Creating ‘a buzz’ about Whistler 

Community meeting facilitated by Landmark planned for April 10

How can Whistler have a thriving economy and become the place everyone is talking about once again?

That’s the question that will be put to community members on Monday, April 10 at the third in a series of grassroots community meetings.

"The idea for this group of meetings is for the community to empower itself and get the things happening that it wants to have happen," said organizer Dave Halliwell.

The intent of the next meeting is to deal with actions and plans that will stimulate the economy and create a "buzz in the world about Whistler" within 24 months.

More than 100 community members spent more than two hours working on a mission statement at the last meeting in mid-March.

Halliwell said April’s meeting will see the community put the finishing touches on that mission statement and then begin to address the actions and plans.

Though it is still a work in progress the community mission statement begins by stating that Whistler is holistic, world class excellence in every corner, a community that makes a difference in the world and one that is sustainable. And that: "When the above is realized anyone who experiences Whistler at any time on any level will be forever altered/transformed, just for the experience of being in Whistler."

The feedback from the first meeting has been positive, Halliwell said.

"People are really excited about it and they think it’s a great idea," he said.

Seeing more than 100 community members at that meeting shows there is a hunger in the community to turn things around, Halliwell said.

But while there has been positive feedback, there have also been some concerns about the process used in these meetings.

The facilitator is Anurag Gupta with Landmark Education – an organization that offers workshops "designed to bring about positive and permanent shifts in the quality of your life."

Halliwell believes the Landmark process is a way that can work in Whistler because he’s seen it work in other places.

"It’s an educational process which actually gives people access to having breakthroughs," he said.

"It’s just been my experience, and I’ve seen some very effective results in communities and organizations that have taken on some training from Landmark. Because I’ve seen that be so effective, and I have so much respect for Anurag, I think it’s a useful and effective tool for us to look at."

However, critics of Landmark have complained about the controlling nature of the organization, and that it uses intimidation and aggressive recruiting techniques.

"What we’re really interested in is results and we’re open to anything that anybody brings to the table that can cause us to have effective results," said Halliwell.

The next community brainstorming meeting will be held on Monday, April 10 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at MY Millennium place. Everyone is welcome to attend.

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