Shop local at the Made in Whistler Artisan Market 

Arts News: Audain Art Museum sets April date for Illuminate Gala

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - LOCAL LOVE The Made in Whistler Artisan Market returned for its fifth year Dec. 16 and runs every Saturday until the end of March. Featuring handmade wares from artisans across the Sea to Sky, the market is perfect for last-minute gift ideas this holiday season.
  • Photo submitted
  • LOCAL LOVE The Made in Whistler Artisan Market returned for its fifth year Dec. 16 and runs every Saturday until the end of March. Featuring handmade wares from artisans across the Sea to Sky, the market is perfect for last-minute gift ideas this holiday season.

If you're fed up with the big-box bonanza this holiday season, the Westin Resort & Spa has a locally made alternative. The Made in Whistler Artisan Market returned for its fifth year last week, giving Sea-to-Sky artisans an opportunity to showcase their homemade wares. Running every Saturday until the end of March, organizers have added extra holiday markets for the procrastinating shopper on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and New Year's Eve.

Managed by Arts Whistler, the weekly pop-up market features a rotating cast of 21 vendors hawking everything from handmade jewelry to art, and artisanal food.

Along with longtime local favourites such as Sugar Momma Pastries, and Squamish artist Andy Anissimoff, who will be selling his striking graphic compositions and glicée prints, there are two new vendors this year.

Mountain Monsters sells handmade monster stuffies inspired by the rugged peaks of the Sea to Sky, and includes a yeti, a bear, a mountain, and an Inukshuk to choose from.

Wood and Stuff Co. is the other market newcomer, offering home décor solutions made from reclaimed wood, like tealight candleholders crafted from the branches of a yew tree.

The market runs every Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. and is free to attend.

Audain Art Museum sets date for annual fundraising gala

The Audain Art Museum has set the date for its most significant fundraising event of the year. On April 7, the $43.5-million facility will host the Illuminate Gala and Auction for "an evening of art and light" celebrating the museum's second year of operations.

At last year's inaugural gala, 350 attendees helped raised over $300,000 for the museum. The March 11 event, held at the Westin Resort & Spa, included live music, a silent and live auction.

A registered charity, the Audain leans heavily on fundraising for support. In November, Vancouver business exec Tom Gautreau and his wife Teresa donated $2 million to the museum's permanent endowment fund, which was created in 2015 to ensure the facility's long-term financial stability. The donation led the Audain board to double down on its endowment funding target, to $50 million, already one of the largest funds attached to a Canadian cultural facility. The museum has so far raised $25 million of its ultimate goal.

"These funds will allow us to broaden our programs and grow our audience," said museum founder Michael Audain in a release last month.

The funding announcement came just days after it was revealed the museum's board of directors would not extend inaugural executive director Suzanne Greening's four-year contract once it expires in March 2018.

The museum's associate director of operations, Brianna Beacom, has been appointed as acting director while the board searches for Greening's replacement. 

According to its most recent financials, the Audain drew 55,671 visitors between March 2016 and March 2017, resulting in $453,331 in admissions revenue. It also sold 2,559 memberships during that time, worth $69,182 in revenue.

For more information, visit audainartmuseum.com.

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