Over BC Day long weekend, August 2nd to 5th, Comox hosts one of the longest-running celebrations of Canadian art, culture, and music on the West Coast. Held at the historic Filberg Lodge and Heritage Park, this festival has been running for 37 years, and still maintains its seaside, small-town charm. Here’s a go-to guide for attending this year’s Filberg Festival.
Join in Foot-Stomping Fun
This festival has long stood as one to elevate exceptional Canadian musical talent. This year, the headliners of Barney Bentall, Jim Byrnes, Ken Lavigne, Marcus Mosely Ensemble, and Tiller’s Folly will get the crowd on their feet over four days. Glide between the Comox Rotary Stage and the Peninsula Co-Op Garden Stage to take in your favourite acts. Check here for the full festival line-up of musical entertainment.
Unite with Art Lovers
A curated selection of 135 artisans will show their works of art at one of the largest juried outdoor shows in Canada. Browse the unique creations from makers across Canada, including metalsmiths, potters, and painters. Pick up a new piece of jewellery, textile, woodcraft, or toy for the kids, and indulge in sweet and savoury treats from specialty vendors.
Roam The Enchanted Forest
Let the little ones explore The Enchanted Forest for non-stop educational activities and fun. Storytelling, face painting, sandboxes, crafts, games, and more will keep kids entertained all day. Don’t miss Talula Shummerwing, queen of the fairies, who will make an appearance each day from 11 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
Feast on Farm-Fresh Food
Food vendors will be set up all weekend, serving up fuel for festival-goers. Culinary creations from Victoria, Campbell River, Courtney, and the Gulf Islands will be on-site creating dishes made with ingredients from local farmers and growers. Try incredible Indian dishes from Ace Curries and grab some locally-made, small-batch Slopes Ice Cream for dessert. This event is environmentally friendly too, with vendors providing biodegradable cups, napkins, and cutlery.
Relax in an Idyllic Setting
The festival site is a big reason why this festival is so unique. Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park sits on 9 acres surrounded by old-growth trees and borders the Comox Harbour. This picturesque setting relaxes the soul with a stream trickling through the property and hundreds of rhododendrons dotting the grounds. Built in 1929 by Robert Filberg, this was originally the family summer home. Today, the lodge retains its rustic Scandinavian buildings with wooden features and steep roofs. When Filberg passed away in 1977, the estate was left to the Vancouver Foundation and the Town of Comox eventually purchased the site to establish a non-profit society to manage and preserve the grounds. It is now a municipal park that is open to the public and is host many other unique festivals and events year-round.
Need to Know: Admission and Getting There
Tickets for the festival are $15 in advance at all Vancouver Island Thrifty Foods locations or $20 at the door for adults. The festival makes it easy for families to attend, with free admission for kids under 12. Keen to stay the whole weekend? There are 4-day festival passes sold in advance for $50 or $60 at the gate. Your admission goes to a good cause, too. With all proceeds going to the restoration and maintenance of the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park.
Getting there is easy. If you can, hop on the bike and cruise down to the festival grounds. Comox Valley Cycling Coalition will provide secure bike parking by donation. Want to ditch the car? BC Transit and Comox Valley Regional District will offer free transit rides during the festival. Check out the full weekend schedule here. If you’d prefer to drive, be sure to utilize the Park & Ride shuttle for just $5.