How to do Canada Day in Whistler
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How to do Canada Day in Whistler

On July 1st 152 years ago, the Constitutional Act united three colonies within the British Empire to create a new country. A vast and beautiful country that is home to many diverse cultures, languages, fashion, food, activities, and traditions that have evolved to make it the Canada that we know, appreciate and love today. We are proud to be Canadians and gosh darn it we are going to celebrate that – not that we want to offend anyone who isn’t Canadian. After all, we are known for our friendly and welcoming demeanor, and Whistler is the home of many international transplants. So whether your passport says Canadian on it or not, we hope you’ll join in on the celebrations in Whistler! Here’s your guide on how to do Canada Day in Whistler.

Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk

First things first, decide what Canadian look you want to embrace for the festivities. Like any endeavor, looking the part is half the battle. Keep it simple by throwing on anything red or emblazoned with a maple leaf, a beaver or a moose and you’ll be good to go – even better if it comes from a Roots store. Boots like Blundstones adorned with jeans or jean shorts and a plaid flannel offers a lumberjack/cowboy Canadian feel. If you are serious about bringing your game to the next level, find your best denim everything and rock that Canadian tuxedo from head to toe with confidence. The Gibbons Hub located in the Village near Firerock Lounge or the Re-Use-It Center near Nesters will help with your attire.

While putting together your best Canadian outfit, it would probably be wise to start practicing some basic Canadian vernacular. This should get you started, eh (do you agree)? Stop by Timmies (Tim Horton’s) for a double-double (coffee with two cream and two sugar), before you head’r (go to) to the Re-Use-It Centre. Pick up a two-four (24 pack of beer), a mickey (24oz of liquor) and some pop (Coke, 7up, ginger ale etc.) the day before the festivities. If you don’t hit the BCLC (British Columbia Liquor Commission) before the holiday, they will be closed and you will be hooped (up sh*t creek without a paddle) and all those beauties (rad people/friends) you promised a cooler full of coldies (cold drinks) to, will be right pissed (very upset). This might cause a kerfuffle (altercation) and put a damper on the day. Fortunately, you’re a keen’r (very motivated and excited), so you would never get hosed (up sh*t creek without a paddle) like that.

For the real keen’rs, brush up on your Mountain Lingo skills, after all, you are celebrating Canada Day in Whistler. Most importantly, don’t forget to apologize regularly, even if you were in the right and thank everyone, even if they have done you wrong. Get your outfit and these Canadianisms dialed and you’re ready to roll.

Dress the part. Check out the Gibbons storefront for your Canada Day attire.

Activities to Celebrate Canada Day in Whistler

Next, grab your “Canadian Greatness” playlist and rock out to those Canadian classics while participating in the activities that you love most about Canada and specifically, Whistler. Tragically Hip, Alannis Morrissette, Drake, Blue Rodeo, Bryan Adams, Justin Bieber, Celine Dion, and of course everyone’s favourite, Nickelback, have never sounded better while BBQ’ing at Alpha Lake, floating or paddling down the River of Golden Dreams, playing a pickup game of hockey, lacrosse or baseball at Meadow Park or adventuring to glacial lakes at the top of mountains for your own special Canadian Beach Party. Hiking, helicopters, BBQs, wakeboards, paddle boards and glacial cliff jumps. It doesn’t get much more awesome than that!

If sticking to the bumping Whistler Village is more your pace let the music guide you – right to the Longhorn Patio! Want to keep it low key? Tapleys during the day will be just the right primer before it turns into a full Canadian party at night – but trust us you’ll be ready for the transition after a few Canadian pints and rounds of darts. If you find yourself in Squamish for the Canada Day festivities, Norman Rudy’s will be hosting a banger of a celebration all afternoon with Mat the Alien DJing and a sunny patio hosting mountainous views and plenty of Après Lager for all.

Want to live big? Rent out one of the Gibbons Penthouses in the heart of the Whistler Village and you won’t miss a beat.

Your Canadian Must Eats

Don’t let your day of patriotic activities distract you from enjoying some of Canada’s most traditional foods. If you’re starting the day off in town, head to Stonesedge for their breakfast poutine. The combination of potatoes, bacon, sausage, poached eggs, cheese curd, and Hollandaise has got you covered with all the important food groups for a day of celebration! Maybe crack a red can of  Candian brewed Apres Lager at breakfast too, it’s a day of celebrating after all, no judgments here.

From there, peruse your way through town stopping for a coffee and snag a Nanaimo bar treat or at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for some maple sweets. If “Après” hour is more your jam, the Firerock Lounge has a killer Maple Manhattan made with Canadian Rye Whisky and infused Maple syrup, and also serves a mean Caesar. If you’re continuing to eat your way about town, don’t forget Tapley’s Canadian Deep Dish Pan Pizza – it’s chock-full of Canadian goodness.

We cannot pass on the opportunity to mention that Après Lager is 100% Canadian and ready to accompany your Canadian adventure, picnic or after-hours activities. Find out where you can order or purchase to go here.

Après Lager by the bucket at Longhorn Saloon. Photo: Abby Cooper.

Keeping the Tradition Alive

Traditions are the behaviors or rituals that are passed down over time to celebrate the origins of the past. This year we celebrate 152 years of patriotism and what could be more traditionally patriotic than a parade and fireworks on our nation’s birthday? We have a lot to celebrate in our little town, so we up the ante when it comes to Canada Day in Whistler. Free concerts, street parties, farmers markets and the local heritage and history at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Center are all ways we choose to share the celebration of our origins with those around us.

Wherever you are from, you are now armed with the knowledge of planning your best Canada Day in Whistler. With a two-four in hand and a couple beauties by your side this July 1st, you are bound to find a party that brings the Canadian patriot out of you.

Meredith Eades

Usually found in the mountains, on the water or somewhere in between, getting her fix of adrenaline in one form or another. Meredith is a skier and mountain biker soaking up Whistler living, but is certainly not one to shy away from trying something new and adventuring down the path unknown.