Tag Archives: Whistler Conference Centre

This Week in Photos: March 22


A doctors group from Japan who are regular Whistler visitors. Fourth from left is Mr. Yamanaka who is making his 10th visit here and in the centre is 68-year old Dr. Kanazawa and 73-year old Dr. Takahashi, both on their 6th visit here.

CONVERTIBLE PICKUP! – All that was left of the Datsun that the Squamish Rescue Group cut the top off of to get an injured passenger out at Daisy Lake last week.

Valdy performs at the dinner show at the Filling Station Thursday night.

Quebec and CGOT visitors, left to right: Jacques Demers – Dept. of Industry Commerce and Tourism of Quebec; Peter Maundrell – Canadian Government Office of Tourism (CGOT), Victoria; Marcel Noel – CGOT, Ottawa; Alain Simard – Dept. of Planning and Development of Quebec; Hugues Roy – Dept. of Regional Economic Expansion (Quebec office).


The walls of the entrance to Club 10, decorated by Ray Clements.

Myrtle Philip, assisted by Roberta Carson, proudly displays the hand-drawn quilt presented to her by the Myrtle Philip School students on the occasion of her 90th birthday.

The students of Myrtle Philip School presented Myrtle with 90 daffodils at her birthday celebrations.

Myrtle Philip starts to cut up her 8 ft. long 90th birthday cake!


A kayaker heads down the Cheakamus under the bridge in the Ice Breaker race March 21.

Staff photographer freezes the snow avalanche on film as it roars off the roof of the Whistler Sports & Convention Centre on Friday. Burrows Photo.

Moments before 50 tons of snow slid from the roof of the Sports & Convention Centre, Doug Fox, Cliff Jennings and crew tried shovelling snow away from facia beams.

Keep moving is right! Someone with a sense of humour then added the sign on the left to the warning on the right.

Spring skiers enjoy a sunny afternoon on the patio of Nasty Jacks.


Watch your step. Downloading has become a sensible way to get off the mountains these days as spring weather works its way up the slopes.

While the skier’s away, the Whiskey Jack will play. This little fellow had few qualms about helping himself to someone’s lunch while the owner was out on the slopes.

Valdy packed the house all three nights of his visit to Whistler March 18, 19 and 20. Accompanied by saxophone player Clare Laurence and Norman McPherson on guitar, he played everything from love ballads to a lament that he couldn’t shimmy like his sister Kate.

Whew! It was a full house at The Longhorn and Nasty Jacks over the sunny March 19-20 weekend. Spring skiers are flocking to Whistler by the thousands to enjoy that last run before summer sets in.

Gwen Upton, of the Ministry of Labour, takes a look at what her department’s money is doing for Whistler through the Community Recovery Program. Al Bosse and Ian Mouncy have found winter employment making subdivision signs. Looking on at far right is Jim Webster from the Resort Municipality of Whistler.


The Winter Hawks celebrated a victory together this week.

Raw energy, raw blues, and the velvet voice of John Hammond made a 2 1/2-hour concert at Brackendale Art Gallery Saturday seem like five minutes. Hammond has cut over 20 albums since 1962, but is still one of the lesser known bluesmen in North America.

The lyrics are poetry, the melodies are mellow. Silvered, comprised of Australian musicians Ken Kirschman and Geoff Gibbons, are masterful musicians reminiscent of Simon and Garfunkel. A recent EP release has generated rave reviews. Silvered were featured at The Brass Rail Wednesday through Sunday.

The Whistler Medical Clinic, located in Whistler Village, right at the base of the mountain.


Grand Plans for Whistler Resort Centre

Walking through Olympic Plaza in the winter, chances are you’ll see some people out skating on the ice.  Plans for an ice rink in Whistler Village date back to the 1980s, though the original plans looked a lot different than the rink you see today.

In March 1980 construction began on the Whistler Village Resort/Recreation Centre.  According to a write up in Whistler News, Summer 1980, the Resort Centre would be a “three-level, multi-purpose, indoor recreation and conference centre” or approximately 72,000 square feet (the Whistler Conference Centre today is somewhere over 40,000 square feet).  The proposed budget for the project was in the $5.5 to 5.8 million range with funding provided by the Province of British Columbia in the form of a TIDSA (Travel Industry Development Subsidiary Agreement), the Recreation Facility Assistance and the Whistler Village Land Company.  This budget did not include operating costs.

What could have been: An artist’s rendering of the proposed Whistler Resort Centre, 1980. Whistler Question Collection.

The list of anticipated recreation activities that would have been housed in the Resort Centre is extensive.  Plans included a 20,000 sq. ft. Olympic-sized ice rink, a 3 x 20 metre swimming pool, a whirlpool, saunas, four racquetball courts, a squash court, locker room facilities, the Golf Pro Shop for the Whistler Golf Course, and even a restaurant.

Located on the top floor, the restaurant and lounge area would seat 320 people and “provide guests with views of the ice-skating and swimming activities as well as the surrounding mountain landscape.”

The plans for the lower level of the Resort Centre. Whistler Question Collection.

Many of the proposed facilities were multi-use.  A system of interlocking insulated panels meant that in just under four hours the ice rink could be transformed to either carpeting or astroturf to host banquets, staged performances, tennis matches or basketball games.  The Golf Pro Shop would be transformed in the winter months into a cross-country skiing centre.

When a recession hit North America and Whistler in late 1981 the Resort Centre, like much of the Village, was still under construction.  With the economy failing, real estate sales falling and interest rates climbing above 20%, the Whistler Village Land Company found themselves with debts of almost $8 million, liabilities coming to $30 million, and assets in the form of land that nobody wanted to buy.

The Resort Centre under construction, along with the rest of the Whistler Village. Eldon Beck Collection.

In January 1983 the provincial government under Premier Bill Bennett stepped in and formed Whistler Land Co. Developments, a Crown corporation to take over the liabilities and assets of the Whistler Village Land Company.  Chester Johnson, a Vancouver businessman, was chosen by Bennett to chair the board of this new Crown corporation and take over the development of Whistler Village.

Before the building could be reconstructed some of it had to be deconstructed. Whistler Question Collection, 1984.

One of the decisions made by Johnson was to reconstruct the Resort Centre as a conference centre without all of the extra recreational facilities.  A convention business consultant and a Los Angeles architectural company were brought in to convert the Whistler Village Resort/Recreation Centre to the Whistler Conference Centre, a year-round facility meant to attract conventions and visitors to the resort.  Work was well underway on the Whistler Conference Centre by the end of 1984 and was completed by 1986, with no ice rink in sight.  Whistler wouldn’t get an indoor ice rink until 1993 with the opening of the arena at the Meadow Park Sports Centre.