Wine, cheese, and falling leaves: 7 festivals to indulge your fall fancies

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      The nights are getting cooler and the days are getting shorter, but that doesn’t mean Vancouverites have to put fun on hold. The turn of season brings with it countless autumn adventures in the city and beyond. If you’re looking to experience amazing food, culture, and nature right in your own back yard, check out any of these seven festivals and events in B.C. this fall.


      Victoria International Wine Festival

      September 23 and 24 at the Parkside Hotel in Victoria

      The Victoria International Wine Festival (VICWF) will showcase wines from around the world as the city’s only international wine tasting festival. The two-day event will offer over 300 varieties to choose from, so there’s sure to be something new for even the most experienced wine connoisseur.

      Those just getting into the wine scene can brush up on their knowledge of vino with seminars on how to buy wine, cheese pairing, and introductions to the wine industry in South Africa and Argentina—information that could make you sound like a class act at your next dinner party.



      September 28 to October 2 in Kamloops

      Vancouver isn’t the only place in the province with a craft beer scene; this fall, hit up Kamloops for the BrewLoops beer festival. The festival, now in its second year, hosts a variety of activities including brewing seminars, a bar crawl, and a VIP cask event. Of interest to DIYers, the festival’s home-brew competition offers hobbyists the chance to have their recipe professionally brewed by Red Collar Brewing and sold throughout the province.

      Novices can see firsthand how beer is made and learn about different styles of beer at the event’s Brew University or check out the BrewLoops block party, which features dozens of special beers and ciders, food trucks, and live music.

      Kieran Frey

      Fall Okanagan Wine Festival

      September 29 to October 9 in the Okanagan Valley

      The Fall Okanagan Wine Festival is one of four seasonal wine festivals in the region. Participants can enjoy mild autumn days and crisp evenings throughout the Okanagan Valley as local winemakers, grape growers, and chefs help them to experience the best the region has to offer. Food and wine pairings, tasting workshops, cocktail receptions, and wine judging competitions are among over 120 events happening that are focused on eating, drinking, and the arts.


      Glenna Turnbull

      B.C. Culture Days

      September 30 to October 2 throughout the province

      Founded as part of a national celebration of arts and culture in 2010, B.C. Culture Days seeks to foster appreciation of the arts across Canada. The events, which are volunteer-run and entirely free of charge, include more than 500 activities aimed at engaging citizens in the arts and cultural life of their communities.

      Happenings include musical performances, interactive workshops, community walks, heritage tours, and countless others. For a comprehensive list of what to expect, visit the B.C. Culture Days activities page.


      Vancouver Writers Fest

      October 18 to 23 on Granville Island and nearby venues

      The Vancouver Writers Fest—mostly happening in one of the city’s most important cultural districts, Granville Island—offers nearly 90 events, including panel discussions, performances, interviews, readings, and music. A family-friendly festival, nearly a third of the scheduled events are aimed at school-aged children.

      The event, which has previously featured world-renowned writers such as Frank McCourt (Angela’s Ashes) and J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter), includes over 100 authors, poets, spoken-word performers, and graphic novelists. This year, authors Emma Donoghue, Yaa Gyasi, Yann Martel, and Madeleine Thien will be in attendance.


      Darby Magill

      Cornucopia food + drink festival

      November 10 to 20 in Whistler

      The Cornucopia food + drink festival in Whistler is an annual exercise of indulgence and extravagance for foodies as well as for beer and wine aficionados. Now in its 20th year, Cornucopia continues to pair the province’s finest breweries, distilleries, winemakers, and producers with its top home-grown chefs.

      The 11-day festival offers participants the opportunity to join some of the top tastemakers in the province at over 100 events that include gala tastings, interactive seminars, winery dinners, and elite after-parties.


      Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival

      November 19 to 20 in Mission and Harrison Mills

      Mission and Harrison Mills boast one of the world’s largest and most concentrated congregations of bald eagles in the world, making them the perfect setting for the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival. Birdwatchers and families alike can convene in the Fraser Valley, along the Harrison River, to bear witness to some of the several thousand bald eagles in the area.

      The festival hosts events at eagle-viewing sites as well as educational opportunities such as exhibitions, nature walks, documentaries, seminars, and guided bird-watching tours with Fraser River Safari.