Tag Archives: Ian Spooner

Newsletter Reflects Two Decades of Change (and how some things stay the same)

April might seem a bit early to be thinking of summer; there is still snow melting in parts of the valley and you’re just as likely to see someone walking through the village carrying their skis or board as you are to see a person biking along the Valley Trail.

At the museum, however, we’re looking ahead to summer programming and expanding our staff with summer students.

Summer students end up with varied responsibilities, such as grilling at the museum’s AGM. Here are Lauren, a 2017 student, and Colin, museum Vice-President, at the grill.

We recently came across a Whistler Museum & Archives Society (WMAS) newsletter from the summer of 2001 and, despite the 18 years that have passed since its publication, the newsletter is not all that dissimilar to those we currently send out bimonthly.

Like today, the newsletter from 2001 updates readers on recent events held at or by the museum and introduces new staff members.  That summer, the museum hired three summer students: two to work with the collections and one to work more on programming and community outreach.

Kathy Look, one of the two collections assistants, worked on digitizing the museum’s collection while Eric Cron was to spend his summer cataloguing and doing preliminary work to create a database.  This type of work continues to be carried out by our summer students and interns in the archives today.

The third student, Erin Coulson, had varied responsibilities, including working on the outdoor signs around the museum, assisting with the running of the museum, publishing the museum’s newsletter and searching for information on the train wreck near the Cheakamus River to answer the many inquiries the museum had received.

The Train Wreck was a mystery for hikers near Function Junction for many years.

The newsletter also reported on the Canada Day Parade in which the museum won a prize for Best Community Club Entrant, thanks to “the creative talents of Darlyne Christian and the helpful mobile power of Alex Bunbury, both museum trustees.”  Apparently this was the first parade where Darlyne rode in her own creation, an experience she described as “quite exciting.”

After the parade the museum launched its latest cookbook, Festive Favourites, full of recipes from community members.  (As it happens, we no longer have a copy of this book in our reference library – if anyone has a spare copy we would love to take a look.)

The Whistler Museum and Archives cookbook committee, April 1997: Janet Love-Morrison, Florence Petersen (founder of the Whistler Museum and Archives Society), Darlyne Christian and Caroline Cluer.

Recent fundraisers were mentioned, including one held at the Dubh Linn Gate to launch the museum’s first educational website and an Oscar Night that raised over $3,500, along with new additions to the collections (such as two signs for Overlord and Lost Lake that were anonymously delivered to the museum).

Of course, there have been changes in the almost two decades since this newsletter was sent out.

The museum has moved into a different space and our online presence, including our website, has evolved (social media didn’t really exist in 2001).  In the summer of 2001 Paul Jago was announced as the winner of a competition to design the museum’s new logo, a logo that has since changed at least twice.

The museum’s previous home, as it was in the summer of 2000 during our Annual LEGO Competition. Museum Collection.

In case you don’t currently subscribe to the museum’s newsletter, our last Speaker Series for the 2019 season will be this Thursday, April 11.  We are very excited to welcome Dr. Ian Spooner of Acadia University to discuss his studies of sediment records in Alta and Lost Lakes and what these records can tell us about environmental change dating back to the 18th century.  If you have an interest in our lakes or a story about your own experiences of Alta or Lost Lakes, please join us!  More information can be found here.

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Upcoming Events: Feeding the Spirit / The Science & History of Alta Lake

The next couple of weeks are exciting ones here at the museum! We have two events to share, the first of which is happening this evening. Join us tonight for free food and a chance to win stellar prizes from Creekside Market, Prior, Splitz, Whistler Roasting Company, PureBread, and more. Whistler Museum’s annual event, Feeding the Spirit, is a chance for new residents to enjoy some free grub, and mix with long-time locals in an intimate setting.

As part of Welcome Week, the museum, with support from Whistler’s Creekside Market, is aiming to welcome new residents and provide them with a sense of place and community. This event also provides a chance for long-term Whistlerites to recall and share their stories of what originally brought them here and what keeps them in this beautiful playground. Hope to see you there!

Feeding-the-Spirit-Poster-2014

We are also thrilled to announce In Depth & In Writing: The Science & History of Alta Lake, an event you don’t want to miss. Join us for this historical and scientific discussion of environmental change in Alta Lake in the past, present, and future. The event will start at 7:00pm and there will be a cash bar. Free to attend.

in-depth-and-in-writing-poster-2014

During the summer of 2014 Professor Ian Spooner and graduate student Dewey Dunnington from Acadia University, working with members of Cascade Environmental Resources Group (CERG), conducted some exciting research on Alta Lake. Using a core sampling technique, they collected intact samples of the layers of sediment on the lake bottom to better understand how the lake and its watershed have reacted to both natural and man-made change. This technique is known as paleolimnology. Most studies only look at the way the lake exists now – paleolimnology allows us to study the history of a lake too. Every centimeter of sediment represents about 5 years, so some of the material in these samples is as much as 400 years old!

Alta Lake is an important ecological component of Whistler Valley, and since western settlement of the region, has been an essential resource for residents and visitors alike. It is also historically significant – so much so that the town itself was called “Alta Lake” until 1975.  The history of the lake from a human perspective has been recorded in the pictures and writings of the residents of the valley, many of them kept in the archives of the Whistler Museum.

riverofgoldendreams

While we have watched the lake from its surroundings, the lake has also observed us, recording environmental change through the slow accumulation of material as it washes into the lake, year after year. The sediment from the bottom of Alta Lake allows us to better understand how the lake and its watershed have reacted to both natural and human-made change, and will help us evaluate our management strategies going into the future.

On the evening of Thursday, December 4th, Dewey Dunnington will be presenting his findings to the community at the Whistler Museum. To complement this Executive Director of Whistler Museum, Sarah Drewery, will also be presenting on the history of settlement around Alta Lake.