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Name that Whistler history book!

Whistler Museum searches for a title for new tome on ‘life before skiing’

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The Whistler Museum launched a competition Saturday (Feb. 18) to find a name for a book about the time before skis hit Whistler's slopes.

The unnamed book about the pioneer era is a 100-page updated version of Whistler Reflections, written by Florence Petersen, Sally Mitchell and Janet Love Morrison, and first published in the 1990s.

The museum's curator and executive director, Leah Batisse, said the book was being self-published by the museum; it is currently undergoing a final edit and will be available for purchase later this year.

"It means a lot to get all these stories written down and have a comprehensive history. We've just celebrated 100 years of history with the arrival of Alex and Myrtle Philip in 1911, and this book is a part of that milestone."

Batisse said that through the project she had been learning things about Whistler's history that she hadn't known.

Collections manager Sarah Drewery has been working closely with local historian and co-author of the original book, Florence Petersen.

"We got a grant as part of the 100 Years of Dreams (the museum's centenary celebration) to publish. The first copies will be purchased by donation and then money from this will go into printing more e-books, basically," she said.

She said the publication would be available at the museum, and self-publishing should mean it will never go out of print.

"Whistler Reflections is out of print right now, and we've only got three copies left at the museum. At this moment we don't have (for sale) a single book about pioneers," Drewery said.

Anyone with ideas for the book-naming competition can enter them on the Whistler Is Awesome website or the museum's own blog.

"The prize is small, the glory of naming the book, a copy of the book when it is published, and a museum membership. We'd like something catchy because everything I've come up with so far is quite dry," Drewery laughed.

Petersen said they had made an exhaustive search for new information about Whistler before the ski resort era, pre-1960s.

"I've had a lot of help, repeated some of what was in (the original book), and added what was left out. We're hoping that we've covered all the main people and businesses and why people came."

People should realize that life in early Whistler was tough and not as comfortable and easy as it is today, Petersen said

"A lot of people don't even know there was life here before skiing," she said.

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