2022 – A Year In Review At The Whistler Institute

Over the last 12 months, the Whistler Institute has continued to play a vital role in supporting our resort economy and improving the quality of life for this community through vibrant and compelling educational opportunities.

As 2022 draws to a close it presents the opportunity to look back on the year and reflect on just a few of the Whistler Institute’s achievements. The major accomplishments and important advancements at the Whistler Institute would not have been possible without the visionary commitment of the Founding donors, generosity of event sponsors, and support of the volunteer Board of Directors, in particular during an ongoing period of adversity due to pandemic and economic-related impacts. Our gratitude is immeasurable. 

The Year At A Glance
Beginning in early Spring the Whistler Institute Board of Directors undertook its annual strategic planning exercise to refresh the Strategic Framework for the Whistler Institute. This provided an opportunity to ensure the organization remains relevant and responds effectively to an ever-evolving operating landscape.

On April 21, in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Whistler Institute hosted
The Role of the Olympic Movement in an Ever-Changing World 
which brought together athletes and speakers from wide-ranging backgrounds to enable valuable and inspiring discussions about the potential global impact of the Olympics and Paralympics for generations to come. The evening showcased the Whistler Institute’s strength in bringing together compelling international thought leaders, facilitating engaging and meaningful conversations, and delivering excellence in event production. Videos of the event are available for viewing on the Whistler Institute website.

At the end of 2021, the Whistler Institute collaborated with the Whistler Chamber of Commerce and Whistler Personnel Solutions to launch a Local Workforce Survey throughout the Sea to Sky corridor to study the changing needs of workers and businesses in the region. The survey provided valuable data and helped to inform the Whistler Institute’s direction for course development and delivery in order to maximize community impact for years to come.

A strong relationship with BCIT combined with data from the Local Workforce Survey resulted in the introduction of a new practical Excel course which was offered in spring. BCIT also commenced development of a new short accredited management training course targeted at the Whistler Community. The course focuses on resolving conflict, managing performance, strength-based coaching, leading organizational change, and building talent to align with business strategy. The first cohort of students participated in the fall with more offerings planned for 2023. This course was complemented by another custom designed course for Whistler: Bookkeeping for Small Business with QuickBooks.

An instructor was hired for delivery of the Whistler Institute’s Indigenous and Intercultural Awareness Course and important updates to the course content were made based on the investigation of Residential Schools across Canada. The first group and public offerings of this program took place in July of this year, and continued into fall and winter. The program is offered in two parts: Part 1 is intended to support individuals on their path of reconciliation and help them learn about the history, traditions, and culture of the Lílw̓at7ul Nation. Part 2 is intended to assist local employers and their staff to recruit and retain employees from the Lílw̓at7ul Nation and create a welcoming workplace for employees from many cultures.

September brought some new faces to the Whistler Institute team. The Board welcomed new Director Cathy Jenkins and returning Directors Sue Adams and Dr. Stephen Milstein who founded the organization.

Looking Ahead
Within Educational Programming we continue to seek out new opportunities to enhance our local impact. BCIT has proven to be a valuable and community-minded partner whose input with Business, Leadership and Indigenous Programming is having a direct impact locally. We are exploring additional partnerships, including collaborating with Capilano University and Work BC on project-based labour market training to address the demand for early childhood educators and carpentry trades training.

Our partnership with Vancouver Community College to offer ITA Culinary Cook Programs at Ts’zil Learning Centre is progressing. A feasibility study concluded that retrofitting the kitchen at Ts’zil Learning Centre wasn’t viable and building an addition to the Centre would be the best solution, the next stage is to scope a budget for building work to inform fundraising plans for the project.

The Speaker Series will continue to grow with a forum scheduled for April 27, 2023 centred on resort community housing. The event’s panels will examine successful resort models and discuss critical housing initiatives in collaboration with the Canada West Ski Area Association. 

As we emerge from the lingering impacts of COVID-19, the Whistler Institute is eagerly focused on its long-term fundraising efforts and building upon the community of supporters that makes our important work possible. We look forward to a bright and prosperous 2023.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday season and a wonderful year ahead.