Several years ago, The Whistler Question made a decision to position itself as the community newspaper.
At the forefront of that evolution was a deep-seated commitment that its content would be relevant to the uniqueness of our resort town. In that quest, the powers that be of the day brought on local experts to write on a bevy of topics that fit the needs of the local population.
Their leap of faith to showcase opinion columnists who weren’t actually experienced journalists could have been met with skepticism and reluctance. Instead, the seasoned staff welcomed the concept and columnists were never made to feel anything less than professional and worthy.
This was back in 2004 and one of those columns had the mandate to cover the hot topics facing our business community. It was determined that this feature would offer up leading-edge human resources knowledge with a focus on people hiring staff and “how-to” tips for those seeking jobs. A certain entrepreneur who owned the employment agency in town ended up as this paper’s first business columnist.
Fast forward to 2007 and a new mandate to be a well-rounded resource doling out savvy business knowledge was set. That was a broad scope and a lot of ground was covered in the coming years: strategic planning, procrastination, mentorship, office bullying, leadership and so much more.
The vision was always to stay current and be relevant to the communities of Pemberton and Whistler. Of course, we are a resort that ultimately relies on tourism, but the theory was that to be truly successful, we need our local small businesses to thrive. Their impact stretches in to a community’s social fabric and undeniably contributes to our culture and authenticity. Frankly, that is all the more important in a place like Whistler that is committed to creating lasting memories for our guests.
Whistler 2020’s Economic Strategy is more proof of that as it lists the following as a description of success: “locally owned and operated businesses thrive and are encouraged as an essential component of a healthy business mix.”
Since the closure of The Whistler Question was announced a couple weeks ago, people have shared heartwarming stories of what this community newspaper has meant to them.
But let’s not forget that the founders of our remaining local print news source were two locals by the name of Bob and Kathy Barnett and that their dedication to the community is legendary. And although Pique Newsmagazine is now owned by big business, it is still run by people that are very much part of our Sea to Sky community.
Pique has yet to determine how their role will change, but the opportunity is for them to carry on supporting our community. They have already done that by absorbing all The Whistler Question staff in new roles, with the exception of those opinion columnists.
This is an admirable gesture especially since so many jobs have been lost in our community over the last year.
From my perspective, it has been an honour and privileged to write this “Biz Strategies” column for the last 14 years. Time is precious and I truly appreciate you having spent it reading and for enthusiastically sharing your feedback and ideas on topics that are important to you. We live in a wonderful community.
At Lighthouse Visionary Strategies, Cathy Goddard offers business and life coaching, workshops and is the founder of Lighthouse Mentor Network. She has proudly written this column for The Whistler Question since 2004.