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WWW.PIQUENEWSMAGAZINE.COM s increased housing density gets rst readings Canada Day parade to return in 2024 Harrison headlines Whistler Children’s Fest ISSUE 31.20
Ventriloquist Michael
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Flow state

Looking back on 25 years of progression in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. - By Vince Shuley


Whistler’s mayor and council gave first readings to a zoning amendment bylaw on May 14 that will allow increased housing density in the resort.


Whistler will host a (non-motorized) parade through the Village Stroll this Canada Day, after council gave its approval this week.



What to expect in Whistler this Victoria Day long weekend, from parks, to police, to campfire bans.


Two Lil’wat mountain bikers are tearing up trails in their home territory—and blazing a trail for the next generation in the process.


Whistlerites Emeline Bennett and Nick Katrusiak came first and second, respectively, at ski-cross Junior Worlds last month.


The Whistler Children’s Fest returns this weekend, headlined by ventriloquist Michael Harrison.

COVER One thing’s for sure, mountain bikes were way faster in the ’90s. Almost every photo is overwhelmed with motion blur. - By Jon Parris // @ jon.parris.art

44 54 50
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Opinion & Columns

08 OPENING REMARKS How to ensure your public-service message stands out in the crowd? Referencing poop is an easy cheat code.

10 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR This week’s letter writers call for the return of their kayak wheels, and keep the discussion going about on-mountain safety at Whistler.

13 PIQUE’N YER INTEREST We love our wild animals in Whistler, but we’re not very good at putting their needs ahead of ours, writes Andrew Mitchell.

70 MAXED OUT The history of marginalized people is a relentless march towards, well, the margins, writes G.D. Maxwell this week.

Environment & Adventure

43 RANGE ROVER Spring hasn’t really arrived in Whistler and the Sea to Sky until Leslie Anthony is holding a fistful of boas.

Lifestyle & Arts

52 EPICURIOUS Sea to Sky potters and chefs joined forces once again on May 9 for an Empty Bowls fundraiser in support of local food banks.

60 MUSEUM MUSINGS Riding the early Whistler airwaves with one of the resort’s first radio stations, Mountain 99 (known today as Mountain FM).

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You wouldn’t poop in grandma’s living room, would you?

WORKING IN COMMUNITY news can feel a bit like a Groundhog Day scenario after a stretch.

Year after year, the months roll by promising the same events, the same quarterly milestones, like clockwork.

Finding a fresh and engaging spin on that annual community bake sale for the eighth year in a row (haven’t I written this headline before?) may come with the local journalism territory, and it’s actually part of the fun—but in recent years we’re seeing some newer, less whimsical recurrences added to the annual plot.

After all, how many times can you write about the risks of wildfire, or the importance of FireSmarting, before people just tune out?

And yet, as another May long weekend approaches, the imposing sense of déjà vu blanketing the valley, there are some messages that need to be repeated, ad infinitum.

Sometimes it helps to get creative to make sure people take notice.

The Don’t Love it to Death campaign, a product of B.C. tourism marketers and the provincial government launched in 2022, does just that with a new set of videos.

Short and snappy, the series of four recently-released clips starring comedian Katie Burrell focus on a hypothetical bad house guest (and possibly the worst): burning

down your house, leaving a huge mess behind, not securing their garbage, and of course, pooping in the most inconsiderate of places.

“So you think you’re a good house guest, because you took a discrete dump at grandma’s house,” says the voiceover in that last one (yes, really).

“But you wouldn’t poop in her living room, so why do it on the side of a trail?”

Logic like that is just hard to argue with. Checkmate, trail-poopers.

Jokes aside, the brash approach does what it sets out to do—it grabs your attention, and manages to hold it long enough to deliver its (very important) messaging: Respect nature or just stay home.

Don’t Love it to Death.

Since 2013, Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans has pulled 28,404 kilograms of trash from B.C. lakes; more than 600 black bears were killed in 2023, an all-time high; searchand-rescue crews fielded 1,750 rescue calls involving lost or injured persons last year; and 42 per cent of wildfires were caused by humans, on average, in the last 10 years.

“While the impacts of bad behaviours in nature make news, corresponding solutions are at the heart of the Don’t Love It To Death campaign,” reads a release. “The campaign addresses hot-button issues: garbage and human waste, human-wildlife conflict, unsafe behaviour/lack of preparedness, lack of respect

ahead: Practice fire safety by obeying fire prohibitions and using campfire best practices, and make sure to download the updated BC Wildfire Service app; Follow the AdventureSmart Three Ts: Training, Trip Planning, and Taking the Essentials to reduce the severity and frequency of search-and-rescue calls; Familiarize yourself with the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace, including properly disposing of human waste; Keep wildlife wild, and remember you are in bear country. Ensure pets are on leash, give wildlife space, and don’t pet/feed animals; Reduce your impact on overcrowding by visiting at off-peak times, exploring less busy

“So you think you’re a good house guest, because you took a discrete dump at grandma’s house...”

According to the Don’t Love it to Death campaign, a new survey broadly targeting southwest British Columbia residents found the top three concerns are overcrowding, a lack of respect for nature, and garbage and human waste, with 68 per cent saying they regularly observed issues themselves in the outdoors.

The increase in users, and irresponsible users, is having a clear impact on our environment, according to stats provided by

for people and the environment, trespassing and disrespectful use of the outdoors, and overcrowding, overuse, and traffic.”

In addition to the ad campaign, 158 Don’t Love it to Death signs will mark trailheads, parks and natural spaces throughout the region this summer, reminding people of their impact on the environment.

Aside from not pooping in your grandma’s sitting room, the campaign offers six helpful tips for the summer

areas, and planning ahead with public transit, parking, and permits;

And stop the spread of invasive plant species—one of the largest threats to biodiversity—by practicing the tenets of Play, Clean, Go. Clean your boots, gear, pets and vehicles of plant fragments, seed and mud before and after you play outside; and please stay on the trails.

Find more info and resources at dontloveittodeath.com. ■

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Please return my kayak wheels

To the individual who removed my kayak wheels from the launching beach at the River of Golden Dreams, please return them to the same location. I’ve been leaving them there successfully while kayaking for six years and never had them removed before. Much appreciated.

Tony Grieve // Whistler

More ‘yellow jackets’ would ease safety concerns at Whistler

Despite Whistler Blackcomb COO Belinda Trembath’s spirited defense of Whistler Blackcomb’s focus on safety, she overlooks the fact that there are two components to safety; having rules and guidelines is one thing, but more important is the enforcement of the rules and guidelines. Whistler Blackcomb gets a failing mark in that regard. The reality is there are far fewer mountain safety personnel (“yellow jackets”) on the mountain since Vail Resorts acquired ownership. This was confirmed to me personally last month when I rode up the Red Chair with a yellow jacket, and I commented that I hadn’t seen very many of them this year. He replied they were down to four that day, versus their normal

“[It] was not worth getting hurt...”

complement of six (for both mountains). I seem to recall, going back a few years, that you would see the Whistler crew of eight or nine Yellow Jackets meet at the bottom of the Emerald Chair on the weekend to get their assignments for the day.

The bottom line is there are not enough yellow jackets on the mountain to enforce mountain safety—but maybe Vail Resorts is not interested in enforcing mountain safety.

Gary McDonnell // Whistler, North Vancouver

Dangerous skiing isn’t exclusive to Whistler

I visited Whistler Blackcomb three years ago. After skiing four days, we decided it was not worth getting hurt and at the same time paying exorbitant prices for the lift tickets. I will not go back, ever. I was a Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance pro who has been skiing for the last 25 years. The new “carvers” who think they can carve on the sides of the runs at high speeds are weapons without brains of all ages.

This new tendency in skiing of getting on the edge on intermediate hills has also reached Eastern Canada in places like Bromont ski area, where I’ve had a seasons’ pass for the last 15 years. I was run over by a 250-lb., middle-aged skier, 40 to 50 years old. As a consequence of the impact I have suffered a permanent deficiency in my vision.

Luis Roldan // Montreal n

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That time we killed a moose

SOMETIMES IT’S difficult to sum up Whistler’s paradoxical existence as a town of nature lovers that’s also a commercial mountain resort hosting millions of tourists every year, but there’s one story I think sums it up perfectly: that time we killed a moose.

The year was 2013. The month was March. There was still ankle-deep snow on the ground

around the village and temperatures at night were well below freezing.

A wayward female moose had somehow found its way into the small wetland between Blackcomb Way and Fitzsimmons Creek. Someone spotted it, word got out on social media, and moose fever briefly hit the town of Whistler.

Almost immediately, vehicles were lined up and down the road as both locals and visitors headed to the area to get pictures. People reportedly travelled all the way up from the city for the day just to show her to their kids.

While the valleys around Whistler do have moose, it’s rare to see them around town aside from the occasional loner passing through. Moose are shy around people, so a

moose clearly visible from the road was too good to pass up.

Conservation officers posted signs asking people to stay away. There had been issues with unleashed dogs chasing the moose and people getting too close with their cameras. They were concerned the moose would be too distressed to leave the wetland with people hemming it in.

The signs were ignored. The newspaper story I wrote telling people to stay away was also ignored, and may even have made things worse as more people found out about her.

The show went on for two full weeks. The moose arrived healthy, but then started losing weight. It was wet and cold all the time and had stopped eating. At that point, the conservation officers felt they had no choice but to intervene—hit the moose with a tranquilizer dart and then move it somewhere safely away from people.

In the words of the conservation officer:

“People continue to ignore the advice provided in the previous media release. Members of the public have been entering the wooded area and searching for the moose, and attempting to view the moose and get photos. Motorists have also been causing traffic jams while pedestrians are walking back and forth across the road to get photos.”

The moose stayed on its feet for three minutes after being darted, then stumbled into a pool of water. Conservation officers got to her before she could drown, then moved her

to an undisclosed area to the north of Whistler where she was released. They watched until she regained consciousness.

The officers came back the next day to check on her status and found her body in a ditch on the side of the road.

Oh, and she was pregnant—so technically I guess you could say we killed two moose.

I think about that poor moose all the time, and how people placed their own selfish need to see her—to experience the nature she represented—over her needs. People were asked to leave her alone so she could move along, but they couldn’t. They wouldn’t. We loved that moose to death.

She wasn’t the first animal killed by our mountain paradox, and she won’t be our last.

Take our embattled bears. Every year, bears are killed when they get too comfortable around people and our food sources, and become a safety risk.

The last few years there have been two mothers with three curious cubs each in the south end of town. The hungry cubs climbed onto balconies, broke into cars, ransacked barbecues, and did what was necessary to survive a hot summer where the berries never really arrived, the creeks dried up, and the grass and dandelions went brown early.

The last I heard, at least three and possibly four of those cubs were hit and killed by vehicles. Another yearling was limping around my neighbourhood last year before it disappeared.

I get it, nature is brutal. But we’re not really part of that nature anymore, and our existence makes life even more tenuous for wild animals.

One of the reasons so many of us moved to the mountains is the fact we get to be up close and personal with real wilderness, even when we should be keeping our distance. In many ways we take our nature for granted.

We need to drive better and expect animals on our roads at any time—especially at night when they’re difficult to see. We need to take far more care to ensure there are no bear attractants around us that could put them at risk.

At the same time, Whistler is growing. Green spaces are getting smaller. Wildlife corridors are being broken up. There are more cars on more roads. There are more domesticated dogs chasing birds and barking at wildlife. There are more outdoor cats hunting all kinds of native species at night. Humans are pushing out nature on every front.

Everybody wants a whiskey jack to land on their upraised ski pole, but since those signs went up and we stopped feeding them we’re just making the few that are left burn through their stored energy reserves, flying from pole to pole with no food reward to show for it.

That’s the whole paradox. We love our wild animals, but we’re not very good at putting their needs ahead of ours. That needs to change. n


Bye, bye, bed cap? Whistler gives first readings to provincial housing bill


WHISTLER’S MAYOR and council gave first three readings to a small-scale, multiunit housing (SSMUH) bylaw—in line with provincial Bill 44, related to municipal density requirements—at the May 14 council meeting, with all the complexities that come with it.

Once adopted, the bylaw will enable development of auxiliary residential dwelling units (on all parcels), triplexes (on parcels 280 sq. m or less) and fourplexes (greater than 280 sq. m) on all single-family lots in Whistler and beyond.

“The overarching provincial objective is to facilitate opportunities for people to build good lives in their communities, secure the foundation of the local economy and deliver more homes for people, faster,” said planner Joanna Rees in a presentation to council.

In Whistler, about 3,470 properties are affected by the new legislation, spread across 40 “zones,” Rees explained. Of those, 281 have a minimum requirement under the new legislation to allow for an auxiliary dwelling unit, 211 will permit triplexes, and a whopping 2,978 will be eligible for the full fourplex upgrade.

Local governments must not use their authority to “unreasonably prohibit or restrict the use or density of use” permitted under

the legislation, Rees noted—meaning there will be no public hearing on the new bill, and council won’t be fielding comments or questions on it from the public (at least not on the official record).

The proposed bylaw provides ample flexibility in terms of the housing types delivered, Rees explained, with permitted housing types including detached dwellings, duplexes and townhouses, apartments, and attached and detached auxiliary residential dwellings.

accommodation units,” Rees said.

Potential further impacts of the SSMUH legislation will be explored through a “bylawtesting process,” Rees added, though council raised some concern with stretching that testing out too long.

Following a densely detailed presentation from staff (watch it in full at whistler.ca to soak in all the finer details), Coun. Ralph Forsyth asked the question on everyone’s minds.

“Is there anything about this that keeps

“We’re trying to do something good, that’s impactful, and it’s complex, and there’s quite a lot to it. So we’ve tried to take a measured approach.”

A parcel permitting four dwelling units could use multiple different configurations to achieve that number, Rees said.

Given Whistler’s high proportion of second homeowners, the proposed bylaw also includes “tools” to ensure a proportion of any new housing units created under the bylaw are supporting local housing.

“Additionally, with the intent of creating more homes for people, the proposed bylaw will result in no increase in tourist

you up at night?” he asked staff.

The expedited timeline proved difficult, responded technical director of planning Mike Kirkegaard.

“We’re trying to do something good, that’s impactful, and it’s complex, and there’s quite a lot to it,” Kirkegaard said. “So we’ve tried to take a measured approach. This does affect 3,500 parcels of land in our community. We think a measured approach is appropriate.”

Much of the discussion from the council table focused on bylaw testing and financial incentives, which general manager of climate action, planning and development services Dale Mikkelsen said the RMOW hasn’t fully explored.

“We haven’t looked at any financial incentives … the incentive is the ability for somebody to simply add an additional unit to their existing home, which provides them an opportunity for additional income if they wanted to rent that,” Mikkelsen said. “Presuming they could do it in an affordable manner, that would have a payback of, let’s say, 15 or 20 years—that’s a reasonable addition to their mortgage. We haven’t done those economics. That’s part of the bylaw testing.”

As far as bylaw testing goes, it’s possible some homeowners in Whistler are waiting for the perfect opportunity to redevelop or downsize, Mikkelsen said.

“They now have the opportunity to stratify, subdivide and receive revenue off of land that potentially they’ve already paid for years ago,” he said. “So there’s probably a great economic opportunity that supports staying in place within our community in a retirement model.”

The unknown in that equation is the speculator, or developer role, Mikkelsen added.

“I don’t know yet until we do the bylaw testing what it looks like for somebody to purchase a piece of land, tear down the home, and then develop it as a fourplex. I don’t know if the economic case is there yet,” he said.

PACK EM IN Housing density in Whistler is set to increase in the years ahead thanks to provincial Bill 44.
NEWS WHISTLER SEE PAGE 15 >> 14 MAY 17, 2024

Whistler Village Canada Day parade to return in 2024


WHISTLER WILL HAVE a Canada Day parade in 2024 after all, after a motion passed at the May 14 council meeting, though it will look different than what locals may remember from the pre-COVID days of yore.

Staff initially presented a slightly revised take on last year’s People’s Parade (and highlighted at an April 23 committee of the whole meeting), dubbed the Canada Day Village Festival Concept, before presenting council with two resolutions: either approve the concept as-is, or direct staff to change gears, and free up resources for a parade.

In a presentation to council, village animation and events manager Bob Andrea noted if directed to produce a parade, staff would recommend a non-motorized version (to align with Whistler’s Big Moves climate action strategy), and that doing so would mean redirecting some financial and human resources, along with a “slight reduction in scope and scale” of programming through the rest of the day.

“Just to be clear, we’re not talking about eliminating the afternoon programming, we’re

“We’ve seen both Vancouver and Victoria implement similar bylaws over a year ago with very little uptake in the speculation development world, because the economics aren’t there. But I’m not totally convinced that’s the market we’re after on Day 1; we’re looking really at opportunities of building additional housing for our community and for people within our community.”

On that note, Coun. Arthur De Jong raised perhaps the second most-pressing question: what does all of this mean for Whistler’s bed cap?

“We’re somewhere around 57,000 bed units, headed to 61,500, plus all the needed employee housing to stabilize our community—now this kind of sledgehammer legislation gets thrown at us,” De Jong said. “Is our bed cap demolished by this?”

The bed cap has been a useful tool to envision Whistler’s size, future growth, and infrastructure needs since “the get-go,” Kirkegaard said.

In terms of the current SSMUH legislation, “any of these projects that come forward would count towards the remaining bed units available, which is approximately 500,” Kirkegaard said, adding it remains to be seen what the provincial legislation will call for in next 20 years, or what the local need will be.

“And that’s something that we’ve been working on with the Balance Model and many, many conversations with council and staff,

talking about reducing the infrastructureheavy performances, meaning built stages, and tents, and apparatus, because you can’t have parades and people in the same place as the infrastructure,” he said.

As for the non-motorized aspect, “we would hope that people get really creative,” Andrea added, noting floats themselves aren’t eliminated from the parade.

“You could use human power, e-bikes, golf carts—there’s different ways to propel a float, and that’s what we’re looking for, is that creativity,” he said. “We don’t want to restrict—if we’re going to go with a parade route, we want it to be awesome, and we want people to have a lot of fun.”

Following the presentation, Councillor Ralph Forsyth proposed a new resolution, directing staff to allocate the resources and space required to enable Canada Day programming that includes a parade featuring a pedal parade for kids, invitations for local athletes, the RCMP, the fire department, “and any other group with the capacity and interest to participate.”

The resolution was supported unanimously.

In speaking to it, Forsyth talked about

as to what is our employee-housing needs,” he said.

“And we need to satisfy that need.”

After a discussion spanning well over an hour (and delving deep into the density weeds), Mayor Jack Crompton proposed a revised resolution, with an eye to speeding up the related bylaw testing so builders can get shovels in the ground rather than waiting for the perfect deal.

“We are not interested in constructing a whole bunch of new second homes,” Crompton said, adding tools like housing agreements and rental tenure zoning is “critical” to ensuring more homes are delivered for people.

“Though both tools are exactly what we need, I think they do risk slowing down the uptake … so I’m supportive of these recommendations, but I don’t want to set up a scenario where our building community is waiting for some future date when the best opportunity to build multi-unit will come to the table,” the mayor said.

“So in adopting this and then being quick about how we consider the bylaw testing, I think we can get the full set of encouragements to build multi-unit housing into the world early, and then we can meet those goals of building more homes for workers, more homes for people who live here.”

Check back with Pique in the weeks and months to come for much more coverage of Bill 44 and its implications in Whistler. n

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It takes a village to prepare for wildfire season


ON A HOT Saturday in May, community members of all ages in Whistler broke out their handsaws and rakes, rolled up their sleeves, and started landscaping their properties. It wasn’t an average day of gardening, though— they are trying to protect their neighbourhoods against wildfires.

When a wildfire inevitably encroaches on homes this summer in B.C., one of the best defences is having a FireSmart home.

some of the many tools homeowners can employ to protect their land.

Millar’s Ridge and Rimrock Estates residents in Whistler recently took up the FireSmart assessment process, and gathered with FireSmart coordinator Scott Rogers and other representatives to receive FireSmart Canada Neighbourhood Recognition signs May 11.

The signage recognizes the neighbourhoods have had property assessments to reduce loss in the event of a fire, and have created a community group which maintains a FireSmart focus over time.

“The best time to do this kind of stuff is right now ... the trend is for longer, hotter, drier summers.”

The FireSmart program makes it less likely a fire will spread from the ground or through embers in the air to a property, through mitigation efforts that include removing fuel. Removing the lower branches of trees helps prevent a fire moving into the canopy and to the roof, while landscaping efforts like wildfireresistant plants, trimming grass and weeds and cleaning gutters and under decks, are


the “great alchemy” of Whistler that is guests and locals, intermingling, doing things we all enjoy.

Sharing the community side of Whistler with guests has “created the greatest experiences of my life,” Forsyth said, and hosting a Canada Day parade is a way to not only show that off, but to say thanks to the people who make it what it is.

“I’m not asking for the Chamber of Commerce to make giant floats and things,” he said. “It’s us, representing us, to the guests and to ourselves, and celebrating ourselves on a great day to celebrate … it doesn’t need to be a big production.”

Coun. Jeff Murl thanked Forsyth for the proposal.

“I don’t think floats are required. It’s about the people, and I think that allows a smaller footprint and adaptability,” he said.

“I really feel like through this discussion we’ve found hopefully something that works

After getting their signs, each neighbourhood got to work removing fuel for fires.

There are now 26 neighbourhoods in Whistler that have received the designation.

Emma Keely lives in West Vancouver and shares a property in Rimrock. Her family came to take part in the event so they can learn practical ways to help in the community

SEE PAGE 18 >>


for everybody and will be awesome, as they always are.”

Whistler’s traditional Canada Day parade hasn’t been held since 2019, after which it was sidelined by COVID. It was kept on the shelf following the discovery of human remains at the former site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School in 2021. In discussing bringing the parade back last month, council was advised to seek discussions with the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations on the matter.

Mayor Jack Crompton said he spoke with Squamish Nation Councillor Wilson Williams, who said the Nation “would be interested in doing what they could to help us hold on to the learnings from Tk’emlúps and ensure that we don’t lose that new understanding of Canada today.

“So I hope we can also continue to do that work with [the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre],” he said. n

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and connect with neighbours.

“This is a way we can actually, you know, come in, use our hands and participate versus worrying and not being able to help, I guess,” she said. “I think some of these things, particularly around climate change, seem really big. The individual I think often is a bit lost in terms of what it is you can do day to day to help, so in my view, we’re trying to do our part.”


The River Forecast Centre’s Snow and Water Supply Bulletin from May 1 showed the provincial average for snowpack is “extremely low.” For comparison, last year’s snowpack was 91 per cent of average. The lower snowpack is leading to smaller freshet flood hazard in most areas in B.C. However, the small freshet is combining with warm weather and an ongoing drought, “creating significantly elevated drought hazards for this upcoming spring and summer,” the report said.

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s temperature forecast for May, June and July predicts warmer-than-average temperatures throughout Canada.

With a hot and dry summer ahead, wildfires are already impacting communities close to home. Properties in the SquamishLillooet Regional District’s Area A are on evacuation alert, with the 180-hectare Truax

Creek fire still deemed out-of-control as of May 15.

Rogers explained FireSmarting in advance is especially important when a wildfire does encroach on a property, because response agencies have to account for how dangerous conditions are.

“What response agencies are able to do is entirely dependent on the conditions, the timelines and the resources that are available

to address the needs,” he said. “And so resource allocation will reflect what’s safe and appropriate for the responders to do at that time.”

FireSmart properties are also more likely to survive, so protecting them takes precedence over properties that aren’t.

“We’re making it more likely that the triaging includes the properties that have already initiated the mitigation ahead of

time,” Rogers said.

“So yeah, what we’re doing here is furthering likelihood of property survivability on quite a number of different levels.”


Getting fire insurance for properties is proving difficult as wildfires increase the risks for insurers, according to Rogers.

“We’re seeing the insurance industry change as expected in the face of increasing wildfire around the world,” he said.

FireSmarting could become a precondition to receiving fire insurance in coming years, he added.

Getting an insurance policy or changing a policy when there are existing wildfire threats is also problematic. The Insurance Bureau of Canada’s website highlights “temporary restrictions or limitations on the sale of new coverage” when an area is under threat from wildfire.

With last year’s record-breaking wildfire season, people are more aware than ever that their actions can make the difference when a wildfire sweeps through, and Rogers said right now is the best time to start taking precautions.

“The best time to do this kind of stuff is right now, and the trend is for longer, hotter, drier summers,” Rogers said. “A forest is fuel when it’s dry—people are very aware of last year’s impact. And you know, these days it’s about how to learn to live with wildfire. I think people are opening their minds to that … We all have a role to play.” n


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Popular Whistler parks a no-go this May long weekend


VISITORS TO WHISTLER this weekend hoping for some lake time might be fighting for space—some popular local parks are still under construction as the May long weekend approaches.

At Rainbow Park, where a $3 millionplus rejuvenation project is well underway, you’ll find mostly dirt and inaccessible areas, separated by fencing cutting a path through to (the admittedly still awesome) Barking Bay off-leash dog park.

According to the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW), work at Rainbow restarted April 2 and is progressing smoothly, with the majority of the park scheduled to reopen in July.

Last summer guests and locals alike had the alternative option of Lakeside Park, on the other side of Alta Lake, but as of this writing, it, too, is undergoing some improvements, with a large stretch of lawn closed until the end of June.

And just in time for the long weekend, pay parking returned to Alpha Lake Park, Wayside Park and Lakeside Park as of Wednesday, May 15.

Transit is free in Whistler all weekend, from Saturday, May 18 to Monday, May 20, but all campfires are prohibited.

According to the RMOW, the Whistler Fire Rescue Service responded to the smouldering remains of an illegal fire in White Gold on May 13, not long after instituting a blanket campfire ban in the resort—and that was on the heels of a few other illegal fires over the weekend.

“Everyone in our community plays a role in wildfire prevention, so we ask that they respect the campfire ban and educate themselves on fire safety with our resources

at whistler.ca. This includes information on construction restrictions when the danger rating gets up to high or extreme,” an RMOW communications official said, in an email.

“We would also like to remind the community that now is the time to consider wildfire preparedness, such as signing up for Whistler Alert, doing a FireSmart assessment on your property, having a grab-and-go bag ready and keeping a minimum half tank of gas

in your tank at all times.”

Previously considered a problem weekend in Whistler, marred by mass, underage public intoxication and violence, the May long weekend of today is far tamer than what it once was—but the public can still expect increased RCMP enforcement this weekend.

“Sea to Sky RCMP members will be collaborating with Police Dog Services, BC Highway Patrol-Integrated Road Safety Unit, and the Uniformed Gang Enforcement Team [with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia] to conduct enforcement. The public can also expect to see our local Sea to Sky RCMP members conducting foot and bike patrols through the Village and in local parks, and participating in the Children’s Festival events on Saturday and Sunday,” said Cst. Katrina Boehmer of the Whistler RCMP.

The RCMP has seen a “consistent decrease” in calls for service over the past few May long weekends, but strategic planning with the RMOW and other stakeholders remains a priority, Boehmer added.

“We have a committee that meets every year to plan for long weekend activities and crowds, which includes looking at hotel occupancy trends and reviewing after-action reports from previous year’s events, to identify both successes and where improvements can be made,” she said. n

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Grizzly notice issued in Whistler


AS SUMMER-LIKE temperatures return to Whistler this week, so too do the grizzlies: according to the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) and the Conservation Officer Service (COS), a grizzly was seen roaming “on the western outskirts of Whistler” last week.

Signs posted on trails in the Meadow Park area May 8 urged the public to exercise caution.

As grizzly sightings explode in the region—the Sea to Sky recorded 125 grizzly calls in 2023, up from 28 in 2022—the RMOW and COS are rolling out a revised response and communications strategy this year.

In this case, officials want the public to be aware of the grizzly, but don’t view it as a serious danger at this point, an RMOW communications official said.

“The alert and signage are informational so people know to be aware and start to educate themselves on proper bear protocol. Our approach is to put up the website alert information first, layer on social, so people see it, and, in this case, we also leveraged our e-newsletter blast as it was going out [May 9],” they said.

“Our role here is to be a good partner and

will be part of life in Whistler moving forward as long as we have a healthy ecosystem, the official added.

Updates to Whistler’s Bear Response Plan and Grizzly Bear Conflict Mitigation Strategy are currently with the province for review, though the RMOW said there is still no update on that front.

For the COS’ part, an official said in an emailed statement the agency works closely with the RMOW, “which disseminates information on bears to the community, as necessary.

“In some incidents, depending on circumstances, signage will be installed advising people that a bear is in the area. CO’s may also canvass area neighbourhoods,” they said.

“If there is an urgent concern for public safety, the COS will immediately inform the public via its own social media channels and ensure this information is received by its municipality and law-enforcement partners, as well as local media.”

support for the COS as is our commitment as a BearSmart community, which means we need to provide the information immediately, when notified—as was done. We will continue to watch our analytics ... to ensure we are definitely getting the message out and will make adjustments as needed and recommended by the COS.”

If urgency is necessary, there will be “boots-on-the-ground officers ensuring that gets done—COS and possibly RCMP,” they said. “For now, what we’d like the public to know is that there’s a bear in the area and it’s time to reacquaint themselves with proper bear protocol—which they can find here.”

From the RMOW’s perspective, grizzlies

Given Whistler and the Sea to Sky region is bear country, the COS asks the public to take precautions and do their part to minimize wildlife conflicts, including leashing pets, travelling in groups, carrying bear spray and securing attractants (this guidance applies to all bears).

Find more info at wildsafebc.com. n

THE BEAR OUT THERE A sign posted near Whistler’s Emerald Forest warning of a grizzly in the area.
26 MAY 17, 2024



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RMOW allocates funds for its 2024 Community Enrichment Program


WHISTLER’S MAYOR and council voted to allocate more than $163,000 in funds to notfor-profit organizations in Whistler last month.

The long-established Community Enrichment Program (CEP) is a mainstay for Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) funding for community groups, and since its inception in 2005 has become oversubscribed each year.

This year proved no different—the RMOW had $180,504 to divvy up between 39 applications from 35 different groups, which collectively asked for $288,572.08 in funding, making the CEP oversubscribed by more than $100,000 for 2024.

At the April 23 regular council meeting, Whistler councillors voted to allocate the funds as presented by staff, with $163,685 divided between the 39 applications, a minimum of $6,000 set aside for scholarships that will be awarded to graduating students from Whistler Secondary Schools, and the remainder held aside.

The recommendations were informed by the RMOW’s Staff Advisory Group, which assessed each application from the 35 groups based on the number of active members within the individual groups or

programs and other RMOW contributions towards their operations. Funds from the CEP can cover up to 50 per cent of a program’s total costs.

Of the 39 applications, only six received exactly the amount they requested—with Sea to Sky Community Services receiving $5,000 to go towards wages for a coordinator for a playgroup open to Whistler families with young children.

The Whistler Youth Soccer Club also counted among the lucky few to get a full allocation, receiving $6,000 to go towards

reporting it spent every cent of the $15,400 it received well before the end of the year, with an $8,000 blow-out in costs due to the popularity of the program.

The only other program to receive five figures in contributions through the CEP from the RMOW was PearlSpace’s parent-tot drop-in program, which received $15,000 of the $18,000 requested.

Among the rest of the applications, the RMOW had some tough decisions to make with a handful of allocations falling short of the requested amount by a few hundred dollars, and most others by thousands of dollars—but all 39 applications received a slice of the funds.

coaching wages and tournament fees, while the Whistler Writers Society received $3,000 which will count as payment for a guest author during the Whistler Writers Festival.

Among groups to receive a large amount (but not quite what they were asking) was the Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS), which asked for $30,000, and received $25,000 to go towards its counselling program, which provides much-needed supports to locals in need.

In 2023, that program proved heavily oversubscribed in Whistler, with the WCSS

Of note, one application received more than requested—but only by a sliver. The Whistler Gymnastics Club asked for a very specific $3,059.64 for the purchase of new gym floor plywood, and the RMOW was very generous, giving them that, and an extra 36 cents for their troubles for a total of $3,060.

Councillors voted to support the staff recommendations for all 39 applications, with no dissent and no discussion.

The full discussion on allocating the funds can be watched on the RMOW website for the April 23 regular council meeting. To watch the initial presentations from the various groups to the RMOW, watch the March 5 committee of the whole meeting. n

WALK THE WALK The Whistler Community Services Society, pictured here at its Nightwalk event earlier this year, was one of the successful applications for CEP funding in 2024, receiving $25,000.
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Garibaldi at Squamish sale OK’d, despite provincial opposition


A B.C. SUPREME Court judge approved the sale of the Garibaldi at Squamish ski resort earlier this month despite opposition from the province, and the companies taking over say they are “committed” to delivering the resort.

In a written decision dated May 3, Justice Paul W. Walker approved the sale of the Garibaldi at Squamish ski resort from Garibaldi at Squamish Inc. (GAS Inc.) and Garibaldi at Squamish LP (GAS LP) to three creditors: Aquilini Development Limited Partnership, Garibaldi Resort Management Company Ltd., and 1413994 B.C. Ltd., which are owned by Luigi Aquilini.

In 2001, GAS Inc. was formed to convert a logged forest on Brohm Ridge in Squamish into a ski and snowboarding resort with a village of amenities and accommodations. GAS Inc. and GAS LP had the right to develop in the area via an environmental assessment certificate with the province, which is its main asset.

More recently, disagreements between the project’s partners, the Aquilini and Gaglardi families, have stalled the development. In 2023, GAS Inc. defaulted on about $65 million to the three creditor companies listed above.

In January, the three companies put in what’s called a stalking horse bid of about $80

million, which sets the floor for bids on an insolvent company. With no other qualified bids, the transaction went ahead with a reverse vesting order, which is the part of the transaction the province opposed.

According to the decision, a reverse vesting order (RVO) is a recent method in insolvency cases to “avoid the purchaser assuming an insolvent debtor’s unwanted assets and liabilities.” The RVO sends the unwanted components of an insolvent

or other intangibles under a typical asset purchase agreement,” reads the decision.

The province, however, opposed the use of the RVO. The decision states the province argues there is no jurisdiction under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act to approve the transaction with the RVO, nor was it well enough established that an RVO was necessary in the case.

According to the decision, the province argued, “As a stakeholder, it is worse off under the RVO as opposed to a transaction involving

“Aquilini remains committed to developing a world-class, all-season resort...”

company to a third company to hold them, in this case a company called Excluded Co., and then the company will be assigned to bankruptcy. The decision notes RVOs should only be used in “exceptional circumstances.”

“RVOs have typically been granted where the debtor operates in a highly regulated environment where it is difficult to impossible to transfer licenses, permits, intellectual property, non-transferable tax attributes,

a traditional asset vesting order [AVO].”

Yet, Walker ultimately disagreed with the province, saying there was enough “evidence-based rationale to approve the RVO,” and “exceptional circumstances exist to warrant approval.”

“They arise from the urgency to complete the construction pre-conditions (in order to preserve value to the Garibaldi entities and their stakeholders, including the province) coupled

with the lack of any meaningful response from the province that would allow for an expeditious AVO transaction,” concluded Walker.


Notably, there are approximately 40 construction pre-conditions from an environmental assessment certificate that must be completed before Jan. 26, 2026. The decision says the three companies taking hold are committed to paying for the construction pre-conditions, which are estimated at $5.5 million over the next 12 months.

In general, the project would occur in four phases over 30 years, with the addition of 4,000 long-term operational jobs when completed plus 2,000 construction jobs. It is proposed to have 21 chairlifts and more than 120 runs on top of more than 5,000 residential units between hotels, condos, townhouses and detached dwellings. The Squamish Nation maintains a 10 per cent interest in the partnership and did not oppose the sale, according to the decision. Since the decision was levied, a note on the Garibaldi at Squamish website says, “Aquilini remains committed to developing a world-class, all-season resort that achieves the highest environmental performance in North America, while responsibly meeting the growing demand for outdoor recreation infrastructure in B.C.’s South Coast.” n

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Whistler’s Crystal Lodge wins province-wide hotel award


A WHISTLER HOTELIER recently won a leader of the future award from the BC Hotel Association.

Fiona Scrivens, sales and marketing coordinator for the Crystal Lodge Hotel, won the award for her work creating meditative sleep stories for guests. The BC Hotel Association’s summit brings together hotels throughout the province, and this year the event was held May 1 and 2 at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. The Crystal Lodge was also a runner-up for housekeeping excellence.

Scrivens’ sleep stories were inspired by the Calm app, a popular tool for meditation. From her idea’s inception to the product’s roll-out, Scrivens said her love for the region led to the stories’ success.

“I love writing, and my passion for Whistler and the Sea to Sky definitely helps me in my role, because I’m selling what I love, so it makes it easy,” Scrivens said.

The two audio journeys feature Whistler in winter and summer, and are voiced by Crystal Lodge’s general manager, Daryl West. “Ski to sleep” features riding down Blackcomb and immerses listeners in the sensations of the cold, nature-filled landscape before arriving back at the hotel. “Whistler’s warmth” brings listeners through an alpine hike down to a calming lake paddle with friends.

Scrivens explained she used emerging technology to enhance her storytelling with ChatGPT.

“It was a really cool experience, because I was learning this new technology and learned how to prompt it properly,” she said.

With a background as a journalist, Scrivens said the experience taught her to reflect on her word choice even more than she already does, and the program created an outline that could be refined.

“It would spit out these responses with like, a lot of adjectives and it exaggerated the writing,” she said.

Scrivens then refined the script herself alongside the program, ultimately making the sleep stories works of audio art.

“It was my ideas and my outline, but then I used the new technology and [am] embracing what the future is going to be,” she said.

After scripting, West recorded the audio and Scrivens got to work editing the pieces.

“When I was in journalism school, I learned a lot about radio, and that definitely helped me,” she said. “And it was just so fun to have this project where I was using my imagination to the fullest extent.”

Scrivens said there is a culture within Crystal Lodge that encourages staff to embrace emerging technologies, which helps the hotel stay competitive within the industry.

She thanked her team at the hotel for their work on the project, adding the summit opened her up to what other hoteliers are doing.

“It was a really great experience,” she said. “And it was inspiring to also see the other nominees and what they’re doing.”


While user experiences are unique to each hotel, there is a general push amongst Whistler hotels towards reducing carbon emissions and increasing emergency preparedness, according to Melanie Keam, chair of the Hotel Association of Whistler.

“If there’s an area of focus we have going into the summer, it’s to make sure that all hotels are properly prepared in the event of any type of emergency evacuation that needs to happen,” she said.

The low snowpack has led to conversations around wildfires this year, and preparing now will help guests and staff navigate an emergency.

Another focus is carbon reduction workshops lead by the Resort Municipality of Whistler, which members of the hotel association are attending.

“We have been working through the process of decarbonizing our hotels where we’re able to,” Keam explained. “That’s also been one of the big focuses, just working together to find ways to create more sustainability within the industry.”

Keam also touched on the summer forecast for hoteliers, with the pace of bookings fluctuating for the summer months and attracting different guests than the winter season.

“We’ve seen a lot more short-term visitation and some bookings happening much closer to the stay date than we would normally see,” she said.

Winter visitors tended to book for longer at luxury hotels, but the summer sees more bookings at three-star properties, a trend that isn’t carrying forward to four- and five-star hotels.

Summer visitors tend to feature heavier local “drive-market” traffic, while Whistler becomes more of an international destination in the winter months. n

SLEEPING SOUNDLY Fiona Scrivens’ innovative meditation series recently won her a provincial hotelier award.
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Doug passedpeacefullyonApril 23rd,2024atthe ageof81.

Born in Edmonton,Alberta,Dougspent hisyounger years in Holden Albertabeforehis family movedtoBrentwood BayBC. Afterhighschool,Dougworkedasa buyer forThe Bay, wherewemet hiswifeCathie. Doug andCathiemar ried in 1973 andafter some time exploringand hiking theRockies they hadtheir twochildrenCasey andCarly. Eventually settling in Whistler BC in 1981.

Whileraising hisfamilyinWhistler, Doug wasthe managerofthe FireplaceInn, as well as an active volunteerwiththe Whistler Fire Department.Later Doug joined theWhistler firedepartmentfulltimeasthe AssistantFireChief. Afterretiringatthe ageof50, Doug andCathiemovedtotheir cabinatYoung Lake.

Afterlosinghis wife in 2012, Doug livedintheir condoinKamloops. He lovedtowalkthe trackatthe University with friendsand sitinhis chairtowatch thedogsplayinthe dogparkacrossfromhis home.For thepast5 years hisgirlfriend Marion wouldjoinhim on theweekendsand they wouldenjoy listeningtomusic,quizzing each other with TrivialPursuit cardsand bringing laughter andhappinesstoeachother’s lives.

Doug is predeceasedbyhis wife Cathie andhis parents Artand Helen. He is survived by hissisterAnne (Nat), hischildrenCasey (Kim), andCarly.His grandchildrenBraelynn, Lundyn (Nolen), Laekyn,Tyler andR yan as well as greatgrandchildren Isabella,Wrenleigh andCharlotte.

At Doug’s requestthere will be no service.

In lieu of flowers donationsmay be made to theParkinson’s SocietyofBC.

MAY 17 , 2024 33
‘It was a nightmare’:

Family recounts traumatic Squamish incident


ON MONDAY, April 22, a driver struck a grandmother pushing a stroller crossing the road in Squamish, throwing her to the ground and dragging the stroller—baby still inside— for multiple city blocks.

Sara, who is the daughter of the woman struck, Carolyn, and the mother of the baby, Quinn—shared her family’s story in the hopes it can prevent anything like it happening to anyone else.

Sara, along with her parents and two of her three children, had flown to British Columbia from Ontario to be with her sister, who was due to welcome her first child within days.

She said her family was going for an after-dinner walk on Monday evening when tragedy struck.

“My mom was pushing Quinn in the stroller and they were going west on the south side of Pemberton Avenue. They were in the crosswalk on 2nd when the car heading south on 2nd struck her and the stroller,” she said.

Sara, her father, and her three-year-old were on the sidewalk, and saw it happen.

“It was a nightmare,” she said.

“My mom was lying in the street unconscious and bleeding from the head. Quinn and the stroller were totally missing.”

As it turns out, the stroller was lodged in the front of the vehicle that struck it, dragging it for streets as the driver fled the scene.

Bystanders leapt into action to find the stroller upon hearing Sara’s screams in the immediate aftermath, flooding the streets to search for, and eventually find, the vehicle with the stroller still wedged into the front of it near Pemberton Avenue and 4th Avenue.

Little Quinn was still inside, miraculously not seriously injured.

Sara said she had a lot of thanks to give to those who stepped up and helped her family in the chaos.

“Thank you to all the amazing bystanders who jumped into the street to help stabilize my mom and keep her warm,” she said.

“Thank you to the very brave person who pulled Quinn and the stroller from the vehicle and got him to safety. This is the same person who eventually connected the dots, found me, and ran me to my baby. I will never forget him.”

She also offered thanks to those who first found Quinn; who watched over her three-yearold and kept her husband updated by phone; and who drove her father to the hospital.

“Thank you to the many people in the Squamish community who have reached out with love, dropped off meals, sent messages

and offered so many things to our family,” she said. “Thank you to the first responders and medical teams. Thank you to the friends and family back home who have been supporting us from afar. We are forever grateful.”


Baby Quinn didn’t suffer life-threatening injuries, but he didn’t escape the incident unscathed, with a bump on the head, bruising to his face and cuts on his tongue. He was flown down to the BC Children’s Hospital for a CT scan in the immediate aftermath of the incident, and according to those tests there was no bleeding inside his brain—but time will tell.

“We are very hopeful that he will make a full recovery,” said Sara.

For Sara’s mom, Carolyn, the journey to recovery is much longer, with fractures in her sacrum and her leg, and two areas of bleeding in her brain.

“Originally they were stable and we thought we’d be able to avoid brain surgery, but her symptoms have been getting worse over the past week, and her most recent CT scan indicates there is too much pressure in her brain,” said Sara.

Carolyn is scheduled for neurosurgery in coming days to remove a hematoma and relieve the pressure in her brain, and is being closely monitored in a Vancouver hospital. In a sign of the trauma she sustained, Carolyn has no memory of the incident or the following day.

“We are hopeful that she will make a full recovery but she may have residual difficulties,” Sara said. “We won’t know until a few months after surgery.”

Whatever happens, Carolyn, who works as a rural family physician in Ontario, will not be able to return home for more than a month, and won’t be able to return to work for months more—a point Sara said showed the flow-on impact of the incident.

“Time off work affects the whole community, which, like most Canadian communities, is already experiencing a family doctor shortage,” she said.


Sara’s entire family was shaken by the incident, which happened just as they were coming together to support one of their own in what should have been a time of celebration—her sister had her first child in the days after the incident, but her mother wasn’t able to be with

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Naturespeak: Whistler’s hydrologic regimes and the upcoming fire season

AH, THE GLORIOUS signs of spring! The snow is melting, and streams are flowing. Isn’t it magical to have all the picturesque streams flowing through Whistler? But wait, there is more to these streams than just scenic beauty and recreation. They can give us hints about the upcoming fire season!

Every stream has a unique annual rhythm, resulting from the amount and form of water that flows into that stream system. Both short-term weather and long-term climatic patterns, like the familiar El Niño/La Niña, can help us predict how much water will be flowing and where it is coming from. This past winter, for example, we all experienced the effects of a strong El Niño winter with milder temperatures and less snowfall than typical— and boy, did the snowpack reflect it!

The health of Whistler’s many ecosystems relies on these annual rhythmic patterns of stream flow. When these patterns shift, nearby ecosystems feel the ripple effects. We call these fluctuations in stream flow hydrologic regimes, and in B.C., we categorize them based on those most influenced by rain (pluvial system), snowmelt (nival system), or glacial melt. In Whistler, our streams are mainly influenced by snowmelt and glacial systems giving us higher flows in spring through early fall and lower flows in the winter. The melt of annual snowfall precedes the melt of glaciers, allowing for a consistent supply of water during the warmest months of the year.

Moisture in plants, soils, and the atmosphere are all important factors in maintaining a fire-resistant forest. In the winter, many plants die back or go into “sleep” mode, but come spring, they wake up thirsty, ready to take up and hold water. Unfortunately, during February’s early rainfall, the plants weren’t quite ready to drink it all in, so much of the water that usually comes as snow, which is vital to the forest, washed away.

Consistent water supply keeps forest soil hydrated, with soils acting like a sponge that filters and retains water and nutrients. If our snowpack runs dry earlier than usual, our forests’ ability to act like a sponge will



The cycle of water and wildfire: our mountains, streams and fire seasons are deeply intertwined.

decrease. This could lead to parched soils, from the topsoil layer deep into the ground, and drought-stressed plants, creating perfect fuel for wildfires.

Speaking of wildfire fuel, the type and availability of it greatly influences both the intensity (amount of heat energy produced) and severity (amount of plants/ infrastructure burned). An increase in dead plants, or dry logs, provides more easily ignitable fuel, and low, dead branches can potentially turn fires into canopy-climbing monsters, spreading faster than you can say “Smokey Bear.” Dry soils turn surface fires into a sprinting race, and can even lead to “zombie” fires that smoulder underground throughout the winter and can reignite the following summer. Scary!

The connection between winter conditions, stream flow, the upcoming fire season, and the future of our mountain sports are deeply entwined. With less moisture in our forest’s soils, combined with dry, warm conditions, the stage is set for wildfires that are not just bigger, but nastier, too. And this season’s change in hydrologic rhythm isn’t a one-off; as nature’s patterns are changed climatically from the “norm,” our forests will likely become hotter and drier, making each wildfire season a bit scarier than the last.

Naturespeak is prepared by the Whistler Naturalists. To learn more about Whistler’s natural world, go to whistlernaturalists.ca. ■


her as planned.

Sara’s husband and her five-year-old child are now with them in British Columbia, while her brother flew all the way from Indonesia to support his mother.

While they were back and forth between Squamish and Vancouver in the aftermath, the family opted to stay in Vancouver, close to Carolyn, while she navigates her recovery in hospital in coming days. Eventually they hope to shift home base back to Squamish.

“Our motivation in sharing our story is to try to prevent this from happening to anyone else,” said Sara.

“There were lots of witnesses. Thank you to everyone who has shared video and

given statements. If there is anyone who has not yet spoken to police but has information about the incident, please contact the Squamish police.”

The RCMP investigation into the incident—which took place at the intersection of Pemberton Avenue and 2nd Avenue in Squamish at 8:30 p.m. on Monday, April 22— is ongoing. The driver was arrested two blocks from the scene.

If you have information, call the Sea to Sky RCMP at the Squamish detachment at 604-892-6100.

Pique has opted not to include surnames of those affected in this story, out of respect for the family’s privacy. ■




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Lil’wat ‘warriors’ leading the way for young mountain bikers in the community


TWO YOUNG LIL’WAT “warriors” are ripping up mountain biking trails around their home and further afield—and blazing a trail for the next generation in the process. Eighteen-year-old Quillan Dan-Andrews and his 16-year-old brother Steve are leading by example in the community and showing other kids the ropes.

The duo competed in the Pemberton Enduro on April 27, and are not ready to stop there. The extreme mountain bike race takes place on Lil’wat Nation territory, but the brothers were some of the first Lil’wat to take on the 40-kilometre battle.

Roxanne Joe of Lil’wat Recreation and Leadership congratulated the boys on their massive achievement on Facebook.

“Goals like this sometimes might seem out of reach for our Lil’wat youth; Quillan and Steve are leading by example and providing the possible,” she posted.

The brothers were sponsored and supported by the Pemberton Off Road Cycling Association (PORCA).

know the first route. I had a lot crashes and I was really cramping. I just got on the bike and rode it off.”

The young men had a later introduction to the sport than most kids in the Sea to Sky corridor, but they were not ready to let that get in their way.

“It was such a mental game, but it was fun. I love it.”

Quillan spoke to Pique about his training journey and the race itself.

“It was fun,” he said. “It was such a mental game, but it was fun. I love it.”

The race course was kept under wraps, so the athletes did not know what the trail routes were until they were on them. “I had never ridden most of those trails so it was a real challenge,” said Quillan, “I didn’t even

“We’ve been riding trails for about three years now,” said Quillan. “We have been riding bikes our whole lives, but we didn’t start trail riding until three years ago.”

Quillan said the brothers have been spurred on by everyone in the community.

“One of my old teachers was waiting when I got down to the bottom of Stage 4, the last stage,” he said. “He asked me if I knew I was

one of the first Indigenous youth to do it.”

Quillan is eager now to get other Lil’wat out onto their bikes to explore their territory.

“I have been helping some of the younger ones build their skills,” he said. “I show them the positions and what not. One of the kids has my old mountain bike that I rode last year. He has been riding it pretty hard. It would have been helpful for us to have gotten started on trails sooner.”

The brave young man has also started working as a firefighter, and laughs that his free time is now non-existent.

Quillan’s mountain biking career is bright. However, he is more than happy to leave the winter sports to other locals.

“They are too cold for me,” he joked.

The boys’ mom, Charlamaine, was ecstatic to see her sons compete at such a high level. She says younger kids contact the family, excited to get involved in the sport.

“I am super proud,” she said. “One of my friends’ kids just got into high school and he always talked about the tricks that Quillan has shown him. There are a lot of available trails around here for them to go downhill on.”

■ WHEELED WARRIORS Eighteen-year-old Quillan
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Pemberton, Whistler announce full campfire bans


Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

BOTH THE VILLAGE of Pemberton (VOP) and Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) announced campfire bans on Monday, May 13, as fires rage in northern B.C. and Alberta, while the District of Squamish followed suit on May 14.

The local bans are in addition to a BC Wildfire Centre ban for the Coastal Fire Centre, set to go into effect May 17. That ban is for Category 2 and 3 burning, while the municipal bans will prohibit campfires, too.

In Pemberton, the ban came into effect Wednesday, May 15 at midday.

The VOP urged locals to comply with the ban, and to report illegal fire activity in posting the ban’s details on Facebook. “To ensure safety, we kindly ask everyone to comply with this ban,” they wrote. “Remember your cooperation is vital in preventing wildfires. Please report any illegal fires by calling the Pemberton Fire & Rescue Hall during office hours or 911 outside of office hours.”

Properties in the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District’s (SLRD) Area A are already on evacuation alert due to the out-of-control Truax Creek wildfire in the region.

As of May 15, the Truax Creek fire was burning about 183 hectares near the shores of Carpenter Lake, northwest of Lillooet.

Earlier this month, Pemberton Fire Rescue, Pemberton Meadows Fire and the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) rushed to a large grass and brush fire. The fire happened in the 8900 block of Pemberton Meadows Road and spread quickly over 4.6 hectares of land.

In Whistler, Fire Chief Thomas Doherty made the decision to institute a campfire ban due to dry conditions and the Truax wildfire burning near Lillooet, which is thought to be human-caused. The ban is in effect as of May 13.

“While the Coastal Fire Centre’s coverage area remains at Category 2, meaning campfires would be permitted, Chief Doherty is proceeding more cautiously,” the RMOW said in a release.

“Whistler Fire Rescue Service has responded to several illegal campfires in recent weeks. A permit is required for all campfires within the Resort Municipality of Whistler. When the Fire Danger Rating is High or Extreme, no campfires are permitted.”

As of May 15, Whistler’s Fire Danger Rating was rated as Moderate. The Category 1 campfire ban will remain in place until further notice.

Find more info at whistler.ca.

- with files from Braden Dupuis


Pemberton’s mayor and council approved a 9.8-per-cent tax increase for 2024 at a special council meeting May 9, just days after giving the related bylaws first three readings.

Pemberton Mayor Mike Richman acknowledged the nearly 10-per-cent bump is a more “aggressive” approach in comparison to previous years, while councillors stressed the increase will help shore up the village’s infrastructure ahead of an expected population boom. Pemberton is likely to reach a population of 5,000 in the near future, and council is planning accordingly. The village’s population grew from 2,574 in the 2016 census to 3,407 in 2021.

Council initially gave first, second and third readings to the 2024 Annual Tax Rates Bylaw and the Five-Year Financial Bylaw at a meeting Tuesday, May 7.

According to staff, a one-per-cent municipal property tax increase would equate to $23,862 in revenue for the Village of Pemberton (VOP). The 9.8-per-cent tax increase would bring in $233,848.

The estimated 2024 municipal tax rate for the average family is $1,518.27, before the tax increase. An average family would pay an extra $144.02 with the proposed tax increase. The average residential property would fork out an added $100.90. Whereas businesses in the downtown core would face a $581.79 bump. Businesses in the Industrial Park would pay $210.38 more. n

Over $24,650 raised suppor ting the Athletics Program at Pember ton Secondar y School

A special thank you to all of the volunteers and organizing committee that gave their time to make this a successful event... we couldn’t do it without you.

Cash Donations

Coastal Mountain Excavations Ltd, JT Heav y Equipment Repair Ltd, Lil’wat Nation Council, Mike Walsh, Murphy Construction, Pember ton Valley Hardware and Building Supplies, Pember ton Women’s Institute, Rotary Club of Pember ton, Royal Canadian Legion –Branch #201, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District

Canada Post, CATA Management, Custom Fit Communications, Ruth’s Pet Hotel, The Estate of Ms Sheila Peters-Hoover, Village of Pember ton Silent Auction Supporters:

Abell Pest Control, AC Gas Station, A-Line Tattoo, Adventures on Horseback, Alberta Boot Company, Andrea Legge, Animal Barn, BC Lions, Barnyard Fitness, BeadsB yK at, Bear Hill Studio Ltd., Big Sky Golf Club Inc, Blackcomb Helicopters, Cathy Benns RMT, Whistler (Fairmont), Chris Powers Acupuncture, Chromag, Clea Thomas Felting Ar twork, Coast Mountain Accounting, Connections Wellness Studio, Continental Pole Ltd., Copper Cayuse Outfitters, Cr ystal Lodge Whistler, Danielle Menzel Real Estate, Elevate Bikes, Parts and Ser vice, Extremely Canadian, Fish ‘n Rice, Four Seasons Whistler, General Store, Giddyup Equine, Gibbons Apres, Grimms Deli, Hellevang Farms, Highway Café, IDA – Frontier Street Pharmac y, Ivy Esthetics, Keaton Carlson, Leaning Cedar Therapy, License to Drive, Lisa Hilton Real Estate, Local Motion Therapy, Lynx Catering, Magalie Larouche Registered Massage, Mandala Massage, Mountain View Storage, Mountainside Nails, Mynt Hair Salon, Nesters, Nick laus North Golf Course, Pan Pacific Whistler, Pember ton Brand, Pemb er ton Brewing Co., Pember ton Collective Ar ts and Crafts, Pember ton & District Community Centre, Pember ton Valley Nurseries, Pember ton Valley Wellness, Pinnacle Hot Tubs, Regenwetter Pots, Ronayne Farms, Ryan Creek Farm, Saneh Thai Restaurant, Sew it Seams, Simply Delicious Baker y –Linda Welsh, Sk in Joy Spa, Small Potatoes Bazaar, Spierings Automotive, Squamish-Lil’wat Cultural Centre, Stay Wild, Sunstone Golf Club, The Pony, Vancouver Whitecaps, Village Yoga Pember ton, Vail Resorts, Westin Hotel, Whiskers Pet Shop, Whistler Olympic Park, Whistler Real Estate Corporation, Whistler Shooting Adventures, Whistler Village Suites (Delta/Marriot), Wild Ginger Home and Garden, Ziptrek Suppor ting Organizations:

The Beer Farmers, Pember ton Valley Supermarket, Royal Canadian Legion – Branch #201, The Big Love Band,Spark Event Rentals, Whistler Shooting Adventures

MAY 17, 2024 41
FIRE SEASON The Truax Creek fire near Carpenter Lake northwest of Lillooet was about 180 hectares in size on May 15.

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High hopes for hemp?

HEMP HAS BEEN promoted as a solution to a wide range of environmental issues—as an alternative to petroleum-based plastics, resource-depleting cotton, polluting fossil fuels, energy-intensive building materials, forest-destroying paper products and more. It’s even considered a healthy food source for people and animals and can be used to make cosmetics.

Should the hemp hype give us hope?

Hemp has been used for fibre, food and medicine for tens of thousands of years and is thought to be one of the earliest cultivated plants. Today, “hemp” usually refers to cannabis plants that are low in the psychoactive ingredients tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol

(THC and CBD), but any cannabis plant can be used for its fibre.

Much of the hype is true—although whether cannabis is a medicinal cure-all is a topic we don’t have space to cover here.

Hemp cultivation and use were hampered in the early 20th century in North America and elsewhere. Largely because of racist drug laws, growing it was criminalized in the United States in 1937 under the Marihuana Tax Act, and in Canada in 1938 under the Opium and Narcotic Drug Act. Industrial hemp cultivation and production were legalized in Canada in 1998 and in the U.S. in 2018, leading many to reconsider its benefits.

Hemp fibre has numerous advantages

times as much when processing is included. Hemp can also produce about twice as much fibre per hectare as cotton. According to a study by researchers in Bangladesh, “Hemp fiber cultivation requires about 77.63 per cent less cost in fertilization, seeds, field operation, and irrigation costs than cotton, the most recognized natural fiber.”

Cotton has a few advantages over hemp, but they’re not major. Cotton is softer and easier to process, although that means hemp is more durable. Hemp fabrics are also less colour-fast, wrinkle more easily and are more difficult to recycle. Hemp is also more expensive and requires a bit more energy to process, but its costs could come down as more enters the market.

Cost is also the main disadvantage to hemp bioplastic, but that’s partly because plastic made from fossil fuels is priced artificially low because the damage the industry causes isn’t factored in. Bioplastic made from hemp is biodegradable and much stronger and lighter than oilbased plastic, which doesn’t break down completely and is fouling our lands, waters and even our bodies. Hemp bioplastic has already been used for everything from packaging to car parts.

As for biofuels made from hemp, again, they’re far more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels—but also more expensive, for some of the same reasons. Hemp biofuels are mainly derived from oils in the seeds but can also be made from other plant parts and biochar. Hemp fuel is renewable, unlike fossil fuels, and is carbon-neutral because the emissions it creates are offset by the carbon it sequesters when it’s growing.

An added bonus: increasing decriminalization and legalization of psychoactive cannabis for recreational

The biggest drawback, cost, will surely be reduced as more hemp is grown and more facilities are built to process it.

over other materials, including cotton. It can also be used to make packaging and building materials that are more environmentally friendly than petroleum-based plastics and other materials, and it can be converted to fuel.

Many of hemp’s advantages are in how it grows—a reason it’s often called “weed.” It’s fast-growing and doesn’t require a lot of water or space, and has properties that can reduce the need for chemical herbicides and pesticides. Its deep root systems store carbon from the atmosphere, prevent erosion and replenish soil nutrients after harvesting. It can also be used for cover crop as it can remediate contaminated soils and prevent weeds, nematodes and harmful fungi.

Cotton uses about 50 per cent more water than hemp to grow, and about four

and medicinal purposes means a lot more cannabis hemp is being grown. Because the psychoactive cannabis industry mainly uses the buds, flowers and leaves, the fibrecontaining stems and stalks can be used for other purposes, reducing waste. A win-win! Overall, whether it’s used for fabrics, bioplastics, fuels, paper products or building materials, hemp has many advantages and few disadvantages. The biggest drawback, cost, will surely be reduced as more hemp is grown and more facilities are built to process it. It’s also far better for the environment than cotton, fossil fuels and tree-based paper products.

David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation. Written with David Suzuki Foundation Senior Writer and Editor Ian Hanington. ■

42 MAY 17, 2024

A fistful of boas

WHISTLERITES LOOK forward to many things in spring: biking, golf, restaurant specials—maybe even some soft, buttery turns on the mountain. I’m down with most of those as well, but the biologist in me tends to laser-focus on one thing as winter winks out:


snakes. Until I see one, spring hasn’t really arrived. Even then, sighting one of the Lower Mainland’s trio of colourful gartersnakes— Valley, Wandering, Northwestern—won’t really cut it. No, in order to truly believe the vernal maiden has arrived, I need to see a Northern Rubber Boa.

Nature-minded people will eagerly continue reading to learn something of one of the least understood—and most threatened— animal groups worldwide. Others will stop here or at least want to. But even some of those folks will continue on for the same reason we scan news about airline crashes and tsunamis: our fascination with low-probability threats overrules our fear of them. Except there’s really nothing to fear here. Eight of B.C.’s nine snake species are completely harmless, and, while the Northern Pacific Rattlesnake packs a venomous bite, avoiding it is far easier than avoiding the danger of wasps or even

bears. Snakes are really only a threat to the small critters they feed on, which accounts for their importance in transferring energy from aquatic to terrestrial environments (by eating fish and amphibians) and major control of invertebrate and rodent populations—the latter a de facto ecological service to farmers.

A quick digression: Snakes date to the Jurassic period, ~150 million years ago. Though understood to have evolved through limb-reduction in an ancient lizard lineage, it’s unknown whether this was originally an aquatic or terrestrial adaptation, adding to the many mysteries about snakes. There may even be a snake tie-in to our own origins.

it’s small (adults rarely exceed 70 cm), slowmoving (people tend to be freaked out by other snakes’ jerky, frantic movements), and it never, ever bites. It’s also ancient (males sport vestiges of rear limbs in the form of tiny spurs used for tickling females); crepuscular and nocturnal (with cat-like vertical pupils to match); semi-fossorial in habit (spends a lot of time underground); long-lived (up to 70 years!); and engages in several fascinating behaviours.

The first of these behaviours has to do with defense against larger predators: like most snakes, Rubber Boas release a fetid combination of feces, uric acid and anal musk

[I]n order to truly believe the vernal maiden has arrived, I need to see a Northern Rubber Boa.

Some anthropologists believe the high visual acuity acquired by our primate ancestors evolved to detect the strike of a snake in arboreal habitats. Meaning we might have snakes to thank for the ability to see a frisbee or ball approaching in our peripheral vision. Given the worldwide decline of these animals due to habitat destruction, persecution and the inevitable attrition of increased development, seeing them in the wild is a special opportunity.

For those sketched-out by snakes, the impressively docile, almost toy-like Rubber Boa might be the ticket out of your own personal Fear Factor. This olive- to chocolatebrown animal whose name derives from its playdough appearance is people friendly:

when disturbed. If that doesn’t do the trick, the snake might flatten into a coil and flash a bright yellow belly as a sort of warning. If all else fails they contract into a ball with head buried in the centre and the blunt, nondescript tail sticking out. As a result, it has been nicknamed the “two-headed snake.”

This last posture has further utility in the boa’s pursuit of food. Curling through the netherworld beneath leaves, logs and rocks, it seeks out rodent nests, preferentially inhaling babies (aka “pinkies”); when it happens upon a nest and starts to devour the helpless young, it keeps frantic mama rodent at bay by fooling her into thinking its tail is its head, which she then attacks. As a result, the tail of older boas is often heavily scarred by the slashes of

rodent teeth.

Rubber boas hibernate in hillside dens and transit to valley bottoms in summer in search of food. Females give birth to one to four live young every few years, and often hang around their winter den-site until the young are born in August.

While all of British Columbia’s snakes reach the northern limit of their continental ranges in the province, all save the Valley Gartersnake (which brushes the Yukon border) populate the southern tier, discontinuously distributed due to the labyrinthine nature of B.C.’s mountainous geography—an apt description of the Rubber Boa’s small, isolated populations. Though rarely seen, they’re common throughout the Pemberton Valley, north to the Upper Lillooet and into the Interior. Closer to Whistler, they’re known from Rutherford Creek to the north (my records), and Chance Creek to the south (iNat). Given the boa’s occurrence on both sides of town there should be isolated pockets here as well, and years ago people gave convincing descriptions of sightings in the Lost Lake trails and Emerald areas. It’s also rumoured BC Parks employees found a few near the Wedge trailhead into Garibaldi Park back in the 1970s.

I have yet to find any in my wanderings around Whistler’s wild areas (but if you do please tell me!), so my spring urges are sated through bio-inventory and conservation work at dens in the Pemberton area, where there’s usually more than one snake. Meaning, what I really should have said is that it’s not truly spring until I’ve seen a fistful of boas.

Leslie Anthony is a biologist, writer and author of several popular books on environmental science. ■

BOA-TLOAD A fistful of boas, captured somewhere north of Whistler.
MAY 17, 2024 43


After a quarter century of operation, the Whistler Mountain Bike Park (WMBP) has evolved beyond lift-accessed trails; beyond skiers and snowboarders looking for summer activity; beyond world-class alpine riding.

The Whistler Mountain Bike Park is an institution.

Born out of ambitions to ride down mountain access roads and ski slopes, the WMBP now loads bikes onto five different lifts on Whistler Mountain during peak season. There are more trails, more types of trails, more vertical drop, and more people coming from all over the world to check Whistler off their mountain-bike bucket list than ever before.

The WMBP has raised a generation of local athletes who are winning UCI World Cup events. It operates one of the largest women-only mountain bike school programs in the world. It’s the birthplace of Crankworx, which continues to show the world what the world’s best can do on bikes.

When it comes to bike parks, nothing really compares to Whistler.


The 25-year anniversary of the WMBP may befuddle some local bike veterans, since the historical record states Eric Wight was leading bike tours down routes on Whistler Mountain—accessed with the Whistler Village Gondola—in the mid- to late-1980s through his guiding company Backroads Whistler. Although the name “Whistler Mountain Bike Park” was bandied around at the time to help sell gondola-accessed bike tours, it wasn’t a real bike park yet. You had to sign up for a tour and be led down the mountain by a guide, understandable given the average rider skill and bike technology back then.

By 1999, Backroads employees like Dave Kelly had built a handful of singletrack trails between Olympic Station (Whistler Gondola mid-station) and Whistler Village. These included trails still on the map today: Fantastic, Crabapple Turns, Ho Chi Minh and Crack Addict (now known as Pulp Fiction).

“It was clear mountain biking was on a fast growth trajectory” says Rob McSkimming, former vice-president of business development at Whistler Blackcomb. “We’d been running bikes on the Blackcomb lifts, we had a partnership with Backroads on Whistler Mountain, we had some rental, retail and repair services in place. We had to pause the bike tours on Whistler while we installed the Fitzsimmons Chair. So that summer, we had time for a discussion on whether we

wanted to get into this business in a bigger way.”

McSkimming and his team made the business case for a lift-accessed bike park, utilizing the brand-new, high-speed chair from the Village base area. With the team’s experience in ski-school operations, guide and coaching services were made available, but weren’t mandatory for visiting mountain bikers. The proposal was reluctantly approved by Whistler Blackcomb’s management, with two clear aims: it had to be a viable business (i.e. not lose any money) and it had to address safety concerns.

“We were under pressure to make it work in those first couple of years, like with any new ideas back then, summer or winter,” chuckles McSkimming. “Having that drive was one of the things that helped make it successful. [WB management] weren’t willing to invest in the bike park just yet, so we got our budget by adding $3 onto the price of a sightseeing lift ticket. That offset the cost of trail maintenance and additional patrol.”

McSkimming estimates the first summer of the bike park had somewhere between 11,000 and 18,000 visitors. While $3 per visitor doesn’t sound like a lot today, it went a lot further 25 years ago. With the first year more than covering the costs of operating the bike park with the ticket surcharge, the overall ticket sales were up as well, another feather in the cap of the burgeoning bike park.

“By 2001, it was like, ‘whoa, this thing’s on fire,’” says McSkimming, of the WMBP’s rapid rise in popularity. “The conversation shifted from proving it was viable, to how to best manage it moving forward and where to invest in it. It shifted pretty quick.”


One such strategic investment was in machine-built trails, a new concept at the time. A-Line is still the trail that receives all the fanfare, but one could argue its predecessor B-Line has done as much—if not more—for the sport of mountain biking. B-Line was the first trail built using machines like mini excavators and skid steers, letting trail builders build and maintain more trails, faster.

“(B-Line) was the start of what really changed bike parks and trail development around the world,” says Wendy Robinson, WB’s senior manager of business development and planning, who worked under McSkimming for a large portion of her career. “A-Line was obviously a huge success and led to the trail crew developing more jump trails. This was a major attraction for riders, because they couldn’t find trails like this anywhere else.”

Having a playground for advanced riders boosting massive jumps is great for publicity and word-of-mouth in the core mountain-bike community, but to make a sport

MAY 17, 2024 45


sustainable, you have to make it accessible for new entrants. When Robinson started guiding in the bike park in 2002, her options for coaching beginners were pretty much B-Line or the mountain road. B-Line was of course much more fun to ride, and subsequently, much easier to teach on. It was eventually reworked as a blue intermediate trail once the even-morebeginner-friendly Easy Does It trail was commissioned, but B-Line was still one of the most popular trails in the bike park. A-Line’s jumps required the requisite advanced skills to corner with speed and clear the tabletop jumps, which were—and still are—quite large. B-Line was the trail where riders could build skills, speed and confidence with constant repetition, without committing to scary-sized jumps or having to constantly overtake beginner groups.

The secret sauce to flow trails was advanced riders could have as much fun as intermediates by doubling up small jumps and riding more playfully. Novices could learn when to brake, and more importantly, when to let off the brakes and keep their momentum through corners and small berms. The wider, smoother nature of the trail lent itself to having more pullout spots where riders could rest or instructors could pull over to teach their lessons without getting in the way of rider traffic. It all seems quite remedial nowadays, but back then it was revolutionary.

“B-Line was great in so many ways,” says Robinson. “It took the pedalling out of the equation, because you had the lift access and gravity on your side. Riders could hone their skills on it no matter what their ability level. It changed the way we could ride mountain bikes.”


With the (original) Fitzsimmons Chair playing an integral role in the bike park’s early success, it was only a matter of time before eager trail builders began to scratch out trails in the Garbanzo Zone, connecting an additional 832 metres of vert on top of the Fitzsimmons’ 332 metres. Even with a smattering of blue flow trails added over the years, Garbanzo still maintains its reputation as a high-vert playground of technical singletrack. Trails such as Original Sin, In Deep and Fatcrobat are legendary in the global community of downhill riders and racers, and were featured in timeless MTB films such as The Collective’s  Seasons

The gruelling Garbanzo DH is still a hallmark event at Crankworx Whistler, the seven-kilometre descent referred to as a “downhill race for the bold, brave and borderline masochistic.”

Even with more vertical than most—if not all—liftaccessed bike parks in the world, McSkimming set his sights even higher for the WMBP. Bikes had been photographed on the mountain roads in the alpine for decades, but a true mountain-bike descent from the peak of Whistler was yet to be realized.

“It was a bit of a hard sell internally [at WB],” he says. “It was a bit of history repeating itself, with questions like, ‘do we really want to spread the operation out that much?’”

But mountain biking was evolving again. The enduro scene had gained traction in the high mountains of Europe, with riders seeking more adventurous big alpine laps. WB wanted to make sure it was staying at the forefront. That manifested with

46 MAY 17, 2024
“It was a huge decision, and not an easy one to make. Neither [Blackcomb or Creekside options] were perfect. Terrain was a big consideration, but it was also about trying to breathe some life into the Creekside base area during the summer.”

the Peak Chair-accessed Top of the World Trail.

“For our business to continue to grow we needed to make sure we were offering the full breadth of experiences to the various segments of the mountain bike community,” says McSkimming. “If we had stayed only in ‘jump world,’ we may not have had the longevity we needed. The peak of Whistler is just so spectacular, and it provides access to some really amazing riding experiences just below the alpine and now even outside the boundaries of the bike park.”

After extensive environmental consultation, careful planning and building (including the services of stone mason and former Whistler Mayor Ken Melamed), Top of the World opened to the public in 2012. Just like the opening years of the bike park, the budget was derived from a ticket surcharge, but the condition was Whistler Blackcomb would only let 100 bikes up the Peak Chair per day in order to minimize impact on the sensitive alpine environment.

- Rob McSkimming

Top of the World is likely the most photographed trail in Whistler, adding yet another attraction pulling riders from all over the globe.


The next significant trail expansion for the WMBP could have gone either of two ways. One option was to link adjacent terrain into the Creekside Zone, the other to create an entire new network on Blackcomb. While both options had their pros and cons, ultimately Creekside made the most sense.

“It was a huge decision, and not an easy one to make,” says McSkimming. “Neither [Blackcomb or Creekside options] were perfect. Terrain was a big consideration, but it was also about trying to breathe some life into the Creekside base area during the summer.”

The Creekside Gondola and the multi-level parkade

weren’t being used to their potential during the summer, and Creekside businesses were lobbying for the development in hopes of increasing foot traffic in and around their shopfronts. The bike park officially opened its Creekside base in 2017 with the now-defunct Dusty’s Descent trail, which was built to tide riders over until more trails were completed.

“I feel like we really cracked the code for Creekside last year,” says Robinson. “We had a massive plan for that area to build new trails, as well as stitching together existing ones like Ride Don’t Slide and BC’s Trail. The pandemic slowed down the work a bit, but with the new singletrack to complement the blue flow trails, plus a new jump line on Insomnia, we now have over 25 kilometres of trail in Creekside. It’s like a bike park in itself. With all the rental and guest services amenities at the base it can basically operate independently of the Village.”


The theme of the WMBP’s 2024 marketing campaign is “25 Years of Progression,” and nowhere is this more evident than with the rising youth stars of downhill racing. Sea to Sky locals Finn Iles and Jackson Goldstone have both chalked up elite men’s wins on the UCI World Cup circuit, and both honed their skills and speed on the trails of the WMBP. Jesse Melamed (who claimed the overall World Cup Enduro title in 2022), was a fixture of the bike park’s weekly Phat Wednesday race series, and still participates when he’s home from his busy race calendar.

While an official bid to the UCI for a World Cup or World Championship downhill event has yet to materialize, the ingredients are all there. During Crankworx in 2023, organizers hosted the Canadian Open Downhill race on the new 1199 track, which runs from the top of the Creekside Gondola to the timing flats on Dave Murray Downhill. The race was a resounding success, with elite downhill racers from all over the world commending the quality, steepness and speed of the track.

“All the way back from Rob’s (McSkimming) era, he was pushing to host a World Cup mountain bike event in

MAY 17, 2024 47

“I still remember the first time I rode Crank It Up, I was screaming like an excited child. It just sang to me,” he recalls. “I got faster and faster and I moved up to bigger and bigger jumps. The progression was just crazy.”

By 2016, Olynyk was striving to ride as many days of bike park as he could. On weekdays his schedule allowed him to start work early in the morning, break for a few morning park laps, return to work for a few more hours, then back to the bike park for evening laps. Weekends consisted of as many laps as possible as soon as the Fitz Chair loaded until the crowds arrived. In 2022 he rode all 136 days of the season, a goal he’d been striving for since 2016.

“My favourite trails are Crabapple Hits, A-Line and Dirt Merchant,” says Olynyk. “There aren’t trails that really exist anywhere else, and you certainly can’t get four laps of that in little over an hour without a high-speed chair lift. And all that within a few minutes’ drive of my house. I can’t wait to get back.”

Whistler,” says Robinson. “That put us on the path to build 1199. Whether we hosted a World Cup or not, we wanted a track of that calibre that wouldn’t have a major impact on the bike park’s operation when we raced on it. When we had the trail route planned, we walked down it with a bunch of World Cup riders and asked them, ‘if you were racing on this, what would you like to see?’ We gathered that feedback and made adjustments. From what we heard from riders at the Canadian Open last year, 1199 is a World Cup level track.”


Whistler is a town of adventurous outdoor pursuits, and when people get good at those activities fast, they tend to go all-in. No one knows this more than Whistler resident Dean Olynyk, who rides more days of bike park than anyone else. He first rode the WMBP in 2011 when he was still living in Vancouver, and instantly made the decision to sell his quite-new trail bike and bought a downhillspecific rig. Olynyk was hooked.

After 25 years, the WMBP has made its mark on millions of mountain bikers around the world. Riders make their pilgrimage to Whistler to check it off their bucket list. Travelling trail builders get inspired by the WMBP, and bring the style and character of Whistler to trails in their home regions. But its biggest contribution is turning new riders into good riders, and good riders into great riders. The progression won’t be slowing down any time soon.

The Whistler Mountain Bike Park opens on May 17, featuring the new high-capacity Fitzsimmons Chair bike racks. This season riders can view an historical exhibit named “Park Lore” in the Children’s Learning Centre, next to the top of A-Line. n

48 MAY 17, 2024 NEW SUMMER WHISTLER MAGAZINE IS OUT!  Get your new edition in hotel rooms and select locations around Whistler. WHISTLER’S PREMIER VISITOR MAGAZINE SINCE 1980
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Emeline Bennett, Nick Katrusiak medal at ski-cross Junior Worlds


EMELINE BENNETT  and Nicholas Katrusiak didn’t necessarily have lofty expectations for themselves going into the FIS Ski Cross Junior World Championships last month. Both are relative newcomers to Canada’s NextGen squad, and experiencegathering is key at this point in their careers. Even so, they rose to the occasion.

Bennett defended her Junior Worlds title from 2023, becoming the first Canadian to secure two gold medals at the event. Katrusiak went home with silver around his neck as he pushed eventual victor and compatriot Kaleb Barnum from start to finish. Moreover, Bennett and Katrusiak repeated as runner-ups in the mixed team discipline.

“Coming up in the same program as a bunch of other great skiers, the Junior Worlds were a really good reassurance that I’m still with them and I’m striving to do what they can do,” said Bennett. “I’m really glad I was able to put it together.”

Remarked Katrusiak: “I wasn’t really expecting anything crazy, and the race was on a track that I’d never done before [in Idre Fjäll, Sweden]. I was just going there excited for the opportunity.”


The Sea to Sky contenders faced not only quality opponents in Sweden, but a calibre of venue they rarely get to test.

Idre Fjäll hosts one of the world’s more prolific ski-cross tracks. In fact, it’s where Marielle Thompson clinched her fourth Crystal Globe at March’s end. World Cup courses are designed to push elite athletes to their limits, with very little margin of error compared to NorAm venues meant to foster skill development.

“There’s obviously a lot of hype around

Een of Sweden for victory.

Katrusiak performed admirably on the men’s side, sharing the podium with Fernie native Barnum and German bronze medallist Till Hugenroth.

“It’s obviously awesome for my teammate Kaleb and you’ve got to be stoked for him, but it’s a little bittersweet,” admitted Katrusiak. “You’re more competitive with someone you train with because of all the competing you do with that person on a daily basis.”

Partaking in top-flight European contests

“I’m really glad I was able to put it together.”

Idre. It’s known as one of the fastest tracks, especially that bottom straight—there was a good draft there,” Bennett explained. “And they like to build up these big, big jump lines.”

Bennett has some experience on this kind of track, with two bronze medals from Nakiska this season. Regardless, she made a few errors in her qualifying run before finding herself in last midway through the semifinal. The 20-year-old took a few deep breaths to keep her poise, knowing she could gain a lot of speed in the course’s final stretch.

She did just that, making four passes to advance to the final. There, she bested Germany’s Veronika Redder and Uma Kruse

removes Bennett and Katrusiak from friends and family on home soil, while exposing them to the passionate crowds and high-pressure situations normally found overseas. That’s a valuable experience in and of itself, with medals a well-earned bonus.


A shared silver in the mixed team race was the high note both Bennett and Katrusiak wished to finish on. Redder and Hugenroth claimed gold for Germany, but the Canadians managed to best their American rivals Morgan Shute and Jack Mitchell.

“It’s a really unique event where it feels like your results matter more because you want to succeed for your teammate,” said Bennett. “The results are really meaningful because you are so connected as a team and because your performance directly affects someone else. You want it that much more.

“Nick is an amazing teammate. He has a very unique ability to carry a lot of charisma within the team. You can see how he rises physically to the challenge, but he doesn’t lose any sense of self. His skiing matches the demand … but at the same time, he’s always there to talk to you or make you laugh. Plus, he doesn’t really shy away from the older guys on the team.”

Katrusiak also had high praise for his fellow Whistlerite.

“Emeline is very driven,” he said. “Not a lot stands between her and her goals. She has insane motivation. She pushes hard, on the hill and off the hill.”

Bennett and Katrusiak’s success is a microcosm of their country’s ski-cross dominance. Senior athletes like Thompson, Reece Howden, Jared Schmidt and Brittany Phelan launched Canada to its 11th Nations Cup, with Howden finishing second in men’s overall rankings. It’s a legacy younger Canadians aim to uphold in years to come.

“[Emeline and I] were lucky enough to join the World Cup team for two races this season, and seeing the way they operate is incredible,” Katrusiak said. “They’re so dialed into what they know they need and how they prepare for a race. They say it’s a culture of excellence, and it really is.”  n

ACROSS THE WORLD Emeline Bennett (left) and Nick Katrusiak celebrate their mixed team silver medal at the 2024 Ski Cross Junior Worlds in Idre Fjäll, Sweden. PHOTO BY ALEXANDER NEIMERT

Anne-Marie Joncas becomes U19 Canadian champion


ANNE-MARIE JONCAS  has had quite the winter.

Joncas represented Canada in Gangwon, South Korea at January’s end for the Winter Youth Olympics. The 17-year-old (although eliminated in the group stage) won two heats, demonstrating her ability to hang with some of the best in the world.

Then in March, Joncas prevailed in a one-heat shootout for the U19 national title in Nakiska, Alta. Kael Oberlander from Kelowna and University of Calgary Dino Maren Vincett grabbed silver and bronze behind her.

The unusual format didn’t much change Joncas’ game plan. She knew she was close in talent to her chief rivals and had been through a few tightly-contested qualifying runs with them the day before. She decided, therefore, to refrain from overthinking and let her training kick in on race day.

“I was pretty stoked, honestly,” Joncas said about her win. “I haven’t necessarily had my best results this year, but I was really gaining more experience and I found that that showed in my last race. [Oberlander and Vincett] are two girls whom I hadn’t previously beaten, so it felt pretty great to show that my skills are there.”


Any form of Olympic outing is invaluable for an athlete, and Gangwon was no exception. The round-robin format there forced Joncas and her opponents to feel some pressure, spending four-plus hours in their speed suits doing run after run—essentially a microcosm of her entire season.

“It was such an amazing experience to meet people from all over the world,” Joncas

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said. “We had a really awesome team with our coaches, and the whole group that went got along super well. The biggest thing about [racing in Gangwon] was mental: if you can turn off your brain once in a while, from one run to the next, you can be at your best.”

Joncas also loves it when her teammates are at their best. That’s why she got up at 2 a.m. on April 14 to watch Emeline Bennett, Kaleb Barnum and Nick Katrusiak win medals at the FIS Ski Cross Junior World Championships in Idre Fjäll, Sweden.

“You can ask anyone in my family. I was buzzing the whole day … and I literally couldn’t go to sleep that whole rest of the night because I was so happy for them,” she gushed. “Emeline, Kaleb and Nick worked really hard. It was an exciting race. Anything

“I was buzzing the whole day.”

can happen and Canada did so well. I was so happy for them and proud to be Canadian.”

Going into next year, Joncas hopes to put a few injuries further behind her and get more used to the physical, unpredictable nature of high-level ski cross. It’s not always a comfortable learning curve, but her peers are frequently supportive and encouraging even when they compete directly against her. Perhaps that’s what the Whistlerite loves most about her sport.

If Joncas is able to ski to her potential on a consistent basis, a World Juniors berth of her own is well within the realm of possibility. n

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CANADIAN CHAMP Anne-Marie Joncas heads downhill during a ski-cross race.
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Potters and chefs come together for annual Empty Bowls event in aid of local food banks



THE SEA TO SKY Potter’s Guild’s annual Empty Bowls event raised desperately needed funds for food banks in Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton earlier this month. A large crowd gathered in the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (SLCC) on Thursday, May 9 to help neighbours struggling to get food in their fridges. This year’s event is estimated to have raised more than $10,000.

The idea is simple: local potters create breathtaking bowls, while ticket-holders pick their favourite and fill it with soup made by top chefs. Bannock was donated by the SLCC, while Lucia Gelato could also be scooped into handcrafted bowls made by Whistler Secondary students for an additional donation of $15. The event also included a silent auction with exciting prizes.

The fundraiser could not have come at a better time, as food banks struggle to keep up with growing demand. Whistler’s food bank saw more than 5,000 more visits in 2023 than it did in 2022—an increase of 38 per cent in just a year. A total of 1,355 kids visited the

food bank in 2023, which is now trying to raise $75,000 before mid-June to ensure no one goes hungry.

Director of fundraising and community engagement for the Whistler Community Services Society, Dave Clark, spoke about the growing demand at the Empty Bowls event.

“We are seeing numbers that are five to six times higher at the food bank than we saw in 2019,” he said. “With the state of the current

little bit of extra help getting food onto their tables. Our cost of food goes up along with everyone else’s.”

Chef Bruce Worden of Milestones has been involved with the event from the very beginning. “When this event first came about, I offered my services as a chef,” he said. “I just made sure we knew what was in the soups and that there wasn’t any crossovers. I organized everything with the chefs.”

“Together we are better. Together we are stronger.”

economic conditions and the cost of living continuing to remain high, the forecast is that demand will remain high. I don’t see a change coming anytime soon, unfortunately.”

Clark stressed the need for communities in the Sea to Sky to come together during trying financial times.

“Together we are better. Together we are stronger,” he said. “This event is a really good example of us coming together as a community, in support of our fellow community members who might need a

He stressed soup can be a comforting and nutritious meal, especially when you’re hungry. “For a lot of chefs and a lot of people who have worked around food, they know that soup is one of those meals that is typically made out of odd ends,” he said. “This is a really great opportunity to give back. Every restaurant sees it, from the food costs to just the cost in general going up. I think it’s more important than ever to give back to the community. Great food warms the soul.”

Ruby Bryan is the brains and the hands

behind RB Pottery in Squamish. She has been involved with the guild for more than a year, and has reaped the benefits. She said people without their own studios could also make bowls at workshops ahead of the event.

Bryan’s business is now two years old.

“I was in a job that wasn’t fulfilling my happiness. I got back into this as a hobby,” she said. “I had just had a couple of opportunities to turn it into a full-time thing, with classes and workshops. It’s such a growing thing within the community.”

Bryan said the guild brings the Sea to Sky artists together.

“You can see that every style is different. We can all learn from each other,” she said. “This event is crucial. It makes a huge difference.”

Chair of the guild, Stephanie Lowe, is just about to finish her term, during which she oversaw two incredibly successful Empty Bowls events.

“The event has been running since preCOVID,” she said. “It had a couple of years of a break and now it’s back. It brings us together from all over the corridor.”

She hopes in the coming years those learning the craft have a public studio to express themselves in.

“We need to raise awareness about clay in the Sea to Sky,” she said. “The closest recreational studio is in West Vancouver. There needs to be one closer and more centrally located. We would love for any of the communities to do that.” ■

FILL ME UP A large crowd attended the annual Empty Bowls event at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre on May 9. PHOTO BY ROISIN CULLEN
EPICURIOUS 52 MAY 17, 2024


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Michael Harrison headlines 2024

Whistler Children’s Fest


VICTORIA DAY long weekend will mark another chapter in Whistler’s longest-running event: the Whistler Children’s Festival (WCF). Various artisans and free activities will light up village streets, while the Maury Young Arts Centre is set to host six memorable performances and a dozen creative workshops.

“Every year, it’s a thrill that this happens,” says Arts Whistler executive director Maureen Douglas. “Its consistency and longevity should be a point of pride for the whole community.”

One of the biggest names this year is ventriloquist and comedian Michael Harrison.

Some parents may remember Harrison from Season 3 of  America’s Got Talent, while other families might have seen him with the Disney Cruise Line, where he’s helmed more than 3,500 shows in 20 years. The Victoria, B.C. native’s eyebrow-raising resume also includes appearances at the Canadian National Exhibition, the Calgary Stampede, and the Alaska State Fair, as well as the Royal Caribbean, Princess, Crystal and Norwegian cruise lines.

Harrison has never performed in Whistler before—though he’s previously gone skiing here on his own time—and can’t wait to return.

“I’ve always enjoyed my time in Whistler and I’ve known of the Children’s Festival for

quite a few years,” he says. “When I had the opportunity handed to me to come perform this year, I was over the moon. It’s a great excuse to come back to Whistler, experience everything it has to offer, and get to share my talents with the kids and families.”


Harrison has carried on something of a family tradition during his career. His great grandfather, Frank Merryfield, was a flyweight boxer-turned all-around entertainer: ventriloquism, vaudeville magic, trick bicycle

business independently. His talent level, compared with his work ethic and natural disposition to thrive on stage, proved to be a winning formula—and America’s Got Talent was a valuable launch pad for his portfolio.

“You can spend thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising, websites and videos, but there’s nothing like international recognition on television and the way things go viral,” says Harrison.

“The experience of being on a major TV production—seeing how it all comes together behind the scenes—was very interesting as well. Plus, being among entertainers of all

“Nobody’s going to leave disappointed, that’s for sure.”

riding, you name it. Harrison himself dabbled in various performing arts as a younger man, but consistently found his heart pulled in one specific direction.

“Ventriloquism always intrigued me the most,” he explains. “I feel there’s a real escapism in it when you can create a character that instantly comes to life. The audience tends to forget you’re a ventriloquist within seconds and fall for the character.”

After twice being rejected for a broadcasting degree, Harrison decided to break into show

sorts is always fun.”

Having been self-employed his whole life, Harrison has consistently found employment, paid his bills and raised his kids. It’s not easy to make it in show biz, but he’s done so, and he considers the frequent flier miles a huge bonus.

“Most people save up for months and years to go on dream vacations, and I was just so fortunate that with this job came the opportunity to see amazing places that I may have never been to otherwise,” he says.


Much like a good Disney or Pixar film, Harrison’s gigs feature two layers of comedy: one for the youngsters and another for their parents. He’s never pigeonholed himself as just a kiddie entertainer, and he’s versatile enough to appeal to viewers of all demographics.

At the same time, he appreciates the unique way children can suspend their disbelief.

“I love performing for all sorts of audiences, but there’s something about entertaining kids,” he remarks. “They will very easily let you take them and escape into a reality that as adults, we tend to not visit as much. I have a tennis ball that I make talk, and the kids relate to it and react like it’s real. There’s something magical about that which I could never really fully explain.”

The WCF runs from May 17 to 19, and other items to keep in mind include Friday afternoon’s Street Party (featuring free family-oriented activities), Rain City Improv workshops and Will’s Jams on Saturday, and three-time Juno nominee Ginalina on Sunday. It’s a diverse lineup to reflect an increasingly diverse community.

“We’ve seen an increase in multicultural families participating,” Douglas notes. “Kids from different ethnicities can see their culture reflected back at them, but we’re also exposing them to a whole array of entertainment, some of which is much more rooted in North American tradition.”

Adds Harrison: “That’s the great thing about the Whistler Children’s Festival— there’s such a variety. Nobody’s going to leave disappointed, that’s for sure.”

Learn more at whistlerchildrensfestival. com.  n

FUN FOR ALL The 2024 Whistler Children’s Festival returns to the resort from May 17 to 19. PHOTO COURTESY OF ARTS WHISTLER
54 MAY 17, 2024

Emily Carr artworks feature in upcoming auction


VANCOUVER’S HEFFEL Fine Art Auction House is putting together a top-flight showcase of Canadian art that will soon go up for bidding in Toronto. A host of nationally-respected names are in the mix, including Torben V. Kristiansen, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Alex Colville, Lawren Harris and Tom Thomson in addition to standouts from British Columbia like Emily Carr, B.C. Binning, E.J. Hughes, Gordon Smith and Takao Tanabe.

Sea to Sky art aficionados may be particularly interested in Carr’s work.

War Canoes, Alert Bay is the watercolour precursor to an oil-on-canvas piece of the same name that graces the Audain Art Museum. Measuring 37.5 centimetres tall and 49.5 wide, it was created in 1908 after Carr drew inspiration from visiting Alert Bay on Cormorant Island. The titular canoes represent beloved possessions of the village’s First Nations residents that also acted as symbols of wealth.

Heffel’s spring 2024 catalogue notes  War Canoes, Alert Bay helps provide a vital record of Kwakwaka’wakw Indigenous culture, and marks Carr’s emergence as a distinct voice in Canadian painting. It was this and other experiences in First Nations settlements that inspired Carr to study Fauvism—with its aggressive use of non-naturalistic colour— which in turn spawned the War Canoes canvas in the Audain.

“Our watercolour has been included in every major exhibition of the artist’s work,” says Lauren Kratzer, Heffel’s national director of consignments. “The back of this painting almost serves as an international passport with all the labels and stickers [it’s accumulated] travelling around the world. It was actually on display in Whistler during the Fresh Seeing exhibition around 2019 and 2020.”

Scorned as Timber, Beloved of the Sky is the other Carr offering in Heffel’s lineup. The 87.6- by 59.7-centimetre oil painting was made

in 1935, and much of what we know about it derives from the artist’s own eloquent writing.

“I think there are very few artists that can truly capture the landscape of B.C. like Emily Carr—perhaps Hughes, Tanabe or Binning,” Kratzer opines. “I think you need to be able to smell the ocean, to be in the forest, to feel the Sea to Sky air, to truly capture its spirit. That’s what we really get to see in Emily’s work.

“We’re lucky to have her journals that describe how it felt being in that landscape, and it was this joyous meditation to be outdoors. You can only truly capture that if you’ve really experienced it and felt it in the way that she did.”


She may not have grown up in Whistler, Pemberton or Squamish, but Carr embodied the essence of Sea to Sky adventure during her eclectic life.

The Victoria native was the second youngest in a family of nine children and received education in public schools rather than the private finishing institutions viewed as proper for middle-class girls of the day. Her travels took her to California, England, France and beyond—though Canada’s First Nations people consistently offered a key source of inspiration.

Carr once struggled to earn critical acclaim, but became affiliated with the famous Group of Seven (of which Harris was a part) and it’s safe to say her portfolio is widely accepted now.

“Emily was a pioneer in every sense of the word,” remarks Kratzer. “Some of these expeditions that she took, either by herself or with a family member, would be extraordinary even in this present day—and that really translates to her painting. This pioneering spirit in how she was able to trailblaze the Canadian art world at a time when very few female painters were able to accomplish that, let alone an artist from the far West Coast of Canada.”

Learn more about the May 23 auction at heffel.com.  n

Dual Mountain Dry Cleaners on

will be closed permanently. We are still open at our Function Junction location. After May 17th, customers will be required to pick up in Function.

Thank You

ON ALERT War Canoes, Alert Bay by Emily Carr.
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Here’s a quick look at some events happening in Whistler this week and beyond. FIND MORE LOCAL EVENT LISTINGS (and submit your own for free!) at piquenewsmagazine.com/local-events



Come seefor

whythis pr operty couldbeyournextdream home!

Join the Whistler Naturalists for a walk to Green Lake and the Fitzsimmons Creek Delta. Open to anyone interested in learning about birds contributing as a citizen scientist. There will be experienced birders on hand who are happy to share their knowledge. More information at whistlernaturalists.ca/birding.

> May 18, 7 a.m.

> Meet just across the highway from Meadow Park, at the small parking lot beside the River of Golden Dreams

> Free


The Friends of the Library are back with their amazing book sale! They’ll have gently used books for adults and kids, so you’ll have a chance to snap up some great items while supporting your library. The Friends are collecting book donations from April 26 to May 10.

> May 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

> Whistler Public Library

> Free


A feast for your senses, the Whistler Farmers’ Market features local produce, tasty food, local artisans, live entertainment and family activities. Markets happen

every Sunday until Thanksgiving on Oct. 13, with the addition of Saturday markets on June 29, Aug. 3, Aug. 31 and Oct. 12.

> May 19, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

> Upper Village Stroll

> Free


Straight Outta Compton chronicles the rise of N.W.A., the revolutionary rap group that shook the music scene to its core. Witness the birth of gangster rap and the cultural revolution it sparked—from the gritty realities of Compton life to their meteoric rise to fame, this film captures the essence of N.W.A.’s impact on music and society.

During intermission, the audience will have a chance to test their knowledge in “The Hip-Hop Trivia Showdown!” Winners will walk away with great prizes, including tickets to more People’s Film nights. So brush up on your beats and rhymes, and get ready to show off your hip-hop expertise!

This event is 19+. Get tickets at showpass.com/thepeoples-film-presents-straight-outta-compton.

> May 22, doors at 6:30, show at 7 p.m.

> Maury Young Arts Centre

> $10 general admission, $18 with signature cocktail (preorder only)

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April 21 - September 9, 2024

Otherwise Disregarded

Adad Hannah Michelle Sound
Jake Kimble Jin-me Yoon
Generously Supported By Presenting Sponsor RAB Foundation
Images, top left clockwise: Adad Hannah, What Fools These Mortals Be (video still detail), 2022, Courtesy of the Artist, Equinox Gallery, Vancouver & PFOAC, Montreal. / Jin-me Yoon, Untitled 9 (Long Time So Long) (detail), 2022, inkjet print, Courtesy of the Artist. / Jake Kimble, Grow Up #5 (detail), 2022, archival inkjet mounted on dibond, Courtesy of the Artist. / Michelle Sound, Foster Care (detail), 2022, monochrome print on paper, embroidery thread, seed & vintage beads, caribou tufting, Courtesy of the Artist & Ceremonial/Art
Co-Produced With

CommunityLifeSur vey star ts May20

Riding the early Whistler airwaves

FOR THOSE living or driving in the Sea to Sky area in the early 1980s, there were few, if any, FM radio stations to choose from. Plans for a station covering from Squamish north to Pemberton began in 1978, but it would be another few years before the first broadcasts hit the air (including very useful road reports).

Louis and Carol Potvin officially founded Mountain 99 in 1980, though Louis was thinking of a radio station in the area for years. After installing radios in military planes during the Second World War, Louis spent the next few decades selling radios and working on radio equipment along the coast of British Columbia and in the Sea to Sky region. In March 1981, the station received its licence from the Canadian Radio and Television Commission and it was expected they would

installed and Mountain FM became available on 102.1 from the Cheakamus Canyon to the Pemberton highway junction.

On Thursday, Feb. 25, 1982, Mountain FM arrived on radios in the Whistler area, just in time to report on the World Cup downhill race on Saturday, Feb. 27. With the expanded reach, the staff at Mountain FM grew to 13, including salespeople looking for advertisers from around the region. Programming included newscasts, in-depth sports coverage, interviews with various people, weather, ski and road reports, and lots of music. Though at first leaning towards Squamish audiences, Vidler reported this would shift to include more Whistler content, and there were even plans to operate a part-time studio in Whistler. According to Vidler, there was a lot of programming of mutual interest to both communities, as “there’s a lot going on in Whistler that people in Squamish are interested in. Many Whistler residents shop

Mountain FM officially began broadcasting on Nov. 30, 1981, but was only available from around Horseshoe Bay to Brandywine to start.

be broadcasting by March 1982.

Jeff Vidler, the station’s first operations manager, arrived in July 1981, the same month the station’s name changed to Mountain FM. Mountain 99 referred to Highway 99, which connects the communities served by the station and would be a focus of regular road reports, but the number caused confusion, as some assumed it referred to the frequency of the station.

Early programming plans called for roughly seven per cent of air time to be devoted to news, about six per cent to community services, and 60 per cent to music, leaving plenty of time for advertisements and other programming.

Mountain FM officially began broadcasting on Nov. 30, 1981, but was only available from around Horseshoe Bay to Brandywine to start. Whistler- and Pemberton-area residents had to wait until February 1982, when the transmitter to rebroadcast signals was

and conduct business in Squamish, and we hope the station can bring the communities closer together.”

By May 1982, there was still no specific Whistler program on Mountain FM. Though a two-way system was set up between the studio in Squamish and the rebroadcast tower in Whistler allowing for live programming from Whistler, tough economic times meant the station put its plans for a part-time studio in Whistler on hold in order to go ahead with the installation of a rebroadcast tower in Pemberton that would expand its reach in the area.

Over the 1980s, Mountain FM became an established source of regional news and up-to-date highway reports, especially important to those travelling along Highway 99. The Potvins sold Mountain FM to Selkirk Communications in 1989, but residents and visitors to the Whistler area will still find the station at 102.1 today. n

ON THE AIR Mountain FM staff at work in May 1982.
60 MAY 17, 2024 Resort MunicipalityofWhistler whistler.ca/CLS
An sw er ou rc al lfor yo ur fe ed ba ck . Sh areyou rfeed ba ck by ph on eo ro nl in es ur ve y. Th is is yo ur op po rt uni ty to sh areyou ro pi ni on so ncom mu ni ty sati sf ac ti on, an dres id ent ne ed sa nd pr io ri ti es St ar ti ng May2 0, De lo it te LLP wi ll be co nd uc ti ng ap ho ne su rvey to co ll ec tfeed ba ck from aran dom sa mp le of pe rm an entres id ents an ds econ dh om eown er s. To re ce ivea no nl in ecopyo ft he su rvey to yo ur in box, si gn up to re gi ster fo ryou ru ni qu e su rvey lin katw hi st le r. ca /C LS Sign up to receive the survey here! Wh is tl er ’s e GETYOURFREEESTIMATESTODAY. CALL MARC:604-783-1345 marc@peakmasters.ca Your friendly Whistler roofing experts Thinking aboutanew roof? NOWBOOKING SUMMER 2024 INSTALLS •Enviroshake premiumcomposite •Metal roofing •50yearmanufacturing warranty •10yearworkmanship warranty
PARTIAL RECALL 1 AURORA ALL NIGHT Whistler residents (and people across Canada) were treated to an absolutely stunning Northern Lights show on Fri., May 10. PHOTO BY DAVID BUZZARD / DAVIDBUZZARD.COM 2 FUZZY FUNDS The Pan Pacific Whistler presents a cheque for $4,030 to the Whistler Animals Galore team. The local hotel donates a portion of its pet-stay fees and “Pamper Your Pet Packages” to the Whistler animal shelter, and has donated a total of $45,674 since 2012. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE PAN PACIFIC 3 SAVE THE LAST DANCE Whistler dance instructor Jane Herrlich’s classes recently put on two separate dance shows in the resort, featuring both boys and girls dancing ballet, hip hop and jazz. PHOTO COURTESY OF JANE HERRLICH 4 TIP OF THE ICEBERG The Pemberton Silvertips celebrate another championship in the Whistler Men’s Oldtimers Hockey League. PHOTO COURTESY OF IAN REITH 5 BACKCOUNTRY BLISS It was a perfect weekend to snowshoe up to Panorama Ridge in Garibaldi Provincial Park on May 11 and 12. PHOTO BY SCOTT TIBBALLS SEND US YOUR PHOTOS! Send your recent snaps to edit@piquenewsmagazine.com 1 2 5 4 3 MAY 17, 2024 61 Stay Stinky 21-4314 Main Street ! Recycle? Yes or no? Get the BC RECYCLEPEDIA App www.rcbc.ca RECYCLING COUNCIL OF B.C. MEMBER

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The Resort Municipality of Whistler is seeking ONE (1) vacancy on the Board of Variance effective October, 2022

Resort Municipality of Whistler Climate and Environment Select Committee of Council seeks volunteers

Operating under the authority of the Local Government Act, the Board rules on applications where compliance with any of the following would cause a person undue hardship:


Free Will Astrology


ARIES (March 21-April 19): Polish-born author Joseph Conrad (1857–1924) didn’t begin to speak English until he was 21 years old. At 25, his writing in that language was still stiff and stilted. Yet during the next 40-plus years, he employed his adopted tongue to write 19 novels, numerous short stories, and several other books. Today he is regarded as one of the greatest writers in the English language. You may not embark on an equally spectacular growth period in the coming months, Aries. But you do have extra power to begin mastering a skill or subject that could ultimately be crucial to your life story. Be inspired by Conrad’s magnificent accomplishments.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Hypothetically, you could learn to give a stirring rendition of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 on a slide whistle. Or you could perform the “To be or not to be” soliloquy from Shakespeare’s Hamlet for an audience of pigeons that aren’t even paying attention. Theoretically, you could pour out your adoration to an unattainable celebrity or give a big tip to a waiter who provided mediocre service or do your finest singing at a karaoke bar with two people in the audience. But I hope you will offer your skills and gifts with more discernment and panache, Taurus—especially these days. Don’t offer yourself carelessly. Give your blessings only to people who deeply appreciate them.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): When I lived in San Francisco in 1995, thieves stole my Chevy Malibu. It was during the celebratory mayhem that swept the city following the local football team’s Super Bowl victory. Cops miraculously recovered my car, but it had been irrevocably damaged in one specific way: It could no longer drive in reverse. Since I couldn’t afford a new vehicle, I kept it for the next two years, carefully avoiding situations when I would need to go backward. It was a perfect metaphor for my life in those days. Now I’m suggesting you consider adopting it for yours. From what I can discern, there will be no turning around anytime soon. Don’t look back. Onward to the future!

integrate the changes—but only a bit.)

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I would love you to cultivate connections with characters who can give you shimmery secrets and scintillating stories you need to hear. In my astrological opinion, you are in a phase when you require more fascination, amazement, and intrigue than usual. If love and sex are included in the exchange, so much the better—but they are not mandatory elements in your assignment. The main thing is this: For the sake of your mental, physical, and spiritual health, you must get your limitations dissolved, your understanding of reality enriched, and your vision of the future expanded.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Scorpio writer Andrew Solomon made a very Scorpionic comment when he wrote, “We all have our darkness, and the trick is making something exalted of it.” Of all the signs of the zodiac, you have the greatest potential to accomplish this heroic transmutation—and to do it with panache, artistry, and even tenderness. I trust you are ready for another few rounds of your mysterious specialty. The people in your life would benefit from it almost as much as you.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Have you been nursing the hope that someday you will retrain your loved ones? That you will change them in ways that make them act more sensibly? That you will convince them to shed qualities you don’t like and keep just the good parts? If so, the coming weeks will be an excellent time to drop this fantasy. In its place, I advise you to go through whatever mental gymnastics are necessary as you come to accept and love them exactly as they are. If you can manage that, there will be a bonus development: You will be more inclined to accept and love yourself exactly as you are.

• zoning bylaw regulations respecting the siting, dimensions or size of a building or structure

• subdivision servicing requirements (other than highways and road works) in areas zoned for agricultural or industrial use

• a tree protection bylaw

The Board also rules on applications respecting:

• extent of damage to a non-conforming use

Resor t Municipality of Whistler Recreation and Leisure Advisory Commi ttee Membership

The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) invites applications for a member position on the Climate and Environment Select Committee of Council. Applications are being sought for f ive community members-at-large: two members for a one-year term and three members for a two-year term. Specifically, the RMOW is looking for volunteers with expertise in at least one of the following areas:

• the prohibition of a structural alteration or addition to a building or structure containing a non-conforming use

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Cancerian basketball coach Tara VanDerveer is in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. She won more games than anyone else in the sport. Here’s one aspect of her approach to coaching. She says the greatest players “have a screw loose”—and she regards that as a very good thing. I take her to mean the superstars are eccentric, zealous, unruly, and daring. They don’t conform to normal theories about how to succeed. They have a wild originality and fanatical drive for excellence. If you might ever be interested in exploring the possible advantages of having a screw loose for the sake of your ambitions, the coming months will be one of the best times ever.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I brazenly predict that in the next 11 months, you will get closer than ever before to doing your dream job. Because of your clear intentions, your diligent pragmatism, and the Fates’ grace, life will present you with good opportunities to earn money by doing what you love and providing an excellent service to your fellow creatures. But I’m not necessarily saying everything will unfold with perfection. And I am a bit afraid that you will fail to capitalize on your chances by being too insistent on perfection. Please assuage my doubts, Capricorn! Welcome imperfect but interesting progress.

• exemption to relieve hardship from early termination of a land use contract Board Guidelines:

• Strategic thinking and policy analysis

• The Board consists of three ( 3) members appointed by Council

The Resort Municipality of Whistler is seeking qualified applicants to serve in a voluntary capacity on the Recreation and Leisure Advisory Committee for the 2020 to 2022 term.

• Climate action

• Regular meetings of the Board are held on the last Monday of every month at 5:30 p.m.

• Environment

• Members of the Board serve without remuneration for a three ( 3) year term

• Officers or employees of the Resort Municipality of Whistler are not eligible to be appointed to the Board of Variance.

• Biodiversity

Preferred Experience/Skills:

This committee is to provide an objective view in the public interest to municipal staff and Council on the provision and delivery of indoor and outdoor recreation and leisure opportunities, services and issues. Download terms of reference for this committee at whistler. ca /committees.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Am I one of your father figures, uncle figures, or brother figures? I hope so! I have worked hard to purge the toxic aspects of masculinity that I inherited from my culture. And I have diligently and gleefully cultivated the most beautiful aspects of masculinity. Plus, my feminist principles have been ripening and growing stronger for many years. With that as our background, I encourage you to spend the coming weeks upgrading your own relationship to the masculine archetype, no matter which of the 77 genders you might be. I see this as an excellent time for you to take practical measures to get the very best male influences in your life.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In his book Ambivalent Zen, Lawrence Shainberg mourns that even while meditating, his mind is always fleeing from the present moment—forever “lurching towards the future or clinging to the past.” I don’t agree that this is a terrible thing. In fact, it’s a consummately human characteristic. Why demonize and deride it? But I can also see the value of spending quality time in the here and now—enjoying each new unpredictable moment without compulsively referencing it to other times and places. I bring this up, Aquarius, because I believe that in the coming weeks, you can enjoy far more free time in the rich and resonant present than is normally possible for you. Make “BE HERE NOW” your gentle, relaxing battle cry.

• Transportation

• Experience in construction, development, design, planning or architecture

• Sustainability

• Ability to read architectural plans

• Must be objective and exercise sound judgment

• Ability to assess case-specific information and to visit sites under consideration

Scan the QR code to apply or for more information about the Committee’s Terms of Reference.

Apply by submitting a resume and brief statement that reflects your interest in participating on this committee in PDF format to resortexperience@whistler.ca. Include ‘RLAC Membership’ in the subject line.

Applicants should submit a resume as well as a brief statement regarding their interest in joining the Board of Variance to: planning@whistler.ca Attention: Lindsay Clarke

Deadline: September 11, 2022 at 4:30 p.m.

Phone 604-935-8180 for more information.

Submission deadline: May 31, 2024 at 4:30 p.m

Visit whistler.ca /committees for more information

Submission deadline: Monday January 27, 2020 at 4 p.m.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Now that your mind, your heart, and your world have opened wider than you imagined possible, try to anticipate how they might close down if you’re not always as bold and brave as you have been in recent months. Then sign a contract with yourself, promising you will not permit your mind, your heart, and your world to shrink or narrow. If you proactively heal your fears before they break out, maybe they won’t break out. (PS: I will acknowledge there may eventually be a bit of contraction you should allow to fully

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Two-thirds of us claim to have had a paranormal encounter. One-fourth say they can telepathically sense other people’s emotions. One-fifth have had conversations with the spirits of the dead. As you might guess, the percentage of Pisceans in each category is higher than all the rest of the zodiac signs. And I suspect that number will be even more elevated than usual in the coming weeks. I hope you love spooky fun and uncanny mysteries and semi-miraculous epiphanies! Here they come.

Homework: I dare you to utterly renounce and dispose of a resentment you’ve held onto for a while. Newsletter. FreeWillAstrology.com.

In addition to this column, Rob Brezsny creates

In-depth weekly forecasts designed to inspire and uplift you. To buy access, phone 1-888-499-4425. Once you’ve chosen the Block of Time you like, call 1-888-682-8777 to hear Rob’s forecasts. www.freewillastrology.com

62 MAY 17, 2024
Investor Alert 1
Sale Westin Resort & Spa 2023
Resor t Municipality of Whistler Resor t Municipality of Whistler







Fairmont Chateau

Whistler Resort is growing its Housing portfolio and sourcing additional Chalet and Condo Rental contracts for our Hotel Team Members. Our leaders are mature, career driven drivers that know the word respect. Contract terms for property Owners are stress free with no commissions and includes representation from our 4 person fulltime Housing Department working with you 24/7; maintaining all aspects of the tenancy including quarterly inspections. A great next move for Whistler property Owners that have tired with the Airbnb game or Property Fees. Let’s see if we can make a match and develop a long-term relationship here. General inquiries please email mark.munn@fairmont.com

MAY 17, 2024 63 Accommodation LONG-TERM RENTALS MULTIPLE LOCATIONS 604-932-0677 info@mountaincountry.ca ANNUAL & SEASONAL For Whistler Property Owners Long Term Rental Management MOUNTAINCOUNTRY.CA Accommodation SEEKING ACCOMMODATION WANTED
HOME SERVICES BUILDING AND RENOVATIONS • Kitchen and Bath • Renovations & Repairs • Drywall • Painting • Finishing • Minor Electrical & Plumbing Serving Whistler for over 25 years Wiebe Construction Services Ray Wiebe 604.935.2432 Pat Wiebe 604.902.9300 raymondo99.69@gmail.com CLEANING 604-698-5311www.peakcleaners.ca MOVING AND STORAGE Call 604-902-MOVE www.alltimemoving.ca big or small we do it all! Services HEALTH & WELLBEING SPORTS & ACTIVITIES EMPLOYMENT EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES ***NOWHIRING*** Findyournextcareerorperfect side-hustle.Nofeesorstrings. www.whistler-jobs.com/job-board DISPLAY ADS DEADLINE FOR PRINT ADS Tuesday 4pm RENT SELL
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Make your listing stand out with featured locations CALL OR PLACE YOUR CLASSIFIED WITH OUR ONLINE SERVICE FOR EITHER PRINT OR ONLINE...OR BOTH! Get the added punch to make your business ad standout with a classified display ad. Free ad design, colour options, incentives for ad frequency. Contact a sales rep today. List your accommodation rental in print & online from only $5* a week Sell your stuff Advertising Options Î Packages start with 4 lines of text. Additional text $1/line Î Add one image in print and up to three online as per package level. Î Bolding .50¢/word Î Border $2 * Rates are based on using Pique’s selfserve online application at classifieds. piquenewsmagazine.com piquenewsmagazine.com 604-938-0202 online only Free* for 30 days print & online $11* per week PRINT & ONLINE SELF-SERVE CLASSIFIEDS.PIQUENEWSMAGAZINE.COM Thank you to all our volunteers and foster homes, we love you! PICK UP YOUR COPY TODAY! Look for our Summer 2024 Issue! Find it on select stands and in Whistler hotel rooms. Whistler’s premier visitor magazine is on stands now! See our full page schedule ad in this issue of Pique for details Group Fitness Classes Fridays – Gentle Fit 1:00-2:00 pm w Diana Saturdays – Zumba 10:30-11:30 am w Susie Mondays – Victoria Day - No Classes Tuesdays - Aqua Fit Deep 8:45-69:45 am with Sylvie G Wednesdays – Functional Strength & Conditioning 9:00-10:00 am w Sylvie A Thursdays - Spin 6:00-7:00 pm w Courtney

Lil’wat Nation Employment Opportunities

Ullus Community Centre

• Cultural coordinator ($38,038 - $53,599 per year)

• Resource Support worker( $80,371.20 - $91,673.40 per year)

• Receptionist ($17.40 to $20.90 per hour)

• Human Resources Manager( $93,475.20 to $101,556.00 per year)

• Housing Administrator ( $46,683.00 to $63,973.00 per year)

• Transition House Support Worker ($20.90 - $29.45 per hour)

Xet’òlacw Community School

• Educational Counsellor/ Teacher ($60,015.00 to $109,520.00 per year)

• High School English Teacher ($60,015.00 to $109,520.00 per year)

• High School English and Humanities Teacher ($60,015.00 to $109,520.00 per year)

• Language Resource Worker or Language Teacher ($46,683 - $63,973 per year)

• Social Worker/ Counsellor ($80,371.20 - $91,673.40 per year)

Lil’wat Health & Healing

• Nurse Manager ($85,685.60 - $117,280.80 per year)

• Health Care Assistant ($38,038 - $53,599 per year)

• Maintenance Worker( $20.90 to $29.45 per hour )

• Custodian ($17.40 to $20.90 per hour)

• Pension Plan • Employee Assistance Program • Gym facility • Extended Health Benefits • Professional Development

Please visit our career page for more information: https://lilwat.ca/careers/ Benefits


Sous Chef reports to R.D. Stewart, Executive Chef of Red Door Bistro & Rolands Creekside Pub Ideal candidates must be

• Authentic, resourceful, food creative, and operate with positive intent.

• Great collaborative and communication skills.

• Solid a la carte culinary experience in all professional kitchen stations.

• Experience in fish, meat butchery and vegetable cookery

• Food safety certification required. Red Seal or equivalent an asset.

• Experience leading a kitchen brigade.

We offer you:

• $60,000 - $64,000 starting annual salary with growth opportunities.

• 2 weeks paid vacation time.

• Gratuities, and discounts in Roland’s Pub & Red Door Bistro

• Extended Medical & Dental benefits

• Ski pass • Gas and Cell phone allowance

• Work efficiently in a fast-paced environment while maintaining organization and culinary standards. This position is full-time and long-term. Staff accommodation is available as of Aug 1st. Please email your resume to info@reddoorbistro.ca


Come work with us at an award winning Indigenous arts and culture centre.

Lead Cook

$25.00/hr + gratuities

Catering & Events Servers

$21.00/hr + gratuities

Event Security


We offer a flexible schedule, competitive wages, discount in the café and gift shop and a supportive workplace.

Full job descriptions can be found at https://slcc.ca/careers/

64 MAY 17, 2024
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The Museum is currently seeking:

The Museum is currently seeking:

Marketing Coordinator

Marketing Coordinator

Support the Marketing Manager with advertising, social media, content creation, media relations, sales, and digital engagement.

Support the Marketing Manager with advertising, social media, content creation, media relations, sales, and digital engagement.

• Full-Time

• Full-Time

• $55,000-$57,500 per year

• $55,000 - $57,500 per year

Accounting Assistant

Accounting Assistant

Support with tasks including audits of daily sales, preparations of deposits, data entry, statement reconciliation, and filing.

Support with tasks including audits of daily sales, preparations of deposits, data entry, statement reconciliation, and filing.

• Part-Time

• $25 to $27 per hour based on experience

• Part-Time

• $25 to $27 per hour based on experience

Information Technology Manager

(Regular, Full-Time)

Looking to contribute to your local community?

Consider a career in local government. Join the SLRD’s team of dedicated staff who work together to make a difference in the region

Headquartered in Pemberton, the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) delivers a wide range of regional, sub-regional and local services to its residents. The SLRD is a BC Regional District consisting of four member municipalities (Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton, Lillooet) and four electoral areas. Services include land use planning, solid waste management, building inspection, fire protection, emergency preparedness, 911 services, recreation, water and sewer utilities, regional transit, trails and open spaces as well as financial support for various community services. The region contains some of the most spectacular forests, waterways, and mountains in the province and affords an endless range of opportunities for outdoor adventure, making it an exceptional place to live, work and play.

The SLRD is seeking a strategic and collaborative Information Technology (IT) professional to fill the position of IT Manager. The IT Manager is responsible for leading and guiding the effective operation of the SLRD’s IT systems and processes including IT business planning, hardware and software projects, data security management, resource management, and supervision of IT staff and contractors. The IT Manager plays both a strategic and hands-on role, managing IT projects and overseeing the identification, selection, and deployment of the appropriate IT solutions that support the SLRD’s strategic priorities.

The ideal candidate has a minimum of 5 years of related IT experience, at least 2 years of supervisory experience, and a post-secondary degree or diploma in Computer Science, Business IT Management or a related discipline. For further information, please refer to the full job description at www.slrd.bc.ca/ employment.

The salary range for this position is $115,520 - $130,019 annually. A comprehensive benefits package, participation in the Municipal Pension Plan, compressed work week (9-day fortnight), learning and career development and the eligibility to work from home in accordance with the SLRD’s Remote Work Arrangements Policy are available with this position. Interested candidates are invited to submit their cover letter and resume (preferably in pdf format) by email tocareers@slrd.bc.ca. This posting will remain open until filled, with application review commencing on June 3, 2024.

We sincerely thank all applicants for their interest, however, only candidates under consideration will be contacted.

Our team of people is what sets us apart from other builders. As we continue to grow as the leader in luxury projects in Whistler, our team needs to expand with us.

We are currently hiring: Experienced Carpenters $30 - $45.50/hourly. Wage based on experience. Red Seal is a bonus, but not mandatory.

EVR is committed to the long-term retention and skills development of our team. We

We offer:

• Top Wages

• Training & Tuition Reimbursement (Need help getting your Red Seal?)

• $500 Annual Tool Allowance

• Extended Health and Dental Benefits (Also includes Family Benefits.)

• Flexible Schedule - Work Life Balance. (We get it. We love to ski and bike too.)

• Assistance with Work Visa and Permanent Residency (We can help.)

• Positive Work Environment

We promote from within and are looking to strengthen our amazing team. Opportunities for advancement into management positions always exist for the right candidates. Don’t miss out on being able to build with the team that builds the most significant projects in Whistler. Send your resume to info@evrfinehomes.com We look forward to hearing from you!

MAY 17, 2024 65
are passionate about investing in our team’s future. Come build with the best team. www.evrfinehomes.com
Apply & learn more: Apply & learn more:
We’re Hiring! Experienced Carpenters! Come and join our team and see why we are consistently voted Whistler’s # 1 Construction Company. $30-$50 an hour, Wage based on Experience TM Builders is a leader in the Sea to Sky construction industry. We specialize in high-end architecturally designed homes and commercial construction projects. Our wide variety of work offers opportunities to advance your career and grow your knowledge. Experience a culture of transparency, high-quality craftsmanship, and solution-oriented attitudes. Why work with us? Competitive Compensation Packages Annual Tool Allowance Extended Health and Dental Benefits for Employees and their Families Continued Education and Professional Development Opportunities We promote from within and are committed to the long-term development of your career We support apprenticeships and will help you get your Red Seal • Great Team Culture Positive Work Environment Apply to connect@tmbuilders.ca tmbuilders.ca/careers/


Full Time Meat Manager

($68,640 – $79,040 (+ benefits) depending on experience) 10% Annual Bonus Based on Performance

Full Time Assistant Meat Manager

($64,480 – $72,800 (+ benefits) depending on experience)

Meat Cutter

($20.50/hr – $32.00/hr (+ 20% discount card & benefits) for full time staff)

Our Team enjoys:

ü Flexible schedules

ü Training and experience

ü Full Benefits & Employee Discount Card

ü Prime location in Pemberton

ü Short commute = less time, more $$$

Download or fill out our online application at https://www.pembertonsupermarket.com/ about/employment/ or stop by the store and we will give you an application to fill out. You can also email us at jobs@pembertonsupermarket.com or call us at 604-894-3663.

General Contractor & Construction Manager with work locations in Whistler & Pemberton performing high end custom renovations and new residential and commercial builds. Hiring for the following positions:

Labourer - previous construction experience preferable but not required, ability to perform physical work, positive attitude, great smile $30p/h+

Apprentice Carpenter - own vehicle and basic tools, ability to take direction with a strong attention to detail, team player, hard worker, fun to be around $35p/h+

Project Coordinator - knowledge & experience with estimating, plan reading & quantity takeoffs, Microsoft project & corecon (sageCM) a benefit, construction knowledge and ability to talk to trades, strong people skills, ability to multitask, calm under pressure $35p/h+

Pay rates for all positions depends on experience. Potential use of company vehicle. Regular performance-based pay reviews.

If you’d like to be part of an honest, hard-working, and fun team that appreciates its employees, email us your resume today!


• "Best Dental Office 2023 as voted by readers of Pique Newsmagazine"

Please send your resume and a little about yourself to: managercreeksidedentalwhistler@gmail.com.

We are looking to hire another member to our team at Straightline. Experience in Plumbing is required. Gas Fitting and HVAC would be preferred but not essential. Wages are based on experience. Part-time or Full-time positions available.

Please call 604-935-8771 or email straightlineplumbingandheating@gmail.com for more information.


1-2 years experience working in a similar station an asset.

• Duties include prepping/portioning/cooking steaks, seafood and pan cooking.

• Imagine working in a well respected fine dinning bistro which is well run, fun, and does 60-70 covers a night.

• Wage is $25-$28/hour based on experience, plus tips. Medical & Dental benefits and staff discounts in Roland’s Pub.

Email resume to info@reddoorbistro.ca

66 MAY 17, 2024
• Employee Benefits • No weekends
evenings •
or Part time
Locally owned and operated family practice


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Moving the margins

THE HISTORY of marginalized people is a relentless march towards, well, the margins. Many problems arise from the intractable fact that the margins—geographically, politically, economically—never stay where they were. They’re always moving.

When the Dutch arrived in the New World, they looked around at Manhattan Island—

undoubtedly called something else then—and thought to themselves, “Wow. We could build the greatest city in the world here. And if that doesn’t work, at least we can cut down these trees and grow tulips.”

Problem was, Manhattan was already inhabited by people who, until that very moment, had absolutely no idea there were Dutch people. Like so many of their brethren, the Lenape simply considered themselves The People, ergo, the centre of the universe, the only People. As far as they knew, these hilariously-dressed foreigners could have been apparitions, figments of their imaginations conjured during some spirit quest.

The Dutch, of course, knew right away the Lenape were marginal people. They knew this because the Lenape weren’t Dutch, and the Dutch were smugly confident in believing they were superior and occupied the centre of the universe, except perhaps for that unpleasantness with the Spanish.

They were sure about this because they had superior ships, superior firepower, a superior god, Dutch Masters cigars and 60 guilders worth of beads, trinkets and assorted junk jewelry they were able to offload to the Lenape for what would become, at least in the latter half of the 20th century, the centre of Earth’s universe, New York City.

In keeping with their status, the Lenape were moved to, you guessed it, more marginal lands. Brooklyn, if I’m not mistaken. Where they eventually formed the Brooklyn Dodgers and were ultimately moved to even more marginal lands, Los Angeles. But I digress.

North of the border, the scenario was much the same. The French and English battled on the Plains of Abraham. This was, of course, after they’d already booted the natives out. The English, rumour has it, won the battle, but with unaccustomed generosity, pretended it was a draw, leaving Quebec—who’d want it—to the French, and moving themselves to marginal lands: Toronto… where they booted the natives to yet more marginal lands, Mississauga.

And so it went. Rulers, conquerors and the monied classes rolled over the landscape like a relentless glacier, pushing less desirable classes ahead of them and scattering people they believed inferior to land they considered marginal as though they were so many erratics. The displaced made things as homey as they could, and frequently made them too homey. What was the margin became the border, then became the mainstream, and it was time for the undesirables to move on yet again.

Often, the only places to go abutted industrial lands where the monied classes made their money. Neighbourhoods sprung up around abattoirs, smelters, smokebelching factories, tanneries and airports. Okay, airports came later—same idea though.

As lands once thought of as marginal were rebranded as desirable suburbs, two interesting developments took place. First, people who thought it was cool to live in the cities decided it was way cooler to commute and moved to the suburbs. And since the ‘burbs were now cool, there was nowhere for the lower classes to go—they either had

But all over Canada, particularly in British Columbia, the original marginalized people decided enough is enough. And the courts and legislature have agreed with them. The last few decades have seen court decisions recognizing Indigenous title and searching for ways to have it co-exist alongside what non-marginalized people consider legal title.

B.C.’s legislature may have beat the courts to the punch. Bill 25 recognizes the Haida Nation’s aboriginal title—consistent with Section 35 of the Constitution Act of 1982—to the lands previously known as the Queen Charlotte Islands and now known as

As expected, there are people all over the province who have never considered themselves marginalized who are setting their hair on fire.

to stay next to the abattoir or move into the newly abandoned inner city and create their own private ghetto.

The ones who stayed agitated to get the abattoirs moved to even more marginal lands. That’s how Taber, Alberta got its start. The ones who moved to the inner cities made the classic mistake of making them so homey, the children of the suburbs decided they were cool and moved back to the city, booting out the underclasses and replacing them with Starbucks and Lululemon stores. That’s why people live on sidewalk grates in cities all over North America.

The bill recognizes the Haida’s title and the Haida have recognized their title does not affect the “legal” title to lands owned by non-Haida—or Haida—within their territory.

As groundbreaking as this agreement is, it, in many ways, is the low-hanging fruit when it comes to Indigenous land claims. There are no competing claims to Haida lands by other First Nations. This is not the case elsewhere in the province—witness the land acknowledgement intoned at every public gathering in Whistler.

And less than three per cent of the land

mass of Haida Gwaii is privately owned! A fact that makes settling land claims far more difficult where, for example, people with multi-million-dollar vacation homes gag at the notion their largely uninhabited trophy is on the unceded territory of some group they’ve always considered marginal whenever they considered them at all... which is rarely.

As expected, there are people all over the province who have never considered themselves marginalized who are setting their hair on fire. I shared a chairlift with one this spring who, when he found out I had a cottage in the Interior, informed me the First Nations who claimed the land Smilin’ Dog was on would block my licence to build a new dock.

Puzzled, I explained I’d never had a licence to build a dock and didn’t expect to ever apply for one. He said it was the law and I should hope the dock police never come by. I didn’t bother to explain the cottage was in a postage-stamp-sized part of the province with no First Nations claims. And I really hoped the chair wouldn’t stop before we got to the top.

The extent to which he feels marginalized by the steps Canada and B.C. have taken toward reconciliation makes them seem all worthwhile. Any land-use decision taken in the future is going to seem ponderously slow, painful even, because the parties involved are going to have to hash out their differences as equals. There will always be people who wish it was as easy as exporting what they perceive as problems to the margins.

But that’s where we all live now. ■

Haida Gwaii.
70 MAY 17, 2024
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