Whistler Answer: The Last Retort

The Whistler Answer was the voice of alternative culture in Whistler. Running from 1977-1982 with a second run in 1992-1993 it was the expression of the ski bum population of Whistler in its early days as a ski resort. 

The Answer was so-called because the only serious local paper in the area at the time was the Whistler Question. The Answer aimed to be the alternative voice to this paper, billing itself as being “For those tired of questions”.

The content is witty, creative and cherished by (almost) all who were around to read the originals. Few publications could have managed to fit in so much censor-maddening drugs, nudity and profanity while maintaining such a consistently hilarious and good-natured tone.

The Answer provides a window into the oft-reminisced “Old Whistler,” an idyllic era that pre-dates our valley’s hyper-development and fast-paced urban atmosphere. A playful browse of the Answer catalogue is perfect fodder to debate whether Whistler’s free spirit is truly long-gone, or alive and well. 

The original run from 1977-1982 was hand-drawn, hand-lettered and hand-pasted by the light of kerosene lamps in a local squat. The Answer was truly a labour of love.

View The Whistler Answer Online

Whistler Answer founder Charlie Doyle, on left, and Michael Leierer (darkroom, advertising) at an editorial meeting, circa 1979.

This project was made possible in part through:

The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre: BC History Digitization Program

The BC History Digitization Program promotes increased access to British Columbia’s historical resources by providing matching funds to undertake digitization projects that will result in free online access to our unique provincial historical material. More information can be found here.

We appreciate your generosity and making this exhibit possible, thank you!