VISITOR Vancouver Island
2017/18 GUIDE TO
Vancouver Island The Gulf Islands & The Sunshine Coast
What to do What to see How to get there www.islandvisitor.ca
Over 100 years in bloom
Open every day of the year Victoria BC Canada
24 3 Hour Tours, Downtown Victoria
2017/18 Guide to Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the Sunshine Coast FEATURES
ADVERTISING SALES: Mario Gedicke Andrea Rosata-Taylor Annemarie Rindt Patty Doering Christopher Cook
Welcome...................................................9 What you need to know......................9 Blooming Beautiful Gardens.......... 18 Discover the Gulf Islands................. 28 Need to Know: Camping................. 24 Wild West Coast.................................. 38 Celebrating Ancient Cultures......... 46
EDITOR: Jennifer Blyth
"The amazing world of insects, arachnids, and their many-legged relatives. A visit to this must-see mini zoo offers visitors an excellent opportunity to view and experience live tropical bugs from around the world. Discover over 40 fascinating species including giant walking sticks, beautiful praying mantis, glow-in-the-dark scorpions, hairy tarantulas, and Canada’s largest ant colony. Don't miss this hands-on adventure while in Victoria, BC!"
631 Courtney Street Downtown Victoria 250 384-2847 victoriabugzoo.ca
Vancouver Island ............................... 29
DISTRIBUTION: Sarah Dodd 250-480-3208
DESIGN & PRODUCTION: Janice Marshall Lily Chan Rosemarie Bandura GROUP PUBLISHER: Penny Sakamoto firstname.lastname@example.org
Greater Victoria .................................. 10 South Island Attractions.................. 12 Oak Bay, Esquimalt & West Shore........................................ 14 Sidney, Saanich Peninsula & Cordova Bay .................................... 16 South Island Events........................... 19 Wild for the West Coast ................... 21 Port Renfrew ....................................... 23 Duncan/Cowichan Valley & Chemainus............................................ 24 Ladysmith ............................................. 25
Lake Cowichan.................................... 25 Cowichan Valley Attractions........... 27
CENTRAL ISLAND Central Island Events......................... 30 Nanaimo ............................................... 31 Parksville & Qualicum Beach.......... 32 Central Island Attractions................ 34 Pacific Rim: Port Alberni, Tofino, Ucluelet & Pacific Rim National Park Reserve ................................................. 35
NORTH ISLAND Comox Valley ...................................... 37 North Island Events............................. 37 Campbell River & Quadra Island... 39 Gold River, Nootka Sound & Tahsis .................................................. 40 Sayward, Nimpkish Valley & Zeballos ............................................. 40 Port Hardy, Port McNeill, Telegraph Cove, Sointula & Alert Bay, Port Alice. .................................................................... 41 North Island Attractions................... 42 Powell River & Sunshine Coast...... 43
Discover the vast sandy beaches of Tofino and Long Beach, on the Island’s west coast.
For advertising inquiries, email: Penny Sakamoto at email@example.com 250-480-3204 ISLAND VISITOR MAGAZINE IS A DIVISION OF BLACK PRESS 818 BROUGHTON STREET, VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA V8W 1E4 TEL: 250-381-3484 FAX: 250-386-2624 firstname.lastname@example.org islandvisitor.ca ALTHOUGH EVERY EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE TO ENSURE THE ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION IN THIS PUBLICATION, VISITOR MAGAZINE CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY CONSEQUENCES ARISING FROM ERRORS OR OMISSIONS. NO PART OF THIS PUBLICATION MAY BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT WRITTEN CONSENT FROM THE PUBLISHER.
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Island Essentials What You Need to Know VISITOR INFORMATION Most Vancouver Island communities have Visitor Centres where trained staff can answer your travel questions and provide information about accommodation, services, attractions, activities and community events. In this publication, phone numbers and addresses for most Visitor Centres are listed with each community’s information. For general information about touring in British Columbia and accommodation reservations, visit hellobc.com
TOURISM NANAIMO PHOTO
elcome to Vancouver Island, the jewel of Canada’s West Coast. Recognized by travel enthusiasts worldwide as a premier vacation destination, the Island boasts a unique combination of breathtaking natural scenery and exciting urban experiences. Add thrilling outdoor adventures to the mix, family-friendly attractions, world-class dining, shopping and cultural explorations, and it’s easy to see why visitors from across Canada and around the world choose Van-
SALES PRIMER Purchases are generally subject to a seven per cent provincial sales tax (PST) and a five per cent federal sales tax (GST). TELEPHONES The area code on Vancouver Island and for phone numbers in this publication is generally (250) unless otherwise indicated. For local directory assistance, call 4-1-1. For long distance directory assistance, call 1-(area code)-555-1212. In case of emergency, call 9-1-1. DRIVING THE ISLAND Speed limits on Vancouver Island are posted in kilometres per hour. For a distance chart of Island communities, see the map on page 29.
Enjoying the Nanaimo waterfront
couver Island. Stretching from the provincial capital of Victoria on the Island’s southern tip to Port Hardy in the north, at 32,000 square kilometres, Vancouver Island is the largest North American island in the Pacific Ocean. A mild climate, diverse landscape and rich cultural opportunities make this year-round destination an exceptional choice for relaxing weekend escapes, active adventures and kid-friendly getaways. It’s our own piece of paradise, but one we
love to share.
Clean, comfortable cars. Airport and BC Ferry Services, City Tours, Butchart Gardens, Deliveries
APPROXIMATE DRIVING SPEED
CONVERSIONS 30km/hr = 20mph 40km/hr = 25mph 50km/hr = 30mph 60km/hr = 40mph 80km/hr = 50mph 100km/hr = 60mph Please note that it is mandatory to use vehicle seat belts and for cyclists and motorcyclists to wear helmets. It is also illegal to use a hand-held device such as a cell phone while driving.
250.382.2222 ✧ 1-800-665-7055 Serving Victoria since 1946
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ocated on the southernmost part of Vancouver Island, Greater Victoria is the largest urban centre on Vancouver Island. Its breathtaking natural setting complements world-class shopping, dining, entertainment and adventure. Ideal for touring on foot, downtown Victoria’s restored heritage buildings house art galleries, restaurants and attractions, including the Royal BC Museum, Bateman Gallery, the legendary Empress Hotel, Legislative Buildings and Canada’s oldest Chinatown. Discover a vibrant selection of shops offering everything from international fashion to locally crafted specialties unique to Victoria. Getting hungry? Savour a delicious array of cuisine, from fresh seafood to exciting ethnic flavours, crafted with care by award-winning chefs. Surrounded by ocean on three sides, it’s no surprise that marine activities abound
WWW.SIDNEYTIRE.COM 10 ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
Walking the Victoria Breakwater
here. The Inner Harbour and nearby James Bay are both busy transportation hubs welcoming floatplanes, ferries and cruise ships. A variety of outdoor adventure purveyors are also found around the harbour, at Fisherman’s Wharf and at the nearby Causeway, in addition to the Saanich Peninsula and the West Shore communities. Long home to the Coast Salish people, discover their stories at the Royal BC Museum and through features like the Signs of Lekwungen, a downtown interpretive walkway honouring First Nations art, history and culture. Victoria’s modern roots reach back to the
SIDNEY 250-656-5544 PARKSVILLE 250-248-2055
DON DENTON/BLACK PRESS
mid-1800s, when European settlers first arrived with the Hudson’s Bay Company. The region grew with trade and the Cariboo gold rush as those hoping to make their fortune farther north stopped here for supplies. Discover that local history in heritage attractions like Emily Carr House, the birthplace of BC’s best-loved artist, Craigdarroch Castle and Point Ellice House, located on the north end of the harbour and conveniently served by the Victoria Harbour Ferries. Several exceptional walking tours explore the city’s colourful history, from the grand
Empress Hotel to Canada’s Oldest Chinatown. (Did we happen to mention Greater Victoria is known as one of the most haunted cities in Canada? John Adams’ Ghostly Walks are happy to share a spooky tale or two). A hub of arts and culture, walkable downtown Victoria also boasts everything an art lover could dream of: fine art galleries, theatre, dance, opera, symphony and an incredible line-up of exciting annual festivals. Come explore!
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ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
Greater Victoria Attractions
CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military FAMILY FUN Fascinating Museum – at Naden in Esquimalt, off Miniature World – More than 80 attracAdmirals Rd, 250-363-4312, navalandcreatures at tions in miniature. Excellent for children. militarymuseum.org the Victoria Open daily. 649 Humboldt St, 250-385Bug Zoo Craigdarroch Castle – Built in the 9731, miniatureworld.com 1890s and furnished in Victorian-era Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea – splendour, 1050 Joan Cres (off Fort aquarium of the Salish Sea, 9811 Seaport St), 250-592-5323, thecastle.ca Pl, Sidney, 250-665-7511, oceandiscovery. ca Emily Carr House – The artist’s childhood home, Victoria Bug Zoo – Discover more than open May through September at 50 fascinating species of live giant tropical 207 Government St, 250-383-5843, insects and arachnids. Open daily. 631 emilycarr.com Courtney St, 384-BUGS (2847), victoriabugzoo.ca Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites – West Shore Family Fun Park – Mini-golf, On-site accommodation available. water park, playzone, bowling and more, Open daily. Located off Ocean Blvd, in 1089 Langford Pkwy, 250-391-1738, Colwood, 250-478-5849, parkscanada. eagleridgecentre.com Government House Gardens – beautiful yeargc.ca/fortroddhill Wildplay Element Parks – Monkido aerial advenround public gardens, 1401 Rockland Ave, Victoria, Hatley Park Castle and Museum – Forest, gardens ture park, 1767 Island Hwy, behind Juan de Fuca ltgov.bc.ca and castle at Royal Roads University, 2005 Sooke Rec Centre, 1-855-595-2251, wildplayparks.com. Horticulture Centre of the Pacific – Stunning Rd, 250-391-2666, hatleypark.ca Also in Nanaimo. demonstration gardens, 505 Quayle Rd, Victoria, Point Ellice House – Historic 1867 home offering 250-479-6162, hcp.ca GARDENS house tours, afternoon tea in the heritage garden, Abkhazi Garden – Heritage home and garden MUSEUMS & CULTURE 2616 Pleasantparking. St, 250-380-6506, pointellicehouse.ca near downtown Victoria, 1964 Fairfield Rd, 778-265Complimentary Art Gallery of Greater Victoria – 1040 Moss National Geographic IMAX Theatre – Find a 6466, blog.conservancy.bc.ca Valid from March 1 – April 30, 2016 Street, 250-384-4101, aggv.ca (Taxes and gratuities not included) 309 BELLEVILLE STREET, rotating selection of IMAX and feature films. 675 Butchart Gardens – 55 acres of gorgeous gardens, Bateman CentreVICTORIA, – DiscoverBC the250-381-3456 legacy of Canada’s Belleville (inside theOFmuseum), 250-480-4887, LOCATED IN St. THE HEART VICTORIA’S 800 Benvenuto Ave, 250-652-5256, butchartgarpremier nature artist, 470 Belleville St, 250-940imaxvictoria.com INNER HARBOUR dens.com 3630, batemancentre.org Royal BC Museum – Outstanding museum of huButterfly Gardens – Exotic butterflies flying free in BC Aviation Museum – 1910 Norseman Rd, near man and natural history; National Geographic IMAX an indoor tropical paradise, 1461 Benvenuto Ave, Victoria International Airport, 250-655-3300, bcam. Theatre is also on-site. 675 Belleville St, 250-356250-652-3822, butterflygardens.com net 7226, royalbcmuseum.bc.ca Saanich Historical Artifacts Society Heritage Acres – Artifacts from our rural past on 29 acres, 7321 Lochside Dr, 250-652-5522, shas.ca St. Ann’s Academy – Exquisite historic treasure, 835 Humboldt St, 250-953-8829, stannsacademy.com Sidney Museum – 2423 Beacon Ave, 250-655PACKAGE INCLUDES: 6355, sidneymuseum.ca Guestroom in Huntingdon Manor, Sooke Regionfull Museum – First Nations and early complimentary Canadian breakfast gold rush, logging, forsettlers, two each morning of stay. farming and fishing, 2070 Phillips Rd, Sooke, 250-642-6351, sookeregionComplimentary parking. museum.com Valid from March 1 – April 30, 2016
SPECIAL OFFER Stay 1 night at $169 and receive a full Canadian breakfast for two!
STAY AWHILE PACKAGE
Stay 2 nights at $139 each night and receive the third night FREE!
The Huntingdon Manor
In the centre of Victoria overlooking the Inner Harbour • 110 Guestrooms (ktichens on requuest) • Complimentary hot buffet breakfst • Hunters bar & Grill • Pet friendly rooms
(Taxes and gratuities not included)
330 QUEBEC STREET, VICTORIA, BC HUNTINGDONMANOR.COM
AdrenaLine – Guided forest zipline tours, 5128C CALL 250-381-3456 Sooke Rd, 250-642-1933 or 1-866-947-9145, OR 1-800-663-7557 adrenalinezip.com TO RESERVE YOUR STAY AWHILE CRD Parks – Nature outings and special events in PACKAGE Victoria-area parks, 250-478-3344, crd.bc.ca/parks Kelp Reef Kayak Tours – Explore Victoria’s scenic coastline and surrounding islets. Fisherman’s Wharf, 1 Dallas Rd. Victoria, 250-386-7333, kelpreef.com Prince of Whales – Whale watching with hourly departures from the lower Causeway, 812 Wharf St, 250383-4884 or 1-888-383-4884, princeofwhales.com SpringTide Whale Tours – Marine mammal and whale watching, 1119 Wharf St, 1-800-470-3474, victoriawhalewatching.com The Raptors – Landscaped discovery centre and daily flight demonstrations, 1877 Herd Rd, Duncan, 250-746-0372, pnwraptors.com
The Gatsby Mansion S P E C I A L O F F E R
Overlooking the Inner Harbour on an acre of landscaped gardens, ponds and cobblestone pathways Stay 1 night at $169 • Nine Victorian-style guestrooms and receive a full • Complimentary hot buffet breakfast breakfast • Pendray Restaurant featuring Canadian west coast cuisine 309 BELLEVILLE STREET, for lunch, dinner and afternoon tea forhigh two! VICTORIA, BC 250-381-3456 Complimentary parking.
12 ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca Valid from March 1 – April 30, 2016 309 BELLEVILLE STREET, VICTORIA, BC 250-381-3456
(Taxes and gratuities not included)
LOCATED IN THE HEART OF VICTORIA’S
SPECIAL OFFER Stay 1 night at $169 and receive a full Canadian breakfast TOURS Discover the Past – Award-winning Ghostly Walks, for two! Chinatown Walks and historical walking tours, Complimentary parking. 250-384-6698, discoverthepast.com Valid from March 1 – April 30, 2016 (Taxes andCarriage gratuities not included) Victoria Tours – Private 30- to 90-minute downtown-area carriange tours year-round, 250-383LOCATED IN THE HEART OF VICTORIA’S 2207, INNERvictoriacarriage.com HARBOUR
Regional Parks Campgrounds
Each of of the the Capital Capital Regional Regional District’s District’s campgrounds campgrounds Each offers affordable, affordable, self-contained self-contained RV RV and and tent tent offers camping in in nature nature with with fabulous fabulous water water views. views. camping
Island View Beach Regional Park Panoramic Seascape Seascape Views Views on on Panoramic the Saanich Peninsula the Saanich Peninsula Picnic on on the the long long sandy sandy beach beach >> Enjoy Enjoy bird bird >> Picnic watching >> Close Close to to ferry, ferry, airport, airport, downtown downtown Victoria, Victoria, watching Lochside Regional Trail, Butchart Gardens Lochside Regional Trail, Butchart Gardens www.crd.bc.ca/islandviewbeach www.crd.bc.ca/islandviewbeach
Jordan River Regional Park West Coast Coast Beauty Beauty Along Along West the Strait Strait of of Juan Juan de de Fuca Fuca the Walk the the cobble cobble beach beach with with views views of of the the Olympic Olympic >> Walk Peninsula >> Hike Hike the the trails trails through through hemlock hemlock && cedar cedar Peninsula forest to to Sandcut Sandcut Beach Beach forest www.crd.bc.ca/jordanriver www.crd.bc.ca/jordanriver
A Natural Way to Spend Your Summer
Guided Nature Events
Learn about about the the natural natural and and cultural cultural history history of of the the Learn region from from CRD CRD park park interpreters. interpreters. They They will will have have region you going going buggy buggy and and batty batty and and feeling feeling squirrelly squirrelly you and crabby crabby -- in in the the best best possible possible way! way! and Educational and and interactive interactive guided guided walks, walks, hikes, hikes, >> Educational
and drop-in drop-in events events and Free or or low low cost cost for for aa variety variety of of ages ages and and abilities abilities >> Free Offered at at regional regional parks parks throughout throughout the the district district >> Offered www.crd.bc.ca/parks-events www.crd.bc.ca/parks-events
There is is also also aa world world of of natural natural and and cultural cultural history history There to explore explore at at CRD CRD Nature Nature Centres Centres on on Saturdays, Saturdays, to Sundays, & & holiday holiday Mondays Mondays from from 12–4pm. 12–4pm. Sundays, Elk/Beaver Lake Lake Regional Regional Park Park >> Elk/Beaver Francis/King Regional Regional Park Park >> Francis/King Witty’s Lagoon Lagoon Regional Regional Park Park >> Witty’s www.crd.bc.ca/parks www.crd.bc.ca/parks
Sooke Potholes Regional Park Spring Salmon Salmon Place Place [KWL-UCHUN] [KWL-UCHUN] Spring on the the Sooke Sooke River River on Swim and and fish fish in in the the potholes potholes >> Hike Hike the the forest forest and and >> Swim river trails > Cycle the Galloping Goose river trails > Cycle the Galloping Goose www.crd.bc.ca/sookepotholes www.crd.bc.ca/sookepotholes
Capital Regional District Regional Parks Parks Regional www.crd.bc.ca/parks www.crd.bc.ca/parks email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org 250.478.3344 250.478.3344
Connect with with us us Connect
Capital Regional Regional District District Capital @crd_bc || #crdparks #crdparks @crd_bc CRDVictoria CRDVictoria
ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
onal Historic Sites Tours start outside the s – Island Visitor Advertorial Visitor Information fficer – Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites – Spring,Centre 2017
est l oastal by and ttle NTiks. ken milies r he ntown
812 Wharf Street, Victoria Tel: 250-384-6698 www.discoverthepast.com
Victoria’s famous ghost tour includes Old Town’s most haunted places. Our 90-minute walking tours will thrill you with stories of eccentric characters, heroic deeds, intrigue, love, humour, hangings and murder. Take one, if you dare! May 1 to Oct. 31 tours every night. Nov. 1 to April 30 Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites 250-478-5849 parkscanada.gc.ca/fortroddhill A century-old coast artillery fort and the oldest lighthouse on the west coast—two national historic sites, to explore. Be inspired by our coastal heritage, marvel at the stories of times gone by and relax to the refreshing ocean breeze. Stay a little longer; spend an overnight in one of our oTENTiks. Fall asleep to nature’s little sounds and be taken back to a time 50 years ago when soldiers’ families inhabited Fort Rodd Hill during their summer camp-out. Plan your visit to catch one of the special events. Only 15 minutes west of downtown Victoria. Admission is FREE in 2017.
Get to Know
Downtown’s Neighbours O ak Bay is an inviting community a few minutes from downtown known for its spectacular seaside, vibrant village centres, tree-lined boulevards and exquisite architecture. A nature lover’s delight, locals and visitors alike enjoy easy cycling, barefoot beach strolls and quiet paddles, taking in the fascinating shoreline and marine life. The villages of Oak Bay Avenue, Estevan and Cadboro Bay welcome visitors from all over to shop for fashion and gifts, to visit the galleries and savour mouthwatering creations of the charcutiers, chefs and bakers found throughout the area. And yes, the tradition of afternoon tea is still a local favourite! Picturesque Oak Bay is home to many renowned artists and is a thriving arts and culture district with public art, a high concentrations of galleries and studios and numerous performances, exhibits and events. Guided tours by land and sea offer
Exploring Oak Bay’s specialty food shops DON DENTON/BLACK PRESS
a great way to experience First Nations and colonial history, and all are invited to join in the many local celebrations and events held year-round. For those seeking to unwind, beautiful
All-Inclusive Senior Living Oak Bay Victoria 250.595.6257
www.shannonoaks.com Baptist Housing | Enhanced Seniors Living | Since 1964 14 ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
Goldstream Provincial Park
Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site
ARNOLD LIM/BLACK PRESS
Island Insider Happy 150 Canada! From June 21 through July 1, enjoy 11 days of free outdoor events in the Inner Harbour as Victoria celebrates Canada with multicultural food and beverage offerings, entertainment and the grand finale fireworks display July 1. Additional events throughout the region include parades, art and a variety of family festivities. Info: spirit150victoria.ca
Come visit us Every Sunday at the at Ogden Point
Every Saturday 9amJames – 3pmBay CHINATOWN
Johnsone St Bridg
Market Corner Community of Menzies & Superior
Royal BC Museum
St Aca . Ann dem ’s y
Every Saturday • Local- Award 9am 3pm dra
Osw eg o
May 6 to Sept 30 • Lots of Parking
ntr ea Mo
Stea Termmship inal
Legis Build lature ings
er Tu rn uth
HERITAGE HOME DISTRICT
ntr ea Mo ck
JAMES BAY ga ra VILLAGE
Winning Artisans May to September Corner of Menzies Superior • Fresh Local &Produce • Specialty Foods •Specialty Foods •Fresh Local Produce • Local Wine & Spirit Tastings •Local Award Winning Artisans •Free Wine &Live Spirit Tastings • Great Music Toronto
11am to 4pm
June 25 - Aug 13
OGDEN POINT CRUISE SHIP TERMINAL
For information about Greater Victoria, call 250-953-2033, see tourismvictoria.com or visit the Visitor Centre at the Inner Harbour at 812 Wharf St.
JENNIFER BLYTH/BLACK PRESS
spas and quiet beaches await. And why not stay awhile? Whether you choose fivestar oceanfront luxury or a guesthouse rich with Old World charm, you’ll find memorable hospitality and a West Coast paradise at your doorstep. From downtown Victoria, Oak Bay is easily reached by bike, a leisurely seaside drive or with one of the hop on hop off services departing frequently from the Inner Harbour. Heading west from downtown Victoria, just over the Johnson Street Bridge, is the historic community of Esquimalt and Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt. Take in the waterfront West Song Walkway, Saxe Point and Macaulay Point parks, and for history buffs, the CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum is a must. About 15 minutes’ drive from Victoria, or a pleasant bike ride along the Galloping Goose Trail from downtown, find the growing West Shore region. From pastoral farmland to bustling community centres, the West Shore is a hub for shopping, dining and outdoor activities. Attractions include several celebrated golf courses, including Olympic View Golf Course and Bear Mountain Resort – where you’ll also find exceptional cycling and hiking opportunities – WildPlay Element Park, Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites and Hatley Park National Historic Site, also home to Royal Roads University.
Artisan Foods One of a Kind Crafts and Live Music Local Wine and Spirit Tastings Free Parking
BEACON HILL PARK
TRADITIONAL TERRITORY OF THE ESQUIMALT & SONGHEES NATIONS
•Live Music & Lots of Parking
jamesbayma rket.com ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
Scenic Brentwood Bay
o close to Victoria, yet a community all its own, Sidney and the Saanich Peninsula are must-visit destinations for Island visitors. For many visitors, the Peninsula is the gateway to Vancouver Island – home to Victoria International Airport, the BC Ferries terminal at Swartz Bay and the ferry from Anacortes, WA. The seaside town of Sidney is the largest community on the Peninsula, about 30 minutes from downtown Victoria along Highway 17. Beacon Avenue is the heart of Sidney, lined with colourful flower displays, benches, public art and a delightful array of shopping and dining diversions. Follow Beacon to the waterfront to enjoy picturesque ocean views, the Sidney Sculpture Walk and the Port Sidney Marina, a full-service facility attracting boaters and visitors in search of
Fabulous Food, Waterfront Restaurant & Pub, Great Patio
adventures such as whale watching, kayak rentals, scuba diving and fishing charters. Off-shore, Sidney Spit is part of the breathtaking Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, and is accessible by passenger ferry departing from the dock at the foot of Beacon Avenue. Go for the day to enjoy hours of birdwatching and sandcastle building or pack your camping gear and book and overnight getaway at one of the walk-in campsites. (Reserve campsites at 1-877-737-3783). Family-friendly Sidney activities include the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea – a terrific attraction filled with the wonders of the Salish Sea – Sidney Museum and the Mary Winspear Centre, with a full line-up of special events and performances. Stretching south from Sidney to Victoria, the Saanich Peninsula is a picturesque, largely rural region of farms, parkland and waterfront. Highway 17 (the Pat Bay Highway) is the fastest route into Victoria, but sightseers will want to
Victoria Butterfly Gardens
Island Insider Tiny can be tough, as the fascinating creatures at the Victoria Bug Zoo and Victoria Butterfly gardens show. Delight in these pint-sized creatures from all around the world at both attractions – two of the Capital Region’s favourites.
The only thing we overlook… is the view! 9881 Seaport Pl., Sidney 250.656.5643 Open everyday at 11:00am • Children welcome
16 ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
6181B Old West Saanich Rd.
take one of the earlier exits to explore the quaint communities and quiet country roads. Neighbourhoods along the way include Brentwood Bay, Saanichton and Cordova Bay, with attractions including the world-famous Butchart Gardens, Victoria Butterfly Gardens, BC Aviation Museum and Heritage Acres. The region is also home to a thriving agritourism industry, with a variety of farms, markets and award-winning wineries. Come enjoy the flavours of Vancouver Island! Outdoor enthusiasts will want to explore Island View Beach, a popular sunbathing, beachcombing and birdwatching spot, John Dean Provincial Park, a hit with hikers and wildlife enthusiasts, and Elk and Beaver Lake Park, not to mention several fine golf courses, from family-friendly Par 3s to beautiful championship courses with challenging play and spectacular views. For Sidney and Saanich Peninsula details, visit at 2281 Beacon Ave, or call 250-665-7362.
Shot on location at Panorama Recreation Centre
Fun never asks how old you are. It’s much more fun to dive into life with friends — staying healthy and strong for life’s third act. I’ve earned it.
Independent and assisted living choices for today’s senior AT N O R G A R D E N
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2290 Henry Ave. Sidney l 250.656.8827 l welcometopeninsula.ca ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
BLOOMING BEAUTIFUL GARDENS F
rom beautiful formal spaces to gardens reflecting the wild, West Coast, the Island’s gardens are, quite simply, gorgeous. Best-known of all British Columbia gardens is the worldfamous Butchart Gardens, and a visit to this National Historic Site of Canada is a must. Still in the Butchart family after its founding more than a century ago, the 55-acre garden is open daily. The ever-changing spectacle of blooms and floral displays delight guests year-round, in addition to a wide variety of seasonal treats, including entertainment, summer’s night illuminations and Saturday evening fireworks, and a spectacular holiday light-up each Christmas season. Spring is the season of cherry blossoms and a stunning display of more than 300,000 bulbs while summer brings a riot of colourful blooms. Autumn is beautiful with the changing of the colours of trees and foliage – especially the Japanese Garden, the first in North America, created by Jennie Butchart and Isaburo Kishida. Come winter, it’s the Magic of Christmas, Dec. 1 to Jan. 6, a magical display of Christmas lights and decorations, complete with festive entertainment, outdoor ice rink and the Twelve Days of Christmas display tucked about the grounds. January through March brings the annual historical display, Spring Prelude indoor garden and wedding season, from Jan. 15 to March 31. Pet-friendly and accessible, Butchart Gardens’ winding paths are also a delight for children, who will want to stop at the Rose Carousel for a ride on the traditional hand-carved creatures. Plan to take your time to enjoy this remarkable space – make a day of it and choose from an array of dining options from food carts, familyfriendly meals in the Blue Poppy Restaurant or fine dining in the Dining Room Restaurant.
18 ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
The beautiful Butchart Gardens
PHOTO COURTESY THE BUTCHART GARDENS
of woodland gardens lined with rhododendrons, cyclamen and trilliums before enjoying a traditional English tea service. In Comox, Filberg Lodge and Park is a nine-acre beautifully landscaped waterfront green space featuring heritage buildings, 130 varieties of trees, seasonal gardens and hundreds of rhododendrons. Nearby in Courtenay, the 24-acre Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens features one of the largest rhododendron collections in Western Canada with more than 3,000 plantings, plus native plants, birds and wildflowers. The year-round garden hosts two annual art shows, plus Christmas programs through December. On the west coast, the Tofino Botanical Gardens feature 12 acres of gardens, forest and shoreline. Explore the relationship between culture, nature and temperate rainforest conservation. For more ideas, see vancouverislandgardentrail.com
Victoria’s “Garden for Gardeners” the gardens at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific feature nine acres of spectacular gardens showcasing more than 10,000 varieties of plants. Must-see special events include August’s Arts & Music in the Gardens, when more than 60 artists display their art throughout the garden. Near downtown Victoria, Abkhazi Garden – “the garden that love built” – showcases the local landscape beautifully, with beds of Japanese maples, numerous bulbs and rhododendrons flowing around and towering Garry oaks. Enjoy afternoon tea during your visit. In the nearby Rockland neighbourhood the public Government House Gardens boast a stunning series of gardens flowing around the home of BC’s Lieutenant Governor. In Qualicum Beach, Milner Gardens & Woodland is a charmFilberg Lodge ing seaside garden named by and Park, Canadian Geographic Travel Comox as one of the Ten Best Public Gardens in Canada. Experience 70 acres of unspoiled natural beauty, with winding pathways through an ancient coastal Douglas fir forest and 10 acres
JENNIFER BLYTH/BLACK PRESS
on the South Island
May 17 to 27 – Uno Festival of solo theatre and performance, Victoria, intrepidtheatre.com May 20 to 22 – Victoria Highland Games and Celtic Festival, Topaz Park, victoriahighlandgames.com ANOTHER SEASON OF May 22 – Victoria Day Parade, starting at 9 a.m. from Victoria’s Mayfair Mall along Douglas St. to Humboldt St. May 26 to 30 – Swiftsure International Yacht Race, Victoria’s Inner Harbour, swiftsure.org. June 3 & 4 – Oak Bay Tea Party, with parade, midway and events at Victoria’s Willows • fun for all ages Beach, oakbayteaparty.com • groups welcome June 4 to 11 – Cowichan Lake Days, cowichanlakedays.com • birthday parties June 13 – YYJ Eats, food and beverage showcase at St. Ann’s Academy, victoriachamber.ca June 16 to 18 – Aboriginal Cultural Festival at the Royal BC Museum, aboriginalbc.com • school functions June 21 to July 1 – Spirit of 150 Victoria, spirit150victoria.ca • seniors July 23 to July 2 – Victoria International JazzFest, jazzvictoria.ca • church groups June 30 to Aug. 7 – 39 Days of July, free music and festivities in downtown Duncan. 5325 Cordova Bay Rd. • clubs/teams June 30 & July 1 – Sidney Days & Canada Day, peninsulacelebrations.ca • family reunions July 1 – Gorge Canada Day Picnic and Gorge on Art, 8:30am to 4pm, saanich.ca matticksfarm.com July 1 to 9 – Victoria Pride Festival, with Pride Parade and Festival July 9, victoriapridesociety.org July 2 – Cowichan on Tap Beer Festival, noon to 5pm, downtown Duncan, cowichanontap.ca WATERFRONT ACCOMMODATION July 9 – Saanich Strawberry Festival, saanich.ca CHECK OUR WEBSITE FOR SPECIALS July 9 – Vintage Cadillac Car Show, Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site, pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/bc/ fortroddhill/index.aspx July 9 to 16 – Victoria Buskers Festival, free, familyfriendly entertainment, downtownvictoria.ca/buskers July 15 – TD Art Gallery Paint-In, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, aggv.ca WATERFRONT ACCOMMODATION July 15 & 16 – Chemainus Bluegrass Festival, WE WELCOME LONG TERM STAYS chemainusbluegrass.com July 21 to 23 – 33rd Island Folk Fest, Duncan, islandsfolkfestival.ca July 28 to Aug. 7 – Sooke Fine Arts Show, SEAPARC Leisure Centre, Sooke, sookefinearts.com July 29 – BC Aviation Museum open house, 1910 Norseman Rd, Sidney, bcam.net Aug. 3 to 6 – SunFest Country Music Festival, Lake Cowichan, sunfestconcerts.com Aug. 6 – Symphony Splash with the Victoria Symphony, WATERFRONT ACCOMMODATION Victoria’s Inner Harbour, victoriasymphony.ca/splash WE WELCOME LONG TERM STAYS Aug. 18 to 20 – Victoria Dragoboat Festival, Inner Harbour, victoriadragonboat.com Aug. 19 – Ladysmith Show ‘n Shine Car Show, ladysmithshowandshine.ca Aug. 26 & 27 – RCMP Musical Ride in Victoria’s Tpoaz Come stay with us at the A relaxing seaside retreat steps from Sidney-Anacortes ferry, and Park (Aug. 26) and Royal Roads University (Aug. 27), Cedarwood Inn and Suites. rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/musical-ride minutes from the BC FerryWe’re terminal, Victoria located on theInternational ocean just Airport Aug. 27 – Vancouver Island Motor Gathering, and Butchart Gardens. We er graciously appointed rooms and Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit, Cowichan Valley, 20 oﬀ minutes from downtown Victoria. motorgathering.com suites, charming cottages and deluxe ocean view suites. Unwind in Aug. 27 – Arts on the Avenue, Ladysmith, artonavenue. Weekly & Monthly Rates Available. com our manicured gardens and take pleasure in our panoramic ocean Come stay with us at the Sept. 1 to 3 – Victoria Classic Boat Festival, Inner views ofCedarwood the localInnislands and mountain ranges. and Suites. Harbour, classicboatfestival.ca We’re located on the ocean just Sept. 2 to 4 – Vancouver Island Blues Bash, free 20 minutes from downtown Victoria. and ticketed performances in downtown Victoria, Pet Friendly ■ Weekly & Monthly Rates Available jazzvictoria.ca/blues-bash Weekly & Monthly Rates Available. Sept. 2 to 4 – Saanich Fair, Victoria, saanichfair.ca Sept. 8 & 9 – Great Canadian Beer Festival, Victoria, gcbf. com reservations 250-656-5551 reservations 250-656-5551 Sept. 8 to 10 – Cowichan Exhibition, Duncan, cowex.ca toll free 1-877-656-5551 toll free 1-877-656-5551 Sept. 14 to 17 – Rifflandia Music Festival, Victoria, rifflandia.com fax 250-656-1551 reservations 250-656-5551 Sept. 15 to 17 – Luxton Fall Fair, Victoria, luxtonfair.ca toll free 1-877-656-5551 Sept. 29 to Oct. 8 – Savour Cowichan Festival, Cowichan THE CEDARWOOD INN & SUITES fax 250-656-1551 Valley. THE CEDARWOOD INN & SUITES 9522 Lochside Drive, Sidney, BC V8L 1N8 Oct. 8 – GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, half9522 Lochside Drive, Sidney, BC V8L 1N8 marathon, relay, 8K and kids’ run, runvictoriamarathon. THE CEDARWOOD INN & SUITES ■ com 9522 Lochside Drive, Sidney, BC V8L 1N8
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Island Insider: Market time
• 85 Clean, comfortable air-conditioned rooms • 2 Bedrooms family units available • FREE! Highspeed Wireless Internet • 80 Cable TV Channels • Fridges and microwaves in all rooms • Enjoy our spacious landscaped grounds!
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One of the best ways to learn more about a community is through its summer markets and two of the best are an easy walk from downtown. Just blocks from the Inner Harbour at the corner of Menzies and Superior, the James Bay Market welcomes shoppers Saturdays through September from 9am to 3pm. Located at Victoria’s beautiful Ogden Point behind the Breakwater Café, the Breakwater Market is open from 11am to 4pm Sundays June 25 to Aug. 13 and offers a unique ocean-side shopping experience. Both markets showcase an array of delicious foods and one-of-a-kind products, grown, made or baked on Vancouver Island. Artisan vendors showcase handcrafted pottery, jewellery, sewn and knitted clothing and accessories, plus fine wood items, whimsical home décor and naturally crafted body products. Pick up the perfect picnic ingredients with delicious baked goods and farm-fresh products, from fresh meats to seasonal veggies and fruits. Hungry? Savour prepared food on site in the picnic area, as you enjoy the music of talented musicians. Learn more at jamesbaymarket.com
Pharmasave James Bay
Corner of Simcoe & Menzies Phone: 250.383.7196 www.pharmasavejamesbay.com Convenient Store Hours & FREE Local Delivery! Mon - Fri 8am - 8pm. Sat, Sun & Holidays 9am - 6pm.
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Postal Outlet 250-383-7182
Day first Wednesday of every month. Receive 15% off 20 ISLAND VISITOR*Senior’s 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
regular priced items. Some restrictions apply. See store for details.
SOUTH ISLAND JENNIFER BLYTH PHOTO
WILD FOR THE WEST COAST SOOKE
bout 40 minutes west from downtown Victoria along Highway 14, Sooke is a vibrant, growing community that retains its friendly, smalltown charm. An ideal destination for anyone interested in outdoor adventures, relaxing in a seaside restaurant or just “getting away” for a few days, Sooke’s opportunities are almost limitless: zipline through West Coast forests, hike the
coastal trails, spend a day paddleboarding, kayaking or sport-fishing, explore the museum or just relax and take in the sights, including Sooke Harbour and Basin, the Olympic Mountains and Whiffin Spit. Named for its early inhabitants, the T’Sou-ke First Nation, Sooke began as a thriving Coast Salish settlement and today the T’Sou-ke First Nation remains an integral part of the vibrant
community. Today Sooke boasts top-rated restaurants, world-renowned accommodations and a variety of galleries, art studios and shops. Affectionately known for being “Wild by Nature,” the town is surrounded by beautiful rainforests, windswept coastlines and beaches, and features numerous provincial parks and bicycle trails. CONT. ON PAGE 26
FLOWERS, PLANTS & GIFTS FOR ALL OCCASIONS!
LOCAL & WORLDWIDE DELIVERIES
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CHOOSE FROM 10 UNIQUE B&B’S
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A nature lover’s paradise CONT. FROM PAGE 25
Majestic eagles are common to Sooke and the West Coast. JENNIFER BLYTH PHOTO
to see in Sooke
Home Style Cooking Good food for the whole family
Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner • Take Out
One of the busiest eateries in town!
2036 Shields Rd., Sooke 250-642-3314
Visit the Sooke Region Museum to get a real sense of the region’s long history, then savour a milehigh piece of pie at Mom’s Café.
A stop at the Sooke Potholes – a favourite among locals for a summer swim – is a must.
Stroll Whiffin Spit in Sooke Harbour and get a few ideas for your coastal adventure.
SEAPARC Leisure Complex 2168 Phillips Road Sooke, BC www.seaparc.ca
Active Families. Healthy Communities
Nancy Vieira Personal Real Estate Corporation
email@example.com • www.nancyvieira.com
for Victoria & Southern Vancouver Island 22 ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
Call Nancy Direct (250) 514-4750
Humpback whales, orcas, grey whales, elephant seals, bald eagles, blue herons, hummingbirds and a variety of other wildlife are daily visitors to the water, air and land of Sooke – a true nature lover’s paradise. Be sure to make time for a dip at Sooke Potholes Provincial Park, one of the South Island’s most popular summer swimming areas among locals. With a reputation as one of the world’s best fishing destinations, visitors can enjoy a year-round bounty of salmon, halibut, cod and trout. Boaters can reach the sheltered Sooke Harbour from the Juan de Fuca Strait, the Salish Sea outlet to the Pacific Ocean, or check in with a local outfitter for a West Coast fishing adventure. An incredible range of opportunities for both salt-water and fresh-water sportfishing activities abound. Extraordinarily rich in its arts culture, Sooke hosts a number of successful annual exhibits, workshops and shows celebrating the artisans of the region. The town is also home to the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra, a 60-member semi-professional orchestra performing both indoor and outdoor concerts each year. With the mildest climate in Canada, Sooke truly has something for everyone – fantastic views and recreation opportunities, a vibrant downtown and a local business community. For information about the Sooke Region, call 250-642-6351 or 1-866-888-4748. The Visitor Centre is located at the Sooke Region Museum at 2070 Phillips Rd, sookeregionmuseum.com
“Canada’s tall tree capital,” discover the small but picturesque community of Port Renfrew, located about 90 minutes’ drive west of Victoria. A seaside community centered around the local wharf, Port Renfrew provides visitors and residents with a relaxed, personable atmosphere only a small village can create. Long a forestry and commercial fishing hub, the town has transitioned to being a centre for outdoor recreation, including sports fishing, hiking, old growth forest tourism and eco-tourism. Outdoor enthusiasts also know the community as the trail head for both the West Coast Trail and the Juan de Fuca Trail – as well as for being home to some of the best salmon and halibut fishing on southern Vancouver Island. Port Renfrew is also located along the picturesque Pacific Marine Circle Route, a paved road offering a beautiful circular daytrip fromVictoria or access to eastern and northern Vancouver Island via a new paved highway. Port Renfrew accommodations range from camping to comfortable motel rooms and cozy ocean-view cottages, with several dining options available, from the popular waterfront Renfrew Pub to home cooking at the Coastal Café and Tomi’s Diner.
Learn more about Port Renfrew at renfrewchamber.com
The rugged coast off Port Renfrew
WEST TO PORT RENFREW
THIS WAY TO THE BEACH Beyond Sooke, the landscape grows even wilder, with lush coastal rainforest and dazzling beaches, such as French Beach, Mystic Beach and Botanical Beach – home to amazing rock formations and rich tidal pools. The 47km Juan de Fuca Marine Trail traces the shoreline from China Beach to Botanical Beach and is divided into sections, allowing hikers to choose a portion of the trail as a day trip or to tackle the whole route over about three days. Along the way, stop by the small communities of Shirley, Jordan River and Port Renfrew, where you can enjoy a bite to eat JENNIFER BLYTH PHOTOS and a variety of outdoor pursuits. Continuing on, travel the South Island’s Pacific Marine Circle Route, a paved road through the West Coast forests of Vancouver Island back-country, dotted with small lakes and interesting natural sights. The picturesque route will lead you to Lake Cowichan and Duncan, where you can link back to Victoria over the Malahat Drive or continue your explorations to more northern Island communities.
ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
COWICHAN VALLEY TOURISM COWICHAN PHOTO
family-friendly attractions like the BC Forest Discovery Centre, The Raptors and The Quw’utsun’ Cultural and Conference Centre. South of Duncan are the communities of Cobble Hill, Mill Bay and Shawnigan Lake, a cosy lakeside community popular for watersports. This gorgeous area is
JENNIFER BLYTH PHOTO
rom Greater Victoria head along Highway 1 and over the scenic Malahat Drive to the Cowichan region, renowned for its outdoor recreation opportunities, agricultural attractions and inviting communities. Duncan is the commercial centre of the Cowichan region and a hub of First Nations art and culture. “The City of Totems” boasts some 80 totem poles, including 40 in the downtown area, where you can view the totems while exploring the many unique shops and eateries. Pick up a tour map at the Visitor Centre or enjoy a free guided tour in the summer. Favourite pastimes include wine touring, hiking and camping, along with
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DISCOVERY, EDUCATION & FUN! FOREST Post Ofﬁce Narrow GaugeBC Railway DISCOVERY CENTRE Blacksmith Shop Steam Train WWW.BCFORESTDISCOVERYCENTRE.COM Sawmill Forested Trails INFORMATION – (250) 715-1113 Antique Vehicles Ranger Station Logging Trucks 1930 Logging Camp Gift Shop School House 2892 DRINKWATER ROAD, DUNCAN (ON THE TRANS CANADA HIGHWAY)
2892 DRINKWATER ROAD, DUNCAN BC V9L 6C2
BC FOREST DISCOVERY CENTRE BC FOREST WWW.BCFORESTDISCOVERYCENTRE.COM DISCOVERY CENTRE
(ON THE TRANS CANADA HWY.)
BC FOREST DISCOVERY CENTRE BCFORESTDISCOVERYCENTRE.COM INFORMATION: 1.866.715.1113 24 ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
2892 DRINKWATER ROAD, DUNCAN (ON THE TRANS CANADA HIGHWAY)
INFORMATION – (250) 715-1113
2892 DRINKWATER ROAD, DUNCAN (ON THE TRANS CANADA HIGHWAY)
INFORMATION – (250) 715-1113
dromats and stores, Vancouver Island is home to a wide variety of parks and camping facilities. Many of the Island’s provincial parks also feature campgrounds and some have sites that can be reserved ahead. A reservation fee may apply in addition to the regular overnight fee. For information and to make reservations, call Discover Camping at 1-800-689-9025 or visit discovercamping.ca for locations and details. Privately owned and operated campgrounds are located throughout Vancouver Island. For additional campground locations, check in at local Visitor Centres. The Ministry of Forests also maintains a number of recreation sites on Vancouver Island. Fees are collected for camping at a number of these sites to maintain the sites for future campers. For locations and details, visit sitesandtrailsbc.ca
LADYSMITH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PHOTO
famous for its vineyards and produces some of the finest wines and ciders on Vancouver Island. Many of the facilities offer sampling, tours, picnic areas and wine shops. Agriculture tours are also growing in the Cowichan Region, where farm markets and tours attract more and more visitors. The community of Cowichan Bay is perched over a natural deep-sea harbour and many of the buildings in this charming village – including a unique maritime museum – extend over the water. Along the waterfront, find a variety of gift shops and restaurants. North of Duncan is Chemainus, renowned for the many professionally painted murals and sculptures beautifully depicting its history and culture. The town’s quaint streets are lined with small shops, galleries and restaurants, anchored by the Chemainus Theatre, a star attraction featuring live, year-round plays and musicals. Stop by the Chemainus Coast Community Credit Union and pick up some “Chemainus Dollars” to use in town or take away for a souvenir. Find the Mill Bay Visitor Centre in the Mill Bay
Discover Downtown Ladysmith
Come for the Candy & Ice Cream, Shopping, Dining, Festivals, The Arts, Transfer Beach, & Heritage
St a y f o r t h e day!
Shopping Centre, 368 - 2720 Mill Bay Rd. Info: South Cowichan Chamber of Commerce, 250-743-3566. The Duncan-Cowichan Visitor Centre is at 2896 Drinkwater Rd., Duncan. Info: Chamber of Commerce, 250-746-4636 or 1-888-303-3337. In Chemainus, find the Visitor Centre in Waterwheel Park, 102-9799 Waterwheel Cresc., 250-246-3944. Learn more at tourismcowichan.com
adysmith, once a shipping port for coal, is now a lovely seaside town that has earned provincial and national awards for its downtown revitalization project and beautiful gardens. Head outdoors for fishing, kayaking, golfing, hiking and cycling, relax in Trans-
Ladysmith is a popular year-round destination for its historic downtown, many arts and outdoor opportunities and Christmas light-up.
fer Beach Park – great for kids and adults alike – or stroll the Ladysmith Heritage Walk. Highlights include the Ladysmith Maritime Society’s marine visitor centre and the Ladysmith Museum on First Avenue, with historical displays of the town’s development, including business, industry and social history. This picturesque community is blessed with numerous artists and artisans, not to mention year-round events. Visiting in December? Don’t miss the town’s amazing display of Christmas lights illuminating the streets and houses. Visit the Ladysmith Visitor Centre at 33 Roberts St., 250-245-2112, ladysmithcofc.com
Summer livin’ in Lake Cowichan
bout 20 minutes west of Duncan along Highway 18, Lake Cowichan is a picturesque community popular with summer swimmers, boaters, campers and outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors will love the friendly village atmosphere, while finding all the amenities they need to enjoy their stay, including shopping, dining, accommodations and camping, along with a recreation centre
and museum. The Lake Cowichan region also includes the communities of Youbou, Caycuse, Honeymoon Bay and Mesachie Lake. In addition to water sports on the large lake, the Cowichan River is also popular for leisurely summer tubing and other activities. The Lake Cowichan Chamber of Commerce is at 125C South Shore Rd, 250-749-3244, cowichanlake.ca
ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
SOUTH ISLAND 26 ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
Southern Vancouver Island has earned a deserved reputation as a haven for beer lovers. From brewpubs to taphouses, fans will find a wealth of flavours, complementary foods and beer-related special events. Among the newest destinations on the Island culinary scene is the Sawmill Taphouse & Grill, conveniently located on the scenic route between Chemainus and Ladysmith. Boasting 40 taps pouring both local brews and others from the Pacific Northwest, plus local wines and ciders, the Sawmill has earned a following among locals visiting from Shawnigan Lake in the south to Nanaimo in the north. The comfortably sophisticated interior features beams and timber sourced from historic area sawmills, not to mention a reclaimed “bull saw” located behind the bar, an iconic focal piece that boldly links the Sawmill to the Cowichan Valley’s forestry past. Add a West Coast-inspired menu of ca-
Cowichan Valley Attractions
Tubing on Lake Cowichan
sual comfort food, wood-fired pizza oven and an inviting summer patio, and it’s no wonder the Sawmill Taphouse & Grill has quickly become a favourite for both locals and visitors alike. Also onsite is a newly finished 100-person event venue ideal for wedding receptions, corporate meetings, community events and tour groups. With the decor inspired by the Taphouse, staff custom build all menus and look after all the details to ensure your event runs seamlessly.
BC Forest Discovery Centre – the past, present and future of forestry, 2892 Drinkwater Rd, Duncan, 250-715-1113, bcforestdiscoverycentre.com Chemainus Theatre – Exceptional destination theatre, 9737 Chemainus Rd, 250-246-9820 or 1-800-565-7738, chemainustheatrefestival.ca Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre – unique maritime museum along a pier, 1761 Cowichan Bay Rd, 250-746-4955, classicboats.org Cowichan Valley Museum and Archives – in the old train station, 130 Canada Ave, Duncan, 250-746-6612, CowichanValleyMuseum.bc.ca
Welcome to Breathtaking! - cave theatre - self-guided caving - cave tours - mild to wild
The Cowichan Valley is renowed as one of the best growing areas on the Island. Its unique climate has proven exceptional for grapes, and you can enjoy guided or self-guided tours of numerous award-winning wineries located throughout the Valley. Cideries, distilleries and brewhouses are also on the tasting menu and many also offer exceptional, locally inspired cuisine to accompany their hand-crafted beverages, not to mention picturesque picnic spots to while away a summer afternoon. Learn more at wineislands. ca or tourismcowichan.com.
Savour the Cowichan Valley
Quw’utsun’ Cultural and Conference Centre – 200 Cowichan Way, Duncan, 250-746-8119 or 1-877-746-8119, khowutzun.com/qccc/ Kaatza Station Museum and Archives – community museum and archives, open daily during summer, South Shore Rd, Lake Cowichan, facebook.com/KaatzaStationMuseum Totem Tours – free, guided walking tours explore downtown Duncan’s many totem poles, June though Sept, with off-season tours by appointment, 250-715-1700, downtownduncan.ca
OPEN YEAR ROUND Ranked #1 Attraction
250-248-7829 HORNELAKE.COM ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
See LI READ for Salt Spring Island and Southern Gulf Islands Real Estate!
ISLAND TO ISLAND
Guide to the Gulf Islands
1.250.537.7647 LiRead33@gmail.com www.liread.com
DURABLE, LIGHTWEIGHT, WATERPROOF
28 ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
picturesque collection of unique communities between Vancouver Island and the BC Mainland, the Gulf Islands are easily accessible via BC Ferries or private boat. Among the most popular getaways for locals, the islands’ stunning scenery inspires numerous artists and artisans while fertile lands support thriving farms and award-winning wineries. From sandy beaches to mountaintops where the views go on forever, the Southern Gulf Islands offer terrific day-trip destinations from Vancouver Island. With so much to explore, extend your visit with a night or two at a picture-perfect B&B or inn and start the adventure! Salt Spring, just a 35-minute BC Ferry ride from the Swartz Bay terminal, is renowned for its relaxed lifestyle, idyllic beauty, art galleries, studios and wineries. Don’t miss the Saturday outdoor market where the island’s farmers and accomplished artisans display their fine products. Stroll the town of Ganges, with its interesting shops and eateries, then cycle or enjoy a leisurely drive around to soak in the scenery. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the hiking trails at Ruckle Provincial Park while paddlers can choose from both fresh and salt-water excursions. Smaller nearby islands of Pender, Mayne, Saturna and Galiano are all served by ferry, but popular with local boaters as well. While the populations of these islands are quite small – larger during summer and on weekends! – find all the amenities needed for an afternoon escape or longer getaway, with accommodations ranging from provincial park camping to luxurious resorts. Throughout the islands, find beaches good for hours of relaxing, swimming or beachcombing, trails for biking and hiking, birdwatching, paddling and more, not to mention the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve – Learn more at pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/bc/gulf. A little farther north, enjoy a short, 20-minute ferry ride from Nanaimo to Gabriola Island, popular with kayakers, campers, cyclists and explorers who come to discover the ancient petroglyphs and remarkable sandstone formations at the Malaspina Galleries. Denman and Hornby Islands are located off-shore of the Comox Valley and are popular with artists and vacationers, while visitors to Texada Island can enjoy the short trip from Powell River or hop aboard a KD Air flight from the Vancouver South Terminal.
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To Port Angeles
To May 14 – Rhododendron Bloom at MilJuly 7 to 9 – Nanaimo Dragonboat ner Gardens & Woodland, Qualicum, www2. Festival, nanaimodragonboat.com viu.ca/milnergardens/ July 8 – Qualicum Beach Airport Day May 5 to 21 – Feast Tofino: with chefs, fishand Airshow, Qualicum Airport. ers, foragers, feasttofino.com July 14 to 16 – Canadian Open SandMay 6 – Qualicum Beach’s Fire and Ice Street sculpting Competition, Parksville; sculptures displayed to Aug. 21, parksvilleFestival – chili, ice carving, entertainment & beachfest.ca more, fireandicestreetfestival.com July 15 – Protect Port Alberni’s McLean May 6 – Children’s Book Festival in Nanaimo’s downtown, bookfest.ca Mill steam train from the Beaufort Gang, albernisteamtrain.com May 12 to 14 – Rip Curl Tofino, Canada’s largest surfing competition and the CanaJuly 16 – Silly Boat Regatta, Nanaimo, dian championship, ripcurl.com/pro-tofino Maffeo Sutton Park, 250-753-0251, Father’s Day Car Show, Qualicum Beach JENNIFER BLYTH PHOTO sillyboat.com May 14 – Port Alberni’s McLean Mill Steam Train season opens, albernisteamtrain.com July 21 to 23 – Nanaimo Marine Shine, Qualicum Beach, seasidecruizers.com Festival & World Championship Bathtub Race, May 20 to 22 – McLean Mill and Steam Train June 22 to 25 – Milner Gardens’ Fairy Houses, bathtubbing.com Long-Weekend Adventure, Port Alberni, alberQualicum, www2.viu.ca/milnergardens/ nisteamtrain.com July 21 to 23 – Ukee Days, Ucluelet, ukeedays. June 24 – Party in the Park, country-themed wordpress.com May 28 – Qualicum Beach Family Day, qbfamimusic, Nanaimo, pieevents.ca lyday.com July 22 – Grand Prix d’Art painting race and Art in June 24 – McLean Mill and Steam Train Teddy Action Fair, Qualicum Beach, theoldschoolhouse. June 2 to 4 – Tofino Food & Wine Festival, Bear Picnic, Port Albern, albernisteamtrain.com org tofinofoodandwinefestival.com July 1 – Canada 150 events in the mid-Island, in Aug. 4 to 6 – Coombs Country Bluegrass Festival, June 3 – Port Alberni’s McLean Mill and steam honour of Canada’s 150th birthday. cchrco.org/bluegrass/ train welcomes the Beaufort Gang for family July 1 to 9 – Pacific Rim Summer Festival, fun, albernisteamtrain.com Aug. 5 – Van Isle Shriners Show & Shine Car Show, performing and visual arts in Tofino, Uclulet Parksville, parksvillebeachfest.ca June 10 – Port Alberni’s McLean Mill and and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, paciSteam Train fairy garden party, albernisteamAug. 5 & 6 – Ladysmith Days, ladysmithdays.com ficrimarts.ca/festivals train.com Aug. 10 to 20 – Nanaimo Fringe Festival, naEarly July to mid-August – Bard to Broadway June 11 – Edge to Edge Half Marathon and naimofringe.com/ Summer Theatre, Qualicum Beach, 250-24810km, Ucluelet, edgetoedgemarathon.com Aug. 12 & 13 – Qualicum’s Milner Gardens’ Art 0444, b2btheatre.com June 18 – Father’s Day Seaside Cruizers Show & & Photography in the Garden, www2.viu.ca/ milnergardens/ Aug. 12 & 13 – Thunder in the Valley drag race Canadian Military event, Port Alberni, albernidragracing.com History Aug. 13 – Tofino Lantern Festival, Tofino Botanical ... on Nanaimo’s dynamic waterfront. Come See, Come Learn, Come Experience History Gardens. Celebrating Canadian Military History and Aug. 17 to 19 – Uclulet’s Otalith Music Festival, honouring the service of our armed forces, RCMP, and otalithfestival.com Merchant Navy past and present. No visit to Nanaimo is complete without a isvisit to... without a visit to... Aug. 18 to 20 – Theatre Festival and Street Fair, Nanaimo complete Gabriola Island, artsgabriola.ca Aug. 18 to 20 – Vancouver Island Exhibition, Beban Park, Nanaimo, viex.ca 100 Cameron Road, Downtown Nanaimo Aug. 19 – Show ‘n Shine Car Show, Ladysmith, (next to the Port Theatre) 10am-3pm, Mon. through Fri. ladysmithshowandshine.ca 11am-3pm Saturday Aug. 19 & 20 – Bulls, Broncs and Barrels, Coombs, viwesternheritage.com 100 Museum Way • 250.753.1821 Aug. 19 – Protect Port Alberni’s McLean Mill 250-753-3814 steam train from the Beaufort Gang, albernisteamwww.nanaimomuseum.ca www.vimms.ca train.com Aug. 20 – Kidfest, Parksville Beach, kidfest.ca Saysutshun, the Newcastle Island Marine Park Aug. 24 to 27 – Summertime Blues Festival, Nanaimo, nanaimobluesfestival.com Occupied by the Snuneymuxw people since time immemorial, Saysutshun is a wonderous escape from the Sept. 2 – Lighthouse Country Fall Fair, Qualicum bustling urban centre of Nanaimo, just a ten minute ferry ride Bay, communityclub.ca from Maffeo Sutton Dock. Roundrip ferry ride is just $5! Enjoy Sept. 7 to 10 – Alberni District Fall Fair, Port the 363 hectares of natural beauty and 22 kms of trails, plus camping, Alberni fairground, albernifair.com hiking, swimming, and biking. For a truly unique wedding, corporate, Sept. 7 to 13 – Carving on the Edge Festival, or community event, the Historic Newcastle Pavilion is an ideal location. carvingedgefestival.com Come spend the day with NEWCASTLE ISLAND Sept. 16 – Harvest Day at McLean Mill and Steam us on Newcastle Island Train, Port Alberni, albernisteamtrain.com in Snuneymuxw traditional territory Sept. 23 – McLean Mill Day in Port Alberni, albernisteamtrain.com Oct. 13 to 15 – 53rd annual Alberni Valley Championship Dog Show, albernivalleykennelclub. wordpress.com
Gallery, Programs, TOURS & giftshop
30 ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
on the Central Island
Explore the many tasty varieties of Nanaimo’s namesake sweet treat – the Nanaimo bar – during your visit.
Welcome to the Harbour City
TOURISM NANAIMO PHOTO
enowned for its excellent shopping, dining and vibrant arts and cultural scene, complemented by numerous outdoor opportunities and its mild Pacific climate, Nanaimo is an excellent year-round vacation destination. BC’s third oldest city, historically Nanaimo is the homeland of the Coast Salish, who called themselves “Snuneymuxw,” which roughly translates as “gathering place.” Delve into the city’s past at the more than 150-year-old Bastion, the Nanaimo Museum, where highlights include First Nations displays, a replica coal mine and bathtub race exhibit, and the Vancouver Island Military Museum. With more artists per capita than most other regions in Canada, explore Nanaimo’s
Sidetrip to Newcastle Island Travelling to Nanaimo by land or sea? Include a stop at Newcastle Island Provincial Marine Park, in Nanaimo’s harbour. Traditionally known as Saysutshun by the Snuneymuxw people, this familyfriendly marine provincial park is only accessible by foot-passenger ferry from Nanaimo’s Muffeo Sutten Park or by boat. Offering panoramic views of the Harbour City and Coast mountains, outdoor activities include swimming, kayaking, hiking and more, plus the Newcastle Island Cafe, located in the restored 1930s teahouse in a historic dance pavilion. Learn more at newcastleisland.ca
C E SNOT U RT AH L ISLAND
BLACK PRESS PHOTO
arts and culture in its galleries and arts studios, on stage at the Port Theatre and at the city’s music venues. Diverse shopping districts include the Old City Quarter, arts district, waterfront shops and a variety of north-end shopping centres. Just south of the city, the Cedar Yellow Point Artisan Trail is loaded with galleries, crafts and culinary stops. Foodies will love the tasty delights at the region’s farms, farmers’ markets and specialty producers, not to mention the famed Nanaimo Bar Trail. Crave the great outdoors? Explore more than 200 parks and trails perfect for walking, swimming, cycling, bird-watching and boating, plus some of the best mountain biking in BC. Hikers will enjoy Neck Point, Biggs Park, Westwood Lake Park and Newcastle Island Provincial Marine Park. Paddlers can launch from both fresh and saltwater locations and boaters will be
impressed by the top-notch marina facilities, – don’t miss visiting Canada’s only floating pub and with a view back to the city. Foot-passenger ferry service to Newcastle Island is available through the spring and summer seasons. A short BC Ferries trip to Gabriola Island makes for another enjoyable daytrip. Fancy a turn around the links? From family mini-golf to championship courses, Nanaimo boasts a dizzying array of choices within an hour’s drive. Diving is yet another specialty, thanks to clear waters, abundant marine life and intriguing sites. In fact, Nanaimo’s wrecks and reefs include three sunken ships that comprise one of the largest upright artificial reefs in the world! Visit the Nanaimo Visitor Centre at 2450 Northfield Rd. From May to September, visit the centre at the Bastion on Front Street. Call 250-751-1556 or see tourismnanaimo.com
Island Insider: History comes alive
History buffs find a lot to like in Nanaimo, with its historic old town, vibrant harbour and fascinating Nanaimo Museum, exploring First Nations and settlement history through both permanent and visiting exhibits. The Bastion, built by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1853, is open daily through summer with a daily cannon firing ceremony at noon. For military history, visit the Vancouver Island Military Museum, with its impressive collection of military memorabilia and artifacts from the War of 1812 right through to Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan.
Nanaimo • Vancouver Island • BC
315 Rosehill Street, Nanaimo BC
ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
C ESNOTU RT AH L ISLAND
While away a summer day on Parksville’s sandy beaches
PARKSVILLE & QUALICUM BEACH The Island’s oceanfront playground
ake a splash in the Parksville Qualicum Beach region – Canada’s beach playground. Stretching along Highway 19A, the diverse communities of Parksville, Qualicum Beach, French Creek, Nanoose Bay, Arrowsmith Coombs Country and Lighthouse Country feature miles of sandy beaches, spectacular mountain and ocean views and numerous attractions. It’s little surprise this vacation playground is home to many special events, fine dining, quaint shops, marinas and of course, great golf. Gallery and studio browsing is a favourite pastime, while for outdoor enthusiasts, activities include fishing, diving, kayaking, mountain biking, boating, caving, horseback riding and windsurfing. Bird-watching is also big in Parksville Qualicum Beach, where more than 250 bird species live yearround or visit during spring migration.
Parksville, with a population of more than 11,000, is the region’s largest community. Boasting Canada’s mildest year-round climate, the beachfront resort town’s incredible beaches, top spa destinations, golf courses and beautiful 32 ISLAND VISITOR 2017 || www.islandvisitor.ca www.islandvisitor.ca
parks make it both an ideal spot for romantic getaways and family vacations. The month-long Parksville Beach Festival and Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition are summer-musts for many. Nearby, Englishman River Falls Provincial Park draws hikers, anglers and picnickers, while Top Bridge Regional Park is a haven for mountain bikers.
About 10 minutes north of Parksville, the charming town of Qualicum Beach is a pedestrian-friendly gardener’s paradise, home to the beautiful Milner Gardens and Woodland, Qualicum Beach Museum, quaint boutiques, galleries, antique stores and cozy cafés.
Arrowsmith Coombs Country offers more sightseeing and activity options. The Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Reserve is a unique micro-climate and ecosystem that has received UNESCO designation. Not-to-miss attractions include the Orchid Garden at Butterfly World and Gardens, with more than 800 living orchids for your enjoyment, North Island
Photos courtesy VisitParksvilleQualicumBeach.com
Wildlife Recovery Centre, Tiger Lily Farms and Little Qualicum Cheeseworks & MooBerry Winery (complete with farm tours). At the Old Country Market in Coombs, watch the antics of the goats grazing on the market’s grass roof before you explore the eclectic market and neighbouring shops. Pick up a picnic lunch and stroll the paths of Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park. Just beyond, don’t miss the majestic Cathedral Grove with centuries-old trees, and the peaceful splendour of Cameron Lake.
Lighthouse Country is a picturesque coastal area with marinas, restaurants, art studios, shops, amazing scallops from Qualicum Bay Scallops and caving at Horne Lake Caves. Also check out the Deep Bay Field Station Centre for Shellfish Research, sitting like a giant open clam on the shores of Deep Bay. Visit visit parksvillequalicumbeach.com online. In Parksville, stop by the Visitor Centre, 1275 East Island Hwy, or call 250-248-3613 In Qualicum, visit 2711 West Island Hwy, call 250-752-9532.
C ESNOTU R TAH L ISLAND
Best Beach Front Location in Parksville!
Our family friendly resort features attractive fully appointed Studio, 1 & 2 bedroom vacation homes. All with stunning panoramic mountain & ocean views right from your private balcony or patio. Our 2 bedroom townhouses are just steps to the sand (full kitchen, 2 bathrooms, fireplace, in-suite laundry & BBQ). Up on the Ridge open plan Studios & 1 Bedroom Condos are ideal for smaller families & couples (kitchen/kitchenette, some with fireplaces, patio/balcony).
Amenities: free WiFi, BBQ’s, fire pits, tennis court, children’s playground, walking trails, shopping, attractions & golf nearby. LONG TERM RATES & GREAT SPECIALS.
Madrona Beach Resort 1145 Resort Drive, Parksville, B.C. V9P 3E3 Toll Free 1-800-663-7302 or 250-248-5503 www.madrona-resort.com
Stay in Vancouver Island’s fastest growing vacation and resort area. Beautiful, well appointed cottages within easy access to exceptional year-round recreation
firstname.lastname@example.org In Parksville’s Resort Area 1-877-248-8961 1080 Resort Drive www.osvr.ca
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C ESNOTU RT AH L ISLAND
Central Island Attractions NANAIMO Casino Nanaimo – 620 Terminal Ave, 250753-3033, casinonanaimo.com Nanaimo Aquatic Centre – wave pool, three slides, and more, 741 Third St, 250756-5200. Nanaimo Museum & Bastion – 100 Museum Way, 250-753-1821, nanaimomuseum.ca WildPlay Element Parks – bungy jumping, Monkido aerial adventure park, zipline and more, 35 Nanaimo River Rd, 1-855-595-
Wild About Whales Whale and wildlife watching is a passion here on Vancouver Island for both locals and visitors. Majestic orcas are the star of Island excursions but with so many species at home here, there’s always lots to see, from bald eagles overhead to seals and porpoises in the water. With such majestic creatures on your doorstep, it’s important to choose a tour company that respects the animals and their environment, as well as providing a safe, thrilling experience in one of the top destinations in North America for whale watching. In Greater Victoria, favourites include Prince of Whales and SpringTide Whale Watching and Eco Tours, which have introduced nature lovers to the wild West Coast for years. Guests enjoy learning from marine naturalists, ocean biologists and experienced skippers driven to give their guests an entertaining, educational tour. On the West Coast Jamie’s Whaling Station offers a wide variety of tour options leaving from both Tofino and Ucluelet. Options include whale and wildlife watching tours, hot springs tours, cultural tours and more. Ocean Outfitters is another popular option for whale and wildlife watching. North Island adventures are as close as Stubbs Island Whale Watching, in Telegraph Cove, where the experienced guides are pleased to share the remarkable wildlife of the Island’s eastern shore.
2251, wildplay.com Vancouver Island Military Museum – uniforms, weapons and artifacts, 205-7533814, 100 Cameron Rd, vimms.ca PORT ALBERNI Alberni Pacific Railway – 1929 steam train to McLean Mill National Historic Site, mid-June to Sept, 3100 Kingsway, 250-7232118, alberniheritage.com Alberni Valley Museum – 4255 Wallace St, 250-723-2181, alberniheritage.com Alberni Aquarium and Stewardship Centre – at Harbour Quay, 7-5440 Argyle St, 250-724-3600 alberniaquarium.ca Maritime Discovery Centre – Harbour Quay, 2750 Harbour Rd., 250-723-6164, alberniheritage.com McLean Mill National Historic Site – Canada’s last steam-powered sawmill and Alberni Pacific Steam Railway, 5633 Smith Rd, 1-855-866-1376, alberniheritage.com Lady Rose Marine Service – scenic cruises from Port Alberni to Bamfield and Ucluelet aboard MV Frances Barkley, 250-723-8313 or 800-663-7192, ladyrosemarine.com
The ‘Beaufort Gang’ challenges the McLean Mill Steam Train in Port Alberni KARLY BLATS, ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS
OCEANSIDE Bard to Broadway Theatre Society – summer-long repertory theatre, Qualicum Beach, 250-752-4470, b2btheatre.com Butterfly World & Gardens – on Hwy 4A, Coombs, 250-248-7026, nature-world.com Horne Lake Caves & Outdoor Centre – family-oriented park, guided and selfguided tours, 250-248-7829, 101 Horne Lk. Caves Rd, hornelake.com Milner Gardens and Woodland – 60-acre old growth forest surrounding 10-acre heritage seaside garden, with special events and afternoon tea, 2179 West Island Hwy, 250-752-6153, milnergardens.org North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre – Public welcome mid-March to October, 1240 Leffler Rd, 250-248-8534, niwra.org Paradise Fun Park – mini-golf, bumper boats and more, 375 W. Island Hwy, 866325-1874, paradisefunpark.net Qualicum Beach Museum – 587 Beach Rd, 250-752-5533, qbmuseum.net Riptide Lagoon Adventure Golf – 1000 Resort Dr, 250-248-8290, riptidelagoon.com
FOUR AMAZING TOURS experience them all!
bird & pelagic
Tofino’s whale specialists since 1984
We Guarantee Sightings On All Tours!
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34 ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca Whale Centre — Cruise through the spectacular waters of Clayoquot Sound
C ESNOTU R TAH L ISLAND Tofino is located among some of the world’s most pristine wilderness PHOTO COURTESY TOFINO TOURISM
ancouver Island’s celebrated Pacific Rim is home to spectacular scenery and numerous outdoor adventures.
Port Alberni, west of Parksville off Highway 4, is a renowned sport fishing destination teeming with natural and cultural attractions. At the heart of Vancouver Island’s awe-inspiring Pacific Rim region, fishing charters operate year-round and saltwater rewards include halibut, cod and salmon. Freshwater anglers take to local streams for cutthroat, rainbow and steelhead trout. Other activities golfing to wildlife viewing. An excellent network of heritage attractions includes the Alberni Valley Museum and a 35-minute scenic steam train excursion from the Port Alberni Railway Station near the harbour to the McLean Mill National Historic Site. The Rollins Arts Centre and Gardens features work by local artists and summer tea on the terrace, while the Alberni Harbour Quay is a colourful collection of waterfront shops, galleries and eateries where you’ll also find the Maritime
PACIFIC RIM Escape to paradise Discovery Centre and the boarding area for the MV Frances Barkley, a passenger and freight vessel offering scenic trips to Bamfield and Ucluelet. Near Port Alberni, popular spots include Sproat Lake Provincial Park and J.V. Cline Bird Sanctuary. Port Alberni info: 250-724-6535, albernichamber.ca or the Visitor Centre, 2533 Port Alberni Hwy.
TOFINO, UCLUELET & PACIFIC RIM NATIONAL PARK
Along the Pacific Rim Highway is the Island’s year-round West Coast playground of Ucluelet, Tofino and Pacific Rim National Park, home to surfing, winter storm-watching, beach combing, wildlife excursions and more. On the edge of spectacular Barkley Sound and bordered by ocean on three sides, Ucluelet is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Fishing guides and charters will get you on the water or join the local experts on a West Coast wildlife tour. In harbour, visit the Ucluelet Aquarium. Kayaking opportunities range from the inner harbour’s calm waters to the challenging Broken Group Islands, while
favourite hikers’ destinations include the Wild Pacific Trail. Take to the trees for a ziplining adventure and return for winter stormwatching. Just past Long Beach, overlooking Clayoquot Sound, Tofino is a tourism destination in the heart of pristine wilderness. To help to protect this spectacular region, Tofino was designated BC’s first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Outdoor activities include whale-watching, fishing, kayaking, diving and guided bearwatching tours. Hikers enjoy many trails in the Long Beach area and surrounding the townsite. Tofino is also Canada’s surfing capital, with year-round opportunities to catch a wave and fine surf schools to get you started. Unique attractions include the Whale Centre Museum and Hot Springs Cove. Despite its popularity, Tofino retains its peaceful, rustic ambience, with quaint shops art galleries and cafés blending easily with world-class resorts and fine dining establishments. For Ucluelet info: 250-726-4641 or the Visitor Centre, 2791 Pacific Rim Hwy, 250-726-4600; ucluelet.ca. Tofino Visitor Centre: 250-7253414, 1426 Pacific Rim Hwy; tourismtofino. com For the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, call 250-726-7721 or see pc.gc.ca/pacificrim
ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
C ESNOTU R TAH L ISLAND
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36 ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
Comox Marina JENNIFER BLYTH PHOTO
Island adventures from sea to sky
estled between the Beaufort Mountains and the Strait of Georgia, the Comox Valley’s stunning scenery, exceptional amenities and array of activities combine in one of the Island’s most popular vacation destinations. With a mild year-round climate providing exceptional hiking, boating, fishing, swimming, mountain biking, diving and skiing, the Valley comprises several distinct communities. Courtenay is the commercial centre and a hub for arts and culture with downtown art galleries and studios, boutiques, theatres and restaurants. Outlying areas also feature a variety of farms, parks and beaches. Excellent marina facilities and a quaint downtown make Comox a popular destination where attractions include the Comox Air Force Museum and Heritage Airpark and the historic Filberg Lodge and Park, where annual events include the August long weekend’s Filberg Festival, one of BC’s finest arts, crafts and entertainment celebrations. Cumberland celebrates its history as a former coal-mining town – learn about its fascinating past at the Cumberland Museum and Archives. Nearby is Comox Lake, a crystal clear, glacierfed paradise perfect for swimming, boating and fishing, with a full-service campground, picnic area, boat ramp and hiking trails. Get off the beaten track with a visit to Denman and Hornby Islands, just offshore and accessible via BC Ferry from Buckley Bay, south of Courtenay. Favourite escapes for hiking, cycling, diving, swimming and kayaking, don’t miss Hornby Island’s Tribune Bay, where
the summer sun warms shallow waters, ideal for swimming. Visitors also enjoy the islands’ many art studios. Merville/Black Creek is home to family fun, with one of the region’s best beaches at Miracle Beach Provincial Park, plus mini-golf, gokarting, farms and horseback riding. Mount Washington Alpine Resort is a hot spot for skiers and snowboarders in the winter and hikers and mountain bikers in summer or hike into the spectacular 250,445-hectare wilderness of Strathcona Provincial Park. Down the mountain, golfers tee off on year-round courses, while paddlers and boaters explore scenic waters. An ever-growing list of culinary events and agritourism opportunities highlights the Valley’s diverse farm-to-fork possibilities. The Comox Valley hosts several amazing summer festivals celebrating the performing arts and local artists and artisans. Gardeners will love the Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens and the Filberg Lodge and Park while history buffs will want to explore the Courtenay and District Museum and Palaeontology Centre and Cumberland’s historic streets and fascinating museum. Learn more with a self-guided Heritage Experience tour – pick up a brochure from the Visitor Centre or download copies from discovercomoxvalley.com Visit the Comox Valley Visitor Centre at 101-3607 Small Rd, just off the Inland Island Hwy. at exit 117, call 1-855-400-2882, or see discovercomoxvalley.com
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Saturdays, through October – Comox Valley Farmer’s Market, 9am to 1pm at the Exhibition Grounds. June 3 & 4 – Quadra Island Studio Tour, quadraislandarts.com June 8 – World Oceans Day, Carrot Park, Port Hardy. June 9 to 18 – BC Shellfish & Seafood Festival, Comox Valley, bcshellfishfestival. com June 22 to 24 – Miners Memorial Weekend, Cumberland, cumberlandmuseum.ca June 24 – Kusam Klimb 2016, Sayward, kusamklimb.com June 24 & 25 – Nootka Marine Adventures’ Salmon Enhancement Derby, nootkamarineadventures.com July 1 – Canada Day festivities aroudn the North Island for Canada’s 150th July & Aug. (Thurs, Fri & Sat) T’sasala Native Dance Performance, Alert Bay Big House, alertbay.ca July 1 to 22 – Comox Valley Youth Music Centre Festival, cymc.ca July 13 to 16 – Tahsis Days, villageoftahsis. com July 14 to 16 – Vancouver Island MusicFest, Courtenay, islandmusicfest.com July 14 to 16 – FILOMI Days, celebrating fishing, logging and mining, Port Hardy July 22 – Downtown Courtenay Market Day, downtowncourtenay.com July 22 – River City Arts Festival, Campbell River, rivercityartsfest.com Aug. 3 to 12 – Hornby Island Festival, hornbyfestival.bc.ca Aug. 4 to 7 – Filberg Festival, Comox, filbergfestival.com Aug. 5 to 7 – Comox Nautical Days Festival, comoxnauticaldays.ca Aug. 11 to 13 – Salmon Festival and Logger Sports, Campbell River, crsalmonfestival. com Aug. 11 to 13 – Sointula Salmon Days, sointulasalmondays.com Aug. 18 to 20 – Atmosphere Festival, cumberlandvillageworks.com Aug. 25 to 27 – Comox Valley Exhibition, Courtenay, cvex.ca Sept. 24 – BC Rivers Day, Quatse River Hatchery and Salmon Stewardship Centre, Port Hardy October – Foggy Mountain Fall Fair, Cumberland, cumberlandmuseum.ca ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
SOU N RTH ISLAND
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As you travel the Island, keep your eyes open for a variety of local wildlife. Vancouver Island is home to an incredible diversity of animals, including great blue heron, black bear, cougar and the majestic Roosevelt elk. These impressive members of the deer family can weigh over 1,000lbs and have antlers up to four feet long. Though they were once widespread on the Island and south coast of BC, their numbers were severely reduced in the mid-19th century, and now visitors are most likely to see them grazing alongside the Island Highway north of Campbell River or in the Cowichan Valley. Despite their abundance in these areas, Roosevelt elk are still provincially listed as a species of concern, and organizations such as the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation are funding the relocation of elk from areas where their populations are thriving to wilderness areas where they used to be found. Learn more about this and other conservation projects at hctf.ca
West Coast WILD W
hether inspired to climb or cycle, paddle or pedal, a true West Coast adventure awaits in virtually every Island community. Swoop through the treetops with attractions such as Tofino’s WestCoast Wild Zipline and Nanaimo’s WildPlay. Find a second WildPlay Monkido course in Victoria’s West Shore, while near Sooke, AdrenaLine offers an ATV ride to the top of a thrilling zipline course across 100 forested acres. Biking is another popular way to explore the wild West Coast, from leisurely trails to mountain bike thrills in areas like Cumberland, in the Comox Valley, Nanaimo, the Cowichan Valley and Victoria. A paddler’s paradise, the Island offers endless inlets and shorelines to explore, with options for beginners to experienced kayakers. As West Coast weather can be changeable and tides tricky, be sure to check with local experts before heading out. A growing interest in caving brings visitors to the Central and North Island. Excellent opportunities await at the Horne Lake Caves, offering family excursions to more adventurous outings, at the extensive cave formations in Gold River, and in the North Island, including Huson Regional Park Caves near Zeballos.
hile Campbell River is reknowned as “the Salmon Capital of the World,” visitors soon find so much more to love about this city by the sea. Building upon its reputation for excep-
CAMPBELL RIVER, QUADRA & CORTES ISLANDS W
tional saltwater fishing, the friendly north Island community is also spreading the word about its exceptional scuba diving, golfing, kayaking, hiking, rafting and more. Walk on the wild side with whale-
Cruise spectacular Barkley Sound on the Frances Barkley. There are yearround sailings to Bamfield, and JuneSeptember sailings for Ucluelet and the Broken Group. You can also rent kayaks, book a stay at our scenic Sechart Lodge in Barkley Sound, or make a reservation for our convenient Sechart-based connector water taxi. Visit our website for full schedule details.
Web: www.ladyrosemarine.com email@example.com Tel: 250-723-8313 (all year) Toll Free: 1-800-663-7192 (April - September)
and marine wildlife-watching tours, bear viewing, bird watching and diving. Explore local seas at the new Discovery Passage Aquarium at the Discovery Fishing Pier, a 185-metre-long fishing pier complete with equipment rentals and fabulous views. Nearby, the Maritime Centre is home to the BCP45 historic seine boat. By sea or land, natural amenities abound here. Discover Elk Falls Provincial Park, featuring stunning waterfalls, forested trails and a new suspension bridge. The Quinsam Hatchery is popular with nature enthusiasts, especially in summer and early fall when salmon return to spawn. Home to about 33,000 people, Campbell River offers visitors ample accommodation and dining opportunities. Downtown, find shops, art galleries, theatre and the 4km Rotary Beach Seawalk. Just south of downtown, the Museum at Campbell River highlights the area’s Aboriginal heritage and its fishing and forestry past. Haig Brown House, the former home of nature conservationist Roderick Haig Brown, is an interesting historical stop featuring displays, seminars and courses.
QUADRA & CORTES ISLANDS
From downtown Campbell River, take a 10-minute BC Ferry trip to Quadra Island, another prime destination for saltwater fishing, kayaking, hiking and diving. One more ferry trip – about 45-minutes – from Quadra Island leads to tiny, quiet Cortes Island, with a lovely landscape of orchards, lagoons and beaches. Campbell River also serves as an excellent base for exploring Strathcona Provincial Park, accessed 59km west on Highway 28. Find freshwater lakes for paddlers and anglers, excellent hiking, camping and stunning scenery.
WHALING STATION LODGE
Call the Campbell River Visitor Centre at 250-286-6901 or 1-877-286-5705 or visit at 1235 Shoppers Row. ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
NO RH T HI SILSAL N AN SO UT DD
The Uchuck III plies North Island waters
DISCOVER THE A historical gold mining village fast becoming a favourite destination for kayakers, sportsfishers and nature lovers who want to experience the wild west coast of Vancouver Island. Campsites, comfortable accommodation and several cafés welcome visitors.
250-761-4229 ~ www.Zeballos.com
BEARS O F KN IGHT I NL E T Grizzly bear tours depart daily from May 15 to October 1 from Telegraph Cove by covered water taxi with on-board washroom. Spring & Summer trips feature viewing from boat. In the fall, Telegraph Cove, BC 250-339-5320 Toll Free 1-888-643-9319
TIDE RIP GRIZZLY ADVENTURES 40 ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
NORTH ISLAND GOLD RIVER, TAHSIS AND NOOTKA SOUND
West of Campbell River, through Strathcona Provincial Park, sits Gold River and stunning Nootka Sound. Revered by sports fishers, Gold River also boasts pristine waters welcoming kayakers and divers while hikers and walkers enjoy everything from 20-minute forest walks to the three-day Nootka Trail. Caving is another growing activity. From Gold River, the scenic, 64km “Treeto-Sea Drive,” a well-maintained gravel road, brings you to the Village of Tahsis in just over an hour. Along the way, explore the Upana Caves, visit the Conuma River Salmon
TONY WAKELIN PHOTO
Enhancement Facility, see the Three Sisters Waterfalls, swim at Malaspina Lake and visit the President’s Tree. In Tahsis, outdoor activities include fishing, hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, diving and kayaking, and families will enjoy Tahsis Days on the third weekend of July. Amenities include lodging, a marina, fuel, grocery store, liquor outlet, pub and dining options. The Tahsis Heritage Museum and Tourist Centre welcome visitors from July 1 to Labour Day. For Gold River details, 250-283-2202 or villageofgoldriver.ca. For the Village of Tahsis, villageoftahsis.com or 250-934-6344.
SAYWARD, NIMPKISH VALLEY AND ZEBALLOS
Heading north from Campbell River along Highway 19, stop by the Seymour Narrows Lookout, a viewpoint and hiking trail overlooking Ripple Rock, a submerged mountain that caused dozens of shipwrecks before it was blasted apart in 1958 with the world’s largest man-made, non-nuclear explosion. At Sayward, see a building surrounded in 2,700m of steel logging cable, the Iron Man Totem and the Dalrymple Nature Trail, a 23km looped trail up Mt. H’Kusam. Fish off the pier at the Kelsey Bay wharf on Johnstone Strait, tee off at the par 3 golf course and book a marine adventure. The beautiful Nimpkish Valley offers a challenging hiking trail at Mount Cain, boating at Lake Klaklakama, picnicing at Hoomak Lake and, 22km off the highway, renowned fishing at Vernon Lake. Zeballos is a quiet logging community that once bustled with gold mining activity. Enjoy a self-guided walking tour of the historic buildings and Zeballos Heritage Museum, where tales of the gold rush and the resulting boomtown are told with pictures and artifacts. Enjoy fishing, diving, boating, hiking, caving, rock climbing and kayaking and visit the Zeballos River estuary, designated a Wetland Reserve. For Sayward, 250-282-3821 or 250-282-0018, and Visitor Centres at Sayward Road and Hwy 19 and the Sayward Futures Office on Kelsey Bay Wharf. For Zeballos, 250-761-4070 (July and August), 250-761-4229 (September to June).
SN OO UR TT HHI SI LS A NN DD LA
eyond the communities of Port Hardy and Port McNeill that anchor the northern part of Vancouver Island, discover a fascinating collection of towns ideal for exploring.
PORT HARDY & AREA
Port Hardy is a bustling community of about 5,000, renowned for year-round adventures, including guided hiking, kayaking and caving tours. Fishing is always popular and operators provide everything from rentals to fly-in fishing camps, while the prolific marine life, water clarity and tidal action also attract divers. In town, the museum explores both European and First Nations history while the Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre, open mid-May through September, is dedicated to salmon conservation and education. Fort Rupert features First Nations artists at the Copper Maker Gallery. Holberg is known for beautiful Ronning Gardens and the Shoe Tree, a cedar snag covered in shoes, and is also the starting point for Cape Scott Park adventures. Winter Harbour is a tiny settlement with a boardwalk waterfront and great fishing charters.
Tucked into the forest and overlooking beautiful Broughton Strait, friendly Port McNeill is the hub of the North Island logging industry and an ideal base for outdoor adventures. Get a feel for the region at the Port McNeill Museum or stroll the 1.5-hectare Shephard’s Garden. Fishing is superb here, as freshwater streams abound with trout and steelhead and offshore waters are famous for salmon, halibut, cod and snapper. Try a heli-fishing trip to the remote wilderness or a wildlife-watching excursion by land or by boat – another of Port McNeill’s most popular activities, along with kayaking, golfing, diving, caving, wind surfing, cultural tours and forestry tours. In the recreation haven of Port Alice, fresh and saltwater activities abound on the shores of the Neroutsos Inlet. Natural attractions include Beaver and O’Connor lakes and the 1,512-hectare Marble River Provincial Park.
North Coast Trail Shuttle Cape Scott Water Taxi
Port Hardy to Cape Scott North Coast Trail
One stop land and water transport
Victoria Lake and Alice Lake are popular for swimming, boating and fishing, and paddlers can visit both with just a short portage between.
BC Ferries connects Port McNeill with island communities of Alert Bay and Sointula. Sointula, founded more than a century ago by Finnish settlers, has retained much of its Finnish flavour and the museum is the best place to explore Sointula’s past. Visit local art studios and galleries, or take in natural amenities including Lions Harbour, a popular boating stop. Choose from a variety of accommodations.
Alert Bay on Cormorant Island is rich with First Nations culture. Visit the renowned U’mista Cultural Centre, with its remarkable display of the repatriated Potlatch Collection and exhibits exploring the fascinating traditions of the Kwakwaka’wakw, and the Alert Bay Library-Museum, with a variety of artifacts and photographs. The ‘Namgis Burial Grounds, easily viewed from the roadside as entry to the site is not permitted, is another must-see historic site, along with the world’s tallest totem pole. Stop by the Visitor Centre for a brochure highlighting the many totem
Gold River www.goldriver.ca
poles around the Island. The traditional ‘Namgis Big House can be viewed from the outside only, unless you’re visiting during July and August when the T’sasała Cultural group dances on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 1:15pm.
Founded in 1912 as a one-room telegraph station, Telegraph Cove is today an acclaimed fishing and adventure destination, calling kayakers, divers, fishers, boaters and bird, bear and whale-watchers. Most of the community’s buildings are perched over the water on pilings. Wander the boardwalks to watch the fishing vessels, yachts and whale watching boats enter the cove. Rent a kayak for your own adventures or book a whale- or wildlife-watching excursion. On shore, be sure to visit the Whale Interpretive Centre, a marine mammal education centre open mid-May to October. Several accommodation options are available, along with dining, supplies and various adventure packages. For Port Hardy: 250-949-7622 or 7250 Market St.; Port McNeill: 250-956-3131 or the Visitor Centre in the Port McNeill Museum; Port Alice: 250-2843391. Sointula: 250-973-2001, sointulainfo.ca. Alert Bay: 250-974-5024, alertbay.ca.
Visitor Centre Open Weekends ~ May 19- July 1 (Fri,Sat Sun) Open Daily ~ July 2 - September 3, 2017
Tel: 250-283-2418 Off Season Phone: 250-283-2202
Corporation of the Village of Gold River
1-800-246-0093 250-949-6541 northcoasttrailshuttle.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gold River Visitor Centre www.villageofgoldriver.com ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
TRISTAN BELLMANE PHOTO
Discovery Pier, Campbell River
Sunshine Coast MusicFest
What’s happening on the Sunshine Coast
COURTESY CAMPBELL RIVER TOURISM
North Island Attractions COMOX VALLEY Comox Airforce Museum – CFB Comox, 250-339-8162, comoxairforcemuseum.ca Courtenay and District Museum and Paleontology Centre – 207 Fourth St, 250-334-0686, courtenaymuseum.ca Cumberland Museum and Archives – 2680 Dunsmuir Ave, Cumberland, 250-336-2445, cumberlandmuseum.ca Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens – 6183 Whitaker Rd, Courtenay, 250-3386901, woodlandgardens.ca Seaview Game Farm – 1392 Seaview Rd, Black Creek, 250-337-5182, seaviewgamefarm.com
CAMPBELL RIVER Aboriginal Journeys – Whale watching, grizzly bear tours, 1-888-4558101, aboriginaljourneys.com Coast Mountain Expedition – Sea kayak expeditions in the Discovery Islands, near Campbell River, 250-2852823, coastmountainexpeditions.com Destiny River Adventures – Guided river rafting tours and snorkeling with salmon, 250-287-4800, destinyriver.com Discovery Marine Safaris – Whale watching, grizzly bear excursions, 1-866-501-6722, adventurewhalewatching.com Discovery Pier – landmark fishing pier, 700-block Island Hwy, rivercorp.ca Discovery Passages Aquarium – At the entrance to the Discovery Fishing Pier, 250-914-5500, 42 ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
discoverypassageaquarium.ca Maritime Heritage Centre – 621 Island Hwy, 250-286-3161, bcp45.org Museum at Campbell River – 470 Island Hwy, 250-287-3103, crmuseum. ca GOLD RIVER Get West Adventures – Adventure cruises aboard the historic Uchuck III, 1-250-283-2515, getwest.ca TELEGRAPH COVE Stubbs Island Charters – whale watching cruises and tours, 250-9283185 or 1-800-665-3066, stubbs-island. com Tide Rip Tours – Grizzly bear tours, 250-339-5320, 1-888-643-9319, grizzlycanada.com Whale Interpretive Centre – Marine mammal education, 250928-3129 (from May to October), killerwhalecentre.org ALERT BAY U’mista Cultural Centre – First Nations art and culture, summer dance performances , 250-974-5403, umista.ca PORT HARDY Cape Scott Water Taxi – Marine transportation and tours, Port Hardy, 250-949-6541 or 800-246-0093 capescottwatertaxi.ca Port Hardy Museum – 250-949-8143, 7110 Market St, porthardymuseum.com Starfish Charters – Fishing charters, 888-363-4741, starfishcharters.com
May 13 – Coaster Bike Race XC and downhill mountain bike races, Sechelt, sunshinecoaster.net May 22 – May Day in Pender Harbour / Attack of Danger Bay World’s best downhill longboard racers for a weekend of racing, penderharbour.ca May 26 to 28 – Lund Shellfish Festival, freshcooked seafood, entertainment, tours and more, Lund Harbour, lundbc.ca June 2 to 4 – Pender Harbour Blues Festival, with live performances by musicians from across BC, penderharbourbluesfestival.com June 10 to 18 – Gibsons Landing Jazz Festival, exciting live jazz performances at various venues, coastjazz.com June 12 to 24: PRISMA, concertns from the Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy, prismafestival.com July 1 – Celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday with community events on the Sunshine Coast, sunshinecoastcanada.com July 5 to 13 – BC Bike Race, seven-day mountain bike stage race, bcbikerace.com Aug. 1 – Texada Annual Fly-In, private aircraft fill the skies and the beach, plus pancake breakfast, displays, contests and barbecue., Gillies Bay Airfield, Texada Island, texada.org Aug 4 to 6 – Sleepy Hollow Rod Run & Show n’ Shine, classic cars, hot rods and specialty vehicles. Hackett Park, Sechelt. coasterscarclub.ca Aug 17 to 20 – Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts, Canada’s longest running summer gathering of Canadian writers and readers, Rockwood Centre, Sechelt, writersfestival.ca Aug 18 to 20 – Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival, welcoming world-class chamber music, penderharbourmusic.ca Aug 25 to 27 – Rogue Arts Festival, an outdoor, multidisciplinary arts festival including music, performance and visual arts, workshops, vendors, and demos, Gibsons, roguefest.ca Sept 2 & 3 – Sunshine Music Festival, music from across Canada and around the world in a picturesque waterfront setting, Powell River, sunshinemusicfest.com Sept 30 – Oktoberfest, a family event with lots of food, music, fun and a great selection of craft beer, Sechelt, secheltdowntown.com Oct 12 to 22 – Sechelt Arts Festival, embracing arts and culture through dance, music, theatre, spoken word, visual art, multi-media and heritage events. Sechelt, secheltartsfestival.com Oct 13 to 15 – Sunshine Coast Mushroom Festival, with displays, vendors, cooking demos and all things mushroom, Pender Harbour, scshroom.org Oct 20 to 22 – Sunshine Coast Art Crawl, from Langdale to Earls Cove, meet artists in their studios and experience the vibrant local arts & culture community, sunshinecoastartcrawl.com.
ocated across the Strait of Georgia from Vancouver Island, the BC Mainland region of Powell River and the Sunshine Coast is accessed from the Island by BC Ferries’ Comox terminal. Founded more than a century ago as a logging community, Powell River today is the largest town on the Coast and an excellent jumping off point for year-round recreation and cultural experiences. Discover not only the many things this historic town has to offer, but also the picturesque communities along the Sunshine Coast, including Lund, Pender Harbour, Sechelt and Gibsons. Discover more of the region’s artistic talents with the Purple Banner Studio & Gallery Guide and during festival season take in the Lund Shellfish Festival, the annual Spot Prawn Festival, the Blackberry Festival, Sunshine Music Festival and more. Prefer quiet cultural explorations? Stroll the community to view landmark buildings like the Patricia Theatre and Dwight Hall, then at the Powell River Historical Museum, find the funky collection of logging equipment and Sliammon First Nations art. The Sunshine Coast is also a premier destination for hikers, paddlers divers, bikers and other outdoor adventurers who appreciate the region’s four-season possibilities. Hiking and biking trails, tranquil lakes, several golf courses and numerous beaches combine to create endless outdoor possibilities. A gateway to Desolation Sound marine recreation, Lund is a picturesque fishing village connected by a waterfront boardwalk winding from the SunLund By-The-Sea campgrounds to the Historic Lund Hotel,
S U N S H I N E CO A S T
BRANDON WATTS/COURTESY SUNSHINE COAST TOURISM
Kelly Falls mountain biking
Shine on in the
chartered boats from Lund. The best way offering craft shops and a harbourfront cafe to get around is to cycle from beach to along the way. Circa 1905, the Lund Hotel is beach. Prime stops include South Beach, the heart of the village with a popular pub, Duck Bay, Sutherland Beach and the dining room, art gallery and well-stocked Malaspina Promenade. grocery store carrying everything from The Coast Salish village of Sliammon, beach toys to fresh deli sandwiches. From just north of Powell River, boasts a history the Lund Marina, visitors can catch the dating back more than 2,000 years, and water taxi to Savary Island, book a Desolavisitors can enjoy free interpretive hikes tion Sound boat tour, arrange an educawith a First Nations guide. The Sliammon tional kayak tour of the wildlife sanctuary at Salmon Hatchery offers public tours of Mitlenatch Island and more. the hatchery. Texada Island is BC’s While in 1792 largest Gulf Island Island Insider Captain George and ferries leave from Vancouver named Powell River’s WestThe Sunshine Coast Trail is Canada’s Desolation Sound view ferry terminal longest hut-to-hut hiking trail, stretching for its remoteness, for the 30-minute trip. across 180km of beautiful forest, mountoday its pristine The island has plenty tain and oceanfront landscapes. Learn more at sunshinecoast-trail.com isolation is one of to offer the outdoor its prime attracenthusiast, includtions among pleaing excellent hiking sure boaters and paddlers. Warm waters, and mountain biking trails, more than 250 wildlife and breathtaking scenery make species for avid bird-watchers, and a ninethis a must-experience destination. Grace hole golf course, while history buffs will Harbour, Prideaux Haven and Tenedo’s enjoy the two museums. Water recreation Bay are three main destination anchorincludes kayaking, skim-boarding, scuba ages among the many sheltered bays and diving, swimming and exploring the newly inlets. Popular activities include scuba protected karst caves near Davies Bay. Much smaller than Texada, Savary Island diving, saltwater and freshwater fishing, and walk-in wilderness camping. Water is a warm-water destination with stunning taxis, guided kayak tours, cruises and boat white sand beaches, with highly sensitive charters can be arranged from Lund and ecosystems ranging from sand cliffs to dune meadows and ancient forested dunes. While Okeover Inlet. Continuing to the southern coast the island does have private holiday homes, toward Vancouver, highlights include there is no power and no public campsites Gibson and Pender Harbour. or washrooms, though several cottage rentals, B&Bs and a private campsite are available. Daytrippers can be dropped off and Learn more about Powell River and the Sunshine Coast at 604-740-6170, 866-941picked up at the public wharf, with many 3883 or sunshinecoastcanada.com . visitors arriving by water taxi or aboard ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
A B O R I G I N A L TO U R I S M
Alert Bay’s ‘Namgis Burial Grounds
Discover the Island’s
ANCIENT CULTURES N
o matter which part of the Island captures your interest, you’ll find opportunities to explore the fascinating culture of the region’s First Nations. Rich in tradition, Aboriginal history comes alive at the Royal BC Museum. Don’t miss the totems in Thunderbird Park next door and the Big House experience inside the museum. Around the harbour, find the Signs of Lekwungen, carved by Songhees artist Butch Dick and marking seven places of cultural significance to the Lekwungen, known today as the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations. Pick up a map at the downtown Visitor Centre or visit victoria.ca. In nearby James Bay, see Na’Tsa’Maht – The Unity Wall, a stunning mural painted along the breakwater by local First Nations artists Butch Dick and Darlene Gait. In Duncan – the City of Totems – explore the town’s historic streets and more than 80 totems, many in the downtown centre where walking tours are offered. The Quw’utsun’ Cultural and Conference Centre offers interpretive tours, demonstrations and authentic native cuisine. Nanaimo’s Petroglyph Park features ancient carvings in stone while at the Nanaimo Museum the interactive Snunéymuxw exhibit explores textiles, 46 ISLAND VISITOR 2017 | www.islandvisitor.ca
COURTESY ALERT BAY VISITOR CENTRE
basketry, trade, fishing and more. Hop the ferry to Newcastle Island, a provincial marine park known as Saysutshun by the Snunéymuxw people, who oversee the island. Tofino offers a coastal adventure blending whale, marine and wildlife watching tours with First Nations history and culture, along with art galleries and studios. In Courtenay, check out the I-Hos Native Gallery and the Courtenay and District Museum. The Museum at Campbell River boasts an extensive First Nations gallery, including the outstanding theatre presentation Treasures of Siwidi. In Campbell River, Aboriginal Journeys is a wildlife viewing and adventure tour company, while August Point Lodge, at the head of Zeballos Inlet, is famous for its outstanding fishing. A short ferry trip from Port McNeill, discover the small community of Alert Bay and the celebrated U’mista Cultural Centre, featuring the Potlatch Collection, an amazing display of masks and ceremonial regalia. In July and August enjoy dance performances by T’sasała Cultural Group
Canada Day festivities in Port Hardy COURTESY PORT HARDY VISITOR CENTRE
in the traditional Big House, totem poles throughout the community, and for art lovers, amenities such as the Culture Shock Interactive Gallery. Near Port Hardy, the Copper Maker Gallery is a working artist gallery on the site of an ancient village. Learn more about exploring Vancouver Island’s Aboriginal culture at AboriginalBC.com
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