You may be surprised to learn that Whistler’s not all about outdoor activities. Anyone who has delved into the town’s arts and culture scene would surely be impressed by the vibrant happenings taking place. Theatrical performances, art galleries, music and museums – take your pick from a plethora of exhibits and events happening throughout the year. Here is a snapshot of Whistler’s art and culture scene, and why you should spend some time exploring the cultured side of Whistler.
Whistler hosts five signature art events each year which are supported by the Whistler Arts Council. ArtWalk takes place during the summer and is a series of pop-up galleries throughout Whistler Village where local artists showcase their craft. In July Whistler Village is transformed into a utopia of balloons, tents, stages and circus acts for the Whistler Children’s Festival where families can participate in dozens of workshops, musical performances and a myriad of activities.
During the winter the Made in Whistler Artisan Market takes place at the Westin every Saturday showcasing amazing hand-made wares and delicacies from Whistler artists. Bizarre Bazaar is Whistler’s holiday artisan market taking place in the lead up to Christmas. The two day event features over a hundred artists and thousands of unique, hand-crafted products. If you’re looking for some music and theatre the Performance Series is on during the winter where live shows featuring an impressive line-up of local and touring performers hit the stage. Featuring music, theatre, comedy and film each performance is unique and enjoyable.
If you want to check out some art and cultural exhibits Whistler has some great museums and galleries to explore. The Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre is an expression of The Squamish and Lil’Wat Nation, First Nations People who are the original inhabitants of the lands surrounding Whistler. The Centre is a place where their cultural traditions are shared with others and is a must-experience attraction for the whole family.
The Whistler Museum tells stories from the pioneers of Whistler, to modern day founders and more recent events and happenings. If you want to learn about Whistler’s fascinating transformation from a small fishing village to a world-class all season resort, a visit to the Whistler Museum is a must.
Coming onto the scene in March 2016 is the Audain Art Museum which will feature a permanent collection of nearly 200 works of art taking visitors on a journey through the history of Coastal British Columbia Art. Showcasing an impressive collection of Northwest Coast First Nations Masks, a permanent Emily Carr collection and works from important post-war modernist artists- the Audain Art Museum will be home to one of BC’s most notable art collections.
Whistler is also home to other fantastic galleries spread across Whistler Village and in the studios of Whistler artists throughout the town. The Whistler Arts Council is an excellent resource for a full list of studios, galleries, and events throughout the year.
Next time you’re in Whistler store the skis for a day or two and check out the arts and culture scene. After only a glimpse into Whistler’s world of art and culture you will surely notice how interwoven it is in the fabric of the community- just one more reason why Whistler is a world-class place to live and explore.