Dawn Green – Writer

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Licence to Play

kids-playingWhistler has long been revered as a place people flock to in order to escape the rigours of everyday life, where frolicking in the snow and sun is not only encouraged, it’s a staple of life in the town. So it’s not surprising then that Whistler’s longest running festival is one where children, play and imagination reign supreme.

Dreamed up by a gathering of parents who bemoaned the fact there was no event in town catering for children, thirty-one years on the Whistler Children’s Festival continues to engage, entertain and educate our youth and the young at heart.

“What makes it unique is that it was born out of the history of Whistler,” says Doti Niedermayer, executive director of the Whistler Arts Council, adding that when compared to other children’s festivals, its focus on art-making workshops, on equal par to entertainment, allow it to stand out from the crowd.

“Kids get to be active not passive,” she notes, “And they become completely engaged and immersed in the activities.”

From soap stone carving to patio lanterns, to backyard birdhouses, tin can robots and circus skills, the Whistler Children’s Festival comes alive on July 12 and 13 with a roster bursting with dozens of art workshops that encourage youngsters’ inner artists to be unleashed and imaginations to go riot.


This article was published in The Vancouver Sun and The Province on June 24, 2014.

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