Our community have always been generous with their time and money, and never more so than on our 20th Anniversary! In a fantastic evening of food, music, dance and celebration, we raised over $35,000 to support our programs. It was great to see so many Zero Ceiling supporters out to celebrate with us. Chris Winter, founder of Zero Ceiling, was thrilled with the evening, and wrote to the Pique Magazine to say so….

Twenty years ago my phone rang. On the line was the Dusk to Dawn street youth centre in downtown Vancouver — “I hear you’re starting a program that brings street kids snowboarding in Whistler?” asked the woman on the phone.

This was not exactly my plan, but I decided to see what I could do. That first winter we hosted six groups of young adults to the slopes of Whistler Blackcomb.

Seeing the expression on their faces while gazing from Whistler’s peak on a sunny day, or while riding thigh-deep powder in the trees for the first time was deeply inspiring, and the Zero Ceiling Society of Canada was born.

Twenty years later the program has hosted over 4,500 youth to Whistler and supported over 85 participants in its Work 2 Live program.

Founder Chris Winter (centre) with co-executive directors Sean Easton and Chris Wrightson

Founder Chris Winter (centre) with co-executive directors Sean Easton and Chris Wrightson

The Work 2 Live is where a chosen group completes a 12-month training program that includes housing, job-training, life skills support and coaching, fitness training, mentoring and much more.

Many graduates of the Work 2 Live are now permanent residents in the Sea to Sky corridor, seeing them as neighbours in our community is absolutely amazing.

A few weeks ago we celebrated the program’s 20th anniversary at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre while raising over $35,000.

What a night!

A huge thank you to the amazing volunteer fundraising committee, silent auction donors and the generous event sponsors: the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, Scotiabank, Four Seasons Resort Whistler, Hilton Whistler Resort and Spa, Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Whistler Cooks, Nesters Market, Independent Grocer, Delish Cafe, Sugar Momma Pastries, Whistler Brewing Co., Fort Berens, Gibbons, Sea to Sky Celebrations, Coast Mountain Photography, Mountain FM and Whistler Creative.

Performers from the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre

Performers from the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre

Zero Ceiling would not exist without the decades of support from Whistler Blackcomb, the Whistler community, the tireless efforts of volunteers and board members and the amazing dedication of past executive directors. Thank you!

Finally, I would like to say a huge congratulations and thank you to co-executive directors Sean Easton and Chris Wrightson for organizing a fantastic 20th anniversary event and for being such excellent leaders for Zero Ceiling. Cheers to you both.

Here’s to another 20 years of providing at-risk and homeless youth with housing, employment, professional support and adventure-based learning that empowers them to live healthy and independent lives.

Chris Winter
Founder, Zero Ceiling Society of Canada

Generous donations for our silent auction

Generous donations for our silent auction

You can view all the photos from the event on our Facebook page – thanks to Chris Starck from Coast Mountain Photography for the beautiful shots.