Fall is festival season in British Columbia. Wine, beer, culture, writing and wildlife all take centre stage in a series of autumn festivals and events hosted in some of the province’s most picturesque and vibrant communities. There’s no better way to experience the abundance and diversity that BC has to offer than by exploring its unique food and wine, culture, cities, and geography. Here’s a road map for your fall festival adventure in BC.
Victoria International Wine Festival
September 23 – 24, Parkside Hotel, Victoria
What’s the perfect pairing with a weekend getaway to BC’s oceanside capital city? Vino from around the world. This two-day showcase of international wines features tasting sessions and wine-and-cheese pairings. Seminars explore the wines of Argentina, South Africa, and teach participants how to be savvy wine buyers. Bonus: an on-site liquor store carries reds and whites featured at the festival. Cheers to that.
September 28 – October 2, Kamloops, various locations
Kamloops gets hopping in late September with a beer and bike festival. Tailgate-style outdoor block parties, brewery dinners, brewing seminars, home-brew competitions, and VIP cask events are all part of the festivities.
Mountain bike races, guided group bike rides, and a beer-pairing brunch round out the five-day celebration of beer and bikes.
September 29 – October 9, Okanagan Valley
The 36th annual festival celebrates the fall season (and grape harvest) with more than 120 wine, food, educational, and arts-focused events that feature resident vintners, grape growers, and Okanagan chefs. Seasonal events draw crowds with longtable dinners, cocktail receptions, food-and-wine pairings, tutored tastings, and spirited competition.
September 30 – October 2, across BC
Want to meet BC artists and take a cultural tour of the province? More than 400 free activities are available throughout the province during the 7th annual BC Culture Days. Interactive workshops, musical performances, heritage tours, community walks and more are on the agenda during this three-day annual celebration. The arts extravaganza is set to unfold in BC's Metro Vancouver area, Fraser Valley, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island, Cariboo Chilcotin, Northern BC, Haida Gwaii, Thompson Okanagan, and Kootenay Rockies.
October 17 – 23, Vancouver
Vancouver’s Writers Fest has been sharing stories and connecting authors and readers for 29 years. This year’s gathering showcases authors Emma Donoghue, Yaa Gyasi, Yann Martel, and Madeleine Thien, to name a few. Nearly 90 events are slated at this celebration of authors, poets, spoken-word performers, and graphic novelists. Many venues are located at Granville Island, a popular arts and shopping district located in downtown Vancouver.
Cornucopia food + drink festival
November 10 – 20, Whistler, various locations
A fall bucket list event for foodies: BC’s best food and drink served up in one of the province’s most spectacular resort destinations. This 11-day indulgence of local food and drink partners homegrown chefs with top BC producers, breweries, distilleries, and wineries. Participants will enjoy a full roster of events that include winery dinners, interactive seminars, gala tastings, and after-parties. Cornucopia celebrates its 20th season this year and some special new events have been planned, including: 20th Anniversary Party at The Picnic: A Showcase of Whistler Culinary Excellence; CRUSH! Sommelier Tours by Taste Whistler; Cornucopia Kids!; and Cornucopia Wine Summit.
Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival
November 19 – 20, Mission and Harrison Mills
Nature enthusiasts gather annually in the Fraser Valley, along the Harrison River, to witness one of the world’s largest congregations of majestic bald eagles. The festival features exhibitions, eagle viewing, nature walks, plus informative bird-watching tours with Fraser River Safari.
For more information, visit ExploreBC.ca/events.