Tag Archives: Al Raine

Women’s History Month: Part II

If you read last week’s post (if you haven’t had a chance yet, you can check it out here), you already know that October has been designated Women’s History Month in Canada since 1992.  One of the reasons for choosing October to celebrate the achievements and contributions of women across Canada was the inclusion of Person Day.  On October 18, 1929 (only 89 years ago last Thursday) Canada’s highest court of appeal ruled that women are considered ‘persons’ under the British North America Act of 1867 and should be eligible for appointment to the Senate of Canada.

For the woman we’re featuring this week, the Persons Day is of significance as it made her appointment to the Senate in 2009 possible.

Toni Sailer and Nancy Greene-Raine on the World Cup Downhill course.  Question Collection.

Nancy Greene grew up skiing in Rossland, British Columbia and was Canada’s biggest ski star during the 1960s.  After winning the inaugural World Cup in 1967 Nancy went on to win two medals in the 1968 Grenoble Olympics (gold in giant slalom and silver in slalom) and her second World Cup.  Nancy’s total of 13 World Cup Victories and 17 Canadian Championship titles remain Canadian records today.

Though Nancy retired after 1968, her two incredibly successful seasons had inspired hundreds of young skiers.  The Nancy Greene Ski League was formed to promote participation in ski racing and fun in competition nationwide.

Nancy married Al Raine, then the Canadian National Ski Team coach, and the pair built a home in Whistler for when Nancy was working as a coach at the Toni Sailer Summer Ski Camps on Whistler.  When the Resort Municipality of Whistler was formed in 1975 Al was appointed to council and the family moved to the valley permanently.

The group at the Sailer Fischer Ski Camp party catered by the Keg. (L to R) Wayne Wong, Wayne Booth, Schultz, Nancy Greene, Toni Sailer, Rookie, Alan White.  Question Collection.

Over their 25 years in Whistler Al and Nancy were very involved in the community.  Active in early bids for the Olympics and founding members of the Blackcomb Ski Club, they were also involved in other aspects of the community.  Nancy served as School Trustee for the local school district during the early years of the first Myrtle Philip School and they were both involved in the Alta Lake Ratepayers Association.

In the early years it was hard not to be involved.  As Nancy recalled, “You had to go to every little sort of festival or function as a person who lived in the valley, ’cause if we didn’t all go there weren’t enough people.  And between volunteering for it, and driving the trucks, or putting your kids’ bikes in the parades and cutting the cake, we were all there.”  In 1990 Al and Nancy were jointly named Whistler’s Citizens of the Year.

Al and Nancy opened the Nancy Greene Olympic Lodge in 1985 (the word “Olympic” had to be dropped after protests from IOC lawyers), one of the first few hotels in Whistler Village.  They ran the lodge until 1994 when it was sold and renamed the Crystal Lodge.

The Raines: Willy, Charley, Nancy and Al, returned to Whistler just before school started after two years in Crans, Montana, Switzerland. Al and Nancy were ski instructors in the 1,500-person resort while the 14-year-old twins went to school in the French speaking community.  Question Collection.

The family left Whistler for the newly developing Sun Peaks resort in 1995.  There they continued to be involved in creating a new ski destination.  In 1999 Nancy was voted Canada’s Female Athlete of the Century.  Nancy has also received the Order of the Dogwood, the Order of British Columbia and been named an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Nancy was appointed to the Senate of Canada in 2009, where she served until her retirement this past spring.

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This Week In Photos: September 20

While we have information for the photos we share here, we have many more photos that we have questions about.  That’s why tonight we’ll be hosting Naming Night at the Museum – we provide 100 photos (tonight’s edition focuses on the 1990s and ’80s) and ask community members to help add names and stories to the images.

1978

Bridge girders in place over 19 Mile Creek. The main highway has been closed since August 21 for this and residents of Alpine Meadows are concerned that the detour should not last more than a month.

The driver of this truck ended up straddling a 24″ log after having driven past four warning signs, two flashing lights and a barricade on Friday evening.

Just a sampling of what the local forests have to offer those who know what to look for.

1979

The view from the top! Looking down on the Town Centre from the air, September 14, 1979.

The Town Centre two-level parking structure under construction.

The Roundhouse expansion under construction by Quadra.

The view from the Roundhouse showing the new washroom building.

Looking down the “Toilet Bowl” while the drill rig heads down to blast some more rock.

The Blackcomb runs as seen from the air.

Constable Tom Hansen stands beside the new RCMP machine.

1980

Two big coolers are fully stocked with all types of fine meats and cheeses you’d expect to find in a delicatessen. Hilda’s is now open in the Town Centre.

Just one of the many houses that were raised for basement work this summer.

A tree over wires at the south end of Mons overpass was one reason for Whistler losing power.

Increased line tension snapped this pole in half just down the line.

Hugh Naylor takes a closer look at one of the displays at the Pemberton fair.

1982

These enterprising young vendors had a refreshing pause for participants in the Terry Fox Run on Sunday.

All shapes and sizes of cars, from go-carts to the formula cars took part in Whistler’s first hillclimb competition held September 18 – 19 on Blackcomb Way.

A tribute to the joys of earlier days and ways, Renaissance Night at Delta Mountain Inn Tuesday proved to be a hit with visiting travel agents.

Dave Roberts and Curtis Beckon join the merry throng at a medieval dinner thrown for P. Lawson Travel and Bon Voyage Tours at Delta Mountain Inn.

Taisto Heinonen and co-driver Lynn Nixon buy some airtime on the Callaghan Lake leg of the Pacific Forest Rally. They went on to win the event in Heinonen’s Toyota Celica.

This kayaker is swept away in competition excitement during the Cheakamus Indian Summer Race.

1983

Amateur race driver Dan Pantages sits at the helm of his Lotus Super 7, a four-cylinder exposed wheel racer capable of about 160 km/h. Pantages joined about 35 other car enthusiasts over the weekend for a hillclimb race of the steep, winding road to Blackcomb Daylodge. Slightly modified cares races as well as exotic speedsters, but out of all the cars the fastest time was turned in by a dune buggy. Drivers competed in a slalom course in Blackcomb parking lot as well. The hillclimb and rally were sponsored by the Burnaby-Coquitlam Motorsport Association. Competitors came from as far away as Prince George.

An improved road leading into the Club Cabin area from Highway 99 needs a stop sign, having been without one since roadwork was completed in the early summer. The intersection is located about 1 km north of the Gondola area on a streak of highway with poor visibility in either direction. Ministry of Highways District Manager for the area, Ron Winbow, said Tuesday, “We’ll take care of it.”

Chris Carson and friends performed Scandinavian folk dancing during Whistler’s Class of ’83 arts and crafts show Friday.

Workmen from Alpine Paving completed paving on Village Stroll Monday. Coastal Mountain Excavations also placed three drainage basins ten days ago, ensuring that last year’s puddle problems aren’t repeated next spring. Curbs have also been placed along Whistler Way and Mountain Lane. Paving of those roads should occur next week.

When Peter Brown throws a party, money is not the biggest concern. Brown, head of Canarim Investments, treated employees to a weekend of baseball and assorted fun activities. The company limousine, complete with telephone, spent Saturday in the shade of Whistler Resort Association’s Arabesque tent, along with a weekend supply of appropriate refreshments.

Sydney Humphries, Philippe Etter, Bryan King and Ian Hampton return for the second encore at Sunday’s performance of the Purcell String Quartet at Brackendale Art Gallery.

Whistler’s newest and only board game features a mock Highway 99 plus ski runs and apres-ski challenges.

1984

Bartending course student Sandy Vallender practices the fine art of making a layered liqueur drink. Ross Smith, instructor of the three week course offered through Capilano College, teaches the 12 students everything they need to know about tending a bar professionally – including the recipe for a perfect Martini.

About 45 modified competition cars gathered here again this year for the Burnaby/Coquitlam Motorsport Association hillclimb and rally over the weekend. Entrants ranged from formula cars to souped-up Datsuns.

Whistler Fire Department members Craig Barker (left) and Dave Steers were among the 22 firemen who rushed to the burning house at 9516 Emerald Drive early Sunday afternoon. Although the blaze appeared to be extinguished, it re-ignited early Monday morning.

Kin Lalat, a quintet of exiled Guatemalan musicians, entertained a sympathetic audience Sunday at the Pemberton Legion. The group uses traditional instruments including marimbas, maracas, drums and guitar, and gives a strong voice to freedom-fighting Guatemalans.

Mark Angus, Pascal Tiphine and Umberto Menghi were jointly asked Whistler’s Answers this week. Although they all agreed that yes, we need more cultural events here, they disagreed on the type of house wine village restaurants should use.

The Raines: Willy, Charley, Nancy and Al, returned to Whistler just before school started after two years in Crans, Montana, Switzerland. Al and Nancy were ski instructors in the 1,500-person resort while the 14-year-old twins went to school in the French speaking community.

This Week In Photos: August 16

1978

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean aerial practice ends.

Mayor Pat Carleton stands by one of the Municipality’s trucks, complete with the Municipality’s logo. (In a side note, the “City Hall” sign hanging above the trailer’s door has recently been added to our archives.)

The Christiana Inn is currently closed to the public, as this sign makes clear.

1979

Fire Chief Lindsay Wilson puts up one of the many No Campfire signs now appearing in the Whistler area due to the extreme fire hazard rating.

One V.W. easy over! Stewart McQuarrie of North Vancouver escaped uninjured when he lost control of his car near Daisy Lake.

Stevenson workers work on Package 5 while the piledriver works on #6 at the Whistler Town Centre.

The new temporary addition trailer to the Whistler Municipal Hall.

Neal Davidge shows Rotary President Doug Read the location of Nanisivik in the Arctic.

1980

Cover this turret with copper, fix up the other finishing touches, and put it on top of Parcel 16 and you’ve got Whistler’s very own clock tower. The clock is visible as skiers head down the chairlifts of either mountain.

Two members of the party unload skis off the sea plane at Garibaldi Lake before heading up the route.

A lone skier descends down the glacier to Garibaldi Lake.

Peter Chrzanowski stands in one of the warm mini-lakes at the foot of the glacier. Camera’s lens is 1/2 submerged causing a strange distortion below the water’s surface.

Like toothpaste from the tube, cement oozes from a hose handled by a construction worker as he balances along the top of the “dressing room walls” of the Resort Centre.

1981

Whistler Question publisher Paul Burrows loads one of the 40 bags of mail that left the Post Office on August 12 after the mail strike was over.

FIRE! Lightning strike sets fire to Rainbow Mountain Ridge. Sunday afternoon cocktail sippers got this view from Stoney’s terrace.

Hilda Davey and daughter-in-law Nancy smilingly await the arrival of the new soft ice cream machine at Hilda’s Deli which recently re-opened in the Village centre.

L&A Contracting CAT 225 loader sits in the waters of Green Lake after road widening ledge collapsed on August 11.

Dave Cathers exhibits fine form during the mixed double finals at the Inside Out Tennis Tournament.

The swimmers and sunbathers on the beach and the new dock.

1982

Bon Voyage! The Raine family – Al, Nancy and twin boys Charley and Willy – gather on their front porch for a parting shot shortly before leaving for Switzerland Sunday, August 22.

Petanque player shows his form while President of the Whistler Petanque Club, Jean Jacques Aaron, looks on.

Thieves were determined to get into the office of Whistler’s Husky station as this battered door evidences.

Whistler’s original sluggers, Doc A’s, took part in the Pemberton Ladies’ Invitational Softball Tourney August 14 – 15. (L – R, top row) Brillo, Jan Simpson, Kathy Hicks, Linda Henderson, Cathy Dickinson. (L – R, bottom row) Barb Simpson, Valerie Lang and Laura Nedelak. Missing – Ann Chaisson, Katie Rodgers, Jan Haldimand and Wendy Meredith.

New owners of The Going Nuts Shop (l – r) Brenda and Doug Horton and Chuck and Claire Kingzett take a break from busy preparations.

1983

Jerome Rozitis, right, took first place and Andrew O’Keefe second in the Children’s Triathlon Saturday.

The Whistler Community Arts Council sits with collection boxes for a Book Drive and Auction, while also advertising the Class of ’83’s Arts & Crafts Show.

It was a hot time in the old town of Whistler August 12 – 14 as jazz musicians and their fans poured into the valley for Jazz on the Mountain. Skies stayed sunny and spirits soared, including Larry Coryell’s. A pioneer jazz fusion and one of the most innovative performers featured at the three-day event, Coryell cranked it out with saxophonist Richie Cole and blues belter Ernestine Anderson for a real show-stopper Sunday afternoon. J. Bartosik photo.

Whistler’s new $15,000 tent had its inauguration during the August 12 – 14 jazz festival, much to the pleasure of 4000 jazz buffs who turned out for the event held at the base of Whistler Mountain. Friday night’s concert, offered at no charge, featured the stylings of West Coast Jazz Orchestra and Vancouver Ensemble of Jazz Improvisation in Village Square. At press time, no official report had been released on the financial outcome of the festival.

1984

Cyclists in Friday evening’s White Gold criterium race averaged about 37 km/h in the 50 km event. Ninety-three racers from the Lower Mainland, the rest of Canada and other parts of the world took part in the criterium, which was part of a five-event series that ended Sunday in Gastown.

Whistler windsurfer Sue Cameron picked up four medals at the Western Hemisphere Championships (District 11) on Chestier Lake in Calgary over the weekend. Cameron, who plans to enter professional competition, placed high in three separate events to pick up the overall crown. The championships will be aired on September 8 on CTV.

The Melloyds, an a cappella group, grabbed the spotlight as one of the most entertaining acts during the weekend Music Festival.

A wide variety of musical acts took part in the festival, including Olatunjia (a band featuring African drums and dancing), Mojo and Vancouver’s Jim Byrnes, who created a local following after just one show.

This Week In Photos: June 14

This week in June has hosted a variety of events, including high school graduations, construction of summer attractions (and the Village), bicycle rodeos and picket lines.

1978

The Valleau Logging Camp Cookhouse near Mons Station stands deserted but not for long. Local residents plan to renovate the building and operate a food service for the valley this summer.

Pemberton Secondary Class of 1978. Not in order, the students are: Sherry Bilenduke, Hugh Blackstock, Kim Blundell, Helen Bush, Pat Bush, Lois Carson, Gary Decker, David Fairhurst, Carol Gilmore, Ken Gilmore, Laurie Hamula, Cathy Heine, Polly Jang, James Kernaghan, Norman LeBlanc, Anita Lever, Spencer Lowenberg, Edward Mah, Carola Marinus, Selma Miller, Bert Perkins, Ann Peterson, Doris Rollert, Kelly Ross, Philip Tourand, Conroy van der Lee, Peter Vogler, Celeste Watson, Michael Wetti, Michael Wilson, Joanne Wood.

The graduating students from the Garibaldi/Whistler area with their parents at the Pemberton Secondary Graduation on Friday.

Whistler students from Myrtle Philip School participated in a district-wide track meet held in Squamish.

1980

Whistler Land Company’s new office is barely occupied last week as the first town centre offices are occupied.

Work on the golf course as seen from the bluffs where the building lots are situated.

Sandra Pollock and Kathy Francis prepare the models and… KABOOM!…..

Attorney-General Alan Williams, MLA for West Vancouver-Howe Sound, discusses the Barrier report and the BC Government’s Order in Council that froze all land in Garibaldi with area residents.

Lift Co. employee seeds lower northside runs to help cut down erosion. Runs are almost completed at lower elevations.

All that remains of a ’77 Ford pickup after it left the road early Saturday morning.

1981

The first glulam being hoisted into place over the swimming pool area of the Resort Centre.

Al Raine (left) takes publishers from around the province on a tour of Whistler Town Centre.

Betty Chaba strums a tune while relaxing at Alta Lake in front of JB’s.

Garibaldi Building Supplies’ expanded new yard is ready for a busy summer season.

Some members of the Whistler Rotary Club.

1983

The most prudent bikers in the RCMP bicycle rodeo held Saturday, June 12 in Village Square (l to r) Simon Bellar, Samantha O’Keefe, Jody Rustad, Nicolas Busdon (overall winner). Melanie Busdon, Dave Den Duyf and Davey Blacklock who won the bicycle donated by Whistler Chamber of Commerce.

Municipal trail crews cut through the brush to make the final connection between the Alpine Meadows trail and the Meadow Park trail (under construction). Paving to complete the trail system will begin at the end of July.

These three answered this week’s question: Graeme Mounsey, Traveller, Sydney, Australia; Walter Therrien, Caretaker – Capilano Mobile Park, North Vancouver; Anne Crocker, Travel Counsellor – North Van Chamber of Commerce, West Vancouver.

If you attend the Sea Festival parade July 23, you’ll be able to enjoy the final results of this artist’s rendering for a Whistler float. The illustration will be used as a guide for constructing the float, estimated to cost $2,500.

1984

Kids, cars and parents turned out Saturday for a car wash and bake sale that netted over $200 for the school’s parent/teacher group. Police cars, a fire truck and a whole flotilla of private vehicles stopped for spring cleaning.

Emergency Services (last year called Tri-Services) overcame a mid-game spurt by the team from Citta to post a 17-12 victory on Monday in Whistler Beer League slo-pitch softball league action. Emergency Services now has a sparkling record of three wins and no losses.

Three (two pictured) locked-out truckers picketed The Grocery Store in the village Tuesday, preventing other union members from bringing supplies to the store. Picketing trucker Dayton MacKenzie said they are protesting their employer’s decision to use “scab” drivers for food deliveries. Employer Slade and Steward Ltd. has locked out Vancouver employees, and other employees in BC are on strike as of Tuesday. Grocery Store owner Geoff Power was unavailable for comment at press time.

An Alpine Paving crew was hard at work last Wednesday paving the mini golf course just behind L’Apres at the gondola. Whistler Mountain hopes to have the Tattersfield and Associates designed course ready for operation by Saturday, June 16, but promise to have it ready for play by the following weekend. Eighteen holes will cost players $2.

No one skis anymore at the former Rainbow Ski area just off Highway 99 between Alpine Meadows and Emerald Estates but at one time it was the only place in Whistler open for night skiing. The ski jump was built by volunteers in the mid-1970s (though the date was recorded as mid-1970s in the Question accounts told to the Whistler Museum put the building of the ski jump earlier in the 1960s; the last competitions held on the ski jump occurred in the mid-1970s.).

The Nancy Greene-Raine Connection

We recently announced our upcoming Speaker Series on May 6th, celebrating 50 years of summer camps. The inclusion of Nancy Greene-Raine on the speaking panel quickly made it apparent that, although we have decent coverage of her husband Al Raine’s contributions to Whistler on this blog (plus here), up until now, Nancy’s presence is notably lacking. This blog post will start to fix that problem.

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Though Nancy was born in Ottawa, grew up in the Kootenay ski haven of Rossland, BC with its historic Red Mountain Resort, and has lived in Sun Peaks for roughly two decades, her connection and contributions to Whistler remain strong.

Nancy, of course, is one of the most recognized and celebrated Canadian athletes of all-time, regardless of discipline, even earning the title of Canadian Female Athlete of the Century!  She was the most dominant female ski racer of the 1960s, earning 13 World Cup victories, 2 overall world titles, and her gold medal (and silver, all while battling a severe ankle injury) performance at the 1968 Grenoble Olympics, alongside French legend Jean-Claude Killy, is the stuff of legend.

Here’s a complete run-down of her ski-racing accomplishments. 

 

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1969 Toni Sailer Summer Camp staff. Nancy is front row, 2nd from left, Toni Sailer is back row, 2nd from right, both wearing cowboy hats.

Nancy retired at the top of her field and a global celebrity after her dominant 1968 season. Retirement from ski racing was no permanent vacation, as the pervious winter she had already launched her Nancy Greene Ski League, Canada’s national, grassroots-level ski racing program. In the nearly 50 years of operation, virtually every single Canadian ski racer of note, from Steve Podborski to Ashleigh McIvoor, and countless thousands of others, started competitive skiing in Nancy’s program.

In 1969, she began coaching at Toni Sailer Summer Ski Camps on Whistler Mountain, a position she maintained for several years and which she will be recollecting at this Friday’s Speaker Series.

Al and Nancy first built a cabin in Whistler in 1970, which was their summer home while Nancy coached on the glacier. Once Al retired as a ski coach in 1975, they moved to Whistler full-time and set out to help Whistler become a leading international ski destination.

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Nancy skiing on Blackcomb, circa 1980s

Nancy and her husband Al Raine also played a huge role in the early success of Whistler and their legacy carries on to this day. Nancy became an spokeswoman and ambassador for the resort, using her celebrity to promote the upstart ski area. As such, she was one of Whistler’s original “Celebrity-Athletes” that played such a pivotal role in Whistler becoming, well, Whistler.

Al sat on the first municipal council and was a leading figure in the planning, design, and construction of Whistler Village and Blackcomb Mountain.

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Nancy and husband Al, representing Blackcomb Mountain (note the matching Blackcomb Mountain outfits, and Nancy’s Blackcomb logo name tag). circa 1980s.

In 1985 they built Nancy Green’s Olympic Lodge in the heart of the Village, and despite having long since sold it, the building bear’s Nancy’s name to this day. In the 1990s, Al and Nancy moved on to Sun Peaks in the B.C. interior, but they still maintain close ties to Whistler.

We are truly honoured to have Nancy join this Friday’s  panel, and we hope you can join us. Get your tickets in advance, it will sell out!

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Al Raine – Ski Industry Legend, Visionary, and a Pretty Cool Dude

When ski racing legend Al Raine made the move to Whistler in 1973, he had already established himself as head coach and program director of the Canadian National Alpine Ski Team at the age of 32. Around this time, the provincial government was looking for an individual to provide technical expertise and coordinate provincial ski expansion, as well as oversee the development of Whistler as a tourist destination resort. With his extensive background in the ski industry, Raine was the perfect candidate to act as a liaison between the municipality and the provincial government. Thus, Al was approached about a position and he accepted in May 1974. As acting Ski Area Coordinator of B.C. and alderman for the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW), one of Al’s first tasks was assisting in the building of a sewer plant that would service the entire valley.

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With the completion of the new sewer system, the Whistler council turned their attention to creating a central village. When the government asked their appointed ski coordinator to report on the realistic achievable goals for Whistler, Al remained positive that it had the potential to become a world-class ski resort, despite the weakness that was B.C.’s coastal climate. He was confident that with good skiing on the upper mountains, solid lifts, and a village, success would be imminent. At the same time, this meant that more lifts were vital, seeing as upward of 2400 people could be seen standing in line for hours at a time, waiting to get onto a mountain with a capacity of 600 skiers per hour.

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The original Resort Municipality of Whistler Council. Pictured from left to right: Alderman Bob Bishop, Alderman Al Raine, Treasurer Geoff Pearce, Mayor Pat Carleton, Alderman John Hetherington, Alderman Gary Watson

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Al Raine and wife, Nancy Greene Raine, enjoying a day out on the slopes

With local government starting to take shape, Al began to look toward the possibility of a future for Blackcomb. In September of 1976, he put out a proposal call to develop the mountain. After months of silence, a bid finally came in from the Aspen Ski Corporation of Colorado in joint venture with the Canadian Federal Business Development Bank. Once final terms were ironed out and the deal agreed upon, investors had the go ahead to complete phase one of development, and on December 6, 1980, Blackcomb Mountain opened with 1240 vertical meters of skiing available.

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Al Raine shaking hands with Whistler’s first mayor, Pat Carleton, ca. 1975

Al’s position as B.C.’s ski area coordinator included more than just Whistler. He also studied 45 areas province wide, giving site evaluations on their probability. In 1980, Al stepped down from his position and took the job of General Manager of the newly formed Whistler Resort Association. The organization was responsible for scheduling events at Whistler while providing basic information, central reservations, and marketing promotions for the resort. Today, Al and his wife Nancy can be seen in Whistler skiing, golfing, and playing tennis. After years of hard work and dedication, Al Raine has the opportunity to enjoy the vision of Whistler that he assisted in creating.