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Explore: Brant Wildlife Fest; Cougar Capers; Sidney Art Walk

Upcoming events: Brant Wildlife Fest, now until April 7; Cougar Capers on Saturday; Sidney Art Walk, now until April 15
A Brant goose. The Brant Wildlife Festival, celebrating the return of these migratory birds, takes place in Parksville and Qualicum Beach, now until April 7. DICKDANIELS VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Welcome returning migratory birds at Brant Wildlife Festival 

Celebrate spring and the arrival of thousands of migratory birds, particularly Brant geese, at the Brant Wildlife Festival, on the shores in Parksville and Qualicum Beach, now until April 7.

The festival, hosted by the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region, celebrates the return of the birds to beaches, marshes and estuaries in the area. The region is a natural midway point during their annual migration from wintering areas to summer nesting grounds.

Activities include:

• The Brant Wildlife Children’s Festival featuring educational displays by students, from preschool through high school, as well as 25 Vancouver Island groups. Admission is by donation. The event runs 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. April 5 at Arrowview Elementary School, 650 Bennett Rd., Qualicum Beach.

• Parksville Downtown Family Fun Day with crafts and activities focused on the Brant Geese and their eco-system. There will be music, face-painting in your favourite marine-animal style. The event is free to join. It runs 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Apr. 6, downtown Parksville.

• Qualicum Beach Heritage Forest walk along the mulch trails of the 50-acre property to learn about old-growth Douglas-fir trees, forest ecology, wildlife and cultural history of this rare gem. The walk is free but registration is required. It runs 10 a.m. to noon Apr. 7 at the forest, Crescent Rd. E, Qualicum Beach. To register, go to

• Brant in the Bay, a chance to view Brant geese and other birds on Sunday. Learn more about the Brant goose migration with displays provided by the Arrowsmith Naturalists. The event is free to join. It runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Apr. 7 at Parksville Community Park, 132 Jensen Avenue East Parksville (near the Labyrinth).

Go to more details.

Learn about cougars on a guided walk at Witty’s Lagoon

Visitors of all ages are invited to Cougar Capers, a guided walk that takes place at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park, Metchosin, on Saturday.

Come learn about the life of this carnivore — how they leap, climb and even purr — on this informative walk and talk with a CRD Regional Parks naturalist and cultural programmer.

Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park boasts a diverse landscape with woodlands, freshwater creeks, a large salt marsh, a sandy seashore and rocky headlands, with more than five kilometres of moderate trails through woodland, past a lagoon and marsh in the park’s 58.21 hectares.

The salt marsh is an excellent area for bird-watching at any time of year. Other attractions include Sitting Lady Falls, a sand dune ecosystem and a sandy beach that overlooks rocky headlands and offshore islets.

Cougar Capers is an all-ages event and free to join. It runs 1:30 to 3 p.m. Apr. 6 at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. Try to arrive 10 minutes before the start of your program.

Meet at the Teaching Shelter, off the Lagoon Trail. The shelter is about a 15-minute walk from the main parking lot off Metchosin Road.

Proceed down the main trail, turning left onto the Lagoon Trail. The trail is 800 metres long, with a gravel and soil surface. It has a steep incline.

Bring a day pack with drinking water and a small snack or lunch. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and dress for the weather, with a hat and extra clothes. Please leave pets at home.

For more information, go to -culture/parks-trails/crd -regional-parks/events.

Sidney’s Art Walk showcases local artists

Sidney is transforming its downtown area into an art gallery for the 2024 Art Walk, now until April 15.

This initiative, a collaboration between the Sidney Business Improvement Area and Artsea Community Arts Council, showcases the diverse talents of local artists by bringing their art into public spaces.

See works by participating artists — paintings, pottery, wood carvings, mosaics, ceramics and sculptures — at 43 businesses.

Art lovers can pick up a printed map and guide at the Art Sea Gallery, Sidney Information Centre or Island Blue in Sidney.

During your stroll, look for the 2024 Art Walk decal at participating businesses.

An interactive map can also be downloaded, showing information on participating artists, their works and their host locations.

If time permits, participants can incorporate the year-round Sidney Sculpture Walk into their visit. The walk features a permanent collection of outdoor public art found along the waterfront (between Beacon Park and the ArtSea Galley in Tulista Park).

The event is free to join. The art works can be seen during regular opening hours at participating businesses in downtown Sidney, now until April 15.

For more information, or to download an interactive map, go to

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