The Great Outdoors Festival (GO Fest) beckons.
The fourth annual celebration of Whistler's wonders returns for the Victoria Day long weekend from May 19 to 22, with more sports, arts and culture, and music than ever before.
"The intention is to put out tons of programming so that we draw families in to visit Whistler on this weekend," says Whistler mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden.
"And we want to keep community members here as well because there is so much to do."
GO Fest in 2017, being a Resort Municipality of Whistler initiative, is the culmination of "lessons learned from each year."
Says Wilhelm-Morden: "The committee works on it so it is always fresh and lively."
She adds that entertainment and recreational activities combined "with police, security force and fire department presence to ensure that mischief and (rowdy behaviour) is not even tolerated."
Wilhelm-Morden especially encourages people to try outdoor activities they may never have attempted before, such as fly fishing, the sailing clinics on Alta Lake, white-water rafting on the Green River, or even a self-guided River of Golden Dreams tour by canoe.
Music all weekend
Five bands perform free concerts on the Village Square Main Stage throughout the weekend.
Veteran rockers 54-40 take to the stage on Friday, May 19, at 7:30 p.m; six-piece afro-Latin dance band Mazacote performs on Saturday, May 20, at 3 p.m.; indie rock band The Zolas performs later on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; alt band Amistad performs on Sunday, May 21, at 3 p.m. and electronic rock band Dear Rouge closes GO Fest's music offerings on Sunday, at 7:30 p.m.
For an interview with 54-40 vocalist and guitarist Neil Osborne, with information on their newest album Keep on Walking, see page 74.
Outdoors indoors with films
The Whistler Film Festival (WFF) continues its Adventure Film Series, with three feature-length and 27 short films from around the world over the weekend, along with speakers who will describe how a passion for adventure culture has influenced their lives.
"We changed the format this year. We wanted to do more shorts because it allows us to cover different themes. Friday's shorts theme is 'Adventure Unknown,' Saturday's is 'Adventurous Influencers,' and Sunday's is 'Living on the Edge' — more climbing based with an environmental film," says the series' programmer Nikki Segovia.
Short film screenings begin daily at the Maury Young Arts Centre (MYAC) at 4 p.m. from Friday to Sunday, May 19 to 21.
Speakers take part each day. Action sport filmmaker Scott Secco talks on Friday about shooting Dreamride 2; snowboard paralympian John Leslie talks on Saturday about his experiences being filmed in The John Leslie Story; and co-director of Glacier Exit, Kristin Gerhart, speaks on Sunday.
Feature films run at 7 p.m. daily.
Friday's film Blood Road is the story of ultra-endurance mountain biker Rebecca Rusch who pedals 1,900 kilometres through the Vietnamese jungle along the Ho Chi Minh Trail with her riding partner, Huyen Nguyen, to reach the crash site of her U.S. Air Force pilot father.
Saturday has two screenings of Under an Arctic Sky (7 p.m. and 9 p.m.), the story of six surfers hitting the water on the north coast of Iceland just as a monster storm hits. Adventurer Chris Burkard speaks at both screenings of his film.
Sunday's 7 p.m. screening has Given and three short films. Co-founder of SlacklifeBC Spencer Seabrooke talks about being in the short Untethered.
Tickets for each screening are $15, and available the MYAC before screenings, or at www.whistlerfilmfestival.com.
As well, WFF in collaboration with Mountain Life Magazine, is holding a new photography competition, the winning photo by featured in the magazine's summer issue. Photos will be featured at MYAC during GO Fest.
Canoe decorating and bocce
The Point Artist-Run Centre wants people to visit them on the shores of Alta Lake by canoeing over to say "hello" on Saturday, May 20. It is holding the first annual Canoe and Boat Decorating Contest with judging and prizes at 1 p.m.
There will be outside games, including bocce, weather permitting.
The Cypress Point Café is open from noon to 4 p.m., with entertainment by singer-songwriter Emily Molloy.
At 6 p.m. there is a dinner show by singer-songwriter Aude Ray, who is launching her new album Be My Home. For an interview with Ray and more information, turn to page 75.
GoPro GO Show
Back for the fourth time, this film competition pits six athletes against each other to capture the essence of Whistler in May, through a short film made in 72 hours. The winner takes home the grand prize of $2,000. Ski adventurer Stan Rey, who won it for the past two years, is competing again. It takes place at the Garibaldi Lift Company (GLC) on Sunday, May 21, at 8 p.m.
For more information, the Go Fest website (www.greatoutdoorsfest.com) lists all arts and sports activities taking place over the long weekend.