Opinion » Alta States

Angie' s world — celebrating Whistler culture one story at a time

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Ironic too. While some Whistlerites may take all these creative contributions for granted, the fact that Angie Nolan even lives in Whistler today is due to the painful reality that a car accident cut short her mainstream filmmaking career nearly fifteen years ago. This woman had the talent to go all the way. Her accident forced her to reconfigure her life path. Which brought her full-circle back to Whistler, and her insatiable desire to tell local stories.

But I'm getting ahead of myself again. Let's go back to the beginning.

She was born in Vancouver. "But I was raised on the Sunshine Coast," she says. "In Gibsons to be precise. I moved there in Grade 4 to live with my mom and her new husband...." She laughs. "My bio-dad was this free-spirited party-on kind of rock and roll guy. But my mom and new dad lived this super-straight June Cleaver lifestyle." She shrugs. Laughs again. "I guess I grew up appreciating both perspectives."

It was the late 1970's. And the small fishing/mill town of Gibsons was still very much on the edge of the world back then. For a gal with a curious mind and boundless energy, the place was just a wee bit too quiet. She needed more.

Enter Whistler. And skiing. And the whole social maelstrom that swirled around the sport. "I first went skiing with friends," she says. "And I totally fell in love with it. It wasn't my parents' thing, you know. It was my thing. Besides, skiing was cool. Not everyone did it. At school, being part of the ski club gave you a certain cachet..." But there was more. The chance to get off the isolated, ferry-accessed stretch of coastline, admits Angie, was a big reason ski trips appealed to her so much.

"It was an escape, for sure. Both physically and socially. When you were part of the ski club, everyone was equal. Rich or poor, everyone had to fundraise. Still, for me — and it hasn't changed all that much — I loved the party aspect of the sport." More happy laughter. "I love the mountains and the snow, you know. But I'm such a social butterfly. And that drive up to Whistler — it's always been so awesome..."

Angie lived some seminal moments at Whistler. "I had my first legal pint at the Boot," she proclaims proudly. "Came up to Whistler with friends to celebrate my 19th birthday." Which triggers a wavelet of nostalgia for that smelly old favourite. "The Ski Boot Pub was still the place back then," she says. "Being in that pub, meeting people from all over the world — that was so exciting!"

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