Tag Archives: Jack Bright

Lost on Whistler?

In February 1968, The Garibaldi’s Whistler News (GWN) published an article entitled “Were 107 Skiers Really Lost on Whistler Mt.?”  The article was meant as a (somewhat belated) response to articles published in Lower Mainland newspapers on December 4, 1967 about an incident that occurred at the Blue Chair on Whistler Mountain.

In 1966, the Blue Chair had become the second chairlift to be installed onWhistler Mountain.  In was located in the same general area that the Harmony Express run today, loading in the same area and carrying skiers up to where today’s Emerald Chair offloads.  According to Lynn Mathews, the Blue Chair was part of a popular circular route.  After riding the gondola and Red Chair, skiers could go up the T-bar, hike over to the back bowl, and ski down to the base of the Blue Chair, which they could take back up to start the circle again.

On Sunday, December 3, 1967 the Blue Chair was shut down for part of the day, and skiers who had expected to take the lift back up were led out from the bottom of the chair via the beginner tail, just over 3 km.

The view from the lineup at the Blue Chair, today the location of the Harmony Chair.  Whistler Question Collection.

According to The Vancouver Sun, the Blue Chair broke down, “stranding scores of skiers,” but the versions of events presented by those who were “stranded” differed greatly from the lift company.  Those who talked to the paper claimed that 117 skiers were led by four ski patrol volunteers on “a gruelling 6 1/2-hour hike through shoulder deep snow,” with skiers needing rescue after falling off of the single-file trail trampled by the patrollers, finishing long after dark (in December, sometime after 4 pm).

The Sun wrote that the lift company’s response to these claims was to “sneer”.  Jack Bright, then the area manager for Whistler Mountain, reported that it took less than four hours for the group to hike out, using a ski run “which happened to have a bit more fresh snow on it.”  The company handed out free passes to those who had been stranded, but claimed that the number of passes handed out did not necessarily reflect the number stranded, as “Everybody claimed to be stranded so they could get a free ticket.”

Thanks to the colour coded nature of the early Whistler Mountain chairlifts, it’s easy to identify chairs in colour photographs! George Benjamin Collection.

Two months after the incident, the lift company used their publication to clear up lingering questions.

According to Jack Bright in the GWN, high winds and extremely heavy snow caused mechanical difficulties for the Blue Chair, causing the engine to overheat and automatically stop the lift.  The operator announced that it would take from an hour to an hour and a half for the engine to cool off before they could restart.  The auxiliary engine was used to evacuate the chair.  The decision was made to send those waiting in line, accompanied by five experienced patrollers and employees, out along the beginner trail.

Due to the snow, it took longer than expected for the group to make it out.  The trail was marked and, according to Bright, “however irritable people were, there was a general gay harmony throughout the safari.”  This agrees with the memory of Lynn Mathews, who remembered her husband Dave, Whistler Mountain’s operations manager, coming home late and announcing that there were over 100 people lost on the mountain, although she said he told her, “They’re not lost, they’re having too much fun at the moment.”  According to Lynn, Dave claimed the skiers in the group were making snow angels, throwing snowballs, and generally having a good time.

No matter what truly happened on the mountain that day, this experience is unlikely to be repeated today as over the past five decades both chairlifts and grooming (as well as on-mountain communications) have advanced.

Whistler Mountain’s Early Operations

As we approach another opening day for Whistler Blackcomb, we’ve been looking back at the early days of operations on Whistler Mountain.  Much of the information we have on these early years comes from oral history interviews, some lift company records, and Garibaldi’s Whistler News (GWN).

Earlier this year, a volunteer for the museum conducted a series of interviews with none other than Lynn Mathews.  Lynn was the editor, and so much more, of GWN, and she shared a wealth of knowledge about both the paper and her experiences at Whistler.

The Skiers Chapel was still under construction when the Mathews first came to town. Whistler Mountain Ski Corporation Collection.

Mathews was born on Staten Island, New York.  She is a journalist and writer by profession, and before moving to Whistler worked for magazines and at Harshe-Rotman & Druck, one of the leading PR firms in New York City.  In the early 1960s, Lynn spent a winter in Quebec, teaching skiing at Gray Rocks Inn.  It was there she met Dave Mathews, who was involved in resort business in the area, and the two were married the following year.  The couple soon moved west to Vancouver, and Dave planned to leave the ski business to work full-time for an irrigation company where he had previously worked summers.  The ski industry, however, would prove hard for the pair to leave behind.

During their first winter in BC, Lynn taught skiing at Grouse Mountain, while also working for various magazines and publications.  The irrigation business was slow in the winter, and so for the season of 1966/67, Dave and Lynn planned to spend their weekends teaching at a new ski area north of Vancouver that was just opening for its first season of full-time operation.

Even by 1970, the Creekside area was a little empty. Whistler Mountain Ski Corporation Collection.

Lynn’s first trip to the Whistler Valley in August 1966 didn’t necessarily impress her.  As she put it, “There was nothing here.  There was the gondola, that was there, the daylodge had been built, there were two A-frames on the hillside,” and not too much else.  Due to extensive logging and burning, Lynn said that without snow, the Creekside area “looked like a war zone.  It wasn’t a pretty alpine village at all.”

For about $125, Lynn and Dave rented one of the log cabins at Jordan’s Lodge for the season.  Lynn chose the cabin “that tilted the least,” and the self-described “city girl” prepared for a winter with no electricity, no plumbing, and a wood cookstove.

In the 1970s, this was more likely to be the scene at Jordan’s Lodge. Benjamin Collection.

Lynn recalled that in December, Franz Wilhelmsen, who was acting as a combination of general manager, CEO, and chairman of the board, got very sick with pneumonia, right when Whistler Mountain was heading into its first full season.  Two managers were brought on board, Dave Mathews as operations manager and Jack Bright as mountain manager.  According to Lynn, Dave was responsible for “anything that moved,” and Jack was in charge of ticket sales, administration, image, publicity, and much more.

Lynn worked in the mountain’s office as well.  Though some ski passes were sold at the Garibaldi Lifts Ltd. offices in Vancouver, others were sold at Whistler Mountain and Lynn was in charge of making those passes.  Without any computer systems, she used a polaroid camera and a hand-cranked laminating machine.  Each person got two photos, one for their pass and one for the files, and a lift ticket to go skiing.  At the end of the day they could pick up their pass at the office.

Over the next few months, we’ll be sharing more tales from Lynn and others who have told their stories to the museum.  Have a story about Whistler to contribute to the Museum’s collection?  Please come see us!

This Week In Photos: November 8

Halloween may be over but there are still a few more costumes this week, mostly courtesy of the National Men’s Downhill Team Benefit held at Dusty’s.

1978

Brian “Sherlock Holmes” checks out Ron’s plastic torso at the Halloween dance.

Hold it! Members of the Volunteer Ski Patrol lower a “patient” from the Olive Chair during an evacuation practice.

Jerry Blan and Hugh Smythe from Fortress Mountain Resorts present the Blackcomb development to the public.

1979

A study in roof structures – the new Public Service Building awaits its roof.

Geopac’s 20-ton weight crashes down to compact the ground for the foundations of the Mountain Inn – the new 6-storey concrete hotel to be built at the Town Centre…

… while this week the top layer of gravel is placed on the new parking lot adjacent to the Public Service Building to be used by day skiers in the winter.

The Whistler Skiers Chapel at its new location beside the Whistler Mountain Ski Club cabin.

A crane sets the new steel in place for the base terminal of the Olive Chair while the excavation for the staging area proceeds.

The interior of the newly-remodelled L’Apres Dining Room showing the raised dining area and the tiffany lamps.

1980

Misguided truck – the accident occurred on Tuesday when Hydro crews were fixing some downed lines.

At the National Team Benefit Dave Murray draws the door prize while a rather hoarse Paul Burrows gets ready to continue the auction.

TIMBER! This is the end of the tree that fell on several cars outside the Keg on Saturday evening.

T.W.U. members picket the Whistler Village site on Tuesday.

1981

A new bridge and culvert is in place by November 10 after last week’s flooding.

Artist Roy Tomlinson demonstrates his technique on a litho stone at the showing at Inge Neilsen’s.

Lexi Ross and Craig Tomlinson look over the selection of skis at the ski swap.

Ross Morben, the new manager of Beau’s, lends a helping hand to the new renovations which include a live entertainment lounge.

1982

It was a mad, mad, mad crowd at the Whistler Mountain Ski Club annual ski swap Sunday, November 7. Bargain hunters were not disappointed with the tremendous selection of ski equipment at real recession prices.

It was a quieter scene at the Burrows garage sale held on Matterhorn Drive.

Butcher John MacLeod carves a few slices for the new meat and seafood market at The Grocery Store.

Charlie Doyle (right) wailed it out with Foot in the Door Saturday, November 6 – a packed Stumps lounge like it’s never been packed before. Accompanying on guitar is Mark Schnaidt.

Davey Blaylock tries his hand at running the show, with a little help from Mayor Pat Carleton. Witnessing the change in who holds the gavel are (L to R) Mark Jennings, Jake Humphrey and Justin Adams. The Kindergarten class visited the Mayor in his chambers, which he has occupied for seven years before deciding to step down on November 20.

1984

Grocery Store staff spent most of Saturday mopping up water that covered the floor. The damage was caused by a burst pipe in the Hearthstone Lodge. Both the Grocery Store and the liquor store were closed for more than half the day. Water damage was also sustained by some suites in the Hearthstone.

Jack Bright and Toulouse dressed in their finest for last Wednesday’s National Men’s Downhill Team Benefit at Dusty’s. The event raised about $7,500 for the team.

The real Whistler came out of the closet, so to speak, Halloween night to help support the National Ski Team Benefit. Mr. & Mrs. Halfenhalf walked away from Dusty’s with the top prize for best costume.

The Whistler Mountain Ski Club held its annual ski swap Saturday and Sunday as hundreds of local and Vancouver residents flocked to Myrtle Philip School gym to take advantage of the many bargains available.

At precisely 11 am on Sunday, November 11 a moment of silence followed by a brief ceremony will take place in front of the Public Safety Building. Among the group gathered there to remember the 114,000 Canadian men and women who died in a battle this century will be Rolly Horsey, a retired Major in the Canadian infantry who fought in World War II. Mr. Horsey, a resident of Whistler for 17 years with his wife Anne, started with Canadian Scottish in Victoria in 1939 shortly after war was declared and headed overseas to Great Britain on a three-ship convoy in 1941. For his commitment toward fighting against the Axis powers he received the DSO in an all-Canadian investiture at Buckingham Palace with Lt. Co. Lord Tweedsmuir. He returned to Europe in 1967 with his wife and visited a Canadian cemetery and was struck by the futility and sadness of all the young men who gave their life for their country during World War II. Mr. Horsey will be on hand Sunday to remember not only all those who died but also his own involvement fighting in Europe to defeat Adolf Hitler and the Axis powers.

A Prime Minister in love

Throughout the decades, the grandeur and excitement of Whistler has inspired a lot of couples to spend their honeymoons at our beautiful valley hideaway. Roots of Whistler’s honeymoon history date back to the 1920s when Rainbow Lodge was one of the main destination accommodations for newlyweds on the west coast. Alex Philip, proprietor of Whistler’s first lodge, would paddle honeymooners down the River of Golden Dreams in a large canoe, often by moonlight, where they could snuggle up and soak in the valley’s natural beauty.

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After an afternoon of skiing, the Prime Minister and his bride attended the Sunday Catholic service in the Whistler Skiers’ Chapel. March 1971, Whistler Mountain collection.

The most famous honeymooners in Whistler are undoubtedly former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and his bride, Margaret. Pierre Trudeau was a 48-year-old bachelor when he became the Prime Minister of Canada in 1968. In March 1971, the hearts of many Canadian women were broken upon the announcement that Trudeau had married 22-year-old ‘flower child’ Margaret Sinclair. They surprised the media with their secret wedding in Vancouver, and afterwards drove directly to Whistler for a three day stay. Here, the newlyweds took a skiing honeymoon, media in tow, with everyone excited about the refreshing hipness of Canada’s First Couple.

Clearly, such esteemed guests required ‘above-and-beyond’ service. So, Jack Bright, General Manager of Whistler Mountain, and Jim McConkey, Whistler’s prominent ski school director, served as the newlyweds’ personal ski instructors during their stay.

“Ski conditions were excellent during their stay with snow falling all three days.” proudly reported Garibaldi’s Whistler News in their spring issue of 1971. The photo shows Area Manager Jack Bright, flowed by Margaret Trudeau and the Prime Minister ski down the Red Chair run. March 1971, Whistler Mountain collection

“Ski conditions were excellent during their stay with snow falling all three days.” proudly reported Garibaldi’s Whistler News in their spring issue of 1971. The photo shows Area Manager Jack Bright, flowed by Margaret Trudeau and the Prime Minister ski down the Red Chair run. March 1971, Whistler Mountain collection

The couple stayed at the Sinclair family condo in the Alpine Village complex near the base of the lifts. “This was the second ski holiday at Whistler for Mr. Trudeau” proudly reported the Garibaldi’s Whistler News later in their 1971 spring issue, including three pages of colorful, side-filling photos of the couple. The news also commented on the couple’s ski skills: “Mrs. Trudeau is a good and stylish skier who is able to keep up with her husband. At one point during their stay at Whistler, Trudeau announced that his wife was a better skier than he is. ‘It’s not true, it’s not true’ she laughed.”

Mrs. Trudeau, the former Margaret Sinclair of West Vancouver, had a season’s pass at Whistler and skied the mountain many times before her marriage. This photo shows her skiing with Jack Bright, General Manager of Whistler Mountain. March 1971, Whistler Mountain collection

Mrs. Trudeau, the former Margaret Sinclair of West Vancouver, had a season’s pass at Whistler and skied the mountain many times before her marriage. This photo shows her skiing with Jack Bright, General Manager of Whistler Mountain. March 1971, Whistler Mountain collection

Victor Irving, a RCMP officer in charge of the Prime Minister’s security at that time, shares a sweet anecdote of the Whistler honeymoon in the book Pierre: Colleagues and Friends Talk about the Trudeau They Knew. He remembers to drive the Trudeau’s to the Sinclair condo in Whistler after the secret wedding which was by then no secret anymore. “The next morning I received a request from them for ice cream and all the Vancouver papers. I delivered these, leaving the happy couple kneeling on the living-room floor reading the papers. (Pierre still owes me $5.75.) “

Margaret included this photo of her honeymoon in her memoirs Changing My Mind and noted: “Both athletes, we chose to spend our first day of marriage skiing at Whistler.” Source: Changing My Mind by M. Trudeau, Harper Collins Publishers

Margaret included this photo of her honeymoon in her memoirs Changing My Mind and noted: “Both athletes, we chose to spend our first day of marriage skiing at Whistler.” Source: Changing My Mind by M. Trudeau, Harper Collins Publishers

Also, Margaret remembers that first honeymoon morning in Whistler in her memoirs Changing My Mind: “We were woken next morning at 6:30 a.m. by the telephone. The queen was calling to congratulate Pierre; she had got the time difference wrong. Later came a telegram from the president of the United States, Richard Nixon. Scary, but also the stuff of fairy tales.”

Looks like, when it comes to fairy tales, our enchanted Whistler is the right place to be.

Diamond Jim

While writing last week’s post about Okanagan Helicopters, we realized that we hadn’t posted anything about “Diamond Jim” McConkey yet. We couldn’t let that injustice continue, so, here you go.

Jim McConkey was the ski school star of early Whistler Mountain. With a magnetic personality and his shock of white hair — “Diamond Jim” is a Whistler legend. McConkey had already had a long and distinguished career in the ski business when, in 1968, Franz Wilhelmsen sent Hugh Smythe and Jack Bright to ask him to be Whistler’s new Ski Director.

Jim McConkey posing for a formal staff photo in his Whistler Ski School uniform.

Jim McConkey posing for a formal staff photo in his Whistler Ski School uniform.

McConkey had always had an interest in Whistler Mountain and had heard good reports through the ski industry grapevine. The expanding Vancouver population, the long ski season and new road access all pointed towards success.

In the spring of 1968 he took a chance, moved to Whistler, and invested all his money in building a ski shop there. The new building was 20 feet by 50 feet, with two floors — rentals downstairs with a little office, and retail upstairs and the office for the ski school.

The classic image of Jack Bright (right) skiing Whistler with "Diamond Jim" McConkey. Photo taken ca. before toques were invented (1972, actually).

The classic image of Whistler Mountain General Manager Jack Bright (left) skiing Whistler with “Diamond Jim” McConkey. Photo taken ca. before toques were invented (1972, actually).

In an interview the Museum conducted with McConkey in 2010 he recalled:

In those days we used to have snow early. If we didn’t have snow by Nov. 11, we were kind of worried. The first year I had invested all my money in the ski shop and set it all up, Christmas came, and it was freezing cold, and there was a guy who was in charge of the hydro thing. He was a wonderful guy, but I don’t know if he got drunk or whatever it was, but the hydro was run by a couple railway cars down in Mons … and it went out. There was no power to run anything. And the lifts of course were shut down. No gondola, no nothing.

That was at Christmas time, my first winter, after I had gambled everything, and everybody left. People were getting on the trains going, ‘for the love of God, get me on that train!’ They were going and the place became deserted and the floors at Cheakamus Lodge had ice about six inches thick on them and it was closed for six weeks. No business in ski school, but people came up and we survived, and we had unbelievable skiing.

Although that first year was a bit hair-raising, McConkey’s decision to come to Whistler turned out to be a good one. New technology in skiing equipment meant more people were taking up skiing, and consequently there was a great market for instructing. Jim managed the ski school until 1980 and the rental and retail operations until 1985.

Before (and during ) his time in Whistler, McConkey made a name for himself as an early ski film star. Here he is enjoying some of Alta, Utah's famous champagne pow.

Before his time in Whistler, McConkey made a name for himself as an early ski film star. Here he is (at right) enjoying some of Alta, Utah’s famous champagne pow.

Whistler Mountain honoured Jim by naming a run after him (McConkey’s) on Dec. 15, 1994 — the same day that the Harmony Express chairlift was opened. This was clearly not enough for some, as there is also an unofficial McConkey’s on Whistler Mountain — a large unpatrolled area near the Peak to Creek.

A true fun-lover with an infectious joy for mountain life — McConkey’s catchphrase “Every day’s a bonus” is one we can all learn from.

Celebrating Jack Bright

This past Wednesday, homage was paid to one of the most influential figures in our valley’s history, Jack Bright. As would be expected of such an occasion, the gathering drew a long list of prominent and long-time Whistlerites.

Besides it’s main purpose to commemorate the life of a cherished family member, friend, and colleague, the celebration served a sort of window into another era. Whistler’s history is so short and mercurial, it is easy to forget how much change has occurred in just a few  decades. We are fortunate to still have with us many people who have witnessed  (and contributed to) Whistler’s rise from its modest beginnings as a remote venture with an uncertain future. Jack’s celebration drew many such folk, and the informal conversations spreading throughout the crowd were a veritable oral history of the ski resort.

The scene at Roland's Pub.

The scene at Roland’s Pub.

There couldn’t have been a more appropriate venue. If you find that Roland’s Pub has an  unpretentious atmosphere reminiscent of Whistler’s modest early years, that’s no mistake. In its first incarnation the building housed the Whistler Inn, built by Jack Bright himself in 1975. They expanded it a year later to make room for JB’s Restaurant, and the building has been a hub of the Creekside neighbourhood ever since.

Several people volunteered, or were summoned, to speak in front of the crowd. Among these was Hugh Smythe, first hired by Jack as a 19 year old ski patroller in 1966. Hugh described the Brights as a sort of surrogate family for him in those early days, fondly recalling family dinners at their home.

There is an interesting symmetry to Hugh and Jack’s story. Building upon his early experience working for Jack, Hugh went on to work, in a roundabout manner,  at every  level of ski resort management himself, including as Blackcomb Mountain’s first general manager. Focusing on Jack’s mentorship and entrepreneurial intuition, Hugh also recalled a road trip the two of them took to Todd Mountain (now Sun Peaks) to try and lure ski star Jim McConkey to Whistler to head the nascent ski school.

Appropriately enough, a few minutes later, “Diamond Jim” himself was up front, remarking on how well Whistler has treated so many people, and the crucial role Jack played in this success. Several other friends and family members came before the crowd to celebrate Jack’s many qualities and accomplishments. 

Peter Alder, Bruce Watt, Roger McCarthy, and Jim McConkey have a drink and reminisce about Whistler's early days.

Peter Alder, Bruce Watt, Roger McCarthy, and Jim McConkey have a drink and reminisce.

Just for fun we figured we'd throw in this photo of Roger and Bruce from their days as ski patrollers for Whistler Mountain. Evidently Roger's moustache had more staying power than Bruce's.

Just for fun we figured we’d throw in this photo of Roger and Bruce from their days as ski patrollers for Whistler Mountain. Evidently Roger’s moustache had more staying power than Bruce’s.

The event was gracefully hosted by Jack’s son Lance, who, along with his mother Ann (Jack’s wife) and brother Jordan, shared some heartfelt impressions of Jack. 

Despite the unfortunate circumstances there was a warm, relaxed feel, like a sort of high school reunion for the ski resort’s early years. Everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy the day and the opportunity to reminisce that it provided, a testament to how overwhelmingly positive those memories are of an era of Whistler’s history in which your Jack featured so prominently.

(Click here to see more photos from the event.)

Three generations of Bright's address the crowd.

Three generations of Bright’s address the crowd.

Before becoming a successful resort management bigwig, Jack was a ski star in his own right. Here are two magazine covers he bagged in 1960, while he was working as a ski instructor in Mammoth, California.

Before becoming a successful resort management bigwig, Jack was a ski star in his own right. Here are two magazine covers he bagged in 1960, while he was working as a ski instructor in Mammoth, California.

Remembering Jack Bright

There are many prominent figures from our valley’s history whose names recur often on this blog and elsewhere: Myrtle & Alex Philip, Franz Wilhelmsen, Stefan Ples, Eldon Beck, Hugh Smythe, Florence Petersen, Nancy Greene & Al Raine, just to name a few. But one name which has not received its due is Jack Bright.

Jack Bright was the first General Manager of Whistler Mountain, and was a pivotal figure in the nascent ski resort’s quick ascent as Canada’s premier ski resort. Sadly, we received word that Jack Bright passed away last week in Vancouver.

bright headshot_ACCESS WMA_P89_0186_WMSC

Franz Wilhelmsen hired Jack to run Whistler Mountain at the ripe old age of 28, a decision that turned out to be a resounding success. Considering Jack’s previous work experience was 5 years managing the tiny (and now-defunct) Pigeon Mountain ski area near Canmore, Alberta, Jack must have given a pretty good interview!

In any case, Jack turned out to be a marketing and management savant. Recognizing the power of celebrity and the draw of larger-than-life personalities, he managed to snag skiing superstar “Diamond” Jim McConkey to run the resort’s ski school, rental & retail operations.

The classic image of Jack Bright (right) skiing Whistler with "Diamond Jim" McConkey. Photo taken ca. before toques were invented (1972, actually).

The classic image of Jack Bright (left) skiing Whistler with “Diamond Jim” McConkey. Photo taken ca. before toques were invented (1972, actually).

A few years later in March 1971, at the height of “Trudeaumania” then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and his bride Margaret honeymooned at Whistler. Clearly, such esteemed guests required “above-and-beyond” service, so Jack and Jim McConkey served as the newly-weds personal ski instructors during their stay. Trudeau, a strong skier, returned to Whistler often, and Jack or Jim were always prepared to accompany him.

Jack Bright (right) showing the Prime Minister how it's done.

Jack Bright (right) showing the Prime Minister how it’s done.

The publicity from such high-profile associations is hard to overstate, and foreshadows the prolific use of celebrity and athlete “ambassadors” that is common practice throughout the ski industry today. For more recent local examples, think Dave Murray ski camps, Mike Douglas “Embedded,” and local Olympic champions Ashleigh McIvor & Maelle Ricker, to name just a few.

Jack was also instrumental in arranging countless ski races, spring skiing parties, and other events to attract skiers and raise the resort’s profile, another example of his forward-thinking marketing mind. During his tenure, Jack oversaw Whistler Mountain’s quick ascent to the biggest and most renowned ski resort in the province.

One look at the Creekside Gondola line-up from the early 1970s is testament to Jack’s success at growing the resort. It was also Jack’s decision to institute a boarding-pass system, lift tickets that included a pre-scheduled up-load time, to take some of the sting off what could easily be a two or three-hour wait for the lifts.

Gondola lineup_ACCESS WMA_P89_0940_WMSC

More than just a promotions guru, Jack  also built and managed the Whistler Inn, one of the valley’s first hotels, was the inaugural president of the Canada West Ski Areas Association, he helped found the Whistler Chamber of Commerce, the Canada Day Parade and was the chair of Whistler’s first bank, the North Shore Credit Union.

He stopped working for Whistler Mountain in the mid-1970s, but stayed in town for some time, continuing to manage his hotel and various other community interests. He eventually moved to Vancouver where he remained an active and respected businessman, though he remained connected to the Whistler community and came back to ski and visit frequently.

Franz Wilhelmsen, an unidentified man, and Jack Bright (from l to r), overlooking their kingdom. early 1980s (after Jack had stopped working for Whistler Mountain).

Franz Wilhelmsen, an unidentified man, and Jack Bright (from l to r), overlooking their kingdom, early 1980s.