Mountain resort’s new celebration of creativity spotlights food, drink, visual arts or artists, music, film and words

Share story

This fall, one of North America’s best ski resorts is being transformed.

Whistler has always been a place with something for everybody. With the inaugural season of Fall for Arts, the mountain resort is now a hub for culture.

Forget how art is “supposed to be” packaged.  You won’t find pretentious gallery snobs. Nope. Think mixology demonstrations, pop-up art studios, outdoor concerts, Lego competitions and the place where you can finally learn how to weave that basket.

Be loud. Act out. Get messy” is the mantra for the season. It’s a months-long celebration of creativity in all shapes and forms.

While some individual festivals (like the Whistler Film Festival) have been mainstays for years, Fall for Arts is a new village-wide effort from September through December.

And with the U.S. dollar still at historic highs against the Canadian loonie, it’s a great excuse to spend your vacation days north of the border.

With so much happening at Whistler, why not organize an arts adventure for the whole family?

Here are some highlights.

Outdoor Concerts & Music – Live concerts will be scattered around the village including the first annual Local Music Festival (September 24-25) showcasing Whistler’s homegrown talent. See big name acts at the outdoor concert series. Open-mic nights are on Wednesdays, with Jam Sessions every Sunday.

ArtWalk – Scattered throughout Whistler Village, more than 30 businesses become temporary galleries.  It’s a good excuse to go shopping and visit new places.  If you collect stamps from every gallery in your passport, you could win free artwork!

Kids Classes – Fall for Arts is fun for the whole family.  Preschoolers and babies have their own weekly story and singing time. Local volunteer artists help families create together with hands-on art.  Or enjoy organized non-tech time playing with puppets, board games and reading stories.

Pop-Up Studios – Watching a creative person in action is a mesmerizing experience. Weekends feature local artists forging their creations at temporary studios.  See them produce original works in everything from textiles to jewelry making.

Whistler Writers Festival (Oct. 13-16) – More than 60 authors converge on Whistler for readings, workshops, speaker panels and spoken-word events. For the budding author or avid reader, it’s your chance to rub shoulders with the pros.

Cornucopia (Nov. 10-20) – For years Whistler has been a culinary center, and in November the focus is on gastronomy.

Sample delicacies from food stalls modeled after the popular street food vendors around the world.

At the Cellar Grand Door Tasting, top-shelf wines ($35 bottles and up) are uncorked for a high-end tasting. (Nov. 11)

The world’s best oyster shuckers and mixologists converge in a fastest shucking and bloody Caesar battle. (Nov. 20)

For something truly unique try the Silent Disco.  Drink cocktails and listen on headphones (supplied at the event) for dancing to one of three mixes broadcast from three different DJs. (Nov. 13)

Whistler Film Festival (Nov 30.-Dec. 4) – The 16th annual festival showcases up to 90 films including independents and foreign features. The weekend includes live interviews with film creators and a short film showcase. Free feature films also will run throughout the fall.

Jump In, Get Involved – Fall for Arts is a place to dive in and get your hands dirty with dozens of events.

Want to try your hand at silk screening? Ceramics? Pastry Art? You can learn. Think you are good with Legos? Prove it at the annual Big Kids Lego Competition (Nov. 2).  Beer and Brushes (Nov. 17-18) and Drink and Draw (Mondays) will have you sipping suds while learning the basics of drawing and painting.  The Whistler Community Band welcomes anyone who plays an instrument in a celebration of music every Tuesday.

Cultural Connector – This pedestrian-friendly path connects five key cultural facilities, including the spectacular new Audain Art Museum and the award-winning Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre.

Complete schedule

Discover fall in Whistler. We’re marching toward winter, and Whistler is getting more colorful each day. Visit during autumn to discover the unique charm of the season, with sales, new trails, and festivals of food, drink, film and words.