May 31, 2012 Features & Images » Feature Story

Imagine a world without art 

Celebrating 30 years of Whistler Arts Council doing the opposite

Page 6 of 8

Here's the coda: Like most creative ventures, the arts council is a work in progress.

What will it look like 30 years from now — what will it be doing? Who knows? Given it's based on the arts, though, its only limitation is the human imagination.

No doubt the people involved in the arts council will continue to be its biggest asset, and I say thank goodness they continue to dream.

Richoz imagines the day when Whistler will have its own public art gallery; Niedermayer dreams of a time when the community fully understands the importance of arts and culture.

Maybe their dreams will also come true... one dark and stormy night.

What does the arts council mean to you?

"WAC has introduced an important element into the culture of Whistler. Born as a resort valuing mostly sports and lifestyle, the arts council has been integral to developing a respect for and a love of art in the community — community being the important word here. Whistlerites now see the value of celebrating and honouring our art and culture, and the mind-stretching shift in how we perceive others and ourselves is a gift for which we can all be thankful. Happy birthday, WAC! Continue on your wac-ky ways!"

— Leanna Rathkelly, professional photographer and former arts council board member, exhibitor and long-time volunteer as teacher, ticket taker, cleaner-upper, and general helper

"I love playing Whistler! In small towns, you always have a lot of locals but Whistler has an international audience — it's nice. Lovely theatre, too. And the Whistler Arts Council is really one of the best from our point of view. They do what they say they are going to do, and do it efficiently with lots of keenness there."

— Lorne Elliott, Canada's best-loved comedian who's played Whistler's Performance Series many times

"I just love entertainment, period. It makes me laugh, or there's music, and they [the arts council] usually have a really good selection. I grew up with all that with my parents back home in Toronto. We did the symphony, the ballet, the art gallery — all that sort of stuff so I just keep that going! I enjoy the arts so I gladly go and buy tickets and help them out. If nobody goes, they aren't going to come back."

— Lesley Byford, Peak Performance massage therapist

"That grant money has made a huge difference in terms of the workshops that we could put on. Basically, the group grants make it possible for us to charge less so the workshops are more accessible to way more people who want to do them."

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