Hardy Mishaw named Woman of the Year by Women in Film & Television Vancouver 

Executive director of the Whistler Film Festival to be presented award on April 30

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Shauna Hardy Mishaw, founder and executive director of the Whistler Film Festival, has been named Woman of the Year in the annual Spotlight Awards by Women in Film & Television Vancouver (WIFTV).

In a release, the organization said the award is presented to a woman "who has achieved a significant success in the field of film or television, and who is recognized for mentoring other women in the industry."

It added: "In just 13 years, the Whistler Film Festival has become a leader in establishing and facilitating project development opportunities for filmmakers across Canada; it's a place where artists are celebrated, audiences are inspired, and where new ideas enter the cultural dialogue. A longtime WIFTV member, Shauna Hardy Mishaw initiated opportunities for women filmmakers such as the Film Market Preparation Program, the EDA and the Spotlight Awards."

The award will be presented at a gala party at Performance Works on Granville Island in Vancouver on Wednesday, April 30, the organization's 25th anniversary.

Nominations open for Whistler Champion of Arts and Culture

The Whistler Arts Council have opened a call for nominations for the newly launched Whistler Champion of Arts and Culture Award.

Formerly known as the Whistler Business and the Arts Award, a wider variety of recipients can now be nominated, beyond local businesses or businesspeople.

"We're thrilled to be able to widen the eligible recipients for this award," says the Whistler Arts Council's executive director Doti Niedermayer, in a release.

"We now have the opportunity to recognize a champion of Whistler arts and culture from a broader perspective of sponsor, volunteer, cultural worker or artist.  The award is to honour the hard work and dedication of some of the key individuals who have made a significant impact on the growth of arts, culture and heritage in the community of Whistler."

Nominations are being accepted from now until May 16. For more information or to enter a nomination, visit www.artswhistler.com.

Biggins on Whistler's supportive musician community

Monty Biggins, front man of Whistler rockabilly band The Sociables, is gearing up for the World Ski and Snowboard Festival (WSSF) and is keen to talk about how the resort's community of musicians supports each other.

"I've played in a number of groups and supported a lot of artists as a background player. (Local reggae musician) Kostaman is one of my friends and he said to me, 'Always include and you will be included. Think about that as you go through that journey,'" Biggins says.

The Sociables headline the WSSF Outdoor Concert Series on Monday, April 14, at 4 p.m., and are performing at pubs and clubs over the 10 days of the festival.

"We're very honoured that they would offer us that, and we're going to make it a big family jam," he says. "By that it means we are bringing all of our musician friends together."

They band has been together since the summer of 2012, with frequent lineup changes thanks to the comings and goings of musicians to the resort.

"That's the variety of it. It really is the ability to bring in a variety of musical beings," he says. "Our theme as a band is 'let's get sociable.'"

Their Americana style, Biggins adds, means they can adapt Michael Jackson into a blues song. They also love the jazz band and Dixieland style.

"That's the landscape of Whistler. We need to be able to offer covers that people can connect with," he says. "As a writer it's a tough place to want to exist, but I do want to perform in Whistler so I am aware of that... we give it a new twist which makes it fun."

A new eight-song EP of original material will be released shortly. It will be available at The Sociables' shows, via iTunes, and Biggins said he is creating a flash-drive version.

New Whistler band releases EP

Coloured Sky is releasing its self-titled debut EP on April 14.

The band, made up of Adam Giles Levy and Samson Danniels, merge fingerstyle acoustic and punk rock. The EP will be available on iTunes.

Coloured Sky was written in Whistler and produced in Vancouver by Dave Genn (Matthew Good Band, 54-40).

Spring fling for Whistler art galleries

Whistler's art galleries are hosting a big night of receptions on April 18.

Spring Fling is a celebration of the end of the winter season and new spring art collections with events around the resort.

These include Mountain Galleries at the Fairmont artist reception — New work by Linda Wilder, artist in attendance, White Dog Whistler Gallery will be hosting its regular 'Wine about Art' evening, Adele Campbell Fine Art Gallery artist reception — Blake Jorgenson exhibition opening, and Fathom Stone Art Gallery and Studio is having a Drop and Shop, with a three-hour inukshuk carving class for children.

Ten galleries are taking part: Adele Campbell Fine Art Gallery, The Black Tusk Gallery, Fathom Stone Art, Mark Richards Gallery, Mountain Galleries at the Fairmont, Scotia Creek Gallery, The Ron Smid Collection, The Plaza Gallery, Whistler Village Art Gallery, and White Dog Gallery.

Dancing Bear Music Festival at Quest University

The Dancing Bear Music Festival, run by the students at Quest University, takes place in Squamish on Saturday, April 12, from 1:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Performers include The Boom Booms, Neon Steve, Old Man Canyon, and Moontricks, along with Quest's Kate Kurdyak, The Bone Frets, the Oh Season, and the Cherry Potatoes.

The day is open to the public. Tickets for adults are $25, students and seniors are $15, and children under 12 are free.

For more information visit www.dancingbearmusicfest.com

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