Opinion » Alta States

Alta States

Dave Williamson - just another pillar in the community


"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish."

John Quincy Adams

Whistler is a funny town. Almost a paradox. Know what I mean? It's become the mountain-play capital of Canada. A post-modern Shangri La for globetrotting thrill-seekers with deep pockets and phat skis. It's the Las Vegas of the outdoor sports world. A resort-cum-amusement-park that people now hit once and tick off their bucket list.

Yet it's a community too. A place where mums and dads raise kids and harbour hopes for a sane and graceful future. This is the Whistler behind THE WHISTLER - a village/tribe comprised of intelligent, outgoing, outdoorsy people who are actively maintaining (and often promoting) an intelligent, outgoing outdoorsy lifestyle. To be a Whistlerite means something.

Or so I've been arguing in these pages for the last few years...

The people who make up this community are in turn outspoken, inspiring, eccentric, creative, annoying, courageous, outrageous - and still, in a few cases - bold. But no matter how they come across - old school grunge or nouveau boho - there's no mistaking a Whistlerite for somebody else. You see, it's not just the mountains and snow that made this place famous. It's the way locals have represented over the years.

Alas, we're fast approaching a tipping point at Whistler. Unless we pull up our socks soon, we're going to lose a lot of very good people. Just sayin'...

But where was I? Dave Williamson. Oh yeah. To me it's obvious. If ever there was one person who embodied the very essence of what it means to be a Whistlerite , my nod would have to go to that hirsute, perma-smiling guy we used to call Wolfie (don't worry, we'll get back to his moniker later)...

There are other Whistlerites who could fit the bill. But few have their story threads more tightly woven into the Whistler tapestry than does Williamson. From the moment he arrived here in 1980, he was all in. Body and soul and mind and heart. And it's been that way ever since.

So where do I start? Smart. Funny. Strong. Keen for any adventure. Multi-sport athlete too: skier, snowboarder, mountain biker, born-again surfer. But balanced, you know, really balanced. He's also a devoted (and tireless) community volunteer. An involved parent. A committed environmentalist. Innovative (and successful!) entrepreneur as well.

Williamson, in fact, is a pioneer in his field. A living proof that "focused diversity" (ie. the development of small businesses with mountain-resort-related competencies) has a real future in this valley.