Art and Earth Festival

“Everything you can imagine is real” 

-Pablo Picasso 

Seasons bring change, in colour, texture and environment. As August slips into September, what better way to embrace change than to immerse yourself in the community and environment of Campbell River, a city nestled in nature on the east coast of Vancouver Island. Campbell River welcomes fall this year with the inaugural Art and Earth Festival, providing the perfect opportunity to “fall” into Campbell River. Kicking off on Friday, September 20th, the 3-day festival features Canadian artists who merge the worlds of environment, stewardship, art and community, ending with the Haig Brown Fall Festival on the 22nd (World Rivers Day). Expect thought-provoking workshops, special live events and inspiring speakers.

If all of the above speaks to you, then we suggest marking your calendar and hitting the road because this is going to be the best way to welcome fall this year!

The Details: 

Throughout the three days, there will be live interactive experiences, workshops and art exhibits happening at various locations throughout the city. Workshop options include; cedar weaving with Hereditary Chief Wayne Bell. Observe Drifted Creations, Alex Whitcomb, create one of his driftwood masterpieces, tag along on an interpretive wildlife walk with local biologist Sandra Milligan or attend the environmental film festival at the Museum at Campbell River. In addition to the events, there will be a special exhibition at the museum called the Last Stand, featuring photographs by David Ellingsen.

You can find the weekends full itinerary here. 

Now that you have all the details on the festival squared away, we’re going to share some info with you so you can plan your trip! 

Where to Stay 

Choosing the right place to stay is a vital part of your festival itinerary, luckily Campbell River has a wide variety of cabins, seaside motels and conveniently located downtown hotels to choose from. Whether you like being close to it all or are searching for that hideaway in nature, we’ve got you covered. Check out our accommodations page for a full list of options. 

Craving a more rustic experience? Consider camping, our mild weather means, tenting is a year-round possibility.  If you’re looking for a campground close to the action, we recommend staying at the Elk Falls Provincial Park. This park is only a 10 min drive from downtown Campbell River and is set along the banks of the Quinsam River, making it the perfect spot to disconnect. 

Note: The nights can get chilly in September, so be sure to pack appropriately. We’re talking cozy sweaters, rain jackets and tarps! We’re not nicknamed the “wet” coast for no reason! 

Where to Eat 

The food scene in Campbell River has grown in recent years with new eateries popping up all over the city that feature locally sourced ingredients. Since the theme of the festival is the environment, nature and community, we recommend checking out these restaurants that feature a wide variety of locally sourced ingredients.  For excellent local beer and delicious dishes, check out Beach Fire Brewing and Nosh House. Their ever-changing menu features fresh and often locally sourced meals! The beer is brewed in house, and their small specialty batches are usually made to highlight seasonal local ingredients. In addition to good food and delicious brews, they also feature local artists’ work in the restaurant rotating every few months, making the walls of the brewpub, limited exhibits. Check out a full list of eateries on our dining page

Where to Get Inspired: 

If you’re feeling inspired by the festival and are looking for a place to create some art of your own while refuelling, look no further than FoggDukkers Coffee, located right along the Rotary Seawalk, this is the perfect spot to grab a coffee and sit oceanfront to sketch or take photos, let your surroundings inspire you.

For another art immersion session while fulfilling your local caffeine and snack cravings, be sure to check out The Island Grind.  The Willow Point coffee shop is contemporary, bright, and welcoming, with ever-rotating local art on the cafe walls.

Looking inspiration via other artists, explore the Campbell River Art Gallery, check-in at the local Carving Shack, stop by Sybil Andrews house and see where art and inspiration have intersected in a community by the sea. 

Visiting Campbell River in the fall is an opportunity to collect experiences in both adventure and culture. Are you planning on attending the Art and Earth Festival this year? Share your photos of the event or ways that CR has inspired you using #CRiverCollection

Beach Fire Sessions

Toasty the Beach Fire Mobile

The Destination Campbell River Team and our trusty beach fire mobile will be popping up at various events throughout the festival weekend! We’re bringing the warm and cozy vibes so come find us and roast a marshmallow (or two).
Destination Campbell River

What to Do

Go Waterfall Chasing

Go Waterfall Chasing

Venture along Hwy 28 in search of stunning waterfalls.

Experience the Salmon Run

Experience the Salmon Run

Visit the Quinsam Hatchery to watch the salmon spawn in the river and learn about the life cycle of the salmon.

Grizzly Bear Watching

Grizzly Bear Watching

Take a tour to a remote inlet and view bears in their natural habitat.

River Fishing

River Fishing

Cast your lines and experience one of CR's favourite pasttimes.

Shelter Point Distillery

Shelter Point Distillery

Taste and Tour local whiskey, gin and vodkas.

Cold Water Diving

Cold Water Diving

Explore an underwater world