On March 15, 2016 Council adopted Whistler's Coat of Arms and Letters Patent, provided by the Canadian Heraldic Authority through the Governor General's Office of Canada.
Grants of armorial bearings are honours stemming from the Canadian Crown. A coat of arms is a unique design on a shield with other components around it. Each symbol on the coat of arms represents something that has important meaning to the community.
Whistler's Process to Receive a Coat of Arms
Whistler Council gave direction for staff to apply to receive a Coat of Arms on November 5, 2013 and a Coat of Arms Committee of Council was formed in February 2014 to oversee the process. The Coat of Arms Committee consisted of:
- Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, Council Representative, Chair
- Michelle Kirkegaard, Whistler Arts Council Representative
- Penny Eder, Public Art Committee Representative
- Bradley Nichols, Whistler Museum Representative (formerly Sarah Drewery)
- Bob Brett, Member-at-Large
- Shannon Story, Manager of Protective Services (formerly Manager of Legislative Services)
- Nikki Best, Legislative Services Coordinator, Recording Secretary (non-voting)
The Coat of Arms Committee was required to work through the three main stages in the Coat of Arms granting process:
- The creation of a written description.
- The preparation and consultation of a preliminary design including all of the colours, themes, elements and motto.
- The approval of the production of the official letters patent.
The Coat of Arms Committee worked with the Deputy Chief Herald to determine the elements of design, which are required to follow the rules of heraldry. After the written description of the armorial bearings was approved by the Chief Herald of Canada, it was sent to the committee for approval and then for Council's adoption on March 15, 2016.
Written Description of the Coat of Arms
Arms: The two peaks refer to the two local mountains, Blackcomb and Whistler. The wavy stripes refer to ski/snowboard tracks, mountain bike trails, and hiking trails on the mountains. The vertical division of the shield alludes to the fact that Whistler is both a winter and a summer resort.
Crest: The whiskey jack is a local bird known for its friendliness to humans. The lupine is a colourful local flower, and the rock alludes to the mountains.
Motto: This phrase recognizes Whistler’s valley location as well as the fact that Whistler was built on a dream of hosting the Olympics.
Supporters: The black bear and the hoary (or “whistling”) marmot are local animals, the latter being the source of the municipality’s name. The skis allude to the winter sports for which Whistler is famous. The rock represents the mountain and the grass and local plants represent the valley. The water and trout refer to local streams, ponds, lakes and that Whistler began as a summer fishing lodge.
The Whistler Coat of Arms was entered in the Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges of Canada, and the official notice of the grant is published in Part I of the Canada Gazette under the title “Government House.”
The Whistler Coat of Arms is also protected against misuse. The contract between the Canadian Heraldic Authority and the Resort Municipality of Whistler indicates the fact that the design is Crown copyright with the RMOW given an unlimited and exclusive right to use it.
Permission for the Use of the Coat of Arms
Official use of the Arms is restricted to the Mayor’s Office of the RMOW for formal and ceremonial purposes. Additional uses must be approved by the Mayor or the Corporate Officer, who will ensure the use of the Arms is reserved for specific and special uses similar to the use of the RMOW’s Corporate Seal.
For enquiries regarding the use of the Coat of Arms, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use of the Coat of Arms
Use of the Arms is reserved for important ceremonial purposes, namely official RMOW documents such as awards, recognition, Freedom of the Municipality, signage at Municipal Hall, and other official purposes.
The symbol should be used whenever possible in its official colours or Greyscale unless otherwise authorized by the Mayor’s Office or the Corporate Officer.
Third parties must seek approval from the Mayor or the Corporate Officer of the RMOW for the use of the Arms for any purposes. Use of the Arms must not be used in conjunction with any commercial interests.