Celebration 2010 Whistler Arts Festival diary 

In addition to Monday’s performance by Vancouver-based Brazilian dance troupe Aché Brasil there are several other events this week in conjunction with the month long Celebration 2010 Whistler Arts Festival.

Variety the spice of the Cultural Cabaret

The festival’s signature event, the Cultural Cabaret, takes place Saturday evening (Feb. 12) at MY Millennium Place.

As with last year’s debut event, this year’s Cultural Cabaret combines a variety of arts and cultural performances with Olympic-themed presentations to mark another year counted down to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

This year’s lineup features local acts The Hairfarmers, a.k.a. legendary locals "Guitar Doug" Craig and "Grateful Greg" Reamsbottom who have redefined the art of après-ski with their good-natured acoustic rock ’n’ roll harmonizing, and Whistler Dance Theatre, performing a series of modern dance vignettes titled Of Snow and Ice. Whistler Dance Theatre is comprised of senior members and instructors from local non-profit dance group the Whistler Dance Academy. Performing at the Cultural Cabaret will be Trina Eby, Jen Garza, Genevieve Girard, Carey Hemsley and Krista Hoffs.

Other acts appearing at this year’s Cabaret include versatile contemporary aboriginal musician Wayne Lavallee, an accomplished performer from the Lower Mainland. Lavallee’s most recent album, Green Dress, was honoured with the Best Album of the Year award at the 2004 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards and received a nomination for Outstanding Aboriginal Recording at the Western Canadian Music Awards.

Also in the lineup is Vancouver-based comedy performer Deborah Williams, creator and star of the comic production Mom’s the Word, which has toured all over the world. Williams is also known for regular appearances on national radio and TV.

The Cultural Cabaret begins at 8 p.m. at MY Place and is open to the public this year, as opposed to last year’s event which was VIP invite only. Tickets are $10, available through TicketMaster and the MY Place box office.

The Cultural Cabaret evening also features a performance by Vancouver-based experimental percussion troupe SWARM, taking place as a separate ticketed event immediately following the first part of the Cabaret. The SWARM show runs from 10:30 to 11:30 p.m. and requires its own $8 ticket. For more information call 604-935-8410.

Lavallee drummer presents workshop

Percussionist Pepe Danza will present an African and Latin drumming workshop on Sunday, Feb. 13 at MY Millennium Place.

Danza will be in town after performing alongside Wayne Lavallee in the Cultural Cabaret on Saturday, Feb. 12.

A native of Montevideo, Uruguay, Danza is an active studio musician and producer. He tours with Vancouver Moving Theatre, and is a member of jazz-funk collective Soulstream and world music group Jou Tou. Danza is also the Artistic Director for the four-year-old Vancouver Sacred Music Festival.

Sunday’s session runs from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Registration is $15 per person, or $12 per person when registering groups of three. Those that have their own drums are encouraged to bring them.

To sign up visit the Whistler Arts Council office adjacent to the Whistler Museum. For more information call 604-938-9221.

Conference Centre host to visual arts showcase

Beginning Monday, Feb. 14 the Telus Conference Centre is hosting a weeklong showcase of local and international artists titled A Whistler Evening with the Arts Tour.

The event is being organized by White Rock, B.C.-based company The A.R.T. Domain Inc., and will feature displays and real-time creations, live music and performance art. Whistler painter Lyle MacDonald will join artists from Italy, Turkey and the U.S. at the event.

A concurrent Made in Whistler local artisan market takes place at the conference centre beginning Thursday, Feb. 17. Made in Whistler will feature handcrafted items by eight renowned local artisans including Tess Klein, Duane Perrett, Borgi Rayen, and Cary Campbell-Lopes. The market will be organized similarly to December’s Bizarre Bazaar artisan market, albeit on a much smaller scale.

Both events wrap up on Saturday, Feb. 19. Admission is free. For a schedule of event hours go to www.tourismwhistler.com.

Tales continue

Don’t forget to check out Out of Bounds-Tales from the Backcountry , the juried photo exhibition on display all month long in the upstairs gallery space at Millennium Place. Those who cast a vote for the People’s Choice award for Best of Show are entered into a draw to win a heli-skiing trip from exhibition sponsor Coast Mountain Heliskiing. The winning photographer will also receive a heli-skiing trip.

The festival is presenting literary and film events from the Whistler Writers Group, the Whistler Film Festival Society and the Whistler Museum in the weeks to come. For more information on the Celebration 2010 Whistler Arts Festival go to www.whistlerartscouncil.com.

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