Whistler has granted the Freedom of the Municipality to three people who have been instrumental to the growth and development of the resort since it was first created in 1975.
The announcement was made at the 40th anniversary celebrations on Sept. 6.
Awarded this distinction were Eric Martin, Sue Adams and Jim Moodie.
"This is the highest honour the municipality can give an individual," said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden.
"It doesn't come with a free parking space," she said to welcoming laughter from the over 100 people invited to Millennium Place to celebrate Whistler's milestone.
"But it does come with recognition and thanks for the tremendous effort the recipients have made in order to receive this award."
Those holding the Freedom of the Municipality may vote in Whistler elections no matter where they live, and whether or not they own real estate in the resort. Only 11 have been named in the last 40 years. It must be a unanimous council decision.
Adams, who has owned and operated The Whistler Grocery Store for more than 25 years with her husband Bob, has long been an advocate for the arts in Whistler, for women in business and for small business in general.
She is involved in multiple organizations, including being the chair of the municipal festivals, events and animation group, sitting on the board of directors of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce, the Audain Art Museum and the Whistler Arts Council.
"I am humbled," said Adams. "It seems strange that one can receive public recognition for doing what you do every day and every moment, and laugh when you doing it, and more importantly — being involved in a community that energizes and inspires with passion and selfless commitment to do what is right for our friends and our neighbours."
Martin was the volunteer president and chair of the Whistler 2020 Development Corporation (WDC) and was instrumental in the creation of the Athletes' Village for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games at Cheakamus Crossing.
He also was involved in the residential development of Whistler in the 1990s, was the volunteer project manager for the construction of the Meadow Park Sports Centre, and is also on the board of the Audain Art Museum.
"This is fantastic," said Martin, sharing that the award left him, for once, speechless.
"My family has been incredibly supportive and allowed me to do these things... I love the people here and I love the passion. Walking around today was incredible... seeing all the families, to me that is what it is about."
Moodie was involved in design of Whistler Village as an early design consultant and has supported the progress ever since.
He had significant role in the development of the WDC, which managed the design and development of the Athletes' Village. He is now co-chair of that board.
Moodie was also an integral part of bringing the Audain Art Museum to the resort and is currently vice chair of the museum board and vice chair of its foundation.
"It is a real honour," said Moodie.
"When (the mayor's) office first called... I was up in Sunshine Coast and I thought, 'oh, oh something's gone wrong with Athletes' Village, or maybe it's the museum — something's gone wrong with museum.'
"She called about two to three hours later and told me (about the honour).
"It has given me the opportunity to think back and there has been some incredibly amazing experiences and some incredible memories."