Whistler, New Home of GROW Conference, Nets Google eTown Award for Embracing Power of Web

Whistler recently received a Google eTown Award for 2014.

The recognition for the world-class resort town came barely a week after Whistler hosted the GROW Conference, formerly held in downtown Vancouver.

The 2010 Olympics site was recognized last year for the award as well. The award celebrates cities across Canada whose businesses are embracing the power of the web to grow and fuel their local economies.

Other winners of the award this year include Banff in Alberta, home of the Banff Venture Forum, Oakville in Ontario, Rosemere in Quebec, and Chester in Nova Scotia.

“The web helps people everywhere discover the best of what’s around the world or around the corner,” said Sam Sebastian, Managing Director of Google Canada. “As Canadians live more of their lives online, the small and medium businesses that boldly embrace digital are finding new customers, growing their businesses and succeeding in an increasingly connected world.”

“I am honoured to receive the 2014 Google eTown Award on behalf of the Resort Municipality of Whistler,” said Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, Mayor of Whistler. “The award is a testament to our innovative business community that embraces online opportunities to communicate with visitors and residents.”

A study by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority shows that Canadian Internet users are among the most highly engaged in the world, with 87 of our households connected to the Internet. In contrast, only 41 per cent of Canadian small and medium-sized businesses have a website. Research also shows that small and medium-sized businesses that leverage online tools grow faster than those that do not.