Arts & Culture
Imagine what it would be like to live in a place that most people feel lucky to visit once in a lifetime. The fact of the matter is… that’s what it’s like to live in Whitefish!
We don’t have to take a vacation to visit Glacier National Park, to grab some “first tracks” at one of America’s top ski resorts, to catch a Broadway play, or to experience the excitement of a small-town rodeo. All that and more is part of our day-to-day life in Whitefish. It’s been said that our community is an island of culture, surrounded by an ocean of mountain recreation. And whether you’re looking for that perfect piece of mountain-inspired art, you want to be “wowed” by a top notch theatre troupe, or you’re ready to enjoy some Rocky Mountain bluegrass… you’re bound to find what you’re looking for in Whitefish!
The streets of downtown Whitefish are peppered with galleries, retail shops and exhibits for the art lover. Many of our restaurants feature exhibits by local artists, and while Big Sky scenery and wildlife is a popular subject of local artists, there’s definitely something for everyone in Whitefish—from pottery to metalwork, from western to modern.
Live music abounds in Whitefish. From the open mic nights at our watering holes to “world music” at the O’Shaughnessy Center to the top-notch rock, country, jazz and jambands that help keep the blood flowing in January… there’s never a shortage!
Whitefish is home to both the Alpine Theatre Project and the Whitefish Theatre Company, a pair of dynamic arts organizations who host and produce a variety of offerings year-round on two state-of-the-art downtown stages—at The O’Shaughnessy Center and the Whitefish Performing Arts Center. Whether its world class community theatre at the WTC or a Broadway musical at the ATP, you’ll find something to your liking onstage in Whitefish.
Nationally recognized as a community theatre that produces professional-level productions, Whitefish Theatre Co. presents beloved family stories, thought-provoking dramas, classic plays and comedies, and Broadway musicals, all with the goal of ensuring everyone in our community has access to the arts. Recently celebrating their 40th anniversary, WTC also hosts national and international world and contemporary music ensembles, dance companies, comedy troupes and other special events to add to their diverse, year-round season. As WTC offers 15 to 16 shows per year, there is always something captivating and entertaining happening in the I.A. O’Shaughnessy Cultural Arts Center, WTC’s permanent home.
The internationally-acclaimed Alpine Theatre Project produces world-class musical theatre and drama, showcasing seasoned professionals with major league credits … many of them direct from Broadway! The ATP offers Whitefish residents the opportunity to see actors, directors and productions that are normally seen only in major metropolitan areas, and they do it in two state-of-the-art downtown theaters – the O’Shaughnessy Center and the Whitefish Performing Arts Center.
Although not in Whitefish, the 40 minute trip to Bigfork to see a show at the Bigfork Summer Playhouse is worth the drive! Also known as "Broadway in the Rockies" Bigfork Summer Playhouse is a past recipient of the Montana Governor's Award for the Arts and boasts an OSCAR winner among their BSP Alumni. Bigfork Summer Playhouse does shows 6 days a week throughout summer.
The streets of downtown Whitefish are peppered with galleries, retail shops and exhibits for the art lover. Many of our restaurants feature exhibits by local artists, and while Big Sky scenery and wildlife is a popular subject of local artists, there’s definitely something for everyone in Whitefish – from pottery to metalwork, from western to modern. Whitefish Gallery Nights takes place on the first Thursday of each month from May to October, with participating galleries & shops featuring the works of guest artists … and offering free food and drink to art aficionados.
Whitefish Gallery Nights takes place on the first Thursday of each month from May to October, with participating galleries & shops featuring the works of guest artists… and offering free food and drink to arts aficionados. The non-profit Stumptown Art Studio, located in the heart of downtown Whitefish on Central Avenue, is also the “heart” of the local arts scene. The studio offers art classes, camps and workshops for people of all ages; they provide gallery space for local artists; and they provide art & outreach programs to Whitefish schools and “special needs” organizations serving our area’s veterans, senior citizens and troubled youth. Best of all… you can walk-in anytime to fuse glass, create pottery or create a Montanamade keepsake!
The Flathead Valley is home to a number of wonderful museums, including the Stumptown Historical Society Museum in the historic Whitefish Train Depot. Just 10 miles south of town, the city of Kalispell is host to the renowned Hockaday Art Museum, the historic Conrad Mansion and numerous fine art galleries.
The Glacier Symphony Orchestra performs classical, holiday, and pops concerts each season,
accompanied by world-class (and emerging) guest artists. The Glacier Chorale is a 75-voice symphonic choir, and together the two have brought the world’s greatest music to the Flathead since 1981 – including the acclaimed Festival Amadeus, which kicks-off in early Augustcelebrating the mountains by day and music by night.
Live music abounds in Whitefish. From the “open mic” nights at our watering holes to the best “world music” presented by the Whitefish Theatre Co. at the O’Shaughnessy Center, there’s never a shortage of talented live entertainment in Whitefish.
If community festivals are more to your liking, there’s plenty going on in Whitefish. From the legendary Whitefish Winter Carnival to Huckleberry Days and the Great Northwest Oktoberfest, there’s never a dull moment here in Stumptown. Concerts, arts & crafts festivals, BBQ cook-offs and bike races; those are but a few of the events you’ll want to experience once you make Whitefish your home.