Education and Learning

Chapter 9

What it’s about

Ensuring there are quality education, work-related training and lifelong learning opportunities easily accessible in Whistler.

Lifelong learning—including education for skills development, for accreditation or for enjoyment—is an integral component of Whistler’s culture and an important contributor to the local economy.

In addition to basic education to grade 12 delivered in local schools through the Ministry of Education, residents and visitors of all ages have access to a diverse range of stimulating learning experiences within the resort community and through online courses—from one-hour seminars, to multi-day workshops and training sessions, to curricula that span several weeks, months or years.

Several not-for-profit organizations including the Whistler Chamber of Commerce, Whistler Public Library and Whistler Learning Centre have affiliations with post-secondary institutions through which education for accreditation is offered including several courses which focus on the development of skills pertinent to the tourism/hospitality industry.

There is also a myriad of opportunities to learn in Whistler’s rich outdoor classroom. Many of those courses—whether for accreditation, professional skills development, personal skills development or individual enrichment—reflect Whistler’s passion for and commitment to sports, outdoor education, the arts, nature, heritage and First Nations culture.

Whistler has established a solid foundation of education and learning opportunities for residents and visitors.

Whistler’s schools—some of which are close to capacity—include Myrtle Philip Community School, Spring Creek Community School, Whistler Secondary School, École la Passerelle and the Whistler Waldorf School, as well as private educational enterprises. Whistler’s school facilities are shown in Schedule D.

Skills development in a wide range of sports—from novice to professional—is available through commercial activity providers, not-for-profit sports clubs and associations, and individual instructors. Skills development in the arts is provided by Arts Whistler, the Point Artist-run Centre, the Audain Art Museum, commercial art galleries and others across a wide range of disciplines including fine arts, performing arts, literary arts, film and video.

Business-oriented skills development and accreditation on a variety of subjects is available both in-resort and online through the Whistler Chamber of Commerce, Whistler Public Library, Whistler Centre for Sustainability, Whistler Learning Centre and others.

However, opportunities for education and learning about First Nations, Whistler’s biodiversity and geodiversity, and Whistler’s recent history—all central to Whistler’s unique character and culture—remain underdeveloped.

Even though opportunities to learn about First Nations, Whistler’s natural environment and Whistler’s recent history are available through, respectively, the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (SLCC), Whistler Naturalists, Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment (AWARE), the Whistler Museum and the Whistler Public Library (for all subject areas), awareness of and participation in seminars, workshops or field trips on those topics is relatively low.

Also, Whistler’s population and workforce increasingly include new residents and workers for whom English is not their first language and for whom Adult Basic accreditation programs—including English as a second language—will be essential for both personal growth and for the ongoing success of the resort community.

Therefore, building on the existing solid foundation, the resort community is supportive of expanding education and learning initiatives to include disciplines that will strengthen and diversify Whistler’s tourism economy and that are central to Whistler’s character and culture.

Click the ‘Objectives & Policies’ to display additional content.

9.1. Goal Ensure that an array of learning opportunities is available for residents and visitors.

9.1.1. Objective

Collaborate with school administrations and the Ministry of Education to ensure that high quality elementary, middle and secondary school facilities are provided in the resort community. Policy

Identify potential sites to be reserved for future elementary, middle and secondary schools, if required. Existing permanent school locations are shown in Schedule D. Policy

Encourage the design of school district facilities so that they are able to provide recreational programs, cultural programs, and learning and educational programs—including lifelong literacy—thereby optimizing use of the facilities.

9.1.2. Objective

Support improved access to post-secondary educational opportunities, including accreditation programs, that enhance the resort community. Policy

Support learning and post-secondary opportunities that complement and are complemented by the resort community, including arts, heritage and natural history training, and skills pertaining to the hospitality industry and tourism economy.

9.1.3. Objective

Support the Whistler Public Library as an important resort community asset. Policy

Continue to work with the Whistler Public Library Board to identify new means and methods to improve Whistler Public Library services, including space, equipment and staff time for online learning.

9.1.4. Objective

Support and promote learning opportunities that reflect Whistler’s unique character and culture. Policy

Work with Whistler’s diverse range of educators, skilled professionals, service providers and cultural institutions to provide learning experiences for all ages that reflect Whistler’s culture and natural environment.

9.1.5. Objective

Collaborate with the Lil’wat Nation and Squamish Nation to provide opportunities to learn about both Nations. Policy

Continue to promote the SLCC as the principal centre for learning about the languages, cultures and histories of the Squamish Nation and Lil’wat Nation. Policy

Encourage collaboration between Whistler schools and the Lil’wat Nation and Squamish Nation to create opportunities for students to learn about both Nations.

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