In Whistler, we all know nature is awesome. But there are many different reasons why each individual might think so.
AWARE’s membership is predominantly made up of Sea-to-Sky residents from a variety of different backgrounds who are connected to Whistler’s natural environment in many different ways. Each member differs in what they value most about Whistler’s nature, as well as in the reasons behind choosing to support AWARE’s mission to protect it.
We wanted to hear these reasons and share them with the community, so we asked some of our members to share their story. We hope you enjoy the result and are inspired to take action to protect what you value most about your #NaturalWhistler, whatever that may be.
Arthur De Jong
Arthur is Whistler Blackcomb’s Mountain Planning and Environmental Resource Manager. Arthur moved to Whistler as a teenager and immediately connected with the natural environment. Being out alone or with close friends in Whistler’s wild places, such as the Upper Spearhead and Fitzsimmons ranges, is when he feels closest to his conscience. The number one environmental issue on Arthur’s priority list is climate change.
Asta is a local textiles artist who was drawn to Whistler because of the mountains. She feels most connected to Whistler’s nature through learning more and more about the local environment. The environmental issue she is most passionate about is consumerism and so more and more she has been focusing on aligning her consumer choices with her values. She is also trying to delve deeper into the conservation and advocacy side of protecting Whistler’s natural environment.
Cheeying is the Executive Director of the Whistler Centre for Sustainability. She feels connected to nature because it’s all around us in Whistler and is so easily accessible. The environmental issue she is most passionate about is transportation, because it’s not only an environmental issue, but a social one as well.
Chris is the Manager of the Whistler Farmers’ Market. He moved here over thirty years ago from Nanaimo, BC, but never ceases to be amazed by Whistler’s natural beauty. Whether riding up the mountain on a powder morning, enjoying a mesmerising alpine glow, or appreciating the look of wonder on someone’s face when they head up the mountain for the first time, Chris is always able to revamp his stoke for being here. His number one environmental issue is food security and so is extremely passionate about his role as Farmers’ Market Manager.
Clare is the Executive Director of the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council. Clare is one of Whistler’s many “walking cliches”; she moved here for a season but quickly fell in love with the place. Clare feels connected to Whistler’s natural environment through her job because she works to protect the area’s natural flora and fauna, but also through all the amazing recreational activities that Whistler has to offer. She’s passionate about controlling invasive species because she has experienced firsthand the rehabilitation of natural ecosystems when those threats and pressures are removed.
Diana is the Principal Advisor of Seeds Consulting, a Whistler-based strategy and marketing consultation business that focuses on creating positive change. Diana moved to Whistler because she wanted to wake up everyday in the mountains. She values how easily accessible nature is in Whistler. At the moment, she is most passionate about the issue of cutting down old growth forests.
Hilarie co-owns Whistler’s newest restaurant, Hunter Gather, as well as the successful catering business Whistler Cooks, with her husband Grant. One of the things Hilarie values most about Whistler’s wilderness backyard is the fact that her family can breathe fresh mountain air and still appreciate a night sky full of stars. She tries to never take Whistler’s beauty for granted. Being in the food business, genetically modified foods is the issue she is most passionate about and she is extremely grateful that BC farmers can provide her restaurant with clean, unmodified ingredients.
Mike is a professional skier and filmmaker. Skiing is obviously what drew Mike to Whistler but the community is what kept him here. Mike believes that Whistler has such a strong community of people who care about the environment because everyone here spends so much time in the outdoors. The environmental issue Mike is most passionate about is climate change. Being a skier, he has spent a lot of time in mountains and glaciers where he has seen shocking change over the past thirty years.
Mo is the Executive Director of Arts Whistler. She has lived here for over thirty years and can’t imagine being anywhere else. She feels connected to Whistler’s natural environment through the time she spends out in nature as well as through seeing nature featured in the work of almost every Whistler artist. The environmental issue she is most passionate about is climate change.
Randi’s ‘day job’ is her position with the Resort Municipality of Whistler as a social marketer, but her true passion is her business Ski Heaven. Ski Heaven upcycles used skis and snowboards into art and furniture. Randi hopes that Ski Heaven’s pieces will serve as a reminder of the need for innovation and action against climate change, which is the environmental issue she is most passionate about.
Taniell is Whistler Blackcomb’s Waste Reduction Specialist. She first came to Whistler for the skiing but has stayed because she loves the people. She strongly believes in the importance of educating people, especially youth, on environmental matters. The environmental issue she is most passionate about is climate change because if we could protect the stability of our atmosphere and climate, essentially we could protect all other environmental issues.
AWARE is a member-driven charity that benefits from a diverse and abundant array of supporters. Our members help us set AWARE’s direction and priorities, and support our role as a voice for nature in Whistler and the Sea to Sky.
Help protect your #NaturalWhistler and become an AWARE member today:
Sign Up For An AWARE Membership