Recent AFOW Board Meeting Awards $73,000 to Whistler Charities

At the December, 2015 AFOW Board meeting more than $73,000 was granted to several Whistler non-profits, including: Whistler Search and Rescue, Canadian Society of Mountain Medicine, Whistler Community Services Society and Whistler Sailing Association.

AFOW mission is to raise and distribute funds for health and human services, culture and the arts, environmental protection and outdoor recreation, to enhance the community, benefit the population and foster greater understanding and friendship between the Canadian and American people.

Members of AFOW believe Whistler is an extraordinary place, and that by becoming involved philanthropically in the community, the community benefits, and AFOW members gain by becoming more closely associated with the local people and issues.

Since its founding in 2002, almost $1.4 million has been raised and distributed to local charities.

For more information about AFOW go to or follow us on Facebook.


Radar the Rescue Dog, 2nd Edition with New Foreword


The second edition of Radar the Rescue Dog is out with one major change – the foreword is now written by “The Right Honourable Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau”, who spent time in Whistler as a snowboard instructor.

A grant from AFOW helped make this publication happen.

CPR Devices Made Possible by AFOW Grant

A generous donation from American Friends of Whistler to the Canadian Society of Mountain Medicine has resulted in two CPR machines for the Sea to Sky Corridor and Whistler area.

These devices, which will provide automatic CPR, even during a toboggan or helicopter rescue, will be strategically located for quick access by the WB Ski Patrol and Search and Rescue teams in the Sea to Sky Corridor/Whistler area.  “We know that continuous, effective CPR cannot be provided by human providers in rescue situations”, says Dr. Dave Watson of the Canadian Society of Mountain Medicine, a non-profit organization that trains mountain physicians and advanced mountain paramedics.  “The key to survival”, says Watson, “is uninterrupted, high quality CPR and the ZOLL Autopulse will do this”.

In addition to treating victims of heart attack, the Autopulse is essential gear for treating patients in cardiac arrest secondary to hypothermia. “This are otherwise healthy, usually young people”, says Bruce Brink, an Advanced Care Flight Paramedic with the Whistler/Blackcomb Ski Patrol and member of the CSMM.  “Hypothermic patients in cardiac arrest need continuous CPR for the entire duration of transport to the specialized care available only in Vancouver and there is good medical evidence that these folks may walk of the hospital, after their hypothermic cardiac arrest, with a potentially long, healthy future”.

The Canadian Society of Mountain Medicine (CSMM) represents Canada at the International Commission for Alpine Rescue and at the International Society of Mountain Medicine.  CSMM, in collaboration with the UBC Faculty of Medicine, also provides formal training for Physicians, Advanced Paramedics and Nurse Practitioners which leads to the internationally recognized Diploma in Mountain Medicine.

For further information:


Join us for the 13th Annual Inside Scoop Event

American Friends of Whistler

Invite you to join us for the 13th Annual Inside Scoop Event

Monday, December 28 at Millennium Place

5-7 pm

The event will feature Mayor, Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, Whistler Blackcomb’s Senior VP Stuart Rempel and Audain Art Museum Executive Director, Suzanne Greening.



13th Annual Inside Scoop Event December 28

Join us for the 13th Annual Inside Scoop Event

Monday, December 28 at Millennium Place

Reception starting at 5 pm followed at

6 pm with speakers Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, WB Senior VP Stuart Rempel and Audain Art Museum director Suzanne Greening


RSVP to or mail American Friends of Whistler, Russ McDuff, AFOW Treasurer, 9428 151st Ave SE, Snohomish, WA 98290


AFOW Supports Audain Art Museum


Roughly $1.2 million has been granted to the community by the American charitable organization since 2002

FILE PHOTO - countdown Work continues on philanthropist Michael Audain's highly-anticipated museum, set to open in the New Year.

  • COUNTDOWN Work continues on philanthropist Michael Audain’s highly-anticipated museum, set to open in the New Year.

Whistler’s American friends have spread more money around the community again this year, including a $100,000 for the Audain Art Museum Foundation.

The grant from the American Friends of Whistler (AFOW) will be paid out in $20,000 increments annually over the next five years, and it will be invested with the permanent endowment of the museum’s foundation, created to ensure the long-term financial success of the museum.

“It certainly fits in with what the board has always felt is part of our mandate and it just felt to us, as our organization, that it was such a great thing for the resort and for visitors that in some small way we should make sure that we were supporting it,” said Gary Raymond, president of the AFOW, speaking from Scottsdale, Arizona this week.

“It was a very easy decision for the board to jump on and help.”

The AFOW’s contribution helped raise the tally on the Audain foundation’s fund, which has a goal of reaching $25 million. The fund now sits at more than $7.5 million.

Raymond explained the grant was staggered based on the AFOW’s ability to pay. The U.S. non-profit organization typically gives out $100,000 annually to various organizations in the corridor.

“What this allows us to do is make sure that we’re able to continue to support the other great causes in Whistler,” added Raymond.

Since its inception in 2002, when a small group of Americans who spend time in Whistler decided to set up the organization, the AFOW has granted more than $1.2 million in the community.

The list of grant recipients is long and varied.

It has given grants to the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program and the Get Bear Smart Society and the Whistler Fisheries Stewardship Group, and so many more.

This year, for example, the AFOW gave a $10,000 grant to the Whistler Health Care Centre (WHCC) nursing department for training to update staff on rural emergency medicine. In 2014 they received a $15,000 grant.

“The AFOW grants have been a blessing to the nursing staff,” said Janet Hamer, clinical services coordinator with the Whistler Health Care Centre. “We used some of this year’s grant to send five nurses to the St. Paul’s emergency conference held here in Whistler in September. The AFOW funds were used to send nurses to a course to update in paediatric and infant resuscitation. Fifteen nurses will be participating in a trauma workshop on Dec. 16. Working in a rural centre such as the WHCC means that competency is necessary in a wide range of scenarios. This education grant has enabled us to update different skills and knowledge. We are very grateful.”

There will be another board meeting in December to decide on more grants.

Executive director Mary Forseth said there has been renewed interest in the organization this year.

“I have received more inquiries this year than I have before,” said Forseth.

That could be due in part to the number of Americans travelling to Whistler, taking advantage of the strong American dollar.

December is also a time when the AFOW gathers for its annual “Inside Scoop” event that includes presentations from community members and a social.

Americans who donate to the AFOW receive a U.S. charitable tax deduction.



Audain Art Museum Opening Celebration

AAM opening

A Home For Art: The Audain Art Museum Lecture

AFOW members are invited to attend an exclusive lecture featuring Michael Audain on Thursday, November 26. He will share the genesis of the Audain Art Museum, Canada’s newest not-for-profit public museum, and provide insight into the permanent collection and his deep connection to and appreciation for Canadian Art.


Pemberton Museum and Archives Thank You Video

With funding help from AFOW, the Pemberton Museum was able to create a permanent transportation exhibit celebrating the 100th year of the arrival of the railroad in 1914.  Please drop by the Pemberton Museum and see the positive impact AFOW funds has for small not-for-profits like the Pemberton Museum.

AFOW Funded Exhibit to Open

The Pemberton Museum 100th Railway Celebration and Transportation Exhibit opens on the May long weekend.  For more information:

Click to access museum-newsletter-apr2015-web-copy.pdf