Celebrating Seafood in the Comox Valley

An annual celebration of seafood highlights the very best of West Coast waters

An annual celebration of seafood highlights the very best of West Coast waters

From pristine shorelines to alpine meadows, it’s no wonder tourists flock to the Comox Valley. But there’s another reason too: the annual B.C. Seafood Festival, a 10-day celebration of everything seafood, where tide-to-table dishes and small-town charm combine to delight visitors.

There is no better way to experience the province’s renowned sustainable seafood than to savour the fares of award-winning local, national and international celebrity chefs. During Western Canada’s largest celebration of the ocean’s bounty, you can also learn more about seafood production and sustainability in the Comox Valley, take part in chef demonstrations, venture on tours of local shellfish farms and attend a plethora of events.

Begin planning your visit next year with these highlights from the recent 2018 festivities…

Shuckers, unite!

Guinness Book of World Records title holder “Shucker Paddy” hosted some of the fastest hands in the province during the Fanny Bay Oysters Shucking Championship. Observers marvelled as veteran shuckers deftly went to work, competing for a top prize of an all-expense paid trip to compete in the national shucking match.

An all-female cast

The festival’s premiere gala dinner featured renowned local and visiting female chefs. Set amongst the stately trees and gardens of the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park, 10 powerhouse chefs (including Vancouver’s Andrea Carlson of Burdock & Co. as well as Fairmont’s only female executive chef Isabel Chung of Fairmont Chateau Whistler and Abby Ferrer of Hawaii’s Star Noodle) dazzled the crowd with innovative seafood dishes. Overlooking Goose Spit and Comox Bay, a sold-out crowd of more than 300 mingled and noshed.

Lace up your runners

With miles of rugged but picturesque rural beauty all around, lace up the runners and head to Goose Spit Park to stroll the shore or enjoy the warmth of a beach campfire in one the park’s 10 fire pits. A favourite of locals and tourists alike, Goose Spit is a mix of sand and rocks, spotted by sun-kissed driftwood.

Stay at a stunner

The Kingfisher Oceanside Resort and Spa is an island gem. Nestled in a coastal forest on the eastern shore of Vancouver Island, guests can take an oceanfront seat to watch seagulls as they swoop and soar or be lulled listening as waves crash beneath the setting sun.

When it’s time to sleep, oceanfront suites offer luxurious white linens, water views, flat screen HD TVs and toiletries by England’s Gilchrist & Soames. King or double queen rooms also offer gourmet coffee, free Wi-Fi and private balconies.

To rejuvenate, completely bliss out during a Pacific Mist Hydropath. Arrive early to take a dip in the heated outdoor pool or relax in the sauna and steam cave. Next, collect your robe, don your swimsuit and soak up the benefits of hydrotherapy, allowing yourself to be led by your personal spa attendant as you wind through a simulated West Coast shoreline featuring sandstone sculpted caves and pools.

Dine in high style

For a memorable dining experience, try Ocean7 Restaurant, where Red Seal executive chef Nyle Petherbridge showcases West Coast seafood, grain-fed meats and fresh organic produce from sustainable growers and suppliers. (A seasonal menu currently includes such favourites as seared Hokkaido sea scallops, Hecate Strait halibut and pan-seared duck breast.) Paired with a selection from the restaurant’s carefully curated wine list or an imaginative cocktail, the culinary adventure will enchant your senses. We’ll drink to that!

There isn’t a better place to rekindle or spark a romance—or just enjoy a friend’s company—than the Kingfisher’s Aqua Bistro & Bar. Bask in the heat of the fire pits as you raise your cocktail to mixologist Julie Ferris, who utilizes botanical infusions and some of the province’s best craft spirits.