Best of Whistler 2008 

The people’s choices

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History may associate 2008 with terms like “economic meltdown,” “financial crisis,” “bailout” and even “prorogue,” but there were still some good things about the year just ending.

There were a number of openings in Whistler this year, including the library, the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, several new businesses, a compost facility and the first (one hopes annual) Pemberton Festival. These and other events were remembered by readers when they voted for the Best of Whistler 2008.

Quintessential Whistler

Favourite Whisterite

“Shhh, don’t let anyone here know,” said Tom Thomson, a twinkle in his eye, after finding out he was voted Favourite Whistlerite.

“What an outstanding community I live in that people could even begin to consider someone like myself.

“I don’t know what I have done to earn it. There is a community of like-minded people out there who deserve the same honour, because they all love Whistler.”

You have probably seen Thomson’s white beard or heard his deep, gruff voice around town.

Not only did he get more votes than anyone else running for council in this year’s municipal election, his first time as a candidate, but the community man continues his involvement with Crankworx, WORCA, The Ken Quon Memorial, the village host program, the lodge host program on Blackcomb, and the local art scene (following in the footsteps of his namesake, he jokes).

Oh, and Thomson has also been the local Santa Claus for a number of years.

“Don’t write that though, because then the kids will know,” he says as another smile lights up his face.

Thomson first came to Whistler in 1968 and slept on a floor most of the winter season. He was hooked. Even though he had a teaching career in Vancouver, Thomson found ways to still be involved in the Whistler community. And when he retired, he knew exactly where he was going: into the Whistler home he built in the 1980s.

Most extreme thing to do

In an adrenaline-fueled town, situated underneath two jaw-dropping mountains, finding something extreme to do is easy. If you actually have the guts to do it… Well, that is the hard part.

But whether via helicopter, in the backcountry, off a cliff, down a chute, through a bowl, blindfolded, naked, backwards or with a broken ankle, the majority of 2008 voters agree that the best way to push your limits is skiing and riding through some nice white stuff.

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