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Thrills, chills, and backcountry skills: Arc’teryx Backcountry Academy turns Whistler into a peak playground with jam-packed winter event

Set for February 2024, the Academy offers an enriching blend of film screenings, music, and educational clinics, celebrating community and the spirit of the outdoors
Dancing the night away at the 2023 Arc’teryx Backcountry Academy Music series. Photo credit: Rob Perry

Prepare to be immersed in an experience that transcends a mere gathering. The Arc’teryx Backcountry Academy isn't just an event; it’s a dynamic intersection of education, culture, and the sheer joy of winter sports—a captivating journey into the heart of adventure and community.

This renowned event seamlessly weaves together the thrill of outdoor education and the vibrancy of cultural celebration, offering an immersive experience for skiers, snowboarders, and outdoor enthusiasts. Scheduled events are set to take place from Feb. 23-25th, 2024, with highlights including unforgettable film nights, a sensational music series, and exclusive chances to mingle with top-tier athletes and filmmakers.

"The Backcountry Academy is committed to education and community. It brings people together to connect through films, music, and athlete interactions," Savannah Nathaus, brand experience specialist at Arc’teryx says.

Film nights: A spotlight into the Arc’teryx Athlete’s mountain adventures

Michelle Parker presenting at the 2023 Backcountry Academy film night. She’s back with another great film this year! Photo credit: Alex Guiry

The heart of the Academy's film nights lies in its curation of remarkable ski and snowboard films, presented by Arc’teryx athletes and directors. These evenings are not just about screenings; they offer a chance to hear from those involved in the creative process, providing an insider view of the adventure film industry.

Friday night is a special tribute to Indigenous arts and culture, featuring films like 'ÆTHER 5' by Spencer O'Brien and 'Slides on the Mountain' by Sandy Ward, along with a presentation by Chief Ian Campbell. 

"Friday is a beautifully curated event that celebrates Indigenous culture, offering a platform for important voices and stories in our community,” Nathaus says.

Saturday night promises a diverse lineup, including 'Unlikely Duo' and 'Darkhorse', showcasing stories of partnerships and perseverance in the backcountry. The feature 'Continuum' stands out, a film about strong female camaraderie and sustainability, using repurposed Arc’teryx jackets to create a symbolic tent.

Connecting through music and community

The Academy Music Series takes the experience beyond the slopes and into the heart of Whistler Village. Multiple venues will host a variety of artists, catering to a wide range of musical tastes.

"The music series is another layer of our event, bringing people together over a love of live music," Nathaus says.

Learning from the best: educational clinics and athlete interaction

Acquire skills for navigating Whistler's backcountry and beyond with certified guides during the upcoming 2024 Academy clinics. Photo credit: Jeremy Allen

A significant aspect of the Academy is its focus on education. Participants spend days in the backcountry, learning from certified guides and Arc’teryx athletes. 

"The majority of our educational clinics are with Arc’teryx athletes. It's an opportunity to learn from them, listen to their stories, and connect on a personal level," Nathaus says.

These clinics are more than just learning experiences; they are gateways to building lasting connections within the outdoor community. This year’s clinics include:

  • Splitboard Up & Learn How to Save Your Friends with Victor Daviet on Feb. 23: Fine-tune your splitboarding basics and avalanche safety knowledge.
  • How to Carve Like a Euro with Victor Daviet, Saturday Feb. 24: Carve your way around Whistler, discovering the best zones and mastering techniques for low and fast elbow carving.
  • Freestyle on Hill with Spencer O'Brien, Saturday Feb. 24: Explore how terrain park and freestyle skills transfer to other resort areas and the backcountry. 

"Often, participants leave our clinics with new ski partners and friends. It’s about creating a community that shares a passion for the backcountry,” Nathaus says.

Tickets and community support

Tickets for the film nights are priced at $10. All proceeds benefit organizations such as the Indigenous Life Sport Academy and POW Canada, reflecting the Academy's commitment to giving back to the community and supporting important causes. Tickets for the music series range in price, with none exceeding $40 per ticket.

The Arc’teryx Backcountry Academy stands as a testament to the power of bringing people together through a shared love of the outdoors, film, and music. It’s a celebration of community, culture, and the spirit of adventure that defines the Sea to Sky corridor.

Ticket sales for film nights and the music series are now live! With limited availability and high demand, those interested are encouraged to secure their tickets early to be part of this unique Whistler experience. Visit for more information.