Events

Brant Wildlife Festival

The 2020 Festival runs March 21 to April 19 and will feature events for all ages on Vancouver Island.


March 21, 10:30am

Birds of the Salish Sea: Enjoy bird-watching at Seaside Nature Park in Qualicum Beach (just north along the Island Highway past Crescent Road West). By donation.

March 22, 2 to 4pm

Herring: A keystone species. Can we save it?: A fascinating look at herring and their plight. In addition, the co-presentation, Eelgrass in the Salish Sea Ecology. Eelgrass, herring, salmon and Brant geese connections explored. Three speakers, 2 short films, slide presentation, and a panel to respond to questions. A “must” for those who love the Salish Sea. Qualicum Beach Civic Centre, Pioneer Hall East. Sponsored by the Arrowsmith Naturalists. By donation: $5 suggested.

March 23 – 27, Mon to Fri 9am to 3pm

Go Wild Nature Camp for Kids: Children aged 6 to 9 are invited to Go Wild and spend an incredible spring break in the outdoors at Moorecroft Regional Park with our energetic Park Naturalists. Discovery is in our nature during this week full of nature inspired fun and adventure. Cost is $193.80 per child/5 days. Register at www.rdn.bc.ca/recreation or call 250-248-3252.

March 27, 2 – 4pm

Tour of the Little Qualicum Estuary: Enjoy a walking tour led by Qualicum Beach Steamkeepers and British Columbia Conservation Foundation of a protected conservation area highlighting the work being undertaken to revegetate with native trees and plants a critical ecosystem impacted for many decades by industrial use. Turn off Highway 19A on the west side of Qualicum Beach onto Kincaid Road, then left onto Surfside Drive. Parking is available. For more information contact David James: 250.594.6788 or Mick MacDonald: 250.752.6928

March 27, 6 – 8pm

Migration Ecology of Pacific Brant: Bird expert and researcher Sean Boyd will be sharing the latest information about Brant with a special emphasis on those that rest and feed in Parksville-Qualicum in the spring. This presentation at the Bayside Oceanfront Resort in Parksville will be followed by a Q&A and light refreshments. Hosted by The Nature Trust of BC. $10 per person. Pre-register by calling toll-free 1.866.288.7878 or email egrondin@naturetrust.bc.ca

March 28, 9am – 12:00pm

Birds, Basic ID and Bird-watching: Enjoyable, practical, beginner to intermediate workshop for participants aged 16 and up at North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre in Errington. $40+tax per person. Pre-register at www.niwra.org or call 250.248.8534

March 28, 10:30am – 1pm

Forest Bathing: Guide Ronda Murdock invites you to come relax, rejuvenate and soak up nature’s restorative medicines on a slow paced, sensory and mindful forest bathing experience. Maximum 10 participants. Pre-registration required. $40 per person. Contact Pacific Rainforest Adventure Tours at 250.248.3667 or mail@rainforestnaturehikes.com

March 28, 8 – 11am + 12:30 – 3:30pm

Waterfowl and Shorebirds: Christopher Stephens, a field ornithologist and expert birder, with over 14 years of experience and will lead this tour on waterfowl and shorebirds. Maximum 12 participants. Pre-registration required. $40 per person. Contact Pacific Rainforest Adventure Tours at 250.248.3667 or mail@rainforestnaturehikes.com

March 29, 8 – 11am + 12:30 – 3:30pm

Forest and Wetland Birds: Christopher Stephens, a field ornithologist and expert birder will lead these tours. He completed field and academic studies of the Swainson’s Thrush in many of the areas where he provides tours. He also writes nature articles and enjoys sharing the latest BC bird research findings. Maximum 12 participants. Pre-registration required. $40 per person. Contact Pacific Rainforest Adventure Tours at 250.248.3667 or mail@rainforestnaturehikes.com

March 29, 11am – 3pm

Brant in the Bay: View Brant geese and other birds through spotting scopes at Parksville Community Park and view interesting displays provided by the Arrowsmith Naturalists. FREE

March 30, 11am; April 2, 1pm; April 3, 11am; April 6, 1pm

Guided Field Station Tours: Join knowledgeable guides at Deep Bay as they discuss features of this green building, marine conservation, sustainable seafood and more in interactive group tours. $12 per person. Register at deepbay@viu.ca

April 3 – 4, 10am – 4pm

Qualicum Weavers and Spinners Guild Show & Sale: Featuring one-of-a-kind sale of hand-woven clothing, household linens and hand-spun yarns at the Commons, 744 Primrose Street, Qualicum Beach. You can also see demonstrations and participate in a silent auction. FREE

April 4, 11am – 3pm

Eagle Release: Check out owls, eagles, falcons and bears, as well as a wildlife garden at North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre in Errington. A rehabilitated eagle will be released into the wild at 2pm. Suggested donation $10 per person: children and under FREE. For more information visit www.niwra.org

April 4, 10am – 5pm; April 5, 10am – 4pm

Pacific Brant Carving, Woodworking & Art Show: 30th Anniversary: Drop by this outstanding show at Parksville Community Centre organized by the Mid-Island Woodworkers’ Guild and Oceanside Wood Carvers in partnership with the DeCosmos Fine Arts Society. The show features a carving and woodworking competition, an Art Expo of paintings, a woodworking show and sale, and professional wildlife art and photography sales. $5 per person (children 12 and under free). Visit www.thebrant.ca for details.

April 5, 9:30am

Englishman River Estuary Walk: Join the Arrowsmith Naturalists and The Nature Trust of BC for a guided walk through forest and riparian areas to the estuary. Learn about The Nature Trust, which owns most of the estuary for conservation purposes, and restoration efforts. Meet at the estuary end of Shelly Road parking area in Parksville (Shelly Road meets the Island Highway at Cultivate Garden and Gifts). FREE

April 5, 2 – 3:30pm

Grandon Creek Tour: Enjoy a guided tour with Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers outlining the history, natural features and Grandon Creek ecosystem, including a visit to the smolt count fence. Meet at Seaside Nature Park – view the pavilion and amazing interpretive signage, learn of future plans for the park. We will walk to the bottom of creek, and see the impact of the winter storms on the stream. For those who wish to add another short tour, there will be a visit to the newly constructed estuary and spit on Beach Creek, the other stream within Qualicum Beach

April 5, 2pm

Englishman River Regional Park Tour: Join the Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society for a 2-hour walk on fairly flat trails parallel to the Englishman River and Clay Young Channel – an important spawning and rearing habitat. Learn about the history of the area and see points of interest from members of this Parksville streamkeeper organization. Meet at the gate to the park which is located at the end of Allsbrook Road in Parksville. Wear comfortable walking shoes or boots. FREE

April 11, 3 – 7pm

Weddings for Wildlife: Get married and support nature! Enjoy a heart-felt ceremony in public at Seaside Nature Park gazebo in Qualicum Beach. Couples will be legally married by Ceri Peacey of Oceanside Celebrant Services and Taryn Pickard of Innocent Thunder Photography will take photos. Newlyweds can stop by The Shady Rest for a free dessert and drink. The cost is a $400 donation per couple to support the Brant Wildlife Festival. Only 5 couples will be married so register early! Call toll-free 1.866.288.7878 or email egrondin@naturetrust.bc.ca to donate and register.

April 17, 7pm

Oceanside Consort: Enjoy this amazing a cappella group who will be performing a variety of music at the Knox United Church in the lounge at 345 Pym Street, Parksville. Admission: $12 per person. Tickets available at the door.

April 18, 9:30am – 12:30pm

Bioblitz: Come join us and get outdoors for the 5th annual Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Bioblitz. Conduct a survey of plant and animal species. Whether you are new to Bioblitzing and would like to gain skills, or you are experienced and want to contribute your expertise to biodiversity research, this event is for you. All ages are welcome. Register at www.mabr.ca

April 19, 10am – 3pm

Hamilton Marsh Tour: Bring your friends and family to explore the largest wetland in the area, just outside Qualicum Beach. Learn about the amazing plants and wildlife with the Friends of French Creek Conservation Society and Arrowsmith Naturalists. Visit www.hamilton-marsh.com for map and details. By donation.


The Nature Trust of British Columbia is working with local community groups and volunteers to present the 2020 festival. The festival would not be possible without the generous support of the City of Parksville, Mid Island Co-op., Beach Club Resort and Town of Qualicum Beach, as well as local event sponsors and volunteers. Special thanks to radio sponsors 88.5 The Beach and The Lounge 99.9, newspaper sponsor PQB News and Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism.