RMOW Policy and Program Development
In the decade and a half I have resided in and around Whistler’s wonderland, November has transitioned from the sleepy “shoulder” season with closed stores and open Ullr parties to the ubiquitous “Where the hell am I going to live?” and now the famously frantic, “How am I going to get a ticket for Crush!?” season.
Ah, Cornucopia, Whistler’s annual gastronomic gala features food and wine events galore, educational workshops with industry leaders and more parties per square metre than the Playboy Mansion. Cornucopia is into its 11th highly successful year and has been an 11-course feast on how to take traditionally down times in our resort community and pick them up with food, wine and social intercourse. Crush! is so popular it spawned a twin that’s squeezing into the action... Crush Too I guess you’d call it.
Starting today and running through the weekend, Cornucopia will remind us of the integration created at the intersection of the food economy and our communities, colourful culinary characters and the often undervalued role sustenance and food production has in our daily lives. As our community moves toward success and sustainability, Whistler as a destination is capitalizing on health and wellness, aging travelers, mountain biking, hiking and other travel markets which promote our best natural and built assets and move us toward our shared community vision. It seems food is a natural fit with just about every developed or developing market out there.
Even though the body-painted indulgences of the Masquerave have been banished to the annals of resort-town myth, there are plenty of other options to choose from, from the hip and racy (ARTrageous, Casino Royale, Burlesquerave, Bubbles with Jazz and Seafood, and Arti Gras) to the educational (a trip to North Arm Farm or Slow Food with Don Genova and Nathan Fong) and every morsel in between. Looking at the menu, Whistler has gained an exceptional reputation for dining, describing and divining all things food.
Whistler2020, our resort community’s comprehensive sustainability plan, was designed to deal with food issues through a combination of the Health and Social and Resident Affordability strategies. In the summer of 2006, Vancouver Coastal Health and Sea to Sky Community Services created a report called “Food on every Table” which analyzed our region’s food security. One of the report’s recommendations is the creation of a Sea to Sky Community Food Security Task Force. Given the shared appetite on the local level to connect local producers with local markets, reduce our shared food kilometres, and build regional capacity for food action development, it became hungrily clear food should be a strategy in and of itself.