LIFTing the Community
Retired Catskinner Chairs Find New Life As Works of Art with LIFTing the Community
Outdoor Exhibit: Whistler Village and Upper Village | FREE, all ages | June – August, 2021
Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, Mike Tyler & Bob Van Engelsdorp
Proceeds will benefit: The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation
The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation is dedicated to providing financial support to organizations whose activities provide benefit to residents of the Sea to Sky Corridor in the areas of health, human services, education, recreation, arts & culture and the environment with a special emphasis placed on youth and family programs.
Artists: Mike Tyler and Bob Van Engelsdorp
Artist, sculptor and entrepreneur, Mike is a self-taught artist. Mike’s various styles of art have left their mark in, and on, some of the finest homes in Whistler and beyond. His art, as well as many other creations, have become well known for their unique style and attention to detail. Bob is a local firefighter who has always been an artist at heart. Bob and Mike have created many amazing creations together. They definitely are the dynamic duo!
Cushions created by ANGELA & ANDREA cooneysisters.com
*As this is an outdoor exhibit, all chairs will be touched up by the artists before going to their new home. Find our more about the auction
Discover the story behind the chair and find out more about the artist and organization:
Artist, sculptor, entrepreneur. Mike is a self-taught Canadian artist. Since beginning on his creative path, Mike’s various styles of art have left their mark in, and on, some of the finest homes in Whistler, B.C and beyond. His art, as well as many other creations, have become well known, for their unique style and attention to detail. Born in Toronto in 1968, Mike grew up in Georgetown, Ontario. At this home he began at an early age working on all sorts of creative interests and inventions that eventually turned into a passion and career. After finishing Business College in Ontario at the age of 21, he moved to British Columbia. The environment that came from this move lead to his connection to nature, and his interest in the materials it is created with. This greatly influenced his overall style and medium choices. Along this path, using his natural desire to work with his hands and tendency to be drawn to materials that are natural, solid and “stand the test of time”, Mike turned to construction and specialized in stone work of many types leading to his interest in stone carving and sculpting. Mike currently lives in Mount Currie, B.C., running his business which incorporates rock-scape construction, mixed with small and large scale art of many different styles. By combining both of these interests he has created several public art projects that can be seen in the Sea to Sky area.
Bob Van Engelsdorp
Bob Engelsdorp is a local firefighter who has always been an artist at heart. Bob and Mike have created many amazing creations together. They definitely are the dynamic duo!
Whistler Blackcomb Foundation
The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation is dedicated to providing financial support to organizations whose activities provide benefit to residents of the Sea to Sky Corridor in the areas of health, human services, education, recreation, arts & culture and the environment with a special emphasis placed on youth and family programs. Annually the Foundation donates a million dollars in grants to local non-profits.
LIFTing the Community
Local artists have transformed 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 recently provided space for the artists to work in the Whistler Conference Centre.
The reimagined chairs are 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 with the funds going to the community organizations to support their programs that support community belonging and wellbeing.
Learn more about all of the participating community groups and creative artists paired with them:
- Arts Whistler | Anna Lynch
- Audain Art Museum | Dave Petko & Liz Thomson
- 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 & Dominique Nahanee
- Whistler Adaptive Sport Program | Vanessa Stark
- Whistler Blackcomb Foundation | Mike Tyler & Bob Van Engelsdorp
- 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
Take yourself on a tour and discover all of the chairs for yourself!
With thanks to our sponsor Epic Promise, and project partners:
Thanks to Neutron Factory Works for production support.
Accommodation provided by: