Whistler gay fest more than just romp in snow

Photo courtesy of GayWhistler.com


Skiers pose with the pride flag at last year’s WinterPRIDE in Whistler.

You don’t have to like toques, toe warmers and t-bars to find something to enjoy at Whistler’s third annual gay winter festival, which starts this weekend.

Dean Nelson, who is putting on the event, said WinterPRIDE is all about inclusiveness, and that means also catering to people who’d rather head to an après party from a spa or restaurant than from the slopes.

"It’s a celebration of diversity and inclusiveness," said Nelson, who added the event evolved out of Gay Whistler Ski Week, which is in its 16th year.

"We kept hearing, ‘My friends would love it up here but one partner doesn’t ski, so they’d be bored silly,’ " said Nelson. "We thought, my goodness, there’s such a bigger opportunity."

He said people clearly wanted more in a winter destination than winter sport, like culinary events, entertainment and spa destinations.

"We thought, Whistler has (all of that)."

Nelson said roughly 3,000 people from around the world are expected to show up for WinterPRIDE, which starts Sunday and runs until Feb. 10.

One of the main draws will still be the daily guided ski groups, set up for skiers and boarders of all levels.

But there’s also dog sledding, snowshoeing, zip trekking, as well as sex food workshops, health and wellness seminars, parties and live entertainment.


many events, one destination

  • WinterPRIDE’s roughly 100 events and activities include yoga workshops, skin care and nutrition seminars, shows with Last Comic Standing’s Debra DiGiovanni and a Cirque Du Soleil performance.

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