May 31, 2012 Features & Images » Feature Story

Imagine a world without art 

Celebrating 30 years of Whistler Arts Council doing the opposite

Page 7 of 8

— Laurie MacCallum, co-founder of Whistler Pottery Club, which has received four member group grants distributed by WAC

"During the summer I'm part of the Whistler Farmer's Market. Their primary audience is tourists; secondary audience, for the artisans anyway, is locals. Bizarre Bazaar is exactly the reverse. A lot of locals will have been coming by my table all summer long, but they'll come to Bizarre Bazaar to talk about what I do and they'll buy something that perhaps they've had their eye on. So it's a terrific way to connect."

— Linda Davies, glass bead maker & jeweller extraordinaire who's been selling her wares for years at Bizarre Bazaar

"The festival is organized by a few volunteers. Alone and even with a clear and unwavering vision, we would never have been able to grow the Whistler Readers and Writers Festival without the assistance and support of groups like the Whistler Arts Council."

— Stella Harvey, founder, Whistler Writers Group & director, Whistler Readers and Writers Festival


A day in the life of the arts council: Behind the scenes at ArtWalk

"First we do the call for entry and receive all those submissions, then we jury the artists. Usually we get 80 to 100 submissions for ArtWalk and we have to boil that down. A jury does the first run. From there it goes through to the venues. Usually we have 40 to 50 venues all over Whistler and, basically, we go around on foot to all of them to discuss ArtWalk and see if they'd like to participate. They get to select the artists. Depending on the genre or type of artwork they want, we send them jpegs from anywhere from four to 15 artists. Once we get all the images back, we work with a designer to create the brochure — we print 6,000 each year. Then we have the opening night reception. We hire musicians, there's roving entertainment, and we definitely like to promote the visual arts so we do artists' demonstrations. We have to set up all the tents, all the technical requirements, and all the tents and easels for the artists. We also have to do bios and labels for every single artist and every single art piece. We also work with the library, the museum and the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre, who put on activities as well, and we have to make sure everything is coordinated and running on time. The Function Junction Block pARTy is a little more eclectic — there we have a little more flexibility. Also, the guided tours get organized and this year we're delivering little red flags for each venue, plus we have to deliver all the water and wine for the reception. We also handle all the art sales for the artists — so that means processing the sales, packaging the artwork if it needs to be shipped and delivering it on time."

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