LIVE at Squamish returns for third year 

Festival to be held at Hendrickson Field from Aug. 24 to Aug. 26

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Lo and behold, LIVE at Squamish returns for a third year. It will run from Friday, Aug. 24 to Saturday, Aug. 26.

Paul Runnals, senior vice president of brand.LIVE, which produces the festival, confirmed the date on Friday after the company posted the dates via their Twitter feed. He tells Pique they were trying to hold off on a formal announcement due to "a couple major announcements" they'll roll out in the next couple of weeks.

"We were going to try to keep it under our cap but it certainly doesn't bother us," he says. "(The dates have) been out there since before Christmas and there's people that we're working with are well aware of the dates."

Runnals is keeping mum about these "major announcements" for now, but says they will "shed even more light on what's coming."

But these will not include the artist line-up. The company is "right in the middle" of securing live acts for the festival.

"We have some that are done (and) and we have others that we're working on," he says. "But we're very pleased with where this is going."

There will be no major changes to the format of the 2011 festival. The festival is working with the District of Squamish to secure more on-site camping for attendees, as well as flushing out the programming on the Friday night.

Check back with Pique for more details on the festival as they are released.

Arts Council chair steps down

Yes, there's been a shake-up at the Whistler Arts Council board.

Chair Leanna Rathkelly has stepped down and past-chair (and 2011 Citizen of the Year) Joan Richoz has stepped in to fill the role.

But anyone thirsty for a tale of betrayal and deceit better seek out old Melrose Place episodes because this shake-up is about as dry as a Palmetto Pointe re-run. Rathkelly is simply moving to Victoria and, as such, can no longer serve as a chair of the WAC Sounds reasonable. Richoz is filling in as interim chair until WAC's 2012 Annual General Meeting in May. No drama here folks.

The Sheepdogs to play TWSSF

In other festival news, the first music acts are rolling out the door for this year's TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival, held from April 13 to 22

Saskatoon's beloved shaggy-haired rockers The Sheepdogs will headline the main stage on the festival's final day. Their appearance will mark their one-year anniversary after appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone, the first unsigned act to do so in the magazine's history, and thereby catapulting them to rock 'n; roll success. Suffice to say, the year has been a wild one.

Also on the bill are Melbourne genre-smashers The Cat Empire and fellow Aussie indie-folk trio Tinpan Orange on April 15.

But as we're all well aware, TWSSF is not just about the music. It's about corporate tents and hordes of people crowding the village, and packed nightclubs and walking condom figures doling out free Trojans. And, yes, it's about arts events that have grown in popularity year after year. And, the skiing and the snowboarding.

Also slated for the festival this year: the 72 Hour Filmmaker Showdown (April 17), Fashion EXPOSED (April 20), Intersection (April 18), the Pro Photographer Showdown (April 19), State of the Art (April 13-20), the Chairlift Revue (April 22), the 2nd Cuts Filmmaker Screening (April 18) and Best of the Fest (April 22). The big dance-party sendoff, The End, is set for April 21 at the Whistler Conference Centre.

Squamish performer gets ECMA Nod

Children's performers On The Back Porch, featuring Squamish's Daryl Robb, have been nominated for an East Coast Music Award (ECMA) for Children's Recording of the Year for their album Tales Tall & True.The winner will be announced during East Coast Music Week, which will be held in Moncton, New Brunswick from April 11 to 15.

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