Big shoes to fill
I want to personally thank Sue Eckersley from Watermark Communications Inc. for indirectly having a huge impact on my life.
I was sitting in Spain in 2006 and a friend said, "there's something on TV about a place called Whistler." It was a piece about the 2010 Olympics coming. I had never been to Whistler and was teased by my friend all night about how I, as a Canadian, had never been to Whistler.
I had difficulty sleeping thinking of this place.
In the morning I booked a flight for later that evening to Vancouver.
Before breakfast, I called my boss in Miami to tell him I was leaving the company in Europe and moving to a place called Whistler.
At breakfast, I notified my friend I was leaving her to fly later to Whistler (more spontanaity pre-wife/kids).
I arrived just as the World Ski and Snowboard Festival was starting. My first thoughts were, is it always like this and why hadn't I found this magical place earlier?
Fast forward 11 glorious years later and I feel I personally owe gratitude to Sue. If not for that first impression (that Sue helped create) I most likely wouldn't have stayed.
Whistler's fish advocate
(On March 31), Dave Brown received the Recreational Fisheries Award from the government of Canada. It was an honour to be invited to the event along with many others.
Dave has been fighting for our fish on his own time for many years and was more than deserving of this award for all of his work. The bad news is Dave will most likely be one of the last people to receive this award.
The government has decided to discontinue the award after 30 years. It was designed to acknowledge people and groups that have volunteered over the years to try and protect our fish. Not sure why the government wants to stop giving out the award, but it should continue as long as we have fish and habitat to protect.
People that are trying to save our fish from so many threats to their habitat need to be recognized for their hard work and dedication. But with or without this award people like Dave won't stop as long as there are fish and habitat that need protection.
Once again, Dave thank you for your dedication to the fish. Because of people like you, the fish have a voice that so many people would never hear.
Thanks Whistler Kids Ski School
My four-year-olds finished their second season of ski school with Whistler Kids last Thursday, March 30. It was a beautiful, bluebird day; amazing snow, and the perfect ending to a fabulous season.
As the ski season draws to a close and we begin to focus our attention on more springtime pursuits, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank Lauren Hetherington and the incredible ski instructors who make up the well-oiled machine that is Whistler Kids.
For about the same price as daycare, our kids are outside all day, embracing nature in our beautiful surroundings with friends and/or kids their own age. They enjoy story time, theme days, special visitors, fun costumes, and the occasional treat from instructors who are adept not only at teaching, but also at working with young children.
As anyone who has ever gone skiing with a toddler can attest, this is no small accomplishment, even when parents are double teaming their child. I have yet to figure out how they make it work with a ratio of 5:1, yet they all seem to.
My kids saw their (and other) instructors wear a tiger suit, don a tutu and butterfly wings, and ride a hippo. Big hits.
They handle screaming toddlers with patience and care (this I know as mine was one of them for the first month or so), discreetly take care of "accidents" that sometimes occur with three year olds, feed them (my personal favourite), and provide after ski-school care in a comfortable, kid-friendly environment.
Communication with parents was excellent. Weekly newsletters, after-class summaries, mid-season progress reports, as well as final-progress reports were thorough and accurate.
One added bonus to this program that I may have not adequately emphasized is that they also teach them how to ski! Really well!
I think most parents are beyond impressed at the progress made by their little ones after completing this program. While I recognize that not all parents or children will have had the same experience, mine and that of my children have been outstanding.
I would like to end with an enormous thank you to my kids' instructors over the last two years, Bruce Smart, Caroline Mousseau, and Tony the Tiger. You are all amazing. Thank you for making my kids' first experiences skiing such positive ones.
These people know what they are doing.
Let's hope they don't change it.
Whistler loves its pooches
I feel so privileged to live in a town as dog friendly as Whistler.
Having been a dog owner for the past five years, I had no idea of the wonderful community of dog guardians. The vast majority of owners I have had the pleasure of encountering are engaged, responsible and invested in keeping Whistler as a dog-friendly town.
Working in the tourism industry, I also get to speak to lots of people from in and out of Canada and they are blown away by the openness and friendliness towards dogs, and they love it.
While I am sure there are a few bad eggs out there (please, from all responsible dog guardians, pick up your poop and teach your pup good K9 manners!) the majority get it — they care and they want to keep Whistler the dog-loving town it is!
Whistler Sailing Association thanks
The Whistler Sailing Association would like to thank all the businesses and individuals who generously contributed items and valuable certificates to our fundraiser at Creekbread on Tuesday, April 4.
The generosity of Creekbread makes such events possible throughout the year — a special shoutout for them.
We raised money this year with the objective of acquiring two new boats — a laser and an optimist. Why do we need new boats to add to our fleet? Many of our young sailors are advancing to a degree that they can now compete at the Regatta level. To not upgrade our fleet would be equivalent to asking a ski team to go to events with 20-year-old skis. In other words, our tired old boats are simply not competitive and cannot keep up with the talents of our young members.
We thank the many contributors to our event: Helly Hansen, Westin Resort & Spa, Fairmont Chateau Hotel and Golf Course, Trattoria di Umberto, Bearfoot Bistro, Whistler Golf Club, Creekside Market, Meadow Park Sports Centre, Crabapple Cafe, Canadian Wilderness Adventures, Nonna Pia's, Purebread, The Adventure Group Whistler, Great Glass Elevator, Rob's Auto Shop, Snow Mountain Projects, Lordco Parts, Tom Docking Real Estate Lawyer, Barbara Walker, Rona Home Centre, Rekord Marine, and Lennox & Mei.