Photo: Tourism Whistler/ Mike Crane
For ten days and ten nights in April Whistler comes alive with an action-packed calendar of music, snow-sports, art and parties. The World Ski and Snowboard Festival (WSSF) is the biggest festival of the year in Whistler and is North America’s largest annual mountain culture celebration. In its 21st year the 2016 festival is expected to be bigger and better than ever attracting attendants from all over North America. With the largest free outdoor concert series, world-class ski and snowboard competitions and an assemblage of some of the best visual arts and film production showcasing mountain lifestyle, this is truly an event not to be missed!
Here is our unofficial guide to the World Ski and Snowboard Festival 2016.
The Skiing and Snowboarding Competitions
Kicking off the sporting competitions is the International Freestyle Association’s North American Freeride Championships April 6th to 9th. Competitors between 12 and 18 years old will compete in front of a panel of judges who will rate them on technique, style and control.
The Monster Boarderstyle Event takes place on April 15th and 16th; this high-energy event showcases four boarders at a time going head to head in boarder-cross style race on big slope-style terrain.
The Demo Park will be open throughout the festival giving you the opportunity to trial the latest ski and snowboards and of course both Whistler and Blackcomb will be open for some epic spring skiing and riding throughout the festival.
Off the mountain make sure to check out the Splatterday Night Fever Roller Derby fundraiser on Saturday April 9th. This adrenaline fuelled event is sure to have you on your toes as you watch these girls battle it out for roller derby supremacy.
Visual Arts and Mountain Culture
From comedy shows to photographer showdowns, filmmakers screenings and exhibits- the art and culture at WSSF is high-energy, distinctively diverse and immensely inspirational.
Multiplicity on Sunday April 10th is a multi-media extravaganza delivered by unique and passionate personalities in the mountain world.
The Comedy Showdown on April 12th will feature the funniest amateur and familiar comics in the Sea to Sky’s Comedy scene.
The Olympus 72 Hour Showdown features the short films of local filmmakers who are tasked to shoot, edit and produce a 3-5 minute film within 100km of Whistler over the course of 72 hour.
The Olympus Pro Photographer Showdown showcases the craft of sports photography featuring some of the best photographers in the world.
Intersection presented by Bromley Baseboards is the ultimate showcase of action-sports filmmaking as teams of skiers and snowboarders have seven days to film, edit and produce a film within 100km of Whistler that reflects artistic vision and skill.
State of the Art, taking place throughout the festival at the Convention Centre is an uncensored, no rules exhibit where urban street and snow ingenuity intersect.
The Music and Parties
Experience 10 days of free outdoor concerts in Skiers Plaza, featuring international and local musicians across all genres. The FIDO Outdoor Concert Series will begin each day at 2:30pm until 5:30pm. Featured artists include: Willa, Chromeo and Tim Hicks with local favourites like the Hairfarmers and Matt the Alien joining the party.
The Kokanee Freeride Club Series takes place nightly at pubs and clubs around town keeping the party alive until the wee hours of the morning with selected bands and DJs from around Whistler and across Canada.
Make sure to check out the Silent Disco on April 15th– back by popular demand. Grab a pair of headphones and tune into one of three DJs. Dance to your own beat as you hit the dance-floor in your own private party.
Finally don’t forget the Best of the Fest, held on Sunday April 17th it is the event that ties all of the festival highlights together.
The World Ski and Snowboard Festival truly is the ultimate celebration of mountain culture and one not to be missed. If you haven’t booked your accommodation for the festival make sure to check out our Last Minute Deals and we’ll see you at the party!