About 7 years ago i found myself living on a beautiful farm up in the mountains above Whistler. The property was perfect for a gathering of friends, a gathering of glass. (In our trade when we ‘ball’ up glass, we call that ‘gathering’ glass) I invited several of my pipe-making colleagues up for the weekend, and Voila the Great Canadian Glass Gathering was born.
The event had a real simple, organic beginning, with attendees building themselves a bench, and us all sharing one big tank of oxygen….. nowadays a crew of volunteers works weeks in advance to build sturdy benches capable of accommodating 30-40 glassblowers, with all the equipment necessary to make it happen.
This is a camping experience, with plenty of shade and fresh water to enjoy. There are several outhouses, one single small shower, a new outdoor kitchen, featuring Chef Shamus’ “Naked Baby Cafe”, a real family run organic eatery with local (1 mile!) chicken, pemberton potatoes, and all delicious ethical food.
This year we’ve got live bands, with Walk on Dead, Courageous Mountain Rangers, The Tall Brothers, and some DJ friends too. For more information and tickets, visit gcgg.ca
Ian Shamus Lennon
Let me tell you what’s so great about The Great Canadian Glass gathering (GCGG).
Glassblowers, lot’s of ‘em, gathering for the seventh year: GCGG is bigger and better than ever –without having exceeded its tiny-mountain-town charm or pristine glacial valley venue. It’s the biggest, best live,outdoor glass and grass event of the year.
Glacial Spring water flows through multiple bath and kitchen facilities among more campsites than one could find in hours. A giant tent, housing two 80-foot-long benches, wired and lined for 40+ glassblowing stations, dominates one of seven central plateaus on the 25 acre private property known as Gone To The Dogs Ranch. A veteran “old growth” patch stands near a creek. Hilly patch diverge into little nooks and wide open fields full of herbs and level spaces. Everywhere there’s another stunning mountain view, babbling brook, or guerrilla flower patch.
Sponsors from all over the world, and especially North America, donate volumes of exotic and stock materials. Premier, veteran, and novice glass blowers occupy the same work space, fostering innovation and multi-generational artistic collaborations. Great and amazing and beautiful and zany pieces emerge, and keep emerging, soon overflowing tables with inestimable fortunes of totally original art.
There’s an organic free-range scientifically guided nourishing kitchen, which is always quite delicious (i’m the cook –Hi!). Meals are cheap –$10 for a full plate, $5big single items. Every year we get more and more feedback that good food fuels all-night art. So good food we provide. Volunteers eat and stay free (just shout out and work hard(ly)). Everybody eats.
Pot Tv is there. Kush.ca is there. Urban Grower is there. MedTainer. The Bookstore. Puff. Skunk. Opus. Ted and Gayle. Redbeard. Hippo? Is that Matt Eskuche? Was that the guy that throws TY? Watch for sponsors on GCGG.ca to get some clue as to what’s hot, new, and returning at the event this year.
I hear there may be a secret contest for the first 100 passes sold. 60 have sold online so far. Check out GCGG.ca and click… “BUY TICKETS!” This year sponsors can donate through the site too –and each sponsorship package sponsors two volunteers, and comes with two free passes. So, some sponsors can bring their whole staff!
Because, maybe most importantly to the crowd: medical delivery devices abound and are customarily stoked at super-regular intervals. Cutting edge techniques and collaborative funking around lead to new, cool, awesome fun times. Irie vibes and see you soon in Birken. May the party be epic, and the art, more: GREAT! Canadian! Glass! Get There, Eh’!
The gcgg is a wonderful way for the glass community to celebrate all of the amazing talented artists. The range of work the artists produce is absolutely mind blowing and to be able to see the progression will take your breath away. Along side functional pieces the artist also produce a wide variety of marbles, pendants, and sculptures. Anything the mind can think up, they will try and make into glass.
The glass community consist of such a wide and diverse group of people and it is so wonderful for us all to have an event and place like this. Since most of us only communicate over social media, its nice to be able to see what we love so much come to life right in front of our eyes. It gives the people a chance to meet some of their favourite artists. As a family you support encourage and grow with each other. This is what the glass community does.
Whether you are an artist, collector or just a enthusiast you felt part of a close connected group of people. You take pride in watching the artists grow and improve their skills creating beautiful art. The more people that join and support this loving community, the more this art form can grow. The strong bonds I have made over they years due to the glass community are ones I know will be with me for life. I’m so happy to be involved with such a supporting group of people.