A humpback whale breaches in Telegraph Cove. Whales will be the focus of a new festival being held in Campbell River.

Expect a whale of a festival

Johnstone Strait Killer Whale Interpretive Centre Society is hosting a Whales and Wildlife Festival in Campbell River

The Johnstone Strait Killer Whale Interpretive Centre Society is hosting a “Whales and Wildlife Festival” at the Tidemark Theatre on Friday, May 9.

The evening event will feature speakers and multimedia presentations focusing on the amazing whales and wildlife found in the waters surrounding Vancouver Island.

“This is something that I have wanted to see happen in Campbell River for quite some time,” says organizer Roger McDonell. “There is a wealth of information out there about the marine mammals that live in our local waters and it would be great to share some of the knowledge that researchers are learning.”

People come from all over the world come to see the magnificent killer whales that are an iconic species for British Columbia.

We also have a growing humpback whale population and many other mammals that thrive in our waters.

This event is an opportunity for local people to hear from some of the world’s experts in marine mammals. Confirmed speakers include Dr. John Ford, head of the Cetacean Research Program at DFO’s Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo. He has been researching marine mammals since the mid 1970’s.

Also Dr. Lance Barrett-Lennard, head of the Vancouver Aquarium’s cetacean research program will speak on a subject he recently presented to the international Marine Mammal Science conference in New Zealand.

“We are very fortunate to have many local photographers who spend a lot of time on the water capturing amazing footage and images of the creatures that thrill and excite us,” says McDonell who is a director on the board of the Whale Interpretive Centre located in Telegraph Cove.

“There has never before been an opportunity to gather all these people together in Campbell River so they can share their experiences and understanding of these creatures.”

The evening event will start at 7 p.m. at the Tidemark and include presentations and displays in the foyer of the theatre. Tickets are now on sale for $15 plus applicable taxes and fees.

The event is also sponsored by the North Island Marine Mammal Stewardship Association which represents local whale and wildlife tour companies.

All proceeds will go towards the Johnstone Strait Killer Whale Interpretative Centre Society and will be used for continued education and display of marine mammal skeletons at the Telegraph Cove centre.