B.C. Museum of Mining goes digital 

Architects, designers and planners have been busy transforming the British Columbia Museum of Mining's physical digs at Britannia Beach, and now the national historic site is jumping headfirst into the digital age.

They've taken historical film footage from the '20s and '30s, which offers a unique glimpse back in time to life at Britannia Beach and Mount Sheer (the town site), had it digitized and have posted it online on YouTube for all to enjoy.

For some insight into the life of miners over 80 years ago, visit www.bcmuseumofmining.org/multimedia_links.html.


Summer of Funny writing contest returns

The 2009 Summer of Funny humour-writing contest sponsored by Pique Newsmagazine was a disaster after staffers couldn't agree on a clear winner. In the end it was decided to divide the $400 prize purse among the eight entries that stood out from the over two-dozen submissions received.

Since none of the writers complained, Pique has decided to try again this year. The rules are the same - all written submissions will be accepted, from anywhere in Canada, and can be in the form of stories (up to 2,000 words), poems, plays/scripts, or long-format jokes. We'd even accept cartoons.

The prize money will be the same, as will the review by Pique writers and staff. If there is a clear winner this year they may receive a larger share of the purse at our discretion, but otherwise we may decide to simply run a wide selection of pieces this year and divvy up the prize money equally. Humour is subjective after all, and we'd like to give our readers a chance to decide.

Send all entries to andrew@piquenewsmagazine.com before July 23 for inclusion in our B.C. Day long weekend issue (published July 28). Please include a brief bio with your submission (100 words or less) and a mailing address. There are no ground rules regarding content or profanity, but any overtly sexist, racist, bigoted or profane submissions may not be considered.


An artistic experience at the lake

Anyone interested in flexing their creative muscles this summer may want to consider enrolling in the Whistler Arts Council's annual Art Workshops on the Lake, a summer series of two- to four-day workshops offering a range of beginner- to intermediate-level instruction in oil, acrylic and watercolour painting, sketching and life drawing.

The sessions are held on the shores of Alta Lake at the Alta Lake Station House, a rustic heritage home that offers waterfront views of Whistler, Blackcomb and Wedge Mountain. Classes run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and kick off on Saturday, June 12 with Chili Thom's Effective Acrylic and Colour Theory class.

Courses are taught by qualified instructors. They range in price from $170 to $425. For more information, or to sign up for the workshops, visit www.whistlerartscouncil.com and check under Events & Programs.


Top ranked music program returns to Squamish

For one week this summer, Quest University's hallowed halls will be flooded with the sound of guitars, bass, drums, and keyboards, as the private university plays host to the prestigious Canadian music program, Guitar Workshop Plus, for a second year running.

The program was founded more than 11 years ago by Brian Murray, a professional guitar player who wanted to offer a fun and non-competitive learning environment for musicians. Today, the classes attract musicians of all ages and levels of ability from across Canada, the U.S., Europe, South America, Asia and Australia.

And, as the name suggests, the workshop isn't just about playing guitar. Over the years, the series has grown to include a range of instruments and vocals, which allows musicians to focus on their choice of style of instrument and walk away from the series with an amped-up set of skills and more material to work on during the rest of the year.

The program features an outstanding roster of guest artist/instructors each year, with artists like Joe Satriani, Alex Lifeson (Rush), Robben Ford, Rik Emmett, Randy Bachman, Andy Summers (The Police), John Scofield, Billy Sheehan, Pierre Bensusan, John Abercrombie, Jennifer Batten, Sue Foley, Lorne Lofsky, John Knowles, John Jorgenson, Paul DeLong and Orin Isaacs, lending their expertise to the program in the past.

For the 2010 workshops, guest artists include "rock guitar god" John Petrucci, blues legend Robben Ford, multi-stylist Andy Timmons, "musical chameleon" Greg Howe, legendary virtuoso Tony MacAlpine, acoustic genius Tony McManus, bass innovator Stuart Hamm, drum guru Paul Delong, jazz great Lorne Lofsky, shred master David Martone, rock professor Jon Finn and guitar designer Robert Godin.

Guitar Workshop Plus has had a 60 to 70 per cent return rate with participants, and the program usually sells out. To find out more about the workshop offerings, visit www.guitarworkshopplus.com. The West Coast session will be held at Squamish's Quest University from Sunday, Aug. 8 to Friday, Aug 13.



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