It is the time of year for springtime celebrations in Canada, and on the wild West Coast of British Columbia’s Vancouver Island, that means the migrating whales will return to celebrate the return of the sun’s warmth with us!
Each year in March, the Pacific Rim Whale Festival celebrates the continued protection and annual return of migrating Pacific Gray whales to the coastal waters of the communities of Tofino, Ucluelet and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
The migrating Gray whales join resident Gray whales, orcas, humpbacks and the occasional minke that can be seen in these Pacific Northwest waters any time of year off of the West Coast of Vancouver Island.
After having spent the winter in the warm waters surrounding the Baja Peninsula breeding, an estimated 20,000 of these magnificent Gray whales make a 13,000 kilometre migration towards the North, where they will feed heartily in the fruitful waters of the Bering and Chukchi Seas, near the Arctic. This is the longest annual migration of any animal in the world!
Whale Watching – Season Beginnings
The Pacific Rim Whale Festival coincides with the kick-off of whale-watching season on the West Coast, a local must-do attraction. If you’ve never had the supreme pleasure of experiencing the majesty of whales in their natural environment, then it’s time for you to add whale-watching on the West Coast of Vancouver Island to your bucket list!
There are several ways for you to get acquainted with these magnificent marine mammals such as seeing the spray from their spout on the horizon while walking one the many hiking trails in the area. Or you might take to the sea to get up close and personal with pods playing in the cold waters of the Pacific, or perhaps you can get a bird’s eye view of the magnificent whale migration from way up above in a sea plane is what you’re after – the choice is yours!
Check out our local tour operators for more details and be sure to book ahead!
Events That Entertains The Whole Family
Many events at “Whalefest” are free or require the one-time purchase of a button, which is a suggested minimum donation of $5 and will get you into all of the button events. The buttons are designed by talented local children, are printed at Piña Studio in Ucluelet and they are available at most events. Buttons can also be bought at local Visitor Info Centres, select merchants and supporting tour-operators. Some events do have a cover charge, so please refer to the Whalefest Events calendar to find out more.
ArtSplash! – An Artistic Exploration of The West Coast
ArtSplash! also happens every year in Mid March at Black Rock Oceanfront Resort. The work of talented local artists will be featured in the main foyer, and all are welcome to come marvel and mingle, or even purchase the unique artistic pieces. This is a fantastic opportunity to see the creative work of established and emerging artists on the West Coast of Vancouver Island!
Event Updates On Facebook
Latest events and updates being posted to The Pacific Rim Whale Festival’s Facebook Page
Family Friendly Festival
We are so excited to celebrate the return of the whales and the emerging of Springtime with you here on the wild West Coast. Come bring the whole family. It’s quality time in an amazing location. Come on up!
Book Your Stay Today
Remember to book your accommodations early as this is one of the most exciting seasons to experience in Ucluelet!
Happy Whalefest Everyone!