Feature - Callaghan Valley 

Is the Callaghan Whistler’s key to sustainability?

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A long-term look at what the community needs and what opportunities exist

I am stirred awake by my husband’s clunking ski boots. It seems that the weather forecast must have been right. He catches my bleary eye. "We had 20 cm of new again, I am off to take a small tour up Brandywine with Mikey. I will be back in the office at 10." I look at the clock it is still dark, just 6:45 a.m. I am still contemplating catching another hour of sleep, before I hop on the train for a noon meeting in Vancouver when my teenage daughter hollers, "Coach is letting us try the 90 metre Mom, wish me luck." I cringe; I still have a hard time watching her launch off the jumps at Olympic Park. But the facility is just up the road and has been tempting her since she was 10 and watched the Canadian favourite capture gold. The door slams shut as my worry meter start to rise. The phone rings – "Hey Mom guess what?" The cheery and particularly loud voice is that of my 20 year old son. He goes to college every day just five minutes away, but chooses to live near the village, closer to his part time job and the action. "I have a second interview for an apprenticeship in town. If I get the job I won’t have to leave the trails and the powdies." After providing the expected enthusiastic proud parental response, I pause to think how I never would have predicted 15 years ago that I would still be raising my family in Whistler, where we can all earn a decent living, have a modest home, and where our kids may actually be part of Whistler’s second and third generations.

By Caroline Lamont

In the early 1970s a group of visionary spirits attempted to bring Whistler into the spotlight as the host for the 1976 Olympic Winter Games. It was the expectation that the Olympics would provide the needed planning and infrastructure for the development of a mountain destination resort. Garry Watson, a long time local who was involved with the effort remembers that "Whistler had the best technical bid but was unsuccessful due to Montreal winning the Summer Games." But the bid was worth it as it contributed to interest in Whistler as a winter ski resort, leading to the incorporation of the Resort Municipality and construction of a pedestrian oriented village. The first Olympic bid although not triumphant, provided the planning and the process to ensure that Whistler Village could be a lasting legacy.

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