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  • Writer's pictureDean Nelson

First Island Winter Pride Event Headed for the Comox Valley

Updated: Feb 1, 2019


(VANCOUVER, BC, November 27, 2018) – This winter the rainbow flag will ride high against an alpine vista as Mount Washington gears up to launch its first annual Vancouver Island Pride Ski and Getaway. The inaugural event will be held from February 28 - March 3, 2019.

“After moving here from Vancouver and Whistler, I was struck by the limited amount of LGBTQ events outside Victoria. We wanted to change that. Over the next 3 years, Mount Washington is committed to growing the Island Pride event and providing a welcoming and fun environment for communities to thrive.” said Robyn Heron, Business Development and Sales Manager for Mount Washington Alpine Resort.

An event partnership between Mount Washington Alpine Resort and Comox Valley Economic Development, and produced by Departures by Dean, the Pride Ski’s driving vision is to connect mountain culture with the LGBTQ community, promoting diversity and camaraderie on and off the slopes. Creating a signature LGBTQ event in the heart of the winter season will also help drive visibility to the Comox Valley.

"Pride Week at Mount Washington, along with our Rainbow crosswalk downtown, signals to the world that our community is inclusive and welcomes diversity," says Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells. "Providing an event to attract people from around the world to experience our amazing amenities will also have direct and long-lasting social and economic benefits."

Home to one of the most spectacular coastal alpine settings, Mount Washington is situated in the famed Comox Valley, set against the shimmering Pacific Ocean and bordering Strathcona Provincial Park - BC's oldest park. Open to skiers from beginner to advanced, Mount Washington offers over 1,700 acres of thrilling alpine runs, mixed terrains, and short lift rides. The Mountain also receives a legendary 11 metres of annual snowfall making it the home of Canada’s deepest snow pile.

Daily activities for the event will include Vancouver Island Pride Après Ski, Pride Night Socials, Daily Ski Guiding, and a charity ski race.

The event will also serve as an invaluable opportunity for Pride organizations and its allies across the island to connect, joining Victoria and Nanaimo Pride Parade as one of the few Island attractions geared at the promotion and support of LGBTQ culture. For more information visit

ABOUT DEPARTURES BY DEAN - Go beyond the ordinary.

Departures by Dean is a luxury travel management company led by Dean Nelson offering curated adventures across the globe for the LGBTQ community and its allies. For thirteen years, Dean was the face of the award-winning Whistler Pride and Ski Festival, founder of the 2010 Olympic Pride House pavilion, and Co-Founder of Mr. Gay World. He has marched in over 30 Pride events worldwide and in 2018 was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law from Thompson Rivers University for his work in LGBTQ Tourism and human rights. The IGLTA - International Gay Lesbian Travel Association also recognized Dean with a “Pioneer Award” for his work in LGBTQ Tourism. Dean also helps build inclusive environments in hotels and resorts as a LGBT consultant for the tourism industry and diversity facilitator with the Canadian Gay Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.



​​Three night pride package starts at CAD$715/person based on four people sharing a two bedroom ski-in, ski-out lodge; two-day ski pass per person; breakfast (Mar. 1, 2, 3); Lunch (Mar. 1, 2); Dinner (Feb. 28, Mar. 1, 2); taxes. Drinks and Insurance not included. Extra nights at Mount Washington or in the Comox Valley are available for an additional fee as well as extra day(s) skiing, cross country / Nordic skiing, inner tube park and snowshoe adventures.

CONTACT: Dean Nelson | Executive Producer

PHONE: 778-829-9747



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