Events

Events Around Vancouver Island
Jul20

It sure isn’t hard to find events around Vancouver Island in the summer. Some events take place on the main island and others in the surrounding islands, accessible by boat or ferry. There are festivals (both online and in-person this year), nature treks, music and shows, and even a medicine retreat.

Pasley Island & Howe Sound Kayak Tour
Fri., Jul. 2, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

The Pasley Island group is a beautiful archipelago of eight islands tucked between Bowen and the Sunshine Coast. During the tour, we weave in and out of the Paisleys, paddling among seals and watching the bald eagles soar overhead. A cafe box lunch is provided that we eat on a beach. 

Gambier Island Food Festival
Sat., Jul. 3, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. 

We invite you to join us at the 1st annual Gambier Island Food Festival. Hosted by the Gambier Island Farmers Market. 

SUP Shoreline Tour on Bowen Island
Sun., Jul. 4, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. 

Offered through Bowen Island Sea Kayaking, departing from Snug Cove we head either north towards Finisterre Island in view of the Coastal Range and the Lions or heads south along the rugged coastline towards Apodaca Beach, Bowen’s only Marine Park. We go at pace suitable for SUPs and the group’s abilities. This tour is suitable for adults and youth aged 14+ with some SUP experience. If you’ve never tried SUP before, please start with the 2-HOUR LESSON. 

 We start with on-land instruction to ensure that you are comfortable and confident before launching. Our guide to paddler ratio is max 1:6 ensuring your safety on and off the water. We launch directly from our docks at Bowen Island Marina. Your guide will help set up your board and safety equipment before heading out. 

 Vancouver Island Musicfest (virtual)
Fri., Jul. 9 – Sun., Jul. 11 

Vancouver Island MusicFest is an annual summer event featuring musical acts that range from bluegrass, blues, reggae, folk, rock, country, hip-hop, and more. This year, they are offering 25 hours of programming online. Purchase tickets, enter raffles, and return to their website day-of to catch the show. 

Family Camp – Gambier Island
Thu., Jul. 29, 5:00 p.m. – Mon., Aug. 2, 4:59 p.m. 

This Summer at Camp Latona join us over the weekend for a weekend away from the city. Bring the whole family for unique weekend adventures. All ages welcome. 

Earth & Soul Medicine Retreat – Bowen Island
Fri., Jul. 30, 5:00 p.m. – Mon., Aug. 2, 2:00 p.m. 

You are invited to step out of your everyday life…. immersing yourself in nature and connecting in sisterhood for 4 days and 3 nights. There will be plenty of time to heal, connect, relax, recharge and create. 

Attending one of these events around Vancouver Island and need a place to stay? Check out the wide range of vacation rentals from Breakaway Vacations.

Travel YouTubers
Jun18

Can’t travel just yet? Spending your time bingeing YouTube and Netflix in the meantime? Why not combine your wanderlust with your vlogger addiction? Here are 12 travel YouTubers we are loving right now. 

1. Kold

Sam Kolder is a Canadian travel junkie armed with a 6K drone for stunning landscape shots and areal views of his destinations—when he doesn’t accidentally break it, that is! Some of his most popular videos include 5 Days in Bali and My Best Drone Clips (2019).

2. Lost LeBlanc

Canadain Christian LeBlanc did what many of us only dream about: quitting his day job to travel the world. His channel launched in 2015 and since then he has been creating a mix of inspiring content and how-to guides. 

3. Sailing La Vagabonde

Couple Elayna and Riley are Australian travel YouTubers with the dream of circumnavigating the globe by sailboat…initially having no clue of how to sail. They have now sailed over 90,000nm each across many oceans, making videos along the way. 

4. Wolter’s World

Mark and Jocelyn are a wife-husband team who travel with their kids and make all the big touristy mistakes and warn you about them so that you don’t have to. This channel is down-to-earth and filled with the best travel tips. 

5. Hey Nadine

Nadine Sykora’s charming and personable channel boasts videos on travel hacks, tips and advice, packing guides, destination ideas, videos about food, and more. Check out her Things to Inspire You series for the best binge-worthy travel content.

6. Sorelle Amore

Sorelle Amore is a fun and quirky travel guide with relatable content about everything from art, sustainability, being a digital nomadic, and even how to take the best selfies. Viewers love her honesty and ability to not take life too seriously. 

7. Fearless and Far 

YouTuber Mike Corey is an adventure travel specialist with videos about exploring abandoned places, attending the craziest festivals and celebrations around the globe, and observing isolated tribes. 

8. The Planet D

Married couple Dave and Deb produce a weekly video series about their adventures around the globe—they have visited 110 countries and counting. They were named a top travel influencer by Forbes magazine.

9. Mark Wiens

Mark is a food-centric traveller who offers his captivated audience cuisine reviews as well as general travel tips. Watch him hunt down the best Thailand seafood, sample Iranian street food, and meet the “pajama chef.”

10. Drew Binsky

Drew has been chronicling his journey to visit every country in the world (currently at 194/197!) with video content that is more like mini-documentaries than typical influencer stuff. He currently holds two world records: the most UNESCO Heritage sites visited within 24-hours and the fastest recorded suitcase packing. 

11. I Am Aileen

Aileen Adalid left her job at age 21 to become a full-time entrepreneur, blogger, and vlogger. This travel and adventure guru has even been featured on BBC, National Geographic, Business Insider, Cosmopolitan, and Lonely Planet.

12. Brooke Saward

Brooke lives out of her suitcase and makes her living as a writer and travel influencer. She started with a popular blog but has now broken into videos/vlogs on YouTube. She wrote and published World of Wanderlust with Penguin Random House in 2016.

Who are your favourite travel YouTubers? Ready to experience the joy of traveling yourself? Reach out to us at Breakaway Vacations and we can help you find the perfect vacation spot around beautiful British Columbia. 

Summer BBQ
Jun11

Use these tips to host the best BBQ party this summer. 

Summer is here and the outdoors are calling. Hopefully, most of you have got your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and are anticipating your second (if applicable). In the coming months, we might even have the go-ahead to mingle with family and friends. 

As gatherings safely restart, you might be thinking of a few outdoor events with which to test the waters. And a BBQ party in your backyard or at a public park is a great place to start. 

Here are a few ideas to plan and host the best BBQ event of the season. 

Pick Guests Wisely

We’re just getting used to hanging out in crowds again. Let’s keep it simple for the first few attempts! Invite your family and a few close friends and keep it at that. A private Facebook group can be a good way to keep tabs on who has RSVP’d. 

Provide Dietary Options

Have meat- and plant-based options and ask your guests ahead of time if anyone needs a special menu (gluten intolerance, vegan, dairy allergy). The same applies to desserts. There’s nothing worse than being the only one who can’t partake in the cupcakes or brownies! 

Decide: BYOB?

Make sure your guests are crystal clear about whether the BBQ is a dry event, BYOB affair, or an open bar situation. Be sure to provide the basics, like a source for water and maybe some soda in a cooler. 

Weather Check

Obviously, you’ll want to aim for a sunny day. But sometimes Mother Nature doesn’t perform as promised. Email or text your guest list a day or two before with a weather update, letting them know what to expect and what to bring—be it sunscreen or umbrellas! 

Game Plan

Bring a few things for people to do, if they are so inclined. A deck of cards, a few sets of dice, or pen and paper for charades can go a long way. Keep it simple, as people may get caught up in socializing and not tap into them at all. Still, it’s nice to have for any lulls! 

Side Dishes

A build-your-own salad is always an easy side. Just chop some veggies and provide a few dressing options. Or, consider having people bring their own dish, salad, or snack while you provide the main course. 

Venue Rules

You’ll want to check any venue rules before you solidify your plans. Does the location have limitations on gathering sizes? Are fire bans in effect in your area? Is the site dog-friendly or not? Be aware of these for yourself—but don’t forget to inform your guests, too! 

DIY DJ

Have a game plan for playing some tunes while your guests mingle. A Bluetooth stereo will do the trick but be sure it has enough juice to get you through the evening. A battery pack, extension cord, or camping generator will do the trick in most circumstances. 

What are your best BBQ tips? Let us know in the comments.

If you’re staying with us at Breakaway Vacation, ask us which of our luxury vacation cottages have BBQ access! Our friendly travel advisors are always happy to help. 

Parksville and Qualicum Beach events
May28

Visiting Vancouver Island this spring? Be sure to check out these Parksville and Qualicum Beach events (+ some greater area stuff) for June 2021. Be sure to follow all COBID-19 safety protocols during your visit. And, as always, respect and honour the local community!

1. The 5K Foam Fest
Sat., Jun. 5, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Arbutus Meadows Event and Equestrian Centre
1515 Island Hwy E, Nanoose Bay, BC

5k Foam Fest has 22 of some of the best and most exciting Obstacles in the world including the worlds largest inflatable waterslide, slip and slides, and mucky mud pits. Combine these with 2.5 million cubic feet of foam that we pump out at each event and you are destined to have an awesome day!

2. Rollin’ With It at Qualicum Museum
Thu., Jun. 10, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Qualicum Beach Museum
587 Beach Rd, Qualicum Beach, BC

For adults who want to get outside and bring your preschooler – in a stroller, carrier, or walking. Rain or shine. Book your spot here.

3. BC Shellfish And Seafood Festival 2021
Jun. 11 – 20

Vancouver Island Conference Centre
101 Gordon St, Nanaimo, BC

BC Seafood Festival is one of the largest seafood industry trade events in the pacific northwest attracting suppliers, qualified domestic and international buyers. Seafood lovers will enjoy sampling the food and even packing some up to take back home.

4. Munchkinland at Storybook Village
Fri., Jun. 11, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Qualicum Commons
744 Primrose St, Qualicum Beach, BC

Munchkinland is a free program for children birth to kindergarten age and their adult. Oceanside BLT Munchkinland in Qualicum Beach is part of the BC StrongStart program.

5. Jett Auto Auction
Sat., Jun. 12, 11:30 a.m.

JETT Auction
861 Allsbrook Rd, Parksville, BC

We are a Wholesale Auto Auction Open to the Public! Over 100 vehicles for sale each week; chances are that you will find what you are looking for!

6. Saturday Breakfast Club at Family Place
Sat., Jun. 12, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Family Place (School District 69)
494 Bay Ave, Parksville, BC

Kids can come play at Parksville Muchkinalnd and the adults are given a breakfast-themed takeaway when they leave. Be sure to book ahead to secure a spot.

7. Topless Breakfast at Ricky’s
Sat., Jun. 12, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Ricky’s All Day Grill – Parksville
1480 Huntley Rd, Parksville, BC

Meetup for Breakfast with your convertible and some good conversation! After breakfast, for those interested, maybe go for drive to Cumberland. This is a local Meet Up event!

8. Art Bites ONLINE – Oil Pastels with Deborah Nicol
Sun., Jun. 13, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

McMillan Arts Centre
133 McMillan St, Parksville, BC

Try out this fun art medium with Deborah Nicol. Deb started her artistic endeavors with pencil portraits, quickly moving into Oil Pastels and Oils and expanding into landscapes and paintings of children. Deb also teaches Art Bites Acrylics classes.

9. Cruise Night – Parksville/Qualicum Beach
Fri., Jun. 18, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Parksville Community Park
193 Beachside Dr, Parksville, BC

Kick-off  Father’s Day Weekend with a cruise; open to everyone driving a classic vehicle who wants to join 400 plus enthusiasts for a scenic cruise of the Parksville & Qualicum Beach area. Food vendors and merchandise sales on-site including T-shirts, hats, souvenirs, raffles, and lots more.

10. Poker Run
Sat., Jun. 19, 10:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Parksville Community Park
193 Beachside Dr, Parksville, BC

Open to 150 pre-registered vehicles only due to limited space at our host location. Merchandise sales on site including T-Shirts, hats, souvenirs, and raffle tickets. Learn more here.

Need somewhere to stay on Vancouver Island so that you can make it to these great events? Contact us at Breakaway Vacations and we’ll set you up with the luxury vacation rental of your dreams.

4 Events Parksville Qualicum
Apr30

Will you be in the Parksville or Qualicum are this May? Here are a few local events to look forward to. Events in the Parksville Qualicum area are tailored to COVID-19 safety, either being outdoors, following strict distancing and mask guidelines, or moving entertainment online.  

1) Qualicum Beach Farmers’ Market
May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 

644 Veterans Way, Qualicum Beach, B.C. 

The Qualicum Beach Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday from 8:30AM to 12PM. A variety of local vendors offer homemade souvenirs, baking, and fresh produce for your perusal. The Market is a way to support the community and the people who make it thrive. You will be able to meet various mid-Island producers of quality fruits, vegetables, berries, and other products.  We files this under “May Events in the Parksville Qualicum Area” but did you know the Market goes on all summer? Check their website for more details! 

Please note: The Market has been modified to adhere to strict health and safety guidelines set by the BCCDC in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. No pets are allowed at the Market.  

2) The Key to Organizing Your Family History by Qualicum Beach Family History Society
May 5 

Presentation on Zoom. 

Diana Elder, an Accredited Genealogist and & Author from Salt Lake City, will be hosting a Zoom presentation in partnership with the Qualicum Beach Family History Society. The presentation will focus on tips and tricks to organizing your own family history so that your legacy can be preserved for generations to come. Anyone can access the presentation so long as you have a reliable wifi connection; simply claim a spot by visiting www.qbfhs.ca 

3) The Lady With All The Answers at Village Theatre
May 7, 8, 9 

Streamed online by ECHO Players.  

ECHO Players is Oceanside’s very own community theatre troupe and after a year hiatus, they are coming back with an online presentation of The Lady With All The Answers by David Rambo. This play tells the story of writer Ann Landers, circa 1975, as she pulls an all-nighter crafting “the most difficult column of her career.” It’s a tale drawn from the historical life and preserved letters of real-life Ann Landers, who is played in this presentation by Qualicum Beach actress Karen Golden. 

Tickets are $22 for families and $15 for individuals. 

4) Oceanside Grandmothers Welcome Spring Plant Sale
May 15 

738 Gaetjen Street, Parksville, B.C. 

Oceanside Grandmothers, also known as G2G, is a group that hosts various local events around town throughout the year. They are Canadian grandmothers who raise funds on Vancouver Island to help grandmothers in sub-Saharan Africa bring up their AIDS-orphaned grandchildren. On Saturday, May 15th between 8AM and 1PM, they are having a “Welcome Spring” plant sale offering varied vegetable, flower, and indoor plants. All funds go to reliable grassroots projects through the Grandmothers Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. 

Visit us online at Breakaway Vacations to learn more about the Parksville Qualicum area as well as other spots across Vancouver Island and within the Okanagan Valley. Planning a future vacation? We can help!  

You might also like: The Best Staycation Ideas in British Columbia for 2021 

B.C. Vacation Rentals
Mar26

Everyone has different wants and needs when picking out which B.C. vacation rentals might be perfect for a long weekend stay or a whole week away. Whether you are on a budget, traveling with family, or planning a big event, we have a vacation property picked out for you.

Vacation Rentals on a Budget   

Who doesn’t love a great deal? These B.C. vacation rentals are budget-friendly.  

  1. West Kelowna Classic Lakeview Cottage 

From $100/night as of writing this (prices subject to change). Sweet and simple 1 bedroom plus loft cottage, beautifully furnished with 1.5, 2 queen-sized beds and pullout sofa. Fully equipped kitchen with washer and dryer in the unit. Private sun deck with a gas BBQ grill. Units have air conditioning. This cottage type is available on the lower resort.

  1. Bowser, Vancouver Island Seacroft Cabin 

From $89/night as of writing this (prices subject to change). Cozy 2-bedroom cottage in a serene location with easy beach access. West coast design with character wood ceiling, inviting wood stove, and front porch. Full kitchen, dining area, living room, 1 bathroom, and deck. The location is private and quiet and a short walk to the beautiful Vancouver Island waterfront. Great for the nature lover.  

Vacation Rentals for Families   

These properties have room for the whole family…and Fido, too!  

  1. West Kelowna Barona Beach Condo 

Comfortably sleeps 6 guests. 2-bedroom and den 4th-floor condo with 3 full bathrooms and fully stocked premium kitchen. High-end finish in this waterfront building. Great location in wine country, minutes to Kelowna’s best wineries such as Mission Hill, Quail’s Gate, and many more.  

  1. Pender Island Oceanfront Rental Home 

Comfortably sleeps 6 guests. 2-bedroom oceanfront home with a sleeping den. A comfortable, attractive, oceanfront bungalow featuring cedar siding, a shake roof, beamed ceiling. An appealing, 1640-square-foot house finished with Pender cedar and fir throughout and featuring many works of local artists. Pets okay!   

Vacation Rentals for Events or Large Groups   

Have a bridal shower, wedding, corporate event, family reunion, or other such plan coming up? These properties have room for everyone.  

  1. North Pender Island Ocean View Vacation Home 

Comfortably sleeps 8 guests. Great for “small” gatherings like birthdays or bachelorette parties. Beautiful oceanfront, 3-bedroom Pender Island vacation home, with 2-bathrooms and plenty of space. Equipped with all the amenities and sits right over the water. The marina and boat launch offer kayaks and other boats to rent. A heated swimming pool beckons you during the summer months.   

  1. La Casa Mirador Guest House 

The Guest House has everything: 6 large bedrooms, 1 master suite, and a bunkhouse level just for the kids. A large open kitchen, huge island, all new appliances, and two ovens. Expansive 2400-square-foot deck overlooking Lake Okanagan. The patio has a gas fireplace, lounge chairs, barbecue, darts, and outdoor seating. The games room has a pool table, fireplace, and plenty of board games. A movie theatre with a 10 x 20 ft screen and 15 surround sound speakers is available. Keg fridge with a tap (you bring the keg). Plus, a built-in sound system that connects right to your iPhone.  

Ready to book or continue to browse? Check out Breakaway Vacations’ full property catalogue with reservation forms on each page.   

Winter activities
Dec04

You don’t need to be cooped up indoors during your stay at a Breakaway Vacation property in Parksville or Qualicum Beach from November through January. Vancouver Island, while renowned for its summertime affairs, has plenty to do even when the snow starts falling. Plus, you won’t have to fight the typical warm-weather crowds! Here are a few winter activities you can look forward to in the area.

  1. New Year’s Day Annual Polar Bear Splash

Don’t mind the chill? Want a challenge? Join the Parksville community on New Years Day as residents and visitors alike participate in the Polar Bear Splash. Dash into the winter-chilled ocean at Parkville Beach to brave the cold.

  1. Sports at Oceanside Place

Oceanside Place is a sports and ice area that is perfect for the whole family. They have an active skate schedule on their website if you want to pop by. You can also catch an Oceanside Generals game, if you want to watch the local hockey team.

  1. Winter Hiking

There are plenty of hiking areas that are open year-round, like Little Qualicum Falls, Top Bridge Park, Englishman River Falls, or Rathtrevor Beach. Most are empty during the winter months even though they are open, meaning you can have the trails and scenery all to yourselves!

  1. Take a Pacific Rainforest Adventure Tour

These are available year-round and offer trips suitable for families and seniors. You can pick the theme of your tour, ranging from nature tours to wine tours. The Salmon Spawning Tour is only available in October and November, making it a winter-exclusive activity!

  1. Horne Lake Caving, Winter Edition

We love caving year-round but winter caving tours tend to be less crowded and offer a different experience due to increased levels of moisture for the season. Horne Lake Caves offers October through January bookings with limited availability, so call ahead and save your spot.

  1. Visit Grotto Spa

The Tigh-Na-Mara Grotto Spa just outside of Parkville was named one of the top spas in Canada by Spas of America in 2018! Check out the large mineral pool, the relaxation lounge, various spa treatments, and finish your night with a meal from the attached Cedars Restaurant & Longue.

Vancouver Island has many, many things to do in the winter months. Want to hear more about where to stay to access these winter activities? Reach out to the Breakaway Vacation staff, we would be happy to help.

Snow activities
Nov27

Don’t have a ski hill in your backyard? No problem! There are plenty of things to do when your yard gets a fresh layer of snow. Your neighborhood is probably rich with parks and nature areas, too, which can work if you don’t have your own yard. Coming up with some fun snow activities can keep the wintertime blues at bay.

  1. Build a Snowman

If you have enough snow on the ground, this is an obvious go-to winter activity. Instead of a regular old snowman, add ears or a tail or a beak and build a snow animal of your choice. See what odds and ends you can collect up off the ground—sticks and twigs, small rocks, pinecones and pine needles, whatever is around!

  1. Build an Igloo

This activity is perfect for families with small children, as yard-built igloos will be a perfect wintertime fort for them. There are also plenty of jobs to do, so everyone can participate in building an igloo: gather snow, shape bricks, stack bricks, and pack together the snow. Make the first “brick” slanted on one side in order to get a proper dome shape as you pile them up.

  1. Make Snow Angels

Everyone in the family can make an angel from eldest to youngest lined up in the snow. You can use twigs and rocks to draw on faces and even make crowns or halos using pine needles. Don’t forget to take pictures once you’re done!

  1. Go Sledding

Find a safe hill nearby and bring along a plastic sled or sled alternative (some people even just use plastic garbage bags, etc.). You’ll get some exercise carrying the sleds back up the hill each time, too. This is a great way to generate some body-warmth on chilly days.

  1. Paint with (non-toxic) Food Coloring

Add food coloring to cold water in spray bottles jars and use them to decorate the snow in the yard. Snow activities don’t get any easier than this (best done when there is freshly fallen powder). You can build models of flowers or animals and then use the “paint” to color them in.

Dreaming about summer already? Book your summer vacation rentals with us on Vancouver Island or the mainland NOW before they fill up. 

Halloween events
Oct23

If you are visiting Vancouver Island this October there are plenty of things to do as Halloween grows near. These events are compiled with our Breakaway Vacation properties in Parksville and Qualicum Beach in mind but don’t forget to explore what goes on in other areas like Victoria, as well!

  1. Halloween Party & Masquerade Ball

If you don’t mind a short drive to Nanaimo then be sure to buy tickets for the annual Halloween Part and Masquerade Ball, hosted by the Serauxmen Service Club. Enjoy dancing, live music, and a best costume prize (solo and group).

Location: Nanaimo Curling Club (106 Wall Street)

  1. Pumpkins on the Drive

Wander along Resort Drive to see an assortment of pumpkins carved and decorated for the season. If you’re lucky, you might be able to pick up some candy and hot chocolate along the way!

Location: Resort Drive in Parksville

  1. Friends of Foster Park Pumpkin Walk

More pumpkins, what a surprise! Tour through hundreds of pumpkins carved by community youth. This event takes place every year and is free to attend. The walk is family-friendly with enough rooms for strollers.

Location: Foster Park, Parksville

  1. Errington’s Pumpkin Trail and Fireworks

Visit Errington’s Community Park with the whole family in costume (child-friendly event) and check out the props hidden along the trails. Treats will be handed out at different milestone locations. There is also a market site at the end where you can stock up on treats and drinks. Plus: fireworks!

Location: Errington’s Community Park

  1. Coombs Candy Walk

This is a Halloween event held every year. Visitors can enjoy a circus-themed candy walk, concession stands, a “Little Ghouls” haunted house, and fireworks later in the night. The event is by donation, so chip in what you can.

Location: 1014 Ford Road, Coombs

  1. Halloween in the Village

Located in the heart of Qualicum Beach, Halloween in the Village includes a pumpkin trail, hotdogs and other treats, a bonfire, and some nighttime fireworks. Check online for more details, as they sometimes have a haunted house (OR a family-friendly version) set up, as well.

Location: Downtown Qualicum Beach

  1. Halloween Howl Swim

Want something totally unique? Try the Halloween Howl Swim at the Ravensong Aquatic Centre. The Centre is always decorated for the occasion. Also, there will be games and activities for kids. The event closed off with a piñata bash, so be sure to stick around.

Location: Ravensong Aquatic Centre, Qualicum Beach

Not sure what you want to do to celebrate this Halloween with your family? Ask us about our vacation rentals on Vancouver Island!