Salt Spring Island festivals and local events are popular amongst the residents of the island and the neighbouring Gulf Islands of British Columbia. Many events celebrate the farming heritage of Salt Spring Island, with farm tours and the fall fair, tours of artist and crafters studios are wildly popular, as are the music festivals and celebrations of local food and wine and the bounty of the ocean surrounding Salt Spring Island.
Salt Spring Film Festival
The 16th annual Salt Spring Film Festival presents films that explore social justice, the environment, art and culture, politics and food security. Filmmakers are invited to the Festival to present their films and lead lively discussions. The festival takes place annually at Gulf Islands Secondary School in early March. www.saltspringfilmfestival.com.
Ruckle Farm Day: Ruckle Heritage Farm is the oldest working farm in British Columbia still owned by the original family. The working farm grows hay and raises sheep and lambs, cows, hens and turkeys, and maintains a large market garden with sales through their own farmstand at the end of their driveway at 1801 Beaver Point Road. Ruckle Farm hosts Ruckle Farm Day in the Spring, a Heritage day of demonstrations of old-style farming and practices such as churning butter, spinning & weaving, horse plowing and tractor plowing.
Salt Spring Easter Art Tour is held over the three days of the Easter weekend each year to showcase and promote visual artists living and working on Salt Spring Island. The fine arts include painting, sculpture and photography. The Tour includes a feature exhibition at historic Mahon Hall, and visitors then take a self-guided Artist Studio and Gallery tour of participating studios and galleries around the island. Tour maps are available at Mahon Hall. www.saltspringeasterarttour.com.
Salt Spring Canada Day: Celebrate Canada’s birthday on 1 July at the popular Salt Spring Canada Day, held in Centennial Park at Rainbow Road and Jackson Road in Ganges. Events include the Show and Shine classic car show, entertainment, food, and a fireworks display in Ganges Harbour.
Salt Spring Chamber Music Festival
The Salt Spring Chamber Music Festival showcases an outstanding variety of the greatest works from the chamber music repertoire for loyal standing-room audiences, all performed on the intimate stage of ArtSpring Arts Centre in Ganges. Embracing the rich literature of Romantics such as Chopin and Dvorak and stretching from Bach to Black (Arthur!), the festival’s artists passionately delve into the wonder and mysteries of this most personal music-making. For all of this, and even occasional Icelandic music mixed together with cutting-edge contemporary artists, Salt Spring Island provides an idyllic and inspirational setting for thrilling new musical discoveries. Held in late July. www.saltspringchambermusicfestival.com.
Salt Spring Festival of the Arts in July presents a diverse and culturally rich program of talented performing artists.
Salt Spring Lavender Festival is a fun festival full of wonderful music, dance and food. In addition, learn from our gardening expert, our lavender growing and distillation demonstrations, or just spend time in the lavender fields listening to the symphony of bees. Held at Sacred Mountain Lavender, 401 Musgrave Road, in mid July. www.sacredmountainlavender.com/lavender-festival.
Salt Spring Sea Capers: For over a hundred years, Salt Spring Island has been celebrating the ocean and the island way of life at Sea Capers, a popular event that offers food, cook offs, music, treasure hunts, sea kayak races, boat building, sandcastle building, a fishing derby … and more fun-filled events. Held at various venues around Salt Spring Island over the Father’s Day Weekend. www.facebook.com/SaltSpringSeaCapers.
Fulford Day is a volunteer-organized community event in August held at Drummond Park on Isabella Point Road across the bay from the Fulford Ferry Terminal at the south end of the island. Kids’ games and entertainers start the day, with a beer garden, lamb barbeque, Fresh Corn, Chili and more great food served up while local musicians keeps everyone entertained. Enjoy the park, the beach and the free admission. Prizes galore, raffles and 50/50 draws and lots of fun to be had all day long. All proceeds support the Fulford Day Society, a non-profit organization that puts money back into the community.
Salt Spring Island Eco-Living and Home Tour
The Salt Spring Island Eco-Living and Home Tour showcases energy-efficient construction, green building materials, renewable energy, organic growing, electric vehicles and more. The tour is held in August. www.transitionsaltspring.ning.com.
Salt Spring Island Farm Tour: Tour over a dozen farms on the island at the end of August for an intimate experience of farming on Salt Spring Island. Enjoy demonstrations, workshops, tastings, meals, farm stands and more! A fundraiser for the The Salt Spring Tuesday Farmers’ Market. Tickets available at Salt Spring Books and online at www.saltspringfarmtour.com.
Salt Spring Island Garlic & Music Festival
The Salt Spring Island Garlic and Music Festival promotes two of the most visible of Salt Spring’s assets, namely music and the commitment the island has to producing home-grown organic food. Salt Spring Island is known internationally for these qualities. The festival brings together an international group of performers to a stage with top notch local talent for a collection of performances that will exceed expectations. Together they will rock the place and attendess will indulge in eating some of the best food on the planet. Held in the second week of August at the Farmer’s Institute. www.saltspringgarlicfestival.com
Salt Spring Island Apple Festival: Salt Spring grows over 350 varieties of apples organically, with an apple history dating back to 1860. The Salt Spring Island Apple Festival is a fabulous community event, attracting about 1,500 apple lovers, celebrating the apples and food of Salt Spring Island and connecting visitors with the farms and farmers that produce this very special diversity of tasty, healthy food. Come celebrate the Magic of Mother Nature in late September. www.SaltSpringapplefestival.org
Salt Spring Island Fall Fair: One of the biggest events of the year on Salt Spring Island is the annual Fall Fair, held on the third weekend of September at the Farmers’ Institute Grounds at 351 Rainbow Road, just outside the village of Ganges. The two-day fair attracts thousands of visitors who attend to see award-winning displays of fruit and vegetables, prize-winning livestock and riding exhibitions by local equestrians. www.ssifi.org/fall-fair.
Sip & Savour Salt Spring brings together growers, food providers and chefs from Salt Spring Island and partner them with vintners representing the wine growing regions of British Columbia and the finest Vancouver Island Craft Brewers. Three days of sipping, savouring and living the Salt Spring Island farm-to-table dream! Mid September at Hastings House Hotel, 160 Upper Ganges Road. www.sipandsavourSaltSpring.com
Christmas Craft Fairs: Three Christmas Craft Fairs are held in the first weekend in December: The Guilds of Christmas fair at Mahon Hall, the Beaver Point Hall craft fair, and the Fulford Hall craft fair. The fairs commence on Friday evening and continue throughout Saturday and Sunday.
Christmas on Salt Spring events are held from late November through December with Craft Fairs held across the island, plus a Chilli Cook-Off, the Glowtini Contest at Harbour House Hotel, Merry Monday in Fulford Village, and visits by Santa at the Garden Shed at Mouat’s Garden. www.christmasonSaltSpring.com
Santa Ship: In the second weekend of December, the Lions Club International’s Santa Ship visits Saturna, Mayne, Pender, Galliano, and Salt Spring Islands, bringing gifts to the children and joy to all. The voyage starts in Bellingham, Washington and ends with a grand entry into Ganges Harbour at nightfall, ablaze with colorful lights and Christmas carols.
ONGOING SUMMER EVENTS
Music Under the Stars: Live music daily under the stars from mid May to mid September at the Tree House Cafe in the heart of Ganges (106 Purvis Lane). Different musicians every night of the week. www.treehousecafe.ca.
Salt Spring Island Tuesday Farmers Market: Held weekly at Centennial Park In Ganges Village on Tuesdays (2-6pm) through the months of June to October. The Tuesday Market features all the best locally-grown vegetables, berries and fruits, fresh flowers, and locally-produced foods. www.facebook.com/saltspringtuesdaymarket.
Salt Spring Island Saturday Farmers Market: Held weekly on Saturday (8:30am – 4pm) through the months of April to October, the Salt Spring Market is an island tradition that draws visitors from near and far. Visitors are treated to exclusively local creations from artists, food producers, and musicians. www.saltspringmarket.com.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Directory of events under various categories, including Exhibitions, Arts & Crafts, Christmas Festivities, Cultural, Farmers’ Markets, Festivals, Food & Wine, Literature, Music & Entertainment, Nature, and Recreation.