Public Art Program
Whistler’s art scene is rich, vibrant and embedded within the community’s mountain culture. Painters, sculptors, ceramicists, multi-media artists, writers, actors, playwrights, photographers and filmmakers all call Whistler home and all contribute to the rich fabric of the local arts scene.
To support the cultivation of the arts in the community, the Whistler Public Art Program was created by the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) in 1996. Since that time, projects have been created by the municipality and by the private sector.
The Valley Trail Public Art Project Competition
The RMOW and the Public Art Committee invite artists to submit proposals for a project to be developed along a section of Whistler’s Valley Trail. This competition is open to artists, craftspeople and designers, as well as to individuals and teams.
The 2013 project is the fifth in the Valley Trail series. The past projects created art in the Alpine,
Whistler Cay, Creekside and Alta Lake neighbourhoods.
The Valley Trail is a vital part of the Whistler experience. It links most of Whistler’s neighbourhoods, and is very well used by residents and visitors. The general intent of the project is to:
- Introduce art along a prominent, well used route;
- Develop art that is inspired by its place;
- In some way, involve residents, visitors or a community organization as part of the art creation process.
Proposals are due by June 24, 2013.
Click here to view the Terms of Reference for this project.
Public Art Tour
- A printed brochure and map that briefly highlights each piece on the tour (available at the Village Host Kiosks and Whistler’s information centre);
- Interpretive signage on site that briefly describes each piece;
- An audio application for users to call 604-935-8215, enter in a three digit ID number, and listen to a description about the piece;
- A QR application for users to scan from their smart phone, enter a three digit ID number to view a detailed written description and link to video and/or artist websites from their mobile device; and
- An online public art section at whistler.ca/art-tour so site visitors can do a virtual tour from their home computer.
Street Banner Designs
Throughout the year, the RMOW announces calls for artists to submit applications on various art projects.
The 2013 Spring and Summer banner design competition was concluded in February 2013 with selection of a proposal by Elisa Dejong of Ridge Studio. Her proposal is called Stimulating the Senses. The banner set will be installed in the spring and summer of 2013 and 2014.
Click here for more information on Whistler's Street Banner Art program.
The Public Art Committee
Whistler’s Public Art Program typically uses a juried, open competition process to commission projects. For large scale projects this may involve a two-stage process, where a shortlist of artists are selected and compensated to expand on their initial concept. A jury, consisting of members of the Public Art Committee, as well as artists and/or designers, reviews the art and makes a recommendation to the municipality.
Whistler’s call for artist proposals is notable in that the artist’s concept submission is anonymous. The jury members identify the best concepts and then turn to the background information package to find the artist’s name, background and capability. With this method, the focus is on the strength of concept rather than on the artist’s reputation.
The Whistler Public Art Program Committee meets monthly to discuss various art projects and sets the program. The Committee consists of ten volunteers who are appointed by Council and includes: artists, gallery owners, Whistler Arts Council members, business community members, urban designers and developers, a member of Council; and Whistler residents who are passionate about art.
Members of the Public Art Committee have knowledge of contemporary art, are committed to excellence, and represent the community. They are also responsible for managing all public art projects to ensure that they are safe and durable within the public realm.