Arts Whistler has announced that applications are now open, for the first time to graduating high school students for the Chili Thom Scholarship Fund.

The fund will provide bursaries primarily to graduating public high school students in the Sea to Sky region who are pursuing the arts professionally.

In a press release, Arts Whistler describes Chili Thom as a community volunteer and a strong advocate for the arts and culture community; ‘He made a connection between sport, nature and fine art and captured the spirit of the Sea to Sky with his dreamy imagery and wild at heart perspective. After a courageous and spirited fight, Chili, 40, lost his battle with cancer on November 30, 2016’.

Recipients will be selected based on criteria that includes a sample of their work, and the answer to a question inspired by the spirit of Thom himself; “Briefly describe how the art you make in the future will have the potential to inspire a community and sustain our environment”.

“Chili was instrumental in the development of arts and culture in Whistler,” says Heather Paul, Chair of the Arts Whistler board. “He was a brilliant painter and an unwavering advocate for our community’s artists. But even more importantly, Chili was someone who encouraged others to be all they could be. It is an honour to see this legacy begin, and humbling to know that the unbounded generosity of the citizens and businesses of Whistler has guaranteed that Chili Thom’s name will still be called out loud long after our own lifetimes are over.”

The bulk of the Chili Thom Scholarship Fund was created with funds raised at the ‘Arts Whistler Presents: Chili Thom Experience’ where $45,200 was raised. The Community Foundation of Whistler hopes to reach $60,000 in order to provide four scholarships a year. The funds are invested by the Foundation and the income generated supports annual scholarships in perpetuity.

In recognition of Thom being a mostly self-taught artist, enrollment into post-secondary education will not be a requirement for the scholarship, but qualifying students must identify as an artist with the eventual goal to be a professional.

Applications are now being accepted, and must be submitted by April 15th. You can find more details here:


Filed under: arts, Arts Whistler, Chili Thom, Community Foundation of Whistler, Sea to Sky, Whistler