It is with heavy hearts that we report that one of our Whistler Mountain Ski Club family, Andrée Janyk passed away, Friday June 16th 2017.
Andrée lived life with an enormous passion, spirit and enthusiasm. She had lived with cancer for over two years and her determination to make the most of every day stayed with her until the end. Only 6 weeks ago she was out skiing with her children and teaching her grandchildren how to ski.
It was Andrée’s passion and enthusiasm to support, encourage and enable not only her family, but everyone that she could, to enjoy sport and recreation. It was also her tireless efforts to advocate and fight for the rights of others in sport and the whole community that made her such a driving force in Whistler.
Andree’s father Peter Vajda visited Canada from Hungary in 1937 and he stayed as a result of the outbreak of the war. Peter became a great pioneer of Canadian skiing as one of the engineers’ instrumental in developing and installing the first ski lifts.
Andrée was born in North Vancouver in 1949 and grew up there learning to ski on Grouse mountain at 2 years old and she went on to ski race with the Canadian National team. Andrée had an incredible love for the mountains, skiing and ski racing and she carried that with her and spread it to others her whole life and she was still instructing on Whistler Blackcomb throughout this past winter.
Andrée’s father was a big proponent of bringing the Olympics to Vancouver and was heavily involved in each bidding process to bring them here, finally being successful and securing the 2010 games. Although Peter did not live to see the games here, not only was Andree an incredible volunteer on the slopes, two of her children Britt & Michael both competed in the games in Whistler.
Andrée met Bill Janyk in Whistler on a ski weekend. They married and 17 years later moved to Whistler in 1995 with their three children Britt, Michael and Stephanie so that they could also pursue their love of skiing.
She had been a founding member, coach and volunteer of Blackcomb Ski Club and continued her development of the sport with the Whistler Mountain Ski Club and later as a ‘Weasel Worker’ volunteering on races from club races up to the Olympic Games. In the words of one of her volunteer friends, their statement on arriving at the hill each morning, was “What can we do for the ski club today?”.
Andrée was simultaneously a founding member of Whistler Youth Soccer Club and an active coach, referee and mentor for many years still actively refereeing until this year. Andrée was a school trustee for 12 years before she became involved in the Resort Municipality of Whistler where she was elected onto the council and has served passionately since 2011.
Andrée went on to accumulate an enormous number of accolades for her tireless support of recreation, sport and the community and was named Whistler Cup volunteer of the year, BC Alpine Volunteer of the year, Whistler Volunteer of the year a Sport BC Community hero as well as Whistler’s Citizen of the year.
Andrée’s love for nature also manifested itself in her gardening, growing vegetables and even starting an organic food co-op in Vancouver to share her passion for healthy lifestyle.
However, her greatest accolades are the ones for which there are no awards. She devoted endless energy and love to her family and her three children continue to spread the same love for life with the same passion. Regardless of how much Andree gave to the community, she was always there for her children and her grandchildren.
Andrée will be missed by all who met her. Her enthusiasm gave energy and action in so many ways that her legacy will be carried not only by her family, but the many beloved friends that she made along her journey.
Andrée was the epitome of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club’s Vision. A true “Champion in life and in Sport”.
There will be a celebration of life for Andrée in Whistler on Sunday, July 16th 2017, from 2- 4:30 at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.