Last Saturday, locals and visitors alike descended on the Whistler Conference Centre to sample dozens of wines as part of Cornucopia’s annual Crush event.
Many were decked out in eveningwear as they perused the offerings and downed their share of samples. The night before, art lovers packed the Audain Art Museum for the opening exhibit of Stone and Sky: Canada’s Mountain Landscape. During that party, the museum also announced that its foundation had received a $2-million donation for its endowment fund from Tom and Teresa Gautreau, whose names will now adorn the special exhibition galleries on the lower level.
On top of that, the Whistler Film Festival is also gearing up, this year bringing with it a record number of people associated with the films that will be screening.
Sure, the resort’s opening day might be on Whistlerites’ mind, but it seems pre-winter season in the valley is all about the arts.
This, of course, isn’t an accident. For one, Arts Whistler has dubbed its autumn programming “Fall for Arts” to highlight all of the music, visual arts and various performances scheduled for this slower, rainy time of year.
Likewise, Cornucopia was strategically placed in shoulder season to draw more visitors up the highway when the outdoor activities aren’t particularly great (and, of course, highlight Whistler’s culinary offerings).
There is a palpable feeling that all this effort has paid off. Without any marketing attached, it wouldn’t be hard to figure out there are still plenty of cultural things to do in Whistler when the weather is cold and wet.
For locals, however, the desire to hibernate — or cleanse — ahead of the busy winter season is strong. Resting, offering your liver a little break and saving your money might be a prudent move before the chaos begins, but it’s worth digging into the other side of Whistler while you have a chance as well.
This fall, challenge yourself to attend at least a couple of cultural events on offer — if only to get to know your community in a deeper way. If the price point is a problem, often those arts organizations are looking for volunteers (even for one-off events) in exchange for a ticket or a discount. Or consider your savings from “Sober October” (or November) and instead put a little of that six-pack money towards one ticket.
That’s not to say you should avoid the arts once the snow arrives, but rather this cold, quiet rainy fall offers the perfect opportunity to explore Whistler in a new way.