The nights may be long in a Canadian winter, but in Whistler darkness is put to flight by thousands of holiday lights along the roads, the Valley Trail and entwined through the trees along the pedestrian-only walkways.


Many of the outdoor lights are put in place through the festive lighting program coordinated by the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW), with hotels and other businesses adding their own decorations to to create a resort-wide fairyland.

It really is thousands of lights too – the RMOW estimate the total number of lights installed by their teams in 2017 to be between 280, 000 to 350, 000 bulbs. That’s up to 5, 000 strings of lights, which take four lifts working full time for two months to be installed. Crews start in October to make sure they are complete for Christmas.

The team creates a new display each year with unique colours and designs appearing around every corner (although we’re stoked to see the ‘Dr Seuss trees’ outside Araxi return a couple years in a row) . There’s everything from multi-coloured clouds to ethereal white ghost trees and others where every branch is outlined in a striking single colour – a feast for the eyes.

The lights make wandering from après to hot tub or dinner to lounge a treat, and turn the outdoor Snow Zone and ice skating rink in Whistler Olympic Plaza into a delightful spot for families to play in the evenings. At a time of year when we all crave warmth and companionship you can take to the streets and get both light and the feeling of community even on the darkest days – a little touch of Whistler magic.

With people in town for the holidays, the lights are even more spectacular in the lead up to Christmas. You’ll be able to check out this year’s light display through the eyes of our @GoWhistler Instagram friends – follow along for the latest pictures, and enjoy these images from winter 2016/17 in the meantime:

1 month until Christmas. Village is looking festive. #littlethingswhistler

A post shared by J€₹€₥¥ £€₲€₹€ (@therealjlegs) on

A Winter Wonderland! Love this place!

A post shared by Nathaniel Sisco (@nathanielsisco) on

There’s no place in the world I’d rather spend a Winter ❄

A post shared by Aimee & Paul (@snaphappytravel) on

The festive lighting program receives up to $50,000 from the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s Festivals, Events and Animation Program, which is funded by the Province of BC’s Resort Municipality Initiative. The lights are up through deep winter but will all be down and put away by mid-March to ensure the trees are happy and grow as normal through the summer.

For what’s on over Christmas and New Year’s and ideas for winter activities, visit


Pip has somehow worked her way around from being a snow-and-bike bum to holding a real job while also being outdoors as much as possible. She’s collected scars, bikes for (almost) every occasion, a small trail dog and a love of craft beer plus a rudimentary understanding of skiing, snowboarding, sketching, and the art of chairlift conversations. She currently believes a combination of gravity, snow, dirt and rad people are what make Whistler tick but investigations are ongoing.