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.
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.
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, celebrating 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.