Looking for a great time and nearby excursion for the May long weekend?
Look no further than the annual SEAFEST on Cortes on Saturday. It’s a fabulous, family-friendly way to celebrate the local bounty of our delicious shellfish.
The festival unites those Cortes Islanders who make their living from the sea with people in the neighbouring communities, promoting a mutual understanding and appreciation of the work, and–when it comes right down to it – offering a reason to nosh on scrumptious oceanic dishes.
This year has a gourmet lunch to salivate over, and will include:
• four oyster dishes: poached, sautéed, breaded, smoked
• three kinds of barbequed oysters
• raw oyster “shooters”
• two clam dishes
• salad fixings from Cortes’ Curious Farm
• artisan bread from the Cortes Natural Food Co-op
All shellfish served at SEAFEST are certified safe to eat. A Kid’s Menu and pricing are also on offer.
There is something for everyone, including those who don’t prefer shellfish!
Wine, beer, and non-alcoholic drinks will be available, and after lunch, there are many local vendors to check out, offering art, preserves, baked goods, savouries, crafts, desserts, espresso, ice cream, and other goodies.
You’ll be able to kick back on the lawn, listening to the live music entertainment of: Sachika Kosky, Laurel Bohart, Terence Jack, Andy Vine & Island Time, David Blinzinger & Steffano Perdisa, and Larry Hanson.
Later on in the evening, a Latin rhythms dance party busts out on Saturday night with Zandhunga at the Gorge Community Hall. A $5 salsa dance lesson begins at 7:30, with the dance floor open at 9 pm, just $15.00 at the door.
For over two decades now the Cortes Island Seafood Association (CISA) has been hosting this seafood festival to highlight and enjoy our heritage from the sea. The CISA is a non-profit society whose mandate is to monitor the water quality of the area surrounding Cortes Island.
Each year a local Cortes organization joins in to help orchestrate the event, and the partner organization for this year is the Cortes Island Fire Department. Funds raised from the festival will benefit the Fire Department and Gorge Harbour Water Testing.
The gathering began as The Seafood Festival and was held at Smelt Bay Park for many years.
It migrated to the lower lawn beside the Cove restaurant as The Oyster Festival, and then moved to the field beside the Squirrel Cove Store as SEAFEST. In 2014 SEAFEST moved to the lawns of Gorge Harbour Marina & Resort to accommodate the increasing number of Cortes community members and off-island visitors from around Vancouver Island and the lower mainland who are making this a springtime “go-to event.”
Not only does the festival take place on the 21st, this year also marks the 21st anniversary of this now-traditional seafood festival.
In Canada, you have to turn 21 in order to rent a car, but for SEAFEST, you can get away without a vehicle. If coming from Vancouver Island, carpool across Quadra and walk on the Cortes ferry. A free shuttle will run continuously from the ferry to the festival site, whisking festival-goers to the party.
Serving begins at 11:30 a.m., and food tickets can be bought at the event for $20 a plate.