We rule! 

Whistler Arts Showcase carries on spirit of Celebration 2010

Last year at this time, we had something to prove to the world.

When we heard officials from the International Olympic Committee were coming a-callin’ we shined our shoes, combed our hair, and ironed our Sunday best.

With the help of the folks at the Vancouver/Whistler Olympic Bid Committee, we put on a three-week extravaganza of the local arts community – film, music, theatre, culture, visuals and more – hoping to prove what an excellent, diverse and dynamic venue we would be for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

They came, they saw, we hoped they were impressed. We watched their limos drive away. And then we waited for July 2, to see if our efforts had been in vain.

Of course, they were not. We got the Games and the attention of the world.

Even though there are no officials to impress this year, the spirit of celebration lives on. In the years leading up to 2010, the Whistler Arts Council will continue to mobilize the growing arts and cultural community for the annual Celebration 2010 Whistler Arts Showcase.

"This year the initiative came from us, rather than someone else," said Arts Council Director Doti Niedermayer.

"Last year it was produced by Celebration 2010, which was the city of Vancouver and the province. This year, we want to do this for ourselves, and we want to do it every year. It’s more about us."

We rule. Got it.

Drawing funding from both the provincial government and the Resort Municipality of Whistler, the Celebration 2010 events will have their official launch with this Thursday’s Cultural Cabaret at MY Place. The invitation-only event features performers from the Whistler Children’s Chorus, Whistler Dance Academy, Short Skirt Theatre, Bushwoman Productions, plus a variety of local musicians and other performers. Showcase events continue through to March 1.

Niedermayer added that while this year appears to be a rather homegrown affair, the Arts Showcase has its sights set further.

"I think the goal ultimately as the years go on is to spread our wings more and more and work with people from the outside more and more," she said.

While guest artists at this year’s Showcase hail mainly from the Lower Mainland, Niedermayer says in the years to come she projects artists from across the country, and eventually all over the world, working alongside the international Olympic Arts Festivals.

"The focus," she emphasized, "is to look outward."

Celebration 2010 Events

What: Snowflakes

Where: MY Place

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