The Gulf Islands culture creates fertile ground for offbeat and original ventures and events. And the diversity of landscapes and the Mediterranean-like micro-climates enables a wide variety of agriculture to flourish here, from large wineries to small family farms. So it's little surprise many of these unique events centre on food and agriculture.
Salt Spring Garlic and Music FestivalNew for 2015, the Salt Spring Garlic and Music Festival is held August 8 to 9. The Salt Spring Garlic and Music Festival promotes two of the most visible of Salt Spring's assets: music and the commitment the island has to producing home grown organic food.
Performers include Chiliwack, The Boom Booms, Shari Ulrich, White Lightning, 40 Roses and Joel Fafard, along with several Salt Spring based musicians like The Barley Brothers and Billie Woods. Just don't forget to bring your breath mints for the journey home.
Sip & Savour Salt Spring Festival
From September 19 to 21, the Sip & Savour Salt Spring Festival brings together growers, food providers and chefs from Salt Spring Island and partners them with local craft brewers and vintners representing the wine growing regions of British Columbia.
Salt Spring Island is home to many small family farms, artisan food providers and a fishing community which provide a bountiful harvest of fresh, delicious fruits and vegetables, breads and cheeses, famous Salt Spring lamb, farm-raised, heritage breeds of pork and chickens, daily catches of crab, mussels and oysters - and in September, local salmon.
In addition to the wonderful local food, the area is home to the outstanding wines of the ‘Wine Islands' region. During the festival, these are featured together with representation from other wine regions of B.C. and some of the finest Vancouver Island craft beer.
Fungus Among Us
Galiano Island's annual Mushroom Festival, Fungus Among Us, is a long-standing Fall celebration, held on the first Saturday in November and celebrating all things delectable with fungi!
Spring's Nettlefest fetes the versatile but largely overlooked nettle plant. The festival is based around the wonderful resource that is the Nettle and its many uses as food, fibre, medicinal and garden plant. Activities include talks, children's activities, foraging and cooking, demonstrations, local crafts people and groups, storytelling, a seedbank and lots of Nettle soup!
Galiano Blackberry Festival
Galiano Island is home to several "prickly" crops. The sweetest of these - the blackberry - grows at least two varieties on the Island. Blackberry Festival volunteers spend the week up to the festival - held on the Saturday of the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend - making pastry and pies. At the festival, visitors can purchase whole pies fresh or frozen. Homemade soups and bread are served along with pie, ice cream, tea or coffee. The Blackberry Festival also coincides with the final Farmers' Market of the season, making it doubly worth a visit.
Salt Spring Apple FestivalSalt Spring Island grows over 350 varieties of apples organically, with an apple history dating back to 1860. So it is little surprise the island hosts a festival dedicated to the delicious fruit.
The 16th Annual Salt Spring Island Apple Festival takes place on Sunday, October 4, 2015. Tour orchards and connect with the farms and farmers that produce this very special diversity of tasty, healthy food. Attendees leave as Salt Spring Island apple connoisseurs.