Whistler Holiday Market


WHISTLER, BC – It’s beginning to feel a lot like…Whistler Holiday Market time! The Arts Whistler Holiday Market (formally Bizarre Bazaar) returns to the Whistler Conference Centre November 25 and 26 for two days of hand-baked, hand-made goodness. Whether you’re looking for local artwork, a cozy sweater, or a delicious treat, with over 120 vendors there is sure to be something for everyone on your “nice” list. Add live music, carols, and visits from Santa, and the market becomes a full-on festive bonanza.

The Whistler Holiday Market is a great day out for the entire family!

Photo Credit:Draby McGill

The Arts Whistler Holiday Market will feature new vendors and returning favourites for a seasonal celebration and a local shopping experience like no other. Marketing a diverse array of handcrafted and locally-produced goods to shoppers on one of Whistler’s busiest weekends of the year, the event has become a major showcase for Sea to Sky artisans. Local and regional artists and artisans will gather to offer their handmade goods and original artwork under a banner of twinkling lights and classic Canadian Christmas-themed décor at the Whistler Conference Centre.

Bratz Biz, a local venture that promotes the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of Whistler’s youth, will also be returning to the market. This group of young artists and artisans will be selling their handcrafted items such a soaps, cards, and wood crafts.
This year’s vendor lineup features an eclectic mix of artisan goods including ceramics, housewares, natural bath products, jewelry, artwork, clothing, food, and lots more.

“We have an impressive community of Sea to Sky artisans and the Arts Whistler Holiday Market is an opportunity to showcase their many talents as well as to discover new talents of vendors from further afield,” says Maureen Douglas, Arts Whistler’s Executive Director. “It’s a wonderful way to kick off your holiday shopping – with an authentic Whistler experience that offers one-of-a-kind art, crafts and goodies.”

A few highlights:

Find & Forge Trading Co. – Shannon Rosser (Squamish)
Handmade Housewares inspired by the wildness of the Pacific Northwest. From pressed flowers and fern wall hangings to stained glass, Find & Forge Trading Co. is the perfect addition to your west coast vibe décor.

StarkART – Vanessa Stark (Pemberton)
Vanessa’s bold and unique “Mountain Contemporary” style organically reflects her life’s passions. Many of Nes’ pieces speak of the vibrancy of mountain life and the universal connection found in nature. Her life and her art has been shaped by her love for the mountains, nature, family, friends, and community.

Hammer Coffee Roasting – Mathew Peake (Whistler)
Hammer Coffee Roasting is a community-minded coffee company located in Whistler, BC. They focus on roasting ethically sourced coffee and fueling people for the next outdoor adventure.

Proceeds from entrance donations support Arts Whistler’s community arts programs and events, including the Whistler Children’s Festival and Hear and Now: Whistler’s Local Music Festival. .

Come in your snow boots or ski boots, ride your bike, or walk on in. Lock the Holiday Market dates in your calendar and show some love for our local artisans.

For a full schedule of the weekend’s events and the full vendor directory, visit artswhistler.com/holiday-market

Saturday, November 25 | 10am-6pm
Sunday, November 26 | 10am-4pm

Graffiti Train Wreck Whistler

Shoulder Season: Boredom Is Not An Option

What do you do once you have the camping stuff, the golf clubs and the summer tires in the shed? Read on!

As we watch the changing of the seasons in Sea to Sky country, we embrace the change with a feeling of sadness as we say goodbye to summer. And the excitement builds as we line up our Edge cards and get our skis and boards ready for the coming winter.

Here are 10 awesome ideas to fill shoulder season downtime between biking and skiing.

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1) Indoor Axe Throwing

The longer we live here in this region, the cooler Squamish gets. This is a new indoor sport that is somewhat self-explanatory. However, we still do a double take every time we hear about it.  This is a national franchise that is taking the Canada and the US by storm. Grow a beard, don the lumberjack shirt and throw for bragging rights. (Makes bowling seem so 1976 doesn’t it?)  Open until 12- 9pm daily at 39002 Discovery Way #147, Squamish https://batlgrounds.com/

2)  Hike To The Graffiti Train Wreck

Back in the 50’s there was a train derailment just south of Whistler near the Sea to Sky highway. The owners of the nearby land used heavy equipment to drag the trains off the track to help clear the way and there the wreck sits. Since then the area has become a favorite site for street artists who paint over the train cars. It’s also a short drive away from Squamish and Whistler. You’ll enjoy the short hike through the coastal rainforest to discover hidden art treasures!

If you like street art, this is a great outing on a crisp fall day. Learn about the backstory of this hidden gem here. 

Graffiti Train Wreck Whistler


3) Visit The Tenderfoot Fish Hatchery

View the cycle of life in real time. This facility operated by Fisheries and Oceans offers a self-guided tour and you can view a variety of salmonid species preparing for the wild. The venue also offers a quick uphill hike to the top of the valley if you want some exercise. 

Details: http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/sep-pmvs/projects-projets/tenderfoot/tenderfoot-eng.html


4) Go Sea Kayaking In The Squamish Estuary

Paddling through the Squamish estuary is possible at most times of the year, weather permitting. Check the tide tables and the weather and consult an expert before you go. You can view herons, bald eagles, seals, and salmon close up and personal. You can launch your boat at a number of places near the Spit or the access road to Squamish Terminals or at the Squamish Marina. Rain really doesn’t affect this experience at all, so it’s great for this time of year!


You can rent kayaks at http://www.seatoskyadventurecompany.com/index.html and

SUPS at Valhalla Pure http://www.squamishgear.com/site/


5) Go Mini Golfing At Whistle Punk Hollow

If the weather permits, you can grab your pals and a hot chocolate before you go and visit this unique and family-friendly activity in Squamish on the weekends.



6) Rainy Day Retreats

Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre:

This is a great place to get lost on a rainy Sea To Sky day. This is one of the few places in this region you can easily sample First Nations food. Gain insight into this incredibly interesting and rich cultural history.

Britannia Mining Museum.

The offseason is the perfect time for locals to head underground and learn about some regional history. They have a very active Halloween program and you can expect a helicopter visit from Santa in December. https://www.britanniaminemuseum.ca/events-app/halloween-at-britannia

Britannia Mining Museum Shoulder season

7) Steam away Shoulder Season at Tsek Hot Springs

This is one of our favorite things to do in the region. This is a First Nations owned and operated venue that has 10 tubs for soaking and a beautiful riverside campground in case you want to stay over. http://tsekhotspring.com/

Tsek Hotsprings. Skookumchuck. St Agnes hotsprings. Shoulder

8) Learn Traditional First Nations Crafts

First Nations Cultural Workshops Whistler

You’ll need to plan ahead a bit for this activity. However we have worked with Tsawaysia Spukwus on a number of occasions and she offers excellent cultural workshops on basket weaving, drum making, and storytelling. Gather a couple families or some friends and give her a call.  Visit her website to find out more http://www.tsawaysia.com/  She will travel to Squamish, Whistler, and Pemberton and host a private workshop for you.

9) Refresh Market

This is also another event we seldom miss.  The Refresh Market has become one of BC’s leading artisan and locally produced market for arts, crafts, and food. It runs on November 17th and 18th in Squamish at the Railway Museum. Get the jump on your holiday shopping or just head down and grab a snack. Chances are you will run into lots of people you know! http://refreshmarket.ca/

Refresh market


10) Visit Your Local Parks & Recreation Facility

All municipalities in Sea to Sky have well planned, low cost and easy to access programs to keep you moving. Build those quads up so you can annihilate the fresh pow! Take a spin class, go for a skate, swim some laps.

Activity Guides

You can download your local activity guide here:

Squamish Parks & Recreation Activity Guide


Whistler Parks & Recreation Activity Guide


Pemberton/SLRD Parks & Recreation Activity Guide




Newcomers’ guide to fall and winter events in the Sea to Sky

Competitive events bring winter sports spectacles

No surprise that Whistler Blackcomb – the largest ski resort in North America – attracts some serious amateur and pro athletes for winter sporting events. The most athletic among us will join in, but many events also welcome spectators. Newcomers to the area should check out the following…

The Peak to Valley Race in February is the longest giant slalom race of its kind in the world, challenging teams of four to race down Whistler Mountain. Also taking place in February, Sigge’s P’ayakentsut is a family-friendly cross-country ski event that allows racers to skate 15 km, 30 km, and 50 km courses.

For a snowboard and ski spectacle, check out the regular Fire and Ice Shows, starting Sundays from December 18 to until March 28. Snowsports, fireworks and fire spinners.

Who will be crowned Shredder of the Mountain at the end of the season? Find out at the Annual Showcase Showdown in March. Riders will compete on the  Snake Run, Euro Carve, Jump (35′ option and a 10-15′ option), Rails (2 options) and 1/4 pipe.


Newcomers guide - Gay Pride

Lighter outdoor sports events and festivals

If you’re not competing in the above events, Whistler also has sport and snow festivals for everyone to enjoy. The ice skating rink in Whistler Village opens in early December. Later in the season Pemberton’s Winterfest features an annual Ice Fishing Derby and a Polar Bear Plunge in January.

While the rest of the country celebrates Pride in the summer months, in Whistler we bring out the rainbow flags in late January. The Whistler Pride and Ski Festival is one of the biggest and best gay and lesbian ski weeks in the world.

As the season wraps up, don’t miss the Whistler World Ski and Snowboard Festival in April and Whistler’s Great Outdoor Festival in May.


Newcomers guide - Santa day

Holiday magic in December

The festive season brings a lot of unique and charming events and markets to Whistler and Squamish.

You can do a lot of your holiday shopping without going to the city. In November, Arts Whistler hosts a Bizarre Bazaar holiday market. The Squamish Santa Claus Parade in early December is accompanied by a Christmas Market. A couple weeks later Whistler’s Winter Artisan Market kicks off carries will continue for three weekends.

The Polar Express comes to the West Coast Railway Heritage Park for four weekends this winter, on November 25 and 26 and December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17. Travel to the “north pole” in Squamish on the train from the book, including Christmas music and cookies. PJs are encouraged.


Newcomers guide - Eagle spotting

Eagle watching season in Brackendale

Tourists to the Sea to Sky are often excited to see bears, but they’ll be fast asleep during the winter months. But don’t put away your long lens – Brackendale, just outside of Squamish, is one of North America’s largest congregations of wintering bald eagles. In Christmas and January volunteer interpreters will be at the Eagle Run viewing shelter every weekend.

The Brackendale Art Gallery also hosts the Winter Eagle Festival and Count. The month-long festivals include music, art, music, lectures and a bird count.


Whistler Film Festival - newcomer's guide

Film, food, writing and arts in Whistler and Squamish

If you’re tempted to hibernate during the cool, rainy months, we have some other events to keep you occupied.

Farmers Markets and summer produce phase out in autumn, but there’s still two big events for foodies in the corridor. Beer lovers can try visit 60 breweries during the Whistler Beer Festival from September from 13 to 17, a week-long event that includes tap takeovers and beer yoga. Whistler’s Cornucopia from November 9 to 19 is a massive celebration of local food and drink, featuring seminars and tastings of everything from chocolate to pizza and whisky to wine.

The Whistler Film Festival takes place in late November and early December, inviting industry professionals and movie lovers to celebrate great film. Get inspired to shred and send all year with the Quest Winter Film Festival in January 16 and 17 features short documentaries from both Mountainfilm and Reel Rock.

In early autumn the Squamish Artwalk invites visitors and locals to appreciate the work of artists inside businesses and galleries during the entire month of September. Whistler Writers Festival brings authors and poets to town from October 11 to 15.


Whistler Beer Festival 2017

60 breweries. 120 beers. 8 live acts. 5 awesome days: Gibbons is hosting the Whistler Beer Fest next month, and What’s On Sea to Sky has some tickets for you.

The event runs Sept. 13 to 17, with the main events taking place on the weekend. Just remember to pace yourself – this year the Whistler Beer Festival is celebrating its 5th year, and all tickets to the main events are two-for-one. That means if you buy for Saturday, your Sunday admission is free.

The huge selection of breweries and beers is the main draw in the plaza on Saturday and Sunday, but the event also includes tap-takeovers during the week, activities like yoga and axe throwing, and a ton of live local music.

“It’s more than just the main event – there’s different things for everyone over the five days,” said Tara Myers, an organizer of the festival with Gibbons.

“For people who want to check out something different, our full festival runs for five days. It kicks off on the wednesday, so we have events going on at all different partner venues,” she said.

Those other events include a beer brunch in Squamish on Sunday at Norman Rudy’s, beer yoga at the Westin in Whistler Village and axe-throwing in Function Junction.

Just for the record – the axe throwing takes place before the beer drinking.

On Saturday and Sunday head to Whistler Village for the main event; including 120 different beers to try from across British Columbia and Canada.

“It’s a bit bigger than last year. What really makes it awesome party is the fact that we have live music the entire time across the two day event,” said Myers.

The festival line-up of live local music over the weekend includes DJ Billy The Kidd, The Whiskey Dicks, JennaMae & The Groove Section, The Big Love Band, Case of the Mondays, The McQuaid Trio, Red Chair and Band of Rascals.

This year the festival is also offering shuttles from North Vancouver and Squamish, meaning the Whistler Beer Festival is welcoming all of the Sea to Sky to try some new beers.

“We’re trying to make the festival more accessible for the out-of-towners,” said Myers.

For What’s On Sea to Sky readers, we have a deal if you’re buying your own tickets: enter the promo code WOSS17 for 15% off flex passes.

We’re also hosting a Facebook contest from August 27 to Sept 1. Enter our contest on Facebook by leaving a comment on the contest post: tag a friend and name a brewery from the list below that you’re excited to try. We’ll be giving away some Saturday passes and some all-weekend passes.

Check out the list of breweries participating below:

What’s on Sea to Sky captures Crankworx 2017

The Red Bull Joyride is the highlight of the Crankworx week – athletes defying gravity on Whistler’s Boneyard Slopestyle Park. It was a tough course, with as many wipe-outs as completed runs.

In the end, Whistler hometown hero Brandon Semenuk took the title –  his fifth win at the Joyride event.

Check out the photos Adam Gordon and Haley Ritchie captured at the event:

Newcomers guide to summer events in the Sea to Sky

Are you a new resident of Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton or Britannia Beach? Get ready for an awesome summer. The Sea to Sky corridor has some of the most unique events in Canada to experience the best of adventure sports, yoga culture, awesome food and music.

Whether you like outdoor concerts, adrenaline sports or trying new tastes, getting out to special events is an amazing way to explore the corridor and meet new people. The incredible access to the outdoors brings a lot of enthusiastic and friendly faces to the Sea to Sky – try not to be intimidated or shy, because everyone is excited to share their passion!

There’s lots of life north of the big city, and we don’t want you to miss a thing this summer. Here’s the biggest events to check out.



Photo Credit: Haley Ritchie / haleyritchie.com

Get inspired by a constant variety of cool outdoor sports.

Did you (and all your gear) relocate to Squamish or Whistler to be out on the trails all day? You made the right choice. Not only is there amazing every day access to adrenaline-filled outdoor pursuits in the Sea to Sky, there’s also a culture of events and comps all summer long where you can make new friends and test your skills.

Climbing and wind sports have a home in Squamish under shadow of the Chief – where the Arc’Teryx Climbing Academy is held every year in July and bouldering and acroyoga festival Squamish Rampage a month later in August. Windy days on the Howe Sound make for the perfect setting for KiteClash’s national kite surfing competition and annual sailing race Soar in July.

Mountain biking is the summer sport of Whister, where plenty of meet-ups and clinics take place every weekend. It all comes together for Crankworx – nine days of mountain biking “where gravity knows no bounds.” Whistler’s trails are also great for runners, and it’s no surprise we host Ironman, Tough Mudder and the Whistler 50.


Photo Credit: Haley Ritchie / haleyritchie.com

There’s so much yoga, we’re giving it its own section:

Acroyoga, paddleboard yoga, gondola yoga, studio yoga, outdoor yoga: go anywhere in the Sea to Sky, and you’ll find fit yogis practicing their zen in front of stunning mountain backdrops. Yoga culture is big here, and two major summer festivals offer a chance to get right into it.

Squamish’s Blessed Coast Festival takes place in July, offering a beautiful mash up of music, dancing, camping, yoga workshops and ceremony. Just a few weeks later passionate yogas will travel from across the country to attend Wanderlust in Whistler, a massive four-day celebration of yoga, live music, outdoor adventure, food and finding the path to “connect to your life’s purpose.”


Photo Credit: Haley Ritchie / haleyritchie.com

Now that you’ve worked up an appetite: enjoy beer, BBQ and ‘booch.

Take it from an Ontarian: the Sea to Sky has a tragic lack of roadside chip trucks, MacIntosh apples and maple syrup… but the kombucha and craft beer are flowing.

The Sea to Sky offers a number of opportunities to enjoy BC’s bounty, including farmers markets in Pemberton, Squamish and Whistler. Squamish’s Beer Festival takes place in July, introducing to you to over 50 beers and ciders. If you miss that (or you’re still thirsty) don’t despair: just head north in September for double the amount of new beers to try in Whistler Village.

You’ll want to pair you beer with some good eats too: try Whistler’s BBQ Championships in July and give thanks at the Slow Food Ride in August, Pemberton’s cycling celebration of farmers and local eats.


Derek Robitaille/Wikimedia

Don’t despair, concert lovers: RIP Pemberton Music Fest, but we still have live music.

Looking forward to the Pemberton Music Fest? Or the Squamish Valley music festival? Sorry, we have some bad news. Summer music festivals in the Sea to Sky are having a rough go of it lately, and neither of those festivals are taking place this year.

That said, you don’t necessarily need to head to Van to enjoy live music this summer. So many of the events above (including the Arc’Teryx Climbing Academy and Blessed Coast) include big musical acts. And in August the Whistler summer concert series brings Elijah Ray, Quixotic, Delhi 2 Dublin and Alan Doyle to the Olympic Plaza.

Other colourful arts events in July include the Squamish Wind Festival and the Squamish Nation Youth Powwow.


Photo Credit Mike Crane / Whistler Children’s Festival

Bring the kids. Sea to Sky has family fun too.

Family-friendly events are plentiful in the Sea to Sky, which is great for keeping kids busy in the summer months off school. In July the Whistler Children’s Festival is a big highlight offering music, crafts and wacky fun for kids of all ages. The Squamish counterpart, the Squamish Children’s Festival, takes place in early September.

Especially in Squamish and Pemberton, where plenty of young families call home, most events on this list are family-friendly and include activities for kids. If your little one is a Thomas the Train fan, they’ll have a chance to meet the friendly steamer in May when he visits West Coast Railway Heritage Park. Finally, for young naturalists, the annual toad migration through Whister’s Lost Lake in late July is a great place to volunteer and learn about nature.