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Legacy Book of Whistler

A History of Community Builders

We believe it is both important and compelling to capture the stories of people who have contributed in significant ways to building this young, successful, thriving and unique town.

The Legacy Book of Whistler is a repository for Whistler stories. It is a central location to honour the people who have discovered, fell in love with, stayed to build this wonderful town of ours and, in some cases, left.

Read more to find out how these vital people contributed to the Whistler Community Foundation and share our sense of gratitude for the many people whose collective efforts have made this town what it is and laid the ground work for what it becomes.

Isobel's "Alpine Beauties"

Isobel’s “Alpine Beauties” adorns the cover of the Legacy Book of Whistler. It captures the colour and spirit of the Whistler community, just as we hope the book will capture the colourful personalities and spirit of those who call Whistler home.

The Whistler Community Foundation thanks Isobel MacLauren for allowing us to use this piece to represent the Legacy Book of Whistler.

About the Artist

Drawing the scenery and wildlife near her home at Rothesay, New Brunswick, Canada, at the early age of eight, was the beginning of Isobel’s artistic life. Formal training was completed in St. John N.B under the guiding talents of Miller Brittain, Jack Humphrey, and Fred Ross. Skilled in many dimensions, Isobel enjoys the challenges of calligraphy, graphic arts, fashion design, and all mediums of fine arts.

Isobel came to the forefront of Whistler’s art community by capturing the natural beauty of the area, and her artistic talents have been commissioned throughout the valley; on the menus in the Chateau Whistler, as wall murals on many alpine chalets, and in information signage along the local trails and highways. The breathtaking view of Alpha Lake and Whistler Mountain from Isobel’s alpine studio inspires the depth and beauty of her art.

Isobel’s interpretive murals can be found on both Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, in the Cook Islands, and at the University of the South Pacific in Fifi. Isobel is an active member of the art world belonging to the Federation of Canadian Artists, the Otago Art Society of New Zealand, the Vancouver Arts Council and the Whistler Arts Council.

Shaping Whistler's Story

Since 1973, Karl Ricker organized the annual effort to monitor the health — and retreat — of Wedgemont and Overlord glaciers.

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In the late 70s, when he was evicting squatters, Jim Moodie never imagined one of them would be the mayor he’d approach in 2012 with the proposal for Michael’s museum. But Nancy Wilhelm-Morden loved the proposal and the 56,000 square foot, Patkua-designed building opened in March 2016, forever establishing Whistler as a player in art & culture.

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Whistler Adaptive Coach

In a lifetime of working with outstanding people who helped build Whistler, one of Doug’s favourite memories is spending the winter of 1981/82 discovering Blackcomb mountain with long-time friend Cliff Jennings.

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Peter Alder: As a part of our legacy, both Trudy and I would like to see the rebuilding of a Whistler Chapel on Whistler Mountain, a place for the community to reflect and celebrate, similar in spirit to the original chapel.

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Joan & Marcel Richoz What happens when a woman from Vancouver, with a latent love of books, art and culture, and a skier from Switzerland,

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The American Friends of Whistler Whistler is a unique Canadian success story, right? Sort of. Fact is, Whistler’s roots are undeniably American. The Whistler we

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Doug and Mary Forseth

Doug and Mary Forseth Like many of the people who pioneered, shaped, built and nourished Whistler, Mary and Doug Forseth’s roots stretch south of the

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Ginny and Kerry Dennehy We made our home in West Vancouver with our two children, Kelty and Riley. But we were fortunate to have a

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It’s not every 21st century town that can claim its first woman mayor was also an early squatter. But then, Whistler isn’t every town.

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Bob Barnett

Bob Barnett: The mountains and the forests are the initial inspirations when someone comes to Whistler, but in time you learn about the remarkable people who built Whistler and those who are still building and shaping Whistler. These people are truly inspiring.

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Jill Ackhurst

Jill Ackhurst took a particular interest in the annual flow of young people to the community and was concerned about their lack of connection to the roots of the Whistler community. 

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Anne Townley at the beach

Anne Townley thought Whistler was a stop en route to Alaska where she was planning on a career in outdoor guiding. That was 1982. She hasn’t been to Alaska yet.

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Sue and Bob Adams

Along the way, Bob and Sue Adams mentored a generation of bright employees, helped a number to strike out on their own, sold the Upper Village Market to their very able manager and became the kind of business owners smart, ambitious people wanted to work for.

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Anne Popma & Garry Watson

On arriving in Whistler, Anne Popma & Garry Watson both immediately became deeply involved in community developments.

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That Marlene Siemens was a mountain girl was never in doubt. That her natural inclination for altitude was latent was understandable

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