More than 50 per cent of B.C.’s shellfish and Canada’s most productive oyster farms are produced and harvested in the Comox Valley, a mere hour north of Nanaimo.
For the past decade, the celebration of our ocean’s cornucopia is celebrated every June during the BC Shellfish and Seafood Festival (June 9-19), during BC Seafood Month, with over 30-plus events held in the region, culminating with the main event: Comox by the Sea Celebration, being held this year on Saturday, June 18.
This afternoon seaside event is held at the breathtaking historic Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park, once a magnificent private waterfront estate and now one of Comox’s signature gardens. A perfect location to host a grand afternoon with seafood producers, interactive educational displays, and tantalizing chef seafood cooking demonstrations.
This year the festival is showcasing award-winning and internationally renowned chef Hidekazu Tojo of Tojo’s Restaurant, chef Quang Dang and his acclaimed West Restaurant, and award-winning foodstylist, media personality and chef representing BC Seafood, chef Nathan Fong.
Come cheer on leading oyster shuckers from some of B.C.’s top seafood restaurants at the Fanny Bay Oyster Shucking Championship. This popular event brings out the best, this year emceed by the Guinness Book of World Records holder and international shucking champion, Toronto’s Shucker Paddy.
For any novices afraid to shuck, there will be interactive demonstrations throughout the day.
For chowder enthusiasts, have a taste from one of the competing hot cauldrons featuring sumptuous seafood chowders at the Ocean Wise Chowder Challenge.
Or just chill out and relax, listening to the wonderful live entertainment, paired with scrumptious food vendors (from smoked and barbecued salmon, fish tacos, to the ubiquitous fish and chips and of course, oysters, prepared a variety of ways!) and beverages from the oceanside beer and wine garden.
Come earlier to take in the splendid landscape and the valley’s great restaurant scene and for those interested in seeing how oysters are cultivated, experience the tranquil, natural beauty of Bayne Sound.
Numerous producer and farm tours are being offered, including three 70-minute boat tours to Denman Island from Comox Marina towards the oyster growing rafts of Hollie Wood Oyster Deep Water Oyster Farm, on Comox Harbour Charters.
Courtenay resorts and hotels are offering special festival rates, including accommodation specials with two tickets for the Comox by the Sea Celebration event.
To purchase tickets and view the full event calendar visit bcshellfishfestival.com or call the Vancouver Island Visitor Centre: 1-855-400-2882.