Chekamus Centre Offers Unique Family Experiences

Are you looking for a unique winter experience?  Cheakamus Centre, located just a few minutes north of Squamish, has just launched the Friends of Cheakamus program and with a donation of $25 or more you can participate in exclusive seasonal events hosted on the 165-hectare ecological reserve.

The first Friends of Cheakamus event of 2018 will take place on Saturday, January 6th.  The Wintering Bald Eagles Walk will provide a glimpse into the lives of these majestic birds.  You will have the opportunity to go into the field with volunteer experts and learn more about our winter resident bald eagles. This is a remarkable natural phenomenon not to be missed.

To learn more about participating in our nature community, become a Friend of Cheakamus at or contact Sarah Bainbridge at

Now in its 49th year, Cheakamus Centre is an environmental education centre that offers a range of programs that inspire thousands of students, of all ages, to gain a better understanding of our natural world.  Formerly named and fondly remembered by many as the “North Vancouver Outdoor School” it is a well-loved tradition for many.

Old growth Cedar Trees Squamish Valley

Massic Old Growth Cedar Trees

We host over 15,000 visitors annually from the Sea to Sky, Lower Mainland and beyond. The renowned overnight field school immerses students in nature-based activities that instill a sense of respect and appreciation for our environment.  Skw’une-was, another time-honoured program, developed in conjunction with Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Elders in the 80’s, shares some of the traditional daily activities of the Ch’iyáḵmesh people.  At the longhouse, cultural interpreters, parents, teachers, and students engage in a variety of pursuits.  Even as adults, people frequently talk about these overnight learning experiences as highlights of their school careers. What started in 1969 as one teacher’s idea to get kids outside, in a then little-known town of Squamish, is emerging as a centre of excellence for outdoor education and a welcoming place for gathering and sharing in nature.

Unique features of the campus include: ancient cedars, a teaching hatchery and network of restored spawning channels, large numbers of wintering bald eagles, a small farm, edible gardens, and honeybees.  All provide unique learning experiences for students and support sustainability initiatives on campus.

Cheakamus Centre also hosts visitors from around the world for special events, conferences, meetings and retreats. The Centre has received numerous provincial, national, and international awards for our education programs, and for leadership in green building with the LEED Platinum BlueShore Environmental Learning Centre.

At the heart of Cheakamus is the place and people. Talented staff and volunteers are passionate about outdoor education, and preserving the natural beauty and health of the community for future generations. Community-minded education partners lend for secondary and post-secondary students to participate in conservation projects. We are proud of the great numbers of salmon presently spawning on property as the result of over three decades of partnership efforts to restore salmon habitat.  Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Squamish Nation, Squamish Watershed Society and a community of friends have been working together since 1981. As a result of these successful partnerships, Cheakamus Centre has the most restored side-channels in the Squamish Watershed.

To celebrate, we invite you and your friends and family to join us at our annual Open House taking place on Sunday, May 6th.

Learn more about Cheakamus Centre at: or contact

Holiday Family Activity Guide

8 Things To Occupy Your Holiday Guests

8 Things To Occupy Your Holiday Guests

If you are hosting your relatives or out of town friends in Sea to Sky country this holiday season, you might start feeling like the walls are closing in after a couple days. To prevent the next family dust-up, we’d like to offer a list of activities to help keep you and yours occupied.

1.Indoor Axe Throwing

Pick up a sharp metal object and hurl it at a target.  It’s cheaper than a family therapist.  AND! You can hit up your dad for your league membership fees. Sign up for an hour-long session that includes a lesson and competition for bragging rights. Two locations to choose from.

axe throwing

2. Whistler Family Zone & Village

Whistler Holiday Experience

Simply walking through Whistler Village during the holidays is a magical experience. It’s a very animated and festive place.  Parents take note that the Family Fun Zone is back at the Whistler Conference Centre. Located at 4010 Whistler Way

There is a huge room set up with bouncy castles, ropes courses, games and toys. You can even dance with your entire family! The grandparents and the relatives can sit in a nearby lounge area and sip a hot chocolate or munch on a snack.

3.Sea To Sky Gondola

Visiting the gondola itself is an amazing experience for everyone. They also have a really great list of holiday themed activities that you can participate in.

Family Sing Along:

Grab a carol book and belt out Christmas classics to your hearts content on December 20th.

Headlamp Hike

The gondola does most of the heavy lifting. Once up top, you can hook up with a short guided tour at twilight. The tour will be done on foot or with snowshoes.The tours run every Saturday in December or you can book a private tour. Advance booking required.

4. Escape Room

There seems to be an escape room in every city now and Whistler is no exception. Check out Escape Whistler and pick from one of four challenges. They suggest bringing a group of 4-6 people to try out your choice of the Pirate Ship, The Pinball Machine, The Buried Cabin and The Rabbit Hole.

5. Tenderfoot Fish Hatchery

A lot of our out of town relatives are often quite clueless about Salmon and the role they play in Sea to Sky’s ecosystems. This is where we take our friends and relations to educate them and to burn off some butter tarts. Take a drive 15 minutes from Squamish and see live salmonoids being grown and nurtured. During December, you can expect to see adult Cohos.  A self-guided tour will help you understand the life cycle. There is also a wee hike that you can take to the top of a nearby hill.

6.Distillery Tours

This might not be the ideal activity for families with minors, but maybe you need some male bonding with Dad or a post shopping cocktail with Mom?

The Sea to Sky food and beverage scene has grown by leaps and bounds this past decade. The micro-breweries are all the rage in the corridor. If your family experience causes you to crave something a little stronger, we have two distilleries to share with you.

Pemberton Distillery: This sauce-mill was started pre 2010 and is still going strong today. They are open every day throughout the holidays and it’s worth the beautiful drive. They open at 1pm daily.

You can also register for tours here:


Gillespie’s Fine Spirits: This place has a really unique atmosphere and is centrally located in Squamish. Stop in and see the “Booze Witch” Kelly Ann Woods and get her to craft the perfect drink for your holiday needs. Locally made hooch  and elixirs also make an awesome gift.

Open Thursday-Sunday 1:00-6:00

7)  Cheese Fondue

Nothing bonds a family like dipping bits of food in gooey sticky cheese. Whistler has a few places to enjoy fondue, but we are suggesting the atmospheric Fairmont Chateau Whistler. You can also google “whistler cheese fondue” and come up with other options at different price points. We also like the fact you can leave the clean up to others.

cheese fiondue

8)  Fresh Tracks Breakfast

If you have some super keen skiers or riders in your group, consider the fresh track breakfast. You have to get up early as it’s only open to the first 650 people. It officially opens at 7:15 but locals start lining up at 6:00am.

Whistler Fresh Tracks Breaky!

Quality Nosh B4 Fresh Tracks

There are two really great reasons to do this. One, ideal conditions for powder or fresh groomers. Two, the buffet breakfast. It’s the only easy way to get fresh tracks unless you have a buddy who operates a groomer. You can also purchase this as a gift.


Santa Fly In Photos At Britannian Mining Museum

Squamish Community Christmas Events

Photos with Santa
We are very excited about our plans for Christmas! Double Shutter Images will be offering photos with Santa at several locations throughout December! And you never know, there may even be a surprise visit from Mrs. Claus. Please see the Santa Photo page for more details.

 Literary/Art Contest and Santa Fly In
The Literary/Art Contest is open to students age 6-18 in Squamish.  Three lucky winners fly in a Blackcomb Helicopter from Squamish Airport to Britannia Mine Museum with Santa and Mrs. Claus.  Please see the contest page for more details. Organized by Double Shutter Images and Blackcomb Helicopters.

Spirit of Giving Contest

The Spirit of Giving Contest is open to youth age 12-25 in Squamish.  One winner will fly in a Blackcomb Helicopter with four of their family and friends from Britannia Mine Museum to Squamish Airport.  Please see the contest page for more details. Organized by Double Shutter Images and Blackcomb Helicopters.

Window Decorating Contest

Calling all businesses! Show your holiday spirit and showcase your business! Let’s decorate this town. Please see the contest page for more details. Thanks to The Chief, DSBIA, and Squamish Chamber of Commerce for jumping on board with this.

Santa Parade
The Santa Parade will be Friday, December 1 at 7pm on Cleveland Avenue, Downtown Squamish. We will be organizing it for the DSBIA and with Royal Canadian Marine Search & Rescue. All proceeds go to Squamish Community Christmas Care. 

We support many charities and organizations, not only at Christmas but throughout the year. Santa and Mrs. Claus enjoy visiting many organizations, businesses, and private groups during the holiday season. Please see the Community page for more details

Whistler Film Festival 2017: The Moment

People in the Sea to Sky corridor throw around the term “free-riding” as the all-encompassing term for what we ride around here. The moniker has nothing to do with the price. But everything to do with the emotions you feel when taking a berm, launching a jump or rolling a skinny. 

But do many of us actually know where it came from? Well, there is a tribe of BC dudes and ladies who have Sea to Sky roots, who can be credited with inventing the sport that we take for granted every time we take a chairlift at the bike park.

Back in the 80’s when everyone in the mountain bike scene was experimenting with their first pair of front shocks and racing mountain bikes, a group of locals was off doing something completely different.

The Moment dives, head first, into the athletes, photographers, and filmmakers that decided not to take the easy way down.  Instead, they’d spend their weekends and free time driving to locations without any trails, hiking bikes up mountains and building the most ridiculous wood stunts you can imagine.

The Moment Kamloops Riding Early Days

The film is a who’s who of mountain bike legends, film makers, photographers and locations. It features interviews with Greg Stump,  Ritchie Schlay, Brent Tippie, Wade Simmons, The Digger and filmmaker Christian Begin (to name a few) . It delves into the early days of mountain bike mecca’s like Kamloops, the North Shore and Sea to Sky. You learn about how they brought free riding out of the shadows and into the mainstream over a 20 year period. If you’ve been riding for any period of time in the corridor, chances are you’ve either watched these people ride, gone riding with them, or watched one of their films at the pub.

It’s an action-packed walk down freeride memory lane that is not only nostalgic but very fun to watch.

Producer/Director: Darcy Hennessey Turenne

Movie Times: December 3rd 6:00 and 9:30 at Rainbow

Tickets and Info

Mike Chapman The Fountain Of Youth Film

Whistler Film Festival 2017: The Fountain Of Youth

The Whistler International Film Festival runs November 29th to December 3rd.  What’s On Sea To Sky recently previewed the two entries that touch on local filmmakers and people. This is the first review of two films. READ The Moment’s Review

The Fountain Of Youth

Director: Mike Douglas, Switchback Entertainment

For all of you long time locals and passionate powder skiiers, our pick for you at the Whistler Film Fest is “Fountain Of Youth”. There is so much to like about this film.

Longtime Whistler athlete, filmmaker and local legend Mike Douglas embarks on a journey to find out if he’s still got it and more importantly, how to keep it. 

Mike’s spent decades in Whistler logging hundreds of ski days and making films about it. Sometimes he is the star, but most of his recent work the past few years has focused on others who brave the steep and deep. His Whistler based production company, Switchback Entertainment, has logged over 100 web episodes for Salomon TV. In short, he gets to do what half of the Whistler ski population wants to do for a living:  ski amazing locations and make videos about it.  

The style “The Fountain Of Youth” film tends to feel a bit like an old school Warren Miller Film.  Chapman personally stars in and narrates the film. Sure, it’s about skiing, but it’s also about our personal relationship with mountains and the culture that comes with it. The departure from his normal film genre is the perfect match for the Whistler Film Festival.

The film is part documentary and part Ja-pow commercial. Anyone who skis’s or rides deep powder locally has put Japan on their personal ski bucket list recently. Mike is no exception. He takes a trip to Japan to try and tap into the reasons for the Japanese passion for the mountains and in some cases, the ability to ski into their 90s. He pays tribute to some Japanese ski legends in the process.

Fountain Of Youth Movie Mike Chapman

It’s a personal story. You can see how Mike can’t stop challenging himself to try and do the trick’s he mastered in his 20s. And like the rest of us in our 40s, he sees yoga as a somewhat boring but necessary evil to attaining our faded glory on the slopes. Yet he keeps trying to up his game and grabs amazing footage in the process. This is a guy who just can’t see himself giving up on freestyle skiing. Ever.

Visually, the film is quite a treat to watch. You get excited watching not only the beautifully shot ski footage but for the Japanese culture. He uses his trip to learn how to improve his personal chances of skiing into his 90s. Needless to say, the Fountain of Youth is a film that everyone will enjoy, but particularly those of us in the middle of our lives.

Movie Times: December 1st 7:30 and December 3rd at 4:30 @ Maury Young Arts Centre

Tickets & Info

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

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