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History on the hoof

Museum introduces Whistler visionaries on nightly summer walking tours

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This summer, the Whistler dream starts with a walk.

Valley of Dreams is the name of a guided walk through Whistler Village and Whistler’s history being offered by the Whistler Museum each evening during July and August.

The walk is more than a physical experience. Guides trace the stories of some of Whistler’s early visionaries, people who came to the valley from around the world to make their dreams come true. It is these dream seekers who were inspired by the rugged Coast Mountains and laid the foundation for Whistler today.

The story starts with trailblazers Alex and Myrtle Philip, who first travelled to the valley in 1911 when it was a three-day trip from Vancouver. Here in the valley they made their dream come true by building Rainbow Lodge, Whistler’s first tourist attraction.

Myrtle’s famous hospitality and the valley’s stunning natural features made Whistler the most popular summer destination west of the Rocky Mountains for more than 30 years.

The tale then turns to Franz Wilhelmsen, the first president of Garibaldi Lifts Ltd. and the driving force behind the development of Whistler Mountain. Franz’s dream of building a ski area to host the Winter Olympic Games catapulted Whistler from an isolated summer resort to a world-class, year-round destination.

Jam-packed with little known tidbits of history, this tour takes residents and visitors on a journey that exposes the secrets behind Whistler’s rise as an international destination and the co-host of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Tours run every day at 7 p.m. during July and August, leaving from the Whistler Museum. The price is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students and $6 for youths.

The museum is located in Whistler Village off of Main Street, behind the new library. For more information contact the Whistler Museum at 604-932-2019 or visit www.whistlermuseum.org

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