Every decade of Whistler’s history has a unique story to tell. The 1960s saw the optimistic launch of a brand new ski resort, the 70s were the free-spirited days of squatters and ski bums, and the 80s were when Whistler really got down to business.
The construction of Whistler Village and the opening of Blackcomb Mountain in 1980 were instrumental to Whistler’s ascendance on the world stage. Intrawest’s mid-decade arrival and Rob Boyd’s heroic hometown victory in 1989, not to mention the arrival of alpine chairlifts, an influx of Japanese powderhounds, and a new era in resort-oriented marketing count among other major milestones.
Of the 1980s numerous noteworthy developments, many would argue that ski fashion was not one of them
Despite the grand vision of Whistler’s earliest boosters, it was during the 1980s that Whistler developed from a regional ski hill to a global destination resort.
The Whistler Museum is excited to announce the launch of our 2015/16 Speaker Series on Sunday December 13th with an evening discussion featuring key figures who oversaw Whistler’s transformation during this pivotal decade.
The evening’s presenters are as follows:
Lorne Borgal, 1980s.
Lorne Borgal -Lorne’s Whistler career began in the 1970’s on the Volunteer Ski Patrol, and accelerated in June 1980 when, with a fresh Stanford MBA, he was hired to manage the business side of a nascent Blackcomb Mountain. Three years later he succeeded Franz Wilhelmsen as the second ever CEO of Whistler Mountain, and soon after that he took over as Chair of the Whistler Resort Association (predecessor to Tourism Whistler).
Mike Hurst – Mike’s first taste of Whistler came in 1971 while working as a marketing executive for Labatt’s Brewing. He quickly established a strong business relationship with the resort, but clearly it wasn’t enough. In the early 1980s he made the move to Whistler full-time, accepting a position in Whistler Mountain’s marketing department. He stayed with the resort through the decade, spearheading many groundbreaking promotional campaigns, and even running the Whistler Resort Association at one point, before returning to the iconic Canadian brewery in 1989.
Mike Hurst, 2nd from right, presenting the grand prize for an unknown promotion, early 1980s.
A young Bob Dufour poses for his official Ski School portrait, 1970s.
Bob Dufour – As a ski instructor from Quebec’s Laurentian Mountains, Bob Dufour came west to work for the legendary Jim McConkey in 1972. Nearly 44 years later, Bob continues with Whistler-Blackcomb having worked under every president from Franz Wilhelmsen to Dave Brownlie and witnessing firsthand an incredible amount of change. He currently holds the position of Vice President – Mountain Operations.
With the panel’s wealth of knowledge and experience, this evening promises to be a compelling and enlightening look at an often overlooked period in Whistler’s history.
When: Sunday December 13th; Doors at 6pm, show 7pm-9pm
Where: Whistler Museum (4333 Main Street, beside the Library)
Cost: $10 regular price, $5 for museum members
We expect this event to sell out, so make sure to get your tickets early. To purchase tickets stop by the museum or call us at 604.932.2019.
About Whistler Museum’s Speaker Series:
More than mere repositories of old stuff, museums are institutions of ideas, venues where communities share, debate, and explore their thoughts on the world at large. To that end the Whistler Museum hosts regular Speaker Series events featuring presentations on a diversity of subjects: from the usual suspects of mountain culture and adventure travel, to the environment, design, current events, and beyond.
The 2015/16 season will run monthly, December-May. In celebration of Whistler-Blackcomb’s 50th anniversary, all of this year’s events will focus on ski and snowboard history.
These events offer the perfect opportunity for locals and visitors alike to encounter compelling stories in a relaxed and sociable atmosphere. All Speaker Series events have a cash bar and non-alcoholic refreshments. Coffee provided courtesy of the Whistler Roasting Company.