Ski Northern BC this Winter
For a dusting of powder and charm.
In BC’s mountain towns, winter is a season to be embraced and celebrated. Locals and visitors alike take part in winter carnivals, food- and drink-focused events, music festivals, and displays of athleticism and skill. The over-18 crowd will find plenty to celebrate, and there are also some fabulous events for families.
Here are 13 BC winter events not to be missed.
When: Late November
What: Gear up for winter, Kootenay style. Celebrate with local food and drink, boutique shopping along streets lined with heritage buildings, and with art and cultural offerings by the area’s many talented artists. While you’re here, don’t miss a dip in a nearby hot spring. The perfect way to get into the holiday spirit.
When: Early December
What: Rub elbows with some of the Okanagan Valley’s most notable winemakers, and sample their new releases. The valley is known internationally for its exceptional red wines, with popular varietals including Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Malbec.
What: See Sun Peaks transformed into an outdoor wine experience as you stroll from venue to venue, wine glass in hand, along pedestrian-only village streets. Indulge in wine and food pairings, winemaker presentations, and progressive tastings over 10 grape-fueled days. An incredible way to experience an Okanagan winter.
When: late January
What: One of North America’s biggest gay and lesbian ski weeks, Whistler Pride packs skiing, après ski social events, comedy nights and themed parties into eight days of festival fun. Watch (or join in) as skiers and snowboarders descend, flags waving, into Whistler Village as part of a unique pride march.
When: late January
What: Founded in 1898, the Rossland Winter Carnival is one of Canada’s oldest winter celebrations. There are fire spinners, a carnival parade, an ice palace, live music performances, and a bobsled race right down the town’s Spokane Street. The epitome of small mountain town carnivals, it doesn’t get more authentic than this.
When: early February
What: This annual event started in 1961, and it adopts a different theme each year. In 2018, the theme will be “Carnival in Wonderland.” Don’t miss 10 days of fun, including a snow sculpture a competition, a parade, and a nighttime lantern Nordic ski. The highlight? Watch the sky come alive during the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.
When: early February
What: Kicking Horse Mountain Resort will proudly host this five-stop international tour of some of the best skiers and snowboarders in the world. Kicking Horse is the second stop after Hakuba, Japan, and it is the only stop in North America. Come be a spectator, and get in some powder days while you’re here.
When: late February
What: This popular, grass-roots event is a celebration of all things powder. There are off-piste adventures, backcountry clinics, randonee rallies and a film festival. Clinics offer hands-on learning to get you out there, safely enjoying the backcountry powder. All the reason you need to visit this powder mecca.
When: early March
What: The biggest party in Fernie includes hockey tournaments, lumberjack shows, fireworks, parades, and street parties. The Dummy Downhill, held at Fernie Alpine Resort, is the local favourite. Watch competitors build dummies, strap them to skies, and launch them off gigantic ski jumps. That’s some good ol’ Canadian fun.
What: This craft beer festival, held at the base of RED Mountain Resort, kicks off with a welcome party where you can meet the faces behind BC’s breweries and mingle with your fellow aficionados. Beer Goggles is the perfect pairing of BC’s flourishing craft beer scene and one of its most renowned mountain communities.
When: March 23-28, 2018
What: Check out this alpine music festival, in its second year at Panorama Mountain Resort. The event will feature some of Canada’s best independent artists—last year’s line-up included legendary blues man Jim Byrnes. The festival will kick off a series of spring events at Panorama, so check their calendar for more.
When: early April
What: One of Europe’s most popular mountain music festivals will hit Canada again this year as more than 50 artists—ranging from live bands to world-renowned DJs—descend on Sun Peaks Resort. You won’t want to miss an unforgettable four-day, four-night party.
What: Sport and culture collide over 10 days in April, when this legendary mountain community hosts a celebration of skiing, snowboarding, music, photography, art, film, and comedy, all within an atmosphere of general revelry. The energy in the village is electric—you won’t want to miss it.
For information on skiing in BC and ski offers, visit winterwithin.ca.
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