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Aitken, Dr. Donald

  • US-CA-AD001
  • Persona
  • fl. 1976-2016

Dr. Donald Aitken is an expert in renewable energy sources. He gave a talk for AWARE's Speaker Series at some point prior to 2001. Aitken has served as President of the Solar Energy Society twice, created the first of 400 all-solar homes in the Lake Chapala area, and received many awards for his accomplishments and dedication to solar energy. He now lives with his wife and business partner, Barbara, in Ajijic, Mexico.

Wackernagel, Dr. Mathis

  • CH-WM001
  • Persona
  • November 10, 1962-

Dr. Mathis Wackernagel is a Swiss-born sustainability advocate and the creator of the 'ecological footprint' concept. In January 2002, he gave a talk for the AWARE Speaker Series in Whistler.

Wackernagel has a degree in mechanical engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in community and regional planning at the University of British Columbia. He has served as the director of the Sustainability Program at Redefining Progress in California (1999-2003), director of the Centre for Sustainability Studies in Mexico (1995-2001), and adjunct faculty at SAGE of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2004) and is currently the President of the Global Footprint Network. Wackernagel has received many honours and awards for his work, including being named by The (En)Rich List as the 19th (out of 100) most inspirational individual contributing to sustainability.

McCulloch, Ernie

  • CA-QC-ME002
  • Persona
  • 1926 - August 28, 1987

Ernie F. McCulloch was a renowned Canadian skier of the mid-20th century. He was born in Trois-Rivières, Quebec. McCulloch's ski career began in 1945; originally a ski jumper, he soon switched to alpine racing and achieved tremendous success. He defeated the entire French Alpine team in the Quebec Kandahar in 1949, won the US National Giant Slalom Championship, the North American Championship, and the Harriman Cup in 1950, and was voted the "Skier of the Half Century" the same year. Throughout the early 1950s he enjoyed further victories (1951 North American Championships, 1951 and 1952 Harriman Cup, 1951 Peruvian Cup, 1952 Kandahar, 1952 US National and International Downhills, 1953 Ryan Cup) as well as competing in the 1952 Olympic Winter Games in Oslo, Norway.

McCulloch also served as a ski instructor. Early in his his career he was coach to the young Canadian ski champion Lucile Wheeler, travelling to Banff with her to compete in the 1948 Canadian Championships. He later served as the director of the Mont Tremblant Ski School and the Blue Mountain Ski School. During this time he tirelessly re-evaluated and improved his methods for teaching skiing, resulting in Mont Tremblant enjoying a worldwide reputation for excellence under his leadership. He was also made President and Chief Examiner of the Canadian Ski Instructors' Alliance in 1955, 1957, 1959 and 1961, and coached the Canadian Olympic Alpine Ski Team in 1956. He authored several instructional books on skiing, including Learn to Ski (1955), Ski the Champion's Way (1967) and Ski Easy ... The New Technique (1973).

McCulloch was inducted into the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame in 1984.

Podborski, Steve

  • CA-ON-PS001
  • Persona
  • b. July 25, 1957

Steven 'Steve' Gregory Podborski is a former downhill ski racer and member of the 'Crazy Canucks.' Born in Toronto, Ontario, Podborski started skiing at two-and-a-half years old at Craigleith Ski Club. He joined the Canadian alpine ski team in 1973 and made his World Cup debut the following year at the age of 17, scoring two top ten finishes in his first season. He made his Olympic debut at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, winning the bronze medal at the downhill; he had planned to debut at the previous Games but been forced to cancel due to a knee injury. His third-place win at the Games made him the only Crazy Canuck ever to win an Olympic medal, as well as the first North American man to do so in the downhill. In 1982, he became the first North American to win the World Cup season title in downhill skiing. In total, he won 8 World Cup downhill races (including the famously difficult Hahenkamm race, twice) and finished within the top 10 in 34 more. He retired after the 1984 season.

After retiring, Podborski continued to contribute to the sports world. He covered snowboarding for Olympics on CBS in 1998, cycling and Tae Kwon Do for NBC in 2000, and freestyle skiing for NBC in 2002 and 2006, and commented on three Winter Olympics (Salt Lake City 2002, Torino 2006, Whistler/Vancouver 2010). He was on the bid committee for the 2010 Winter Olympics, responsible for international relations. He was named Chef de Mission for the Canadian Olympic Team for the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi (2014). He worked for Telus from 2003 to 2017, achieving the position of National Director, Community Sports. In June 2017, he became President and CEO of Parachute, an organization focusing on injury prevention in sports.

Podborski has received many honours, including the Order of Canada in 1982, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. He was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1985, the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame in 1986, the Canadian Sport Hall of Fame in 1987, and the Ontario Sport Hall of Fame in 1987.

Walker, Chelsey

  • CA-BC-WC001
  • Persona
  • fl. 1980-present

Chelsey Walker is a former champion skier and the current executive director of the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program. She moved to the West Coast with her family in 1980 and started ski racing with the Blackcomb Ski Club the following year as part of the first Nancy Greene Ski League. In 1989 she moved up to Whistler full-time in order to attend the Ski Academy at Pemberton Secondary School. Following her racing career, she worked for five and a half years as a guide and assistant with Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing at Blue River, BC.

In 2005 Walker became the Executive Director of the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program (WASP). In this role, she presented at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games and contributed to the 2010 Paralympics through WASP's partnership with the Whistler 2010 Sports Legacies Society, the Whistler Athletes' Centre and the Jeff Harbers Adaptive Sports Centre. In 2011, she received a nomination for a YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the Health and Active Living Category. Walker has also been Chair of the Board of Directors of the Pemberton Children's Center since 2015.

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.

Sloan, David

  • CA-BC-SD001
  • Persona
  • [d. August 9, 1935]

David Sloan, the Managing Director of Bralorne’s Pioneer Mines, was a passenger in the plane crash that killed the Brocks and pilot McCluskey. He survived the initial crash in critical condition. Sloan was rushed to Rainbow Lodge, then by rail to Squamish and from there by speedboat to the Vancouver General Hospital. Sadly, he died about 10 days later of his injuries.

Brock, Lieutenant-Colonel Reginald Walter

  • CA-BC-RWB001
  • Persona
  • January 10, 1874 - July 30, 1935

Reginald Brock was a geologist, army officer and university professor born in Perth, Ontario to Reverend Thomas Brock and Marian Jenkins. While studying at the University of Toronto, he served as a summer field assistant to Robert Bell, chief geologist of the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC). He later graduated from the Queen’s College School of Mining and Agriculture with an MA in geology and medals in chemistry and mineralogy. In 1897, he received a permanent employment to the GSC, becoming head of the organization in 1907.

In 1900 he married Mildred Gertrude Britton in Kingston, Ontario; they had five sons – Patrick Willet, Byron Briton, David Hamilton, Thomas Leith, and Philip ‘Pip’ Gilbert.

During the First World War, Brock served as an officer in the 72nd Battalion (Seaforth Highlanders) before becoming major of the 196th (Western Universities) Infantry Battalion. He was later transferred to the 19th and 15th Reserve Battalions. Brock’s accomplishments during this period included heading a college of the Khaki University of Canada and serving as a geological intelligence officer in Palestine.

After the War, Brock became Professor of Geology and Dean of Applied Sciences at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Throughout the 1920s and 30s he pursued fieldwork in remote regions such as China, Fiji, Scandinavia, and Hong Kong. These decades also saw the family seek refuge from their busy lives at a much nearer getaway – Alta Lake. Beginning in 1929, the family spent summers at their cottage, the Primrose, constructed by Bert Harrop at the southwest corner of the lake.

On July 30th 1935, Reginald boarded a Pioneer Airways flight from Vancouver to Gunn Lake. The plane stopped to pick up Mildred at Alta Lake and then attempted to take off again. However, pilot William McCluskey could not gain proper altitude and had to bank sharply to avoid the treeline. The plane crashed on the old Pemberton Trail, about 400 yards south of Mons Creek. Reginald Brock and McCluskey were killed instantly. Milred and passenger David Sloan survived the initial crash but later died of their injuries.

The death of the Brocks was major news in Vancouver. Reginald received a military funeral, and Brock Hall at UBC was named in his honour.

Rhodes, Mitch

  • CA-BC-RM001
  • Persona
  • fl. 1995-2015

Mitchell 'Mitch' Rhodes was a member of AWARE (Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment) from 1999 to 2004, serving as vice-president, president, and treasurer. Between 2003 and 2009 he provided first aid, transport, and rescue services on Whistler-Blackcomb mountains. He also served as a committee member for the Whistler 2020 Economic Task Force (2008-2009), a panelist in green filmmaking at the 2007 Whistler Film Festival, an advisory committee member of the Community Foundation of Whistler Environmental Legacy Fund (2001-2004), a director of the Whistler Center for Sustainability (2001-2004), and treasurer of the Whistler Health Care Foundation (1998-2003). He currently works for the Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia.

Roberts, Gordon

  • CA-BC-RG001
  • Persona
  • fl. [1967]-present

Gordon Roberts is a Vancouver actor, singer, dancer, accompanist, director and musician with over 50 years of experience in Canada and the U.S. He performed on Blackcomb Mountain in the Whistler Summer Theatre circa 1995 (appearing in The Three Bears and Little Shop of Horrors) and again in SNOW - Whistler: The Musical around 2009. His other acting credits include Fiddler on the Roof, King Arthur’s Kitchen, Honk!, Evita, The Rocky Horror Show, The Music Man, Oklahoma, My Fair lady, and Little Women.

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