Home to some of Canada’s warmest annual weather and diverse natural landscapes, Cowichan Valley is the perfect spot when planning a British Columbia excursion. Outdoor enthusiasts will love the scenery that ranges from coastal forests to mountain peaks and the seemingly endless list of outdoor activities. No trip to the Cowichan Valley can be complete without traveling the Gourmet Trail which features numerous award winning wineries, breweries, restaurants, and distilleries.
Sunfest has attracted thousands of country music lovers to the Cowichan Valley for the past 16 years, and this year’s event will take place August 3-6 at Laketown Ranch Music and Recreation Park. The event is one of the largest music events on Vancouver Island, and event organizers expect more than 50,000 attendees this year. Sunfest features more than 30 bands and performers, including some of the largest names in country music like Toby Keith, Old Dominion, Brett Kissel, Little Big Town, and more. Attendees can buy food and refreshments from some great food trucks in the vendor area, and purchase a VIP pass that allows access to gourmet meals. Patrons can also participate in a variety of outdoor activities between shows including line dancing, human foosball, swimming, hiking, slip-n-slide, and more. We got the opportunity to interview Erin Richards, Marketing & PR Manager for the event, to learn more about this country music spectacular.
RAL: How long has the event been running?
ER: This is the 17th year for Sunfest.
RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?
ER: Last year we saw over 50,000 people over the weekend.
RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?
ER: Sunfest attracts an amazing cross section of people. From the students and young professionals to the parents and children to the seniors - people of all ages and backgrounds and musical tastes love Sunfest!
RAL: What makes this event unique?
ER: Sunfest is unique because it takes place on 172 acres of natural landscape and offers camping, hiking, swimming and a variety of onsite activities like beach volleyball, human foosball, and more! Guests get the wild and fun of the outdoors while having the comfort and class of flush toilets and showers.
RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?
ER: A lot of the artists come and stay for the weekend, so you never know who you'll run into!
RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?
ER: We have food trucks galore and fantastic gourmet dining in the VIP area.
RAL: Our travelers seek out unique and boutique accommodations, where can they find these in your area?
ER: We offer camping of all kinds on site, including glamping and Fest Huts. In the Lake Cowichan area, there are several B&Bs, rental homes, and resorts that are known for outstanding accommodations, customer service, and stunning scenery.
RAL: What does this event mean to the community?
ER: Sunfest has quickly become a staple in the Cowichan Valley and is beloved by thousands of people in the community.
RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?
ER: Yes, business owners see a 10% - 30% boost in sales over the Sunfest weekend.
RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community?
ER: Yes. The owners of Sunfest and Laketown Ranch created the Laketown Ranch Benevolent Society, which donates an average of $25,000 per year to charities, nonprofits, and individuals in the Cowichan Valley community who need support.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
ER: Sunfest is way more than a country music festival -- it's a vacation.
For more information about Sunfest, please visit the event website.