Over the past few decades, Whistler boomed with development, real estate, tourism and – subsequently – population. People flocked for the exhilarating lifestyle and rare opportunities that are synonymous with Whistler. With this, a dynamic new era of community emerged.

As Whistler grew, we began to notice something vital was being neglected. While Whistler offered hotels, restaurants, shops and recreational facilities to rival those of any international destination resort, our community also needed to nurture and reinforce Whistler’s unique local ambiance and community spirit. We needed a place to share our similarities and celebrate our differences, to celebrate our arts and culture, and a place to be inspired.

From these beginnings, emerged Maurice Young Millennium Place.

Skiers’ Chapel and Franz Wilhelmsen

Whistler’s first church stemmed from the childhood memories of Norwegian–born Franz Wilhelmsen, the president of Garibaldi Lifts Ltd. His vision included a chapel designed specifically for skiers. With the support of local skiers, Wilhelmsen set in motion the creation of Canada’s first ecumenical church, the Whistler Skiers’ Chapel. It was built to act as a multi–faith worship centre for residents of Whistler. The chapel’s first service was held on Christmas Eve in 1967.

The chapel was a simple A–frame designed by Vancouver architect Asbjorn Gathe and kept free of any purely Christian symbols. After being moved twice from its original location next to the original gondola in Creekside, the chapel held its last service on Easter Sunday 2000, before being dismantled.

In the early 1980s, the province gave the Skiers’s Chapel Society the deed to a small lot for a future church. To help concept of Millennium Place become reality, the Skiers’s Chapel Society agreed to have Millennium Place built on land bestowed to the Society.

Maurice Young

Maurice Young was born and raised in British Columbia, a place he dearly loved. He was a sailor, a skier, a business man and philanthropist. At the inception of the Garibaldi Lift Company, Young enthusiastically purchased debentures as well as a condo in Creekside for his family. They became avid skiers. In 1979 the Young family and their cousins, the Barker family, invested in a minority shareholding in Whistler Mountain Ski Corporation. Later, in 1988, they purchased 100% of the company and Young served as its chairman for the following nine years

Although Maurice Young died in 1999, his family knows how proud he would have been of this community and what it has become, and honored to have Maurice Young Millennium Place bearing his name.

Millennium Place, created by partnerships and a shared vision, boldly reflects our character, our people. As an organization, we are firmly rooted at the core of what we know and love as community in Whistler. Millennium Place is a figurative and literal stage, for residents and visitors alike, to interact and share their passions and life experiences.

Maurice Young Millennium Place is a stunning example of what our community can achieve through vision and perseverance.

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