Whistler Centre for Sustainability
Ahhh, Whistler... Often described as "Disneyland" for outdoor enthusiasts, people flock from around the world to live and play in our mountains and village.
But when push comes to shove Whistler really is just a small town. With a permanent population of around 10,000, Whistler is smaller than other B.C. towns such as Williams Lake and Dawson Creek. Of course this poses little consequence to the many people that choose to live here, but what about those who didn't choose Whistler? To some of the teenage population, it's just another boring small town with nothing to do except get into trouble. Not every Whistler kid is a mountain bike/skiing/skate/snowboarding phenom; most of them are just regular sleep-in-til-noon teenagers!
When the question "What would you like to do?" was posed to local youth last winter the answer was pretty much unanimous and resoundingly simple; all they wanted were a few free events and a chance to meet more people their age from different Sea to Sky communities.
Based on that input, the B.C. Healthy Living Alliance (BCHLA), Sea to Sky Community Services (SSCS) and the Whistler Centre for Sustainability all teamed up this summer to offer resources and money to the youth of Skatin, D'Arcy, Mt. Currie, Pemberton, Whistler and Squamish to help them organize youth engagement events.
It began with the formation of "The Spot," a committee comprised of 20 youth from across the Sea to Sky corridor from Squamish up to the In-SHUCK-ch communities around Lillooet Lake. The Spot members met in Pemberton in early July to begin planning their events. What they realized during this planning is the upcoming events were only hours long and committee members wanted a more lasting way of interacting. They wanted a forum where they could showcase their community's events, their friends' talents, their favorite restaurants, their top five bands... They wanted a way of communicating despite the geographical barriers between them. So the idea of starting a youth-based, corridor wide blog was born.
Cooper Saver, 16, of Whistler says: "In our blog, I'd like to see relevant content that everyone can relate to, or at least expresses the desire for more youth involvement in the community, because that is what Whistler is missing for people of my age."
Teens like Shelise Woods, 15, from Squamish wanted to see "things like youth opinions, music and pictures."
Tyrell Taylor, 17, also from Squamish, says he would like to see, "rants" and "anything that could gain public attention to artwork and other people's opinions and activities."
A blog is the perfect forum to showcase everyone's desired topics, is easily accessible, and serves as a way for The Spot committee members to advertise their local events.
Cameron Watts, 17, adds that, "everyone wants entertainment and to be informed about events happening where they live."
The blog began in earnest mid-August (find it at www.thespotcentre.com ) and already hosts contributions ranging from rants about sex and music to reviews and photo journals of events like Crankworx, Chill on the Hill, and Late Night Shred. The Spot committee will continue to promote and profile regional youth get-togethers, ideas and happenings as a component of the blog.
Hopefully this winter thespotcentre.com will be the place where local and visiting youth head to find out what do if they're ever feeling bored. In the wise words of 16-year-old Cooper thespotcentre.com will, "show other teens in the corridor that more things can happen when we all get together and do it. It shows that youth can be active given the right opportunities."
To learn more about actions which are moving Whistler toward our 2020 vision, or to get involved, go to whistler2020.ca