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McLeish, Robin

  • CA-ON-MR001
  • Persona
  • fl. 1971-present

Robin McLeish is a Canadian former World Cup skier who competed from 1977 to 1984. Originally from Ontario, he started racing with the Camp Fortune Ski Club, participating in the Pontiac Cup, Can-Am, Europa Cup, and World Cup. He then moved on to the Canadian Alpine Ski Team, with which he raced in locations including Whistler, Alpen, Val-d'Isere, Kitzbuhel, Wengen, and Lake Louise. He was the Canadian downhill champion in March 1981.

Following his retirement, McLeish served as race director and territory manager for Salomon Ski from 1984 to 1995, promoting the ski brand across Canada and securing the first three World Cup downhill athletes who used them (Rob Boyd, Ralf Socher, and Luke Sauder). He was the race manager for Benetton Group from 1996 to 1997 and the alpine race manager and sales representative for Fischer Sports from 2005 to 2013. He founded Outfront Sports Corp, British Columbia's leading year-round mountain sports agency, in 1996 and has served as its president and sales representative since then.

Robin McLeish received the City of Kanata Civic Award in 1981 for recognition of achievement in skiing and the Canadian Ski Council’s Appreciation Award in 1991 for outstanding contribution to the sport of skiing in Canada.

Bridger, Scott

  • CA-BC-BS012
  • Persona
  • fl. 1977-2015

Scott Bridger was a freestyle aerial specialist and one of Canada's top gymnasts. He worked as a coach at the Toni Sailer Summer Ski Camp in the 1970s and 80s, during which time he lived in Vancouver with his wife (?) Colleen. As of 2015 he was the Outdoor Product Development Manager at the Canadian Tire Corporation in Langley, BC.

Quinlan, Chris

  • CA-BC-QC001
  • Persona
  • fl. 1991-present

Christopher 'Chris' Quinlan grew up on the B.C. coast and worked in a logging camp before moving to Whistler in 1991 to enter the food and beverage industry. He held several jobs, including driving buses and working in restaurants, before becoming the founding president of the Restaurant Association of Whistler and helping develop the Restaurants of Whistler Dining Guide.

Quinlan has served on City Council and in the Chamber of Commerce, sat as vice-chair of the Whistler Housing Authority, and been the morning show host for 101.5 Whistler FM. Since 2009, he has been the director of the Whistler Center for Sustainability. From 2010 to 2018, he was the manager of the Whistler Farmer's Market. He went on to develop a successful Sea to Sky Farmer's Market collaboration and to found the website Marketwurks.com, which helps marketplace managers to process vendor applications.

Kuster, Paul

  • CA-BC-KP001
  • Persona
  • fl. 1971-2005

Paul Kuster worked with the BC Forest Service from 1971 to 2005, serving as the District Manager of the Squamish Forest District from 1989.

Symko, Tina

  • CA-BC-ST001
  • Persona
  • fl. [1999]-present

Tina Symko is a Whistler resident and environmentalist who has been active in promoting sustainability. She received a Master of Resource Management from Simon Fraser University and moved to Whistler circa 1999. During her first several years in town, Symko was a dedicated volunteer for AWARE (Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment), serving on some of its working committees, such as Valley Bottom Wetlands and Whistler’s Wilderness Backyard. She also coordinated the Watershed Management Plans for the River of Golden Dreams and Crabapple Creek, helped implement the Natural Step Framework for the Whistler Sustainability Project, and worked with organizations such as the Langley Environmental Partners Society, Western Canada Wilderness Committee, and Greenpeace.

On November 15th 2001, she was appointed as Project Coordinator for AWARE. In this capacity she was responsible for fundraising, networking, organizing committees, and working with the board of directors. By this point, she had already published a number of papers in the field of environmental sustainability. Symko further contributed to Whistler in the following years by contributing photographs to the ‘Picturing Whistler: Local Faces, Local Spaces’ exhibit at the WMAS circa 2004, and writing several articles for Pique Newsmagazine (2002-2006).

Symko has been heavily involved with the Olympic Games. She was the Information Centre Manager for the Vancouver 2010 bid from 2002 to 2004, and the Senior Manager of Environmental Management & Stability for VANOC from 2002 to 2010. She began consulting with the Sochi Olympic organizers in 2010, culminating in a trip to Russia in 2012 to lead a workshop on the Forest Stewardship Council.

Tina Symko remains active in the Whistler community, having worked with Youth Services at the Whistler Public Library since 2011 and coached the Whistler Figure Skating Club since 2013. She is currently a Senior Associate for Ponsford and Associates Management Consulting.

Kaltenbach, Aki

  • CA-BC-KA001
  • Persona
  • fl. 2008-2009

Aki Kaltenbach was the business manager of La Bocca, La Brasserie, the Amsterdam Pub and the Hot Buns Bakery as of 2008. In 2009, she was credited with supporting the production of "SNOW - Whistler: The Musical."

Raine, Al

  • CA-BC-RA001
  • Persona
  • b. October 22, 1941

Al Raine was one of the original Whistler aldermen and played an instrumental role in the creation of Whistler Village and the opening of Blackcomb Mountain. Born in Vancouver, he started skiing in his late teens and spent three years (1962-1965) in Europe honing his skills. After returning to Canada, he worked at the Red Mountain Ski Area in Rossland, B.C. and coached the Ski Hawks in Montreal before being hired by the Southern Ontario Ski Zone to organize and lead a junior program in the area. Raine's success in this task led to his appointment as Head Coach and Program Director for the Canadian Alpine Ski Team in 1968. The Canadian team rose to new heights in the late 60s and early 70s due in part to Raine's drive, innovation, and management skills.

Al Raine and his wife, ski champion Nancy Greene, built a cabin in Whistler in 1970. This served as their summer home while Nancy coached at the Toni Sailer Summer Ski Camp on Whistler Glacier. The same year saw the birth of the couple's twin sons, Charlie and Willy.

In 1973, Raine quit his position with the Canadian Alpine Ski Team and moved to Whistler full-time. The BC government was seeking someone with the skills and experience to oversee the development of Whistler as a tourist resort and promote the expansion of skiing in the province. Raine fit the description perfectly. He was chosen as Ski Area Coordinator of British Columbia in 1974. The following year, when Whistler was made an official Resort Municipality, Raine became one of the first aldermen under Mayor Pat Carleton. He acted as a liaison between the municipality and the provincial government, assisted in the building of a sewer plant for the valley, and helped plan and coordinate the development of Whistler Village. In the face of opposition from large property owners, he accompanied Carleton to Victoria to get provincial approval for the creation of the Village and came back successful. He was the first to propose developing Blackcomb Mountain as a ski hill (in 1976) and received a joint bid from the Aspen Ski Corporation of Canada and the Canadian Federal Business Development Bank. Raine led the negotiation of a 50-year lease and land use contract, resulting in the opening of Blackcomb in 1980.

Raine's duties as Ski Area Coordinator took him beyond Whistler, assessing 45 different areas throughout British Columbia for their potential as ski sites. At this time he also worked as a consultant for the A.R. Resort Planning Group. His projects included carrying out studies for the BC heli-ski industry, devising a master plan for Hudson Bay Mountain, and evaluating the ski potential of areas such as Big White, Shames Creek, Tod Mountain (now Sun Peaks Resort) and Snow Basin (in Utah).

In 1980, Raine stepped down from his positions and became General Manager of the Whistler Resort Association. He was responsible for scheduling events, taking reservations, promoting tourism, and providing information about Whistler to guests. He resigned from this position in 1982 for health reasons and spent two years teaching skiing in Switzerland. During this time he also assisted Crans Montana in its successful bid to host the 1987 World Alpine Ski Championships. In 1984 he moved back to Whistler to help with the development of Nancy Greene's Olympic Lodge. He was inducted into the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame in 1988.

The Raines moved to Sun Peaks in the B.C. interior during the 1990s and continue to operate Nancy Greene's Cahilty Lodge there. Al Raine was elected Mayor of this resort town in 2010.

Williams, Bill

  • CA-BC-WB001
  • fl. 1990-2010

Bill Williams, also known as Telalsemkin siyam, is one of sixteen hereditary chiefs of the Squamish Nation. He is very politically active in his community and has held many positions on the Squamish Nation Council including Recreation Director, Councilor, and Band Manager. Formerly he worked as an Aboriginal Management Consultant to various organizations such as Canada Employment and Immigration, the Native Brotherhood of BC, and the BC Native Socio-Economic Task Force. He is one of the original trustees of the Aboriginal Electoral Endowment Trust, and was appointed as its representative on the National Revenue Committee. He has also served as a Director of Administration of the Assembly of First Nations, and as a member of the National Executive of the Aboriginal People's Commission.

Williams is a co-founder of the Uts'am Witness Project, which reconnects urban residents with nature and invites them to participate in a Coast Salish witness ceremony. He is also a member of the Spakwus Slolem, or Eagle Song Dancers.

Pelpola, Channa

  • CA-BC-PC001
  • Persona
  • fl. 1990-present

Channa Pelpola was the Environment Manager for the Resort Municipality of Whistler from 1998 to 2002. He received a Bachelor of Environmental Sciences from Carleton University and a Master of Science in Fluvial Geomorphology from Simon Fraser University. For the latter degree, he monitored the growth rate of the Fitzsimmons Creek delta at Green Lake using aerial photography and bathymetric and GPR surveys; his results were published in the journal Geomorphology. In 2001, he assisted with the production of "Whistler Trail Standards: Environmental and Technical Trail Features" for the Resort Municipality of Whistler. Pelpola has since moved on to work in Vancouver and the United Kingdom, and is currently a Manager at Teck Resources Limited.

McCluskey, William R.

  • CA-BC-MWR001
  • d. July 30, 1935

McCluskey was manager of Pioneer Airways and served as the pilot in the plane crash that killed the Brocks and David Sloan. After landing at Alta Lake to pick up Mildred Brock, he was unable to gain the proper altitude and had to turn sharply to avoid the treeline. The plane crashed on the old Pemberton Trail, about 400 yards south of Mons Creek. McCluskey, along with Reginald Brock, was killed instantly. Mildred Brock and David Sloan later died of their injuries.

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