Events

Brant Wildlife Festival

The 2019 Festival features over 25 events for all ages in March and April on Vancouver Island.


March 18 to 22 – Go Wild Spring Break Camp at Rathtrevor

 March 23 – Birds, Basic ID and Bird-watching

  • 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • Ages 16 years and up
  • Location: North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre
  • Join Lynne Brookes in an enjoyable, practical, hands-on, beginning to intermediate workshop. Bird-watching tips, equipment, resources and local bird-watching opportunities will be covered, as well as viewing captive birds and wild birds on site to develop ID skills.
  • Bring binoculars if you have them, but they are not required.
  • $40 plus tax; pre-register at www.niwra.org/events or call 250.248.8534

March 23 – Wetland Birding Tours

  • 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
  • 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
  • Take a tour with field ornithologist and expert birder Christopher Stephens who has over 14 years of birding experience in the Vancouver area and on Vancouver Island. He completed field and academic studies of the Swainson’s Thrush in many of the areas where we offer tours. He also writes nature articles and enjoys sharing the latest BC bird research findings.
  • $40 per person; pre-register by calling 250.248.3667 or email: mail@rainforestnaturehikes.com

March 24 – Englishman River Regional Park

  • 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • Location: Meet at the gate into the park which is located at the end of Allsbrook Road
  • Join the Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society on a walk in this beautiful park and learn about the river and fish. This tour will be an easy 2 hour walk on trails paralleling the Englishman River and/or the Clay Young Channel. The Clay Young Channel is an important spawning and rearing habitat zone for the Englishman River. Learn about the history of the area and see points of interest with members of Parksville’s streamkeeper organization.
  • Attire: The trails are fairly flat so only comfortable walking shoes or boots are necessary
  • Admission: FREE

March 24 – Call of the Forest Film & Discussion

  • 2:00 PM
  • Location: Seaside Auditorium at Parksville Community Centre
  • Watch this film following scientist, conservationist and author, Diana Beresford-Kroeger, on her journey to the most beautiful forests of the northern hemisphere. From the cedar forests of Japan and the redwood trees of America to the great boreal forest of Canada, Diana shares the amazing stories behind the history and legacy of these ancient forests while explaining the irreplaceable roles they play in protecting and feeding the planet.
  • Young people from the 4H Photo Club will display and sell their nature photos and prints before the film.
  • After the film a panel discussion will be moderated by John Beaton, followed by questions from the floor.
  • This event is hosted by Communities Protecting Our Coast (CPOC), partnering with the Arrowsmith Naturalists and sponsored by the Canadian Federation of University Women, Dogwood, and Morningstar Farm.

March 25 to 29 – Go Wild Spring Break Camp at Moorecroft

  • 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM – Kids aged 6 to 10
  • Moorecroft Regional Park
  • Kids are invited to go wild and spend an incredible spring break at the park and experience nature inspired fun and adventure.
  • $190 plus GST for 5 days, per child
  • Register at www.rdn.bc.ca/recreation

March 27 – Beach Seine at the Englishman River Estuary

  • 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  •  Location: Meet at the gate to the Englishman River Estuary at the parking lot at the end of Shelly Road in Parksville
  • Join the Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society to carefully collect fish and invertebrates in a net along the Englishman River Estuary, and then transfer them to viewing tubs to catalogue before returning them to the water. The estuary is owned and managed by The Nature Trust of BC and its partners, and this beach seine is part of monitoring to check the health of the area. Biologist Dave Clough will be the leader.
  • Attire: If you have experience doing a beach seine and would like to help with the net, wear chest waders and a personal flotation device. Otherwise, wear rubber boots so you can help along the shore.
  • Admission: FREE
  • Pre-register by e-mailing Robin Rivers at rrivers@naturetrust.bc.ca or calling toll free 1-866-288-7878

March 26, 28, April 1, 3, 5 – Deep Bay Marine Field Station Guided Tours

  • Mar 26, Apr 1 & 3: 11:00 AM
  • Mar 28, Apr 5: 2:00 PM
  • Location: Deep Bay Marine Field Station
  • Register online to attend; $12 per adult; $6 children ages 6 – 17; ages 5 & under FREE
  • Join the knowledgeable guides at Deep Bay as they discuss features of this green building, marine conservation, sustainable seafood, and more in interactive group tours.

March 29 – “Winged Migration” Film

  • Doors open 6:30 PM; movie begins 7:00 PM
  • Location: Arrowsmith Independent School
  • This award-winning documentary presents an epic portrait of winter bird migration. Filmed over a four year period on all seven continents, this spectacularly beautiful film presents a memorable story of the journeys made by various bird species in order to survive. You’ll feel like you’re flying with the birds as you pass through stunning landscapes and witness the physical effort they make and dangers they face.
  • Admission by donation

March 30 – Weddings for Wildlife – Vow Renewals

  • 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
  • Location: Seaside Nature Park in Qualicum Beach
  • Get married and support nature! Enjoy a heartfelt ceremony in public at Seaside Nature Park in Qualicum Beach. Couples will be legally wed by Celebrants Ceri Peacey of Oceanside Celebrant Services or Jane Good of Circle Ceremonies. Taryn Pickard from Innocent Thunder Photography will take photos of the happy couple with a hand-lettered sign designed by Love Letters Co. Also, a beautiful nature bouquet will be created by Bronwyn Wheeler from Vertgen Farms. Then the newlyweds can stop by the Shady Rest for a free dessert and drink.
  • A valid marriage license is required and the responsibility of each couple.
  • If you are already married and would like to renew your vows and support nature, let us know and we can arrange a special ceremony for you.
  • Services will go ahead no matter what the weather is, so please ensure you wear layers.
  • Register by March 23, 2019
  • Cost: $250 donation per couple to support the Brant Wildlife Festival. Contact Robin Rivers at rrivers@naturetrust.bc.ca or call toll free 1-866-288-7878 to arrange a donation
  • Contact Ceri Peacey to register for this special event at ceripeacey@celebrant.ca or call 250-927-5658.

March 31 – Brant in the Bay with the Arrowsmith Naturalists

  • 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
  • Location: Parksville Community Park
  • Join the Arrowsmith Naturalists for an opportunity to view Brant geese and other coastal birds. There will be interesting displays and a chance to use binoculars and spotting scopes that will be provided by the Arrowsmith Naturalists who are hosting this event.
  • Admission: FREE

April 1 – Little Qualicum River Estuary Tour

  • 10:00 AM
  • Location: meet at the parking lot near the beach end of Surfside Drive in Qualicum Beach
  • Join the Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers to learn about this important estuary,  restoration work, Canada Goose management, and native plantings.
  • Attire: Rain gear may be needed, and good walking shoes/boots (rubber boots not required)
  • Admission: FREE

April 2 to 4 – Water Stewardship Symposium

April 3 – Coastal Bird Viewing and Identification

  • 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
  • Location: Meet at the new Seaside Nature Park (at the former Brant Viewing Stand location) just north along the Island Highway past Crescent Road West in Qualicum Beach. Look for the sea-green pavilion on the coastal side.
  • Join Sandra Gray and Lynne Brookes at this event sponsored by the Arrowsmith Naturalists to learn all about coastal birds and to view them.
  • Admission: by donation

April 4 – Grandon Creek Walk and Salmon Recovery Work

  • 1:00 PM
  • Location: Meet at the bottom of Grandon Creek, Qualicum Beach (Crescent Road West and Beach Terrace)
  • Join the Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers for a beautiful walk where you will see native plants, restoration plantings, invasive species, the railway and culverts, new signage, and perhaps a chance to count any passing fish. For those who wish, a walk over to the new Seaside Nature Park will follow.
  • Good walking shoes/ boots are required and perhaps rain gear.
  • Admission: FREE

April 5 – Keeping the Wild in Canada Presentation by Dr. Sarah Otto

  • 6:00 to 8:00 PM
  • Location: Quality Resort Bayside, Parksville
  • Join The Nature Trust of BC to hear “genius” grant winner Dr. Sarah Otto highlight the state of Canada’s birds and other wildlife and efforts to protect them.
  • Admission: $10 per person, pre-register by calling Robin Rivers at 1.866.288.7878 or emailing rrivers@naturetrust.bc.ca

April 5 & 6 –  Elegant Threads

  • 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
  • Location: The Commons (formerly Qualicum Elementary School) 744 Primrose Street, Qualicum Beach.
  • Join the Qualicum Weavers and Spinners Guild for a show and sale featuring one of a kind hand-woven clothing, household linens and hand spun yarns. You can also see demonstrations and participate in a silent auction.
  • Admission: FREE

April 6 – Eagle Release hosted by the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre

  • 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
  • Location: North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre. 
  • Join us to see owls, eagles, falcons and bears, as well as a wildlife garden. A rehabilitated eagle will be released into the wild at 2:00 PM.
  • Admission: $5 suggested donation per person; children 12 & under FREE

April 6 and 7 – Pacific Brant Carving and Art Show

  • Sat April 6 – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Sun April 7 – 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
  • Location: Parksville Community Centre 
  • Drop by the outstanding show organized by the  Vancouver Island Woodcarvers Club and Oceanside Wood Carvers in partnership with the DeCosmos Fine Arts Society and the Mid Island Woodworkers Guild, featuring the Pacific Brant Carving Competition, an Art Expo and a new Woodworking Show and sale. The show also includes professional Wildlife Art and Photography Sales.
  • Admission: $5
  • Additional details: www.thebrant.ca.

April 7 – Englishman River Estuary Tour

  • 1:00 to 3:00 PM
  • Location: Meet at the estuary end of the Shelly Road parking area in Parksville (Shelly Road meets the Island Highway at Cultivate Garden and Gifts)
  • Join the Arrowsmith Naturalists for a guided walk through forest and riparian area to the estuary. Learn about The Nature Trust of BC (which owns the estuary with its partners) and stewardship efforts, including the current restoration project. The Arrowsmith Naturalists and other organizations have worked with The Nature Trust for years to improve this important mid-island estuary.
  • Admission: FREE

April 13 – Bioblitz

  • 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 1:00 to 4:00 PM
  • Location: Milner Gardens & Woodland
  • Come join us and get outdoors for the 4th 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 some new skills or whether you are already experienced and want to contribute your expertise to biodiversity research, this event is for you.
  • Register here

April 14 – Hamilton Marsh Tour

April 14 – Creation by Oceanside Concert Choir

  • 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM
  • Location: Knox United Church, Parksville
  • You can enjoy the Oceanside Concert Choir as they perform Haydn’s Creation Oratorio.
  • Admission: $22 at the door

April 20 – Foraging for Wild Edibles

  • 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
  • Location: Deep Bay Marine Field Station
  • You can learn all about ocean delicacies. Local experts will discuss where and how to forage for shellfish and other edibles locally. Participants will also receive recipes.
  • Admission: $30 per person
  • Register online