After winning Whistler Citizen of the Year in 2010, late Councillor Andrée Janyk spoke to Pique about the joy she took in helping grow youth sports in Whistler.
"One of my favourite things was starting the soccer club and giving the kids in this town a chance to play a great game," she said at the time. "I love refereeing soccer, I love anything that makes children's faces light up. It gives me nothing but the great bound of joy."
Despite losing her battle with cancer in 2017, Janyk's legacy of helping grow youth sports in Whistler will continue for years to come.
On Sunday afternoon, Nov. 4, the community gathered to honour Janyk with an official naming and dedication ceremony for the newly built Andrée Vajda Janyk Sports Field at Cheakamus Crossing.
The rain held off and the sun shone through the clouds as Janyk's family, friends and fellow volunteers took to the microphone to share stories about the late councillor, while kids kicked around soccer balls on the brand-new turf in the background.
"Andrée was a very engaged and passionate soccer coach and referee, and naming this field after her is just a wonderful tribute to her life and contributions to the community," said outgoing Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden in a release. "From all of us in the community, thank you Andrée for your tireless work, commitment and dedication. You are dearly missed."
Janyk was well known for being a dedicated volunteer who continuously showed her passion for the Whistler community, particularly when it came to youth, education and sport development. To that end, the new artificial turf field, "will provide an improved outdoor playing surface in Whistler, and help meet the community's high demand for sport fields now and into the future," according to the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) release.
Whistler council voted unanimously to name the new sports field in Janyk's honour on Oct. 2.
The Andrée Vajda Janyk Sports Field will open to the public in the spring of 2019.
-with files from Alison Taylor