The winter season is coming to a close and spring is making itself seen here in Whistler. The changing of the seasons means we must soon bid farewell to the snow and all its related activities. But in true Whistler fashion, we don’t like to do anything on a small scale. And so, to send off winter with one last giant hurrah, there is the World Ski and Snowboard Festival. This year marks its 22nd spring party and to commemorate as well as get everyone fired up, we are counting down 15 facts about the World Ski and Snowboard Festival.
Ready, set, GO!
- The World Ski & Snowboard Festival is the largest annual winter sports and music festival in North America.
- The festival takes place over 10 whole days and is a combination sports, art, music, parties and an overall celebration of mountain life.
- A number of Olympians have competed in the WSSF events such as Sebastien Toutant, Yuki Tsubota, Roz Groenewoud, and Alex Beaulieu-Marchand, to name a few.
- In 2004, Justin Timberlake graced the main stage with his presence.
- Professional photographer and former Pro Photographer Showdown winner, Blake Jorgenson, opened his gallery during the 2008 World Ski & Snowboard Festival which is now the hosting venue for anniversary parties there each year.
- The WSSF held the first ever Silent Disco to Whistler in 2009. This event is still on the schedule and a must do as part of the festival experience.
- In addition to sports and art, there are over 50 musical acts that play on outdoor stages and indoor venues. This adds up to approximately 100 hours of free music for festival attendees to take part in.
- To make the festival happen, 300 volunteers contribute more than 3000 hours. Give one a high five next time you see them!
- The World Ski and Snowboard Festival has official charities that raise money for. They include Playground Builders, Zero Ceiling, and the Howe Sound Women’s Centre.
- State of the Art, Multiplicity, and Olympus Pro Photographer Showdown are part of 9 events catering to the arts.
- WSSF generated $37.7 million in economic activity for the province of British Columbia.
- The Twisted Tea Slush Cup was added this year. The event requires participants to attempt to ski or snowboard across an icy cold slush pond.
- You do not need to purchases a pass to attend WSSF. Many of the events are free!
- 2013 saw the first ever Roller Derby held at WSSF where the Blackdiamond Betties devoured theSea To Sky Sirens. You will still find this event on the festival roster!
- According to the World Ski & Snowboard Festival website, this festival has been rated one of the top Snow Festivals from media all over the world including, The Toronto Sun, The Brisbane Times and the UK Telegraph.
With all the exciting events as well as the fresh snow hanging around from March and the stereotypical spring weather that accompany’s April, it’s clear that this festival is not one to be missed. Make sure to book your stay at the Listel Hotel to take part in the celebration of the season!