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Capital campaign enters second year

The $10 million Capital Campaign for a permanent home for the Library, Museum & Archives, and Arts Council is about to enter its second year.

Meanwhile, the first year was a busy one. Anne Fenwick was elected Campaign Chair, and BC CTV news anchor Pamela Martin and Resort Municipality of Whistler Mayor Hugh O’Reilly agreed to be Honorary Co-Chairs. A campaign office was set up, a campaign manager and professional fundraiser were retained, several different committees of dedicated Whistler volunteers were formed, volunteers received training, events were planned and held, campaign promotion was initiated, and solicitation of major donors began. In short, the campaign got organized and underway.

The RMOW will own and manage the new building, and the Library, Museum and Arts Council will be its tenants. The RMOW is paying for half of the building cost, thus making the $10 million goal attainable. To date, $580,000 has been raised in addition to the municipal commitment of $5 million.

In addition to the Library and Museum &Archives, the Arts Council will have two offices. There will be a multipurpose room opening off the foyer/civic hall. When not being used for author readings, slide shows, meetings or other programs, the multipurpose room will be a great place for people to meet and socialize by the fire or view local works of art.

A good library is an essential part of any vibrant community. The library will have ample reading areas, an enjoyable, quiet place for patrons to relax, and our children will have a separate program room to allow activities to occur while the library is open.

A good museum tracks the history of the community, both environmentally and physically. By offering a glimpse of our past, the museum will provide a better understanding of our community today and in the future. It will ensure our history is preserved for future generations.

The new Library, Museum and Arts Council facility will see tremendous use from locals, weekenders, seasonal and casual visitors. All three organizations have a substantial quantity of goods stored in separate, off-site locations, owing to a desperate lack of space in their temporary existing locations. It will be wonderful, for example, to be able to actually display all of the books that our library owns, rather than rotating the collection, as we must do now.

In 2003, the Local Community Fundraising Committee’s goal to raise $500,000 for furnishings and equipment, will be fully underway. We are hoping all of Whistler will get involved and help furnish this new community facility. In the New Year, the RMOW will be hosting a public information meeting to display plans and a model of the new building. Dates will be advertised. We look forward to a good turnout in order for the community to learn more about this most exciting "new chapter in Whistler’s history" to build the educational heart of Whistler.

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