Nope, this headline does not refer to a night out in Whistler. It refers to two of the bands
lined up for the Cultural Olympiad, a 60-day festival running parallel to the Vancouver
2010 Games. The program features some of Canada’s (and the world’s) best artists and
performers including Feist, the Hal Willner’s Neil Young Project and Blue Rodeo.
Billed as a “celebration of the contemporary imagination,” the festival will feature a variety of music, dance, theatre, visual arts, film, outdoor “spectaculars” and digital media
experiences in more than 1,500 free and ticketed performances and exhibitions.
Headlining the show will be the “Hal Willner’s Neil Young Project,” a collaboration
hatched by renowned Canadian producer Hal Willner to honor the rock icon. Canada’s
Broken Social Scene and Joan as Police Woman, among others, will come together to
perform some of Young’s most famous work.
Quebec’s own The Lost Fingers will bring their unique take on 80’s pop hits in a swinging gypsy-jazz style sparked by their musical mentor celebrated guitarist, Django Reinhardt. They have quickly gained popularity across Canada with their updated versions of
yesterday’s hits like “Billie Jean,” “You Shook Me All Night Long” and “You Give Love a
Bad Name.” You gotta hear it to believe it.
Also on tap are club sensations Chromeo and Team Canada DJs; acoustic iconoclast
City and Colour; and Somali-Canadian rapper, poet and musician K’naan, who will team
with Tinariwen, a collective of poet guitarists for a special performance.
Classical music and opera fans will find Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand” by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Vancouver Opera’s production of Nixon in China. For
those checking in from afar, the Cultural Olympiad’s Digital Edition (CODE) is an online
collaborative art project. Highlights of
CODE Live will include a Drum & Light
Festival anchored by
Hard Rubber Orchestra and a live performance by well-known
scratcher Kid Koala,
who achieved international fame in 2000
with Carpal Tunnel
Syndrome and went on to open for Radiohead and Bjork.
A project called Art Under Foot will bring local artists Liz Calvin and Bruce Walther to
oversee the daily design and production of four tile mosaics on Vancouver’s sidewalks.
The mosaics will take shape as passersby watch daily during the month of February.
Visitors can watch the designs come to life while interacting with the artists.
Up north, the Cultural Olympiad will partner with Whistler Live, a network of six outdoor
stages, screens and performance sites throughout the Whistler Village. For nearly a
month, there will be free entertainment every day throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. When the day’s competition winds down, live music, films, street
performances and visual arts will crank up. Whistler Medals Plaza will be the centerpiece
of Whistler Live, hosting nightly victory ceremonies with athlete medals presentations
and concerts from artists including Canadians Blue Rodeo and, yep, the Barenaked
Ladies. — Eric Williams
For more information visit vancouver2010.com/celebrations-and-ceremonies
Along with serving seafood, pasta and steak at the main restaurant, they’ll
operate a temporary tapas bar called PCH Prime near the downhill finish.
If you don’t mind constantly ringing cowbells, the Swiss House will take
over local restaurant/lounge The Mountain Club. “That place will be pretty
bumping,” says Fraughton.
Called “easily the most popular bar in Whistler,” and “one of the most
favorable locations in all the drinking world,” by the National Post’s Mark
Hume, the Longhorn Saloon is at the base of the Whistler and Blackcomb
gondolas and is a locals’ favorite for cracking pool balls and slamming shots
while fueling up on pub grub. With a frat house vibe and a heated outdoor
patio, it will be packed fast.
In the heart of Whistler Village is Moe Joe’s Nightclub, which has hosted
Toots and the Maytals, the Team Canada DJs, DJ Jazzy Jeff, the Sweatshop
Union and Guru, among others.
Trendy hotspot Garfinkel’s, voted 2009 Whistler Venue of the Year at the
Vancouver Nightlife Awards, is a large nightclub and concert venue located
near the Whistler Town Square. Garfinkel’s has a weekly lineup of parties
including locals’ night on Thursdays and Big Party Saturdays. With special
events like Burlesque/Cornucopia’s Naughty Party, Garfinkel’s should only
reveal more of its raucous side during the Games.
For a more laidback scene, there’s Roland’s Pub at Creekside, and for the
nordic crowd setting up shop near Squamish, the spot to be is the Shady
Tree Pub, which has 15 beers on tap.
With freestyle skiing and snowboarding at Cypress Mountain in North
Vancouver, the newest sports’ athletes will be close to the main hub of the
“Yaletown, a neighborhood of clubs and restaurants, is going to be hot,”
says Nancy Lanthier, events listings coordinator for the Vancouver Sun,
who points specifically to celeb hangout the Opus Bar, a lounge in the Opus
Hotel known for its innovative cocktails, “O Bites” and live music from
some of the city’s best local DJs.
The Gastown neighborhood near BC Place (site of Opening and Closing
Ceremonies) has a variety of clubs and bars to celebrate a victory or forget
“The Modern is kind of hip for the younger crowd, with the latest DJs
locally and internationally,” says Lanthier of the award-winning Gastown
discotheque with two floors of state-of-the-art sound and light systems.
Down the street from the BC Place are Belgian restaurant Chambar and,
next door, a sister daytime restaurant, Medina, for coffee and Morocco-in-spired lunches/brunches and good music.
And down a back alley is Gastown’s Salt Tasting Room. “Salt is a restaurant and wine bar but it’s pretty groovy for going to have a drink,” says Lanthier. “It’s in a back alley and back alleys in Vancouver are kind of sketchy,
so it’s a classy place in a back alley in the east side — it adds to the cachet.”
Vancouver Sun restaurant editor Mia Stainsby says visitors have to try
izakaya, a spin-off of sushi that she explains as creative Japanese-style little
dishes; try Hapa Izakaya on the west end.
“Chinese restaurants are part of the scenery here,” adds Stainsby. “Try Sun
Sui Wah for a taste of what Chinese food (including dim sum) should be.”
And, oh yeah, you’re on the ocean. Outdoor eatery Go Fish has fresh-off-the-boat fish and chips and po’ boys. Sounds like the perfect post-ski cross
meal to us.