The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation has released $145,000 for Sea to Sky non-profits in their latest round of grants announced last week (Nov. 1), including $35,000 to the Pemberton BMX Society to help them purchase a new start gate.
The start gate the club is currently using was donated by another club, and is both loud and difficult to use. With athletes taking various national titles at the Canada BMX Grand Nationals only a few weeks ago, the club made a case for upgrading its equipment.
“They have been using an old and outdated donated start gate which got them through their first season, but unfortunately it’s not up to safety standards,” said Mei McCurdy, executive director of the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation. “We couldn’t be happier to provide them with the funds to do this. We think it’s a great organization, and the community of Pemberton has worked so hard to make their first season so successful.”
The Whistler Children’s Centre was granted $20,000 to build two new playground structures for the Sprouts and Periwinkles programs; the Howe Sound Women’s Centre was granted $16,500 for capital improvements for emergency transition homes serving Sea to Sky; Whistler Secondary was granted $16,000 for soccer team uniforms, a high-jump mat, and new ovens for food and nutrition classes; the Squamish Hospital Foundation received $12,000 for a Sim-Man 3G Patient Simulator; and Zero Ceiling was granted $11,000 for their Life Coaching Program and Work 2 Live Summer Program.
As well, the Whistler Arts Council received $11,070 for new equipment for Millennium Place from the WBF Presentation Technology Fund. Garibaldi Highlands Elementary received $9,000 for three Smart Boards for Grade 7 students. They are currently the only class currently not using Smart Board technology.
Other smaller grants went to the Pemberton Food Bank, the Moving Mountains for Children program, Pemberton Secondary’s Outdoor Program, the Dance Whistler Association and Bratz Biz.
The WBF raises money at major fundraisers including the Telus Golf Classic, which raised a record of $155,000 this year, plus the Telus Winter Classic in January. For more, visit www.whistlerblackcombfoundation.com.
As well the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation’s Environmental Fund matches all employee donations to that fund, with many employees agreeing to donate a portion of their paycheques back to the community. So far this year employees have contributed over $25,000 to that fund.
Whistler International Campus hosts project update
The proponents of Whistler International Campus, a proposed higher learning centre that would include secondary and post-secondary schooling for up to 1,500 students, is hosting a Project Update & Info Session next Wednesday (Nov. 13), from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Millennium Place. The latest WIC news and design drawings will be shared, as well as all the latest updates on a project that has been in the works for the better than of six years.
For more, visit www.whistlerinternationalcampus.com.
Whistler Blackcomb the party animal in resort rankings
The latest edition of Outside Magazine has dubbed Whistler Blackcomb “The “Spring Breaker” in its rundown of popular North American ski resorts.
The feature takes a yearbook approach rather than ranking resorts in comparison using a scoring system. For example, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is dubbed “The Powder Fiend,” and Deer Valley, Utah, is “The Escapist.”
Here’s what Outside had to say about WB:
“For ten days each April, Whistler Village goes nuts during the World Ski and Snowboard Festival. Competitions draw top skiers and boarders, while bands like Nas, Chaos, and the Swollen Members play free concerts that blur into all-night dance parties at every bar in the village. Of course April is also one of the best times of the year to ski in British Columbia. If there’s fresh snow, as there was last year, head to the Harmony Zone on Whistler Mountain or the Crystal Zone on Blackcomb Mountain (the secret powder stash for locals).”
Other resorts classified as “The Spring Breaker” include Vail, Colorado; Mount Bachelor, Oregon; and Arapahoe Basin, Colorado.
Whistler continuing to pursue Coat of Arms
At tonight’s council meeting (Nov. 5), members of Whistler Council will decide whether to pursue an official coat of arms, making an official submission to the Canadian Heraldic Authority.
The motion includes approval for the application, as well as the creation of a Select Committee of Council — the Coat of Arms Committee — to work on the project and help select the final design.
The coat of arms tradition dates back to the 12th century. Currently 62 of the 161 municipalities in B.C. have coats of arms, including the City of Vancouver and City of Victoria.
The estimated cost of the process is between $1,835 and $5,735, depending on how much is paid to the artist, the cost of registration and other considerations, including legal text. The timeline for final approval is 12 to 14 months.
It’s unclear who will design the coat of arms and whether it will be opened up to the public. The municipality is not allowed to design the herald in-house.
Grade 4 and 5 SnowPass program details announced
The Canadian Ski Council announced the details of their Grade 4 and 5 SnowPass program for the coming season, including the ability to purchase three tickets at any of the 150 participating ski areas across Canada for the cost of $29.95.
Kids can get three days at any participating resort for that price, which means a Grade 4/5 student growing up in this region can get three days at Whistler Blackcomb, three days at Cypress, Grouse, Seymour, Mt. Washington, Hemlock, or any of the 32 participating resorts in B.C. for the cost of a pass.
Whistler Blackcomb has been a participant in the program since it was launched.
There are a few blackout dates and restrictions — for example, parents have to have or purchase a pass to be eligible at Whistler Blackcomb.
You have to apply online at www.skicanada.org/grade-4-5-snowpass/ with a JPEG image of your child and a JPEG of your child’s proof of age.
Criminal record checks free for Volunteers starting Nov. 30
The provincial government is making changes to the criminal record check system, effective Nov. 30, that will make the process free for individuals applying for volunteer positions at recognized non-profits. That includes charities, sports organizations and other not-for-profit community organizations where background checks are required.
As well, changes will make it easier to share those criminal checks between non-profits and increase opportunities for volunteers and non-profits. Businesses and for-profit entities can also access those records without requiring a separate check — you’ll still have to pay to provide your check to a private or for-profit organization, but it won’t take weeks to get the results if they’re already available and current.
Non-profits will have to opt in to the program to take advantage of the changes.
“These changes are about relieving cost and time pressures for many volunteer and non-profit organizations so they can focus on delivering great services and programs,” said Attorney General Suzanne Anton. “Many leading groups in the sector asked for relief from the costs of criminal record checks for their volunteers, and we’re making it happen because it’s absolutely the right thing to do — for volunteerism in B.C., for the organizations and for the safety of those they serve.”
Some volunteer applications are already processed for free, including people who volunteer for schools, while other organizations such as sports associations will usually cover the cost for their volunteer coaches and officials.
One downside of the changes is that the cost of a criminal record check will go up to $28 from $20 to ensure that the program continues to cover its cost. The checks are good for five years, and paid for criminal record checks can now be used for more than one purpose.
Groups will still be allowed to conduct their own safety checks of volunteers and staff, but the cost of those checks won’t be covered by government.