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Insider’s Guide to Whistler

Museum collaborators reveal favourite local haunts



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Beautiful, was her verdict. One of the most beautiful places yet. That was my first mission accomplished.

The second? To satisfy my own curiosity. What is the Whistler Local’s Tour? I got different versions from four of the Museums’ 12 photography participants, and began to really appreciate that within the bigger macrocosm of Whistler, exist thousands of microcosms. A Local’s Tour of Whistler reveals as much about your tour-guide’s own passions and perspectives as it does of the place itself.

Tina Symko

Tina Symko is a river-girl. A board director at AWARE, and on staff as a Sustainability Co-ordinator with VANOC, Symko arrived in Whistler on an eight month research stint, as part of her Masters program over six years ago.

"A couple of people in my grad class kept pushing me up here. I think they knew I’d connect with Whistler."

To complete her Masters in Environmental Management, Symko wrote the Crabapple Creek Water Management Plan, and that was enough to get her hooked.

"I went back to the city to write my thesis, and then came straight back."

It was a no-brainer for a person who declares their passions to be, "anything green and alive, anything outside, the environment, recreation…."

Not only has she found a place redolent in the things she’s passionate about, she’s finally found herself surrounded by like-minded people.

"It’s amazing. I used to find that I could only talk about sustainability to people in my school program. Whereas here, it’s becoming a new language to everyone in Whistler. There were over 1,000 people at the David Suzuki presentation. There was a lineup that went from the doors of the conference centre out past Citta’s, and it was moving the whole time. And people weren’t just sitting there with their eyes glazing. It was an incredible audience that applauded every five minutes during the talk. It made me think, Wow! This is my town. These are real people, doing real things, and they really care about this."