Whistler celebrates BC Culture Days

Also in brief: Wildlife advocate recognized by RMOW, solid waste bylaw adopted

Whistler’s arts and culture community will be front and centre next weekend (Sept. 29 to Oct. 1) as the municipality gears up to celebrate BC Culture Days.

A nation-wide initiative, Culture Days is a volunteer-led movement that aims to increase involvement in the arts as well as the cultural life of Canadian communities. In Whistler, that translates into the Audain Art Museum, Arts Whistler, the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre the Whistler Museum and the Chamber of Commerce, and the RMOW teaming up to encourage both residents and guests to spend some time visiting the Cultural Connector, 57 public art installations and dozens of natural heritage information panels located within the community.

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As part of the celebrations, several local artists will also be spending their weekend producing live art along the Cultural Connector’s path through the Village, while artist Jessa Gilbert gets to work on the final stages of a new public art mural located on the Creekside underpass, funded by the RMOW.

“BC Culture Days is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the Cultural Connector. It is an affirmation of Whistler’s increasing reputation for the arts, heritage and natural history,” said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden in a release. “The amenities are already popular with visitors, and we want residents to explore them as well.”

Dolson recognized for years of wildlife advocacy

After over two decades spent advocating for bears in the Whistler area, Sylvia Dolson is moving on. But before she officially waves goodbye to the resort and heads towards her new home on the Sunshine Coast, the executive director of the Get Bear Smart Society was recognized by the RMOW for her years of service to the community — both the human and wildlife communities, that is — at last week’s municipal council meeting on Tuesday (Sept. 19).

“It’s great to have the work of the Get Bear Smart Society recognized by both the Resort Municipality of Whistler and the BC Conservation Officer Service,” wrote Dolson in an email. “I’m happy that the community has achieved BC Bear Smart Community status. But the work doesn’t stop there. The Whistler Bear Advisory Committee and its stakeholders will continue to meet monthly to talk about bear issues.”

But without Dolson at the Get Bear Smart Society’s helm, the committee is now left without a bear advocate. “The bears still need to have a voice at the table,” Dolson said. “I’m hoping that several community members will take up the task.”

“My work for bears will continue, wherever I am, and whether it’s black, grizzly or polar bears,” she continued. “I will also continue to work for other animals as well. All animals need a voice.”

Anyone wishing to get involved can contact info@bearsmart.com for more information.

Council adopts solid waste bylaw

Whistler is taking another step towards becoming a more sustainable community following the adoption of the solid waste bylaw at last Tuesday’s (Sept. 19) council meeting.

The bylaw will require local businesses and stratas to facilitate a three-stream system for separating waste by food-scrap organics, recyclables and landfill waste. As part of the bylaw, restaurants and other food-service providers are also required to submit a Solid Waste Management Plan as part of their business license application.

However, businesses and stratas will have time to make any necessary updates in compliance with the newly-adopted bylaw, while additional companion bylaw amendments to help businesses and stratas implement the changes were also adopted at the meeting. The municipality will focus on education throughout the next year, with enforcement fines scheduled to begin being doled out in August 2018.

In the meantime, “RMOW departments have been working together to ensure that the necessary space and zoning requirements to accommodate organic waste diversion bins in commercial and strata buildings are in place,” said the municipality in a release.

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