6 Reasons to Visit Denman Island this Fall
Fall is an ideal time to get away and experience the quiet, rural, island lifestyle that Denman is known for. Fall brings the advantage of no ferry waits and accommodation availability. Beaches and trails are practically deserted. The weather is still mild, although expect some rain and fog – the hallmark of the West Coast!
Come for a day of Christmas shopping, an afternoon of lunch and wine tasting, an evening of music, or a weekend to yourself to unwind before the hectic holiday season. Or any combination of these!
And while there are many more, here are 6 Reasons to visit Denman Island this Fall:
#1: A place to stay, reduced rates, and oceanside camping!
Summer accommodation on Denman Island can be scarce, often booked months or even a year in advance. Then starting in October, opportunities to stay on Denman Island open up and may even have reduced rates for the season!
Try one of the private B&Bs, the hostel-inspired Guesthouse, or Fillongley Provincial Park Campground. It’s one of the few that permits late Fall & Winter camping. And where you could possibly have the seaside campground to yourself.
For more information, photos and rates, see the accommodations listings at www.visitdenmanisland.ca/STAY
80 vendors, Food Hall.
Saturday,Nov. 30 & Sunday & Dec. 1st.
The Craft Fair, now in its 38th year, is one of Denman’s most iconic events. A weekend where the island comes together to show off its best qualities: art and craftsmanship, hospitality, locally grown and cooked food, and a warm welcome from a tight-knit community.
Over the decades, this fair has grown into one of the best in the region. It offers top-notch quality and an incredible variety of crafters, including some of the original founders, now seasoned artisans who inspire, teach and mentor the up-and-coming generation.
TWO FOOD HALLS: Offering delicious home-cooked meals with a focus on local ingredients from Denman’s farms, a vibrant outdoor market, and a welcoming island ambiance.
WALK-ON & SHUTTLE: Parking available on site, but we recommend leaving your vehicle at Buckley Bay and walking on to the ferry. A shuttle van will be on hand to take visitors up the hill to the venues. Or it’s a two-block walk.
RAFFLE DRAW: Visitors from 2-4 p.m. will be entered into a special draw for a basket of stocking stuffers from local artists.
At the Community Hall 1169 Northwest Road and the Denman Activity (Seniors) Centre 1111 Northwest Road.
#3: Wine tasting & Lunch at Corlan Vineyard.
Home of award-winning 100% organic fruit To Ewe wines. This young vineyard held its grand opening in 2015, and in 2019 achieved 3 international wine competition medals. Throughout Fall and Winter you can visit the tasting room or come for a hearty homemade lunch. And visit the vineyard’s Clun sheep!
Corlan Vineyard will also be at the Christmas Craft Fair with both a wine and food booth!
Tasting Room Open: Monday-Friday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Saturday & Sunday 1-5 p.m. Free.
Drop by the Tasting Room at the vineyard for complementary tasting of To Ewe wines: Chrome Island Red, Sandy Island White, Siegrebbe, and Blackberry & Raspberry Dessert Wines. Bottles priced from $18-$25.
You’ll meet the down-to-earth owners Pat & Selwyn Jones, who love to talk to visitors about their winemaking process from propagation to bottling. They are involved in every step, from planting to picking to cooking to vending at the Qualicum and Denman Island Saturday Farmers’ Markets. Off-season is also the time to see the Clun Sheep roaming the vineyard eating grass and weeds. They are an integral part to the winter maintenance.
Lunch in the Lounge served: Tuesday to Friday 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
This Fall, Corlan Vineyard opened the Lounge with Pat’s delicious homemade lunches which includes a variety of fresh homemade soups, stews, and bread daily, plus coffee or tea and a homemade dessert. They use local ingredients wherever possible. Menu varies. $12.
Along with Corlan Vineyard logo T-shirts, ball caps and kitchen towels, the Tasting Room and Lounge showcase artwork by Peter Karsten: handcrafted cedar wine gift boxes adorned with handpainted birds, barnboard framed bird paintings, and handcrafted clay Clun sheep.
Corlan Vineyard, 8441 MacFarlane Road, Denman Island.
New location, longer winter hours, and new artisans!
If you missed the Denman Island Christmas Craft Fair but want to shop for locally-made art and products, visit the Denman Craft Shop. It’s now at a new location on Northwest Road, between Denman Hardware and Abraxas Books & Gifts. The Craft shop features a sampling of work from 50 local artists. Visitors to the shop are met with the scent of beeswax candles and handmade soap, the temptation of Denman Island Chocolate, and a lush display of paintings, woodwork, weaving, jewelry, glass, pottery, photography, handmade paper work, fibre arts and gourmet meal and spice mixes.
Follow the Denman Craft Shop Facebook Page.
Open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday. 12 – 4 p.m. Sunday
Denman Craft Shop, 1071 Northwest Road, Denman Island.
#5: The Live Music scene actually increases starting in September!
Live like the locals with weekly live music @EarthClubFactory
From September to June, The Earth Club Factory, (locally known as The Guesthouse) ‘Denman’s nightclub’, presents live music weekly with a variety of musicians from across North America, including duos, trios, soloists, playing jazz, traditional, progressive or new traditional bluegrass, folk, ska, and more.
Earth Club Factory owner Sheldon Rempel’s connection to a large network of hundreds of national musicians on tour, brings some big names to this small island venue.
Bring your guitar! If you are a musician, be prepared for the spontaneous events that simply happen. If you’re coming to attend an event, spend the night at the EarthClubFactory Guesthouse.
Guesthouse & Bistro @EarthClubFactory Daily 7-3, plus evening hours for events. 3806 Denman Road, Denman Island
Concerts Denman also puts on a monthly music event
Ranging from world-renowned classical musicians and chamber group to choirs, folk and pop performances. Concerts are generally held in the Denman Island Community Hall, with its warm, personable ambiance, excellent acoustics and lighting.
Coming up December 6: John Reischman & the Jaybirds, a 5-piece traditional and modern bluegrass band.
7:30 p.m. $20 advance tickets. $25 at the Door. High School Students $5. Kids Free.
For tickets and future show information, visit the Concerts Denman web site.
#6: Deserted beaches and trails!
With fewer seasonal visitors, you are very likely to be the only one in sight on Denman’s many trails and shorelines. Making it great for photography, meditation, and just ‘being’.
See the Where to Go section in the article Access Prime Nature & Wildlife Photography on Denman Island.
Another bonus: Fire bans are common during the summer. So, Fall is the perfect time for campfires!
Denman Island is a 10-minute ferry from Buckley Bay, just 2.5 hours North of Victoria and 3.5 south of Port Hardy. For more info on how to get to Denman Island see visitdenmanisland.ca/getting-here/
Find out more about Denman Island, BC, at visitdenmanisland.ca
Follow the @VisitDenmanIsland Facebook page.