a weekend that wasn't already overrun with events. Moved from May to Sept. 15, the Artists in Wonderland event is returning for a second year, this time focusing on the Alice in Wonderland character the Mad Hatter for its theme.

"It's really hard to choose a date where there's nothing else (going on)," says Kelly McIntosh, development manager with WAC and organizer of the event. "This is our main fundraising event. This is the one I encourage everyone to come out to and support. We have some fun with it."

In keeping with the theme, everyone is encouraged to dig up some fancy headwear. But if you can't rustle up anything suitable, there will be another option. "We're going to have a craft table this year to make hats," McIntosh says. "We're going to supply materials to make fascinators if people don't come with their own hats. They'll be top hats for men as well."

It might sound like family-friendly fun, but this year the event — taking place in the Nita Lake Lodge lounge from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. — is adults only. Other activities include music by DJ Chili Thom (a local artist who also sits on WAC's board of directors), harp music by Alison Hunter, a silent auction, a 50/50 draw and tea by Namasthe Tea, along with "artistic edible chef creations."

Several local artists, including Lisa Geddes, Anne Popma, Andrea Moore, Susie Cipolla and Bea Gonzalez, have also donated paintings on 8-inch by 8-inch canvases to be sold as well. "We had a fundraiser a couple of years ago at Nita Lake Lodge and that was the format. It was a raffle where all the art was on eight-by-eight canvases. It's a size that, even if you don't have much wall space, you still could (buy) it because it doesn't take up much room," McIntosh says.

A few larger donated paintings will also be up for grabs.

Last year, the fundraiser — which raises money for WAC's community programs —attracted just under 100 people. This year, they're hoping to crack 100. "The ticket price will include a welcome beverage, delicious food from Nita Lake Lodge and it's a tea party, so (there's also) Namasthe Tea," she says. "And you're supporting the Whistler Arts Council."

Tickets for the event are $50 and they're available online at and at Scotiabank — the bank will donate money for each ticket purchased from its Creekside location.

"Last year, everyone had a really good time," McIntosh says. "It was a well attended event... (It's) a great way for locals and visitors to mingle with art enthusiasts and support our local arts scene."

Speaking of Whistler Council, Nita Lake Lodge

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