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7 Food & Drink Festivals for Harvest on Vancouver Island

In a shaded rainforest, a seasoned forager spots curled edges of the delicate chanterelle; amid the wafting smells of brewing yeast, a brewmaster sifts his hands through a bag of barley; the last of the summer sun beating on their shoulders, local growers gather the grain and gourds that mark the start of harvest season. It’s time to feast on Vancouver Island, and the regions have a cornucopia of events for you to reap the benefits of autumn.


1. Great Canadian Beer Festival

September 7-8, Victoria


At the Great Canadian Beer Festival, brewers from across the Island will tap their best casks, and with your custom taster glass in hand, you’ll be set to sample them all (responsibly, of course).


2. Bamfield Fungus Festival

September 20-22, Bamfield


Walk with a mushroom hunting pro, learn how to cook fungus, and meet a whole new community. Bamfield’s ecology makes it the perfect home for fungus, and the town is excited to celebrate with you. RSVP to bamfieldfungusfestival@gmail.com.

3. Victoria International Wine Festival

September 20-21, Victoria


Seminars and samples await the wine fiends of the Island, at the Victoria International Wine Festival, and when you’ve found the perfect pairing, you can even bring bottles home.


4. 8th Annual Comox Valley Farm Cycle Tour

September 23, Comox Valley


At your leisure, coast down country roads from farmer to grower across the Comox Valley. It’s open to all ages and abilities, and there’s even a shopping shuttle to carry your goodies.

5. Rotary Club of Courtenay Beer & Cider Fest

September 28, Courtenay


A community event worth travelling for, this beer & cider fest is an open tasting of some of the best brews and ciders. Tickets include a total of 12 3oz pours.


6. Cider Harvest Festival at Merridale

September 30th, Cobble Hill


This annual event is lauded among the cider aficionados of the island. A total of 15 cideries will be at the farm, ready to share their latest presses. Cideries representing the Vancouver Island region include the host cidery Merridale, as well as Tod Creek, Twin Island, Salt Spring Wild, Sea Cider, Gabbie’s, Raven’s Moon and Valley Cider.


7. Bite of Nanaimo

October 19, Nanaimo


This year marks the 25th anniversary of the signature Central Vancouver Island event, Bite of Nanaimo. Sample the staple Nanaimo Bar, and discover new brews, and feast on local fare.