Tiny Art & Big Inspiration: Whistler’s Season of the Arts Begins

Artist painting in Whistler.

Tiny Art & Big Inspiration: Whistler’s Season of the Arts Begins

We’ve traded t-shirts for plaids, flip-flops for rain boots and we’re counting down the days until we dust off our skis and boards. It’s a sure sign summer is behind us and fall has arrived. Which means, it’s time for adventure of a different sort.

Autumn is when our outdoor-focused world slows down long enough to appreciate all the artistic talent packed into this valley. More than a few local artists have been busy turning their inspiration into teeny, tiny pieces.

The Teeny Tiny Show kicked off Fall for Arts last week and is on show at the Maury Young Arts Centre until October 14. This show is quintessential Whistler. Artists were given no limitations other than the size, as artworks could not exceed 3 x 3 inches. It’s incredible to see what they’ve done with such a small frame. You’ll find your classic mountain town scenes peppered in with more surprising pieces like three headed cats and a canvas turned planter box.

I was blown away by the work of Marieke Kerr and her felt bear portrait, I have never seen fibre art so detailed. The creativity, resourcefulness and ingenuity in this show makes it well worth a visit. Unsurprisingly, red sales dots are going up fast so get in sooner rather than later if you want to get your hands on original, affordable Whistler art.

Teeny Tiny Show

SEPT 10 – OCT 14, 2018The Gallery at Maury Young Arts Centre | Free, Open Daily

Artwork on display at the Teeny Tiny Show

The overflowing tiny planter box. PHOTO NIKKEY DAWN

Bear art at the Teeny Tiny Show

The soulful eyes of this bear. PHOTO NIKKEY DAWN

The rest of the Fall for Arts season, which runs right up until the end of December, is full of every kind of art and culture event imaginable. From workshops to festivals, shows to artisan markets – here are a few of the ways you can revel in this creative time of year in Whistler.

Get Hands-On

Whistler Writers Festival

In its 17th year, this festival has grown from being held in the founder’s living room to seeing literary greats ushered into the ballrooms of the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, although it’s lost none of its intimate charm. You can take a workshop, attend a reading, or enjoy good music and conversation with other readers and writers at this four-day event. Take a read of the Insider’s blog on why you don’t need to be a writer to enjoy this festival. 

OCT 11 – 14, 2018 | Various Venues | More Info

Art Lab: Mini Mosaic Making

Get abstract as you try the classic art of mosaic making – no artistic skills required, just a sense of fun. You’ll learn how to use the tools and work the tile pieces into the patterns or scenes of your imagining.  

OCT 11, 2018 | 6:30 – 9 PM | Maury Young Arts Centre | More Info

Artistic Cartographies: Creatively Exploring Our Diverse Relationships with this Region

Connect your artistic expression to the Whistler area through multiple mediums and practices. It promises to be a day-long journey with sound, movement and collaboration along the picturesque shores of Alta Lake at The Point Artist-Run Centre.

OCT 6, 2018 | 10 AM – 4 PM | The Point Artist-Run Centre | More Info

Family Studio Sundays

This is hands-on art for all ages exploring themes based on the museum’s current exhibitions. Through November the theme will be “Stories of the Land” inspired by the visiting exhibition Ancestral Modern: Australian Aboriginal Art from the Kaplan & Levi Collection

SUNDAYS | 12 – 4 PM | Audain Art Museum | More Info

Family Studio Sundays at the Audain Art Museum

Enjoying a good book surrounded by incredible art at the Audain. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA

Walk, Learn and Shop

Whistler Wine Walk

Sip and savour wine and appetizers as you learn about local, regional and international artists at five different Whistler galleries. On this self-guided tour, you can visit the galleries in any order you like, a warm reception will be waiting for you at each.  

OCTOBER | Fridays, 5 – 7 PM | More Info

The Coast Salish Wool Weaving Revitalization Project at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre

If you’re visiting the Squamish Lil’wat Culture Centre during October be sure to take a look at the work of weaving apprentices Cheximiya Allison Burns Joseph (Squamish Nation) and A7xwil Travis Billy (St’at’imc and Secwepemc Nations, adopted into Squamish Nation). See them at work on Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the month.

OCTOBER | Tuesdays and Wednesdays | More Info

Through the Looking Glass: An ARTventure

Get virtual at this exhibition and dive into local artists’ processes and inspiration using a digital augmented reality app. You’ll be able to watch the artwork come to life through video on your smart phone instead of reading off a standard placard. 

DEC 8, 2018 | Fridays, 7 – 9 PM | More Info

Arts Whistler Holiday Market

An opportunity to shop and connect with local artisans, you can find everything from delicious baked goods to handmade jewellery and original paintings. This is great place to pick up that perfect holiday gift!

NOV 24 & 25 | Sat, 10 AM – 7 PM Sun, 10 AM – 5 PM | Whistler Conference Centre | More Info

Cultural Connector

Take a self-guided tour following the Cultural Connector path around Whistler. Engaging public art, Austrian architecture and fine art discoveries await you.

ALL YEAR | Hours Vary by Location | More Info

Cultural Connector in Whistler

This piece is called “Timeless Circle” by Susan Point, a Coast Salish artist from Musqueam, a First Nation in Vancouver. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA

Watch, Listen and Taste

Arts Whistler Live! David Scheel in “Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only the Piano Player”

Music and comedy come together for an evening of entertainment like no other. You’ll be laughing out loud as you enjoy classical musical along with David’s accents, voices and impersonations. 

OCT 18, 2018 | 8 PM | Maury Young Arts Centre | More Info

“Living the Dream” – Then and Now Photography by Carin Smolinski

A behind the scenes look at what it can take to “live the dream” in Whistler. The photographer first started documenting the trials of becoming a local almost a decade ago and has put together a comparative look at what has changed over the years. 

OCT 18 – NOV 13 | Open Daily | The Gallery at Maury Young Arts Centre | More Info

Coast Mountain Gothic: A History of the Coast Mountain Gothic Arch Huts

Have you ever spent a night in one of the iconic huts throughout the Coast Mountain alpine? There’s more to them than meets the eye. This exhibition focuses on their stories and how they shape our exploration of the region.

NOV 2 – DEC 31 | Open Daily | Whistler Museum | More Info


This is a festival where your taste buds can really run wild as Whistler celebrates food and wine in style. There are chef dinners, exclusive parties, bartender battles, seminars and workshops – the schedule is jam-packed with culinary-based adventures.

NOV 8 – NOV 18 | Various Times and Locations | More Info

Whistler Film Festival

Over 80 original Canadian and international films will be play at the five-day festival. The films are only the tip of the iceberg with an industry summit, talent programs and networking events – this festival is a must attend for film buffs and professionals alike. 

NOV 28 – DEC 2, 2018 | Rainbow Theatre | More Info

Screening at Whistler Film Festival

Red carpets and film screenings. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA

However you choose to explore the Whistler arts scene, you really can’t go wrong. But do try taking a page out of the Teeny Tiny Show artists’ book and appreciate the little things among the big moments this season.

Can’t get enough of the arts? Head over to Whistler.com to discover local galleries, art tours and more. 




Nikkey got her start in Whistler as an outdoor guide and the habit of talking about the place has clearly stuck. Whistler’s general laid-back lifestyle and immediate access to fun is what’s kept her around. When not hanging out on the Whistler Insider team Nikkey works as a freelance creative for outdoor and wellness brands. Nikkey’s favourite Whistler animal is the marmot- she just wants to pinch those fluffy cheeks! (but never would because she respects wildlife and really likes having her fingers attached to her hands.)