Explore: Sooke Music and Art fest; Coombs Bluegrass Festival; Tidepool School

Arts, crafts and music featured at Comox festival

Celebrate the best of arts, crafts and music with performances by headliners Barney Bentall, Jim Byrnes, Ken Lavigne, Marcus Mosely Ensemble and Tiller’s Folly at the 2019 Filberg Festival, Friday to Monday in Comox.

The venue is unique, with attendees enjoying art and music surrounded by trees, gardens and rustic outbuildings, with expansive views of Comox Harbour and the Beaufort Range.
Artisans at the event are jury-selected based on talent and diversity. View a curated selection of 135 artisans and makers of fine art in a variety of media, ranging from metalwork to pottery, toys, woodcrafts, jewelry, paintings, glass, textiles and specialty foods.

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The festival has long been known for featuring Canadian talent when it comes to entertainment. Performers will be featured on the Comox Rotary Stage and the Peninsula Co-Op Garden Stage over the festival’s four days.

Proceeds from the festival go toward the restoration and maintenance of the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park’s site and buildings.

The Comox Valley Cycling Coalition will provide by-donation secure bicycle parking during the festival.

Transit service to and from the fair is free. Regular service is offered on Saturday and Sunday and special service on Monday. View the schedule at bctransit.com/comox-valley.
A park and ride shuttle service for $5 per vehicle is available from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday. Parking is at 2137 Comox Ave. in Comox, at the old St. Joseph Hospital site.

Tickets are $20 plus GST for one day or four days for $60 plus GST for adults. Admission is free for children 12 and under.

Advance tickets are available online at filberg.tickit.ca, at the Filberg Lodge Gift Shop and at all Vancouver Island Thrifty Foods locations. For more information, go to filberg.com.

 Low tide opens up fascinating world in Oak Bay  

Take advantage of a low tide for a rare view of the diversity of low intertidal marine life at Tidepool School, Saturday at Kitty Islet, Oak Bay.

A low tide of 0.3 metres presents an amazing view of the aquatic creatures in the rocky ecosystem. Respect for and preservation of the Kitty Islet’s marine life will be a focus.

Tina Kelly, a marine educator, and Friends of Uplands Park will guide and teach visitors on the challenges for life, tides and zonation.

Participants will be able to view specimens in large containers under a tent on the shore and ask questions.

For part of the program, you can use a small net and container to catch creatures, watch and identify them, then return them to the same place.

Anyone with a smartphone can take photos and post them online at inaturalist.ca.

The all-ages event is free, but donations are appreciated. Visitors must sign in at the welcome table. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Kitty Islet, off Beach Drive in Oak Bay. For details, go to friendsofuplandspark.org.

Strike up the bands across Island

Enjoy a variety of music this weekend at two festivals and one concert series in Sooke, Coombs and Sidney.

• Sooke celebrates the August long weekend with the Sooke Music and Art Festival, Saturday and Sunday at John Phillips Memorial Park.

This is the third year of the music festival, which boasts some of the finest musical talent on Vancouver Island and some of Canada’s best visual artists.
Performers include Adam Bay, Pretty Folk, Bob Menzies and Murder of Crows.

Admission is free. The festival runs from 10:45 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at John Phillips Memorial Park, 2197 Otter Point Rd.

• Listen to bluegrass talent at the Coombs Bluegrass Festival, Friday to Sunday at the Coombs Rodeo grounds.

This is the 41st year of the event, making it B.C.’s longest-running bluegrass festival.

The lineup includes Queens Bluegrass and the Weavils from Washington, Rough Cut, Backspin Band, 5 on a String, Lester-Cobb-Hernandez and Swain, Scout Mountain, Coombs Fiddlers Br 11, Sacred Harmony Band and others. You can join in with an open mic, jam sessions and workshops in the hall.

Tickets are $95 for a full weekend pass, $40 for Friday, $50 for Saturday or $40 for Sunday and are available at the gate (cash only). Children 12 and under are admitted free.

The festival starts at 5 p.m. on Friday and ends at 6 p.m. on Sunday at the Coombs Rodeo grounds, 2601 Alberni Hwy. in Parksville. Camping is available at $15 per night per unit.

For information, go to sites.google.com/site/coombsbluegrassfestival.

• The Summer Sounds Concert Series continues at the bandshell stage in Beacon Park, Sidney, on Sunday, with the Cousin Harley Trio playing from 2 to 4 p.m.

Backbeat will play on Aug. 11, then there are David James and Big River on Aug. 18, and jazz singer Edie Daponte on Aug. 25.

The concerts are free. The bandshell is at 2546 Beacon Ave. For more information, go to peninsulacelebrations.ca.

Centennial Square goes Latin American  

Discover the arts and culture of Latin America at the Viva Victoria Latin Festival this Saturday in Centennial Square.

Last year, more than 2,500 people attended the family-friendly festival, which brings together artists, musicians, dance performers and food vendors to recreate the atmosphere of a vibrant city plaza in Latin America.

Arts and culture showcased during the event include 11 performers, including live musical bands, and traditional and contemporary Latin American dancers.

You can burn off the calories at a free Zumba class, sample international and local Latin American cuisine or chill out in the beverage garden.

Pachanga Latina Productions has partnered with Victoria-based not-for-profit Here Magazine to produce the event.

The festival is free. It runs from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday in Centennial Square.

For more information, go to victorialatinfest.ca.

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