Whistler will play host to a special guest on Friday to present awards to community members.

Governor General David Johnston will be in town to present the ‘Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers’ to 13 members of the community. The medal recognizes the volunteer achievements of Canadians across the country in a range of fields, and pays tribute to the dedication and exemplary commitment of volunteers.

Anyone who is a Canadian citizen and has made significant, sustained and unpaid contributions to their community in Canada or abroad is eligible to receive the award. Non-Canadians are also eligible if their contributions have brought benefit or honour to Canadians or to Canada.


The Whistler recipients and their backgrounds are listed below:


Gord Annand

Renowned for his generosity and great sense of humour, Gord Annand has served with the Whistler Public Library for 12 years as a trustee and as chair of its board of directors. He notably led a successful fundraising campaign to preserve and maintain the library’s capital reserve. He is also a dedicated supporter of the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation.

Bob Brett

Forest ecologist Bob Brett is committed to learning as much as he can about the ecosystems of the Whistler valley and protecting them. In 1999, he helped establish the Whistler Naturalists Society and continues to serve on its board of directors. Through the society, he introduced the popular BioBlitz program and launched the annual Fungus Among Us Mushroom Festival.

Dave Clark
In 2002, Dave Clark co-founded the Whistler Friends Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and funds for two very important causes: Crohn’s and Colitis Canada and the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. Thanks to his tireless efforts, more than half a million dollars has been raised for these worthy causes.

Jennifer Erickson
Since 2002, Jennifer Erickson has volunteered as an instructor with the Whistler Adaptive Sports Programs (WASP). She teaches skiers with disabilities on the slopes of Whistler Blackcomb, and also develops written material, videos and teaching seminars. She has additionally served four years on the WASP board of directors.

John “Bushrat” Hetherington
Since 1988, avalanche expert John Hetherington has shared his extensive expertise and skills as a volunteer with the Whistler Search and Rescue Team. He has also been a dedicated board member of the Canadian Avalanche Association and the Whistler Museum and Archives Society.

Tony Horn
Tony Horn volunteered for 13 years with the Whistler Off-Road Cycling Association, which is dedicated to rehabilitating and maintaining hundreds of bike trails. Notably, he served as president and race director, and has organized several popular bike races and led numerous clean-up projects in the region.

Allison Hunter
For the past 25 years, Alison Hunter has shared her love of music with the community as a volunteer with the Whistler Children’s Chorus, the Whistler Singers, and the Whistler Children’s Music Festival. She is the co-founder of the Whistler Chamber Music Society and also served as president of the Whistler Arts Council.

Sara Jennings
For 10 years, Sara Jennings served on the board of the Association of Whistler-Area Residents for the Environment, notably as its president. She also volunteered as a community advisor with the Whistler2020 Development Corporation. She currently sits on an advisory board for the Community Foundation of Whistler.

Eric Martin
For 13 years, Eric Martin served as the volunteer project manager overseeing the construction of a community ice arena at Meadow Park Sports Centre. More recently, he was involved in the site selection process for the Audain Art Museum. He is a member and chair of the volunteer-run Whistler Design Panel and currently sits as president and chair of the Whistler 2020 Development Corporation, which brought the Whistler Athletes’ Village from concept to reality.

Jim Moodie
One of the designers of the original Whistler Village, Jim Moodie helped create the Whistler Athletes’ Village for the 2010 Winter Olympics, a development that has since become a permanent housing complex for local residents. He also played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Audain Art Museum in 2016, and continues to serve as chair of its board of trustees and as vice-chair of the museum’s foundation.

Jennifer Patterson
A member of the Whistler Valley Quilters’ Guild since 1994, Jennifer Patterson has also volunteered her time with the local chapter of the Girl Guides of Canada for over a decade, notably as commissioner. She is also actively involved with the Scouts movement and the Whistler Skating Club.

Jacqui Tyler
For more than three decades, Jacqui Tyler has actively volunteered with several organizations, including the Kelty Dennehy Foundation and Whistler Adaptive Sports. Notably, she has organized several annual fundraising events for the Festival of Lights and has been a dedicated supporter of the Whistler Music Festival.

Kristina Swerhun
A founding member and long-serving volunteer with the Whistler Naturalists Society since its inception in 1999, Kristina Swerhun has played a key role in the organization’s two main events. She is also a dedicated member of the Whistler 2020 Natural Areas task force and of the Association of Whistler-Area Residents for the Environment.


The Governor General will also open the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference on Friday that is taking place in Whistler. He will address the conferences’ 250 members, who will be challenged to define their goals for the future of the country, and meet them as they take on increasing responsibility in their organizations and communities.


Filed under: Award, David Johnston, Governor General, Medal, Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers, Volunteer, Whistler