It’s almost time to begin another summer of Crafts in the Park, run collaboratively by both Whistler Museum and the Whistler Public Library! This year, as Canada’s 150th, the theme will be, “A Journey Through Whistler’s History”. Each week will cover a different aspect of how Whistler came to be! The event runs from 11:00 -12:00, every Friday from July 7 – August 18. It will be held in Florence Petersen Park, just in behind the library. The hour will begin with a story and information activity under the story tree, followed by an example and explanation of the craft. It is a drop-in program for all children ages 4-12, with a chaperone present.
2017 Crafts in the Park Schedule:
Week 1 – July 7th: First Nation’s Traditions
A journey through Whistler’s history could not begin without exploring what Whistler was like thousands of years ago. The Squamish and Lil’wat First Nations have been using Whistler as shared territory for longer than we can imagine. Along with these people, there were also animals, each with its own meaning and connection to the First Nations Culture. We will explore the connections of four animals in particular – Eagle, Bear, Wolf, and Hummingbird – before colouring and completing a headdress of one of the animals. This craft will be tied together with a drumming song, where the kids can be taught to dance like their chosen animal! There will also be a second craft this week for the older children, the slightly more difficult task of completing their very own dream catcher!
Week 2 – July 14th: Beaver Builders
The valley itself has always had inhabitants, long before any pioneer settlers arrived. These pioneers were the animals of Whistler, many of which still live here to this day. One of Whistler’s pioneer animals was the beaver. In making the valley their home, beavers made dams along waterways. This changed the landscape for many years to come. Many of the rivers and streams in Whistler are still the way they are because of beavers. For the first craft, we will be creating both pinecone beavers and their paper bag dams to represent these early landscapes.
Week 3 – July 21st: Rustic Rainbow Lodge
Whistler’s most well known original settlers were Myrtle and Alex Philip. They came to Whistler with the dream of opening a fishing lodge – and they did just that! The lodge they build was called Rainbow Lodge, which they opened to the public as a summer’s weekend getaway. This week we will be building our very own Rainbow Lodges. Kids will piece together colourful popsicle sticks right in the middle of their personally designed paper plate landscape.
Week 4 – July 28th: Giddy Up Horsey
At the time of the earliest pioneers, getting to Whistler was not easy. In fact, it would take three day to get here from Vancouver. The first day was spent on a steamboat from Vancouver to Squamish, and from there you would have to walk all the way to Whistler, accompanied by a pack horse. To represent this journey, we will be making our very own horse, who can stand all by itself! We will also make a little clothespin rider, because even though the horses weren’t ridden to get to Whistler, once they arrived they sure were!
Week 5 – August 4th: Travel by Train
Travelling to Whistler became a lot easier in 1914 with the introduction of the railway. Instead of 3 days, the trek now took about 9 hours; still a lot more than we are used to in modern times. This railways had major influence on making Whistler the popular resort destination it is today. This craft will entail creating our very own popsicle stick railway, and a train to go along with it.
Week 6 – August 11th: Fun with Fishing
Long before Whistler was a winter skiing destination, people came here for the summertime. Whistler was known for horseback rides in the mountains, and swimming and fishing in the lakes. In fact, the iconic Rainbow Lodge was opened as a fishing lodge. People heard of the “lakes overflowing with fish”, and excitedly made their way to Whistler to stay at the lodge for the weekend. Many people loved it so much that they never left, and from there it grew and developed into this summer and winter town.
Week 7 – August 18th: Bobsled Runners
Franz Wilhelmsen had a dream of opening Whistler mountain in order to host the 1968 Winter Olympic Games. Although that bid was turned down, the dream did not die. On July 3 2003, Whistler and Vancouver won the bid to hold the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. This pushed Whistler to develop even more, such as in building the Whistler Sliding Centre. As the fastest ice track in the world, this track held the bobsleigh, skeleton, and luge events at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. To give a nod to the Olympics as part of Whistler’s more recent history, the final craft will be to make our very own cup bobsleds and a pipe-cleaner rider.
Join us for some summer-time fun!