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Whistler Pride and Ski Festival

Whistler Pride and Ski Festival

The Whistler Pride and Ski Festival is an annual LGBTQ+-themed event at Whistler in January. It features a week of winter sports and fun events.

Not your typical Pride festival, the event has been running for around three decades and offers a welcoming atmosphere for all. It’s a Pride festival with parties and a parade, but it’s also a skiing and snowboarding festival with lots of snow sports activities.

The festival’s dates in 2024 are from January 21st to 28th.

Other annual 2SLGBTQ+ events in the Sea to Sky Region include the Vancouver Pride Festival and the Chilliwack Pride Festival. Both happen in August most years. There is also a Squamish Pride event at the Britannia Mine Museum.

 


This article contains the following information about the festival:

Passes and Accommodations | Events | Other Whistler Activities | Other Information


 

Whistler’s Pride Festival

With its roots going back to 1992, Whistler Pride has grown into an annual festival that attracts thousands of participants. It’s actually the biggest event of its kind in Canada (i.e. the largest Pride-themed winter ski festival). During the event there are plenty of great ski and snowboard opportunities on Whistler-Blackcomb along with shows, parties and all sorts of other celebrations of LGBTQ+ life and culture.

Whistler is known for its beautiful ski resort and mountains with plenty of fresh snow in winter. Whistler Pride takes advantage of this by scheduling its festival during what is often the peak of snow season.

The festival usually runs for a week and one-and-a-half weekends in late January. People of all genders and sexualities are welcome.

 

Whistler Pride Festival

 

Festival Passes and Accommodations

In 2024, two types of express passes are available. The Week Pass includes express entry to all events and costs about $599 each. For folks only wanting to check out events between January 25th and 27th, there’s also a 3-Day Pass starting at $299.

Each year festival-goers have access to a free guided ski and/or snowboard group. There are options available for those of all skill levels so everyone is welcome to take part. These groups take on both Whistler and Blackcomb mountains and are led by experienced guides. You just have to make sure to reserve your spot in advance.

One thing that’s not included are lift tickets which must be purchased through the Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort. For those who want to take part in the skiing and snowboarding, it’s recommended that you book a spot in advance on the Whistler Pride website. There are also plenty of other events to take part in at the festival which are described in more detail below.

Attendees who are from outside the Lower Mainland or who want to stay at the resort overnight need a place to stay. Aava Whistler Hotel is the official host of Whistler Pride in 2024. The hotel is close to where much of the action at the festival takes place. There is, of course, a number of other hotels in the area that can also be used. (See the WhatToDoInWhistler.ca website for a list of accommodation options.)

 

Really Gay History Tour

 


Interested in an LGBTQ+-friendly guided walking tours? Then check out Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours the next time you’re in Vancouver!


 

Whistler Pride Events

Below are some of the main events taking place in 2024. There are other events besides the ones we list, but these are just some of the biggest.

 

Daily Ski and Après Sessions

As mentioned above, there are guided ski and snowboard sessions available daily during the festival. In the mornings at about 9:45 am, whether you ski or not, you can take part in one of the sessions.

These are casual hangout events that provide a relaxed way to meet other attendees. Lunch afterwards is at the Whistler’s Roundhouse or Blackcomb’s Glacier Creek Lodge.

 

Whistler Pride Parade
Pride Parade Along Village Stroll

 

Annual Pride Parade

Given the emphasis on winter sports at the festival, it’s only fitting that the Pride parade itself takes place on skis and snowboards, or at least it does at the start. Beginning on the Olympic Run, participants slide their way down before transitioning to marching on foot all the way to the Olympic Plaza at the north end of the village.

In the parade there are plenty of rainbow flags, colourful outfits and people having fun. After the parade itself there are often further celebrations at the Whistler Conference Centre or elsewhere in town.

The date for the parade in 2024 is Friday, January 26th. 100 or so people skied and snowboarded down to the village a couple years ago. Many carried Pride flags and banners. A few dressed in fun and provocative costumes.

The procession of skiers then arrives at the bottom of the hill, by the gondolas. There they are greeted by a friendly crowd and an official Indigenous welcome. After that (and after lots of photo taking), the pedestrian part of the parade begins. It usually involves well over 100 people marching through the street.

The parade goes from one end of Village Stroll to the other, from the base of the gondolas to the Olympic Rings in the North Village. Upon reaching the Olympic Plaza, the parade ends and participants head off to other activities.

 

Whistler Pride Festival Video

To give you a really good idea of what to expect at the Whistler Pride Parade, check out the following video. It shows what the pedestrian part of the parade looked like in 2022.

In addition to scenes of the parade, at the end of the video, there is a scene of Jimbo saying “Hi From Whistler Pride.” Jimbo was the headlining entertainer for the festival in 2022.

To see a video of the parade that includes participants skiing down the hill at the beginning of the event see the WhatToDoInWhistler.ca website.

 

 

Sip n’ Dip Event at Scandinave Spa

Scandinave is a popular Whistler spa. It’s also a long-running sponsor of the Whistler Pride Festival.

On the evening of January 23rd, 2024, the spa hosts its annual private Pride event. It’s a relaxing event with music and alcoholic beverages. The spa doesn’t allow phones, and there is usually a silence policy in place during regular hours. That probably isn’t the case for the Sip n’ Dip event.

The event takes place from 9:30 pm to 11:30 pm in 2024, with a free shuttle running from the Aava Whistler Hotel to the venue.

 

Scandinave Spa
Scandinave Spa

 

Snowball Closing Party

This is not a snowball fight, rather it’s a blowout party to end off the festival. The Whistler Conference Centre is turned into a nightclub that attendees can party in from 10:00 pm until 4:00 am. There are lights, music and other effects in the building along with a DJ and plenty of dancing. This event happens on January 27th in 2024.

 

Other Whistler Activities

Whistler has a number of great activities to enjoy outside of the festival. There’s the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, ziplining, snowmobile tours and plenty of other fun things available on the mountains and in the village itself.

A lot of those and other activities aren’t included with the purchase of a festival pass, but if you’re in the area they are worth checking out.

For a list of things to do, check out Whistler’s Top Attractions.

 

Other Information

For more information about the events, visit the Whistler Pride and Ski Festival website. For a list of other things to do at the resort, including more details about the Pride Festival, see the website WhatToDoInWhistler.ca.

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