Chemainus Theatre Festival Reveals 2020 Season

While the Vancouver Island town of Chemainus is famed for its collection of 50+ outdoor murals, the Chemainus Theatre Festival draws visitors far and wide indoors to view award-winning Island made theatre.  Home to the Playbill Dining Room, the Theatre’s unique dinner & theatre combination makes every visit to the Chemainus Theatre Festival an evening to remember.  

The Chemainus Theatre Festival recently released its line-up for another season of world-class theatre. 

The 2020 season includes: 

The Marvellous Wonderettes: February 14 – March 28, 2020
Four young teenage singers dream of the big time in this musical featuring the songs of the 50s & 60s. 

The 39 Steps: April 9 – May 3, 2020
Romance, espionage, and comedy come to the stage in this adaptation of Hitchcock’s masterpiece 

Disney’s Beauty & The Beast – The Broadway Musical: May 29 – August 29, 2020
The classic, and beloved, tale as old as time is brought to life. 

Glory: September 11 – October 3, 2020
Based on the true story of Ontario’s Preston Rivulettes women’s hockey team who proved Canada’s sport isn’t just for men.

Joyful Noise: October 16 – November 7, 2020
Learn the dramatic, and miraculous backstory of the creation of George Frederick Handel’s Messiah 

Elf – The Musical: November 20 – December 31, 2020
The much loved comedy, adapted from the hit film, follows Buddy The Elf as he spreads Christmas cheer

Kidzplay – Winnie The Pooh: July 18 – August 9, 2020
Bring the whole family on a visit to the Hundred Acre Woods in this musical adaptation of AA Milne’s classic.

Season subscriptions are on sale now, purchase or renew before December 13th to be entered to win a Broadway Trip to NYC with Chemainus Theatre Festival 

Before the 2020 season begins, there’s still time to catch the final show of the 2019 – Miracle on 34th Street November 15 – December 29, 2019.

Villa Eyrie brings Luxury back to the Malahat

VillaEyrie_img_0219Villa Eyrie Resort opened its doors this week to show off the rejuvenated luxury resort.  From its perch high on the Malahat, for much of the 90s and early 2000s, The Aerie Resort, as it was known, was the definition of European luxury.

The Aerie Resort closed in 2007 and sat dormant until this year when GAIN the automotive group behind the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit purchased the resort. After a $2million renovation Villa Eyrie has been reborn, elevating the resort’s former glory by bringing it up to date with up-to-date style and technology.

Spread over three Tuscan-inspired villas, Eyrie Resort’s 38 rooms are all stunning;  plush bedding, contemporary furnishings, fireplaces, in-room soaker tubs, and private balconies to take advantage of the spectacular views from every room.  Ranging from 310 sq ft Deluxe Rooms to 665 sq ft Master Suites in Villa Principale and Villa Aquila up to the stunning 700 sq ft Villa Cielo Penthouse Suite.  Groups and families can rent out the entire 6 suite Villa Cielo with its own gourmet kitchen and common room, prepare your own meals or ask for a resort chef to come to you for personal service. The Grand Opening rates, from about $200/ night are surprisingly reasonable for a accommodation of this style.

Villa Principale, the main villa houses check-in, Driver’s Lounge for casual drinks and meals, fine-dining at Summit Restaurant, and Tuscan Spa and the soon to open salt-water mineral pool.   General public is welcome to visit the lounge and restaurants and book treatments at the Spa as an added benefit for your safety and peace of mind take advantage of the Eyrie Resorts limousine service to get you safely home after enjoying your visit to the luxury mountaintop.

Eyrie Resort is located at 600 Ebadora Lane, Malahat, BC about 30-40 minutes from downtown Victoria.


Ten Vancouver Island Summer Music Festivals

Summer is always the season of outdoor music festivals and concerts. While the lower mainland’s music festivals tend to get the bulk of the buzz and attention, Vancouver Island is becoming a major destination for music festivals of all styles, attracting big names and small.

Just in time for your summer holidays, the next few weeks finds a multitude of music festivals all over Vancouver Island. Here’s a few of them;
Rock the shores

Vancouver Island Music Festival: Comox Valley Fairgrounds, Courtenay – July 8 – 10, 2016
Acts include: 54-40,  The Trews, Serena Ryder, Jim Byrnes, Ashley MacIsaac, John Prine

The Phillips Backyard Weekender: Phillips Brewery Backyard, Victoria – July 8 – 10, 2016
Acts include: Milky Chance, The Funkhunters, A Tribe Called Red, Bahamas, The Magnificent DJ Jazzy Jeff

A Very Musical Weekend: Morningstar Farm/Little Qualicum Cheesworks – July 16 – 17, 2016
Classical Saturday with Pinnacle Brass Quintet, Jazz Sunday with Dockside Drive Band

Chemainus Bluegrass Festival: Waterwheel Park, Chemainus – July 16-17, 2016
Acts include: FarmStrong, The Spinney Brothers, Clover Point Drifters, Harmony Ridge & Friends

Rock The Shores: West Shores Parks & Rec Fields – July 22 – 24, 2016
Acts include: City and Colour, Metric, The Arkells, Current Swell, The Cat Empire, Jon & Roy

Sunfest: Laketown Ranch, Cowichan Valley – July 28 – 31, 2016
Acts include: Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bentley, Dallas Smith, Neal McCoy, The Road Hammers

Filberg Festival: Filberg Lodge & Park, Comox – July 29 – Aug 1, 2016
Acts include: Bellflowers, Great Lake Swimmers, Alex Cuba, Twin Kennedy, Melanie Dekker

Symphony by the Sea: Mafeo Sutton Park, Nanaimo – Aug 8, 2016
Free concert by Vancouver Island Symphony with Tenor Ken Lavigne and Child Piano Prodigy Kevin Chen

Longwoodstock Beer & Music Festival: Longwood Brewery, Nanaimo – Aug 12 – 13, 2016
Acts include: Daniel Wesley, WiL, Northcote, John Middleton

Rifflandia Festival: Royal Athletic Park + various venues – Sep 15 -18, 2016
Acts include: Jurassic 5, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Wolf Parade, X Ambassadors, De La Soul, Keys & Krates, Lee Scratch Perry

6 Fave Escapes of 2015

Over the course of 2015, we were able to make a few escapes around the region, I’d thought look back and choose some of my fave escapes;

Summit Lodge & Spa
Summit Lodge & Spa

Summit Lodge Whistler:  If you’re looking for a Whistler getaway right in the heart of the village, Summit Lodge is a great option; steps away from everything, luxurious suites, quiet pool & hot tub and much more.

Nita Lake Lodge: For a different Whistler experience, get away from the village and enjoy one of the most beautiful setting in Creekside village at Nita Lake Lodge

Tigh-Na-Mara Resort:  Parksville – Qualicum is home to some a plethora resorts, one of the best known is the world-renowned Tigh-Na-Mara Resort and Spa.  Condos or cabins, miles of beach or a day at the spa, the Resort has it all.

Fraser River Lodge:  Resting on the banks of the mighty Fraser, the rustic Fraser River Lodge is a fisherman’s dream but also a beautiful spot for a wedding as we experienced this summer.

Hot Springs Pools
Hot Springs Pools

Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa: For nearly a century, the Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa has welcomed countless visitors to take the waters at the Hot Springs.

Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel: For a handy staycation or, a change of pace on New Year’s Eve like we did, the recently renovated Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel makes a great escape.

Sometimes you don’t need to go far to find a bit of r & r and maybe your own new fave escapes

Tigh Na Mara Resort

TighNaMara_IMG_0198Perched above spectacular, sandy Rathtrevor Beach, Tigh Na Mara Seaside Spa Resort and Conference Centre has been setting the standard of accommodation in Parksville BC for 69 years.

Started in 1946 with a couple cottages on 11 acres, Tigh Na Mara Resort has grown to 22 acres with 192 units in rustic log cabins, bungalows and lodges.  The variety of the strata units; cabins in the woods, condo style lodges or amazing oceanview suites, means there’s an accommodation type for everyone’s style. Destination weddings, family gatherings, romantic getaways, corporate retreats or spa weekends are all on the agenda at Tigh Na Mara. On the weekend we visited all of the above were taking place but even a full resort didn’t feel loud or crowded in the spacious, natural surroundings.

The low tide at Rathtrevor Beach empties the bay providing a massive sandy beach to build sand-castles, tan, picnic, skim board, paddle board or fish.  On a sunny summer day, the incoming tide over the hot sand makes for warm, shallow waters great for the whole family.

In the resort, adjacent to the tennis courts and children’s play area, a centrally located pool house with hot tub, sauna and gym, has a roof top sundeck and patio. The activity centre is also the spot to rent bicycles, boogie boards, paddle boards, and skim boards.  After your beach activities, the resort laundry makes clean up from the sandy playtime a breeze.  Then relax in your rustic room and enjoy the sunset and nature surrounding every window.

When you’re ready to eat, if you don’t feel like cooking in your suites full kitchen, Cedars Restaurant & Lounge and The Coffee Bar in the Conference Centre and Reception Lodge means you don’t have to leave the property to get everything you need for your stay.  If you do want to venture out, the town of Parksville is just a few minutes down the highway.

Across the road, Grotto Spa and it’s one-of-a-kind mineral pool, has been named #1 Spa in British Columbia by Spas of America. The in-spa Treetops Tapas & Grill, sunny patios and a massive menu of treatment options allows you to spend the whole day at the Spa for a vacation from your vacation.

TighNaMara_IMG_0260Whatever style of getaway you have in mind, Tigh Na Mara Spa Resort & Conference Centre has it, plus more, in store for you.
Find the resort and spa at 1155 Resort Drive, Parksville BC (at the south entrance to the town). Follow the Resort on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to see what other people are up to and what’s in store for your stay.

Blackfin Pub at the Comox Marina

BlackfinPub_IMG_0165Grabbing a seat at Blackfin Pub at the Marina, it’s easy to see why it was voted Vancouver Island’s Best Pub/Bar & Patio in 2013.
The large patio, floor to ceiling windows all give great vistas over the picturesque Comox Marina and across the Harbour to the mountain spine of Vancouver Island with Comox Glacier on the horizon.  The room is built so that almost every table has a view, but even when the sun goes down and the view is gone, the room is still inviting and warm.BlackfinPub_IMG_0162

BlackfinPub_IMG_0160BlackfinPub_IMG_0163However, a pub cannot survive on it’s views, the food and service needs to keep up.  The Blackfin Pub lives up to the bill, you can tell by the steady stream of patrons that the food has to be good. From traditional share plates to local fresh seafood entrees that wouldn’t be amiss on a fine dining menu, Chef Nigel McMeans has created a menu for everyone (including gluten free options). In all the times I’ve visited over the years, it’s always been a good time with good food and drinks.  Add in the stunning views of a sunny afternoon or an evening by the fire with friends and the Blackfin Pub is the place to be when in Comox

The Blackfin Pub at the Marina is located at 132 Port Augusta Street, overlooking the Marina in downtown Comox, BC

Head ‘FORE’ a round at Longlands Golf

Longlands_IMG_0179Off the beaten path in Comox, BC, Longlands Golf Course is a tranquil, compact Par 3 course in the country.

As a rather novice golfer, Longlands is not usually too busy so you won’t feel rushed or pressured if you’re not exactly hitting those Par 3s every hole. The 18 hole course is completely surrounded by trees and nature, so while there’s a good chance you won’t find your ball once if it hits the rough, there’s no chance of hitting a neighbour. The neighbours, here are deer and racoons and even the possible bear.Longlands_IMG_0184

Pre or post your round, or even without playing, the Longlands restaurant is an enjoyable spot for lunch seven days a week as well as breakfast and dinner on weekends. The huge, sunny patio is a popular spot for social gatherings and special occasion brunch buffet.  Since a par 3 doesn’t take as long, it leaves more time for a cocktail on the patio with the rest of your foursome.

Longlands Golf Course is located at 1239 Anderton Road, Comox BC.