Freedom of the Municipality
The Freedom of the Resort Municipality of Whistler is the highest honour a council can bestow. The award honours citizens for their outstanding contributions to the community and in practical terms, the Freedom of the Municipality distinction gives the recipient the power to vote in Whistler elections regardless of property ownership or if they live in Whistler.
A council may, by unanimous vote, confer freedom of the municipality on a distinguished person or a distinguished unit of the armed forces of Canada or another nation.
Joan Richoz and Florence Petersen to receive the Freedom of the Municipality
On June 4, 2012, the RMOW honoured two new recipients, Joan Richoz and Florence Petersen, with the Freedom of the Municipality award during a special council meeting at the Whistler Conference Centre.
For over thirty years, Joan Richoz has been the cornerstone of Whistler’s arts and cultural community. One of her most significant contributions was her singular vision for the development of the Whistler Public Library, where she was the first librarian.
Nobody in Whistler knows more about the resort's past and its journey than local historian Florence Petersen. Thanks to Peterson, that rich history and the true story of Whistler have been preserved. Peterson founded the Whistler Museum and Archives and has authored various books on Whistler's past.
Current recipients include:
- Florence Peterson – founded the Whistler Museum and Archives and has authored several books about Whistler’s past
- Joan Richoz – had a vision for the development of the Whistler Public Library, where she was the first librarian
- Drew Meredith – former Whistler mayor
- Jim Godfrey – Former RMOW chief administrative officer, who served on the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) board of directors and helped secure Whistler's pivotal role in the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
- Garry Watson – one of Whistler’s original council members
- Al Raine – one of Whistler’s original council members
Past recipients include:
- Myrtle Philip – Whistler’s pioneer settler, established the iconic Rainbow Lodge and the Alta Lake School Board
- Pat Carleton – one of Whistler’s original council members
- Franz Wilhelmsen – helped to bring the ski industry to Whistler and was the president of the Garibaldi Lifts Ltd. and Whistler Mountain Ski Corporation
- Trevor Roote – guided the first phase of the Valley Trail and parks construction
- Chester Johnson – contributed significantly towards the development of Whistler as Whistler Land Corporation Chairman