When you think of Whistler, your mind probably wanders to fresh powder skiing, stunning scenic views, or some rather hazy nights at an array of bars and après spots. While Whistler’s arts scene may be the last thing to come to mind, Whistler boasts a bustling arts scene, a rich cultural heritage, and a broad array of museums showcasing our fascinating history. If there’s ever a rainy day, have an enriching and educational day out exploring the captivating art and history that lies at the centre of Whistler’s identity. Here are our must-visits.
The Audain Art Museum showcases nearly 200 works of BC art from the late 18th century to the present day. The building itself is stunning, and displays both permanent and contemporary installations. Experience a dynamic and varied exhibition of traditional works of the province’s First Peoples, including one of the world’s finest collections of Northwest Coast First Nations masks. Also on offer is an exhibition of some of Canada’s finest contemporary masters today, like photo-conceptualists Jeff Wall and Stan Douglas. Find this museum open 6 days a week at 4350 Blackcomb Way.
As an advocate for the arts, local artists, and local community, Arts Whistler provides people with the opportunities to access bold, inspiring, and simply amazing experiences. Fuelled by imagination, this organisation hosts incredible events for all of the family.
Try a Make-It tent where your little ones can get crafty, or attend an Art on the Lake workshop where you can create your own masterpiece against an unbeatable backdrop. Either way, immerse yourself in the arts and get your creative juices flowing! Arts Whistler also organise a variety of free street entertainment throughout the summer, including balloon twisters, fire spinners, and even the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
The Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre showcases the history and culture of both the Squamish Nation and Lil’wat Nation. Their amazing permanent exhibition, “What We Treasure”, teaches you all you need to know about local historical ceremony, language, regalia and stories, and showcases a variety of baskets, blankets, canoes and carving drums.
All these artefacts of ancestral legacy are held in a museum designed as a modern architectural interpretation of the longhouses of the Squamish people and the Istken of our Lil’wat people. After exploring everything, you can even treat yourself to a deliciously unique style of modern First Nations cuisine at their Thunderbird Café.
Did you know that the original name of Whistler was Summit Lake, BC? Us neither.
Whistler Museum, located behind the Whistler Public Library, has an innovative range of exhibitions and education programs to enrich and educate both locals and guests. Learn about Whistler’s journey from wilderness to world-class resort, and see memorabilia from the infamous 2010 Winter Olympic Games. The interactive exhibits on local wildlife make this the perfect activity for kids, and with a donation entry fee it’s great if you’re looking for a budget-friendly activity.
Immersing yourself in Whistler’s art, history and culture will truly transform how you see and experience such a magical place. If you need anywhere to stay on your cultural journey, check out Whiski Jack’s luxurious Condominiums and Townhouses to find your ideal vacation home. You can also fill out a contact form here, or call us on 1-844-957-7368 to book today!