Yesterday, I stopped in at the South Side Diner in Whistler’s Creekside, for a kick-ass burger and a chance to check out a home-grown photo exhibit, Living the Dream, with photographer Carin Smolinski.
Sliding into the booth next to us were a couple of the exhibit subjects, residents of “Shanty-town”, a loft in a 2 bedroom house in Alta Vista that houses 6 room-mates, each with a little space separated by bed-sheets. The boys from Noosa Heads, Coquitlam and Toronto were stoked to be sitting under their photo, and are equally stoked to be making it work for themselves here in Whistler.
It triggered a few flashbacks – of living in a closet, an Airstream, a 2 bedroom condominium on the Benchlands with 13 other housemates, a 2 bedroom house in Emerald with 7 other housemates, and the Boot Pub’s Shoestring Lodge for as long as we were allowed.
Smolinski said she thinks part of the reason that this exhibit has resonated so well with locals is that everyone living in Whistler, even current municipal councillors and community leaders, had to start here, at some point, and has that cv of creative and alternative lodgings behind them. We have all been “underhoused.”
Smolinski’s photos are hanging at the South Side and the Gone Bakery. For a sneak preview, check out this slideshow on NBCOlympics.com