Retired Catskinner Chairs Find New Life As Works of Art with LIFTing the Community

Retired Catskinner Chairs Find New Life As Works of Art with LIFTing the Community

Retired Catskinner Chairs Find New Life As Works of Art with LIFTing the Community

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 19, 2021

An exciting new arts initiative, LIFTing the Community, is “secretly” underway at the Whistler Conference Centre. Over several weeks, local artists will transform 15 retired Catskinner ski lift chairs into works of art, reflecting the theme of belonging as perceived by 15 community groups that actively contribute to community life.

LIFTing the Community has been created to enhance the sense of belonging in Whistler and the Sea to Sky. Whether Whistler is home for a season or a lifetime, a sense of belonging benefits us all. In our ever-growing and changing community, wellness, connection and a sense of home needs to be fostered, practiced, discussed and experienced by our community.

With support from Vail Resort’s Epic Promise fund, in partnership with Tourism Whistler and the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, Arts Whistler has paired some of the Sea to Sky’s most exciting artists with 15 community groups to reimagine trusty old Catskinner lift chairs into compelling works of art. Tourism Whistler has provided space for the artists to work in the Whistler Conference Centre throughout February and March. It was hoped that the public could visit the artists in progress but that’s not possible due to current provincial health orders, so… cue the video.

Video updates from the artists’ creation phase will be shared in February and March and the story behind each chair will be shared by video weekly, May through August. All completed chairs will be on display throughout the summer in Whistler Village, for people to explore, experience and discover their own spirit of belonging. Chairs will be auctioned off in late August with the funds going to the community organizations to support their programs that support community belonging and wellbeing.

Participating artists and groups:                                             

  • Arts Whistler | Anna Lynch
  • Audain Art Museum | Dave Petko/Liz Thompson                           
  • AWARE | Ben Poechman
  • Kids on the Move | Kris Kups
  • Mature Action Community | Tonnja Kopp
  • The Point Artist Run Centre | Sherry Klassen
  • Squamish Arts Council | Kendra Hicks
  • Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre | Taka Sudo
  • Whistler Adaptive Sport Program | Vanessa Stark
  • Whistler Blackcomb Foundation | Mike Tyler
  • Whistler Community Foundation | Stan Matwychuk
  • Whistler Community Services Society | Laura Scarr
  • Whistler Museum and Archives | Alyssa Bruijns
  • Whistler Public Library | Michaela Ivancova
  • Whistler Youth Centre/Alphabet Soup | Ace Mackay-Smith/Mercedes Nicoll

Project updates and information on the LIFTing the Community auction will be shared in the coming weeks and months.

See pictures of works in progress and find out more.



About Arts Whistler:
Arts Whistler is passionate about Whistler, about arts and about making arts and culture an integral part of day-to-day life. Operating out of the Maury Young Arts Centre in the heart of Whistler Village, Arts Whistler runs a variety of creative classes, showcases an exciting lineup of live shows for Arts Whistler Live! and hosts year-round free-admission exhibits in The Gallery to support local artists and their craft. Annual events include the Whistler Children’s Festival, Whistler Street Entertainment, Arts Whistler Holiday Market, We Heart Local Art and Art on the Lake. Arts Whistler creates bold, inspiring and engaging experiences and supports an arts and culture sector in Whistler that’s welcoming, accessible and collaborative.

Get in Touch:
Twitter: @artswhistler
Instagram: @artswhistler
Hashtags: #ArtsWhistler 

Media Contact:
Mo Douglas,
Executive Director, Arts Whistler

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