Taking art to the people 

A leisurely stroll down the Valley Trail can be a surprisingly cultural experience — aside from the natural beauty of the great outdoors, there are some impressive manmade pieces along the way.

Penny Martyn’s “Cycling Salmon” sculpture next to the River of Golden Dreams, Laurence Knowles’ First Nations-inspired sculpture series, Patrick Sullivan’s “Last Love” stone sculpture by the Lake Placid Road train station, and Joan Baron’s “Poet’s Pause” are all early pieces of the Neighbourhood Valley Trail Project.

An initiative of the Resort Municipality of Whistler and the Public Art Committee, the project is designed to bring art into the community, and involve residents and visitors in the creative process. The stone sculptures were carved in public places to allow people to observe and interact with the artists. The “Cycling Salmon” project featured an artist-led community tile-making workshop, with the finished products being incorporated into the piece, and Baron’s “Poet’s Pause” used the work of local writers in a poetry display.

“The goal of the Neighbourhood Valley Trail Project is to take art beyond the village and into the neighbourhoods,” Kevin McFarland, parks planner for the RMOW, explained in a recent press release.

Now, the committee and municipality are looking for a local artist to complete the fourth phase of the project. Artists may propose their own theme and location along the trail for their project. Proposals are due by Friday, Aug. 15. For more information, contact Elizabeth FitzZaland at eftizzaland@whistler.ca .


Grants for groups


Members of the Whistler Arts Council (WAC) with upcoming arts and cultural project on the horizon may be eligible for a bit of help with funding.

WAC has just announced that $3,000 for their 2009 Members Group grants has been made available through the B.C. Arts Council’s Member Groups Assistance.

Depending on the number of applications received, the grants will range from $400 to $1,000, with funding made available to WAC group members who have plans for arts and cultural projects that align with the council’s mandate during the period from January to December 2009.

Examples of projects eligible for the funding include professional development sessions for writers, artists and performers, assistance with programming and productions for the performing and literary arts, art exhibitions, and project-related costs like venue and equipment rental. Funding cannot be used for things like general operating expenses, deficits or equipment purchase.

The deadline for application is Friday, Aug. 15. For more information, contact Doti Niedermayer at director@whistlerartscouncil.com .


You are getting verrrry sleepy…


If you’re in the mood for some serious laughs, head to Merlin’s this weekend and prepare to be impressed by the R-rated hypnotism of Sailesh.

Integrating music into his shows with a live DJ, hypnotherapist Sailesh has performed all over the world.

He promises to get the audience rolling in the aisles, persuading willing audience participants to act in skits like The Jerry Springer Show and rubber body parts.

Performances take place at Merlin’s on Saturday, July 12 and Sunday, July 13 starting at 9 p.m. Admission is $10 at the door.


Celebrating mountain culture


Bust out your chalk bag and carabiners — it’s time for the 2008 Squamish Mountain Festival.

This grassroots gathering celebrates the mountain culture offerings of the area, namely climbing and bouldering, through a wide range of activities. Starting on Wednesday, July 16, and finally wrapping up on Sunday, July 20, mountaineering enthusiasts can partake in a climbing night, photography competition, film festival, multiple clinics and, of course, a few parties. Events are being held at various locations throughout Squamish during the five-day festival.

Steep Shot, a climbing photography competition, focuses on three to five minute long slideshows by Boone Speed, Jia Condon, Keith Ladzinski, Jordan Wright and Andrew Querner, featuring their b est climbing shots set to music. The winning entrant will walk away with $3,000.

Sixteen films will also be screened at the Squamish Adventure Centre and Eagle Eye Theatre during the festival.

Arc’Teryx and Mountain Equipment Co-op are sponsoring this year’s festival. For a full lineup of events, or to purchase tickets online, visit www.squamishmountainfestival.com .

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