Sointula Winterfest

by • February 3, 2017 • Articles, BC Music History, BC Musician News, BC Musicians, Current Issue, Front Page, Read Online, Vancouver Island, VenuesComments (0)625

by Dinah D

Tucked in a far away tidal pool in the Northern tip of the Salish Sea lives a town called Sointula. Far away from the confines of modern lifestyle trappings, Sointula is located on Malcolm Island, close in maritime proximity to Port MacNeil and Alert Bay. A short jaunt on BCFerries will get you to this lovely village for a very reasonable fee…

On this mystical island is collection of characters that can be best described as artsy or fishy (depending on their vocation) call Sointula home! But the true reason for this article is the reveal of one of the coolest events in BC in late November.

The Sointula Winter Festival Weekend has been gaining reputation as a real wintertime gem of the North Island (North Vancouver Island that is) with this past year marking their 40th year. The festival takes place over the third weekend of November every year, and has a some real gems in store each year. The whole community puts on a sketch comedy style performance, they have a craft fair that rivals all craft fairs with local artisans as well as a few PFAs (persons from away), they have Friday and Saturday Night parties at the only pub on the island (The Whale’s Rub Pub), and the newest addition to the fest is their Family day on the Sunday, which takes place at the FireHall (or F.O.Hall).

I have had the pleasure of attending this festival as Dinah D & The Contraband Swingclub (a 6-piece cheeky swingband) entertaining a dance floor full of esoterically delivered dance moves. I have also attended as a member of The Kerplunks for kids day…the whole island comes to party, even if it’s supposed to be just for the kids…what a great time!!

If you are looking for a North Island get-away this winter, be sure to book the Malcolm Island B&Bs well in advance…and be sure to let the Fest know you’re coming so they can inform you on who will be open for food service in this tiny town of 3-400.. sometimes eating is just a part of the adventure!!! Check out the website:, as well as their page on FB…add Sointula Winterfestival Weekend to your “must visit” bucket list… you won’t be sorry!!


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