Cue the Graduation March! Arts Whistler celebrates a new generation of talented artists.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, June 28, 2016

WHISTLER, BC – The commencement speeches are done, graduation caps tossed in the air, and Arts Whistler celebrates another year of Student Art Awards and Bursaries for 2016. Each year, Student Art Awards are presented by Arts Whistler to selected students in grades 7 and 12 from schools in Whistler, Pemberton, and Mount Currie. This year, a total of 23 students from the seven eligible schools submitted applications for the awards, and a total of $1,900 was presented to the winners in denominations of $100 each for grade seven winners, and $500 each for grade 12 winners. Bursaries were awarded to four students, who will use the funds to attend dance, theatre, music and acting programs.

Since 1987, Arts Whistler has recognized artistic achievement in the visual, literary, performing, and media arts as demonstrated by graduating students from elementary and secondary schools in the region. Eligible schools include Myrtle Philip Community School, Spring Creek Community School, Whistler Secondary School, Whistler Waldorf School, Signal Hill Elementary School, Pemberton Secondary, École La Passerelle Whistler, l’École de La Vallée de Pemberton, and Xit’olacw Community School.

“We received a large variety of submissions this year with a unique range of visual, literary, and performance artwork, and with the exceptional caliber of some pieces it was difficult for the jury to decide. The student art award is a wonderful opportunity to see each student express their individual style and passion,” said Shelagh Thiessen, Community Arts Programmer at Arts Whistler. “Our jury members are always very moved by the distinctive style and confidence the student applicants embody when auditioning in the performing portion. The most difficult part is choosing a recipient for each school when there are so many talented artists that apply.”

This year’s grade seven Art Award winners included Charlotte Kluftinger from Signal Hill School, who submitted three pieces of photography in the visual category, Tristan Gosselin from Myrtle Philip who submitted four pieces total, two pieces of artwork and two poems, and Helen Kim from Spring Creek, who presented four drawings in the visual category and performed two pieces on the piano.

The grade 12 winners included Tazara Lopes and Carli Leppard from Whistler Secondary School. Tazara submitted a portfolio of detailed drawings, while Carli performed several solo piano pieces with vocals for the panel of judges at the Arts Centre. Tatiana Fogerty from Pemberton Secondary School, who also sang at the Arts Centre, and Qyiyak Bikadi from Xit’olacw Community School, who was selected by the Xit’olacw school panel.

Student Art Bursaries are also available for students who wish to further their studies in the visual, performing, literary, or media arts at a credible institution or from a recognized mentor or artist. This can be for a program that is not just limited to summer months. Bursaries are typically $100-$200 and can contribute to tuition, accommodation, and travel costs associated with the studies. Applications are evaluated based on the financial need of the applicant student or family, previous training or experience, and accomplishment in the area of the art the student plans to pursue, and the credibility of the mentor artist, institute, school, or program or the student is attending.

This year, Arts Whistler’s Student Art Bursaries have been awarded to Tristan Easy-Triponez, who will use his funds to attend LB Productions Summer Theatre & Arts Camp, Quinn Isert, who will attend the Vibe Tribe Dance Centre in Whistler, Caley Clark, who will participate in the Fusion Dance Camp in Harrison Hot Springs, and Roan Isert, who will use his bursary to attend the Whistler Community Youth Band in Whistler.

For more information on the Student Art Awards and Bursaries, please visit the Artist Info page at


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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 the Performance Series, and hosts year-round free-admission exhibits in The Gallery supporting local artists and their craft. Annual events include the Whistler Children’s Festival, Whistler Street Entertainment, Bizarre Bazaar, ArtWalk, 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.


Jillian van der Geest
Communications Specialist
Arts Whistler

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