World Ski & Snowboard Festival 2016
The mountain village of Whistler is just about vibrating with excitement ahead of one of the biggest blowouts on its calendar: the World Ski & Snowboard Festival (WSSF), held this year from April 8 through 16, 2016. Now’s definitely the time to book yourself a stay in one of Whistler Premier’s lovely vacation rentals so you’ve got your lodging all taken care of for the super-sized shindig.
With 10 full days of village-wide happenings, the WSSF can be a bit overwhelming for a first-timer. The good news is that it’s not hard to sample its infectious energy and grab-bag diversity: Whether you’re attending for the day or the whole shebang, you’re going to have an awesome time.
Here’s a little Whistler Premier guide to orient you to the absolutely must-see mountaintop spectacle that is the WSSF.
Key Tips: WSSF Strategizing
Here’s the thing: You won’t do it all, see it all, experience it all at the WSSF. It’s simply not feasible. Realizing that you’ll miss out on some incredible goings-on actually frees you up to enjoy what is humanly possible: namely, other incredible goings-on. To get the most out of WSSF, the trick is to plan ahead—study the events schedule and get your tickets to those that interest you most, well in advance—while also allowing for some on-the-fly rethinking of your schedule. After all, happenstance is part of the festival’s charm: New friends (easy to come by at the WSSF) may invite you to a show, or a pop-up dance party may rejigger your afternoon plans.
The WSSF Festival Overview
True to its name, there are plenty of snowsports going down in the April sunshine (and occasional springtime snow dumps) of the WSSF. Competitions such as Monster Boarderstyle at the Blackcomb Terrain Park, which sees a quartet of boardercross racers square off at once, treat spectators to plenty of high-thrills drama in an always-festive environment. And, of course, many WSSF attendees are scratching their own skiing and snowboarding itches on Whistler Blackcomb’s world-famous terrain.
But the slopes are a mere component of the WSSF’s makeup. There’s an impressive variety of cultural events and entertainment anchoring the festival. One of the reliable highlights is the Olympus 72-Hour Filmmaker Showdown, which challenges contestants to create short films, start-to-finish, inside a 100-kilometer radius of Whistler over three days. You can appreciate the filmmakers’ scratch productions—vying for “Best of Show” honors—on April 13 at 9 p.m. at the Whistler Conference Centre.
Then there’s Multiplicity (April 10 at the Conference Centre), a brand-new event featuring TED-style multimedia talks featuring leading lights of the sports-and-adventure realm as a fundraiser for the Spearhead Huts Project. This year’s speakers include athlete-photographer Jimmy Martinello and skier Lynsey Dyer, among numerous others.
Also debuting at the 2016, WSSF is the Whistler Comedy Showdown, yucking it up the evening of April 12, at Buffalo Bills. Participating comics include both nervous newbies and swaggering veterans, with boatloads of high-elevation laughs as the result.
Basically the après-ski experience ramps up to 11 and Whistler’s nightlife takes center stage in a 10-day celebration of bumping tunes, smoking dance moves, and bleary-eyed mornings. The FIDO Outdoor Concert Series offers daily free afternoon performances on the Festival’s Main Stage. This year’s lineup includes musicians from near and far: Whistler favorites such as Blame the Weekend (April 12); SkiiTour (April 15); and the Hairfarmers (April 16); hot acts hailing from Vancouver down the Sea-to-Sky Highway (including I M U R and Bear Mountain, sharing the April 13 bill); and touring performers such as Modern Space (April 14); and Tim Hicks (April 17).
But those outdoor tunes are only part of the musical punch. Late-night club shows are just as beloved, and main stage acts often get in on the action. For instance, Whistler roots-rockers the Raidtown Prophets are playing GLC on the opening night of the Festival (April 8), in addition to their FIDO set on April 11.
And beat-driven parties are a dime a dozen, whether at Silent Disco—where deft switching of your headphone jack lets you bounce between the grooves of three different DJs—or the End, the climactic sensory extravaganza of a soiree the night of April 16.
Grab your tickets over at the official WSSF website. It’s definitely a good idea to buy in advance, as events often sell out. (Again, though, even if the event you were hoping to attend is full, you’re going to have plenty of alternatives for a happy plan B.)
WSSF Lodgings With Whistler Premier
Whistler Premier delivers top-grade lodgings for festivalgoers, with better than 30 fantastically situated properties all across town. They include a slew of gorgeous vacation homes and decked-out condos as well as the legendary Blackcomb Lodge hotel. Kick back within easy reach of internationally renowned slopes and the WSSF’s concerts, clubs, and event stages with Whistler Premier!
We’re looking forward to hosting you during this year’s WSSF, Whistler’s can’t-miss springtime jamboree!