Festivals are a great way to explore the region’s food and wine scene in the Cowichan Valley. The Pacific Rim has various festivals throughout the year.
The Pacific Rim Whale Festival (www.pacificrimwhalefestival.com) marks the spring migration of an estimated 20,000 Pacific gray whales between Mexico and the Arctic, with tours, talks, crafts, food, and cultural events for the whole family. You can try everything from building sand-sculptures to decorating sea creature–cookies.
Fishers, diners, and chefs gather to celebrate local fisheries and boat-to-table cuisine at Feast Tofino (www.feasttofino.com), a monthlong culinary event in May. The Tofino Shorebird Festival (www.tourismtofino.com) celebrates the thousands of shorebirds that migrate north from Central and South America to tundra breeding grounds in the Arctic. The date changes annually, so check with Tourism Tofino.
Area lodges and food and wine producers sponsor the four-day Tofino Food and Wine Festival (www.tofinofoodandwinefestival.com) at venues around town.
The Pacific Rim Summer Festival (www.pacificrimarts.ca) is a celebration of music, dance, and the arts during the first two weeks of July.
Hundreds of imaginatively crafted lanterns make the Tofino Lantern Festival (www.tourismtofino.com) a sight to behold. The same month, the Vancouver Island Feast of Fields (feastoffields.com) celebrates local food in a lavish celebration on an area farm.
September is the time for food festivals that celebrate the bounty of the Cowichan Valley. The Savour Cowichan Festival (www.tourismcowichan.com) offers 10 days of wine and food events.
Savour Cowichan Festival. Artisanal food and drink producers of the Cowichan Valley showcase their locally grown and produced bounty during this 10-day epicurean event. British Columbia. savourcowichan.com.
Vancouver Island Feast of Fields. This lavish annual celebration of local, sustainable food takes place on a different southern Vancouver Island farm each year. British Columbia. www.feastoffields.com.
The humble bivalve is celebrated during the Clayoquot Oyster Festival (www.oystergala.com), a three-day gastronomic adventure.