This article was published on January 31st, 2017
That’s a wrap! The 25th annual Whistler Pride and Ski Festival has come to a close. The gays have said their goodbyes, packed up their snowboards and leather harnesses, and headed home from another fabulous winter week of festivities. Whistler Pride and Ski Festival is the largest gay ski week in world—in the #1 ranked ski resort in the country—and with this year being the 25th anniversary, the week was filled with celebrities, events, skiing, parties, and fun, to reign in as the best gay ski week in the world.
Gay ski week visitors from around the world, including Americans taking advantage of the fantastic value of cashing in on the exchange rate when visiting Canada, were greeted with mild, sunny weather all week.
The majority of attendees come for world-class skiing and snowboarding. Whistler Pride provides free daily guided ski and snowboard tours of Whistler Blackcomb through their volunteer gay ski guide program.
The highlight of the gay ski week is the gay ski out down Whistler Mountain, with over 100 people skiing and snowboarding down the mountain, carrying rainbow Pride flags. As they arrive into the village, thousands gathered in the village base to welcome the group.
Whistler village was decked out in rainbows, and the annual Pride March through the village to the Olympic rings, an annual tradition, was the largest Pride March ever held in Whistler, with over 200 participants carrying Pride flags and sporting colourful, rainbow-inspired outfits and gear.
The week was packed with loads of talent featured at the numerous parties and events. A highlight of this year’s ski festival was the addition of the Cabn located at the Aava Hotel, which provided nightly alternative pre-event social opportunities and an alternative to the pool party. It became the ultimate hang-out spot for gays to gather who felt they may not have fit in to the other nightly events, like the pool party or uniform / leather-themed events. The venue had a bar and DJ, and it provided a great opportunity for people to mix and mingle in a dance-club style environment.
The nightlife scene was epic. Thursday night was the highly anticipated Splash pool party at the local rec center, Friday night was the uniform / leather / sports gear Ferrocious party, and the weekend wrapped up with the ever popular and highlight of the weekend, Snow Ball. Over the years the organizers have continue to fine tune the events, which are always perfectly put together and completely flawless.
Entertainment throughout the week included singer Kim Kuzna, comedian Pam Ann, drag queens Connie Smudge and Carlotta girl, Les ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, along with DJ sets by the Cubeguys, DJ Pacifico, DJ Andes, and Mickey Freidman.
Whistler Pride and Ski Festival 2017 was a week of fun times and great people. It’s going to be a long 52 weeks of waiting for the 26th annual Pride Festival, but the wait will surely be worth attending the world’s largest gay ski week, and first Pride held in Canada each year.