“Get Edu-macated!” – Whistler’s Summer of Learning

“Get Edu-macated!” – Whistler’s Summer of Learning

LEFT:VSO Institute brings music instruction to the mountains. RIGHT: Best classroom ever. Writing school on the dock at The Point.

Be it physical and sporting progression or basic life skills, many of Whistler’s most valuable lessons are learned the hard way: look before you leap, don’t use Facebook when you’re drunk, taco salad is not a real salad, etc.

But times change, cultures evolve and, for the summer of 2015 at least, Whistler can truly be considered a mountain-based hub of education and opportunity to learn new things the easy way – through professional instruction and thought-provoking dialogue with experts in the field.

While creativity and mountain culture have long gone hand in hand this summer Whistler’s education scene has been growing steadily (we even host TEDactive Talks now) and there seems to be a small plethora of learning opportunities blowing into the valley each year. It’s Higher Learning (at elevation) and with all the biking, lakes and mountain fun to be had after classes finish Whistler is the perfect place for summer school. Check it out!

Writers Adventure Camp at The Point  

June 6-7, 2015
They say we all have at least one great story in us and this camp, organized by the team behind Whistler’s Flag Stop Theatre festival, covers all the bases. Professional writers meet at one of Whistler’s original lakeside properties to discuss the art and craft of writing everything from memoirs to comedy to fiction and song. The Point is a mix of history, nature and solitude. What form will your story take? Get more info. 

Vancouver Symphony Orchestral Institute at Whistler

June 28 –  July 5, 2015
Music students from around the world will converge on Whistler for a week of high-caliber, super world-class musical instruction combined with free time to explore the mountains, lakes and Village of Whistler. Like a super elite Band Camp, Vancouver Symphony Orchestral Institute registration went bonkers and the selection process is still not finished but the good thing about this one is even if you can’t play an instrument you can still enjoy two public rehearsals and the Whistler Institute Concert on July 5, 2015. Those are all free at Whistler Olympic Plaza. More Details.

VSO Whistler Institute students will perform a free concert on July 5,2015.

Emily Carr Summer Studio for Teens

August 10-19, 2015
Named after one of British Columbia’s best known painters the Emily Carr University of Art + Design is about as artsy as it gets in this province and for ten days in August the Vancouver-based institute is setting up a Summer Studio for Teens to introduce sketching, drawing and illustration techniques. The course is for students aged 15-18 and includes field trips and site visits to some of Whistler’s more aesthetic locales. (Will they get a sneak peak at the opening-soon Audain Art Museum? It is home to a large collection of Emily Carr’s work….) More info and registration here.

Whistler Arts Council: Art on the Lake

July-August 2015
A perennial Whistler favourite the Art on the Lake workshops take place on the shores of Alta Lake in another secluded historical spot, the Alta Lake Station House. “The Lake House is just a beautiful place,” says celebrated local landscape artist Chili Thom, who has taught there numerous times. “There is no traffic going by, no interruptions. You are just out on the lake surrounded by amazing mountains and peace and quiet. It’s incredible. And inside, the zone where you paint is two stories high. I always find creativity flows better with a high ceiling.”
The Lake sessions kick off with a Watercolour Workshop for all levels July 18-19, 2015 and there’s a Painting The Indoors And The Outdoors session for intermediate artists set for August 20-23, 2015.

Peace and paint on the waterfront. Whistler Arts Council classes at the Lake House.

And those only the special events. Whistler also has a full-time adventure school training people for real mountain lifestyle careers, The Arts Council has three Kids Theatre Camps lined up, and of course autumn brings the always-cerebral Whistler Readers & Writers Festival to town. As well, the Whistler Public Library hosts monthly lectures from professors at Squamish’s Quest University (the lecture for May features vice-chancellor David Helfand and is titled Innovative Education is not an Oxymoron.

There’s a lot of adventure and fun to be had in WHistler but whether reading a book by yourself, learning about the local ecosystem via zipline, checking out local history at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre or Whistler Museum, or getting up close and personal with some of Whistler’s  resident black bears, summer in the mountains is a good time to flex your brain muscles too. (Free local wisdom: poutine is not a vegetable!) Have Fun.

The Whistler Public Library and The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre offer plenty of wisdom and local knowledge.

As always, Whistler.com has your edjumacation covered with a weekly events calendar outlining what else is happening, plus accommodation packages and all the spring/summer activity and adventure information you need. It’s the smart choice! 


Feet Banks

Feet Banks

Feet Banks moved to Whistler at age 12 so his parents could live the dream and ski as much as possible. He ended up living it too. After leaving home Feet did a few good stints in warmer climates and 4 years of writing school before returning to the mountains to make ski movies, hammer out a journalism career and avoid the 9-5 lifestyle as long as possible. He’s been a hay farmer, a hole digger, a magazine editor and has a jump named after him on Blackcomb Mountain, Feet’s Air. It’s tiny.