Louise Robinson doesn't quite fit the mould of your average Whistlerite. The 30-year-old is the rare Aussie in town who mostly avoids the slopes. When people discover this, she tends to get the inevitable follow-up: "Why are you here, then?"
"The reason I live here is because of the community," she says. "The people who live here all year-round are genuinely good people that want to be happy. They want to enjoy their life and they want to do it however they want, and Whistler is the perfect platform for that."
For Robinson, being happy has meant immersing herself in Whistler's flourishing arts scene. The Gold-Coast native is a true multi-hyphenate, counting acting, writing and modelling among her many pursuits. But it's her turn as a reality-TV personality on Bravo's Timber Creek Lodge, which premiered Dec. 5, that will introduce her to her biggest audience yet.
A cousin of sorts to last year's short-lived Après Ski, the show follows the staff of a "super-luxury" ski lodge as they show their ultra-rich clientele the ultimate Whistler experience.
Crammed together in a tiny staff house, the team of pro skiers, ex-NBA cheerleaders and personal chefs live, work and play together practically every second of the day.
As one of the only full-time locals in the cast*, Robinson, who worked as head of housekeeping, often saw herself as the odd man out.
"I put the work first and the play second, whereas some people definitely put the play first. I don't know whether they even think work exists in the lodge," she laughs. "Especially being very different from the rest of the crew, I did find it difficult to deal with their antics at times."
Après Ski, which revolved around the Gibbons Life luxury ski-concierge service, was widely panned by locals who felt it was an inaccurate portrayal of Whistler. (Why audiences expected a reality show on Bravo to be cinema verité, I'll never know.) But Robinson says she fought hard to bring a genuine perspective to this series that's rare for most reality TV.
"This show is definitely not scripted," she says, "the shit just fell apart naturally, which I think makes it a really interesting show to watch because it's all based around how we felt and what we did in the moment."
Of course, Robinson is used to marching to the beat of her own drum. The drama teacher recently set up a blog, louiserobinson.net, not to capitalize on her moment in the spotlight, but to share her philosophy on living the good life.
"I basically want to use Timber Creek Lodge as a platform for people to connect with me and read my blog about how I'm trying to make myself a better person and also influence people to do the same," she says.
Timber Creek Lodge airs Mondays on Bravo at 10 p.m. and on Slice in Canada at 9 p.m.
*A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Louise Robinson and Gibbons Life CEO Joey Gibbons were the only long-term locals from the cast of Timber Creek Lodge. Cynthia Barker, who worked as VIP mountain host on the show, has lived in Whistler for three years.