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Vancouver Island Culture

Vancouver Island embraces the unique cultures and communities that have come together to call this region home; different histories and societies that have transformed the region into a world-famous, multi-cultural destination.

Visit a castle or two in Victoria. Ride a steam train and learn about the Island’s forest industry in Duncan. Explore maritime history in Port Alberni. Watch the canoe races and enjoy a salmon barbeque in Alert Bay, then visit the world’s largest totem pole. Learn about the Finnish history of Sointula. Enjoy a seafood brunch in Parksville, afternoon tea in downtown Victoria, a smoked salmon treat from Port Hardy, or a bowl of borscht in Nanaimo. Culture adds flavour to every community.

And food is only part of the culture of the Island. You’ll find live theatre, music, and performances in many of the local communities, honouring their history and showcasing local talent.

The hearts and souls of Vancouver Island are waiting to meet you.


City of Duncan

200 Craig Street, Duncan, BC V9L 1W3 • Cowichan
250-746-6126

Duncan is small, in a Big way. Just a few hundred metres off the Highway (about 60 kilometres north of Victoria) you'll find 300 shops and services in a few beautiful walkable blocks - although Visitors seem to remember the 40 world renowned totem poles. Within minutes of downtown are…

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Harbour Air Seaplanes

950 Wharf Street, Victoria, BC V8W 1T3 • Central Island, Cowichan, Gulf Islands, North Central Island, South Island
1-800-665-0212

Harbour Air Seaplanes offers fast, frequent flights between BC’s most popular coastal destinations 364 days a year. Fly between downtown Vancouver, South Vancouver (YVR), Pitt Meadows and Victoria, Nanaimo, Maple Bay, Comox, Salt Spring Island, the Sunshine Coast, and Whistler. Scenic tours show off our waterfront cities, majestic mountain ranges…

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IMAX® Victoria

675 Belleville Street, Victoria, BC, V8W 1A1 • South Island
(250) 480-4887

IMAX® Victoria features state-of-the-art IMAX 4K Laser projection technology to fill the Biggest Screen in BC coupled with an immersive 12-channel sound system – Bigger is really just the beginning! Through the power of IMAX®: Explore remote locations around the world. Experience the weightlessness of space. Dive into the undersea world…

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Sunrise Ridge Waterfront Resort is the perfect place to start your Vancouver Island vacation. Located just 37 km north of Nanaimo, our Resort is situated on 10.2 beautiful acres of property with peaceful surroundings and incredible landscapes. A short walk will take you to the endless beaches that Parksville is…

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Tourism Tofino

1426 Pacific Rim Highway, Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0 • Pacific Rim
250-725-3414

Tofino is located on the remote west coast of Vancouver Island, within the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Clayoquot Sound. Surfable throughout the year for beginners and veterans alike and home to competitions such as the Rip Curl Pro Tofino / Canadian Surf Championships and Queen of the Peak women’s surf…

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Built by coal baron Robert Dunsmuir during the reign of Queen Victoria and now a National Historic Site, Craigdarroch Castle has been meticulously restored, giving visitors a glimpse of privileged life in the 1890s. The Castle weaves a fascinating tale of an intriguing family – their achievements, their relationships and…

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Ecosummer Expeditions

1817 Campbell Way, Port McNeill, BC V0N 2R0 • North Island Region
250-674-0102

Launch off our beach on North Vancouver Island to kayak with whales. Untamed, inspiring, remote and magical, Orca Camp is where we've staged wild and mild adventures for over 40 years. The heart of Orca territory, our indulgently comfortable wilderness camp sits next to the world’s only designated Killer…

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The Robert Bateman Centre, showcases over 80 works of Robert Bateman spanning his seven decades as one of Canada’s premier wildlife artists. Located in Victoria's inner harbour within the historic Steamship Terminal, the Centre houses a gallery and gift shop, and hosts a rotation of exhibits and a full schedule of educational…

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We are a non-profit organization that cares for the well-being of Vancouver Island wildlife and strives to educate the public. Overseen by a Board of Directors and co-founder, Robin Campbell, NIWRA continues because of amazing volunteers and incredible community support. Nestled in the district of Errington on Vancouver Island, NIWRA…

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The Beach Club Resort

181 Beachside Drive, Parksville, BC V9P 2H5 • Central Island
1-888-760-2008

The Beach Club Resort hotel is located on the site of the historic Island Hall Resort and features the most luxurious hotel rooms in Parksville, on Vancouver Island’s east coast. Guest suites offer private balconies, spectacular ocean and mountain views, thoughtful amenities, and feature beautifully appointed West Coast décor. The hotel’s…

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Sea Wolf Adventures

24 Boardwalk, Telegraph Cove, BC V0N 3J0 • North Island Region
250-902-9653

Departing from Telegraph Cove, combine cultural discoveries with world-class wildlife viewing on a zodiac adventure into the heart of First Nations’ territory of the Kwakwaka’wakw: Vancouver Island North. Share our love of the local landscape and learn more about our 13000+ year old history! Our adventure begins in Alert Bay…

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Canada's aquarium and cultural centre for the Salish Sea. Come see 160 species of marine life, a marine mammal artifact exhibit, and a unique Coast Salish art collection and learn about, explore and conserve the Salish Sea Bioregion – its wildlife, waters, land, culture, and people. The Centre combines live…

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Shelter Point Distillery

4650 Regent Road Campbell River, BC V9H 1E3 • North Central Island
778.420.2200

Paradise isn"t necessarily a geographical requirement for making great spirits, but we managed to find it — at Shelter Point, on the eastern shores of Vancouver Island. Come savour our hand crafted Whisky and Vodka.

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Vancouver Island Military Museum

100 Cameron Road Nanaimo, BC V9R 0C8 • Central Island
250-753-3814

BC’s most significant military museum. Canadian military history, on Nanaimo’s historic waterfront, celebrating & honouring the service of members of our Armed Forces, Merchant Navy & RCMP. Staffed by a dedicated group of Veteran volunteers and supported largely by public donation, the museum houses an amazing collection of military artifacts…

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Victoria Distillers

9891 Seaport Place, Sidney, BC, V8L 4X3 • South Island
250-544-8217

Tour, Taste and Lounge in BC’s only waterfront distillery in charming Sidney-by-the-Sea. Take in all aspects of production during tour and tastings. Visitors are guided through the entire distillation process and around two gleaming copper pot stills for an intimate look into one of BC’s finest artisan distilleries.…

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Filberg Festival

61 Filberg Road, Comox, BC V9M 2S7 • North Central Island
250-941-0727

Set among the stately trees and gardens of the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park in Comox, the Filberg Festival is truly a unique event. Wander through the grounds surrounded by beautiful gardens, rustic out-buildings and magnificent views of Comox Harbour and the Beaufort Mountain Range.The Festival has established a world-wide…

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Fairmont Empress

721 Government Street, Victoria, BC V8W 1W5 • South Island
(250) 384 8111

Home to fairytale weddings, world famous afternoon tea, and the best martini on the Coast, Fairmont Empress graces Victoria's sparkling Inner Harbour with an iconic presence. This iconic Canadian luxury hotel offers 464 beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites, and expansive meeting and wedding space adjacent to the conference centre.…

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I-Hos Gallery

3310 Comox Road Courtenay, BC V9N3P8 • North Central Island
250-339-7702

I-Hos Gallery presents a collection of traditional and contemporary Northwest Coast artwork, including masks, prints, gold and silver jewelry, wood carvings and more produced by First Nations artists. Our culture is expressed through our art. We are located between Courtenay and Comox on Vancouver Island, on the site of the original…

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Sidney Booktown

2436 Beacon Ave. Sidney BC • South Island
250-656-2345

Explore the unique bookshops of Sidney Booktown, all within easy walking distance, and discover literary treasures new and old. Enjoy a great selection of new and second-hand titles while visiting our beautiful seaside town. Sidney also offers a wide variety of boutique shops, restaurants, and beautiful scenery, making…

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In the heart of Comox Valley, 40 Knots Vineyard and Estate Winery crafts wines distinctly shaped by wind and sea on a sun soaked glacier till vineyard. Established 2005, Brenda and Layne Craig steward environmentally ethical farming practices and traditional wine making methods under direction of a Master Wine…

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Royal BC Museum

675 Belleville Street Victoria BC V8W 9W2 • South Island
1-888-447-7977

See all of British Columbia at the Royal BC Museum, a world-class museum of natural and human history. Explore our permanent galleries and immerse yourself in tales of where we've been and where we are going. Discover things and people you never knew before at what TripAdvisor users have twice…

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Comox Valley Arts

202 - 580 Duncan Street, Courtenay, BC, V9N 2M7 • North Central Island
250-334-2983

The Comox Valley Community Arts Council works to: * facilitate, support and promote arts and culture in our community * actively engage and educate about the value of arts and culture in our daily lives, and for creating the world in which we want to live * promote the Comox Valley…

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Nanaimo Museum

100 Museum Way, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5J8 • Central Island
250-753-1821

Discover fresh interpretive exhibits reflecting the lifestyles of Nanaimo, the Harbour City. We offer family programs & various tours, seasonal feature exhibits and a unique gift shop. The museum also manages the Bastion, an original HBC post built in 1853. Cannon firings daily at noon each summer!

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Spirits of the West Coast Native Art Gallery

2926 Back Road Comox, BC V9N 9G9 • North Central Island
1 (877) 338-2120

Explore the largest variety of authentic Native Art and Jewelry in this area. Enjoy beautiful Totem Poles, Silver and Gold Jewelry, Masks, Prints, Paddles, Argillite and other Carvings. Find beautiful and affordable gifts or one-of-a-kind Masterpieces. Open Monday to Saturday 10 am - 5 pm.

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