Summer is just around the corner! Make the most of the season with festivals and events that celebrate every facet of life on the Sunshine Coast. From a festival that honours the Coast’s abundance of fresh seafood to an oceanside blues concert, here are a few of the exciting events worth checking out this summer.
Lund Seafood Festival, May 14-15, 2022
Fresh seafood awaits in Lund. Located along the harbour in Lund, the seafood festival (now running for 13 years) celebrates all things edible and delicious from the ocean. Vendors serve up fresh oysters (shucked right there), delicious clam chowder, fresh steamed mussels, and crispy, battered fish and chips. In between bites, you can listen to live music, purchase unique items from local artists and talented crafters, admire the ocean views, and mingle with local Lund residents and fellow seafood lovers. At night, local restaurants also feature seafood options, in case you’re not done sampling the ocean’s crop. (Make sure to reserve a table in advance, as seats book up fast.) Bonus: the festival is free to attend!
Tip: Parking is limited. Carpool with friends or family from Lund, bus from Powell River, or ride your bike from one of Lund’s great accommodation providers.
Taste of Sechelt, May 28, 2022
Foodies, take note! This exciting event lets you try the best that downtown Sechelt has to offer. For only $6, you can sample tasty offerings from downtown Sechelt’s many restaurants, cafes, and eateries. Head to a sun-drenched patio to nibble some bites, or wander from shop to shop. Purchase of a branded $5 wine glass at the Tilly Trailer, and then visit participating retail stores featuring complimentary wine, craft beer, spirits, and cider. Don’t miss the evening portion, where you can sample over 100 different wine selections from BC and beyond and listen to live music performances.
Tip: Tickets to the evening event will go fast, so make sure to purchase yours before it sells out!
Pender Harbour Blues Festival, June 3-5, 2022
There’s nothing to feel blue about when you attend this energizing, community-beloved, music festival. This long-running concert series brings blues music to Pender Harbour held in venues located throughout the community, including the waterfront locales of John Henry’s Marina, Upper Deck Cafe, and the Restaurant at Painted Boat. Part of what makes this festival so special is not just the lineup of fantastic blues musicians from near and far, but the enthusiastic crowds they draw. This is guaranteed to be a dancing, swinging, rousing good time.
Tip: Stay in the area for the easiest access to all the different performances and venues. Coastal Rides offers car sharing services on the Sunshine Coast; download their app to book safe passage to and from the events if you plan on consuming a drink or two.
Live Music, June-August
Throughout the summer, you can catch live music performances in various venues across the Sunshine Coast. Breweries regularly host local and visiting talent. Swing by Tapworks, The 101 Brewhouse, or Persephone Brewing in Gibsons for beers, tunes, and good times. Over in Sechelt, Batch 44 is known to throw a good dance party courtesy of local bands.
Powell River hosts a music in the park series where you can listen to live music outside, and you’ll also find music in the park at Winegarden Park in Gibsons as well. High Beam Dreams is an intimate local event space in Gibsons that draws an exciting roster of talent to its doors (bonus: the soaring, cathedral-style wood ceiling makes for fantastic acoustics).
Tip: For music in the park series, grab food to go and make it a picnic in the park as well.
Powell River PRISMA Festival, June 13-25, 2022
Get ready for a musical exploration by the sea. Each year, international music students come together to study with principal players from top orchestras around the globe. They take to the stage in an 80-piece epic symphonic spectacle that is enjoyed by music lovers, residents, and visitors alike. Over two weeks, you can take in performances ranging from indoor concerts to a family-friendly music performance set right on the shores of Powell River’s beach. Guest appearances have included members of the LA Phil, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and more. It’s a music event like no other!
Tip: For those curious about the festival, you can watch PRISMA’s livestream video broadcasts, which took place in 2020 and 2021, to get a feel for what the live show (and the buzz) is all about. Equal parts educational and entertaining, the 16 episodes offer a behind-the-scenes look at the festival, lessons from the virtual classroom, concert footage and more.
Texada Artists Studio Tour, July 23-24, 2022
This grassroots event takes you into the homes and studios of Texada Island artists where you can see a range of art, many of it inspired by the unspoiled, rugged beauty of Texada Island. From sculptors who turn the island’s wood into dimensional works of art to beach glass collectors who recycle found material into colourful creations, there’s plenty to take in. Friendly artists and a beachside location make this a laid-back event where you can crawl and explore at your own pace.
Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts, August 11-14, 2022
The Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts is Canada’s longest running literary festival, celebrating a diverse roster of literary voices (and readers). What started as a one-day inaugural festival has grown to a nationally recognized event that attracts writers from across the country and an audience of 8,500 over the course of four evenings and three days. This year’s lineup brings together a local publisher, internationally acclaimed writer and cartoonist, poets, and more. Take in author readings, panel discussions, musical performances, and more—all set in the stunning Rockwood Heritage Gardens in Sechelt.
Tip: Grab a $30 festival pass for access to every event the festival hosts. If you have accessibility challenges, there is a wheelchair-friendly pathway that leads to the main venue where all the events are hosted.
Rogue Arts Fest, August 19-21, 2022
Rogue Arts Fest bills itself as a “three -day, outdoor, feisty little festival where you can immerse yourself in non-stop, genre-crossing music, art, and more.” They embrace all things different and exciting, and you can see that reflected in the musical performances they host, rural-living workshops they put on, the unique vendors who are on-site, interactive installations available, and a one-of-a-kind Human Foosball game (yes, you read that right). Delicious food and libations are on offer, and so is on-site camping. The event itself is set on an idyllic, family-run farm, surrounded by second- and old-growth forest—making it a perfect representation of the Sunshine Coast in many ways.
Tip: It’s easy to get here; the event grounds are located a five-minute walk from local public transportation and an on-site bike lock up will ensure cyclists have a worry-free time.
Coast Gravity Park Backwoods Jam, August 20, 2022
If you’re a mountain biker, you won’t want to miss this one. Following the heels of the world’s most pre-eminent mountain bike festival, Crankworx in Whistler, riders flock to the “backwoods” version on the Sunshine Coast. Hosted at Coast Gravity Park, a rider-designed mountain bike park known for its flowy, fun trails, this event sees some of the world’s top and most exciting riders hit a designed course—all in the name of fun, with no pressure to compete. Watch as riders hit a slopestyle line and stunt tricks, or take to the downhill course where you can cheer them on around strategic corners. Bring your bike and test out the park for yourself—this is an all-ages event that draws riders of all levels. Food, music, local craft cider and beer, and a solid lineup of bike athletes and event attendees make this one to put on the calendar every year.
Tip: Make it a bike-themed visit and hit the trails in West Sechelt, Roberts Creek and Gibsons to cap off your adventure. Or extend your stay by travelling to Powell River and hit the many trails there.
Powell River Blackberry Festival, Third Week in August
There’s nothing that screams summer on the Sunshine Coast more than blackberries. Juicy, ripe, abundant—you can pick them in patches all over the Sunshine Coast, from Langdale to Lund. The Powell River Blackberry Festival pays homage to these beloved berries and the many ways we consume them in a week-long extravaganza offering up blackberry-themed delights. During the course of the festival, blackberries make their way into wine, cheese, pizza, pastries, ice cream, pies and more. Once you’re suitably stuffed, explore the rest of the festival’s offerings. You’ll find live music, art exhibitions, a barbeque (if you even have room for more food), interactive performances, and more. The festival typically ends with a night of fireworks—a perfect celebratory bang in honour of this humble berry.
Tip: You can purchase house-made blackberry jam at Edie Rae’s Cafe year-round (just in case you miss the festival, or want to take something home with you).
For more events happening this summer on the Sunshine Coast, head here.