Comox Celebration promises fun while supporting community

Apart from the highly anticipated Fanny Bay Oyster Shucking Championship and Best Chowder Challenge competitions, acclaimed chefs and guest judges, there are new, engaging hands-on activities for the whole family at this year’s Comox by the Sea Shellfish & Seafood Celebration, June 21.

This year, educational booths and interactive displays are being provided by Harbour Air, North Island College, University of Victoria, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre. In addition, a dozen vendors from all over the Island will be set up to provide tasty testers and treats to all the attendees, ranging from fudge and crepes to clams, scallops and candied salmon.

North Island College will be showcasing an innovative motorized interactive device involved in aquaculture, while UVic will have an aquatic touch tank full of oysters, mussels, scallops, geoduck and urchins! Kids will get to touch and see the fascinating creatures up close. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans will also be onsite, bringing one of their marine vessels and offering tours for all those interested.

The Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre will also be on site. Families can interact with their touch tank which are filled with an amazing collection of little seacritters that are indigenous to the west coast, as well as get insight on the programs they’re doing and have a chance to buy some retail wear. Proceeds from any of their sales will go to a bursary fund that helps under-privileged public schools afford field trips to the BMSC.

The beer and wine gardens will be buzzing with all sorts of local products from the renowned Vancouver Island Brewery as well as the Coastal Black and Blue Moon Estate wineries. VIB will be providing beers that pair especially well with shellfish and seafood. Sue Medley and the Back Road Band will provide the live entertainment.

Funds raised from the celebration event will go towards the new training initiative called the Aquaculture Technician Program, at North Island College, which supports a holistic approach to aquaculture training, from species to systems.

The event will be held at Filberg Lodge and Park, from 12-5 p.m. with an entry fee of $15 per person – children age 10 and under free. Food tasting tickets are $1 each. One can buy tickets online at www.discovercomoxvalley.com or call 1-855-400-2882.