There is no shortage of options for the future of post-secondary education in Whistler, Gwyn Symmons, the head of the council-appointed Learning and Education Task Force, told those who attended the task force's first open house.
Over 100 members of the public came out to the Whistler Conference centre to hear the group's update on April 4.
Symmons said that since the creation of the task force by Whistler Council in the fall of 2012, there had been "a rich and caring discussion" by its members with the aim of developing recommendations to advance and evaluate education opportunities. Among other things this included hearing presentations by nine existing and potential post-secondary education providers including Quest University Canada, The Sauder School of Business, Capilano University, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, The Whistler Education Group and Whistler International Campus.
Options outlined included arts, sports, executive education, employer/professional skills training, providing select programs or courses, and potentially supporting the creation of a full campus.
The potential economic impact of such a facility on Whistler was also explored.
Symmons stressed public participation at this stage in the process - a questionnaire on the options was available at the open house. It is also available at the Resort Municipality of Whistler's website, whistler.ca.
"This open house is going to be really crucial... it's very much a community process," Symmons said.
Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, who is also on the task force, was encouraged by the public turnout.
"I am very pleased to see the number of people here. That is terrific. It shows the level of interest in the topic. I haven't heard anyone be critical about the process, people think it is good that council took the time to create the task force and develop this framework," Wilhelm-Morden said in an interview.
Details on the task force can be found at whistler.ca/learning_education
The post-secondary education questionnaire can be filled out online until Friday, April 12 here: http://fluidsurveys.com/s/learning_education/
For the full story check out Pique on Thursday, April 11 or visit www.piquenewsmagazine.com.