Saucy stories part of Whistler history 

Tall tales of Whistler presented at Whistler Arts Council’s 25thanniversary celebration

What: Our Whistler: Honouring our History

When: Saturday, Oct. 27, 6 p.m.

Where: Four Seasons Resort

Tickets: $125

Whistler Arts Council board member Heather Clifford was listening to a few how-Whistler-became-Whistler yarns at a local party.

Peter Alder talked about how Whistler’s bed count came about — someone sat down and said if 10,000 people can ski on this mountain and 15,000 on the other mountain, and they all come with one other person, then 50,000 sounds like a reasonable number.

Florence Petersen talked about Whistler’s first bank robbery — the trailer that housed the bank was towed away in the middle of the night.

Clifford realized she was not only enjoying learning about Whistler’s quirks and quarks, but that other people would love to hear these kitchen talks, and better yet, they would pay to hear them.

“It wasn’t just me that was being inspired,” Clifford said. “Everyone at the party wanted to hear the stories.”

And so a fundraising storytelling gathering and dinner was born to celebrate the Whistler Arts Council’s 25 th anniversary.

Whistler’s arts umbrella organization will celebrate the quarter-century milestone with Our Whistler: Honouring our History on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. at the Four Seasons Resort.

Yarns will cover multiple facets of Whistler, from its success as a world-class resort to on the ground tattle tales on community members.

“Hugh (Smythe)’s job on the mountain was to watch Binty Massey,” Clifford said of the former ski bum turned master potter. “Binty wanted his name inscribed on every chair on the mountain.”

Story tellers for the evening include Smythe, who started with Whistler Mountain in 1966, and Massey. Also speaking will be Brian Brown, one of Whistler’s original surveyors; Colin Pitt Taylor, Whistler resident of almost 40 years; Florence Petersen, friend to Myrtle Philip; Garry Watson, one of Whistler’s first councilors; John Hetherington, one of Whistler’s original heli-skiing guides; Lynn Mathews, original marketing staff for then Whistler Mountain; Marika Richoz, born and raised Whistlerite; Terry “Toulouse” Spence, national team member for 25 years; and Drew Meredith; former Whistler mayor.

Stories from the evening will be documented in a coffee table book as well as a documentary to be sold at the 2010 Games to raise funds for the arts council.

Along with stories, the evening will include an Isobel MacLaurin art exhibit and special honouring of 25 Whistlerites who have now passed on, but left a lasting legacy in the community.

Our Whistler: Honouring Our History begins with a reception at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and storytelling at 8:15 p.m. at the Four Seasons Resort. Advance $125 tickets are now on sale. (A $100 tax receipt per ticket will be issued.) Funds raised by the event will support Whistler Arts Council events.

Tickets are on sale at or by calling 604-938-9221.

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