Festivals & Events

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Guest post by Pelindaba Lavender


At Pelindaba Lavender, just outside of Friday Harbor, WA, we host the annual San Juan Island Lavender Festival at our 20 acre organic lavender farm.  For the past 10 years we have spent two days each summer when the lavender fields are at their “peak of purpleness” hosting a party for thousands of our friends from all around the world.

For the lavender connoisseur we have it all.  For those not quite there yet, they usually leave enthusiasts! Tours and exhibits survey the entire process – from field to finished product.  The Gatehouse Farm Store is open for visitors to browse and sample many of the over 250 different lavender products we handcraft.  Workshops and demonstrations cover topics from lavender cultivation, harvesting and essential oil distillation to history and uses as well as cooking with lavender (bring your appetite!).  Kids and adults can make beautiful wands, wreaths, crowns and more at the craft tent.  Visitors can harvest their own bouquets of certified organic lavender from the many varieties in bloom in the Cutting Field, and the Production Fields are open for strolling, relaxing and breathtaking photo ops. Read the rest of this entry »

Rock the Shores Lineup

Rock the Shores Set Times

Guest Post from Rock the Shores

The second annual Rock The Shores is returning to Victoria, BC and will take place over two days, July 13 and 14, 2013, at the Juan De Fuca Recreation Centre’s lower fields. As the largest concert event of the summer on Vancouver Island, Rock The Shores 2013 will host 12 artists over the two-day festival, featuring Weezer, City & Colour, Mother Mother, Sam Roberts Band, Matthew Good, Awolnation, The Sheepdogs, Jimmy Eat World, 5440, Vince Vaccaro, Reignwolf and Acres of Lions.

With the goal of creating a very special setting and experience for this legendary concert, Rock The Shores 2013 will feature expanded food vendors and beverage gardens, a smoking zone and a special VIP area. Get your tickets now and join us for this unforgettable two-day concert experience Saturday, July 13 and Sunday, July 14!

For visitors from Seattle, two night packages to Victoria can be purchased at clippervacations.com and start at $211 including transportation on the Victoria Clipper, two nights hotel and all taxes (however, this does not include Rock the Shores admission). For complete ticket information, discount information for Clipper packages, maps, travel information and more, please visit www.rocktheshores.com.

Seafair Pirates Landing / Photo: Joel Telling Creative Commons Licensed via flickr

Seafair Pirates Landing / Photo: Joel Telling Creative Commons Licensed via flickr

July is kicking off summer with sun and warm weather and is going to be a great month to be outside in the Pacific Northwest. In Victoria, events include Rock the Shores, the Chinatown Night Market, Victoria Ska Fest and Northwest Deuce Days. In Seattle, Seafair is in full swing including the Pirates Landing and the Torchlight Parade or try Bite of Seattle to get a taste of Seattle dining. In Vancouver, visit the Shipyards Night Market or the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. In Portland, have fun with the Waterfront Blues Festival and the Oregon Brewers Festival or take in one of the Portland Festival Symphony’s Concerts in the Park. In Whistler, visit for the Whistler Longboard Festival or Believe Freedom Festival. In the San Juans, visit Friday Harbor for the Lavender Festival or Summer Arts Fair.

Victoria Things to Do:

Read on for Seattle, Vancouver, Portland, Whistler and San Juan Island events Read the rest of this entry »

SAM Remix

SAM Remix

Cultural events have a bad reputation with people in their 20s and 30s of being boring, stuffy and definitely not the thing you want to be doing on Friday or Saturday nights. A couple years ago, Seattle Art Museum started hosting SAM Remix, an event targeted at those 18-35, to try and change that reputation. I’ve been meaning to go since the event started and I finally had the opportunity to attend their spring Remix hosted in the downtown museum. The late night event includes DJs, performances and lots of activities.

At this Remix, there were two DJs and lots of things to do including legos, creating artist trading cards, poetry with word magnets and much more. The event was co-hosted by Seattle Opera’s BRAVO! Club which presented minimalist opera. BRAVO! Is for opera lovers 21-39 and membership includes 50% off opera tickets, special events, networking and more.

Remix has a cash bar for those 21+ and is perfect for a date or a fun night out with friends. The event was a lot of fun and I would recommend it to art lovers and anyone looking for a fun night out trying something different than the usual bar/club/live music scene.

Olympic Sculpture Park

Olympic Sculpture Park

The next SAM Remix is the annual Remix in the Park hosted in the Olympic Sculpture Park August 9. Usually Remix is hosted at SAM’s downtown location, but in August it is outdoors in the Sculpture Park. The Sculpture Park also has tons of other fun events planned for the summer including Thursdays at the Park featuring local food trucks, live bands, art activities, tours and Dancing ’til Dusk on August 29th. There are also free Yoga classes Saturday from 10:30-11:30 am (bring a mat and water) and Zumba from 2-3 pm (bring tennis shoes and water). If you’re looking for some free, outdoor fun in Seattle, the Sculpture Park is the place to be this summer.

For more info on SAM Remix, Summer at SAM and many of the other events happening in conjunction with the Seattle Art Museum this summer, visit http://www.seattleartmuseum.org

If you’re from out of town, visit clippervacations.com to book a Seattle Vacation package around some of these great events.



Portland Rose Festival

By Jason McHuff from Portland, Oregon, via Wikimedia Commons

We’ve compiled a list of amazing events and festivals that the Pacific Northwest is offering this June.  You don’t need to go far to find things to do!  Between Seattle, Victoria, Portland, Vancouver, Whistler, and the San Juan Islands, there are a wide range of wonderful activities and attractions, well worth checking out.

Seattle Things to Do:

Become a critic at the renowned Seattle International Film Festival, or find fun for the whole family at the Bellevue Strawberry Festival.  Celebrate the season at the Fremont Solstice Parade.  Take part in the Seattle Pride Parade festivities. Washington Brewers Festival, a Mariner’s Game, or one of the fantastic car shows are great places to celebrate Father’s Day.  Or take a trip over to the Bluegrass Festival and enjoy live music while you float the Wenatchee River!

Fremont Solstice Parade Poster

Fremont Solstice Celebration Poster

Keep reading for Victoria, Vancouver, San Juan Islands, Portland and Whistler events.

Read the rest of this entry »

Guest post by Jordan Stratford from Victoria Steam Expo

VICTORIA STEAM EXPO IVvictoriasteamexpoposter MAY 31 – JUNE 2
The Martial Art of Sherlock Holmes, Steampunk Beer Launch featuring Bucan Bucan, Burlesque Diva Lydia DeCarllo, and More!

The premiere steampunk event in the Dominion of Canada is back for a fourth year in Victoria, British Columbia. Where previous years have been encased in palaces of cut-crystal and gleaming brass, this year it’s the gritty back-alleys of the 19th century colonial capital which are brought to the fore – after-hours corners and upstairs dives where the paths of explorers and inventors cross with those of airship scoundrels & duplicitous courtesans.

At the Exposition’s old-brick 1909 headquarters there will be merchants, outfitters, panels, artists and authors, speakers and performers, history lections, and craft activities for families.

Read the rest of this entry »

Herbie Hancock Victoria International JazzFest

Jazz legend Herbie Hancock will be performing at the Victoria International JazzFest 2013

This year Victoria will be keeping its 29 year history of hosting JazzFest thriving from June 21-June 30 with over 350 of the best jazz, blues and world beat musicians from around the world in over 80 exciting performances on 13 stages. During the 10 day jazz extravaganza you will be able to see Jazz legends performing alongside contemporary greats and perhaps performances by musicians you may not have discovered yet. Artists performing for the TD Victoria International JazzFest 2013 include Herbie Hancock, Betty LaVette, Esperanza Spalding, Macy Gray, David Murray, Serena Ryder, Michael Kaeshammer, Patricia Barber, Courtney Pine, Jon Cleary, Vijay Iyer, Carmen Souza, Vieux Farka Touré, Red Baraat, Nikki Yanofsky.

Plus many more, including free performances and workshop/clinics!

For more information on the festivities, visit www.jazzvictoria.ca, see the Victoria Jazz facebook page, or follow @VicJazzSociety on Twitter.

Victoria JazzFest accommodations and travel are available through www.ClipperVacations.com. Book a one night or more Victoria BC Hotel Package now for the best availability during these popular dates.

Esperanza Spalding Victoria JazzFest

Esperanza Spalding will be one of the 350 performers featured at this year’s JazzFest.

Victoria International JazzFest Details

Dates: June 21 – June 30

Tickets: McPherson Box Office and its outlets (toll free1-888-717-6121 or online at www.rmts.bc.ca) Lyle’s Place, Ditch Records and the Victoria Jazz Society office
(toll free1-888-671-2112).

Venue: Various locations in downtown Victoria

Info: www.jazzvictoria.ca

Photo Creative Commons Licensed by Germán Póo-Caamaño

Photo Creative Commons Licensed by Germán Póo-Caamaño

Baton twirling, bag pipes, balloons and more!

One of Canada’s longest-running parades can be found along Douglas Street, in downtown Victoria.

The 115th Island Farms Victoria Day Parade is expecting about 145 entries for the May 20th spectacle.

In keeping with centuries of tradition, the Naden Band of Maritime Forces Pacific will lead the parade followed by Local veterans, regular force members and cadets.

On the heels of the Canadian Forces will be the crowd pleasing School marching bands.  Historically the high school marching bands have come from the United States to entertain Victorians.  Over the years we have seen an increase of Victoria Middle and Secondary schools enter marching bands into the parade.

There will be clowns, balloons, Military and business floats that will parade from Mayfair Mall at 9:00 am and proceed along Douglas Street, finishing at the intersection of Douglas and Humboldt.  It can take up to three hours for the parade to pass.

At noon, the 5th (British Columbia) Field Regiment Royal Canadian Artillery will fire a 21-gun salute from Belleville Street in front of the Legislature to mark the Queen’s birthday.

Be sure to find a spot along Douglas Street earlier than later as last year, the parade drew an estimated 65,000 attendees!

For more information on visiting Victoria for the Victoria Day weekend as well as the parade, visit www.clippervacations.com.

Seattle Space Needle fireworks

Seattle Space Needle New Year’s Fireworks / Photo: Wonderlane Creative Commons Licensed via flickr

2012 is coming to a close and what better way to celebrate a chance to start over than by ringing in the New Year with one of these fabulous New Year’s Eve events! Whether in Seattle, Vancouver or Victoria there are plenty of options no matter your taste to find an event to usher in 2013 with style!





Butchart Gardens Holiday Lights

Photo: Butchart Gardens

Both my husband and I celebrate our birthdays in December. Growing up I thought holiday lights and trees were just as much as my birthday celebration as the rest of the communities chance to light up the dark days of December.

What is more festive than a shimmering display of lights and ornaments.

Please come and visit us on Vancouver Island this year to take in the great holiday displays.

Downtown Victoria – from the Inner Harbour to downtown the city is dressed up! The Harbour is lined with twinkling trees. The official Christmas Tree for British Columbia is on the lawn of the BC Legislature. This Sequoia tree was planted in the late 1800′s and is over 100 feet tall. The Parliament Building is lit up year round with 3,000 sparkling bulbs, and during the holidays there are additional brightly colored bulbs added to the building. Centennial Square, Victoria City Hall has an impressive light display. This year they are also featuring an interactive lights and animation. Every day from 4 pm until midnight, bring your smart phone with you to interact with a 20 foot by 16 foot claymation story projected on the back wall of the McPherson Playhouse. Two custom created holiday characters are sure to delight and captivate when you communicate with them via text message to the number 250-800-2814. At the top of Centennial Square, another interaction is waiting for you to make some noise! See if you can find the special tree with lights that move and change with sounds. Read the rest of this entry »

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