Whistler: Free Concerts and Spontaneous Summer Fun
Summer is never long enough to fit in all those awesome plans so perhaps the best approach is to skip the plan altogether. Whistler has more great events and activities than a person could fit into two full summers so maybe the right idea is to just show up and see how it goes? Why not enjoy a summer vacation of just wandering aimlessly, going with the flow and seeing where Whistler’s bright sunny days will take you? It may sound counter-intuitive but the cobblestoned pedestrian streets of Whistler Village are perfectly designed to get lost in and there’s no shortage of good times to discover. Here’s a loose Insider’s guide to help you find a little summer fun of your own.
Whistler Village Animation and Festivals
Big events like Wanderlust, Crankworx, the Whistler Children’s Festival and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra shows are all worth planning around but Whistler Village will be humming, dancing, and overflowing with entertainment and action every day this summer. From the visual treats of ARTwalk to the canine capers of the Dog Docks Competition to Celtic Ensembles, 3D Murals, craft stations, tap dancing, facepainting, Capoeira and costumed characters on stilts, there is always good family fun to be found in the heart of Whistler. Take a stroll and see for yourself.
Whistler Farmers’ Market
“For me it’s mostly a big social event and a chance to see everyone,” says Farmers’ Market manager Chris Quinlan about Whistler’s weekly, 85-vendor, open-air market. “It’s about connecting with friends and the food producers and there are some cool new vendors this year too. We have an authentic Irish baker this year, and a guy who makes his own marshmellows and then creates ridiculous edible sculptures out them.”
All the usual fresh local veggies, berries and baked goods will be available as well as crafts, the highly addictive kettle popcorn and lots of entertainment. “We’ve got 26 different local musicians alternating throughout the summer,” Chris explains. “We have the capacity in this area to produce everything we need to not only eat but also entertain ourselves. The market is a great place to check it all out and meet people and connect with friends.”
The Whistler Farmer’s Market takes place at the base of Blackcomb Mountain and runs 11 AM to 3 PM every Sunday until October 13, 2013 and from July 4 to September 4th, 2013 it also happens Wednesdays from 3 – 7 PM.
Whistler Presents Outdoor Concert Series
Free music, live shows, big crowds and incredible scenery, the Whistler Presents free summer concert series runs throughout the summer at the Whistler Olympic Plaza and features performers from afar like The English Beat, Ashley MacIsaac, and 54-40 as well as homegrown talent such as Vancouver’s Hey Ocean, Mt Currie’s Kalan Wi or local acts like Ali Milner, Ruckus Deluxe and Animal Nation.
“The free concert series is so rad,” says Animal Nation’s Garnet Clare, a born and raised Whistler kid who has been performing here since 2004. “Having local artists involved with the other acts shows the world what we have to offer.” As a touring band with shows across the country this summer, Garnet can really appreciate the free shows here at home. “I wish more towns had free concerts like we do,” he says. “I would love to show up somewhere and have a free 1000-person concert to watch, that’s amazing to me.”
Whistler Presents is still updating their summer show schedule but check out this list of concert dates (just make sure you wander around and find some spontaneous fun as well) and feel free to hit up the event listings at Whistler.com.
LEFT: Ali Milner and Garnet Clare perform together. PHOTO: Sarah Bourne