For the second year in a row, or the 22nd if you've been here that long, Whistler residents have determined "The Costs of Life" to be Whistler's Hottest Topic for discussion at this afternoon's annual community convention.
Everyone is welcome at Après in Action - A Community Collaboration Convention - at the Telus Whistler Conference Centre from 4 to 7 p.m. today. There is no admission and two hours of "kitchen table conversations" will be highlighted by a late afternoon social with chat, beer and nachos. With tunes spun by Whistler DJ Foxy Moron the event will close out in true Whistler Après style.
As the kick off to the fifth annual Whistler2020 community task force action planning sessions, Après in Action will enable Whistler's engaged and motivated citizens to get together and deliberate to develop positive suggestions and innovations which will meet the challenges set out by "Whistler's Hottest Topics - 2009."
Determined over the past two weeks in an online survey hosted at Whistler2020.ca, and e-mailed throughout the resort community, Whistler's hot topics were culled from the headlines, liftlines, council chambers, boardrooms, bedrooms, backrooms, coffee shops and clubs. The hottest topics determined by survey participants are (in no particular order):
• WITHER WHISTLER'S WATER - This is a precious natural resource we take for granted. Who pays? How much? How do we conserve, protect and enhance our limited local water supply?
• FINANCIAL FALLOUT AT BUILDOUT - In consideration of commerce, capital, services, taxes, real estate and revenues for our fiscally challenging future. How do we ensure the long-term viability of Whistler's locally-owned businesses up to and beyond 2020?
• CHILDCARE AND DAYCARE, WHO CARES? - Helping Whistler's kids and families make the grade through continuous improvement of programs and infrastructure to create inspired, resilient kids.
• THE COSTS OF LIFE - Affording housing and the things necessary to maintain your Whistler quality of life. What are the benefits and tradeoffs to Whistler life? What is "the Whistler experience" for me if I'm under 30, as my family grows, and when I retire?
• WHISTLER AND THE BUSINESS OF CLIMATE CHANGE - Climate conscious solutions that heat up Whistler's economy. New and renewed economic activities that will help Whistler adapt and mitigate the impacts of climate change through communication and conservation.
• WHISTLER TM - Welcome to Whistler... always real, renewed and economically viable. Understanding and respecting the Whistler brand and experience.
• VIBRANT VILLAGE - What does Whistler Village look like in 2020? What businesses are thriving? How does Whistler's commercial experience remain vibrant, vital and successful?
Part of our evolution as a resort community has been to learn about, adopt, and immerse ourselves in the development and implementation of Whistler2020, our comprehensive sustainability plan. Among other things, Whistler2020 is the overarching compass for our community moving forward. It's more than a plan; it's our path toward continued success and long-term sustainability.
With economic and financial challenges piling up on top of current realities like climate change, never before has our need to collaborate and communicate been more urgent. Since 2005, we have developed over 600 actions through Whistler2020 community task forces. To motivate us toward the development of 2010 actions, we will take the heat from Whistler's hottest topics and use it to generate energy, action and positive, citizen-directed dialogue.
Après in Action will be opened by long-time locals Anne Popma and Garry Watson, with local bon vivant Jack Crompton introducing Whistler's Hottest Topics. Participants will then create positive suggestions toward actions that will address the hot topic issues. These suggestions will be fed into the appropriate Whistler2020 community task forces for refinement into concrete, on the ground action in pursuit of our resort community's vision of continued success and sustainability.
Come one, come all. Help build the Whistler we all aspire to. Then we will toast our efforts and our neighbours as we move toward 2020 unified in vision and action. See you there.
To see how Whistler is moving toward our vision, visit whistler2020.ca.