In December of last year, we embarked on a 10-part video series that aimed to answer the question – Why Whistler?
We wanted to know what drew people to this mountain resort in the Canadian Coast Mountains, and then wouldn’t let some of them go? What makes some people toss their secure, nine-to-five job out the window in exchange for some time on these slopes? What makes them raise a family here? Open a business? What gets under their skin and embeds itself so deep that Whistler becomes part of their soul?
Although we asked a variety of people with different occupations, ages and backgrounds, the answers shared some similarities, although each unique to the perspective and life story of the Whistler local we connected with.
Here’s a recap of our five winter videos, which might give you some inspiration for joining us in the mountains; whether you stay for a few days, a season, or a lifetime.
Mike Conway, Physiotherapist & Business Owner
In video 1, we chatted with Mike Conway, a physiotherapist and the co-owner of Back In Action Physiotherapy about treating the Canadian Ski Cross Team, what it’s like to be on Whistler’s Search and Rescue team and how it feels to raise a family in a ski resort.
“I didn’t really know what my dream life was. I knew that nature was something I’d really like to be in, I didn’t like the city-style of things where everything is really close. I got into some things in Whistler that I didn’t even know I was interested in or that would become a life goal to pursue. My dream life keeps evolving here.”
Ed & Natasha Tatton, Bakers & Business Owners
In video 2, we chatted with Ed and Natasha Tatton, Co-Owners of BReD, an organic sourdough bakery that’s one hundred percent plant-based and vegan friendly. Originally from the UK, they talk about entrepreneurship, snowboarding and having the courage (and community) to take a leap of faith.
“When I moved here, I met my people. I found an awesome group of people who were into outdoor sports, health and wellbeing, and the environment.” Natasha
Kylie Wilkins, Assistant Manager at Vallea Lumina
In video 3, we chatted with Kylie Wilkins, Assistant Manager at The Adventure Group’s Vallea Lumina, a multimedia light show set deep in Whistler’s forest. She grew up in the Sea to Sky and talks about why she returned, what it’s like to work in the tourism industry and how it feels to make people smile.
“Whistler’s amazing because you can walk out your front door and do so many activities, and meet people from all over the world. You can have a different experience every day. It’s accessible and things are so close. I can go for a ski before I go to work – there are not many places in the world where you can do that.”
Jay & James Paré, Restaurateurs
In video 4, we chatted with Jay and James Paré, an uncle and nephew team who co-own and manage Caramba and Quattro at Whistler, two of Whistler’s most established and loved restaurants. We talk about the chaotic nature of the food and beverage industry, what it’s like to work with family and taking over a business during a pandemic.
“We’ve got the best playground in our backyard. It’s phenomenal. Summer, fall, winter, spring – it’s an awesome resort all year round and it’s an hour and a half from Vancouver if you want the big city feel now and again.” Jay
Court Larabee, Executive Director of Indigenous Life Sport Academy
In Video 5, we chatted with Siginaak (Blackbird in the Anishinaabemowin language), Court Larabee, Indigenous Relations Specialist at Vail Resorts and Executive Director of Indigenous Life Sport Academy. We talk about building cultural bridges, mountains and mental health, and why it’s important that we all fall once in a while.
“As soon as I arrived I fell in love with this place, with the community, it was the first place where I thrived rather than just survived. I also found a purpose here, which is to bond communities and create recreational opportunities for youth that our ancestors never had the chance to experience.”
Locals, like the people featured above, are the beating heart of Whistler, which is made up of passionate entrepreneurs, tireless workers and small business owners who all love to revel in the mountains. Check out the full 10-part series to hear what it’s like in the summer months.
We hope this might have inspired you to join us in the mountains sometime soon, for however long you choose to stay.
Ross Reid is our talented videographer on this project. To see more of his work visit his website.