The Point Artist-Run Centre
Located on the shores of Alta Lake, close to Rainbow Park, The Point Artist-Run Centre has one of the most stunning views in Whistler. You can sit in the lodge with a cup of tea and slice of fruit pie, with live music playing, local art on the walls, and a million-dollar view of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains across the lake. You can see why this is a place has attracted pioneers, visitors, and artists for over 60 years.
Over the last five years “The Point” has grown to hosting two annual festivals, and open house Sundays during the summer months. The Cypress Point Winter Carnival happens in February, with live music, improv theatre, snow sculpting, and fireside jamming, and in August there’s the Flag Stop Theatre & Arts Festival, where you can watch theatre and dance performed on a floating dock. They have a little cash bar serving up the wine and beers called Harrop’s Bar – a throw-back to the original owners of the land before the Farihursts built the lodge and cabins you see today.
Through the summer months they also have an open house on Sundays, where you’ll find live music, art exhibits, and the Cypress Point Café serving up those famous pies - albeit baked in an oven. They also host writing workshops and retreats, children’s theatre camps, dance performances, and adult theatre mentorship workshops. In the fall you can also join them for their Thanksgiving celebration, which includes a communal traditional dinner with live music.
Did you know?
The lodge’s history dates back to the early 1950’s, built by Dick and his second wife, Eunice “Kelly” Fairhurst, it was originally called Cypress Lodge (supposedly named after the yellow cedar trees in the area) and catered to fishing tourists, construction workers, and skiers. They didn’t get electricity until the mid-50’s, but Kelly was well-known for working pie wonders on their wood-burning stove, while Dick’s mother helped to run the tea shop. Dick actually built the first ski lift in Whistler just behind the lodge. The 800-feet rope tow, powered by an old Ford V8 motor, could pull four skiers up at a time. They brought up their children at the lodge where they skated on the lake in winter and swam in summer, hiked for berries, enjoyed sailing regattas and ice breakup derbies – there’s even a story of a coyote stealing their Christmas turkey.
In 1972 the Fairhursts sold the lodge to the Canadian Youth Hostel. At the time only the Whistler ski area was only three years old and had just three lifts running. They ran the hostel until July, 2010 when they moved location to Cheakamus Crossing, selling the lodge to the Resort Municipality of Whistler. They now rent it out to The Point Artist-Run Centre, a non-profit society who recognized that the community needed an accessible place for artists to exhibit, perform, and collaborate. The Fairhursts really created a sense of community at their lodge, and that’s a legacy that is being passionately upheld today.
The Point really is a hidden Whistler gem, go there to relax by the water, take in some art and music, or get inspired to create your own. For more information visit, thepointartists.com.