The Resort Municipality of Whistler has been busy getting the Village ready for the spring/summer season. Read more about these improvements below.
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2012 Whistler Community Life telephone survey to begin in June
The RMOW will undertake a phone survey of residents and second homeowners starting in June. An online survey will also be available at whistler.ca/survey.
The survey, which will take approximately 13 to 15 minutes to complete, is designed to support transparency and accountability in municipal operations, to help inform municipal decision making, and to facilitate the measurement of trends over time.
“We want to hear from you,” says Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden. “Community engagement is one of the priorities identified in our Council Action Plan. We encourage anyone who is contacted by phone, to take the time to participate in the survey, and we hope that residents and second homeowners will access the survey online. The community life survey is one of the first steps in the 2013 budget planning process, which is now underway, and will help to inform our overall municipal plans moving forward.”
RMOW set to kick-off summer Festivals and Events programming
The RMOW will soon be unveiling the new line-up of festivals and events for the 2012 summer and fall season. This line-up includes spectacular and participatory events, cultural programming and festivals.
The RMOW launched a significantly enhanced year round Festivals, Events and Animation (FE&A) program in 2011 to coincide with the opening of Whistler Olympic Plaza, the hub for many parts of the program. The 2011 season was a success for the resort and the RMOW will roll out more details of the 2012 summer/fall programming during Canada Day week.
The FE&A program is an investment in Whistler’s future with the goal to grow room nights and help enhance the visitor experience through an exciting program of arts, culture, sport and entertainment. The program is funded by the Province of British Columbia’s Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI), monies set out to build tourism in the province
Although the RMOW is the steward of the Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) funds, the program will be delivered by various festival and event producers. The Whistler Arts Council will produce the street entertainment program; independent producers will produce concerts, while the FE&A team will work with third party event producers to develop the incremental content to extend their programs. Tourism Whistler is charged with promoting the programming and associated accommodation packages through various marketing channels such as Whistler.com, advertising and email marketing and social media.
The FE&A program includes original programming, animation and street entertainment, programming that extends the core program of a variety of third party events, as well as investment in event testing and development.
A few highlights for the summer/fall season include:
To book rooms and find out more information about visiting Whistler, visit whistler.com.
Whistler Village gets a summer face-lift
The RMOW Village Maintenance crew has been busy getting the Village ready for the 2012 spring/summer season. This includes everything from hosing down the Village Stroll to painting and refinishing benches to rock wall repair and paving.
The horticultural department has also added some colour to the Village canvass by hanging vibrant floral baskets and sprucing up flower beds.
During this time of every year, seasonal banners are also making their way onto street light posts throughout the Village, Meadow Park Sports Centre and Creekside.
The RMOW’s Public Art Program has been hanging banners on Whistler’s street light posts as part of their Street Banner program since the 90s.
According to Kevin McFarland, Public Art Coordinator for the RMOW, the purpose of the program is to enhance the beauty of the Village through the works of local artists. In 2004, the banner design initiative became a public art project with design selection through Calls for Artists.
In January 2011, artists were invited to submit proposals for the design of a Spring/Summer series of street banners. Artists were asked to develop a theme; create four designs that relate to the theme; and, implement the design through consultation with a banner production company.
The current banner series is called “Celebrating (Bird) Life” by Nancy Smith. The banners are being displayed for two seasons (Spring/Summer 2011-2012) and will be available for sale to the public in October 2012. Revenue from banner sales contributes to future RMOW public art projects.
The RMOW Public Art Program will soon advertise the design opportunity for the next set of fall/ winter banners as the winter wildlife series has now been retired. Visit the Public Art Program webpage for details.
How to minimize human-bear conflicts
Whistler is home to about 60-80 black bears. Whether at home, at work, or in the woods, learning how to reduce human-bear conflicts can help prevent property damage, reduce the chance of an unpleasant encounter with a bear, and ensure that bears live long and healthy lives.
The RMOW is actively engaged in reducing human-bear conflicts through partnership with the key organizations that form the Whistler Bear Working Group (RMOW, the Get Bear Smart Society, British Columbia’s Ministry of Environment and Conservation Officer Service (COS), Whistler Blackcomb, Carney’s Waste Systems, and the Whistler Royal Canadian Mounted Police).
Six months after Council began its three-year term, the Council Action Plan is well underway with a number of deliverables achieved and others moving forward in the coming months. During a retreat on June 4, Council received a briefing regarding two major deliverables from the Council Action Plan—the Official Community Plan Update (OCP) and the Corporate Plan.
Staff provided a chapter-by-chapter overview of the OCP and provided background regarding the extensive process that went into the update of the plan in 2010 and 2011.
At the retreat staff also shared an overview of the Corporate Plan, which was a six-month deliverable in the action plan.
Project on schedule for substantial completion by June 30, 2012
The Mountain Square Parkade Waterproofing Project, which began on April 23, 2012, is on schedule for substantial completion by June 30, 2012.
The project was necessary to protect the municipally-owned parkade underneath Mountain Square from further damage caused by water infiltration and it represents the RMOW's commitment to maintaining and enhancing Whistler Village.
Construction has been weather-dependent and so far has included the demolition and removal of old paving stones, installation of the waterproofing membrane over top of the roof to the parkade, and re-installation of paving stones, including a new labyrinth design.
A compressed schedule for construction has included extended work hours and work through weekends to meet the goal of re-opening the square for the Canada Day parade and Village street entertainment. The compressed schedule also minimizes the disruption duration and contains it to the least busy time as expressed by local businesses. If weather is favourable, the project team anticipates that concrete and stonework will also be completed by the end of June. Some landscaping work will resume, if necessary, during the fall.
Following completion of the project, Mountain Square will see several updates and modest changes which will include the addition of a barrier free route, improved lighting, and new pavers and stones. The Square will now also be able to accommodate temporary seating and staging for events.
The RMOW would like to thank residents, visitors, and especially the Mountain Square businesses for their patience and cooperation as parkade waterproofing has been completed and enhancements are made to the design of the square.
Whistler residents receive the Freedom of the Municipality
On June 4, 2012, the RMOW honoured two citizens with the Freedom of the Municipality distinction. Four other living citizens currently have the “Freedom of the Municipality.” These include Drew Meredith, Garry Watson, Al Raine, and Jim Godfrey. The only other female recipient of the Freedom of the Municipality has been pioneer Myrtle Philip.
"This is the highest honour a town can bestow,” says Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden. “We have honoured Florence Petersen and Joan Richoz for their outstanding contributions to the community. The Freedom of Municipality Award gives both of these women the power to vote in Whistler elections regardless of property ownership or if they live here.”
In May, Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden participated in the BC Mayors’ Caucus in Penticton, B.C.
The inaugural B.C. Mayors' Caucus was the result of a number of conversations about the need for an annual meeting of Mayors from across the province – similar to meetings held throughout the world by local government leaders – to discuss issues facing all of our communities.
“It was a great networking event,” says Mayor Nancy Wilhelm Morden. “It was nice to be able to speak with my fellow peers and focus on the business at-hand. Together, we were able to develop a mission statement and action plan.
The mayors emerged from the caucus with a list of priorities they want addressed, from recognition of the rising pressure on cities to provide more service – often due to government downloading – to the need for more consistent and predictable long-term delivery of federal and provincial grants.
Following the meeting, the Mayor expressed her concern regarding the amount of “downloading” of responsibilities from federal and provincial government to municipalities. “This meeting allowed mayors from the across the province to discuss the issue of downloading and propose a new partnership with the provincial and federal governments that is in the best interests of communities like Whistler.”
The mayors outlined a number of specific areas that need to be addressed including:
Creating a Premier’s Round Table;
Eliminating the ad hoc granting process;
Expanding the mandate of the Municipal Auditor General to examine financial impacts on downloading on local government;
Developing a roundtable on aging infrastructure;
Affirming the core service delivery of each order of government;
Redesigning the cost-sharing formula for significant infrastructure projects;
Sustainable revenue source for locally-developed government services;
Developing a coordinated approach for social service delivery;
Reviewing of ambulance service delivery;
Establishing flexibility around the federal gas tax; and
Expanding fair share principles province-wide.
Whistler to celebrate Family Day in February
On May 28, Premier Christy Clark, along with Margaret MacDiarmid, Minister of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government announced that B.C.’s Family Day will take place on the second Monday in February each year, beginning in 2013.
The decision to select the second Monday in February comes after government followed through on a commitment to consult with the public and private sectors, as well as hear from citizens directly.
The RMOW joined Tourism Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb and others in supporting the second Monday option and encouraged residents to vote on the provincial website.
The RMOW would like to thank everyone who voted and weighed in on the consultation process. We truly feel that adding a holiday earlier in the month is the best economic driver for tourism, both for Whistler and the province as a whole.
It’s property tax time in Whistler again and homeowners should have received their tax notices for 2012 property taxes and utilities. To avoid penalties for late payment, ensure payments are received by the RMOW by July 3, 2012.
Learn more about taxation in Whistler in the latest edition of Tax Talk. This pamphlet is mailed to taxpayers each year with their tax notice. Tax Talk includes detail on how municipal tax dollars are distributed for programs and services. It also features the Mayor’s Report outlining how the budget was set for 2012 and how taxpayers can be involved through the next budget cycle and beyond.
There are several ways to pay:
Click here for more information and payment details.
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