Summer is just around the corner! Make the most of the season with festivals and events that celebrate every facet of life on the Sunshine Coast. From oceanside concerts to a celebration of the written arts, here are a few of the exciting events to check out this summer.
Looking for more? Visit our calendar of events and use the date filters to see what’s happening during your visit.
Local Markets, ongoing over the summer
The Sunshine Coast is full of farmers’ markets. Read our round-up blog for details on local farmers’ markets, which play host to produce vendors, bakers, makers, and more in communities like Gibsons, Roberts Creek, Sechelt, and Powell River. Gibsons also has a new community market called Gibsons 4 Seasons Market, and in June Sechelt will be the new home of the Artisan Seaside Market (featuring local artists and designers).
Tip: Local markets are a great place to pick up supplies for your adventures and gifts to take home with you!
Pender Harbour Blues Festival, June 2 – 4, 2023
There's nothing to feel blue about when you attend this energizing, community-loved festival. This long-running concert series brings blues music to venues located throughout Pender Harbour, including the Lagoon Restaurant at Painted Boat, the Royal Canadian Legion, and Pender Harbour Community Hall. The lineup of fantastic blues musicians from near and far is the main attraction, but it’s the enthusiastic crowds that add the extra magic to this festival scene. The Pender Harbour Blues Festival is guaranteed to be a dancing, swinging, rousing good time.
Tip: Stay in the area for the easiest access to all the different performances and venues. Download the Coastal Rides app to book safe passage to and from the events if you plan on consuming a drink or two.
Taste of Sechelt, June 3, 2023
Foodies, take note! This exciting culinary experience lets you try the best that downtown Sechelt has to offer, with both a daytime and evening event. Taste of Sechelt kicks off with an afternoon event at 1:00pm—purchase a branded wine glass for $12 at the corner of Wharf Avenue and Cowrie Street or in front of Lighthouse Liquor Store, get your wristband, and then sip, shop, and eat your way through Downtown Sechelt. Your wristband includes samples of wine at participating shops, and there will be $6 curated appies on offer at participating eateries.
Don't miss the evening portion, running from 5:30pm to 10:00pm. Your $85 ticket includes wine tastings, BBQ by Noble Meats & Cheeses, and a live performance by Joe Rotundo and the Interstellar Riders.
Tip: Bring your branded wine glass from last year and save $2 for the daytime event. Tickets to the evening event will go fast, so make sure to purchase yours before they sell out!
Outdoor Music Series, June to early September (varies by community)
Throughout the summer, you can catch live music performances in various venues across the Sunshine Coast.
Gibsons plays host to Music in the Landing, an outdoor concerts series that sees musicians take to the stage in Winegarden Park and at the gazebo in the Gibsons Harbour. Sechelt’s Summer Music Series is set to take place at the new Hackett Park stage. And Powell River hosts a music in the park series at Willingdon Beach.
Tip: Heading out to enjoy some music? Grab food to go and make it a picnic in the park as well. Looking to stay indoors? Breweries across the Coast often host live musical performances, and the High Beam Dreams event space in Gibsons frequently showcases an exciting roster of talent.
Powell River PRISMA Festival, June 12 – 24, 2023
Get ready for a musical extravaganza by the sea during the annual PRISMA Festival. Each year, international music students come together to study with principal players from top orchestras around the globe. They take to the stage in an epic symphonic spectacle that is enjoyed by music lovers, residents, and visitors alike. Over two weeks, you can take in performances ranging from indoor concerts to a family-friendly music performance set right on the shores of Powell River's Willingdon Beach. Guest appearances have included members of the LA Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, and more. It's a music event like no other! General ticket sales are open now.
Tip: For those curious about the festival, you can watch PRISMA's livestream video broadcasts, which took place in 2020 and 2021, to get a feel for what the live show (and the buzz) is all about. Equal parts educational and entertaining, the 16 episodes offer a behind-the-scenes look at the festival, lessons from the virtual classroom, concert footage and more.
Gibsons Landing Jazz Festival and Beyond, June 23 – 25, 2023
This year, festivities are moving beyond Gibsons, with performances slated for Roberts Creek and Sechelt, too! The Gibsons Landing Jazz Festival is preceded by Jazz Week, which kicks off on June 17 with a dance at Roberts Creek Hall. Some of the major elements of the festival include bands taking to the stage at Hackett Park in Sechelt on June 23, with swing dancing into the evening, and brunch and bands at Winegarden Park in Gibsons on June 24.
Tip: Stop by local Visitor Centres (the Gibsons and Sechelt locations are close to the event venues) to get intel on restaurants, outdoor activities, and more during your visit.
syíyaya Days, June 21 – July 1, 2023
syíyaya Days first took root in 2022 as a partnership between the District of Sechelt, the shíshálh Nation, and the syíyaya Reconciliation Movement. This multi-day event kicks off on June 21, which is National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada, and is followed by 10 days of awareness building, learning, and cultural celebration. The event culminates in an inclusive Canada Day event on July 1, that will feature a parade and an orange shirt walk. Stay tuned for full event details!
Tip: During your visit, we encourage you to engage in cultural exploration and learning—and participating in events such as this one is a great way to do so. You can also support local Indigenous tourism operators during your visit.
International Choral Kathaumixw, July 4 – 8, 2023
The International Choral Kathaumixw is a 5-day choral festival filled with concerts, common song singing, choral & vocal solo competitions, conductor’s seminars, and social events. The festival brings different cultures and communities together in Powell River to share the common language of song. It takes place every other year, and draws more than 1,200 singers from all over the world!
Tip: Tickets are on sale now. Purchase individual tickets or the Eight-concert Package, which includes the Kathaumixw Gala Opening Concert, Awards Concert, Gala Closing Concert, and five additional concerts.
Texada Island Sandcastle Weekend, July 15 & 16, 2023
Texada Island’s Sandcastle Weekend is designed for family fun and entertainment. The sandcastle competition is the main event, with a small entry fee and categories for different age groups. But that’s not all: the weekend typically includes a parade, food court and vendors, beer garden, pancake breakfast, and more. Last year’s event included bed races, a lip sync contest, a show & shine, and even a dog show! Stay tuned for details on the 2023 event.
Tip: Texada Island plays host to more fun events over the summer, like the Texada Annual Fly-in on July 30, 2023, the Texada Island Blues & Roots Music Festival on August 5 & 6, 2023, and Run the Rock on August 20, 2023.
Coast Gravity Park Backwoods Jam, TBA (typically in August)
Following the heels of the world’s most pre-eminent mountain bike festival, Crankworx in Whistler, riders flock to the “backwoods” version on the Sunshine Coast. Hosted at Coast Gravity Park, a rider-designed mountain bike park known for its flowy, fun trails, the Backwoods Jam sees some of the world’s top and most exciting riders hit a designed course—all in the name of fun, with no pressure to compete. Watch as riders hit a slopestyle line and stunt tricks, or take to the downhill course where you can cheer them on around strategic corners. Bring your bike and test out the park for yourself—this is an all-ages event that draws riders of all levels. Food, music, local craft cider and beer, and a solid lineup of bike athletes and event attendees make this one to put on the calendar every year.
Tip: The Sunshine Coast is home to a variety of amazing mountain biking trails—plan to hit the trails in multiple communities while you’re here.
Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts, August 17 – 20, 2023
The Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts is Canada's longest running literary festival, celebrating a diverse roster of literary voices (and readers). What started as a one-day inaugural festival has grown to a nationally recognized event that attracts writers from across the country and an audience of 7,500 over the course of four evenings and three days. In past years, the lineup has included local publishers, internationally acclaimed writers, poets, and more. Take in author readings, panel discussions, musical performances, and more—all set in the stunning gardens of Rockwood Centre in Sechelt.
Tip: Grab a festival pass for access to every event the festival hosts. If you have accessibility challenges, there is a wheelchair-friendly pathway that leads to the main venue where all the events are hosted.
Rogue Fest, August 18 – 20, 2023
Rogue Fest bills itself as a "three-day, outdoor, feisty little festival where you can immerse yourself in non-stop, genre-crossing music, art, and more." They embrace all things different and exciting, and you can see that reflected in the musical performances they host, the unique on-site vendors, and the interactive installations. Delicious food and libations are on offer, and so is on-site camping. The event itself is set on an idyllic, family-run farm, surrounded by second- and old-growth forest—making it a perfect representation of the Sunshine Coast in many ways. Check out some photos from the 2022 event to see what Rogue is all about!
Tip: It's easy to get here; the event grounds are located a five-minute walk from local public transportation, and an on-site bike lock up will ensure cyclists have a worry-free time.
Powell River Blackberry Festival, Typically the third week of August
Blackberries are juicy, ripe, and abundant—you can pick them in patches all over the Sunshine Coast, from Langdale to Lund. The Powell River Blackberry Festival pays homage to these beloved berries each August. During the course of the festival, blackberries make their way into both sweet and savoury foods of all kinds, and there’s a barbecue to ensure you’re suitably satisfied. The festival’s offerings include live music, art exhibitions, interactive performances, and more. The festival typically ends with a night of fireworks—a perfect celebratory bang in honour of this humble berry.
Tip: You can purchase house-made blackberry jam at Edie Rae’s Cafe year-round (just in case you miss the festival, or simply want to take something home with you).
qathet Studio Tour, August 26 & 27, 2023
Experience the diversity and excellence of the art community on the northern section of the Sunshine Coast. The qathet Studio Tour is a free, self-guided event featuring artists from Lang Bay to Lund. A brochure with a map will be available at various locations in qathet, leading you to the homes and studios of local artists. The event aims to connect art makers and art lovers, and is a great way to explore Powell River, Lund, and beyond while supporting the local art community.
Tip: Local artists are often inspired by the Sunshine Coast’s beautiful landscapes. Book a stay in Powell River or Lund, and get outside—spend some time paddling, hiking, biking, exploring local beaches, and more.
Sunshine Music Festival, September 2 & 3, 2023
The Sunshine Music Festival takes place over the Labour Day weekend, in beautiful Palm Beach Regional Park. Enjoy live music on the beachfront stage, take a refreshing swim in the ocean, find unique treasures in the artisan market, fuel up for more with some delicious food. Stay tuned for the 2023 lineup—the 2022 lineup included Five Alarm Funk, Scenic Route to Alaska, Ultraviolet, and more.
Tip: Arrive prepared with the essentials, since many amenities are a bit of a drive from the venue. There is no overnight camping available at the park, so it’s important to book accommodations and make your travel plans well in advance.
Visit our Calendar of Events to learn more about what's happening this summer.