A festival-lover’s guide to fall in B.C.

Whether you’re craving adventure, culture, or food, we’ve got all your tastes covered

September 20, 2016

By Destination BC

Stop grumbling about the rainy season. Autumn is the perfect time to get out and #exploreBC at any of the exciting events happening over the next three months. Arts and cultural experiences, wine and beer festivals, bird-watching events and nature walks await you, so mark your calendars! You won’t want to miss these seven fall festivals and events, happening all across our beautiful province.

Victoria International Wine Festival

Photo: Christian Tisdale Photography

Ferry over to B.C.’s capital this September for the Victoria International Wine Festival. This two-day festival will feature informative seminars between tastings and wine-and-cheese pairings. Spend some time learning the wine lingo from the resident sommeliers — they will be able to put words to what you’re tasting, whether it’s full-bodied, floral or earthy. You might also want to chat with the representatives from the vineyards, whose finest vintages you can purchase at the onsite liquor store.

When: September 23–24
Where: The Parkside Hotel & Spa, located in Downtown Victoria


Beer festivals come and go, but BrewLoops is truly a stand-out creative community effort. This is the beer and bike festival of your dreams as it features a home brew competition, group bike rides, biking pub tours, and block parties. For those looking for a community experience with Kamloops locals, take a tour of a nearby brewery, participate in the farmers market tastings, or go on a guided group mountain bike ride. For fierce competitors, there are several gnarly bike races on Kamloops finest mountain biking trails over the course of the five-day festival.

When: September 28 to October 2
Where: Kamloops

Fall Okanagan Wine Festival

Photo: Kieran Frey

#ExploreBC by taking an Okanagan Valley vacation to experience the Fall Okanagan Wine Festival. Between September 29 and the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, ending October 9, there will be 10 days of events featuring wines from the Okanagan Valley. Some highlights include the British Columbia Wine Awards, Thanksgiving brunch at the Watermark Beach Resort, and B.C.’s largest farmers market and wine tasting, Cropped by Valley First. If you’re feeling adventurous, check out the Blind Wine & Cheese Social where you can test your knowledge of wine varieties. With over 120 events to choose from, you’re sure to find something that pleases your palate.

When: September 29 to October 9
Where: Okanagan Valley

BC Culture Days

Photo: Glenna Turnbull

As fall arrives in the Lower Mainland, reject the temptation to settle in for the long, rainy season. BC Culture Days is a great opportunity for individuals or families to take part in arts, culture and heritage activities such as outdoor art tours, art studio open houses, interactive workshops, and more. Filter through the long list of more than 400 activities taking place over the three days and find something everyone will enjoy.

When: September 30 to October 2
Where: Lower Mainland

Vancouver Writers Fest

The Vancouver Writers Fest is famous for the quality of seminars, contests and speakers it brings to town. This year features winners of the Man Booker Prize, Emma Donoghue and Yann Martel, as well as Yaa Gyasi, Madeleine Thien and many more. The week-long festival is jammed-packed with nearly 90 events for writers and readers alike. Be sure to check out the on-site bookstore that carries the works of the featured poets, authors, and graphic novelists.

When: October 17–23
Where: Most events held at Granville Island

Cornucopia food + drink festival

Photo: Darby Magill

Celebrate the harvest season at the Cornucopia food + drink festival in Whistler, located just 1.5 hours north of Vancouver. Cornucopia is an 11-day festival with a wide variety of happenings including seminars on wine, spirits, and beer, culinary demonstrations, interactive seminars, after-parties, and the Nita Beer Fest at Cure Lounge. When in Whistler for the festival, take advantage of the plethora of scenic hikes along Lost Lake, as well as the lively nightlife of Whistler Village.

When: November 10–20
Where: Whistler

Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival

Experience a special event unique to B.C. by attending the 21st annual Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival. Witness of one of the world’s largest congregations of bald eagles, which takes place in our own backyard along the Harrison River. At the event, you’ll also learn about how to care for our ecosystem to preserve the habitat and livelihood of B.C.’s wildlife. Festival-goers can enjoy expert speakers, nature walks, eagle viewings, delicious food options, as well as informative bird-watching tours with Fraser River Safari.

When: November 19–20
Where: Fraser Valley

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