Whistler is popular for both its skiing and events. Check out the community’s events calendar below and you’ll find there’s a festival most months of the year.
The resort also hosts lots of interesting events on most weekends, especially in the summer. Whether you’re looking for a festival related to food, drink, sports, music, film or culture, you’ll find something fun at Whistler.
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Festivals and Events in Whistler
Below is a list of some of Whistler’s main festivals and events each month of the year.
Whistler in January
The resort’s biggest event in January is the Whistler Pride and Ski Festival. It happens in late January (plus sometimes a day or two at the beginning of February). In 2023 it took place during the week of January 23rd to 30th. The LGBTQ-themed festival features snow sport activities, parties at night clubs, arts and cultural events, and lots of bright rainbow colours.
To see what’s happening this month elsewhere in the Lower Mainland, check out the January Calendar on the Vancouver’s Best Places website.
Whistler in February
February is when couples flock to Whistler to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the snow. It’s also when the BC Family Day long weekend takes place, which is when parents get an extra day off from work to spend with their families. Family Day is on the third Monday in February each year, which is February 20th in 2023. Expect the place to be busy mid-month and for all Hotel Rooms to be sold out well in advance!
To see what’s happening this month elsewhere in the Lower Mainland, check out the February Calendar on the Vancouver’s Best Places website.
Whistler in March
March in Whistler is famous for its beautiful spring snow conditions and busy ski slopes. Canadian Spring Break usually runs over the last two weeks of the month. The mountains get quite busy then with all the students off school.
Interestingly, March is a historically very snowy month for Whistler so the snow conditions are usually very good. St. Patrick’s Day also takes place in March and is a popular time to visit one of Whistler’s Bars and Nightclubs. In 2023 St. Patrick’s Day is on Friday, March 17th.
To see what’s happening this month elsewhere in the Lower Mainland, check out the March Calendar on the Vancouver’s Best Places website.
Whistler in April
Whistler starts to see warmer temperatures and more sun during the month of April. The World Ski and Snowboard Festival is one of the largest events that takes place during the month (although not in 2022). Also known as the WSSF, the festival takes place over the span of about 11 or so days in mid-April. It features a variety of events including races, sporting displays, après-ski activities and various entertainment spectacles.
In 2020 the World Ski and Snowboard Festival was scheduled to take place from April 16th to 26th; however, it was ultimately cancelled due to COVID-19. It took place as a virtual event in 2021. The festival didn’t happen in 2022, but it is in 2023. The festival’s dates in 2023 are April 10th to 16th.
To see what’s happening this month elsewhere in the Lower Mainland, check out the April Calendar on the Vancouver’s Best Places website.
Whistler in May
May is a busy month in Whistler. One of the main events in Whistler in May is the Whistler GO Fest (Great Outdoors Festival). This popular festival features a celebration of all things outdoors from sports to arts and music to educational workshops and more. Whistler GO Fest usually falls on the Victoria Day Long Weekend, which in 2022 is from Saturday, May 21st, until Monday, May 23rd. (Note: The festival was cancelled for 2022. Its status for 2023 is to be confirmed.)
Other holidays during the month of May include Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May and Victoria Day on the second-to-last Monday of the month. In 2023 these holidays fall on May 14th and May 22nd, respectively.
A new event in 2021 was TEDxWhistler. It featured 10 dynamic and inspirational speakers and happened as an online event in September that year. TEDxWhistler didn’t happen in 2022, but it does again, and as a live event, on May 7th in 2023.
Another event that happens in May is the Whistler Children’s Festival. In 2023 it happens on the weekends of May 19th to 21st and May 27th to 28th. In some years though it takes place later in the summer.
To see what’s happening this month elsewhere in the Lower Mainland, check out the May Calendar on the Vancouver’s Best Places website.
Whistler in June
June is the start of the summer season in Whistler. Father’s Day falls on the third Sunday in June every year, which is on Sunday June 18th in 2023. The Whistler Summer Concert Series also opens on June 29th with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at Whistler Olympic Plaza.
The Tough Mudder race used to take place in Whistler in June. In 2019 the race took place from June 15th to 16th. The event was unable to run in 2020 or 2021 due to the pandemic. It didn’t happen in 2022 either, and its status for 2023 looks unlikely too.
To see what’s happening this month elsewhere in the Lower Mainland, check out the June Calendar on the Vancouver’s Best Places website.
Whistler in July
Several events take place during the month of July in Whistler. Canada Day is a statutory holiday that always takes place on July 1st. Whistler usually plays host to a variety of activities to celebrate the holiday including parades, live entertainment and other Canada-themed activities. Later in July, Whistler hosts its annual Children’s Festival as well as the Red Bull 400.
The Children’s Festival is a great place to take young kids as it usually features a variety of family-friendly activities such as arts and crafts, music, theatre and more. It used to happen in July, but since 2022 it has been happening in May. The Red Bull 400, on the other hand, is more geared towards adults and older youth. This event features what is referred to as “the steepest race in the world” with 400 metres of straight uphill racing. The event isn’t happening in 2023, but it does some years.
Crankworx Whistler is a mountain biking race. In some years it happens in August. In 2023, however, it runs from July 21st to July 30th. The Summer Concert Series also continues this month with free outdoor shows at Whistler Olympic Plaza on July 1st, 6th, 7th, 13th and 14th.
To see what’s happening this month elsewhere in the Lower Mainland, check out the July Calendar on the Vancouver’s Best Places website.
Whistler in August
August in Whistler begins with the BC Day Long Weekend. This is usually one of the warmest months in Whistler and is a great time to enjoy some of Whistler’s beautiful Parks and Nature or explore one of the many hiking trails in the area. Crankworx Whistler, which is a large mountain biking race and festival, also takes place during the month of August some years. In 2022 the event ran from August 5th until the 14th. In 2023, however, it goes from July 21st to July 30th.
August is also the last month of the Whistler Summer Concert Series. There are free outdoor shows at Whistler Olympic Plaza on the 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 17th, 18th, 24th, 25th and 31st. Art on the Lake normally happens in August as well at the sound end of Alta Lake. In 2023 it takes place on August 10th and 11th. It’s an art gallery-style event with displays by over 30 Sea to Sky-based artists. There is also live music with a number of local bands as well as dance performances and other family-friendly things to see and do. Admission is free.
To see what’s happening this month elsewhere in the Lower Mainland, check out the August Calendar on the Vancouver’s Best Places website.
Whistler in September
September is generally one of the quieter months in Whistler as most of the young folk have gone back to school. Whistler hosts two large events during the month: the RBC Granfondo Whistler and the Whistler Village Beer Festival. The Granfondo Whistler is the largest Granfondo event in North America and runs along the Sea to Sky Highway between Vancouver and Whistler. The highway is closed during the event, so drivers should plan accordingly. It takes place on September 10th in 2023.
The Whistler Village Beer Festival is another popular event in Whistler in September. It features just under a week of festivities. A large main event usually takes place on the weekend which is preceded by a week of smaller tasting events and master classes. This event returns from September 11th to 17th in 2023.
To see what’s happening this month elsewhere in the Lower Mainland, check out the September Calendar on the Vancouver’s Best Places website.
Whistler in October
Whistler starts to see slightly colder fall temperatures during the month of October. Halloween takes place during the end of the month and, in normal years, the last day of the month features trick-or-treating around the village. Two other events also take place in Whistler in October. The Whistler Writers Festival is an annual event celebrating everything to do with writing. In 2023 the festival takes place from October 12th to 16th.
The Whistler 50 Relay and Ultra is the other main event in October. It’s a long team-style relay race that takes place around mid-October. Teams of 4 to 8 people compete to finish a 50-mile course, or 50 kilometres for single runners. The 2023 edition takes place on October 14th.
To see what’s happening this month elsewhere in the Lower Mainland, check out the October Calendar on the Vancouver’s Best Places website.
Whistler in November
The ski season usually begins in Whistler on the third weekend or so in November. One festival that takes place during the month of November in Whistler is the Cornucopia Festival. The Cornucopia Festival is an 11-day celebration of local food and drink with events taking place at restaurants and other venues across the town. In 2023 the festival runs from November 9th until the 19th.
Remembrance Day also takes place on November 11th and Whistler hosts a large ceremony most years. Normally a large ceremony honouring those who have fallen takes place in the Whistler Olympic Plaza. This was the case last year and is so again in 2023.
To see what’s happening this month elsewhere in the Lower Mainland, check out the November Calendar on the Vancouver’s Best Places website.
Whistler in December
December is start of the winter peak season in Whistler. The month generally sees increasingly colder temperatures and usually quite a bit of snow. With Christmas and New Years at the end of the month, the town generally sees a lot of visitors during this time.
The Whistler Film Festival usually takes place during the first weekend of December. In 2023 the festival runs in-person from November 29th to December 3rd. The Viessmann Luge World Cup also generally takes place in Whistler in December. In 2023 it runs on December 15th and 16th.
To see what’s happening this month elsewhere in the Lower Mainland, check out the December Calendar on the Vancouver’s Best Places website.
In addition to the above annual events during specific months of the year, the following events happen multiple times during specific seasons.
- Fire & Ice Show – a free winter event that takes place on Sundays. In the 2022/2023 season it ran from December 31st until March 12th.
- First Nations Winter Feast – an annual event celebrating First Nations food and culture. It took place on March 24th in 2023. Tickets to the Winter Feast cost $95 for adults, $75 for youth and $50 for children.
- Whistler Farmers Market – a weekly market that runs on Sundays from early summer until the Thanksgiving Weekend in early October. It used to run along the main pedestrians’ roadway in the Upper Village.
To learn more about festivals and events taking place in Whistler at different times of the year see the Tourism Whistler website.
To learn about what’s going on in different places in the Lower Mainland, check out Vancouver’s Festivals & Events Calendar.
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