Good things under the shadow of the icon
Should the Lot 1-9 “iconic” ice cover proponents entice a sugar daddy to take on all the iconic financial implications, they deserve to be knighted. Long shots sometimes come in. You can’t win the lottery without a ticket, just don’t buy too many.
Where to best focus time and effort? The design concept for the “iconic” ice cover overshadowed other important aspects of the Lot 1-9 plan. The concept of having some countries’ and sponsors’ Games pavilions designed and built to serve their Games requirements as well as post-Games community facility requirements, such as the museum, arts & culture and sustainability centres, on Lot 1-9 is very practical and most likely achievable. As I understand, rather than rent and renovate existing commercial space within Whistler Village, several countries and/or sponsors would build their pavilions on a portion of the day skier parking lot for temporary Games use and, post-Games, these structures would be moved across to Lot 1-9 for permanent community facilities with little or no cost to our small community tax base.
Thank you to Planner Mike Kirkegaard, Councilors Lorriman Zeidler, and the Lot 1-9 Task Force for your work, particularly this most practical concept.
Perspectives on two icons
I was at two very different presentations in Whistler last week. The first was an open house for lot 1/9 which presented a concept for the 2010 presentation plaza and beyond. The ice rink has lots of support and I agree would be an asset for the community. However the $18 million roof structure, while beautiful to look at, comes with a price tag that I feel is embarrassing. We were told that the roof would be an iconic structure that will represent Whistler to the world and that the federal government will be solicited for funds.
I then listened to Stephen Lewis give an impassioned talk about the plight of Africa where women and children struggle to survive on $1 a day. Where $130 would pay for enough antiretroviral drugs for a year that can save a mother’s life so ravaged by HIV/Aids and shield her children from becoming orphans. The number of orphans in Africa living with their grandmothers or together in sibling-headed households is shameful.
Whistler does not need an artificial iconic structure. Look around. We have natural iconic structures in Black Tusk, Armchair and the Tantalus range.
Let’s build a simpler, less expensive roof and instead of soliciting the federal government for funds for an iconic $18 million roof let’s encourage them to increase their foreign aid money. As Stephen Lewis stated, Canada is the only G8 nation to reduce its foreign aid funding. Canada is predicting a $14 billion surplus; surely some of that money could go towards Africa.