The Festivals, Events and Animation (FE&A) program is a major annual initiative designed to attract visitors to Whistler and to enhance the visitor experience through the development and production of a wide range of festivals, events and entertainment for an equally wide range of target groups.
An ongoing strategic planning process is in place — involving many resort partners — to review research, identify opportunities and make decisions on the best way to invest FE&A funds on behalf of the resort community.
The RMOW also works with event producers who are interested in putting on an event in Whistler.
Funding for the FE&A Program is provided by the Province of British Columbia’s Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI).
RMI is a significant revenue source for eligible resort municipalities. Since RMI was implemented in 2006 it has enabled Whistler to invest in many important programs and services to support tourism. In addition to the FE&A Program, other recent investments include partial or full funding of the Village Host program, construction of Whistler Olympic Plaza and the Plaza Skating Rink, the Sea to Sky Trail, Bayly Park and the Public Art Program.
RMI funding is confirmed on an annual basis, based on accommodation business generated in the previous calendar year, and subject to approval by the Province.
Tourism Whistler, the Whistler Chamber of Commerce and the Whistler Arts Council also receive funds from the RMI program through the RMOW.
The FE&A Program is ultimately overseen by Whistler Council with input and oversight by committees of council including the Finance and Audit Committee, the Economic Partnership Initiative, and the FE&A Oversight Committee.
- The Economic Partnership Initiative (EPI) is appointed by municipal council to make recommendations to the Finance and Audit Committee on the administration of RMI funds. The committee is composed of representatives from Tourism Whistler, the Hotel Association of Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb, the Whistler Chamber of Commerce and the RMOW, as well as a community member at large.
- The FE&A Oversight Committee is responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership in the development of the FE&A Program and is composed of representatives from Tourism Whistler, the RMOW and a community member at large.
- The FE&A Working Group is responsible for advising and making recommendations to the FE&A Oversight Committee regarding the overall planning process and delivery of the FE&A Program. The FE&A Working Group is composed of representatives from the Whistler Arts Council, Tourism Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb, the Whistler Chamber of Commerce, the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, Whistler Sports Legacies and the RMOW.