Guest Author: Patrick Levesque
Patrick hails from Vancouver and is the co-owner and founder of Masc and Homorazzi.com, as well as a co-host of Homorazzi on OUTtv. He’s taken time out of his busy schedule to tell us why he keeps coming back each winter.
Gay Pride is one of the biggest events in Vancouver and I look forward to it every August- as do hundreds of thousands of other people. Thankfully, we’re spoiled here in British Columbia and we don’t have to wait until summer to celebrate all things LGBT: we’re lucky enough to have the winter version of Pride right in our own backyard. The Whistler Pride & Ski Festival (January 23 – 31) has become an annual tradition with my group of friends and 2016 will be our 8th consecutive year attending the event.
First, a little back-story. I’m one of the co-founders of a popular info-tainment blog and TV show called Homorazzi, and we actually came up with the name while at the Whistler festival for the first time. We had just finished eating a dinner we prepared in our cozy condo in Village North and one of our friends had already dozed off on the couch after a couple of glasses of wine. We decided we wanted proof of this party pooper, so naturally we got out our cameras. As the flashes kept going off we joked that instead of the Paparazzi, we were more like the Homorazzi – and the name stuck.
Never underestimate chairlift time – the Homorazzi name was born right here in Whistler. Patrick Levesque PHOTO
Now, to this year’s festival. Let’s start with the basics – if you’re looking to ski or snowboard in one of the most picturesque places in North America, Whistler is where it’s at. For the third year in a row now, the resort has been named by SKI Magazine as #1 in North America. There’s a reason why Whistler was a Host Mountain Resort for the 2010 Winter Olympics and why productions like Bravo’s new reality show Après Ski have come to be filmed here. Truth be told, I don’t get the chance to ski very often but I definitely make it happen when I’m in Whistler. On the days where we haven’t skied or boarded, we’ve taken advantage of the other exciting activities Whistler has to offer. Whether tubing down the slope at the Tube Park or jumping off a bridge with Whistler Bungee Jumping, we’ve pretty much done it all and have the videos and photos to prove it.
Winter bungee jumping – the Homorazzi team give it a go.
Aside from the picturesque surroundings, amazing terrain, adventure activities, we can’t forget there is also a Pride event going on! That’s right, there’s an après-ski event EVERY DAY where you get to listen to amazing music and meet incredible people from all over the world. Personally, these afternoons are my favourite part of all the events for that very reason. You meet so many interesting people from all over the world… and who knows, one could turn out to be Mr. or Mrs. Right (this is the year for me… I can feel it).
Outside of the après, there are a ton of other events to keep you entertained as the evenings roll in. During the week, there’s the Splash Pool Party, several club nights, a Night of Comedy that this year will feature none other than the incredibly hilarious Bianca Del Rio, and plenty more to make for an unforgettable week and/or weekend. Some of the weekend events include Purrlesque and Snow Belles (the musts for the ladies), Furrocious (for all those bears coming out of hibernation), and WhiteOUT and Snowball to anyone who wants to dance the night away to an incredible lineup of DJs. There are even passes you can get that will grant you easy access to these après and evening events – either a week pass or weekend pass depending on what your plans are.
Left: Meet, greet and dance. Mike Crane PHOTO. Right: You never know who you will meet. Patrick Levesque PHOTO
If you stay in Whistler Village you’re in walking distance of everything: events, gondolas, activities, grocery store, liquor store, and restaurants. Whistler Village is alive and there’s plenty to see and do – after your post-ski hot tub of course…So whether you’ve never been to Whistler Pride & Ski Festival or if you’ve missed a year or two, the time has come to hit the slopes once again at this much anticipated annual event. I’ll be there and I’m looking forward to seeing you!
It’s a short and scenic drive from Vancouver to Whistler, which makes it easy to pop up and check out the festival. If you’re looking for more info on the 2016 Whistler Pride and Ski Festival or any of the activities Patrick mentioned, Whistler.com has it.