Something to sing about 

Plenty of good music to look forward to at third annual Whistler Music and Arts Festival

What: Whistler Music and Arts Festival

When: Aug. 10-13

Where: Whistler Village

Admission: Free

The Whistler Music and Arts Festival takes a giant leap forward this year with live acts that range from "Put your left foot in, put you left foot out" to Frank Sinatra classics to fiddling you can’t help but jump around to.

"The lineup is definitely not all the usual suspects," said Kristen Robinson, spokesperson for the Whistler Music and Arts Festival.

The showstoppers for the weekend of non-stop live music Thursday, Aug. 10 to Sunday, Aug. 13 throughout Whistler Village include former lead singer of Wide Mouth Mason Shaun Verreault, all-girl band Lillix (from Madonna’s record label Maverick) and the Juno-award-winning The Paperboys.

Other hot acts to check out under the sun are Toronto’s Melissa McClelland, who delivers pop noire stylings, Jeremy Fisher who lets loose on harmonica and guitar, Victoria’s Velvet, which rolls out funky grooves, and Shona Le Motte, who last brought her energetic fiddling to Whistler at the Torino celebrations in Whistler Village Square.

Kids can also sing along with internationally acclaimed children performers Fred Penner and Norman Foote.

Along with Lillix and The Paperboys, Toronto’s Matt Dusk rounds off the Sunday mainstage festival programming with sophisticated and stylish crooning classics.

Art will add colour to the music festivities with artists demonstrating their talents in the afternoons in the villae’s Mountain Square. The festival also hosts a free art/gallery tour everyday from 2 to 4 p.m. The tour leaves from Mountain Square at 2 p.m.

The festival invites guests and residents alike to take advantage of the other art events around town, including the Whistler Theatre Project’s production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream Aug. 2-Sept. 3 at Ross Rebagliati Park. The outdoor summerstock production shows Tuesday to Saturday at 8 p.m. with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday.

The Dream tickets are $35/$25. Take advantage of the 2-for-1 tickets on Thursday, Aug. 10. For tickets, visit www.whistlertheatreproject.com or call 1-877-991-9988.

The Whistler Film Festival, in partnership with LUNAFliks, presents an outdoor screening of The Life & Hard Times of Guy Terrifico Thursday, Aug. 10 at 9 p.m. at Lost Lake Park.

Guy Terrifico won Best First Canadian Feature at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival. The mockumentary is about a legendary out-of-control early-70s country singer/songwriter, which includes interviews from musicians such as Merle Haggard, Blue Rodeo, Kris Kristofferson and Grammy-winning musicologist Rob Bowman.

Tickets for the hilarious satire are $5/$3. Don’t forget to bring a blanket to check out the under-the-stars film series every Thursday. The WAVE bus leaves from the Gondola Transit Exchange to Lost Lake. The bus is $.50.

Whistler’s outdoor markets further add to the celebrations. The Whistler Farmer’s Market is the largest and longest running market in town. The flurry of everything from fresh produce, baked goods and unique food products to photography and crafts runs every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the base of Blackcomb Mountain. Franz’s Trail Outdoor Market focuses more on artisans, with some local farms involved, and runs every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Creekside.

The Whistler Music and Arts Festival, presented by Tourism Whistler and Visa, is a free event open to music revelers of all ages.

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