Investing in a Thriving Community

Whistler Citizen of the Year Award

Past Recipients

The Whistler Citizen of the Year award was created in 1969. Click here to view the full list of past recipients.

Since 2012, the Whistler Citizen of the Year has been announced at the annual Whistler Excellence Awards Gala.

WEA2018 Finalist WEB 332018 Steve Bayly

Without Steve's commitment and perseverance, the Whistler Housing Authority would not have succeeded. Steve has mentored a whole series of young Whistler entrepreneurs. His volunteerism includes the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program, Whistler Blackcomb ski club, and the Advisory Planning Commission. Steve advocates for the underrepresented in our community. He currently serves on the Whistler Development Corp. Board, repurposing the Olympic Athlete Village into affordable resident housing. Finally, he picks up after his dog "Roxie"!

18121498 1330504577046368 471545805192076317 O2017 Heather Paul

There likely wouldn't be local theatre without Heather Paul. From Whistler Players to Short Skirt Players to Chairlift Revue, Heather's been the constant, creative force. She writes, directs, acts and wrangles others to do the same, opening people’s eyes to the importance of local theatre.  She is also chair of the Whistler Arts Council. However, many of her contributions fall outside of traditional volunteer roles. From fundraising for Zero Ceiling and the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, to MCing the Jill Ackhurst Welcome Dinner to coaching youth on public speaking, Heather uses her talents to bring people together.

CJ2016 Cathy Jewett

Never backing away from problems, Cathy is willing to take on leadership roles in her various volunteer commitments. Cathy steps up and moves things forward. Cathy`s involement with local Parent Advisory Councils lead to a position of Chair of DPAC. She is good at identifying high risk areas regarding local youth, creating awareness and discussion around the issues.

Currently she is Chair of Community that Cares Whistler. She has been and continues to be instrumental in bringing social services needs to light in the community and developing the necessary support around the need. Right from bake sales through to large event organization, Cathy can be found adding her energy, passion and expertise.

Cathy is a passionate believer in giving back to the community in many ways.


Anne Townley2015 Anne Townley

Volunteering for the Whistler ski patrol in 1982 was what inspired Anne to move to Whistler. Her passion for being involved and making a positive different in the community has led her to many different volunteer opportunities. At time her career as an emergency nurse has taken a secondary role to her volunteer committments. Some of Anne's best friendships and most rewarding times have come through volunteering.

As a member of the board of the Whistler Public Library from 1992 to 2007, Anne played a pivotal role in the creation of the new library building. Anne has also been a member of the board for Whistler Community Services Society, helping the organization to expand programs, including the formation of the Re-Build-it Centre.

Her other contributions include working for the creation of the heliport at the Whistler Health Care Centre, sitting on the Community Health and Social task force, volunteering for pitch-in days, raising funds for the Whistler Healthcare Foundation and others too numerous to list.

COY 2014 Recipient2014 Sue Adams

Sue and her husband Bob have operated the Whistler Grocery Store for the past 25 years. Sue's primary focus is Managing Partner of the business. Sue is currently a volunteer director of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce, Audain Art Museum and Whistler Arts Council. She is a member Alliance for Cultural Tourism and Chair of Indulge Gala and Auction, raising funds for Whistler Health Care Foundation. Sue also represents Whistler and the Sea to Sky Corridor on the Premier's Small Business Round Table and as a director of the Women's Entreprise Centre. "Whistler is an amazing community, business has been very successful, allowing me time to give back and contribute to the economic and social wellbeing of Whistler. I continue to learn every day from so many talented and vital people who are living the Whistler dream while ensuring a successful future for the community."

1052602_10151692328495622_1635751528_o2013 Patrick McCurdy

Patrick's passion and vision for Whistler, coupled with his leadership skills, have left a legacy of goodwill and community organizations such as the Whistler Sailing Club and the community concertt band. Patrick has been chairman of One Whistler, a director of Tourism Whistler, as well as a long standing volunteer Big Brother and a volunteer for the Myrtle Philip School Reading Program . Patrick is a stellar Rotarian, having served as president of both of Whistler's Rotary Clubs. He contributes don't end there as Patrick also serves on the Whistler 2020 Visitor Experience, Economic Task Force and has organized numerous community events from christmas caroling to "Club Med Day" final ski day.

Brad Sills2012 Brad Sills

Brad is a founder of Whistler Search and Rescue Society, playing a key role in building the organization into the modern and life-saving organization it is today. Brad has also served as a volunteer fireman for PineCrest Village for 2 decades. Brad also played a key role in the Callahan Valley being selected as a location for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics nordic events, leading to the creation of a second medal arena in Whistler and ultimately to a major employee housing suburb in Whistler.



Joanrichozcoy2011 Joan Richoz

Joan has been an active volunteer for over 30 years, as a leading volunteer and a mentor of art and culture in Whistler. Through the years, Joan has given her time to undertakings too numerous to mention them all. Joan was a founding member of the Whistler Arts Council, Whistler Public Library, Whistler One Business Group, and Sea to Sky Radio Society. Joan has been an active contributor to Maurice Young Millenium Place; Whistler 202 Learning Task Force, Arts, Culture and Heritage; Association of BC Library Directors; BC Touring Council; Whistler Learning Communities Committee; and Whistler Secondary School Planning Advisory Committee.


Andreejanyk2010 Andrée Janyk

Andrée arrived in Whistler in 1995, though her community involvement extends back to 1980 when she was a founding member of the Blackcomb Ski Club. Her contributions to the community are so numerous that we are just going to list some highlights:

  • She was a member of the High School Planning Committee and the driving force behind developing the athletes program, which continues today in helping athletes succeed with Olympic dreams as well as attaining good academic standing
  • Co-founder of Whistler Youth Soccer, which led to the Sea to Sky Soccer League and the initiation of the summer soccer camps.
  • Whistler Secondary School DPAC representative and also the Whistler School Trustee for 12 years
  • Founder of the Whistler Secondary School Drama Club
  • She participated with the Whistler Arts Council in expanding opportunities for youth in the Olympics
  • A dedicated Weasel Worker since 1980
  • Volunteer for the Whistler Ski Club and was their race organizer
  • A member of the Whistler 2020 Learning Task Force
  • Member of the BC School Sports board for 3 years

We could keep going but we will sum it up by saying that because of Andrée, school age athletes achieve mightly goals, the drama club productions continue (with students even winning scholarships), the soccer programs thrive and more. Her friends like to say that Andrée walks the walk!

2009 Allison Hunter

Alison has brought music to Whistler for years. Hundreds and hundreds of children have sung with Alison in one of Whistler's several choirs. For at least 10 years, Alison was the local volunteer coordinator for the Whistler Music Festival that brings thousands of high school bands and choirs to Whistler each year. Alison was also a key player in organizing the annual Christmas Eve Service that brings together both locals and visitors for music and celebration. She was the musical director for the annual high school musical production, involving many hours of volunteer time to rehearse, providing the students with a tremendouse learning experience.

Beyond her musical contributions, Alison was instrumental in organizing the biannual Giant Used Book sales that support the Whistler Public Library and the school libraries.

2008 Jane Reid

Since it's inception, Jane was president of the Friends of the Whistler Public Library. She organized three used book sales each year, raising money for the library and for the school libraries. She spearheaded the building of the playground at Myrtle Philip Community School, bringing in at least $100,000 in funding for the project. She was a volunteer teacher at Spring Creek School, district commissioner for the Girl Guides as well as a Guide leader. For several years, Jane was co-cordinator of the Children's Festival. She has organized Christmas hampers. She also volunteered as costume coordinator for the high school musical.

We would be hard pressed to find any child in our community who has not benefitted from Jane's contributions over the years. This can be said for adults too!

Jim Cook2007 Jim Cook

No hidden agenda, no political aspirations attached to his volunteerism, indeed Jim is a volunteer who gives for the sheer joy in helping others.

Jim Cook was the backbone behind the Community Greenhouse projected strated with Whistler Community Services. He took on the planning, setting up, maintenance, and general operation of the greenhouses. Jim spent hours researching, selecting, and growing seed varieties and spent hours on the site operating the greenhouses and sharing his knowledge of growing with all the members.

Jim also volunteered tirelessly for the Whistler Museum and Archives Society, spending hours researching and archiving materials and assisting with events.

No matter what function community members attended at Millennium Place, it seemed that Jim was always there with a helping hand and a smile to welcome all. Jim was a volunteer Weasel Worker for many years and also volunteered for the Whistler Fisheries Stewardship Group.

Whistler would be a much different place without Jim. He gives 100% of his time and asks almost nothing in return, yet his effects are felt from the ski hills to the food we eat.