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The Top 10 Whistler Festivals – Updated for 2019

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When it comes to festivities in Whistler, you can be sure of one thing – there’s never a shortage. Whether you’re searching for a kid’s festival, an outdoor festival, a food festival, or even a beer festival (yeah, you heard us – an entire festival dedicated to beer), Whistler has it, and more than that, they have them year-round. There’s no off-season for festivals, and there’s always something super exciting going on. We created a list of our top ten favourite Whistler festivals and provided you with all the details to get you started.

Big air at the crankworx competition

Image: Crankworx

Check out our top ten lists – organized by month – and start planning your visit to this outdoorsy, festival filled village accordingly. If there is one thing these festivals have in common, they all book up fast. For those looking to hit the major events, we highly recommend planning well in advance of arrival for accommodation, event tickets, and transportation. While Whistler is always a hot tourist destination, with prices reflecting its year-round popularity, prices definitely spike during some of the more significant festivals, like Crankworx.

There are many options open for those wishing to keep hold of their purse strings. In fact, we’ve already written an article on how to do whistler for free, with tons of good advice even for short-term visits. We also recommend staying in one of the many hostels in our town. While some hostels still cater to the party lifestyle, others cater to families, privacy and even a bit of luxury.

Another hot tip is to check out the free events put on by each festival. There are always the hot-ticket VIP events, but some of the best parties are open to the public and free. On top of the official festival events, many local restaurants, hotels, and bars get in on the action as well. Be sure to check out other locations to get a full picture of whats going on that week.

January

***** As of the date of update, we missed January 2019 – so here are the big dates to keep in mind for Whistler Pride in 2020!

Whistler Pride and Ski Festival – January 26 to February 2, 2020

LGBTQ Pride flag in Whistler

Set the year off right with the annual Whistler Pride

One of the biggest weekends in the world for the LGBTQI skiing community, the Whistler Pride, and Ski Festival takes the advice of Whistler winter sportsmen – go big or go home.

This week-long festival features a jam-packed slate of events you won’t want to miss. From snowmobiling adventures, wine tastings, pool parties (don’t worry, they are indoors – we are not that crazy in Whistler), a snowball dance, and of course, skiing and snowboarding, this event has it all. Most of all, it celebrates LTBTQI pride. Let your flag fly, check online for ticket availability.

April

World Ski & Snowboard Festival –  April 10 to April 14 2019

A final big hurrah to wind down an epic winter season of winter sport. From big air to the big screen, the WSSF 2019 always packs a lot into only a few short days. If you are into adreneline, check out the Saudan Couloir Race Extreme, the Monster Energy Boarderstyle World Championships or everyone’s favourite the slush cup.

If arts are your thing, check out the Pro Photographer show down, the Swatch 72hr Filmmaker Showdown or the Swatch Art and Soul. Many big names come out for this event, and even the amateurs make a name for themselves in some of the filmmaking competition.

And whatever you do – don’t forget about the numerous after parties!

There are many free events including the outdoor concert series and the Art and Soul art exhibition. Check their website for ticket prices to some of the popular events.

May

Go Fest – May 17 to May 20, 2019

People celebrating go fest in a circle

GoFest 2017 (Photo by Clint Trahan / clinttrahan.com)

What does Whistler love more than the outdoors? The answer should be obvious – nothing. Whistler celebrates the vastness and beauty of the outdoors every single day, but every May, they take it to the next level.

The Whistler Go Fest is the Great Outdoors Festival that helps the community welcome springtime. Celebrating the clash of winter and summer, this four-day event is a cultural, artistic, outdoorsy event that encourages everyone to get outside and get active. From sailing to dog training, sports and culture, paddling to dinner shows, you can do it all. Check each event for individual prices.

Bici Gusti Gourmet Ride – May 17 to May 19, 20189 
Do you find your passions for cycling and gourmet food stuck in a seemingly endless battle, forcing you to choose between one or the other? Consider this an issue no longer! The Bici Gusti Gourmet Ride is a two-day festival that provides you the opportunity to enjoy your two greatest loves.

Spin through the Whistler and Callaghan Valleys along a 70km route while enjoying the beauty of the coastal mountains, then, enjoy a delicious, post-ride dinner created by Ned Bell and crafted with ingredients gathered during your 70km ride! This is undoubtedly a wild ride – both through the coastal mountain range and for your taste buds. Registration is available online and ranges from $900 (1-Night Solo) to $2,500 (3-Night 3-Guests) depending on the room. Don’t miss out on this exciting adventure!

July

Whistler Children’s’ Festival – July 5 to July 7, 2019
This summertime event is all about the kiddos, and what a party it will be! The Whistler Children’s Festival 2019 is a long-running event smack-dab in the middle of summer. It will help your children celebrate being out of school the right way (like they need the extra encouragement). This festival always features hands-on art workshops, crafts, theatres, multimedia, dance, music, and magical performances in the middle of Whistler’s Olympic Plaza.

August

Squamish Days Logger Festival – August 1 to August 5, 2019

Log rolling competition

Squamish logger days celebrates the long tradtion of logging in our area.

We’re 100 percent unbiased when we list the Squamish Days Logger Festival as one of our top-ten fave festivals in around Whistler. Okay, okay –we fess up, we’re not entirely unbiased, but hey, we’re a bunch of axe throwing enthusiasts and the Squamish logger days festival is our roots. Can you blame us?

Whether you’re like us (awesome, of course) or you’ve never thrown an ax in your life (we can help!), you’re certain to enjoy this fest. Proudly in its 62nd year, the Squamish fest will be hosted over the long weekend in August and offers you a weekend full of excitement. Aimed at celebrating the long tradition of logging in the Sea-to-Sky corridor, there are various activities like an 8km run, a pancake breakfast, world-class loggers sports show, and even a parade!

Many events are free to watch, and if you want to participate there may be a nominal entry fee ($20). Check the  website for more information.

Wanderlust Whistler Festival – August 1 to August 4, 2019

Yogis practicing on a lake shore

A festival for all things yoga, Wanderlust Whistler

This annual festival in Whistler is all about one thing – wellness! Wanderlust festival merges the beauty of music, yoga, the outdoors, and good vibes. Yogis from all around the world come together to down-dog, dance, and dine; drawing on each other’s’ wisdom. This event will feature top musical acts and DJs, world-renowned speakers, top chefs and winemakers, and the world’s most well-known yoga teachers!

  • General Admission (3-Day): $376.08
  • One-Day Admission: $96.08- $161.08
  • Full 2019 Schedule Available here.

Crankworx Whistler Festival – August 9 to August 18, 2019
This is the ultimate mountain biking celebration, so much so, that it’s self-declared the defining mountain biking experience. If you and your crew can’t get enough of the mountain biking scene (chances are you’ve already checked out Whistler) – why miss out on the premier mountain biking event?

Check out Crankworx in August that emphasizes monster air, supreme flow, and heroic endurance. Each day will feature demonstrations, races, and tons of formidable biking events! Most spectator events are free to watch, but you can always purchase a VIP package $119 to $649.

September

Whistler Village Beer Festival – September 10-15, 2019

Two women in German attire, enjoying beer

Enjoy all things beer with the Whistler Beer Festival

If you think a giant festival dedicated to beer sounds too good to be true, you apparently haven’t been to Whistler. This ultimate beer-tastic festival is more than just guzzling a fizzy, delicious glass of golden hops, you’ll have the chance to enjoy food pairing dinners, cask nights, live music, and a giant, two-day main event in the Olympic Plaza.

If you are lucky, we’ll even be there with our mobile ax throwing unit like we were in 2017 & 2018! This event, hosted by over 70 breweries (and 140+ beer varieties) lets guest try more than 120 different ciders and brews from BC. There might even be some international brews available, too.

  • General Admission: $60
  • VIP Admission: $80
  • October

Whistler’s Writers Festival – October 17 to October 20, 2018
If you’ve got a creative mind and you’re looking for the ultimate festival to cater to your passion, then the Whistler Writer Festival might just be the perfect October event for you. This annual writing fest is a jam-packed festival filled with an all-star lineup of guest authors, top-tier events, and storytellers all collaborating to bring their gifts to you.

Sample appetizers, talk with publishers and agents and join in various workshops to perfect your craft. Check online for the release of ticket prices! tickets go on sale in August 2019.

November

Cornucopia – November 7 to November 17, 2019

A small plate at Whistler Cornucopia

Taste everything Whistler has on offer, Cornucopia

This big fest is perhaps the Fall festival that puts all other fall festivals to shame. It’s the ultimate ode to local food and drink. Cornucopia festival offers something for everyone—delicious winemakers dinners themed food and drink events, interactive seminars, electric after parties and even health and wellness events.

You’ll be sipping and sampling your way through the most distinctive food and drink available throughout all of British Columbia. Join Whistler for an 11-day fall festival that will take your breath away (don’t worry, you’ll get it back in time to scarf down some delicious treats). Check online for ticket availability!

Already planning a visit in a month, we didn’t touch on? The good news is that there is almost always a festival happening, we just didn’t have the space to cover them all here. We didn’t even mention the Fungus Amongst us festival that celebrates all things fungi, or the impressive World Ski and Snowboard festival, what about the Pemberton Slow Food Cycle? There is a novel waiting to be written about the festivals in our neck of the woods.