The World Ski and Snowboard Festival

April 11, 2014 D'Arcy McLeish

Every April, to finish the season, Whistler hosts what has to be the biggest party in North America on snow. Billed as “the biggest annual gathering of winter sports, music, arts and culture in North America“, the World Ski and Snowboard Festival is an awesome time to come visit Whistler. Well, unless you’re going heliskiing, which will always pretty much trump everything. If that’s the case, then ignore this post and say hello to the guides at Last Frontier Heliskiing for me. Otherwise, make it a point to get to Whistler between April 11-20.

The World Skiing Invitational... Photo -
The World Skiing Invitational…
Photo –

The WSSF is always a good time. Great bands, arts, culture, films and of course, partying and competing on snow. Already the groomers have been building the slopestyle course and the big air, which this year looks absolutely enormous and may qualify as the largest man made structure in Whistler for the next ten days.

Ok, If You're At Last Frontier Heliskiing Doing This, Then Give The Wssf A Pass. Photo - Dave Silver
Ok, if you’re at Last Frontier Heliskiing doing this, then give the WSSF a pass.
Photo – Dave Silver

While the restaurants and clubs go off during the WSSF, there are a few events that are absolute musts. Right off the bat on the 12th of April, Saturday night in Whistler will be The Shred Show, where the world’s best snowboarders will huck themselves off a 70 foot table top jump right at the base of the hill. There’s $25,000 up for grabs this year, so the athletes are sure to put on a huge show. The next Saturday will be a chance for the skiers to strut their stuff on the big air, again at the base, in the World Skiing Invitational. These events are a huge party, with thousands of folks in attendance. Be sure to hit up the GLC or the Longhorn and get your viewpoint. Better yet, book a suite overlooking mountain square at one of the hotels and invite all your friends for a night on the town.

The State Of The Art Photo -
The State of the Art
Photo –

On the arts and culture side of things, The State of the Art, which is a showcase of artists pushing the boundaries of what they can do in various mediums will be running throughout the week at the Whistler Conference Centre, with the opening party on April 11th.

My favourite event has to be the Olympus 72hr Filmmaker Showdown. Here filmmakers are tasked to shoot, edit and produce a 3 to 5 minute short film over the course of 72hrs and all within a 100km radius of Whistler. The talent at these shows is off the hook and what the filmmakers come up with in three days is astounding.

The Filmmaker Showdown Photo -
The Filmmaker Showdown
Photo –

Following the film showdown is the annual Olympus Pro Photographer Showdown, where invited action and lifestyle photographers showcase their work in front of industry professionals and the public for a chance at big prizes. See the finalists here.

And then there’s the music, with an awesome line up of indoor and outdoor shows all over the village, there’ll be a party every night. Top all of that off with some of the best food and drink in BC, the biggest resort on the continent, what we hope is a little bit of spring pow and some beautiful sunshine and the WSSF is a week not to be missed.

For more info, visit

Be safe, party hard.