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Critic's picks: Parksville Beachfest; Ghost the Musical; Crabben in the Park

Our Critic picks his favourite upcoming events in Greater Victoria and beyond, including the Parksville Beach Festival
Dan Belcher of St. Louis, Missouri won first place in last year’s sand sculpting competition at the Parksville Beach Festival, which gets underway Friday. WENDY SEARS


Where: Parksville Community Park & Beach, 193 Island Hwy E.

When: Friday, July 14 through Sunday, Aug. 20

Admission: Free (suggested donation $5 for the exhibition)

Why: The event known locally as Beachfest is the city of Parksville’s signature event, with the sand sculpting competition (July 14-16) and exhibition (July 17-Aug. 20) featuring master sculptors from around the world drawing the most attention. A little bit of everything is on tap over the next five weeks at this family-oriented festival, from concerts and theatre to an artisan market. The sand sculptures are particularly impressive, however, and this year’s theme (Wonders of the World) should elicit some spectacular responses through the weekend.


Where: Chemainus Theatre, 9737 Chemainus Rd.

When: Until Aug. 27

Tickets: $29-$86 (theatre) or $71-$132 (theatre and dining) from the Chemainus Theatre (250-246-9820) or

Why: Ghost, the beloved 1990 thriller-fantasy starring Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, and Patrick Swayze, was adapted into a Tony Award-nominated musical in 2011, and has become something of a cult classic in the years since. Chemanius Theatre is trying its hand with the creation from Bruce Joel Rubin (who wrote the original screenplay), Dave Stewart of ’80s icons Eurythmics, and Grammy Award-winning songwriter-producer Glen Ballard, and has a cast of 10 assembled for ambitious performances through Aug. 27.


Where: Banfield Park, 521 Craigflower Rd.

When: Saturday, July 15, 2 p.m.

Admission: Free

Why: This first annual seafood-centric event is built around a wild Dungeness crab bucket ($65 from packed with hordes of other ingredients. The ocean-to-table Vic West event is licensed and features live music, with kids activities making it the perfect family-friendly feast. There’s also a fundraising element to Crabben in the Park, in support of the Vic West Community Association and Reciprocity Connects, which makes the eating all the more enjoyable.

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