Explore: Enjoy the wonders of Sooke Potholes

Learn about the annual salmon run or the formation of the Sooke Potholes at two nature programs — one for families and one for adults — at Sooke Potholes Regional Park this weekend.

Thousands of salmon, mainly chum, take star billing at A Salmon Story, a guided walk that tells the story of the annual salmon run, on Sunday.

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Hosted by CRD Regional Parks, the story takes participants, five and older, on an aquatic journey filled with adventure, wonder and danger.

Join a parks naturalist on a walk along the river’s edge to learn about the salmon’s story and the challenges they face.

The walk is free. It runs from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Meet at Parking Lot 2.

Adults have a chance to get to know the Sooke Potholes a little better on the Riverside Walk, a guided tour at the regional park on Saturday.

A park naturalist and interpreter will take participants, 18 and older, on a two-hour excursion along trails beside the Sooke River view to the popular rock formation, which formed during the last ice age.

You can join this program for free, but pre-registration is required as space is limited.

The walk runs from 10 a.m. to noon.

Participants are asked to bring a snack, water and wear sturdy footwear.

To register, go to crd.bc.ca/parks-events.

Try to arrive 10 minutes before the start of either program and leave pets at home. Dress for the weather as programs take place rain or shine. For more information, go to crd.bc.ca/parks.

Learn all you need to know about fungi

Learn about the ecological role of fungi and its use as a food, medicine or dye at the Mushroom Festival, sponsored by the Arrowsmith Naturalists and North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre, Sunday at the centre’s grounds in Errington.

This is the fourth year of the annual event, a fun and educational day for the whole family. There will be with lots to see and do, including opportunities to talk with experts and have mushrooms identified.

The festival features scheduled expert speakers throughout the day as well as a large variety of local fresh fungi on display, including edible and poisonous specimens.

Local vendors will be on-site, selling fresh and dried mushroom products, books, art and gift items.

You can grab lunch or a snack from AJ’s food truck and Mad Bee Donuts.

Admission is by donation (suggested $5 per person and free for children 12 and under).

Proceeds will support the Wildlife Recovery Centre and the Arrowsmith Naturalists Club.

The festival runs 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1240 Leffler Rd.

Parking is limited. A shuttle from parking at 1500 Grafton Rd. to the festival grounds will be provided by the Salvation Army (a cash donation to the Salvation Army is appreciated). For more information, go to niwra.org or 250-248-8534.

Tod Inlet films given another screening

Two films chronicling the early history of Tod Inlet return by popular demand at two Talk and Tea programs this month at the Log Cabin Museum in Saanichton.

The films, Searching for the Sikhs of Tod Inlet and Beyond the Garden’s Wall, played to a capacity crowd when they were screened in the spring.

There followed many requests to show them again for people who had been unable to attend.

The films were produced by David Gray, a Canadian researcher and historian. They deal with a little-known piece of local history, a cement industry that started in the early 1900s at Tod Inlet.

The films document the history of the Sikh and Chinese immigrants who were hired to work at the limestone quarry and cement plant.

The workers, who lived in a village on the site, subsequently worked to create what is now Butchart Gardens.

Tea and refreshments will be served following the films.

Admission is $5 for members and for $7.50 non-members.

Searching for the Sikhs of Tod Inlet starts at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Beyond the Garden’s Wall will be screened at 2 p.m. on Oct. 21.

The Log Cabin Museum is at 7910 Polo Park Cres., Saanichton (in the park behind Thrifty Foods).

For more information, go to saanichpioneersociety.com.

Coast Salish traditions on display

Join in a day of cultural sharing at a Coast Salish Pit Cook demonstration, hosted by Parks Canada at Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites on Saturday.

You can watch a traditional method of food preparation used by Coast Salish people, from a start in the early morning and singing, drumming and the sharing of stories and traditional knowledge as the food slowly cooks.

On the menu is camas harvested from the park’s conservation nursery and other root vegetables.

The Lekwungen Traditional Dancers will be present to share traditional songs and dances as well as teachings from elders, Cheryl Bryce of the Songhees Nation, community members and Parks Canada.

The Songhees Seafood and Steam Food Truck will be on site all day, offering a range of Coast Salish-inspired menu items for purchase.

General admission fees to Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites apply.

The event runs 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the historic site, 603 Fort Rodd Hill Rd.

The fire will be lit at 9, with the food going into the pit at 10 a.m. The pit will be open at 2 p.m.

For more information, go to pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/bc/fortroddhill.

Crystal Garden to host Art of the Cocktail

Lift your spirits by tasting artful alcoholic concoctions by talented area bartenders at Art of the Cocktail, a night spent sampling cocktails featuring unique and familiar spirits from artisan and regional distillers, Saturday at the Crystal Garden.

This is the 10th anniversary of the event, a fundraiser for the Victoria Film Festival.

Organizers bill the event as the biggest cocktail party on the island.

As well as drinks, the party also includes complimentary appetizers by some of the most innovative chefs in Victoria.

This year’s dress code is Old Hollywood, and guests are encouraged to dress in their most glamorous attire to strut on the local version of the red carpet.

This year, the Best Dressed winner will receive four tickets to the Opening Film and Gala of the 25th Victoria Film Festival next February.

Admission is $65. The event runs 7 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday at the Crystal Garden, 713 Douglas St. For more information, or for tickets, go to victoriafilmfestival.com.

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