Got GO Fest plans with your guy group, but feeling awed by the looong list of Long Weekend activities? No worries. We’ve gone through the list and sorted the best, from the frankly also-awesome rest.
Thursday, May 17
Keen to get a head start on the weekend and a lot of cardio? Join the Retro WORCA Toonie Race. The cross-country mountain bike ride starts at 6:30 p.m. Remember to raid your dad’s basement in advance because the ride has a dress code: a retro bike and outfit. The race is part of Whistler Mountain Bike Heritage Week presented by the Whistler Museum and sign in at Arbutus Routes, unit 112, 4557 Blackcomb Way. (Cost: $2 for WORCA members (membership is $60 for adults, $25 for youth, and $15 for children aged 12 and under. Buy your membership online and sign the waiver online too).
Friday, May 18
Begin your Friday night with the Story of Whistler’s Alpine Mountain Bike Trails at Whistler Museum, 4333 Main Street. Trail builder Dan Raymond and WORCA’s Director of Planning Todd Hellinga will tell the history of Whistler’s trails and describe the building of the hotly anticipated (and charismatically monikered) Lord of the Squirrels trail. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the talk begins at 7 p.m. (Cost: entry by donation to WORCA trail maintenance.)
Continue your evening with two surf documentaries as part of the Whistler Film Festival Adventure Film Series. Transition will be screened at 9 p.m. at the Maury Young Arts Centre. The story follows surfer Noah Cohen face and overcome injury. Next up: Sian Sessions, from Deus Ex Machina, documents the people, places and adventures found during the making of iconic surf film South to Sian. Expect big waves, motorbikes, and dramatic cinematography. (Cost: $15. Purchase tickets online.)
Saturday, May 19
Start your Saturday at 8:50 a.m. with an invigorating five-kilometer Whistler Parkrun starting at the Lost Lake Passivhaus, just steps from Whistler Village (and conveniently close to a big cooked breakfast post-run). The run heads through Lost Lake Park’s trails and around the lake which, like most of Whistler, has views of the local mountains. (Cost: free. Arrive at 8:50 a.m. for a 9 a.m. start and register online in advance).
Sun’s out guns out, so get your biceps ready for some competitive Forged Axe Throwing. The mobile trailer is open 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Whistler Olympic Plaza. The aim of the game is to hurl axes at a target to hit bulls-eye. Bring your finest lumberjack plaid. (Cost: free.)
Between noon and 4 p.m., get the party started at the Table Tutors: DJ Experience at Whistler Olympic Plaza. The workshop offers music mixing, live beat production and turntable tutoring. You’ll learn to scratch records, create a live beat and build a set. This workshop is available Saturday and Sunday, so you can stop by for more the next day. (Cost: free).
Mountain biker? Stop by the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre for a screening of Darcy Turenne’s mountain biking documentary The Moment, followed by a Q&A with freeride mountain bike pioneer Brett Tippie. Doors open at 8 p.m. (Cost: by donation to the BC Aboriginal Youth Mountain Bike program.)
Enjoy climbing? Choose the 7 p.m. or 9 p.m. Whistler Film Festival Adventure Film Series screening of Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey at the Maury Young Arts Centre. Fred Beckey was one of the most influential climbers, as well as a nomadic author and dirtbag who inspired generations of athletes to hit the road on a quest to further their sport. (Cost: $15. Purchase tickets online.)
Sunday, May 20
Brum brum. Do you love Austin Powers, The Italian Job, Goldfinger, Swordfish, The Spy Who Loved Me—ok most Bond movies—not for the narrative, but for the legendary British car engineering? Up to 100 vintage British vehicles will be in Creekside Village from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. for the All British Car Show. (Cost: free).
The final screening of the Whistler Film Festival Adventure Film Series begins at 5 p.m. with the Short Film Series: seven short films in 97 minutes followed by the Western Canadian premiere of surf documentary Proximity. Proximity is directed by award-winning filmmaker Taylor Steel and Produced by Teton Gravity Research (TGR). The documentary pairs surfing icons with young surfers today to explore the relationship between people, time and place in locations around the world. (Cost: $15. Purchase tickets online.)
In addition to the smorgasbord of activities above, GO Fest offers free concerts at the Village Square Mainstage. Juno-winning Canadian pop and alternative rock group The Philosopher Kings will launch the live music series planned for GO Fest at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night, May 18. On Saturday, May 19 at 3 p.m., Carmanah will lay down their unique west coast soul sound. Later that night at 7:30 p.m. roots rock quartet Current Swell take the stage. On Sunday, May 20 Coco Jafro will play their worldly funk fusion and musical rhythms from Africa to the Americas at 3 p.m.; followed by forward-thinking electronic music from the Funk Hunters at 7:30 p.m.