Summer Student Jobs 2016

Join-us-were-hiring-1080x675In thanks to funding from the Canada Summer Jobs Program, AWARE is currently hiring for two summer student positions:

Research & GIS Project Assistant

Communications & Marketing Assistant

Interested candidates are invited to submit a resume and cover letter by email to Deadline for applications is Sunday, June 5, 2016. We thank all applicants for their interest however, only those candidates selected for further consideration will be contacted.


In order to be eligible for the Canada Summer jobs Program applicants need to be legally entitled to work in Canada (Canadian citizen, permanent resident or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act), a full-time student during the previous academic year, returning to school full-time for the next academic year and between the ages of 15 and 30 at the start of the employment.


Sign Up For Whistler Greenhouse & Garden Boxes

Welcome to ‘GROW Whistler’

In 2016 AWARE is adopting Whistler’s community gardening program from Whistler Community Services Society.  The program promotes social and environmental sustainability through greenhouses and gardens which encourage community members to grow their own organic vegetables.

Neighbourhood Greenhouses:

We have four greenhouses; two at Spruce Grove Field House, one at Myrtle Philip Community School and one at Alpha Lake Park, each containing eighteen, 2.5ft by 8ft boxes. The Greenhouse beds are rigged with heating cables and irrigation systems.

Cheakamus Community Garden:

At Cheakamus ninety 4ft x 8ft boxes are available for outdoor growing.

Interested in having a greenhouse plot for the upcoming growing season?

Check Out full Details


On Thursday 21st AWARE was thankful to have the opportunity to host the Honourable Elizabeth May in Whistler, as she gave us the inside scoop on the recent COP21 UN Climate Conference in Paris.  The evening event highlighted the significance of the global climate commitments made in Paris but also put the spotlight on the reliance of achieving these commitments on community action.

We know there were lots of people who could not attend or get tickets to this sold out event so to watch the event please check out the video below:

Sea-to-Sky Mayors Share Options for Community Engagement in Climate ActionSea-to-Sky Mayors and MLA Jordan Sturdy joined Elizabeth May to share provincial and local community climate actions underway.  They also each highlighted a number of calls to action for Sea-to-Sky community members including:

Event Attendees Explore Climate Actions They Can Integrate Into Homes, Lifestyles, Businesses and Communities.At the Climate Solutions Expo attendees were able to connect with tangible actions that could be integrated into homes, businesses, lifestyles and communities.

Thank you to everyone who came to this event which attracted people from as far as Vancouver.  We look forward to hosting more events like this in the future.


AWARE to host a Report on COP21 the UN Climate Conference with guest speaker Elizabeth May

Join AWARE as we welcome Elizabeth May to Whistler on January 21st for a Report on the COP21 Paris UN Climate Change Conference and explore how the global commitments made might translate into to community scale action.

Bring your friends and neighbours to

  • hear about the groundbreaking Climate Change agreement made at COP21;
  • understand how these global commitments are expected to filter down to Canada, British Columbia and communities for implementation; and
  • explore solutions and actions that we can take here in the Sea-to-Sky, as communities and as individuals.

We are still working on some of the event details but wanted to get the date out and tickets available early as we expect this will be an in demand event! We hope this will be an evening of inspiration and exploration as we uncover how this landmark global climate commitment will lead to community solutions and action, for the benefit of people and planet!

This event is brought to you by the Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment (AWARE) and has been made possible thanks to event sponsors: Tourism Whistler, Freeman AV, Pique Newsmagazine. If you are interested in sponsoring this event please email us at

Event Details:

  • Date: Thursday 21st January
  • Time: Doors open 6pm, Presentations start at 7pm.
  • Location: Whistler Conference Centre, 4010 Whistler Way, Whistler, Canada, V0N 1B4

Tickets available at:

  • $10 AWARE Members
  • $15 Future Members
  • $25 Event Ticket AND an AWARE Membership (includes 1 Adult 2016 AWARE Membership worth $20)
  • If you are uncertain of whether your annual membership is up to date please email info at aware

Full event format and timeline to be confirmed in early January but we wanted to get the date and tickets out early as we expect this event to be in demand.

About Elizabeth May: Elizabeth May has a long record as a committed advocate for social justice, for the environment, for human rights, and for economic pragmatic solutions. She is an environmentalist, writer, activist and lawyer who has been active in the environmental movement since 1970.

In the 1980s May worked as a Senior Policy Advisor to then Federal Environment Minister Tom McMillan, under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. May held the position of Associate General Counsel for the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, representing consumer, poverty and environment groups from 1985–86. In 1986, she became Senior Policy Advisor to then federal Environment Minister, Tom McMillan of the Progressive Conservatives.  She was involved in negotiating the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer, new legislation and pollution control measures and was instrumental in the creation of several national parks.

In 1989, May became the founding Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada. During her tenure May received several awards in recognition of her environmental leadership, including: the International Conservation Award from the Friends of Nature, the United Nations Global 500 Award in 1990, the award for Outstanding Leadership in Environmental Education by the Ontario Society for Environmental Education in 1996, and in November 2005 was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of her “decades of leadership in the Canadian environmental movement.”

May resigned as the Sierra Club’s executive director in April 2006 in order to seek the Green Party of Canada Leadership and in the 2011 Election, May made history by being the first Green Party candidate to be elected to the House of Commons where she represents the riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands in southern Vancouver Island. In October 2015, Prime Minister designate Justin Trudeau invited May to be part of the Canadian delegation to the United Nations summit on climate change to be held in Paris.

Respected across party lines, Elizabeth was chosen by her fellow MPs as: Parliamentarian of the Year 2012, Hardest Working MP 2013, and Best Orator 2014. Hill Times recognized her as the Hardest Working MP, Best Constituency MP, and Best Public Speaker in both 2013 and 2014. Elizabeth became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2005, was recognized by the United Nations in 2006 as one of the world’s leading female environmentalists, and in 2010 was named by Newsweek Magazine as “one of the world’s most influential women.”

Other achievements include receiving the Canadian Version of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012), helping to found the Canadian Environmental Defense Fund, holding three honorary doctorates and being the author of eight books.

Giving Tuesday with AWARE

Giving_Tues_FBook_Save_the_DateA day dedicated to giving back around the world, across Canada and in your own community! Just as Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season, Giving Tuesday is the opening day of the giving season. #SeatoSkyGives Donate here.

Our story:

AWARE, Whistler’s environmental charity strives towards a vision of a knowledgeable community that is engaged and empowered to preserve and enhance the environment on which it depends. AWARE was formed in 1989 with the primary intent of bringing recycling to Whistler, but the organization quickly transformed into a key player in safeguarding Whistler’s diverse, local habitats and their species. Today, AWARE continues to protect our wilderness backyard through representing the environment in local land management processes, connecting people with nature through projects and building a sustainable community by empowering individuals to pursue a more sustainable future.

We would like to invite you to be a part of our story.

Get into the spirit of giving – through donating to a charity that helps to enrich the environment on which our mountain culture depends.

Donate here.

Crafty By Nature – A Day of Nature Inspired Community Fun in the Rain!

Crafty by Nature 2015 was made possible by the Community Foundation of Whistler, the Pique Newsmagazine , hard working volunteers and generous local businesses.

CBN Event VolunteersAll the amazing volunteers that made Crafty by Nature 2015 possible!The Whistler Public Library read nature tales to crafty attendees beside the Whistler Museum who led participants on nature walks in and around Rebagliati Park. IMG_3456Egg-less egg and spoon races kept young ones active while being considerate of food and the energy that goes into producing it.  IMG_3446Board member, Paul Girodo and volunteer, Johnny Visser helped participants build houses to shelter the birds and bees of our community. IMG_3448Carefully building homes for our ecological neighbours. IMG_3449 IMG_3452The Whistler Museum showcased the creatures and critters that live and roam in the Whistler valley. IMG_3434AWARE supplied a Zero Waste station to minimize waste production and educate people on why composting and recycling is vital to our future. IMG_3438Thanks to generous tent donations from around the community the much needed rain did not stop Crafty by Nature!IMG_3441Wolfgang Sterr created low impact quinoa cakes for the park to enjoy.

IMG_3443The compassionate cooking demos taught attendees that low impact cooking can be both gentle on the environment and absolutely delicious! IMG_3430Wolfgang with his helper, a young chef in training.

IMG_3431A row of Whistler’s finest non-profit organizations shared the role they play in keeping the Sea to Sky corridor healthy with locals and visitors alike. IMG_3432An extensive array of donated prizes helped Whistler’s environmental charity raise money through raffle ticket sales.


PC: Jeremy Williams

Sea-to-Sky Communities United In Support Of Grizzly Bear Recovery

The District of Squamish has joined neighboring communities in the Sea-to-Sky and resolved to support recovery of the iconic Grizzly Bear. In the past 12 months, the community Councils of Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton, and Lillooet, plus the Board of the Squamish Lillooet Regional District, have all passed Resolutions in support of the recovery of the threatened Grizzly Bear populations in southwest BC. This unanimous support for recovery throughout the entire Sea-to-Sky corridor, indicates the strong value both residents and visitors associate with having grizzly bears in our backcountry.

The District of Squamish resolution reflected those of fellow communities and reiterated local government support for the grizzly bear recovery planning identified in the provincially endorsed 2008 Sea-to-Sky Land and Resource Management Plan. Claire Ruddy of AWARE said: “A substantial, multi-year investment in scientific research on these grizzly bears has been made. Now it’s time to capitalize on this investment and use it to help guide the recovery planning which was formally called for over seven years ago.”

The local government resolutions also recognized that “there are ecological, economic, and spiritual benefits to conserving and recovering grizzly bears including that they are an “umbrella species”, the conservation of which will benefit many other plants, animals and ecosystem values like clean water and recreational opportunities”.

First Nations led the way advocating for Southwest BC’s grizzly bears. The St’at’imc Chiefs Council passed a resolution in 2011 expressing the importance of grizzly bears to their culture and urging necessary recovery actions including the protection of grizzly bear critical habitats, among other things. Since then, Squamish Nation and the Okanagan Nation Alliance have joined them in their calls for progress. The April 15 Squamish Nation Resolution states “That grizzly bear population recovery and management is a Squamish priority to ensure that Stl’lhalem – grizzly bear – will remain, occupy and thrive in its traditional area for all time.”

The resolutions parallel efforts of the Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative, which is a coalition of local, provincial and First Nation partners (of which AWARE is one), focused on restoring the five ‘threatened’ grizzly bear populations in southwest BC back to ‘viable’ numbers.

Johnny Mikes of the Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative highlights: “This confirmation of unanimous local support for keeping grizzly bears on our shared landscape now and for future generations is important. The resolutions reiterate support from local government for grizzly bear recovery outlined in the regional land use plans (LRMPs).” Mikes went on to add  “Safeguarding southwest BC’s Grizzlies is a popular, inexpensive, non-partisan idea. Coast to Cascades is committed to working with the Province on helping these bears in a number of ways, but proper recovery planning is the best way to move forward and its time has clearly come”

Currently it is estimated fewer than 300 grizzly bears roam an area of over 4.5 million hectares, which makes up the five threatened grizzly bear populations of southwest BC.

Individual community resolutions can be found at:


Crafty BY Nature

Join Whistler’s environmental charity AWARE and some of their non-profit friends in Rebagliati Park on Sunday August 30th, 11am-3pm for Crafty BY Nature: a day of nature crafts, live music, food and fun to celebrate our natural environment.

What Will You Find @ Crafty BY Nature:

  • Nature Crafts
  • Interactive Info Booths with Local Non-Profits
  • Bird & Bee House Making (While Kits Last)
  • Low Impact, Compassionate Cooking Demos
  • Nature Displays & Walks
  • Old School Games
  • Live Music

This event has been made possible thanks to the support of the Community Foundation of Whistler and Pique Newsmagazine, local businesses and the volunteers who commit their time and energy to making the day a success.

Want to help?
Become a volunteer with Crafty BY Nature.
Sign up to help here:
Take a look at last years event:
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AWARE Volunteers & Regional Recycling Undertake Recycling Raid at SVMF Campsites

AWARE and Regional Recycling teamed up again over the first weekend in August to help the Squamish Valley Music Festival divert recyclables from landfill.  A small army of dedicated waste warriors came out to help with Recycling Raids at the campgrounds.

In all over 100 people came out to help, with staff and raiders dedicating over 660 on-site hours to collecting beverage bottles, cans and containers from four campsites.  Early estimates from Regional Recycling are that we collected over 80,000 beverage containers!

We cannot say thank you enough to all the AWESOME folk who literally ‘mucked-in’ to help over the weekend.  In return for their fantastic efforts the festival organisers gave each volunteer a pass to that evenings show, meaning we had some raiders who joined us just for a day and some who helped out every day! Again Thank You!

In addition to diverting recyclables from the waste stream, our shared efforts resulted in the estimated donation of $6000 to AWARE, meaning a double-whammy for the environment!

Check out some pics from the weekend below:

The simple but effective collection stations regional Recycling set up in each campsite at the Squamish Valley Music Festival.
The simple but effective collection stations Regional Recycling set up in each campsite at the Squamish Valley Music Festival.
Some of our AWESOME Waste Warriors after a Successful Recycling Raid
Some of our AWESOME Waste Warriors after a Successful Recycling Raid
This is how good it feels to volunteer!
This is how good it feels to volunteer!
We can't say thank you enough!
We can’t say thank you enough!
Rocking the Pink - Helly Hansen donated some high-vis vests to help keep us visible.  Beautifully modelled by some of our volunteers!
Rocking the Pink – Helly Hansen donated some high-vis vests to help keep us visible. Beautifully modelled by some of our volunteers!
So Many Solo Cups! - This whole bag of Solo Cups were collected in less than 45 minutes from one campsite - makes you realise how wasteful those flip-cup and beer pong games can be.
So Many Solo Cups! – This whole bag of Solo Cups were collected in less than 45 minutes from one campsite – makes you realise how wasteful those flip-cup and beer pong games can be.
Waste Not Want Not - This was the waste generated from the area around 4 tents!
Waste Not Want Not? – Not So Much – This was the waste generated from the area around 4 tents!  Luckily most people were not so wasteful.
The Big Clean Up - AWARE Volunteers and many others worked hard to clean up the campsites after the campers left.
The Big Clean Up – AWARE Volunteers and many others worked hard to clean up the campsites after the campers left.
Never Doubt What a Small Group of Dedicated People Can Achieve! - As the campers left we were sweeping the campsites for recyclables - this is what we got from just one (of four) sites.
Never Doubt What a Small Group of Dedicated People Can Achieve! – As the campers left we kept sweeping the campsites for recyclables – this is what we got from just one (of four) sites.
photo 3
Another truck filled!


As AWARE is increasingly being asked by Whistler event organisers to help with waste minimisation at events, we were excited to help with the SVMF to see how these mega-scale events are working to combat waste reduction.  What the experience confirmed was that no matter what the scale there are some key areas on which to focus:

  • Education – ensure people know how waste is being managed at that particular event, whether it be colour-coded bags, collection points, etc.  Events are also a great opportunity to communicate broader waste issues to the public
  • Prior Planning – careful planning of infrastructure, tote placement, signage, material purchasing choices, etc. all play a vital part in maximising diversion from events
  • Focus Resources Wisely – waste is traditionally an area that is undervalued.  Managing waste comes at a cost and budgets are often limited.  Focusing attention on your predominant streams is a good start for minimisation.
  • Work Your Way to the Detail – if an event wants to maximise reduction it might need to consider sorting some waste post-consumer.  This means a team goes through the waste to pull out  recyclables, organics, etc.  It requires staffing, budget and a suitable facility, but this is how large corporations and events have successfully maximised diversion from landfill.
  • Empower People  – choices are ours to make.  Waste minimisation starts with re-thinking the way we consume.  Plastic Water bottles & cups have reusable alternatives, as do paper plates and plastic cutlery.  Tents, pillows, sleeping bags, tarps, coolers, camping chairs can be used repeatedly rather than abandoned on a campsite after a weekends use.  We can all work on our own zero waste journeys as together we create the whole.

There is no such place as ‘away’.  When we throw anything away it must go somewhere  ~ Annie Leonard.

FREE — Squamish Valley Music Festival Tickets

SquamDo you love music & hate waste? Join AWARE in helping the SVMF divert recyclables from the landfill and get a FREE ticket(s) to the Fest!

Get a FREE ticket for the same day you complete your volunteer shift on (e.g. help us clean up on Friday and attend the festival for FREE on Friday evening). Shifts finish at 2pm and 6pm, so you don’t have to miss any of your favorite shows. Want to attend the whole festival for free? Volunteer everyday!

*Link deactivated – ALL POSITIONS FILLED. To be added to the waitlist e-mail with the specific day and time you are available  to volunteer (see below for options). Sign up to volunteer at

 Fri, Sat and Sun: 8am-2pm or 12pm-6pm (volunteer during the day, get a wristband for that evening)

 Mon: 9am-3pm (Since there are NO shows on Mon we are paying our Monday cleanup crew $100 each)

 Tickets will be distributed to volunteers at the end of their shift.

A percentage of the return received from the recyclables collected will be awarded to AWARE.

Questions? E-mail:


The Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment (AWARE) strives to improve the quality of life in Whistler and surrounding areas, protect and restore the natural heritage and maintain our resources and ecosystems, and achieve environmental sustainability through community education and advocacy.