VIU Hosts Activities for All Ages During Brant Wildlife Festival Feb. 28 to April 26

February 26, 2015 - 2:00pm

Boat tours, high tea, cooking classes, music by the bay and public lectures focusing on the Strait of Georgia – all this and more is taking place at Vancouver Island University’s (VIU) Deep Bay Marine Field Station during the annual Brant Wildlife Festival in March and April.

“We’re thrilled to be part of the fantastic line up of events for this festival which runs until April 26,” says Stephanie Richards of VIU’s Deep Bay Marine Field Station. “Once again, we’re offering people of all ages a chance to learn about wildlife and marine science.”

The annual festival is a celebration of nature, particularly Brant geese as they rest and feed on the shores of the Parksville and Qualicum beach areas on Vancouver Island. Festival events coordinated by The Nature Trust of BC include wildlife viewing, kids nature camps, marsh walks and more. (www.brantfestival.bc)

VIU’s Deep Bay Marine Field Station, located in Bowser about an hour’s drive north of Nanaimo, is a key research facility, public marine science centre and a popular tourism destination on Vancouver Island. This is the third year that VIU has participated in the Brant festival. 

Field Station staff will offer boat tours on March 11 and 14 to give the public a chance to view wildlife and see herring spawn in Baynes Sound. Tickets are $100 each and guests must pre-register by calling toll free 1-866-288-7878 or emailing

For kids ages six to 10, the Field Station will offer fun-filled spring break Marine Biology Camps from March 16 to 20. The cost is $55 per day or $250 for the week. A Family Day Open House (admission is free) on April 12, 10 am to 4 pm, will feature touch tanks, large public aquaria, face painting and other marine science educational activities.

The Field Station’s popular High Tea By the Sea, including a selection of teas, sandwiches and treats, will be offered Tuesdays during March and April between 11 am and 2 pm. March 17 will be a special St. Patrick’s Day Lunch while a special Easter High Tea will be served on March 31. 

Authors from the award-winning book “The Sea Among Us” will also deliver ­public lectures about the Strait of Georgia every Thursday at 7 pm from March 5 to April 30. Cost is $10 per lecture.  For an additional $15, guests can indulge in a pre-lecture themed dinner at 5:30 pm.

The opening lecture on March 5 features Dr. John Clague speaking about “How Did the Strait of Georgia Originate – The Geological Story of Our Inland Sea.” VIU Honorary Doctorate recipient Dr. Dick Beamish, a world-renowned scientist now retired from the Pacific Biological Station, will deliver a lecture on March 12 entitled “The Strait of Georgia and its Fishes.” (see for a full schedule of other lectures)

Anyone with a culinary interest may want to check out cooking classes at the Field Station during the festival: A Taste of India on March 8 and Chocolate Lovers on March 28. A Music By the Bay luncheon and concert will also take place at the Field Station on April 19, from 1 to 4 pm (tickets $40) with the A Cappella Plus Chamber Choir performing “A Buffet of Choral Music: twelve years of musical fare.”

Please note that advance tickets or pre-registration is required for all events except Family Day. Visit or call 250-740-6611 for more information.

Tickets may be purchased at the Deep Bay Marine Field Station at 370 Crome Pt. Road in Bowser, or at the Salish Sea Market in Bowser and Court Yard Café in Qualicum Beach.

The Brant Wildlife Festival is coordinated by The Nature Trust of BC. For more information, visit or call toll-free 1-866-288-7878.


VIU's Deep Bay Marine Field Station is hosting several events during the annual Brant Wildlife Festival, on now until April 26. Pictured here: touch tanks teeming with sea life are a popular attraction at the Field Station. 


Janina Stajic, Manager, Vancouver Island University P: 250.740.6288 E: Twitter: @VIUNews

Tags: Teaching and Learning

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