Getting around the Village may seem like a simple task for most residents, but for tourists visiting Whistler for the first time, a little help goes a very long way. Enter the Village Host Volunteer Program, managed by the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW). Standing for long hours in the summer heat and winter snow, the hosts dispense advice, provide direction, solve problems, and assist visitors.
Why do they do it? Village Hosts are all volunteers from the community, who want to enhance the resort experience, ensuring that visitors’ expectations are consistently met and exceeded. “Our goal is to create an environment where visitors feel genuinely welcome by providing guidance, direction and a sincere interaction, contributing to a resort experience that is memorable and unique,” said Cathie Coyle, RMOW coordinator for the Village Host program.
Through the program, friendly, knowledgeable locals are able to provide a bridge between Whistler’s resort guests and the community.
Meet the Volunteers
The Village Host program could not run without the dedication of its volunteers. “Each shift is three hours in length and involves working in the Village Host kiosk, as well as strolling through the Village. Our volunteers are passionate about Whistler, have a sound knowledge of the resort and love to interact with others,” said Coyle. “We’ve been very lucky to have had such wonderful and committed volunteers throughout the years. “
Sheila Walker has been volunteering with the Village Host Volunteer Program for four years. Walker has lived in Whistler since 1981 and grew up in Mont Tremblant, where her father worked in the hotel industry. While her experiences growing up in a resort town have served her well as a Village Host, Walker says she joined the program to help others. “I heard it was a great program and I wanted to help visitors truly experience the beauty of Whistler and everything our community has to offer,” said Walker.
For Kate Foster, the decision to become a Village Host was an easy one. Foster moved to Whistler seven years ago and has been a volunteer with the program for five years. “I wanted to volunteer in Whistler, and the Village Host volunteer program was a perfect fit because I wanted to do something social and meet new people,” said Foster. “It is an amazing group of diverse volunteers with varying backgrounds and interests all working together to assist visitors.”
Both Walker and Foster agree that the Village Host volunteer program is an excellent way to give back to their community. You’ll see the ladies walking the Village Stroll providing assistance to those with questions or at the Village Host kiosk located in Village Square.
Click here for more information on the Village Host volunteer program.