Updated September, 2019.
There’s a natural desire after the hectic, long days of summer to chill out a little, and when the weather turns all rainforesty in fall – think cool, damp, amazing clouds – sometimes staying indoors seems more enticing than layering up and splashing about in the forest (although that’s kinda fun too).
Before you tumbledown the Netflix-popcorn-and-cat-cuddles wormhole, know there are options! Enter Fall for Arts, a world of exciting, social and mind-expanding events and activities happening all through autumn, all put together by Arts Whistler. Stretching from September through to December, Fall for Arts encompasses music, visual and culinary creativity of all kinds. It’s for lookers, listeners and doers, a kaleidoscope of creativity, a chance to learn new skills and an open door into a community of like-minded people who like to think, sing, appreciate art and even get a little paint on their hands.
Intrigued? Here’s 12 ways to get into Fall for Arts – guaranteed to stop you from waking up on the couch at Christmas with the cat on your head and popcorn in your PJs:
1. Tap your feet at the Hear and Now Music Festival
September 21 and 22, 2019
Back for a third year in a row, it’s time to discover your next favourite band at Hear and Now – Whistler’s Local Music Festival! With 18 bands and performers taking to the stage it’s time to soak up live, local music with two days packed with rising stars, fan favourites, and awesome Sea to Sky talent. The beats are happening in the Village Square, in the heart of Whistler Village, from noon to 7 PM over the weekend.
2. Join the Party for the Launch Week
September 12 to 19, 2019
The arts are taking over this fall with celebrations showcasing actors, artists, and musicians with a weeks worth of awesome arts and entertainment at Whistler Cultural Connector venues. It’s a jam-packed week including theatre from The Point Flag Stop Theatre & Arts Festival, the miniature masterpieces of the Teeny Tiny Art Show, the beats of the Hear and Now Whistler Music Festival, as well as First Nations art, culinary explorations, and cultural heritage events, just to name a few. Take a look at the calendar of events on our dedicated arts page.
3. Take a workshop or art class
Various dates and times
From writing to home décor and painting classes, now is the time to let your creative side shine. Don’t think you have one? Sometimes it takes a little guidance to find the confidence to create, and having an expert take you through the basics is the best place to start. Check out Arts Whistler’s workshop calendar for a Whistler-wide collection this fall.
4. Tantalize the tastebuds at a culinary event
Various dates and times
Cooking, brewing, baking, distilling – food and drink is another world of creativity. The best part? It requires your tastebuds to be fully appreciated. Top picks are the Whistler Village Beer Festival (September 9-15, 2019) and Whistler Cornucopia (November 7-17, 2019) for all things edible, with the Whistler Farmers’ Markets on through til October for more tasty treats.
5. Revel in the written word at the Whistler Writers Festival
October 17-20, 2019
Whether you like to read or wrangle words, our local writer’s fest offers four days of events of all kinds. Meet your favourite author, learn how to self publish, take a screenwriting workshop or dive into young adult fiction. Welcome to a wonderful world of word wizardry… Learn More.
6. Plan a ‘Gallery Day’
Year-Round, Various Locations in Whistler
Open through the year, Whistler’s art galleries offer an impressive selection of artworks across the genres to view or purchase. Take a day to explore them all, keeping an eye out for special exhibitions and artists-in-residence working live. Luckily most galleries are within a short walk of a café, patio or brewery so you can take refreshments as required and mull over the original works you’ve seen.
7. Find movie magic at the Whistler Film Festival
November / December
Renew your love for the silver screen. Visit for the film fest and catch a stunning series of flicks, chosen for being both interesting and outstanding in their fields. And if you’re in the industry, there’s a host of events designed for learning, networking and inspiration. Learn More.
8. Read a book
Anywhere you like, any time
When was the last time you sat down and read a good book? Fall is the time, when you can read outdoors in the sun, or in a cozy lounge with a brandy at your elbow. Pop into the Whistler Public Library or Armchair Books for the latest good reads. The Whistler Writers Festival also has events for readers – check it out!
9. Walk the Cultural Connector
Whistler Village, Anytime You Like
Linking Whistler’s arts and culture venues, public art, green spaces and village in an easily strollable path, the Whistler Cultural Connector is a magical mini-journey waiting to be discovered at your leisure – check out the photos in our guide here. There’s so much to see, you might want to split this into sections so you can take each venue in your own time.
10. Discover hidden works of art
Anytime, Whistler’s Shops, Village and Valley Trail
Did you know hidden about Whistler we have an impressive selection of artworks, both out in public and in stores thanks to Arts Whistler’s We Heart Local Art program? There’s plenty in Whistler Village, but it’s also worth heading out on the Valley Trail to find those further afield, in Creekside, Function Junction and beyond (use the Arts Whistler cultural map or check out our Insider’s Guide to Art in Unexpected Places to find them). You’ll likely stumble across a mountain view on the way.
11. Take a tour
Various dates and times, various venues
There’s no better way to get to know the big venues like the Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre (SLCC) and the Audain Art Museum than a tour with a knowledgeable guide or docent who can lead you through the collections. Learn more about the Audain’s Walk and Talk Tours and the various tours at the SLCC – some with a craft or tea included. There’s also photography tours running in the village along with more self-directed walking routes. Learn more.
12. Take home a hand-made artisan creation
Various dates and times, at Whistler’s markets
From leatherwork to fused glass creations, paintings, prints and preserves – the Whistler Farmers’ Markets offer a colourful selection of hand-made goods for sale, and they continue through to October. After that, the Arts Whistler Holiday Market (November 30 & December 1, 2019) is the ultimate place to shop, filling two massive rooms at the Whistler Conference Centre with unique gifts right before holiday shopping time.
BONUS: Join in Many, Many More Events
Various dates and times
While we tried to show you a selection of what’s on, this post by no means covers the complete range of things happening during Fall for Arts. We’d recommend staying connected via Arts Whistler, and the Whistler.com event calendar has a comprehensive list of all things on in the resort as well as the arts.
Even if there isn’t an event on, there’s plenty of ways to get into Fall for Arts. Grab the Arts Scene guide, pick up a copy of the Culture Maps and your very own guide to the Cultural Connector at the Whistler Visitor Centre.