museum stories 

Like Myrtle Philip has come to personify the Alta Lake community, Seppo Makinen symbolizes the beginning of the second chapter in the valley’s young history – the birth of skiing at Whistler. Seppo and the beginning of skiing is the theme chosen by the Whistler Museum and Archives Society for an evening of story telling on Heritage Night, Feb. 24. The museum held its first successful story telling evening last year and the goal is to now make it a bi-annual event, said museum and archive society president Darlyne Christian. The museum also hopes to use this event to build on creating a video archive. The story tellers will be filmed by Scott Roberts and footage stored in the museum library. "It will be a step toward compiling a really good video archive of people who lived in the valley... the pioneers and their stories. This is a start," said Christian. She said the point is driven home "because Seppo is no longer with us and he is on everyone’s minds." The museum had been negotiating with Seppo to tell his story on camera last year. Instead, Whistlerites will now be able to relate their memories of Seppo, the loggers and the arrival of the skiers. Mayor Hugh O’Reilly has already committed to telling his tale on Heritage Night, said Christian. O’Reilly helped log ski runs on Blackcomb in the ’70s, she said. She is asking anyone with a tale to tell to give her a call at the museum at 932-2019 or her home at 938-1223. "They don’t have to be long stories — five, maybe 10 minutes at the longest. They can just be little anecdotes. The museum is also asking anyone with photographs or mementoes of Seppo to consider donating them to the museum. "We have very little of his stuff," said Christian The story telling gets underway at 7:30 p.m. and refreshments will be provided.

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