BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for July 2 – 8

This week in BC: Eat local, check out a music festival and park after dark

Catch cutting edge contemporary dance at Dancing on the Edge July 7-16

What to do in BC this week

Check out the Pacific Rim Summer Festival – July 1-11
If a trip to Tofino sounds like music to your ears, you’re right. It’s set to be the site of the 23rd annual Pacific Rim Summer Festival, taking place from July 1 to 11 with family-friendly programming that includes concerts by the likes of rockers Tiller’s Folly and Speed Control, along with a hip hodge-podge of dance, art shows, classical music, spoken-word performances and even foreign films. Check it out at various venues in Tofino, Ucluelet and Pacific Rim National Park.

Eat Local in the Comox Valley – July 2-31
Three reasons why it’s good to eat local? It’s cheaper, healthier and easier on the planet. Need another? The third annual Comox Valley Local Food Challenge, a 30-day festival kicking off July 2 that aims to work up your appetite for eating off the land. Rest assured, your taste buds will be tempted with everything from farmers’ market shindigs and food producer tours to winery tastings and a community Breakfast & Blues chowfest. Plus, local chefs are getting in on the act, with select restaurants serving up spectacular meals made from farm-fresh ingredients. Hungry yet? For more details call 250-702-5404.

Go Fishing with chef Jamie Kennedy – July 4-8
Sometimes the best things in life are indeed free. Other times, there’s a price to be paid for a priceless experience. That’s the case with the West Coast Fishing Club’s gastronomic getaway hosted by celebrity chef Jamie Kennedy. Taking place from July 4 to 8, Fish, Forage & Fun will set you back $5,500 per person, but it’ll be worth every penny when you factor in the luxury fishing-lodge accommodation on Haida Gwaii’s Graham Island, chef-made meals, one-on-one cooking demos and outdoor activities inviting guests to explore the region’s pristine wilderness. Only a few spots remain for this edible adventure, which also includes transfers from YVR South Terminal and fishing equipment with an experienced guide. For more info, call toll-free 1-888-432-6666.

Expect the Unexpected at Dancing on the Edge – July 7-16
Contemporary. Cutting edge. Unconventional. That sums up the performances in store at Dancing on the Edge, the 22nd annual festival held at various Vancouver venues where audiences have learned to expect the unexpected. From July 7 to 16, fans can catch over 20 shows from top Canadian talent, all envelope-pushing performers united in taking the art of dance to the edge. Along with a slate of site-specific works and North American premieres, you’ll also find a clutch of crowd-pleasers like Dusk Dances at Queen Elizabeth Park and Dancing in the Street at the Firehall Arts Centre. Tickets range from $20 to $28, and are available at 604-689-0926.

Celebrate the “Year of India in Canada” – July 7-17
Did you know that 2011 has been officially designated the “Year of India in Canada”? We didn’t either, but that’s a perfect excuse to stage the first-ever Indian Summer Festival, which brings the best of India to Vancouver from July 7 to 17. This international fest of arts and ideas welcomes top Indian talent across fields as wide-ranging as music, theatre and literature to film, yoga and cuisine, who’ll be brought head-to-head with their equally acclaimed Canadian counterparts. All 10 days of programming, including more than 20 events and workshops, take place at SFU Woodward’s (149 W. Hastings St., Vancouver). Tickets and a full festival lineup are available by phoning 604-873-3311.

Enjoy a Musical Mash-up
 – July 8-10
You might think that a community housing B.C.’s biggest military base would be too buttoned up to break out a blowout summer bash. But that’s definitely not the case with Courtenay and the Comox Valley, now setting the stage for the Vancouver Island MusicFest from July 8 to 10. This musical mash-up, celebrating roots and world tunes, features 200 performers on six outdoor stages, including the likes of Alison Krauss, Holly Cole, Arrested Development and The Breakmen. And while a beer garden may be a no-brainer, you’ll also find arts and craft displays, an interactive kids’ zone and loads of food vendors, all at Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds. Tip? Ditch your car and check out the new park-and-ride service.

Park after Dark
 – July 8 – August 20
You know how stuffy it can feel sitting in a packed theatre on a hot summer night? You won’t have to worry about any of that at Theatre Under the Stars, taking place from July 8 to August 20 at Malkin Bowl (610 Pipeline Road, Stanley Park). Kicking it all off is Bye Bye Birdie followed on alternating nights by Anything Goes, both starting at 8 p.m. And once you unfold your big beach blanket onto the grassy field and settle down for the show, you won’t have to worry about being distracted by chatty audience members because the only other background noise will be the chirping of crickets. Book your tickets by calling toll-free 1-877-840-0457.

Shop the Richmond Summer Night Market – until August 28
What’s a diehard shopaholic to do once the stores close up for the night? Sure, you could always surf over to eBay or switch on the Shopping Channel, but why do that when you can just beeline it to the Richmond Summer Night Market (12631 Vulcan Way)? As dusk falls, the action is just getting started as thousands of bargain hunters sniff out deals at 200 kiosks shilling everything from purses and sunglasses to shoes and jewellery. The best part, though, is the 60-stall food court selling all manner of eats, including Asian-style hot dogs, corn on the cob and sushi. There’s also an outdoor stage featuring a rotating roster of live entertainment, plus, if you swing by on July 2, you can kick up your heels at Korean Day. Drop by Fridays to Sundays and holidays from 7 p.m. until August 28. For further info, call 604-278-8000.

Savour Canadian Cuisine – now
Italy has spaghetti and meatballs, America has hot dogs and apple pie, but what’s Canada’s national cuisine? If you summed it up in two words, “Tim” and “Hortons,” guess again. The newly opened Hawksworth Restaurant, located in the Rosewood Hotel Georgia (801 W. Georgia St., Vancouver), serves up “compelling contemporary Canadian cuisine” that’s drawn from our culturally diverse heritage. And you can bet it’s tasty, knowing that every detail is overseen by David Hawksworth, the award-winning Vancouver chef known for his quest for the best when it comes to ingredients, ambience and service. Check out this upscale yet unpretentious restaurant for lunch, dinner or late-night bites, with more details at 604-673-7000.

Take a Tea Time Out
 – served daily

Being named “Best Hotel in Canada” by Condé Nast Traveler Magazine in 2008 certainly ramped up the rep of the Hotel Grand Pacific (463 Belleville Street, Victoria), tempting tourists by the busload to check out its scenic harbourfront setting, first-class service and luxe lodgings. Now there’s another reason to visit: The haute hotel is serving up a West Coast Afternoon Tea, a succulent spread showcasing sustainable local ingredients like mini quiches with Salt Spring Island goat cheese, green-tea-cured wild salmon lox and traditional First Nations bread. Reservations for the tea, served daily from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Pacific Restaurant, can be made by calling 250-380-4458.

Rejuvenate and Reboot at Galiano Oceanfront Inn and Spa – now
Gallivanting on Galiano Island gotten you pooped? Rest up at Galiano Oceanfront Inn and Spa (134 Madrona Drive), where you can reboot your soul in style. The waterfront resort, perched on the edge of the Pacific, offers first-class luxury amidst a microclimate that’s more Mediterranean than rainforest. While there, be sure to bliss out at the Madrona del Mar Spa with such muscle-melting treatments as the lavender sugar scrub, mineral sea flotation bath, double chocolate pedicure and Thai foot massage. For more details on this Gulf Island getaway call 250-539-3388.

Explore the Edge of the World – now
“When you’ve reached the edge of your world, ours begins.” That’s the official tagline for Haida Gwaii, located on a remote series of islands at the most westerly point of Canada. Not accessible by car, this world-class destination is ideal for adventurers seeking white-sand beaches, secluded inlets and quaint villages, along with outdoor activities ranging from sport-fishing and kayaking to whale watching and mountain biking. The islands offer a range of accommodation choices, too, including B&Bs, hostels, hotels, camping and cottages.

Originally published in TV Week. For daily updates, subscribe to the free TV Week e-newsletter, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.