Unity the theme for this year's Artrageous 

WHAT: Artrageous

WHERE: Whistler Conference Centre Underground

WHEN: Friday, July 6, 7-11 p.m.

Whistler’s week-long arts celebration wraps up this weekend with its signature event, Artrageous.

Arts Experience was, in fact, inspired by Artrageous, a night designed for showcasing local talent. The brainchild of Whistler artist, Christina Nick, Artrageous began in 1991. Seven events later, it has seen single evenings attract up to 1,000 people.

"Unity is this year’s theme," says co-ordinator Erin Pimm. "I took the direct description from the dictionary, ‘join together for a common purpose.’ And one of our purposes is that we’ve got a number of native artists coming in, so the whole idea of this theme was to bring the community together. That’s really important for joining the local artists together and giving them an establishment and a venue to display their art."

Each participating artist has been asked to submit one piece of work that follows the Unity theme. A separate area will showcase these works. Artists may use their own discretion as to what they will display in their designated space.

"And we’re approaching 50 artists for this year, adds Pimm. "We have a few from Squamish (and) up to Lillooet, as well as two native artists from the North Shore. But everyone else is from the Whistler area. Theresa Walker and Jerry Whitehead will be here. They’re very prolific artists who are actually doing two shows at the Hongkong Bank of Canada down on Georgia Street (in Vancouver) right now. We’re definitely starting to see some well-known artists showing up, which is really exciting."

Several artists will be demonstrating their craft on site. Native carver Clarence Mills, who has just recently made Whistler his home, will be carving a totem pole through the duration of Arts Experience and will continue throughout the evening at Artrageous. Other interactive art will include slide shows, tattoo artists, hair stylists as well as any impromptu demonstrations inspired by the environment.

Live music by Payton L. Rule and Jeffery John as well as DJ Lenny, organic cheese tasting from Astrid’s Fine Foods and a full bar round out an evening not to be missed.

Doors at the conference centre Underground open tonight (Friday) at 7 p.m. Admission is $5.

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