Thank you, Whistler!
Whistler just celebrated its largest and most successful Cornucopia festival ever with results indicating that we are well on our way to meeting our goals of achieving overall festival occupancy of at least 60 per cent and establishing Cornucopia as B.C.'s premier food and drink festival.
This year's event, spanning 11 days, saw an increase in programming, significant interest from trade and media, growth in room nights for the resort and a strong increase in ticket sales.
This success has been years in the making and does not come without a great deal of hard work and unwavering commitment.
On behalf of Tourism Whistler, I'd like to thank our event producer, Sue Eckersley, and her team at Watermark Communications Inc., for their dedication to this event. Sue and her team work tirelessly in support of Cornucopia, often going above and beyond to ensure the event's growth and success.
The role of our sponsors cannot be overlooked. In addition to the title sponsorship from Blue Shore Financial and the continued support from the Resort Municipality of Whistler through the Festivals, Events and Animation program, which allows us to increase our programming, we are fortunate to have welcomed new sponsors for this year's event, including Infiniti Canada, the official luxury automotive sponsor for Cornucopia 2014, Flavours Magazine (presenting the Culinary Stage Series) and Keurig, the exclusive coffee sponsor of Cornucopia.
We have also benefitted from the steadfast support of our members and we are grateful for your support. Without participation from the restaurants, hotels and numerous businesses involved, this event could quite simply not offer the level of programming that has evolved to include 11 days of tastings, seminars, dinners and parties.
Thank you to everyone involved for your continued support of this important signature Whistler festival. We look forward to building upon this success!
Tourism Whistler's vice president of marketing
Municipality may be impotent to erection
As I delved into SBA's Village North cell tower install, I was dumbfounded to learn that the decision to approve and license the location of all antenna systems is made solely by Industry Canada. Reread this again!
The municipality can, and I suspect that it will, submit a "we don't like it at that location" letter to Industry Canada (IC) as part of IC's final decision. However, the municipality's recommendation is not binding, and across Canada, municipal recommendations to IC are frequently overruled.
As a community, we are at risk of having a harmful eyesore imposed in the centre of our town by federal edict. As citizens, we actually have to act and not assume our elected officials have the power to protect us. Please make a difference by doing the following:
• Show up. Confirm the municipality doesn't want a tower by a daycare, along a view corridor (Dec. 16 council meeting). Apparently, yes, I have to ask this question, as the applicant (SBA) is several years (see Committee of the Whole Dec. 2012), steps, and dollars towards a positive result. Once confirmed, move on, let the municipality do its work.
• Read up. Get informed, on the proposal, on the non-binding Municipality Protocol, on exclusive federal jurisdiction, and on Facebook.
• Voice up. Spend your time composing and sending a letter, electronic, and manual, in quadruplicate to the municipality/SBA/IC/Federal MP voicing your learning of the facts and your opinion. Do it now. Our window to comment closes before Christmas.
• Attend the Dec. 10 SBA sales pitch meeting. Beware that you are entering an Alice in Wonderland hall of mirrors where SBA controls its own review file to IC.
• Once erected, be comforted by the fact that honour-based reporting for compliance, or modifications, is all that is required from SBA to Industry Canada, no third party or municipality oversight needed.
Stan and Lynda Kranjc
On behalf of everyone at Slope Side Supply I want to congratulate our Function neighbours at the Pique for an amazing 20 years!
We are just putting the finishing touches on our 20th Anniversary Christmas Card, as our anniversary is at the end of December and it overwhelms me to think how many newspapers and rolls of toilet paper have rolled out of Function over the last 20 years.
A lot has changed down here since late 1994. Back then I think "Bob the Dog"` was still mayor of Function, Millar Creek Café was the only place to eat, and there were probably about half as many buildings as there are now.
But one thing that hasn't changed (even though Bob Barnett has figured out something David and I haven't — retirement) is the excitement each week of grabbing a coffee and a copy of the Pique to catch up on everything going on around town.
Congrats again and I hope that Whistler offers up as many amazing stories for the next 20!
Slope Side Supply
Sustainable agriculture top priority
There really is no pleasing the David Suzuki Foundation (Pique, "Science Matters," Oct.30).
Over the years, Canada's pesticide regulatory system has become more protective of human health and the environment, more transparent and more inclusive of non-governmental organizations.
Meanwhile, the plant-science industry continues to invest in research to develop tools that help farmers protect the crops they grow from insect, diseases and weeds and grow safe, affordable food.
As a result, today's crop protection products are applied at ever-decreasing rates, are more targeted than ever before and have never been safer for people or the environment.
The plant-science industry understands that agriculture's long-term sustainability depends on maintaining biodiversity within natural ecosystems and agricultural landscapes. And thanks in part to our technologies, Canadian agriculture has never been more sustainable than it is today.
It is mind-boggling to read that a foundation that claims to advocate for a sustainable future is suggesting that we go back to agricultural practices from decades ago when soil erosion was an epidemic, yields were only a fraction of what they are today and bee populations were actually much less robust than they are today.
The truth of the matter is that activist groups like this aren't looking for solutions; they're looking for public profile — as evidenced by the "Donate" button that is always prominent.
While we work with all stakeholders, including the Canadian Honey Council, to identify solution-focused approaches to ensure a sustainable future for agriculture and beekeeping, activist groups such as these are entrenched in unworkable positions and don't seem to care if they jeopardize the progress that's being collaboratively made.
Vice-president of chemistry, CropLife Canada
(Editor's note: CropLife Canada is the trade association representing the manufacturers, developers and distributors of plant science technologies, including pest control products and plant biotechnology, for use in agriculture, urban and public health settings.)
Public thanks for PVTA support
The Pemberton Valley Trails Association (PVTA) would like to thank the partners who have contributed to the successful relocation and improvement of the Mackenzie Basin trailhead.
The new trailhead offers a larger parking area that is closer to the trails and should remain mud-free during our wetter months.
The project represents a successful collaboration between the PVTA, Village of Pemberton, SLRD and local landowners.
The project would not have been possible without the Sabre Group's generous donation of the land upon which the new trailhead is located.
Pemberton's world-class network of multi user trails would not exist without the support of our community.
Ian Kruger, PVTA Director of Trails
Mountain opening and closing needs second look
I have been a seasons-pass holder off and on for about the past 20 years.
In the past two years it has been extremely disappointing regarding the opening and closing of Whistler Mountain. Last year in January I was skiing Whiskey Jack and did extensive damage to the bases of my skis. Everyone I talked to did the same, or had torn an edge out.
My understanding of the opening and closing of the mountains is that it is all based on insurance. With the damage of skis and risk of injury on the rocks, why open the mountain when it is not ready?
Please don't tell me about blowing enough snow, it only assists Mother Nature in certain spots; it is never enough to open the mountain without at least 100 centimetres of real snow.
It is extremely frustrating driving by Whistler Mountain at the end of April and it is closed when there is still four feet (1.2 metres) of snow down to the highway.
What is even more frustrating is going over to Blackcomb Mountain in May and trying to get a parking spot. Even if you do ski Blackcomb in May it turns to slush by 10:30 in the morning because Blackcomb faces the sun. The snow on Whistler stays fantastic until June.
So, to save our skis and our bodies, and a lot money in insurance claims wouldn't it make sense to open the mountains when there is snow and close them when the snow is finally gone?
And maybe it would be a good idea to spend some money on advertising to educate the public that they should ski and board only when there is snow.
After all, it is a year round resort, isn't it?
Couldn't have done it without help
The qualification of the Pemberton High School Boys Soccer team, and entry into the Single A Provincial Tournament, meant a considerable expense for the team to participate.
I was amazed by the fantastic response efforts by the community, and on behalf of the team wish to extend our special thanks to the following individuals and organizations that donated funds and/or time to make the trip possible: Walsh restorations and Mike Walsh, The Village of Pemberton, Innergex and Liz Scroggins, The Lions, Pemberton Valley Wellness and Dr. Shannon Paul, The Pemberton Legion and Tanis Ayers, Pemberton Valley Supermarket and all staff, Pemberton Secondary School, Whistler Wedding Planners and Linda Marshall, Drumkeeran House and the Mt. Currie Band.
On behalf of the team, I would also like to mention the following individuals: Brenda McLeod, for burger meat supply; Colleen Warner of Local Motion for team Physiotherapy; Krista Walden for sharing a classroom and dealing with remnant odours; Kim and Dave Townley for all their support and assistance; Tricia Field for donations, help and photography; Ted, Hannes, Kitty and Joanna for helping with training.
In particular thanks go to Mark Leverton for his endless organization and team management.
Thanks also to players who did not make the provincial competition, and yet supported the team in training and the qualification competition: Will Bradner, Will Narcisse, Freddie, Mac, Bryan, Wyatt, Noah, Scott, Jamal, Issac, Carlos and Sam
Sincere thanks for all the community's assistance
Phill Read, PSS Soccer
New food program sprouts
The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation announced they would provide seed funding to cover capital costs for Stewardship Pemberton Society's newest Feasting for Change program starting in 2015.
The project will entail the creation of an after-school program for children aged five to 11 years of age. The children will help grow a large organic vegetable plot at the Pemberton Creek Community Garden, and the harvest will be taken to the Pemberton Food Bank.
The program will kick off in April with the kids starting seeds in the communal greenhouse, and will run through until Thanksgiving.
The program will teach children organic gardening techniques, seed saving strategies, permaculture design principles, the life cycle of plants, and the importance of giving back to those in our community most in need.
SPS is still seeking additional funding to get this program off the ground and hopes it will become an annual offering.
The Whistler Public Library would like to thank Watermark Communications for naming us the 2014 Cornucopia Food & Wine Festival Charity Recipient.
It has been a privilege to be associated with "Whistler's Premier Food and Drink Extravaganza" for the past two years. As any charity recipient of this event knows, the success of the fundraising hinges on a great deal of effort from a good number of able and willing supporters.
It is with this in mind that we would like to thank the following generous spirits; Sue Eckersley for the generous donations and giving us another go at it, Amy Sefton for being the planner at our right hand, Caroline Bagnall for going way above and beyond, and Sarah Stead for managing the army of volunteers.
We have no doubt that a silent auction must be well thought-out and carefully crafted, so thankfully we had the best of the best, Jacqui Tyler and Sandra Epplett, you are the reigning queens of the auction!
Thank you to Ellen Bartlett, Jane and Gary Clifford, Dausha Dudley, Jordan Kobelka, Janice O'Mara, Moe and John Richmond, Sandy Tyler, Yvonne Crofton, and Sharon Schrul for your support in the orchestral production and execution of the auction events.
While Whistler businesses are no strangers to the charity ask, it takes determination and resilience to initiate "the ask."
Thank you to those who pounded the pavement this fall in the name of the library!
In addition, we thank our other supporters on the ground who represented the library amongst the sea of amazing volunteers: Susan Annand, Marianna Orr, Verna MacDonald, Lindsay DeBou, Mike McCarville, Kat Sahota, Connie Cathers, Terry and Barb Deutscher, Samantha Emm, Ralph and Stephanie Forsyth, Brent Moore, Rod and Silvia Tindall, Jennifer and Richard Wyne and Duane Jackson.
Finally, we thank the Whistler business community, our local artists, and the municipality for their ongoing spirit of charity and support of community — the library is a better place because of your contributions!
Elizabeth Tracy, Library Director and Gord Annand, Board Chair