Returning for its second year, the Arc’teryx Backcountry Academy is poised to take over Whistler for a weekend’s worth of events on and off the slopes. In addition to backcountry and in bounds educational clinics (now sold out) hosted by Arc'teryx athletes and Altus Mountain guides, the weekend-long event offers new ways to engage with the backcountry community regardless of how comfortable you feel going up (or down) the mountain.
This includes a jam-packed schedule of ticketed film screenings and live music events, as well as two free events at the Whistler Conference Centre; a free happy hour at the on-site vendor village, and a dynamic art show dedicated to showcasing Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Snuneymuxw and Lil̓wat7úl artists based in the Sea2Sky Corridor.
“The vendor village happy hour and art show are exciting opportunities for those who want to experience the event without taking a clinic or spending a day in the snow”, says Arc’teryx Brand Experience Specialist, Savannah Nathaus. “Education and community are two of the most important pillars we operate under, we wanted to provide additional ways for people to be involved and feel part of the community. There's truly something for everyone.”
This year’s Academy Art Show is sure to be a highlight of the entire weekend event, showcasing a rich tapestry of carvings, textiles, paintings, and innovative creations, including the powerful and profound work of Levi Nelson, who creates Contemporary Indigenous Art using a bold colour palette. Sometimes referencing and reinterpreting the works of Warhol and Dali, Levi’s work remains completely one-of-a-kind, exploring themes of identity and balance in the process. Most recently he has exhibited work in the “Reconcile This” group show at Arts Whistler and has been chosen to design the branding for the Invictus Games 2025.
Also being showcased this year is artist Nevada Lynn, who creates moving digital portraits of Indigenous community members and leaders, aimed to pay homage to those who uplift and inspire while leveraging her creative practice to serve in the realms of social and climate justice, water protection and Indigenous sovereignty. “There are so many incredible talents on display”, says Nathaus, “we hope people gain a deeper appreciation and knowledge of the incredible artists from the Sea2Sky and lower mainland”.
The Academy Art Show will take place in the foyer of the Whistler Conference Centre from Feb 23 - 24 and will be open to the public from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. You can view the event’s full list of artists HERE and expect more to be announced soon.
Happening Friday, February 23rd and Saturday, February 24th from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm, also at the Whistler Conference Centre, the Vendor Village Happy Hour invites attendees to mingle with other like-minded snow enthusiasts and share a drink with them while exploring the event’s community partners and sponsors, who will be showcasing the latest innovations in outdoor equipment and gear. Designed to build off the energy of a day on the mountain, the happy hour is regarded as a way to build upon the main theme of the entire weekend; community.
It’s always really special to see people leave with a new connection whether it’s a person or piece of art they experienced at the event," says Nathaus. "Community is such a broad word but it’s something I love so much about these events because you see people come together through art, music, film, and sport.
“We hired local decorator Ace Mackay-Smith to transform the WCC; her work in bringing a venue to life is worth seeing in itself. There will also be a live DJ spinning tunes throughout the weekend, along with many other fun activations, including the ReBird booth and a live poet."
So if you’re looking to connect with a broader community of like minded people who don’t just love the great outdoors, but the artwork, creativity, sport, and innovation that it inspires, be sure to attend the Arc’teryx Backcountry Academy happening this February in Whistler, B.C.
Ticket sales for film nights and the music series are selling fast! With limited availability and high demand, those interested are encouraged to secure their tickets to be part of this unique Whistler experience. Attendance at the Vendor Village Happy Hour and Academy Art Show is free. Visit whistler.arcteryxacademy.com for more information.