The Petersen legend continues 

At first glance, extreme skiers may seem like a bunch of reckless adrenaline junkies on a quest for their next fix. But at least one former pro skier is out to prove this stereotype wrong with his latest book, The Edge of Never: A Skier's Story of Life, Death and Dreams in the World's Most Dangerous Mountains.

William A. Kerig is coming to Whistler this week to talk about his latest book, which tells the story of a young Whistler resident, Kye Petersen, whose father, Trevor Petersen, was killed in an avalanche at Chamonix, France in 1996. Almost 10 years later, a 15-year-old Kye traveled to France to ski the same run that took his father's life and join the ranks of the big-mountain skiers.

An author and filmmaker, Kerig has chronicled Kye's journey in book and documentary film form, with the film scheduled for release in 2010.

Kerig will give a free multimedia presentation on the book and film at the Whistler Public Library on Saturday, April 18 at 5 p.m.

Spring arts emerge

As spring flowers are preparing to emerge from under a crust of leftover winter snow and mud, the Whistler Arts Council is readying its plans for yet another summer full of arts activities.

The council recently announced the lineup for the fourth annual Whistler Art Workshops on the Lake, which run from May to August at the municipality's Alta Lake Station House. This year's program includes 12 instructors - five new, seven returning - who will teach a wide range of artistic skills surrounded by the inspiring natural beauty of the rustic heritage home on Alta Lake.

Janice Robertson, Grant Fuller, Alan Wylie and Isobel MacLaurin are four of the instructors returning for the 2009 season with their drawing, intermediate watercolour and beginner acrylic classes. New to the program this year are workshops like Concepts in Painting for All Mediums, taught by Richard McDiarmid, Life Drawing and Painting with Suzanne Northcott, and Effective Acrylics with Whistler's own Chili Thom.

This year, WAC has also opted to reduce most class sizes from 15 to 12 students, while others have been reduced to 10, to allow more one-on-one time between students and instructors.

For a second year, Nita Lake Lodge has come on board with the event as the official accommodation sponsor, offering the Artist Getaway Package with reduced rates on rooms and workshop registration.

For a full schedule, visit www.whistlerartscouncil.com .

Operatic opportunity

While Sea to Sky musicians are quite diverse, boasting everything from rock 'n' roll and country to heavy metal and punk, and almost everything in between, there isn't much on the local roster for opera-lovers.

But this weekend, Vancouver's Opera Pro Cantanti is coming to Squamish with their production of Bellini's I Puritani, an opera that tells the English Civil War tale of heroism, love, madness and reunited lovers. The performance is best known for two, distinct scenes of madness and a happy ending, coupled with rousing choruses and arias.

Julie Duerichen, co-winner of the Prix Frances Poulenc, fills the role of lead soprano, while Richard Williams sings Riccardo and bass Bodo Ellendt takes on the role of doting uncle Giorgio.

The performance will take place at the Brackendale Art Gallery on Saturday, April 18 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and students at BAG and The Bookshelf.

Blake's Alaskan adventure

Local action sports photographer Blake Jorgensen recently returned from a trip to Alaska, where he enjoyed more than a week of shooting on bluebird days. A few of the stunning images from this adventure will be on display for one month at the Blake Jorgensen Gallery in the Westin Resort and Spa, starting on Friday, April 17.

And just a few days later, on Wednesday, April 22, Jorgensen will celebrate the one-year anniversary of his gallery with a special party that starts in the gallery space at 7:30 p.m., and moves into the FireRock Lounge at 10 p.m. There, DJs Kori K and Toddski take to the turntables to provide the soundtrack for what's sure to be a killer party.


Telling Whistler's stories

Organizers of the Whistler Film Festival are calling on B.C. filmmakers to write and produce the final chapter of Whistler Stories, the festival's commissioned short film competition.

The series of five-minute films, which was launched in 2005, tells stories about the local spirit and the people of this mountain town. The completed films will make their world premiere at the 2009 Whistler Film Festival.

Treatments and scripts must be submitted by Friday, May 1. For more information, visit www.whistlerfilmfestival.com .

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