Artists and galleries, businesses and musicians—and, of course, volunteers—Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival needs you.

This May long weekend, May 15-18, GO Fest throws open the doors to those who love to get outside and get involved. It’s a celebration of mountain culture designed to draw visitors and community members out for a first taste of what summer in the mountains is all about.

Launched last year, this multi-faceted festival offers a chance to stroll through the hustle and bustle of an action-packed Whistler weekend or join in the fun as an extreme kayaker, music fan, disc golf player or aspiring artist by participating in one of the many competitions, clinics and concerts taking place around town. It’s an ideal event for locals to get involved in to showcase life in the Sea-to-Sky and how it is such a great place to visit as an athlete or nature-loving arts buff as some of last year’s participants can attest.

Revived specifically for the festival, the Great Snow Earth Water race anchors four days of sport and arts offerings, and takes an army of volunteers, like Lawler and her partner, Matic Vecko, to be successful. With race teams starting at the snowline and transitioning through sports all the way down to a final cross-lake canoe leg, it truly is a showcase of the Whistler spirit. And not just for the athletes, but volunteers and spectators too.

There are many ways to get involved with GO Fest to help grow this new event in its sophomore year. In addition to meeting the volunteers needed to help with everything from running sport competitions to managing aspects of the event office, GO Fest requires a wide range of artistic supports and business involvement, and it offers athletes a chance to get involved in a weekend of celebrating outdoor recreation.
Artists from the gallery take their brushes, canvasses, sculpting tools and easels out to work in the public eye for the first of White Dog’s Painting the Peaks Artists Demos.

GO Fest is also looking for film submissions, musical acts and local businesses to host or sponsor an event.

Back by popular demand, Nita Lake Lodge will be taking the opportunity to meet and greet the standup paddleboard (SUP) community, offering a demo day and barbeque at their lakefront property in conjunction with local SUP manufacturer BeaverBoards.

Want to get involved? Here’s how:


To volunteer, please visit the GO Fest website and fill out the application form on the Get Involved page.

Call for film submissions

WFF are accepting film submissions for the 2nd Annual WFF Adventure Film Series, a part of the GO Fest weekend. The call is for submissions of adventure films of all lengths. Last year, WFF presented 20 films from six countries over three days.

Submission are open through April 17. Fees: $45 for feature and $25 for shorts. Information available on greatoutdoorsfest.com

Call for musicians and bands

Sea-to-Sky musicians and bands GO Fest wants to tap your talents. If you are living between Lions Bay and Lillooet and looking for opportunities to perform, please submit for a chance to perform on the main stage on May 18.

This opportunity is open to artists who compose and perform original material. Please submit two original songs, in an mp3 format, and one video example of a live performance. Submissions will be juried by a panel of music industry professionals and local programmers with candidates being judged on originality, creativity and their live performance. Submit your material here by April 24 at noon.

Call for businesses

Got a great idea of how your business can participate like Nita Lake Lodge? We would love to hear it. Please contact us at info@greatoutdoorsfest.com

Athlete registration

Athlete registration begins for all events this week on greatoutdoorsfest.com. Stay tuned for the official launch this Thursday.