Stunning Whistler, British Columbia is known internationally as one of the top skiing resorts in the world, however, the history of how the region became what it is today is only a short walk away from its ski lifts located in the Whistler Museum and Archives.
Founded in 1986, the Whistler Museum and Archives was created to collect, catalog and conserve artifacts and photographs of the history of the Whistler Valley as well as the resort itself and its surrounding environment. Whistler's history spans centuries - the original inhabitants of the region being the Squamish and Lil'wat First Nations, and later, pioneers which first arrived in the region in the 1880s. Whistler became a tourist resort following the efforts of Alex and Myrtle Philip who settled in the region in 1913 and built Rainbow Lodge on the northeast corner of Alta Lake. The lodge was a main attraction along the Pacific Great Eastern Railway (PGE) which opened up the region to tourists and began the world's love affair with Whistler.
The Museum encompasses several exhibits touching on a variety of subjects. Visitors can learn about the natural history of the region, how it was created and all about its flora and fauna (including the Marmot, the namesake of Whistler). As well, artifacts and photos show the pioneering history in the region, as well as many collected from Rainbow Lodge and its owners Alex and Myrtle Philip. The latter exhibits touch on one of the region's most defining events - the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games which were held in Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia. Here, visitors can see (and even touch) the collections amassed during the celebrations including pins, equipment worn by Canadian athletes and even the beer pitcher famously swigged from by Canadian gold medalist Jon Montgomery.
Open throughout the year, the Whistler Museum and Archives is an interesting place to learn about the region and its unique history - don't miss the opportunity to learn about this world class locale!
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