Exploring Whistler’s artistic underworld 

The traditional art galleries in the village may be the obvious places for inspiration, but Whistler's industrial park, Function Junction, offers up an unexpected wealth of hidden artistic treasures: it's home to the Blind Mute crew, Chili Thom's art studios, Orkidz arts and crafts workshops, the newly-reopened Art Junction Gallery, Justin Ormiston's tattoo studio and many more who are the heart of the town's creative core.

Next Friday (Aug. 6), the community is invited to come out and discover some of these often-overlooked artists and venues, as the Whistler Arts Council hosts its second annual ArtWalk Function Block Party.

This year's event includes 25 artists and three group shows featured in 14 venues, including Whistler Brewing Co., Patina Home Interiors, Millar Creek Café and Pique's own offices. Aside from the artwork that will be on display, the party also features street hockey, a community mural, a family fun zone, food vendors and live music from Tommy Honest & The Liars, Gnar Boots and DJ Phroh. Best of all, the event is free and everyone is invited. So dig out your bikes or rollerblades and get ready to be inspired. Art Junction, Pique and Whistler Brewing will be featured HotSpots, offering refreshments to thirsty ArtWalkers.

A free shuttle courtesy of Canadian Snowmobile Adventures will pick people up from the taxi loop starting at 6 p.m., and drop them off in Function.


Going Deep in the coming weeks

While the downhill bikers are tightening bolts and lowering their seats in anticipation of some serious on-mountain action at the 2010 Kokanee Crankworx festivities, photographers are also prepping their gear, getting ready for the second Deep Summer Photo Challenge.

The event debuted at the 2009 festival, and this year's shoot-off is shaping up to be even better than the last with a list of confirmed photographers that includes defending champion Mattias Fredriksson, Nicolas Teichrob, Paul Morrison, Sterling Lorence, Jordan Manley and Sven Martin. Last but not least, a wildcard entry selected through a competition on www.pinkbike.com, who will join the pros to battle it out for top honours (and a $3,000 cash prize) on Wednesday, Aug. 11.

"After Team Scanada's great success in the Saint Deep Summer Photo Challenge last year we are psyched to come back," winner Mattias Fredriksson said in a release. "We have kept parts of the team from last year and have signed up a few new, amazing riders as well. It's gonna be super maximum fun. I'm warming up for Deep Summer with my Scandinavian Photo Challenge taking place in my hometown of Åre, Sweden next week. This event will be a great way to try out some new stuff before coming to Whistler."

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