Vancouver Island is a popular destination for festivals and events that promote arts, culture, and community engagement. According to Destination BC, British Columbia’s official tourism organization, festivals and events play a significant role in the province’s tourism industry. In 2022, over 3.3 million people attended festivals and events in British Columbia, generating an estimated $1.2 billion in spending.
Most Popular Vancouver Island Festivals
Vancouver Island is home to a number of festivals that draw visitors from across the region. According to the Vancouver Island Tourism Association, the region hosted over 150 festivals and events in 2022. These events attracted over 1.5 million attendees and generated an estimated $195 million in economic impact.
The Nanaimo Fair is one of the oldest agricultural fairs in British Columbia. According to the Nanaimo Agricultural Society, the fair attracts over 20,000 visitors each year and generates an estimated $2 million in economic activity. The fair features a variety of attractions, including livestock shows, agricultural exhibits, and live entertainment.
Granville Island Children’s Festival
The Granville Island Children’s Festival is a family-friendly event that takes place in June. The festival features a range of interactive performances and workshops that are designed to engage children of all ages. In 2022, the festival attracted over 20,000 attendees.
Vancouver Island Festival
The Vancouver Island Festivals (2018 – most popular one) is a collection of various festivals and events that takes place on the Island each year. The festival includes a wide range of events, from music and dance performances to food festivals and outdoor markets. According to the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance, the festival generated an estimated $7.6 million in economic impact.
Vancouver Children’s Festival
The Vancouver Children’s Festival is an annual event that takes place in May. The festival features a variety of live performances, including theatre, music, and dance. In 2022, the festival attracted over 25,000 attendees.
Diana Krall Plaza Events
The Diana Krall Plaza Events take place in downtown Nanaimo and feature a variety of live performances throughout the summer. The events are free to attend and showcase local musicians and performers. According to the City of Nanaimo, the events attract over 5,000 attendees each year.
Roving entertainment is an important part of many festivals and events on Vancouver Island. It refers to performers who move around and interact with the crowd. Here are some examples of roving entertainment in Vancouver Island festivals:
|Type of Roving Entertainment||Description|
|Stilt Walkers||Performers on stilts who interact with the crowd and perform acrobatics.|
|Jugglers||Performers who juggle and perform tricks with objects like balls, clubs, and knives.|
|Face Painters||Artists who paint designs on people’s faces.|
|Magicians||Performers who perform magic tricks and illusions.|
|Street Performers||Performers who entertain crowds with a variety of acts, including music, dance, and comedy.|
Children’s Book Festivals
Children’s book festivals are a popular type of festival in Vancouver Island, designed to promote literacy and a love of reading among children. These festivals provide opportunities for children to meet their favourite authors, discover new books, and participate in fun activities related to reading and writing. Here are some interesting facts and activities about popular children’s book festivals in Vancouver Island:
Kids Book Fair
The Kids Book Fair in Victoria is a fun and educational event for children and families. In addition to author readings, book signings, and workshops, the festival also features storytelling sessions, craft activities, and live music performances. One popular activity at the festival is the “Book Swap,” where children can trade in their gently used books for new ones. The festival is held annually in November and attracts over 3,000 attendees.
The Popular BookFest in Nanaimo is a book fair that features a wide range of books for children and adults, including fiction, non-fiction, and graphic novels. In addition to book sales, the festival also offers workshops and readings by local authors. One unique feature of the festival is the “Blind Date with a Book” activity, where attendees can choose a wrapped book without knowing its title or author. The festival is held annually in February and attracts over 5,000 attendees.
Children’s Book Festival
The Children’s Book Festival in Courtenay is a one-day event that features a variety of activities for children, including book signings, workshops, and author readings. The festival also offers fun activities such as face painting, balloon twisting, and a bouncy castle. One popular activity at the festival is the “Story Walk,” where children can walk through a series of stations and listen to different stories. The festival is held annually in September and attracts over 2,000 attendees.
Book Fest in Port Alberni is a book fair that offers a wide selection of books for children and adults, as well as workshops and readings by local authors. In addition to book sales, the festival also offers fun activities such as face painting, storytelling, and a “Book Character Costume Contest.” The festival is held annually in September and generated an estimated $30,000 in economic activity in 2022.
Kids Book Festival
The Kids Book Festival in Sidney is a one-day event that features author readings, book signings, and workshops for children. The festival also offers fun activities such as a “Book Walk,” where children can win prizes by answering questions about books they have read. One unique feature of the festival is the “Pajama Party,” where children can come dressed in their pyjamas and enjoy bedtime stories and milk and cookies. The festival is held annually in October and attracts over 2,000 attendees.
Volunteering at Festivals and Events
Volunteering at festivals and events is a great way to get involved in the community and support local events. According to Volunteer Canada, volunteers contribute an estimated 2.1 billion hours of service each year in Canada, with an estimated economic value of $50 billion. Here are some volunteering opportunities at Vancouver Island festivals:
|Type of Volunteering||Description|
|Event Set-Up||Helping to set up equipment, decorations, and other materials before the festival or event.|
|Ticket Sales||Selling tickets and providing information to attendees.|
|Guest Services||Assisting guests with questions and concerns.|
|Clean-Up||Helping to clean up after the festival or event.|
Literature Festivals and Events
Vancouver Island is home to a number of literary festivals and events that celebrate local authors and literature. According to the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia, the province has over 150 book publishers and produces over 3,500 new titles each year. Here are some popular literature festivals and events in the region:
Used Books Nanaimo
Used Books Nanaimo is a used bookstore that also hosts author events and book clubs. The bookstore is located in downtown Nanaimo and features a wide selection of used books. According to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, the bookstore has been in operation since 1997.
Subtitle Ideas is a writing group based in Victoria that hosts workshops and author readings. The group is open to writers of all ages and skill levels. According to the group’s website, Subtitle Ideas has been in operation since 2015.
Michael Kusugak is an Inuit storyteller and author who has written several children’s books. He often gives readings and talks at schools and libraries throughout Vancouver Island. According to his publisher, Kusugak has been writing and telling stories since he was a child.
Cale Atkinson is a children’s book author and illustrator based in Victoria. He has written and illustrated several popular books, including “To the Sea,” “Where Oliver Fits,” and “Explorers of the Wild.” Atkinson’s books have received critical acclaim and have been translated into multiple languages.
ERS List Nanaimo
ERS List Nanaimo is a website that features reviews and recommendations for local books and authors. The website also hosts events and workshops for writers and readers. According to the website, ERS List Nanaimo has been in operation since 2017.
Nanaimo Fairs and Events
Nanaimo is a vibrant city that hosts a number of fairs and events throughout the year. These events showcase the city’s history, culture, and diversity. Here are some popular Nanaimo fairs and events:
The Nanaimo Fair is a three-day event that takes place in August. The fair features a range of attractions, including livestock shows, agricultural exhibits, and live entertainment. According to the Nanaimo Agricultural Society, the fair has been in operation since 1896.
Nanaimo Library Downtown Hours
The Nanaimo Library Downtown Hours program allows library patrons to use the library after hours. The program is designed to provide a safe and quiet space for students and other community members who need to study or work. According to the Vancouver Island Regional Library, the program has been in operation since 2017.
Cost of Sod Nanaimo
The Cost of Sod Nanaimo is a community group that advocates for sustainable landscaping practices. The group provides information on the benefits of natural turf and offers resources for homeowners who want to install or maintain a natural lawn. According to the group’s website, Cost of Sod Nanaimo has been in operation since 2016.
Stepping Stones Kelowna
Stepping Stones Kelowna is a non-profit organization that provides support and resources to individuals with developmental disabilities. The organization hosts a variety of events and activities throughout the year, including fundraising events and social outings. According to the organization’s website, Stepping Stones Kelowna has been in operation since 1980.
Pictures of Monique Kids
Pictures of Monique Kids is a photography project that celebrates the diversity of Nanaimo’s youth. The project features portraits of children from various cultural backgrounds and aims to promote tolerance and understanding in the community. According to the project’s website, Pictures of Monique Kids has been in operation since 2018.