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AWARE lines up Whistler events leading to Earth Day

Search for new executive director continues at local environmental charity
The Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment will host a biodiversity talk, along with other events, in the lead-up to Earth Day 2024.

Earth Day is around the corner, and to raise awareness and advocate for sustainability and climate action, the Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment (AWARE) is organizing a suite of events in the lead-up.

Starting April 17 and going all the way to April 22—which is the globally recognized Earth Day—every day of the week will feature an event to draw in engaged locals and raise awareness.

AWARE board member Diana Mulvey explained the 2024 Earth Day events are a first for the organization.

“We’re really proud of what’s come together to culminate on Earth Day April 22,” she said. “There’s different activities, events, workshops that people can get behind and get involved with and really take action.”

The six events include yoga, a clothing swap, an old-growth and biodiversity talk, a pitch-in day, a repair café and a party for the planet with a silent auction.

AWARE was founded more than 30 years ago to run programs, organize events, and raise awareness around environmental issues and conservation, as well as ways locals can get involved and make a difference.

“To be honest, I don’t know we’ve ever done anything this big in the community … we’re really, really pleased it’s come together the way it has,” said Mulvey, who explained the event is a big change for the organization, which recently said goodbye to longtime executive director Claire Ruddy.

The events for Earth Week are part of a mobilization of the organization in the months since then, and the board is actively searching for a new executive director to step in and plan more of the same.

“A big part of that person’s role will be to work with that member base, grow the member base and our volunteer base as well so that we can mobilize people to get behind some of these big issues and show up at those council meetings where it really makes a difference,” said Mulvey.

A recent opportunity for the community to show up and be engaged was the Big Moves update to the Resort Municipality of Whistler in March—a presentation that was unfortunately only attended by one member of the public.

Mulvey said that presentation was an example of a time and place the community could turn up and make its voice heard, influence policy, and show engagement.

“Even with this rich history of moving the dial on environmental priorities in Whistler, the need for a presence and engagement with community members and having an organization like AWARE is so much more urgent today with all the climate extremes and the season that we’ve had,” she said.

“People do show up and people do care… I know how hard it is to get people to show up at those council meetings, and sometimes it takes an organization like AWARE or an individual to just nudge people and make sure that people know what’s coming up on the agenda.”

The Resort Municipality of Whistler’s Big Moves Climate Action Plan was influenced by engagement with AWARE, and Mulvey said it is one way residents can make a difference.

Whistler locals can look to the AWARE website at for more details on the six events leading up to Earth Week.

“There are people in the community that really care deeply about these issues, and AWARE really wants to help raise that collective voice from all the citizens who can move the dials to encourage government and the private sector to really take action,” Mulvey said.

“And we want to help be a louder voice. Whether it’s showing up at events, helping us promote events or donating, there’s lots of ways to get involved.”