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Winter Festivals and Events in BC

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Vancouver | Jordan Manley

Winter is upon us, bringing in seasonal festivities and unique events worth travelling for around the province. Change up your annual winter tradition this season. Celebrate the holiday spirit, wander winter’s wonderland, explore our cities’ cultural landscape, and more.

Rossland | Steve Ogle

Wander Winter's Wonderland

Experience the quirky spirit of the Kootenays this winter in the historic mountain community of Rossland. The Rossland Winter Carnival (January 23-26, 2020) is Canada’s longest-running winter carnival and is, according to Tourism Rossland, as “offbeat and unpredictable as our locals”. Catch the custom-made bobsleds flying down the centre of town, discover what it’s like to go dogsledding, or take in the live music with some local, seasonal brews. For something completely different, the team at Rossland’s RED Mountain Resort will teach you how to luge.

The historic streets of the Okanagan’s oldest community come alive with over 100 events at the Vernon Winter Carnival, (February 7-16, 2020). Events are spread throughout the town and nearby SilverStar Mountain Resort. Sip and savour the Okanagan’s best, get your heart pumping during a guided snowshoe tour or have a birds-eye view of the area from one of the many brightly-coloured hot air balloons that fill the sky during the festival.

For a taste of true Canadian north, you won’t want to miss the High On Ice Winter Festival (February 14-17, 2020) in Fort St. John. Immerse yourself in winter sports and culture at this annual Northern BC event. Enjoy the snowy landscapes on an a horse-drawn sleigh ride, catch a good ol’ hockey game, and admire intricate ice carvings the festival is famous for. With higher latitudes come longer nights, and if the geomagnetic activity’s high, you may even see some northern lights!

High on Ice Festival in Fort St. John | Christos Sagiorgis
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Victoria | Reuben Krabbe

Immerse Yourself in City Culture

Kick off the new decade with a city getaway to our province’s capital for the annual Dine Around  & Stay in Town Victoria (January 16 – February 2, 2020) or Dine Out Vancouver (January 17 – February 2, 2020). Experience each city’s diverse culinary scene and enjoy special offerings from hundreds of restaurants with set-price, three course menus. Hotels also will join in the fun and offer accommodations at reduced prices.

In Vancouver, the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival (January 21 – February 9, 2020) is both a signature event and a best-kept secret. For three weeks, the PuSh Festival expands the horizons of artists and audiences with work that is visionary, genre-bending, multi-disciplined, startling and original. Attracting the very best contemporary and non-traditional performers from around the world, it’s an excellent way to experience the vibrancy of the city’s arts community.

Head to Whistler for a week packed with winter sport, culture and entertainment during Whistler Pride Week (January 26  –  February 2, 2020). Start each day with a guided ski or snowboard tour of the mountains followed by free après every day at host hotel, the Aava Whistler. If you still have energy, at night the festival host DJs, comedians and an indoor pool party.

In Richmond, celebrate Lunar New Year (January 25, 2020) where a diversity of festivities take place. Considered to have the best Asian food in North America according to the New York Times, sample xiao long bao along the Dumpling Trail or venture to the Asian shopping malls of Aberdeen Centre, Richmond Public Market, Yaohan Centre, and Parker Place to indulge in unexpected finds at the food courts. Don’t miss the Lunar New Year festivities at the International Buddhist Temple, one of Richmond’s best-kept secrets, for late night celebrations, including food, art, and an unforgettable ambiance unlike any Chinese New Year you’ve ever experienced in BC.

Header image: Vancouver | Jordan Manley

WRITTEN BY: Destination British Columbia

The official tourism organization for British Columbia, Canada. British Columbia is a land where glaciated mountains stand over a unruly Pacific, rainforests wrap cities, and nature shapes culture.

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