Growing up in BC, there isn’t anything that can top a day of shredding alongside live music. Nothing…well, obviously if there is an apres Caesar in hand. But yeah, nothing tops that. World Ski and Snowboard Festival nailed it. From the ski/snowboard competitions, to the free live music in the square, venue shows, 72 Hour Filmmaker Showdown, silent disco, art exhibit, Intersection, Multiplicity, comedy shows…this is the mecca of what it means to celebrate mountain culture, and it shows. I cannot stress enough that we are completely spoiled in this part of the world with an outdoor playground so vastly large that there are simply not enough hours in a lifetime that will afford a person to explore every square inch. WSSF is a celebratory culmination of the west coast Canadian shred life, and I’m happy that a festival like this exists.
WSSF was not lying when they said ‘party in April. Sleep in May.’ When an event comes up with a tagline like that, I’m not sure if you should be concerned or frightened? All I can safely say that over the course of WSSF, people were practicing this festival mantra like a religious celebration. It was like Ramadan for what many German folk referred to as “zeeee party of da year.” I don’t even know if that’s an appropriate reference, but that’s literally all I can compare it to. It marks the end of the winter season, so you might as well send it, right?
The FIDO Outdoor Concert Series was fabulous. Cruising off the mountain into a sea of over-heating humans (it was very warm over the course of WSSF) was always a great way to end the day. I contemplated having a no pants dance party, due to the fact that it was literally summer in April. Stand out performances include Monster Truck who nearly motivated me to check my tinder to see if any of them popped up (I’m joking I don’t have tinder…but if I did, I hope that we would have been a match. And by ‘we’ I mean the entire band), Skiitour, Five Alarm Funk, Mat The Alien and Chromeo. Shout out to free concert programming….that ain’t cheap, and I’m sure we can speak for everyone and say a big THANK YOU.
I was having a hard time hearing what the hell my friend Kelly was yelling at me from 2 feet away from my face, until I had the know-with-how to take off my headphones during the silent disco party at the GLC. Normally I stay far away from silent disco’s, but when you have a bunch of your homies on the decks you kinda hafta go. And, once again WSSF proved me wrong. The highlight was when Dave put on Korn…wouldn’t have been my first choice in music but it literally turned the GLC into a mosh pit.
I will interject here and say that Whistler has a great wine selection. So much so that my credit card statement mystically self-combust due to too much heat. Good thing I cooled it down with a wine shot. You know what else could have been cooled the hell down? That tropical party. It was like Rendezvous was transformed into a mini-jungle micro climate blowing the winds of tropical house.
Now, when you posse up with all of your pals on a blue bird day, you literally can’t slap the smile off anyone’s faces. Having the opportunity to shred with the better part of 15 people was a massive highlight. Life always seems to get busier and busier and taking a time out to slide sideways down snow with your pals is quite possibly some of the most fun one can have. It was spring riding at its finest and I’m pretty sure all of us left the hill sunburnt but happy.
The State of the ART (art show) at the Whistler Conference Centre was stunning as always. Showcasing works that have a tie into mountain inspired culture through multiple mediums was simply unreal. I have always found ‘State of the ART’ to take its place on the podium of one of the highlights of this event. The connection between ski/snowboard culture and art runs deep and if you are seeking a free activity that will truly blow you away, make sure to check this exhibit out next year.
Not to be missed are two world-class premiere film events: the Olympus 72 Hour Filmmaker Showdown and Intersection. The 72 Hr Showdown is probably one of the most entertaining things to watch on the big screen. Film teams are given 3 days to shoot, edit and produce a 3-5 minute short film within a 100km radius of Whistler and submit to the judging panel. Most films get the entire crowd laughing and this event has become one of the highlights of the festival for sure. Intersection was another top film event, with teams given one week to film, edit and produce a 5-7 high intensity ski/snowboard edit 100km around Whistler. The submissions were unreal and I was blown away by the calibre of filmmaking and shredding. Hats off to everyone involved.
To wrap up WSSF, we knocked off one of our long-time bucket list activities: sipping a cocktail in a raft at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Whistler BC. At World Ski and Snowboard Fest dreams can become realities. So dream big friends. Miss Kora and I found ourselves comfortably floating in the pool…so as to mark the end of WSSF. Cross that goal off the old bucket list…here is photographic evidence: