Thousands of newcomers to the resort are getting a "Whistler" welcome thanks to the annual activities of the Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS).
This week the organization is hosting its 11th annual Welcome Week.
“At this time of the year, we start to see our town change,” said Jackie Dickinsen, an Outreach Worker at WCSS.
"It’s common to see people walking through the village with big backpacks and a map, lost in the Whistler bubble. It’s important to show them that people do actually live here. Families live here. Children grow up here, and this is our home.”
The welcome to Whistler events will give those who call Whistler home and newcomers a chance to get to know each other, as well as providing everyone with an opportunity to connect with each other and their passion about Whistler as a place to live.
The WCSS has been running the week of events designed to welcome newcomers to Whistler since 2003. This year, the WCSS Welcome Week is taking place from Nov. 18 to Nov. 23.
“Welcome Week has changed and grown so much since it started," said Dickinsen. "It was originally spearheaded by WCSS, but now businesses around the community are spearheading their own Welcome Week events. It shows their willingness to help in the community and is a great example of community partnership. We are very proud of it.”
Some of the events that will take place include a screening of Ski Bums, complimentary yoga classes, the infamous "Pool Party,” and an open house at Meadow Park Sports Centre.
Welcome Week is a great place to get information into the hands of newcomers, such as where to go for drug and alcohol issues and the affordability and support programs that are in place. Attendees will also have a chance to learn about the over 25 programs helping to improve social sustainability in Whistler that are run by the WCSS.
“It allows newcomers to get connected to key people so that they can make healthy decisions; but we also want people to have fun," said Dickinsen.
"It’s great because there is not a huge price tag attached so cost isn’t a barrier. There shouldn’t be a price tag on your wellness.”
Everyone is invited to socialize at the Whistler Volunteer Fair and Business Expo from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the foyer at the Whistler Conference Centre today, Thursday, Nov. 21. Local businesses and non-profit organizations will be showing off their products, services, and volunteer opportunities. Entry is free of charge and prizes will be drawn from the names of those who visit all of the booths.
The Jill Ackhurst Community Welcome Dinner will be held on Thursday, Nov. 1 at the Whistler Conference Centre Sea to Sky Ballroom starting at 5 p.m. This annual dinner was started to honour Ackhurst, a great believer and supporter of community. The event includes a meal made with local foods and cooked by top Whistler chefs from the major hotels and restaurants, as well as the opportunity to sit at a table with residents who will answer questions about Whistler – all for $5.
The WCSS is recruiting volunteer table hosts who will be enthusiastic and excited to share their passion of Whistler with the new batch of seasonal workers arriving in our town. If you would like to volunteer as a table host or would like to help at the event as an additional volunteer, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
For more information on the events and WCSS, visit www.mywcss.org