Strong and Free: Lifting of Covid Mandates Marks the Perfect Time to Discover Squamish

Strong and Free: Lifting of Covid Mandates Marks the Perfect Time to Discover Squamish

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

After two long years of lockdowns, masks mandates, and vaccine passports, it finally looks as if British Columbia is approaching the finish line of this pandemic. The recent changes to public health measures and a further loosening of restrictions have brought relief and excitement to the many Canadians who have been patiently awaiting a return to normal. With some of the most stringent restrictions in the country, those living in British Columbia have endured countless limitations on their social freedoms. As the restaurant and tourist sectors have been amongst the industries hardest hit, many have been anxiously awaiting a full, province-wide reopening as we approach the spring and summer months of 2022.
The newest announcements from Dr. Bonnie Henry and the Ministry of Health mark the beginning of the end and gives hope for many looking to make the most out of the upcoming warmer months. Since March 11th, individuals are no longer required to wear masks within public indoor settings, and April 8th will mark the end of the province’s vaccine passport program. Thankfully, customers will no longer be required to provide proof of vaccination when entering restaurants, shops, or other public gatherings. These changes to the province’s approach to the pandemic come alongside new changes to international entry requirements announced by the federal government. Starting April 1st, fully vaccinated travelers will be able to enter into Canada without a negative Covid-19 test result.
All of these adjustments represent a continued progress on the road to a fully re-opened British Columbia. Already, restaurants, gyms, and other public spaces have been allowed to run at full capacity since February 17th; a policy that has brought relief to countless struggling businesses. Every day, the prospect of a normal summer in British Columbia gets more promising; a warm welcome after two years of lockdown and isolation. With festivals, sports events, and restaurants, British Columbians are finding more and more ways to make the most of our renewed social freedoms.

Squamish is Ready

Having been one of the regions most affected by British Columbia’s Covid-19 restrictions, Squamish and the surrounding Sea to Sky corridor is ready to hit the ground running as more and more restrictions are abandoned. Most important is the resurgence of Squamish’s tourism and hospitality sectors that have faced so many challenges throughout the pandemic. Especially restaurants, who have faced limited capacities, take-out only policies, and even closures throughout the pandemic, are excited at the prospect of a further easing of public health restrictions. For many, the policing of masks and vaccination cards have created added labour and an increase in headaches for staff. But with no limits on capacities, an incoming end to the vaccine passport program and the elimination of mandatory mask regulations, restaurants owners in British Columbia can look forward to a renewed boost in traffic after the struggles of the last two years.
But its not only restaurants who are looking forward to a return to normal. Squamish has long been known for its thriving adventure tourism industry. Mountain biking, whitewater rafting, and rock climbing are just a few of the many experiences that attract so many to Squamish’s wilderness. Both provincial and federal lockdown measures have seriously limited the number of adventure-seeking travellers able to take advantage of all that Squamish has to offer. For nearly two years, individuals from the United States and other parts of the world have been barred from entering the country.
Although, with loosening provincial regulations and a federal end to mandatory testing, those days are quickly moving far behind us. Many Squamish businesses are excited for the upcoming tourism boom as incoming travellers look to explore one of Canada’s most rewarding regions.

Must-See Places to Visit Under the New Guidelines

As Dr. Bonnie Henry continues to relax restrictions and reopen the province, now is the perfect time to take advantage of returning social freedoms by checking out some of British Columbia’s most rewarding experiences along the Sea to Sky highway.

Sea to Sky Gondola

There is no better way to experience the beauty of British Columbia than from the stunning views of the Sea to Sky Gondola. The impressive ten-minute traverse carries passengers up to 885 metres above sea level. At the top, the summit will reward with breath-taking panoramic views, striking wildlife trails, and first-class dining at the Summit Lodge. In recent weeks, the gondola welcomed the newest public health changes and made the decision to cast aside their mask mandate as soon as they were able to do so. There is no update yet as to whether or not they are planning to lift their vaccine requirements on April 8th, but their recent policy changes have shown that they are happy to remove restrictions as soon as possible. Also, to celebrate easing Covid-19 protocols, Sea to Sky is thrilled to announce the return of Sunday Socials. Every week, join friends and family for an unforgettable afternoon of live music, games, and drink specials!


Seeing as Squamish is a central point for many visiting Whistler, many travelers are excited for reduced restrictions and the opportunity to visit one of Canada’s most beautiful mountain communities without fear of restrictive Covid-19 policies. Following Dr. Bonnie Henry’s newest announcements, the municipality of Whistler has echoed a public desire to continue on the road toward normality. Stating that they will act in accordance with public health measures, Whistler has expressed a willingness to finally cast aside restrictions. Thus, throughout the mountain, stores, restaurants and hotels no longer require masks to be worn indoors and following April 8th visitors to the mountain will no longer need to provide proof of vaccination.  We recommend a visit to Whistler’s Open Door Directory website for a comprehensive resource on how businesses are reacting to changing provincial requirements.

Fully Re-Opened Restaurants

Many Restaurants in Squamish have expressed increased frustrations as a result of the constantly changing policies meant to slow the spread of Covid-19. But with the changing rules, restaurants are excited to return to normal and offer an unimpeded dining experience for their patrons. Some restaurants like Whitespot, Match Eatery, and Watershed Grill, have all explicitly expressed a willingness to abide by the provincial public health requirements and are no longer requiring masks or proof of vaccination. While most other restaurants on the popular Cleveland Avenue strip have yet to announce specific re-opening plans, the future looks promising as the majority of restaurants have consistently looked toward getting back to business as usual. Squamish restaurant owners are excited to welcome back customers with open arms now that the province has finally decided to abandon these business-crippling limitations.

Squamish Farmer’s Market

Starting April 23rd, mingle with community members every Saturday during a visit to the Squamish Farmer’s Market. This year will be the market’s 19th year of operation and with over 60 vendors and a stunning granite backdrop of the towering Squamish Chief, this is the perfect opportunity to get outside and involved with one of the friendliest communities in British Columbia. However, despite the new changes to the province’s public health policy, the Farmer’s market is still asking that customers remain masked and socially distanced while shopping.


As we in the province slowly emerge from this pandemic, many are looking forward to new ways to get together with friends and family. Fortunately, some big events are being planned over the upcoming months, providing a great opportunity to get out of the house and overcome those ever-present feelings of isolation and pessimism that have plagued so may over the last two years.

Crankworkx (August 5- August 14)

Due to Covid restrictions and the province’s public health measures, many were disappointed to learn that the Whistler Mountain Biking Festival was cancelled in 2021. However, with the recent announcements, organizers have announced that they’re moving full steam ahead with this year’s festival. Known as one of the biggest mountain biking events in the world, Whistler’s Crankworx brings together the best athletes to compete in a variety of elite-level competitions.

Squamish Constellation Festival (July 22-24)

For many, the effects of Covid-19 have been most felt with the absence of live music events. Everyone has been patiently waiting for the time when we can rejoin a crowd of fellow music-lovers and let loose to the rhythm of heart-pounding speakers. Well, the time has come, live music is finally returning, and the three-day Squamish Constellation Festival is a can´t-miss event for those looking to quench that live music thirst. Featuring two stages of non-stop music and over 60 acts lined up, this incredible festival will be one to remember.

Squamish Beer Festival (June 25)

Join over 2000 beer lovers and 55 craft breweries to experience a summertime gathering like no other. Located in the heart of Squamish, this popular event has often been recognized as one of the best festivals in the Sea to Sky corridor. With food trucks, games, axe throwing, and the best craft beer that British Columbia has to offer, the 6th annual Squamish Beer Festival is guaranteed to be a fun way to spend a hot Squamish day.

Squamish Days Loggers Sports Parade (July 28-31)

After two years of cancellations and shortened programs, the infamous Squamish Days Loggers Sports Parade is back for its 65th year this summer. In the years since 1957, what started as a small group of loggers getting together for some friendly competition, has exploded into an action-packed weekend full of logging events, games, and showcases. Experience the rich tradition of Squamish’s extensive logging heritage with events like chainsaw carving competitions, a world-class logger’s sports show, and the concluding Squamish Days parade.

What Are You Waiting For?

The stormy days of the Covid-19 pandemic are finally clearing as lockdowns, mask-wearing, vaccine requirements, and restricted international travel will soon be a distant memory. More than anyone, the people of Squamish and those along the Sea to Sky Highway are ready to reclaim their lives and resume daily life as normal. With exciting events, popular restaurants, and memorable attractions, Squamish is poised to be a hotspot for travellers looking to get outside and explore all that British Columbia has to offer.
Nesters Market Squamish50 Trail Race

Nesters Market Squamish50 Trail Race

Squamish is one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations, located just 45 minutes from Whistler and an hour from Vancouver. The community is nestled in the foothills of several mountains, on the shores of the Mamquam River and Howe Sound. Its diverse terrain includes beaches, coastal rainforest, alpine meadows, glaciers and mountain crags.

Access to several provincial parks – like Stawamus Chief, Alice Lake and Brackendale Eagles Provincial Par – and the many forests that blanket the hills and mountains, the lakes, rivers and streams, and vast trail networks, all make Squamish an ideal location for hikers and runners to compete.

Each year Squamish hosts the Squamish 50 races. The trails are tough and truly unforgettable trail running experiences. More than 90% of the trails are singletrack, and there’s over 11,000 feet of climbing and descent. The Squamish 50 events were constructed by runners for runners and they highlight the very finest trail running terrain in Western Canada.

There are 3 events this year: the 50 Mile, 50 Km and 50/50. The 23 Km event has been postponed until 2022.

50 Mile

The 50 Miler is an exceptionally difficult course. The first 9.65 km (6 miles) are relatively flat; as is the final mile. The terrain in between features over 3350 m (11,000 ft) of ascents and descents. The longest largest individual climb is 760 m / 2500 ft.

This race will begin at Junction Park on Cleveland Avenue Saturday, October 16, 2021 at 5:30am. All runners will be required to start with a headlamp. The race will finish at Junction Park, Cleveland Avenue.

50 Km

The 50 Km is a very challenging course. It’s a point to point race without any loops. Like the 50 Mile, there are flatter sections at the beginning and end. The terrain in between features over 2500 m (8500 ft) of ascents and 2750 m (9000 ft) of descents. There’s a 11.5 hour cutoff time for this race.

This race will begin at Black Bear Rd off the Sea to Sky Highway, at the entrance to Alice Lake Provincial Park, on Sunday, October 17, 2021 at 6:15 am. The race will finish at Junction Park, Cleveland Avenue.


The 50/50 is the ultimate test, with racers completing the 50 Miler and 50 Km events back-to-back on consecutive days, for a total of 130 km. For those tackling the 50/50 for multiple years, there’s a special colour assigned that indicates the number of times the 50/50 has been completed, worn as a badge of honour. There are the coveted custom made awards, and for all who cross both finish lines on consecutive days there’s a limited edition 50/50 trucker hat.

Art Battle Squamish

Art Battle Squamish

Art Battle® is coming to Squamish! You’re invited to watch the paint fly before your eyes as artists in Art Battle Squamish race against the clock in 3 fast-paced rounds. Or consider becoming a featured artist by applying at Due to the subject matter in some of the paintings, Art Battle Squamish is 19+.

Art Battle® is a live painting tournament that showcases local artists, and will connect Squamish with towns and cities around the world. Each artist receives a blank canvas and is given 20 minutes to transform it into a beautiful work of art. The medium is acrylic paint, and allowable tools are brushes, palette knives or any non-mechanical implements. As the artists work, patrons will move around the easels, carefully watching the process. At the end of each round, the audience votes for their favourite painting. There’s a silent auction and the highest bidders are able to take their paintings home.

Art Battle Squamish will be held Friday, January 31st at Zephyr Café, on 38084 Cleveland Avenue, Squamish, from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm. Doors open at 6:40, and the painting is scheduled to begin at 7:30.

Tickets are available from General admission is $25.00, and early bird tickets are only $20.00.

Sea to Sky Gondola Reopens February 14th for Family Day Weekend

Sea to Sky Gondola Reopens February 14th for Family Day Weekend

The operators of Sea to Sky Gondola will be reopening the gondola lift several weeks ahead of schedule, for Valentine’s Day and Family Day. The event will be held from Friday, February 14 through Monday, February 17, 2020; 10am – 4pm. The last ride down will be at 5:00pm. Sea to Sky Gondola is just two kilometres south of Squamish and roughly an hour’s drive from downtown Vancouver. There is a daily Shuttle from Vancouver. Attractions include the Gondola ride, hiking trails, free optional guided tours, a suspension bridge and views from the observation deck.

Why are the re-opening? The gondola lift came crashing down to the ground on August 10th 2019, when the haul cable was intentionally cut by vandals. Thirty replacement cabins and a 4.4-kilometre long haul cable were shipped from Europe and installed, and final safety inspections by Technical Safety BC are to be carried out during the first week of February. Sea to Sky Gondola’s general manager Kirby Brown has said that additional state-of-the-art security measures installed since the August incident will “ensure the gondola is secure and protected from any other criminal activity. We want our guests to know they can travel to the summit on the Sea to Sky Gondola with complete confidence.”

The ten-minute ride carries passengers to an elevation of 885 metres, with spectacular views of Howe Sound, the surrounding mountains and Squamish Valley. There’s a full weekend of family fun planned again this year, with snowshoe rentals, tubing and an outdoor bonfire.

50% off day tickets all weekend long! To receive the 50% off rate, tickets must be purchased at the ticket window. This offer excludes family ticket, ride-down-only tickets and tickets purchased online.

Brackendale Eagle Festival

Brackendale Eagle Festival

This January we celebrate the 34th annual Brackendale Eagle Festival and Count 2020. The annual Bald Eagle Count is held on the first Sunday in January. The month-long festival offers a lineup of concerts, group tours, art shows and lecture series. The events calendar for 2020 should be online soon at Brackendale Art Gallery.

Brackendale has become known as the World Eagle Capital. In 1994 the world record count of 3,769 wintering American Bald Eagles was recorded. Each year, the Brackendale Winter Eagle Count is carried out by trained volunteers. During the count day, visitors are welcome to go into the park and view the eagles, and enjoy the amenities of the Brackendale Art Gallery, as the count results are returned and tallied throughout the day.

The 2019 – 2020 EagleWatch program runs from November 9 through January. Each year volunteer interpreters share their knowledge and love of bald eagles with people from around the world. Eagle Run dike is an accessible site, with a ramp on the south end.

Half day outings are offered by Squamish Rafting Company, from October through April. Anyone interested in eagle watching and the spawning salmon that attract the eagles to the river is sure to enjoy the Wilderness & Eagle Viewing Float. A hearty restaurant-style bowl of chilli is served, with hot beverages.

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Brackendale Art Gallery Artisan Christmas Craft Fair

Brackendale Art Gallery Artisan Christmas Craft Fair

Saturday, December 7th, the Artisan Craft Market will be held from 10:00am until 5:00pm. Handmade holiday gifts are always a great way to add a little holiday magic into the season’s preparations. This traditional craft market is always bustling before Christmas, with an excellent selection of local vendors. Custom crafted gift items this year will include aromatherapy, cacao products, felt wool and silks, photography, pottery, rattles and spiritual tools, and much more.

Sweet bread and spiced cider will be available with a cash donation to the Squamish Food Bank. And a menu of beet borscht, salmon bisque, homemade bread and pastries, wine, beer and espresso coffees will be available all day.

Brackendale Art Gallery is located at 11950 Government Road. For more information visit the Brackendale Art Gallery website.


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