The Comox Valley, Vancouver Island, proudly produces 50%+ of all of British Columbia’s shellfish and the most oysters in Canada, and also is the location of the BC Seafood Festival, the largest of its kind on the west coast of Canada, celebrating its 13th anniversary this June. The BC Seafood Festival (formerly the BC Shellfish Festival) began as a single event dinner developed and hosted by the BC Shellfish Growers Association (BCSGA). Over the years the BCSGA added a second public day event that focused on increased awareness of the growing shellfish industry.
In 2014 a formal partnership agreement was entered into between BCSGA and Comox Valley Economic Development & Tourism (CVEDS) to organize the overall festival, add multiple partners, events and include an increased number of industry participants representing the full extent of the BC seafood sector. What is now the largest event of its kind, held annually in June, during BC Seafood Month (also established in 2014) features over 40 events partners hosting events, dinners, tours, competitions, and tastings in a 10-day period to celebrate and drive awareness to the areas culinary and seafood attractions, award-winning producers, Chefs and experiences.
The BC Seafood Festival Signature Weekend expanded to 3 days in 2018, with several new events & competitions added to support the growing demand for tickets, as well as a new International Chefs Program, where Chefs from Asia, USA, and Australia were featured alongside a stellar line-up of domestic Chefs. Events included:
- Shucked! Happy Hour Oyster Bar – new for 2018
- Gala Dinner
- Signature Weekend Day Events – expanded for 2018
- Baked n’ Boiled Kitchen Party – new for 2018
- Bounty! Seafood Brunch Cookout
- Saturday MasterClass – new for 2018
Competitions included in the Signature Weekend include:
- Fanny Bay Oysters Shucking Championship
- FortisBC Chef Challenge – new competition in 2018
- Annual Chowder Challenge
- Best Caesar in Town Competition