First Nations, pioneers, adventurers, visionaries, free spirits, makers and creators. Behind Whistler’s majestic mountain backdrop are the cultural stories of people who settled here and shaped the resort into what it is today.
The Cultural Connector is a scenic pathway through Whistler Village and the Upper Village that links six cultural institutions in Whistler and identifies noteworthy points and anecdotes. It is a chance to learn about the community’s cultural evolution over time.
A printed brochure and map that outlines the Cultural Connector route is now available. Pick up a copy at any of the Village Host booths, the Visitor’s Centre, or any of the six facilities along the route.
Explore the Cultural Connector Institutions
We, the Squamish and Lil’wat people, proudly invite you to learn about our cultures at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre. This is the traditional territory of our people—our history and culture are deeply connected to it. Come and hear our stories and see the mountains, rivers, and forests through our eyes.
Accessed from the Valley Trail, Lost Lake PassivHaus was the home base of Team Austria during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and was donated by the Austrian Passive House Group to the community afterward. A model for sustainable design, the Lost Lake PassivHaus is now a four-season day lodge, café, cross-country. Learn more.
Opened in winter 2016, the Audain Art Museum shares one of the world’s finest collection of First Nations masks, a superb collection of Emily Carr paintings, works by some of Canada’s most internationally regarded contemporary artists such as Jeff Wall, Rodney Graham, Robert Davidson, Brian Jungen and Xwalacktun Harry, and changing temporary exhibitions.
The Maury Young Arts Centre welcomes everyone to enjoy its community art gallery, theatre, and youth centre. Visit this vibrant hub to see an exhibit and leave with a packed diary of creative classes and live entertainment. Located at the heart of The Village, the Arts Centre is the pulse of arts and culture in Whistler and home of Arts Whistler.
Founded in 1985, Whistler Public Library is one of the busiest libraries in the province. The library’s lauded green design and unique timber-framed structure blends into its natural surroundings. Since opening the new building in January 2008, the library has become a community hub for locals, visitors, and seasonal workers. Approximately 800 people per day make themselves at home in “Whistler’s Living Room”.
Whistler Museum tells Whistler’s many stories, ranging from fun-loving pioneers, to the development of skiing in the area and the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. With entry by donation, explore the Museum’s activity books for kids, a trunk of costumes and artifacts, and interactive exhibits—including the chance to snap photos with a real Olympic torch. Its natural history showcase includes information on Whistler’s most famous non-human resident: black bears.
First Nations public art sculpture unveiled on Cultural Connector route
A First Nations public art piece was unveiled on the Cultural Connector routein 2018, adding to Whistler’s growing collection of art in public spaces.
Entitled Thunderbird, the public art piece was created by Squamish Nation artist Sinámkin – Jody Broomfield. It is located at the east end of the Upper Village Stroll at Chateau Boulevard. Sinámkin constructed Thunderbird using high-grade durable aluminum. The sculpture sits atop a three-metre high cylinder and illuminates at night. The piece pays homage to the Squamish Nation legend of Black Tusk Mountain and how it became what it is today.
Phase I: Stakeholder engagement in 2014 and 2015 included route option development and analysis, planning, preliminary design, costing, and prioritization of potential capital improvements or other initiatives along a preferred route; wayfinding and communications.
Phase II: The second phase of Connector implementation in 2017 and 2018 linked the Upper Village and the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (SLCC). Work completed in 2018 included the installation of Thunderbird by First Nation artist Sinámkin – Jody Broomfield and sidewalk improvements along Chateau Boulevard to improve connectivity between the Upper Village Stroll and the SLCC. Lighting improvements along Blackcomb Way from Chateau Boulevard to the SLCC have also been completed and the SLCC information kiosk has been moved to the busy Fitzsimmons Valley Trail near the covered bridge. Hardscape upgrades have been made, banners and yellow furniture installed, and pedestrian crosswalks have been painted along the Cultural Connecter to reinforce the route.
Phase III: Substantially completed in 2018, initiatives included improving the Valley Trail between the skatepark and the connection to the Village Centre/Upper Village, including widening the Valley Trail, adding two new picnic areas and landscaping, as well as water and electrical service upgrades. Additionally, future landscape improvements for the area in front of the PassivHaus, at the entrance to Lost Park Park, were designed.
Work in 2019 will finish Phase III initiatives and provide additional route way finding, cultural interpretive information and light poles. This will conclude the Cultural Connector project.
The project is supported by the Province of British Columbia’s Resort Municipality Initiative and the Government of Canada.