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Letters to the Editor

A new beginning It has been three weeks since WinterPRIDE and I want to thank Whistler for being such a great host to all our guests, who came from all corners of the world to enjoy GayWhistler’s WinterPRIDE.

A new beginning

It has been three weeks since WinterPRIDE and I want to thank Whistler for being such a great host to all our guests, who came from all corners of the world to enjoy GayWhistler’s WinterPRIDE. We played host to over 2,600 international guests during the week of February 4 th , meeting and exceeding our projected numbers.

I have received lots of comments and feedback from our guests all saying how welcome they felt in Whistler and that they plan to come back and bring friends, not just for next year’s event but throughout the year.

I had to leave the event early as my father unexpectedly died Wednesday morning, I rushed back to Seattle but it was too late, he was 64 and had a massive heart attack just two steps outside his doorstep on his way to work.   My father always taught me to finish what I started, so I came back to Whistler Thursday to host the first ever WinterPRIDE Banquet. The event was a huge success and the crown jewel of the week not because of the great entertainment with Cirque Du Soleil but because so many Whistler locals came out to enjoy the night with our guests. It was a bitter sweet night, I know my Dad was proud of me for bringing together a great community of 900 for a night of dinner, entertainment and dancing. It was a perfect evening that Whistler should be most proud of.

I had to leave first thing Friday morning to take care of my Mom and make arrangements for my Dad but the event went on without a hitch and our guests had a great time. Thank you Whistler for all your kind words of sympathy and support, it has meant a lot to me personally.

I have spent four years building GayWhistler and promoting Whistler as a gay friendly year round destination and it is paying off. Whistler for the first time is ranked in the top six Canadian destinations for U.S. Gay and Lesbians, a market worth over $55 billion in tourism. Whistler is on the verge of becoming world renowned for being a gay and lesbian welcoming vacation destination; we hope this is the year Whistler makes the investment to invite our guests to come back over and over again.

I could write a list pages long of people to personally thank but it is not any one individual that made GayWhistler’s WinterPRIDE a success, it was the community as a whole.

So again on behalf of the thousands of guests that came to enjoy our week of festivities THANK YOU. I hope you keep your rainbow stickers in your windows and show your support year round as we work hard to keep the pink dollars and gay and lesbian tourists coming back to Whistler.

Sean Kearns

Founder and President



Who else wants a tax break?

Any large corporations out there with huge budgets want some tax relief?  Well come build something in Whistler. We'll let you make big bucks off what you build and make sure you don't pay too many taxes on it.

Yep, Fortress (Whistler-Blackcomb) have convinced council that when they build the Peak to Peak gondola they will have tax-relief for that project for five years. Does Fortress need this tax relief to make the project a moneymaker? Nope, even they admit that they do not. Do you think they would build it anyway without the tax relief? I sure think they would.

Apparently many members of council believe that the cost benefit to the community (through more visits) far outweighs the huge sum of money from the tax relief. So if they are likely to build it anyway without the relief... we are in a sense giving up this tax money. Sure it may not be money we have now, but we definitely won't have it if we give them a tax break.

What about a tax break for small businesses in town... all combined they bring in a lot of visitors too.

Thanks to Nancy and Eckhard for using your heads and refusing to bow.

Sara Jennings



A waste of space

The proposed new Creekside low occupancy Kadenwood lift would be a waste of valuable space. What is needed instead, is a lift similar to the Excalibur Gondola at Blackcomb. If built, then it could have a mid-station to service Kadenwood and other downloaders and continue up approximately 2,000 total vertical feet.

After this lift, there should be another high-speed lift reaching the flats above Bagel Bowl and accessing that area.

Although some in management might say the current Creekside Gondola has not reached full capacity after the 9-11 a.m. upload rush, I feel they are wrong and I cringe any time I see a lineup going over the bridge.

Do it right the first time, live up to past promises and avoid bad first impressions with an over crowded Creekside.

Peter Beers

Whistler/Woodinvilla, WA


Three kinds of people

There is a growing tribe of folks in the Western world. They understand the true meaning of the frequently misunderstood term “sustainability”. These folks know that real sustainability means implementation and maintenance of healthy and fair environmental, institutional, social and economic activity. These people actively engage in positive change by educating themselves about the serious and urgent problems in our chaotic world. These individuals take action in their daily lives to reduce conspicuous consumption, reuse stuff they already have and recycle the rest. They think globally and act locally. Literally. This group knows that about five per cent of the world’s population uses over 25 per cent of global resources. Yes, that’s us, North Americans.

A second group consists of Western folks who know something of these urgent issues but do little or nothing about them. Perhaps they are crippled by fear, laziness, self-centredness or false belief systems.

The third group of people is unaware that the very existence of all life on Earth is seriously threatened.

In short, there are three kinds of people in this world: those that make things happen, those that watch things happen and those that don’t even know that anything happened.

Which posse are you running with?

Andrew Erdely



Sharing trails, stories

Further to the discussion that has been happening in these columns about Pemberton’s sense of community, I concur with many of the writers: Pemberton’s spirit is as thriving as ever! It helps that we enjoy one of the best community amenities the area has to offer: our natural surroundings. Any time of the year, in any weather, I meet people on the trails, at the lake, in the alpine, having a good time with friends and family. And a vibrant community engenders active community groups such as the Pemberton Valley Trails Association (PVTA), due to have their fifth Annual General Meeting next week.

The PVTA has been working for almost six years to legitimize and promote the many trails and areas that locals have been using for informal recreation for many years. Areas such as Mosquito Lake, Mackenzie Basin, the numerous sandbars and trails along the Lillooet River, One-Mile/Signal Hill/Pemberton Creek, are recreation destinations for almost everyone in the area. Ensuring that we can continue to enjoy our natural environment is the primary aim of the PVTA, as long as recreational use is compatible with ongoing development and the traditional economic engines of agriculture and forestry. Besides recreation, paths are ideal for non-motorized commuting and to link communities. These goals are important parts of the “Winds of Change” initiative between Pemberton and Mt. Currie.

The tasks we have taken on are not easy. All communities struggle with balancing economic development and recreation. There are many stakeholders involved, ranging from individual landowners to federal government agencies, and often delicate negotiations which require the effort of dedicated experts. When it becomes too much for a group of volunteers, we turn to local government for help. We are very fortunate to have the support and assistance of the SLRD, the Village of Pemberton, and the Lil’wat Nation. As the Pemberton area grows, local government will inevitably have to have a more formal arrangement in place, in the form of a Parks Service, to manage the recreational spaces which people now use. We are hopeful that the first steps will be taken this year.

So come out to the Pony next Tuesday (March 13 at 6 p.m.) and hear what we accomplished last year, and what we hope to do this year and in the years to come. If you need incentives, there will be appetizers, a cash bar, and a chance to socialize. Because, after all, in one way or another, being social is what we are all here for.

Sean Wolfe

Secretary, PVTA

Mt. Currie


Out with ’em

Shame on the Whistler council... they are to represent the community... period.

They should all be out on their ear.

The community supported the London Drugs shop, who are council to oppose the people? That is not why they are in as council. Time for a change.... big changes that make sense to the people that live there!

Peggy Belanger



WinterFest success overlooked

I am a French girl (from France) who arrived in November. I love Pemberton, which is why I took part in the Winterfest.

But I was extremely disappointed when I read the last editions from our two great local newspapers. There is almost nothing written about how great was the Winterfest weekend (Feb. 9th to 11th). Of course, we can see a bunch of pictures from the weekend in both newspapers.

There is no single line saying how happy the people were to watch or be part of the parade. No single line saying how amazed the kids were to see lamas, costumed dogs, big horses, Potato Jack or the dragon boat. No single line about our Scottish bagpipe player, nor about the amateur performers. No single line about the teepee installed right in the middle of the village.

No single line saying that the Hairfarmers and the fire dancers were just wonderful and that the public was cheerful, mixing people from 0 to 77 years (maybe more). Oh, and I heard that about 30 people attended the Polar Bear Swim on Sunday (with at least one Aussie guy in that lot).

I wanted to say that the Pemberton Winterfest was a very great idea and I wanted to thank everyone who took part in its organization. This community is really awesome and I'm saying it loud so that our newspapers can hear us next time that something really good is happening up here. Maybe a SummerFfest?

Pearl Winchester



The pipe and the piper

The Pemberton Valley Winterfest Committee sincerely regrets having missed thanking the following people and sponsors for helping us make this event the best Winterfest ever.

Missed but not forgotten: Brent Pipe from the Pemberton General Store, who generously gave musical instruments for the children in the Balloon sale event, and Kim Reid, who played the pipes in the parade, creating the cadence for the marchers and floats — sponsored by the Drumkeeran House. Thank you ever so much!

France Lamontagne

Spirit of BC

Pemberton Valley Winterfest Committee


It takes a village…

I wish to thank the people of Whistler, and those who passed through, for the goodwill, friendship and love that has been my experience in 10 years at the Black Comb Barber Shoppe.

Thank you Amanda for your great spirit and help raising my children.

Thank you Lisa for being who you are and the pleasure it has been working side by side through the years.

Thank you Beverly Oakley and Rick Smith for your invaluable influence to my children, now fine young adults.

Thank you Kevin Sanslone, Kale Stephens, Mike Michaelchuck, Darren Chalmers and Ross Rebagliatti for being good heroes to my boy, now a man.

Thank you Hannah Steiner and Peter Alder.

I am also grateful to have been in what I believe is the Happiest Town in the World this winter. Skol. I may yet return to the barber shop in high times as a ringer, because as the proprietress says, “Once you go Black you never go back,” and because I will miss you all.

Julie Malcolm