“Never question the power of a dream.”
That was the advice from Whistler’s 2007 Business Person of the Year, Tom Horler, in introducing this year’s winner, Shauna Hardy Mishaw.
Hardy Mishaw, founder of the Whistler Film Festival, was named Whistler’s Business Person of the Year at Tuesday’s chamber lunch.
“I am truly honoured and overwhelmed,” Hardy Mishaw said.
“It was a big dream, it’s been a big journey with a lot of personal sacrifice.”
The eighth annual Whistler Film Festival took place Dec. 4-7. Ninety-two films were screened, attendance increased 7 per cent over last year, and considerable media attention was focused on Whistler and the festival. Some of that attention was due to the fact the festival attracted veteran actor Donald Sutherland, who was a jury member. But regardless of the celebrities, the festival has grown in stature every year.
“I don’t think this event would be possible anywhere else,” Hardy Mishaw told the chamber audience. “I’m excited by what lies ahead.
Hardy Mishaw said she was also excited to see arts and culture at the forefront of the community. Recreation is what Whistler has been known for, and it still forms the backdrop to the film festival and other cultural events, but arts and culture are also helping to diversify the local economy.
“It’s important,” she said. “We have a saying at the Whistler Arts Council, ‘Arts Means Business.’ And (the chamber) recognizing the arts is helping to diversify the Whistler economy.”
Tuesday’s award capped a busy December for Hardy Mishaw. In addition to the festival this month she was also the launch day producer for the Peak 2 Peak gondola, on Dec. 12.
This year marks the 20 th year for the Whistler Business Person of the Year award. Previous winners have included Horler, Dave Demers, Scott Carrell, Doug Forseth, Bob and Sue Adams, Dave Davenport, Jan Holmberg, Ann Chiasson and Rick Clare.
The Business Person of the Year is a Whistler Chamber member who has owned or managed a business in Whistler successfully for at least five years. They are profitable in their business ventures and always seek to lead through vision, service, excellence and innovation.
In addition to announcing the Business Person of the Year, the chamber also announced the new board members elected in online balloting.
The newly elected board members are: Dave Demers, Joey Gibbons, Duane Hepditch, Stephanie Matches, James McKenzie, Scott Pass, Sholto Shaw, Ben Thomas, Robie Thorn, Chris Quinlan and Shelley Quinn.
They join current board members Tom Horler, Dave Davenport, Scott Carrell, Pat Kelly, Kendra Mazzei, Kennedy Raine and Beth Shaw.
Tanya Ewasiuk and Greg Newton are leave the board because they have reached the eight-year term limit.