High-energy festival for outdoor enthusiasts gives everyone a chance to try a new sport, learn a new activity and enjoy free concerts from Corb Lund, Said the Whale and Lazy Syrup Orchestra
Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival (GO Fest) starts today and offers a vast array of activities, from summer and winter sports, creative and artistic workshops, to adventure films and free outdoor concerts.
New to GO Fest this year, the Whistler Writing Society is hosting Travel, Place, Identity: Unpacking the Idea of Home Reading Event at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (SLCC) at 7 p.m. today, Friday, May 17. The event will have readings and a discussion led by writer, editor and biologist Leslie Anthony with authors Geoff Powter (Inner Ranges: An Anthology of Mountain Thoughts and Mountain People), Becky Livingston (The Suitcase & The Jar: Travels with a Daughter’s Ashes), Pat Ardley (Grizzlies, Gales and Giant Salmon: Life at a Rivers Inlet Fishing Lodge) and Frank Wolf (Lines on a Map: Unparalleled Adventures in Modern Exploration).
Also new this year is the hour-long Valley of Dreams Walking Tour, beginning at Whistler Olympic Plaza and meandering through Whistler Village guided by a Whistler Museum historian.
“We want people and visitors to enjoy all of the beauty and diversity our province has to offer,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “Whistler’s GO Fest has an amazing line up of sports, culture, outdoor activities and arts for people of all ages to enjoy.”
For sports, GO Fest has events including Introduction to tennis, Quick start pickleball clinic, Tennis refresher clinic, the GO Fest Tennis Championships and Pickleball Championships. Cyclists can head out with Whistler Cycling Club. Make sure you drop by for free daily Yoga at the Whistler Olympic Plaza Base Camp.
Families can take a Self-Guided Tour of the romantically named River of Golden Dreams. Also, Stand-up Paddleboarding is a fun paddlesport that is easy to learn. The Whistler Parkrun is for all ages (as well as Fido on a leash).
GO Fest’s artistic offerings include the GO Fest Yourself Theatre Throwdown comedy show at The Point. And the Whistler Film Festival is showing the Adventure Film Series over the weekend. There is also the All British Car Show at Creekside Village, the Farmers’ Market, a Pancake Breakfast, and street entertainment in the Village. Whistler’s Mature Action Community, a group for seniors, is hosting a meetup at Whistler Library Plaza.
AWARE, the Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment, has Make Your Own Bird House and the chance to learn about sustainable gardening with Dig, Sow, Grow. At the Whistler Olympic Plaza Base Camp, Table Tutors will be teaching DJing, board lovers can skate the Vans mini skateboard ramp and young children can try the Riglet Snowboard Park. Aspiring lumberjacks can try Forged Axe Throwing.
GO Fest offers free concerts at the Village Square Mainstage. JUNO-winning alt-country singer-songwriter Corb Lund launches the GO Fest free concert series with a 7:30 p.m. show today, Friday, May 17. Saturday has performances from blues rock singer-songwriter Jesse Roper at 3 p.m. and JUNO winners Said the Whale perform rich West Coast harmonies at 7:30 p.m. On Sunday, soul, neo-folk and hip-hop artist Tonye Aganaba takes the stage at 3 p.m., followed by Buckman Coe’s soulful R&B and rootsy sounds at 3:40 p.m. Lazy Syrup Orchestra headline at 7:30 p.m. Their music blends mellow morning vibes, MCing and live instruments with eclectic dance music from around the world.
Produced by the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) and funded through the Province of British Columbia’s Municipal and Regional District Tax (hotel tax) revenues, this year’s festival will see more entertainment and activities taking place in Whistler Village, including music and street entertainment. Over the course of four days, GO Fest attendees will get a chance to sample a host of outdoor activities and products in a high-energy, family-friendly outdoor setting.
Stay up to date on this year’s GO Fest, Whistler Great Outdoors Festival, by visiting greatoutdoorsfest.com or following facebook.com/greatoutdoorsfest, @GOFestWhistler on Instagram and @GOFestWhistler on Twitter.
About GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival
GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival, takes place May 17 to 20, 2019 and celebrates the convergence of winter and summer in North America’s premier four-season mountain resort. GO Fest is part of the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s Festivals, Events and Animation Program and is one component of the larger May Long Weekend Initiative. Learn more at greatoutdoorsfest.com.
About the Festivals, Events and Animation program
Celebration is an essential component of Whistler’s culture. This was highlighted during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games when Whistler presented the most outstanding display of sport, the arts, and entertainment the resort had ever seen. The RMOW and resort partners continue to build on that momentum through the Festivals, Events and Animation (FE&A) program by developing and attracting a wide range of high-quality programs throughout the year including an exciting line-up of festivals and events for all ages and audiences.
The FE&A program is funded by Municipal and Regional District Tax (hotel tax) revenues collected in Whistler and allocated by the Province of British Columbia in support of tourism initiatives in Whistler.