Tuesday, June 4, 2013, 6 p.m., Maurice Young Millennium Place
Nothing truly great is accomplished alone. It takes partners and planning, but it also requires a leap of faith that the dream of what ‘could be’ can actually be realized.
Since its inception, Whistler has been built on strong partnerships and a clear, shared vision for the resort community. These two fundamental elements of success are as important to Whistler now and in the future as they were when Whistler was just a dream.
Achieving Whistler’s vision of the premier mountain resort community moving toward a sustainable future depends on effective collaboration among many partners and stakeholders, both within the community and externally.
Establishing and strengthening trust-based and collaborative relationships, clear agreements and meaningful engagement helps to solidify partnerships and create an environment where objectives can be achieved in a way that is mutually beneficial to those involved.
The result is a stronger local resort community and a more sustainable society.
Therefore, it’s essential that Partnering for Success is one of the five Priorities in Whistler2020; i.e. one of the five key areas around which we focus our efforts to achieve the Vision.
In a sustainable future, Whistler2020 envisions a spirit of cooperation and support among residents, business owners and other stakeholders that flourishes from years of working together and encouraging each other to achieve the shared vision.
Resort partners, including the RMOW, Tourism Whistler, the Chamber of Commerce, Whistler Blackcomb, the Whistler Housing Authority, Whistler Community Services Society, School District #48 and other learning partners, health organizations, environmental groups, as well as arts, culture and heritage organizations work together, along with First Nations, Squamish, Pemberton, the Squamish Lillooet Regional District, and provincial and federal governments and agencies, toward shared goals and mutual benefit.
Guiding principles assist partners in decision-making and formal partnership agreements clearly communicate expectations. Transparent and regular communication promotes clear understanding of and alignment with stakeholder goals and interests, encourages broad public engagement, informed participation and decision-making, and builds trusting, cooperative and adaptable relationships.
Community members and interested individuals also work together, through formal and informal networks. Local non-profit organizations are significant contributors Whistler’s success and are supported by an active and engaged volunteer population. Financial support for many of those organizations is provided through the RMOW’s Community Enrichment Program, which funds local initiatives that contribute to achieving Whistler’s vision of success and sustainability.
Within Whistler2020, the Partnership Strategy addresses how partner organizations work together to achieve Whistler’s vision as well as the complementary objectives of those partners.
The Descriptions of Success for the Partnership Strategy are:
- Residents, taxpayers, business and local government hold a shared vision for the resort community and work in partnership to achieve that vision
- Decisions consider the community’s values as well as short and long-term social, economic and environmental consequences
- Partners work together to achieve mutual benefit
- Partners participate in policy making and other decisions at various levels of government where relevant
- Trust is established and maintained among Whistler Partners and stakeholders
- Stakeholders work together on decisions that affect them and collaborate with neighbouring municipalities and First Nations
- Partners support each other and live up to the agreements established within partnerships
- Partners work toward aligned budgeting processes that leverage limited resources for increased effectiveness and efficiency
- Partners meaningfully engage stakeholders and practice ‘good governance’ guided by Whistler’s Partnership Principles
Case Study: The 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games
Perhaps the most significant demonstration of the importance and power of Partnering for Success was the process of bidding for and, ultimately, delivering the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
As Host Mountain Resort for the 2010 Winter Games, Whistler fully embraced the spirit of the Games, including the spirit of partnership; and as the local government, the RMOW was responsible for Whistler’s participation in the Games, which provided an opportunity to develop and strengthen relationships both within and outside the Resort.
Some of those relationships were with international organizations such as the International Olympic Committee, International Paralympic Committee and Sport Federations; and nationally, with the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee. The RMOW and other Whistler partners also developed relationships with some of the largest private corporations in the world. At the same time, partnerships were built regionally with First Nations, and locally with independent, local businesses and artists.
Whistler worked closely with all Games partners including VANOC, the City of Vancouver, City of Richmond, District of West Vancouver, Province of British Columbia, Government of Canada, Four Host First Nations, sport federations, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee, BC Transit, the RCMP and Vancouver Integrated Security Unit, Tourism Whistler, Whistler Chamber of Commerce, Whistler Arts Council and Whistler Blackcomb.
There was an unprecedented level of cooperation within Whistler by the partners in the delivery of extraordinary Games. In working collaboratively, Whistler established partnerships that were deepened and enriched by the Games. These partnerships were instrumental in delivering extraordinary Games and are the foundation of our journey toward a sustainable future.
While all departments and staff at the RMOW are committed to Partnering for Success, the Strategic Alliances department is responsible for identifying and exploring partnership opportunities that have the ability to deliver benefits to the resort community.
Partnership opportunities include corporate partnerships, government grants, major event concepts, licensing opportunities, and more. The Strategic Alliances department works within the RMOW and with resort partners to review concepts and opportunities to identify those with the potential to deliver benefits to Whistler and, further, to identify which in-resort partner or partners are best suited to take the lead on developing the opportunity.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss a partnership concept, please contact John Rae – RMOW Manager Strategic Alliances at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-935-8184.