From rare haute couture to daily-wear, fashions from the 1940s-50s will be featured in the Nanaimo Museum’s summer exhibit. The exhibit presents 25 garments that reflect how WWII changed society. Rationing to Ravishing: The Transformation of Women’s Fashions in the 40s & 50s is on to Aug 23. The museum is open daily, 10am-5pm. nanaimomuseum.ca
Enjoy some world-class literature while working on your Vancouver tan at Bard on the Beach (June 4 to Sept. 26). This year, presentations at the annual Shakespeare Festival include Comedy of Erros and King Lear on the main stage, and Love’s Labour’s Lost and Shakespeare’s Rebel on the Howard Family Stage. bardonthebeach.org.
The Seaside Cruizers Father’s Day Show ‘n’ Shine is back in Qualicum Beach (June 21). Mentioned by Oprah as one of the 10 best things to do on Father’s Day, this free event is celebrating its 22nd anniversary and features more than 600 cars, live music, dancing and a pancake breakfast. seasidecruizers.com.
The Mid-Island Bluegrass Society presents the third-annual Lighthouse Bluegrass Festival in Qualicum Bay (June 26 to 28). This event features multiple instrument-specific workshops, and most performers are British Columbians. lighthousebluegrass.com.
If you’re looking to explore a new culture then check out Indian Summer Festival (July 9 to 19) in Vancouver, showcasing South Asian music, dance, food and films. The event is put together by a non-profit organization to inspire dialogue and showcase riveting performances. indiansummerfest.ca
If it’s competition you crave, look no further than the 13th annual Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival (July 10 to 12). This event also raises money for the fight against cancer. More than 30,000 spectators flock to Nanaimo’s waterfront to watch teams from across North America race. nanaimodragonboat.com
Big-name acts like Kris Kristofferson and Walk Off the Earth make their way to the Comox Valley for the Vancouver Island MusicFest (July 10 to 12). islandmusicfest.com
This year’s Salt Spring Island Lavender Festival (July 12) comes with an Italian theme and includes many dancers and singers along with workshops and demonstrations. There’s even lavender gelato. sacredmountainlavender.com
World Champion sculptors gather for the Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition at Parksville beach (July 10-Aug. 16). Sculptors have 24 hours over three days to construct their design from sand and water. Fireworks and kid’s competition included. parksvillebeachfest.ca
The small town of Ucluelet explodes during Ukee Days (July 24-26), featuring logging sports, beer gardens and live entertainment. ukeedays.wordpress.com.
Join music lovers from all over in the 31st Islands Folk Festival celebration of music, featuring all the best elements of a homegrown folk festival. The main festival site will be open to the public at 3pm on July 24. 2015 festival performers include Fred Eaglesmith, Shari Ulrich, Dustin Bentall and more. Produced by the Cowichan Folk Guild and hosted by Providence Farm, just outside Duncan. islandsfolkfestival.ca
The famous World Champion Bathtub Race is back in Nanaimo (July 23 to 26). The Marine Festival starts on July 23 and concludes with the race. Those interested in competing are still able to register on their website, bathtubbing.com.
Another great outdoor festival is the Coombs Bluegrass Festival (July 31 to Aug. 2). Newcomers can find out what bluegrass is all about, while avid fans and musicians can take part in various workshops. chrco.org