Whistler Children's Festival Sees Record Numbers



For immediate release:  Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Whistler, B.C. – If you build it, they will come. The Whistler Arts Council (WAC)’s decision to move the Whistler Children’s Festival to the Whistler Olympic Plaza proved to be the best one as numbers for the event were higher than any in its 30 year history.

            “We wanted to grow the event,” says event manager Patty Blomberg. “We planned that moving it to a high-traffic location would increase attendance.”

            The two-day festival was blessed with great weather, and temperatures held steady at a comfortable 23 degrees Celsius. Thanks to the workshop and activity tents that rimmed the perimeter and were in the centre of the plaza, participants were shaded while their imaginations were ignited.

            Last year 75% of the available spots in the registered creative workshops were filled. This year 966 of the potential 1084 spaces sold, for a total of 89% filled spots – a record for the 30-year-old event.

            The new location played a large role in attracting visitors to the festival. “Many of the workshops were filled with children who don’t live here,” says Blomberg.

            Some instructors even took on extra participants, feeling bad that the workshops had been sold out. Face painter Nina Moore painted 160 faces on Saturday alone – a startling number even for her. The lineup to her tent and both balloon twisters was steady on both days.

            Last year roughly 5,000 participants came to the festival. This year, approximately 6,500 locals and visitors attended the event, making 2013 the highest attendance the festival has ever experienced.

            “We are thrilled to have such high numbers,” says WAC executive director Doti Niedermayer. “The enthusiasm we saw for the festival, from adults and children alike, was exactly what we want to achieve year after year. The fact that the numbers were higher than ever was a bonus.”

            One of the greatest successes came from the new RBC Emerging Artists stage, which showcased local talent of all ages. Children and adults sang, played musical instruments, danced, and performed skits in between the main stage entertainment.

            “So many people expressed how much they loved the talented kids that performed on the stage,” says Blomberg. “It was inspiring to watch how engaged the audience was, and how mesmerized the kids were with the performances.”

            Plans are already underway for next year’s festival.

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About the Whistler Arts Council

The Whistler Arts Council (WAC) has been integrating the arts into the daily life of Canada’s premier resort community since 1982. A respected community stakeholder, WAC is a registered charity that leverages strategic government and business partnerships to increase cultural tourism and community engagement by producing unique arts initiatives that foster audience, artist and economic opportunities. 

WAC produces dynamic events year-round while operating Millennium Place, Whistler’s home for arts and culture featuring a 250-seat theatre, gallery and meeting space.

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Brigitte Mah

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Whistler Arts Council

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