Canada Day in Whistler 2019
O, Canada. The country of Tim Horton’s, ice hockey and saying sorry a lot. It’s a great place, and Canadians are pretty proud to be Canadian. And never more than on July 1 – Canada Day. A whole day dedicated to our plaid-wearing, overly-polite nation. Wherever you are in Canada, you’re sure to find parades, picnics, fireworks and parties.
And Canada Day in Whistler is no exception. In this land of pine trees, mountains and glacier-fed lakes, you’ll find plenty of proud Canadians celebrating their beautiful country. Even the hordes of Aussies and Brits who have adopted Canada as their home get pretty excited about Canada Day too. I mean, who wouldn’t? It’s a chance to celebrate living in this great country, and an excuse to spend a day dressing up and having fun with your friends and family.
Whistler puts on a whole host of events to celebrate Canada Day. Plus you can choose from endless classic Canadian activities you can sample around Whistler. So we’ve put together this guide to Canada Day in Whistler. Where to go, what to do and how to dress – we’ll let you in on all the locals tips so you can have the best day.
Events and Activities for Canada Day in Whistler 2019
- Canada Day Parade in Whistler Village
To truly get into the festive spirit, head to Whistler village for the annual Canada Day parade. You’ll find the pedestrian Village Stroll packed with revellers in their best Canadian costumes. There’s music, dancing, costumes and lot of red-and-white patriotic pride. It’s a perfect way for families to spend the afternoon, and kids will love the crazy costumes and street entertainers.
- Patio Party at Dusty’s Bar and BBQ
Dusty’s Bar and BBQ is an institution in Whistler, known for its legendary apres and banging food. They also know how to throw a Canada Day party. Their location at the base of Creekside mountain makes for the perfect patio party destination on a hot July day. Bring your Maple Leaf-adorned outfits, or crack out your best Canadian tuxedo to fit in with the locals here. Dusty’s bring in some of the best DJs, offers killer drinks deals and the best atmosphere anywhere in Whistler. For some insider tips, check out our guide to how to party like a Whistler local.
- Summer Outdoor Concert Series
For a bit of a different scene, head down to Olympic Plaza over Canada Day weekend. There you’ll find the first of the Summer Concert Series, which brings live music to the gorgeous outdoor space. The last few years have featured the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, so expect a seriously impressive show, against the backdrop of the sunset behind the stunning Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.
- Whistler Farmers’ Market
Any good day of celebration requires some good feeds. So start your day at Whistler Farmers’ Market in Upper Village. There’ll you’ll find tons of local treats and produce from some of the best local artisan producers. You can also pick up some great Canadian souvenirs at the market to remind you of your awesome Canada Day weekend.
Super-Canadian Activities For Canada Day
If you’re here to experience Canada Day, you have to try out some classic Canadian summer activities. Here are a few of our favourites from Whistler.
- Go Axe Throwing
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: there’s nothing quite as Canadian as hurling axes at a big piece of wood. Come and see us at Forged and we’ll treat you to a beauty day of Canadian fun. Grab some friends, some axes and your best plaid shirt, and we’ll have you hitting bullseyes in no time. Our real-life Canadian axe throwing hosts might even teach you some authentic Canadian slang, or at least have you saying sorry every five minutes by the time you leave
- Canoe Across a Canadian Lake
Beautiful blue lakes surrounded by dark, dense pine forest – what you see in the adverts is actually what you get in Whistler. With five pristine lakes right in Whistler valley, there’s no excuse not to go out and explore the waterways for yourself. Rent a two-man canoe and paddle your way across Alta Lake with your best friend. By Canada Day, it’ll be warm enough for a quick dip too.
- Visit the Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre
To start to understand more of Canada’s Indigenous history, visit the spectacular Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre. The world-class cultural centre celebrates the culture, history and art of the two First Nations on whose traditional land we live and play today. Meet their knowledgeable cultural ambassadors, sample some traditional bannock bread and learn more about the beautiful lands where Whistler is now.
- Have a BBQ by the Lake
Take a trip to any of Whistler’s lakeside parks on Canada Day and you’ll see plenty of locals soaking up the sun and celebrating with friends. Spending the day having a BBQ by the lake is a classic Canadian choice. Grab a portable BBQ, some burgers, buns and chips from the store. And don’t forget your swimsuit and a towel because the lakes are glorious this time of year.
- Take a Backcountry ATV Trip
If you’re down for a bit of adventure, the best way to go is an ATV trip. There are plenty of options in Whistler, and an experienced tour guide will show you stunning views of the alpine. You’ll be the only ones for miles around, and you’ll get the rip around on your very own ATV in the picturesque Whistler backcountry.
Your First Canada Day? What to Expect!
If you’ve never celebrated Canada Day before, you’re in for a treat. As national holidays go, it’s all a very friendly, good-natured affair. Canadians are, after all, renowned for being polite, and that doesn’t change when we’re having a good time. Whether you’re BBQing in the park, joining the parade or partying with the locals, expect to come across plenty of happy Canadians who want to be your friend. There’s a few other classic Canadian experiences you can guarantee should be part of your Canada Day:
- Drink a Caesar
For the uninitiated, the Caesar is the Canadian drink of choice. The northern take on a Bloody Mary contains vodka, clamato juice, Worcestershire sauce and spices. And in case you get hungry, it’s topped off with snacks – pickles, celery and sometimes even onions rings and bacon! Some of Whistler’s best Caesar’s can be found at the Fitz Pub, Garibaldi Lift Company and of course, Dusty’s BBQ.
- Eat A Poutine
To go alongside the national drink, you’ve gotta try to national dish of poutine. Fries and cheese curds piled high and topped off with rich gravy. It’s as good as it sounds, and even better when you’ve got a couple of Canada Day drinks inside you. Check out the Southside Diner, where they offer a breakfast poutine, a classic poutine and even one topped off with buffalo chicken fingers!
- Go Play Some Hockey
Just kidding. While we may be famous as the land of ice and snow, it’s not actually eternal winter up here. By Canada Day in Whistler, you can expect temperatures up to 35°C, long days and bright sunshine. So rather than your skates, bring your shorts, swimsuit and plenty of sunscreen to make the most of the summer vibes. If you’re really keen to try out the Canadian national sport of ice hockey, you can take a trip to Meadow Park Sports Centre and their year-round, indoor ice rink.
How to Dress Appropriately for Canada Day
Whatever your plans for Canada Day, make sure you don’t forget your costume. There’s plenty of choices that will have you fitting in with the canucks in no time. Here’s a bit of inspiration for you:
- The Lumberjack Look
The first and most obvious choice is, of course, the good old-fashioned Canadian lumberjack look. Grab a plaid shirt, some denim jeans and boots and you’ll be indistinguishable from the locals. Bonus points for the boys if you can grow a proper backwoods beard to go with it.
- The Canadian Tuxedo
One of our favourites is the Canadian tuxedo. No, don’t worry, you don’t have to wear a bowtie all day. We’re talking double denim, jeans and jackets (think JT and Britney cerca 2001). It’s classy, comfortable and sure to turn some heads
- Red, white and maple leaves
To convey your commitment to Canada day in full, you’ve gotta be rocking some red and white. It doesn’t matter what – though maple leaf flags are always a winner. The trick is to commit. Go head to toe red and while, paint some maple leaves on your face and bring along your favourite animal mascot. Moose, beavers and bears are all great choices. If you’re missing any vital pieces, head over to the Roots store in Whistler village and you’ll find everything you need.
Whistler Canada Day – A pretty good day, eh?
Whistler is a pretty place to spend Canada Day. It’s got the world-class scenery, friendly locals and tons of truly Canadian activities. Whether you want first-rate adventure, unforgettable festivities or just to soak up the views with a day by the lake, Whistler is the place to be. So bring your friends (and your plaid shirts) and come and celebrate our beautiful country with us.