Tag Archives: Michel Beaudry

Speaker Series – Whistler’s Mountain Identity

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Historians often obsess over the delineation of historical eras. Paleolithic or Neolithic? When, precisely, did the Renaissance begin? And when did we enter a post-modern world? Thankfully for us at the Whistler Museum, classifying our community’s history is fairly straightforward.

While First Nations and, much later, trapper and prospector types, have long occupied the region, the start of the community now known as Whistler began as a dream in 1911 when Alex & Myrtle Philip first visited Alta Lake. Rainbow Lodge’s construction 3 years later is a concrete starting point for our community.

ACCESS WMA_P86_0425_Philip - wedge from rainbow

The inspiring Coast Mountain environment was a key tourist draw from the first days of Rainbow Lodge.

Alta Lake remained a quaint summer tourism resort for nearly 50 years until new dreams were forged at the 1960 Winter Olympics. The opening of Whistler Mountain in 1966 opened a new era of Olympic dreams and ascendancy as a modern ski resort. The Olympic Dream was realized in 2010 and Whistler Mountain celebrated its 50th last winter with our spot among the world’s top mountain resorts firmly established.

And so, one could argue, Whistler has entered its third 50-year period. Where do we go from here? We are experiencing a period of rapid growth and change. Buzzwords like economic diversification, weather-proofing, and cultural tourism dominate as we navigate substantial growing pains and external pressures.

The mountains are not going anywhere, but how will our relationship with them evolve in the future? Jeff Slack photo.

The mountains are not going anywhere, but how will our relationship with them evolve in the future? Jeff Slack photo.

How will we come to define this next era? Will we stay true to our mountain roots? Will we chart a completely new course? Can we do both at the same time? Does life in the mountains come with any special responsibilities?

In case it was not already clear, we have been in a reflective mood of late. Our next Speaker Series event is designed to discuss, if not answer, some of these broad questions that are floating around in our heads. On Wednesday, January 18th, we will be hosting a community dialogue on “Whistler’s Mountain Identity.” We hope you can join us and contribute to this discussion.

The event format is simple. Two esteemed panelists, Arthur De Jong (Whistler Blackcomb’s Mountain Planning & Environmental Resource Manager) and Michel Beaudry (writer and mountain adventurist) will open the evening with their visions for the past, present, and future of Whistler’s identity as a mountain town. This will then lead into an audience-informed, moderated discussion of the many broad themes relevant to this topic.

As always, everyone is welcome, but we hope you come ready to express your opinions and ideas about what makes our community tick and how we can sustain the soul and the passion key to Whistler’s past success through a future full of inevitable change.

Open and honest dialogue is essential to any healthy and engaged community and we invite all community-minded and mountain-spirited individuals to what we hope will be an enriching and enlightening evening.

Doors open at 6pm, talk begins at 7pm. Tickets are $10; $5 for Museum members and Club Shred. Cash bar, 19+.

Whistler Debates presents: Preservation vs POW! The Backcountry Access Debate

Think the Spearhead Huts are the greatest idea since fat skis? Does the ongoing rush to the backcountry risks spoiling the solitude (and fresh pow) that draws us out there in the first place? How do we best maintain a relationship with wilderness in our increasingly urban, on-line world? If you have ever pondered such matters, this night is for you.

The Whistler Museum, WhistlerIsAwesome.com and the Whistler Arts Council are excited to announce the second installment in the Whistler Debates events series: PRESERVATION vs POW: The Backcountry Access Debate.

The debate will take place at Millennium Place, where the ongoing Out of Bounds: Tales from the Backcountry photography competition will provide an inspiring visual backdrop for this thought-provoking evening. As the snow line creeps down to the valley and stoke builds for the fast-approaching winter, come watch prominent members of the self-propelled community debate the merits of improved access to that rugged and remote paradise, the backcountry.

When: Monday October 29th, 7:30pm
Where: Millennium Place
Who: Everyone!
Cost: $10 advance tickets, $12 same day
Tickets can be purchased at Millennium Place, or by calling 604-935-8410

Event sponsored by The Escape Route

Featured debaters:

“Garage Sale” Frank Salter – This local character is best known for his personal collection of historic ski gear, one of the largest in the world, which was featured in the latest issue of Powder magazine. But did you know that this “backcountry posterboy” has also been featured in numerous published magazine articles, photographs, and yes, even on a beer coaster? Frank is full of surprises, and always entertains.

Alex Wigley – An endurance athlete, member of the Canadian National Ski Mountaineering Team (2009-2012) avalanche course instructor, and ACMG Assistant Ski Guide. Alex currently concentrates his time on training, skiing, shooting mountain photography, and updating his ski-mountaineering blog “Ski Theory.”

Michel Beaudry – He’s an alpine poet, a backcountry bard. He’s a critic, a philosopher… an enthusiastic promoter of all things self-propelled. He’s also been writing award-winning stories on mountain life for the last thirty years. Beaudry’s column, Alta States, appears every week in Pique Newsmagazine.

Wayne Flann – Wayne is a veteran Blackcomb ski patroller, avalanche forecaster, search & rescue volunteer, safety consultant for the film industry, and member of the Canadian Ski Guides Association. This guy knows his stuff. For the last year he has been helping keep the backcountry community in the know through the aptly titled Wayne Flann Avalanche Blog.

About Whistler Debates:

Whistlerites self-identify as informed, opinionated, and outspoken. We’re going to put this assumption to the test. Inspired by the Doha Debates, our aim is to provide a forum for respectful, informed dialogue on wide-ranging topics of local or general interest. Debates will take place year-round and coincide with ongoing festivals and events. All debates will feature a strong audience participation component, so come armed with an opinion, an open mind, and a desire to engage with some of the most pressing topics of our times.