As the weather warms and summer arrives, there will be a plethora of family-friendly events and things to do in and around Northern Vancouver Island, the West Coast, and the Sunshine Coast. It's not easy to narrow it down to just a few events, but here are five you should not miss!
1. LOVE AT FIRST BITE
June 9 -19, The Comox Valley celebrates its 10th annual BC Shellfish & Seafood Festival with over 30 festival events and tours! On Saturday, June 18, the Filberg Heritage Lodge & Park hosts the epic Comox by the Sea Celebration, with shucking and chowder competitions, seafood tastings, cooking demos, live entertainment and an Oceanside beer and wine garden. If you "sea" food and love to eat it, don't miss out on this delectable event!
2. INTERNATIONAL CHORAL FESTIVAL
July 5-9, Powell River hosts Kathaumixw, a five-day choral festival filled with concerts, choral and vocal solo competitions, conductor's seminars and social events. Choir groups from around the world will be travelling to the Sunshine Coast to compete for the World Totem Pole, created by carver Craig Galligos. Last year the Kathaumixw totem pole was won by St. Stanislav Youth Choir, and was awarded AND delivered to their hometown of Ljubljana, Slovenia!
3. CASTLES MADE OF SAND
July 15 - August 21, head down to Parksville Beach to explore the Quality Foods Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition & Exhibition. This classic event goes down (up?) every year, with Master Sand Sculptors from all corners of the globe creating masterpieces in 30 hours from just sand and water! This competition is an official qualifying event for the World Championship of Sand Sculpting.
4. FESTIVAL OF LIGHT
August 14, The Tofino Lantern Festival showcases an incredible display of handmade lanterns at Tofino's Botanical Gardens. Take a walk around the lush garden paths and check out amazing works of luminous art. Now in its 16th year, this one-night event also features a children's lantern parade, live music and DJs, dance performances, a laser light show and a fire spinning demonstration. Click here to find out more about the Tofino Lantern Festival
5. DON'T FORGET YOUR DANCING SHOES
August 19-21, Atmosphere Gathering returns for its third year to Cumberland's Village Park, a family-friendly west coast dance festival with the best of live and electronic music. With multiple stages, vendors, a kid's activity area, yoga zone, 'silent disco' and the Island's only Big-Top Tent, this intimate music festival will keep your feet busy for days!There you have it, five not-to-miss events this summer in and around the Comox Valley, Parksville-Qualicum, Powell River and Tofino. Come for one or two, or check out all five. Just remember to pack your camera, and don't forget sunscreen!