About

Influencing change and inspiring minds through education and thought leadership

The Whistler Institute gratefully and respectfully acknowledges that we operate on the land now known as Whistler that lies in the traditional unceded territory of the Sk̲wx̲wú7mesh and Líl̓wat Nations.

The Whistler Institute is committed to making a difference by partnering with individuals and organizations that are dedicated to providing opportunities for learning and influencing change; by encouraging innovation and creativity in learning opportunities; by thoughtful consideration of global issues; by connecting with leading subject experts, communities and institutions to affect change; and by inspiring individuals and organizations to take initiative.

The Global Perspectives Speaker Series is designed to stimulate discussion and inspire action around major issues facing the world today and into the future. Global Perspectives brings together leading experts in a panel setting to discuss important topics and to provide a roadmap for local action while influencing globally.

The Whistler Institute’s creative educational programs delivered in partnership with postsecondary institutions and independent educators provide micro-credentials, certificates, diplomas and degrees in a variety of disciplines. The Institute’s educational programs act as an incubator for new ideas by providing innovative learning and development opportunities to meet the unique needs of this region.

Key areas of focus include Indigenous learning, environmental studies, business and leadership training, and innovation in technology.

The Whistler Institute is a registered charity that is funded through private donors, foundations, government grants and fees for service.

The Whistler Institute has three priorities

The Whistler Institute Supporter Information Pack

The Global Perspectives Speaker Series priority is supported by four directions:

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The Educational Programs priority is supported by five directions:

The Whistler Institute Supporter Information Pack

The Financial Sustainability priority is supported by four directions:

The History of the Whistler Institute

The Whistler Learning Centre Society was incorporated in 2015, formalizing the Whistler Education Group that had formed in 2012 as an independent group to re-imagine how educational opportunities could enhance the Whistler experience. Shortly after, stakeholder and community engagement commenced, research and needs assessments were undertaken, and strong partnerships began to form.

In 2018 the Whistler Learning Centre gained charitable status to assist in its mission to facilitate and promote life-long learning opportunities in the community of Whistler for residents and visitors.

By the end of 2020 the Whistler Learning Centre had delivered over 24 courses in Whistler in collaboration with renowned public postsecondary institutions (British Columbia Institute of Technology, Vancouver Island University, University of Northern BC) and independent instructors as well as launching an acclaimed speaker’s series focused on thought leadership.

In January 2021 the Whistler Learning Centre changed its name to the Whistler Institute of Learning Society to better reflect the breadth and depth of its activities and operates as the Whistler Institute.

The Whistler Institute plans to grow and diversify its course offerings through strong partnerships with post-secondary institutions, local and indigenous educators to meet the needs of the communities in the Sea to Sky Region. This will include hosting more thought leadership forums through an innovative speaker series, launching a new Indigenous & Intercultural Awareness course in collaboration with BCIT and the Lil’wat Nation to facilitate local employment of Lil’wat Nation members and support reconciliation efforts, and developing three new programs to improve mental wellness in First Nations communities.

The Whistler Institute Team

Dave Williamson

Director, Board Chair

Diana Chan

Director, Treasurer

Justine Nichol

Director, Vice Chair / Secretary

Jack Crompton

Ex officio board member

Suki Cheyne

Executive Director

Jennifer Ford

Marketing & Community Development Coordinator

Leslie Alexander

Director, Vice Chair

Founders and the Road Ahead

Along with core partnerships with post-secondary institutions, independent educators, and resort associations, the Whistler Institute has been generously supported by Visionary Founders: McLean Group and Raindrop Foundation,  Patrons: Duane Jackson, Bill Kunzweiler, Bob & Sue Adams, as well as grants from the Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust, Whistler Community Foundation, Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, and the Resort Municipality of Whistler.

In the immediate term, The Whistler Institute is seeking financial support in order to develop and deliver educational opportunities within Whistler and embed thought leadership as a fundamental pillar of Whistler’s place-branding, while contributing to the overall well-being of this community.

Founders value building education as a pillar of the Whistler’s social and economic fibre. Founders are passionate about diversifying Whistler’s social, economic and cultural community. Financial support makes the Global Perspectives speaker series possible and ensures funding of annual programs.

To learn more about our Patron Program and how individuals and businesses can support the Whistler Institute please contact the Executive Director.

The Whistler Institute is the operating name of the Whistler Institute of Learning Society, a registered Canadian charity. Charitable tax receipts are issued in accordance with CRA guidelines.