Letters to the editor for the week of August 23rd, 2012 

The Flag Stop Festival says thanks!

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I can't think of a better way to cap off the 1st Annual Flag Stop Theatre & Arts Festival than paddling a canoe carrying a giant horse lantern on glassy Alta Lake while the final performance unfolded on the floating stage beneath a starry sky streaked by meteor showers.

It was a magical afternoon and evening beginning with the music and theatre performances of the "Young But True" seven-to nine-year-olds who emerged from Aude Ray's Expressive Arts workshops at The Point this summer. Michael Faiella kept the tunes rolling out for the rest of the afternoon until the opening reception for the TRACKS art show began in the heritage lodge.

The Improv Theatre troupe, also emerging from this summer's workshops at The Point, was the first to take the floating stage with a hugely entertaining set before a sold out crowd assembled on the grass and back porch. Their performance was followed by the debut of Agnes featuring Lilli Clark, Angie Nolan, Greigh Laschuk and Wayne Escott. Simon Stribling and Josh Roberts provided the 1920s-era jazz, and then added Lauri Lyster and Rajan Das inside the lodge where they got the dance floor shaking to their hot swing jazz set.

Thanks to all the artists from Whistler, the Sea to Sky and Vancouver, both young and older, who spun the magic for the crowd. Thanks also to all of the local sponsors who supported the festival so generously: Pasta Lupino, Burnt Stew Computers, Nesters Market, Local Automotive, Pique Newsmagazine, Armchair Books, Mountain FM, Dubh Linn Gate, Southside Diner, Prior Skis, The Love Nest, Whistler Backroads, Sherwin Williams Paint, Rona, WMN.FM and XL Audio Visual. Thanks also to Tourism Whistler for helping to spread the word, and to the RMOW for their support with our pilot project at The Point. A special thank you to all the volunteers who put in a great effort to make it all happen.

At their best, festivals manage to bring together the many layers in a society, uniting people and leaving them with a sense of magic. When the stars were falling from the sky, and the crowd on the grass watched Aude Ray's final Suitcase of Dreams performance on the floating stage, I felt we'd managed to do just that. We're already looking forward to next year's festival on the second weekend of August. See you then, or at the final two Saturdays at The Point this summer!

Stephen Vogler

Artistic Director, The Point Artist-Run Centre

Our turn at the WHC Centre

We've been coming here for skiing since 1992, when the Keg was right on the edge of town, and the red, blue, orange and black chairs were all still in service on Whistler. For the last 12 years, we've been owners here, bringing our kids here for the summer as well, and watched them grow into the numerous daredevil and not so daredevil activities Whistler offers, summer and winter. Over the years we've had various trips to Whistler Physio for minor bits and pieces, and friends we've travelled with have graced the health care centre with various broken bones and torn ligaments.

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