Due to the diversity of its culture, British Columbia has an event or festival for almost every day of the calendar year. Here are some of our favourites…
Every Spring in Victoria, the Victoria Film Festival brings the film community together for a series of screenings and industry social events. The festival that was founded in 1995 by the CineVic Society of Independent Filmmakers is now considered one of the best of its kind worldwide. If you have a hankering for outdoor entertainment, try the Victoria Folk Fest! With an annual attendance of over 150 thousand, this (the largest outdoor event on the island) includes 1,500 performers, an international food village, a stage showcasing world-renown chefs, a stage for acrobats and international dance, a craft market and best of all, an oceanfront beer garden! Beer lovers will also enjoy the Great Canadian Beer Festival, an annual summer event that corrals over 40 breweries and over 130 beers for a fun-filled weekend of drinking, eating and live entertainment.
Further up Vancouver Island, the Providence Farm in Duncan presents the Wild West Hoedown. Held at the end of June, this fundraiser includes a buffet dinner, live auction and an authentic old fashioned country barn dance! Only an hour further up island, the Coombs Rodeo Grounds transforms at the end of August into the Coombs Country Bluegrass Festival for some of the best finger-picking this side of the Mississippi.
Vancouver's event calendar is no less enthralling. The popular Celtic Fest brings a whirlwind of St. Paddy's Day gaiety to the city from March 11-15 with pub crawls, dinners, dances, concert and street entertainment, all with liberal amounts of Guinness! And the 2000-participant St. Patrick's Day Parade is not to be missed. Another favourite is the Vancouver International Jazz Festival which attracts over 460 thousand visitors between June 26 and July 5, who come to see 1800 musicians perform 400 concerts at 40 different venues across the city.
The beautiful Okanagan is synonymous with wine and each year, thousands of aficionados and appreciators flock here for some of the finest wine festivals in North America. The 10-day Fall Wine Festival is by far the biggest but the Icewine Festival in January, the Spring Wine Festival in May and the Summer Wine Festival in August are equally as enjoyable.
And this is only the tip of the iceberg. Here in BC, we're always celebrating something. Come visit and you'll see why!