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 2023
Running from January 22nd to 29th in 2023, the Whistler Pride Festival is a winter tradition at BC’s largest ski resort. Each year 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
Tickets are on sale for individual events and multiple events. In 2023 the Weekend Pass includes express entry to all events from January 26th to 29th for a total of about $350. Meanwhile, for those interested in attending all 2023 events, the Week Pass costs about $590.
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 almost every morning during the festival. 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.
In addition to the above activities, below is a schedule of the main events in 2023. (Note: The schedule is subject to change.)
January 22nd, 2023
- Whistler Pride Welcome Party – this event takes place from 4:30 to 8:30 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 is the Nita Lake Lodge, located at 2131 Lake Placid Road.
January 23rd, 2023
- Lit! A Night at Vallea Lumina – Vallea Lumina is a magical light attraction in the forest on Cougar Mountain. From 9:00 to 10:30 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 24th, 2023
- Sip n’ Dip At the Scandinave Spa – a special 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 live entertainment. See our article about Scandinave Spa to learn more about the venue.
January 25th, 2023
- Whistler Pride Comedy Night – Bianca Del Rio brings laughs to the Whistler Conference Centre. The show starts at 5:00 pm and runs for three hours until 8:00 pm.
January 28th, 2023
- Pride Ski Parade – the Whistler Pride Parade incorporates skiing and snowboarding as it begins on the Olympic Run at 3:00 pm. 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!)
- Snowball – held at the Whistler Conference Centre, this is the usual closing night party. From 10:00 pm to 4:00 am enjoy a fun night of DJ music and dancing with special lights and lasers.
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.