The Whistler Pride and Ski Festival is a LGBTQ-themed skiing and snowboarding festival in January. It offers a range of both indoor and outdoor activities.
Whistler’s Pride Festival in 2022
Running from January 23rd to 30th in 2022, the Whistler Pride Festival is a winter tradition at BC’s largest ski resort. Each year (except for when it’s canceled due to COVID) people of all sexual orientations and genders descend on Whistler-Blackcomb for a week of fun and celebration of all things LGBTQ+.
The host hotel partnered with the festival is Aava Whistler Hotel. Many of the events take place in or around the hotel. There is a free shuttle service from the building to other hosting venues. You don’t have to stay at the hotel if you attend the festival, but it’s a good option.
The festival’s most popular activities are the daily skiing and snowboarding runs, but there are plenty of other things to do as well. This includes shows and parties put on by the festival, and also all the regular non-Pride activities that Whistler has to offer.
In 2022 Jimbo the Drag Clown was the headlining performer at the festival. (Below is a photo of Jimbo in a white ski suit and the larger than life chest.)
Festival Tickets and Pricing
Admission to the festival in 2022 is a little different than previous years. Tickets were on sale for some individual events as of mid-January, but there doesn’t seem to be general festival passes this year. In 2020, the last time the festival took place, passes cost between around $100 and $200. For those who wanted to stay overnight at the resort for the whole week (at the Aava or another hotel), total costs for the ticket and accommodations could be around $1900 or more. This year it seems like you just have to pay for the specific events you want to take part in.
One thing that has to be purchased by all guests who want to hit the slopes is lift tickets up the mountain. Once you get to the ski hill, there are free guided ski and snowboard groups for all different skill levels that festival-goers can take part in. There are also plenty of non-mountainous events as well.
Whistler Pride Schedule
The ski and snowboard sessions mentioned above take place daily during the late mornings and early afternoons. The guides for each group are very experienced and lead participants through various areas on both the Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. Afterwards, there are après sessions that are like relaxed meet and greet-type socials. Usually taking place at the Aava Whistler Hotel, the social events are a good spot to hang out. They offer a chance to meet some of the other attendees.
In addition to the above activities, below is a schedule of the main events in 2022. (Note: The schedule is subject to change.)
January 23rd, 2022
- Whistler Pride Welcome Reception – this event takes place from 4:00 to 8:00 pm on the opening day of the festival. It’s a chance to meet other guests as well as staff with food, drinks and some entertainment to go with it. The location was TBD as of mid-January, but it will probably be at the Aava Hotel.
January 24th, 2022
- Lit! A Night at Vallea Lumina – Vallea Lumina is a magical light attraction in the forest on Cougar Mountain. From 7:00 to 11:00 pm take a free shuttle from the Aava Whistler Hotel to go experience this walk through the woods with lights, projections and other decorations. There is a bonfire with drinks to go around as well. Vallea Lumina is beautiful and highly recommended!
January 27th, 2022
- Charity Ski Race – this afternoon from 1:00 to 2:30 pm there is a race at the Blackcomb Race Centre with all proceeds going to the Whistler Animals Galore, a local animal shelter.
- SPA-Lash! At the Scandinave Spa – a VIP event at the popular Whistler spa. The building is meant to be a silent experience during regular hours, but the venue hosts a pool party on this night from 9:30 to 11:30 pm. Enjoy the hot tubs and steam rooms while socializing with a live DJ providing the tunes. See our article about Scandinave Spa to learn more about the venue. (Note: This event was cancelled in 2022 due to COVID-19.)
January 28th, 2022
- Pride Ski Parade – the Whistler Pride Parade incorporates skiing and snowboarding as it begins on the Olympic Run. From there, participants glide down the mountain and then transition to a standard marching parade through to the Whistler Olympic Plaza. There are usually further celebrations afterwards. (Below is a photo of the front of the parade. In total, in 2022, well over 100 people joined the procession. It was a fun and colourful event!)
- Whistler Pride Comedy Night – it wasn’t announced as of mid-January who the performer(s) would be at the 2022 comedy night, so this event might not have ended up happening in the end. When this annual event does happen, however, it brings the laughs at the Whistler Conference Centre.
- Snowma-Get’em! Whistler Pride Winter Carnival – a new event in 2022, the Whistler Racket Club hosts a night of fun that includes axe-throwing, roller disco and a chance to throw snowballs.
January 29th, 2022
- Snow Belles: Alpine Eleganza – held at the Whistler Conference Centre, this is a twist on the usual closing night party. From 9:00 pm to midnight enjoy a ball that includes drag stars from around North America strutting their stuff on stage. It’s a fun way to cap off the festival.
On top of the above events, there are numerous other activities you can enjoy at Whistler. From exploring the Village itself to taking part in gondola rides, snowmobile tours and more. The area has a lot to offer! For things to do during the time of the festival, check out our article about Whistler Winter Activities.
Whistler Pride Parade Video
To give you an idea of what to expect at the Whistler Pride and Ski Festival check out the video below. It’s of the Pride Parade in 2022. The video begins with the procession of skiers arriving at the bottom of the hill. After a short break, the participants then continue on foot through the streets of Whistler Village. The procession goes from the plaza by the gondolas at the bottom of the ski hill, along Village Stroll, to the Olympic rings by the Olympic Plaza in Whistler’s North Village.
For more information about the festival click Whistler Pride & Ski Festival.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
To learn about one of the largest LGBTQ+ events in North America, click Vancouver Pride Festival.