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Fresh eyes and fresh energy are a big part of Whistlers formula, according to President of the Chamber of Commerce, Brent Leigh. Says Leigh, "Its a remarkable corner of the world, and people come here and they will until eternity, even if theyre skateboarding down the mountain when the snow is gone. Its an institution in terms of tourism and you just want to keep it fresh and unique. I think we still have got a really incredible formula in terms of the resort being fresh for visitors. Between the true locals, the youth locals and the seasonal employees, the resort has a real, fresh ambience."
Curator of the Museums Picturing Whistler: Local Faces, Local Spaces exhibit, Kerry Clark believes the same things that turn Whistler visitors on to the place, are the special things for residents.
"You can always pare it down to the natural beauty of Whistler and the lifestyle it offers. Everyone is drawn here initially for a holiday or a season, because of the outdoors, the environment, the opportunities to recreate, the amazing people. And thats what keeps people here. We make great friends. We love the outdoor lifestyle."
At root, we all share that common link with everyone who visits Whistler, for however brief a stint. But, as evidenced by the 300 photographs collected over a week in Whistler by a dozen individuals, there are an infinite number of permutations and variations on how to experience it.
For every person whos making their home in Whistler, whether they fully own the word "local" or are still growing into it, there are a hundred quintessential experiences, a score of secret spots, and an endless array of "locals tours" to be taken. And the best part of all might be the chance to share it. As Tina Symko said, as we ran through her hypothetical tour, "I need a day off! Someone come and visit me!"
Picturing Whistler: Local Faces, Local Spaces opens to the public Saturday, Sept. 11 at the Whistler Museum, 4329 Main Street.