Heading to the Islands this month? Here are some cool and delicious things going on across the Salish Sea. The round-up comes to us from the Islandist, Scout’s soon-to-launch sister publication. It will cover the food and culture of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Did we miss something? Keep us in the loop via @TheIslandist on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
GCBF | The Great Canadian Beer Festival is taking over the Royal Athletic Park in Victoria on September 6 + 7. With almost a hundred breweries (representing eight provinces) participating in this year’s festival, you’ll need the full two days to cover all of its awesomeness. We suggest springing for the weekend pass. Do your patriotic duty and get your tickets here.
TO THE FAIR | Head out to the country for the Sooke Fall Fair on September 7 + 8. Applaud local contestants as they get their moments of glory in categories including “Longest Bean”, “Largest Pumpkin” and admire the “Best” in everything from wind chimes and beer to crowing roosters. There will also be a pet parade, a Sunday pancake breakfast, pony rides, carnival games, and something chicken bingo (your guess is as good as ours). Find out more.
SURF | If you’re in Tofino on September 14, you should make a point of checking out the Bruhwiler Kids Surf Classic. This free annual event is all about the “mini hardcore Canadian surfers who brave the cold water because they love to surf!” It’s pretty inspiring to see the confidence and skill that these little shredders bring to the beach. Because optimal surf conditions are hard to determine in advance, the location of the competition is not set until the morning of the event, but it will either be Cox or Chesterman (as soon as the call is made, you won’t be able to miss it – just follow the good energy). Find out more.
OCEAN | World-renowned sushi Chef Hidekazu Tojo joins 1909 Kitchen Chef Paul Moran for a collaboration dinner at the Tofino Resort and Marina on September 10. The six course menu reads beautifully with dishes such as albacore tuna with sesame gomae, shiso, scallion and kelp; wood roasted wild salmon skin with tamago omelet and bbq morels; as well as Tojo’s signature sushi and many other dishes. This really is a fantastic opportunity to taste the best of the ocean! Tickets ($99) are not sold out yet, but they likely will be soon so pounce now! Event and menu details can be found here.
FERMENT | Curious about koji? Expand your knowledge of traditional Japanese miso fermentation at one of two introductory workshops being led by the duo behind Tsukimiso Homestead, a Japan-based grain farm that’s also dedicated to producing various types of fermented products. Over the second week of September they’ll be hopping from Victoria to Salt Spring to share some of their stories and knowledge during a hands-on workshop that will hook you up with a whole kilo of miso to take home and provide healthful, comforting flavour just when we start craving it most. Registration for both classes are here.
MUSIC | Forget the day of the week; if you’re a music fan in Victoria the night of Sunday, September 15th then you had better be in the audience for the Black Mountain gig at Distrikt. Their big sound seldom sees such an intimate setting, so consider yourself lucky! Tickets here.
MAKE | Looking for extra motivation or resources to kick off a new fall project that’s on your mind? A membership to the Victoria Makerspace community could be just the thing. The first step to productively segueing into the new season is by showing up (promptly!) to their next monthly open house in order to figure out whether it’s the right fit. Find out more.
WINE | Victoria will once again be flooded with wine, wine-makers and drinkers when the International Wine Festival goes down later this month. If you’re the latter, then you’d better scoop up your tickets now. Details here.
BOOK LAUNCH | Though still summery, September is nevertheless the time to start building up a solid library for winter. Local author Steven Price’s very recently published new novel, Lampedusa, strikes us as a worthy addition – especially considering its very un-Colwood setting in balmy mid-century Sicily. Even better, you can hook yourself up with a signed copy by attending the author’s in-store reading at Munro’s. More info here.
EAT | It’s no secret that we love giving props to local suppliers and Averill Creek Vineyard clearly shares our passion. This month they’re sharing the local love by hosting an evening highlighting bounty from some of the winery’s favourite local farmers (paired with Averill Creek wines, of course). Get a taste of the Cowichan Valley by getting your tickets here.
TOUR | Spend an afternoon poking around some of Victoria’s most interesting spaces by signing up for the Victoria Art Gallery Associates 2019 House Tour. Stops include five art-filled architectural residences located in the Fairfield and Oak Bay neighbourhoods of Victoria. Tickets are available here or at the door.
CIDER | Apple harvesting season peaks this month and that definitely warrants a visit to the orchard. If you prefer drinking your apples to picking them, circle September 29th on your calendar because not one but two of Vancouver Island’s longest running cideries are throwing Fall hooplas. Merridale has invited a bunch of their fellow BC craft cider-makers to come together in Cobble Hill for the third annual Cider Harvest Festival (details on that here), while across the Saanich Inlet the good people at Sea Cider are also throwing a free, family-friendly public tasting event in honour of the autumn harvest (find out more here).
TASTE | In Victoria on Wednesday and not sure what to do with yourself? Check out Winesday at The Courtney Room. Get this: Each Wednesday chef Chris Klassen picks a unique (often hard to get your hands on) wine and pairs it with something tasty to allow wine geeks (and curious novices like us) the chance to enjoy a pour of wine seldom available by the glass alongside some local ingredients. Not only is Winesday value great, but it comes with a little bit of unpretentious wine education. Not bad for a Wednesday, right? Do it! Find out more.
DRIVE | Fall is one of the most beautiful months to take a drive on Vancouver Island. Take an afternoon off and head out to the country. If you’re looking for a destination, we suggest you make your way to Westholm Tea Farm for tea and pastry. The Westholm tea room and gallery is nestled in a quiet corner of the Cowichan Valley and is a total pleasure to get to. Once you’re there, taste some tea (we love the Swallow Tail Oolong and the Black Cardamom) and order yourself a piece of cheesecake. Westholm is open Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm and Tea Garden Tours are available Thursdays at 2pm and Sunday at 10:30am. Find out more.