Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival

This May long weekend, May 15-18, GO Fest throws open the doors to those who love to get outside and get involved. It’s a celebration of mountain culture designed to draw visitors and community members out for a first taste of what summer in the mountains is all about.

Launched last year, this multi-faceted festival offers a chance to stroll through the hustle and bustle of an action-packed Whistler weekend or join in the fun as an extreme kayaker, music fan, disc golf player or aspiring artist by participating in one of the many competitions, clinics and concerts taking place around town. It’s an ideal event for locals to get involved in to showcase life in the Sea-to-Sky and how it is such a great place to visit as an athlete or nature-loving arts buff as some of last year’s participants can attest.

“We were very new to Whistler, and GO Fest was the perfect opportunity to get to know the community and all of the activities you can do here, as well as make great connections with people,” says Mary Catherine Lawler, who volunteered as a course marshal for the Great Snow Earth Water race at GO Fest 2014.

Revived specifically for the festival, the Great Snow Earth Water race anchors four days of sport and arts offerings, and takes an army of volunteers, like Lawler and her partner, Matic Vecko, to be successful. With race teams starting at the snowline and transitioning through sports all the way down to a final cross-lake canoe leg, it truly is a showcase of the Whistler spirit. And not just for the athletes, but volunteers and spectators too.

“We both felt that the volunteers cared deeply about the community, and it was a time to be out with family, enjoy living in this beautiful place and create a positive force over May long weekend,” says Vecko.

Artists from the gallery take their brushes, canvasses, sculpting tools and easels out to work in the public eye for the first of White Dog’s Painting the Peaks Artists Demos.

“The festival is a family-oriented event and we found that many of those attending came back to our gallery for a second visit,” say Eder, adding the social media support of the festival really helps draw eyes.

Back by popular demand, Nita Lake Lodge will be taking the opportunity to meet and greet the standup paddleboard (SUP) community, offering a demo day and barbeque at their lakefront property in conjunction with local SUP manufacturer BeaverBoards.

“It’s awesome to see the community get involved and have fun together celebrating the best of the outdoors in Whistler, and we’re looking forward to another great festival,” said Nancy Stewart, Nita Lake Lodge marketing and communications manager.

GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival, will take place May 15-18, 2015 in the Resort Municipality of Whistler, located in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia 125 kilometres (78 miles) from Vancouver, British Columbia. GO Fest celebrates the convergence of winter and summer in North America’s premier four season mountain resort. Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival is an initiative of the RMOW and is funded through the Resort Municipality Initiative. The contract to produce the festival has been awarded to Crankworx Events Inc.

For more information, visit www.greatoutdoorsfest.com.