The Whale Centre Tofino BC Whale Watching at its finest

Excitement abounds on a whale watching and eco tour on the West Coast of Canada out of Tofino. There is so much to see and do that 3 hours passes very quickly. We were lucky enough to see both grey and humpback whales, seals, sealions, otters, tons of sea birds including bald eagles and puffins, dolphins, and some of the most amazing scenery in the woirld. When you are on an island like Vancouver Island, if you are not out on the water for some great experiences then you really have "missed the boat". This tour was through the Whale Centre in Tofino and we certainly recommend them. They are safe, take out only small groups, provide excellent commentary throughout from the captain and naturalist, and they have tons of experience as all the captains grew up in Tofino and spent their lives on the water. Come and enjoy!

For more great photos of this exciting adventure and ecotour, check out our Facebook Page.

Ocean Outfitters Tofino BC Hot Springs Cove Tour

Wildlife and Hot Springs Cove Tour - nothing but excitement, incredible scenery, amazing ocean sites and super relaxation in the hot pools. Day one we went on the Hot Springs Cove tour which is best shown in the pictures on our Facebook Page. It is a great place to relax in the warm water and enjoy conversations with people from all over the world. It is too neat to explain in writing. You just have to go there and savour the moment. The walk in is through an amazing rain forest with amazing sights. Also shown are some of the wildlife we saw on the way to and from Tofino. This was truly and excellent experience provided by Ocean Outfitters in Tofino. Give them a try, you will be glad you did. This is the West Coast as it should be.

Great Pacific Adventures 950 Wharf Street Victoria BC

Today we attended an industry familiarization tour of Great Pacific Adventures. They are situated at 950 Wharf St. on the spectacular and "Super Natural" Inner Harbour of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, is the home base of operations for Great Pacific Adventures Incorporated. Serving visitors year-round to Vancouver Island and Victoria since 1995, GPA has lead the industry in innovation and customer service for outdoor eco-tour adventures. Tonight they partnered with the Flying Otter Restaurant, neighbouring business Cycle Treks, and Dragonfly Winery to showcase their new location, boats, office and staff. Guests were treated to some great food at all three venues, some libations, and a tour of the harbour on the King Salmon. If you are looking for a great ocean experience and want to check out Pacific wildlife give these guys a call. While you are there, enjoy a great meal on the Flying Otter restaurant floating on the Inner Harbour. Then to wear off the meal, rent a cycle from Cycle Treks and tour Victoria's amazing waterfront. Enjoy Victoria.

For more pictures of this event please go to our Facebook page.

Spotted Bear Bistro in Tofino BC on Vancouver Island

The Spotted Bear Bistro's owner and Chef Vince prepared a tasting menu for us from his new summer menu. We love tasting menus as we get to sample multiple dishes without overeating.

Alison brought our first course, a local Morel Soup with house smoked bacon, scallions and truffle oil. The soup had a rich velvety texture with a mild bacon meatiness and taste galore. It was bowl-licking good!

For the second course we were treated to a fillet of local pan-seared Halibut served on Panzanella Salad, with roasted cherry tomatoes and Kalamata olive tapenade. The halibut was cooked perfectly, fresh and flaky the way we like it.

Then plates of roasted local Duck Breast arrived, with house smoked bacon, leeks, fingerling potatoes, and a port wine reduction which added a sweet fruity complement to the rich duck breast. We didn't leave a morsel!

To finish we enjoyed Berry Blast, a blackberry sorbet with a port wine/cinnamon reduction. Now we were truly sated, and a decaf coffee went down well as a chaser. The Spotted Bear has an extensive wine list featuring local and imported wines, as well as a number of cocktails and beers.

We hope we have your attention by now as everything in this meal was an explosion of flavours that left a wonderful after-taste. Chef Vincent has raised the bar on gourmet food in Tofino and certainly sets a standard for customer service as well. We keenly watched other meals flow across the enormous cedar plank bar as the restaurant filled. They all looked and smelled delicious. We recommend you give the Spotted Bear your attention when you visit Tofino. You will be glad you did. Visit our Facebook page for more pictures and information.

Chesterman Beach Bed and Breakfast Tofino BC on Vancouver Island

Chesterman Beach Bed and Breakfast is one of the finer accommodations in Tofino. There are two suites and one cottage on the property for rent. The buildings are constructed out of cedar which has been naturally maintained giving the property a rustic appearance. After our stay, we coined the phrase rustic elegance to aptly describe the accommodations. The accommodations are filled with wood floors and features adding much warmth to the feel. All the amenities you will ever need are there. Todd and Linda re-wrote the book on customer service and provide an exceptional stay. The breakfast are first class as is everything at this B&B. They go the extra mile to make sure your stay is the best it can be. All of the art on the walls is Todd's photography nicely presented as Canvas Giclees. The best part is that you are steps from the beach which is phenomenal. Check out our Facebook page for more photos and descriptions of Chesterman Beach B&B.

Prestige Oceanfront Resort and Convention Centre Opens Today in Sooke BC

Today was the Grand Opening of the Prestige Oceanfront Resort & Convention Centre at 6929 West Coast Road in beautiful Sooke BC. It is a magnificent building with many amenities. If you check out our Facebook page, you will see pictures throughout the Resort. It is a beautiful building that adorns the shoreline of Sooke. It is only a short 35 km scenic drive from downtown Victoria. Come out and take the opportunity Sooke offers to explore Victoria’s incredible backyard.

The Prestige Oceanfront Resort is and ideal haven for you to relax and rejuvenate. This full service resort features luxurious guest rooms, exceptional dining experiences, and extraordinary hospitality. Rising above the Pacific Ocean, this exceptional waterfront resort offers breathtaking views of Sooke Harbour, Sooke Basin, Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains. It is conveniently located near unique local attractions, including the Sooke Pot Holes, French Beach, and the West Coast Trail. We recommend that you try this resort for a true West Coast experience.

For more information on Sooke, click here.

Victoria International Buskers Festival 2011

Photo courtesy of the Festival Society.

Professional street performers from around the world will be converging on downtown Victoria July 15th-24th for the Victoria International Buskers Festival, presented by the Hotel Association of Greater Victoria. We are presenting an array of local, national and international busking talent that is fun for everyone! The festival features six downtown stage locations, multiple single performer street locations, an international food village and a Buskers Bistro on the Inner Harbour. For more pictures go to our Facebook Page.

Stage Locations:

• The TELUS Stage – Ship Point Area along Inner Harbour
• The Harbour Air Stage – Ship Point Area along Inner Harbour
• The Tourism Victoria Stage – Fairmont Empress Lawn
• The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority Stage – Lower causeway along Inner Harbour
• 100.3 The Q / The Zone @ 93-1 Stage – Beside Maritime Museum, Bastion Square
• The BAY CENTRE Stage – Main Foyer (12 & 1pm Daily)


Friday, July 15th: 5PM – 10PM
Saturday, July 16th – Saturday July 23rd: Noon – 10PM Daily
Sunday, July 24th: Noon – 5PM


• Free-to-attend 10 day family oriented festival

• Street performer acts from around the world. Tips to busker hats welcomed and appreciated.

• Event is programmed – Hourly stage performances, ten hours daily. Program guides are $2.00 and available at BAY CENTRE, lower level kiosk.

• Volunteers are encouraged to apply on event website or at our BAY CENTRE kiosk.

• Inner Harbour vendor locations still available, applications on the event website.


Victor Rubilar (Sweden) – Multiple Guinness World Record Holder (Juggling) Picture above
Becky Hoops (Montreal) - #1 in Hula Hoops – many at one time! Picture above

Fraser Hooper (UK) - #1 Clown / Comedian Picture above

Bendy Em (Australia) – Amazing Contortionist
The Aerial Angels (USA) – High Flying Trapeze Artists
And many more! Visit the “Who’s Coming” tab at

High Resolution Performer Photos Available Upon Request


SILVER SPONSOR: The Provincial Capital Commission

Skinny Tato Polish Restaurant Downtown Victoria BC

A friend recommended this small Polish Restaurant at 615 Johnson Street to me a couple of weeks ago. Tonight we gave it a try and absolutely loved it. The first thing I heard from the cook in the kitchen was, this is a disaster. Well if this dinner was a disaster, the bring on the plague. Katherina, the cook and owner was upset because her normal cook and server did not show for work and she was left alone. Well, dinner was served in good time and it turned out to be one of the best meals we have had in a while. When we left, the flavour remained in our palate for a long time. All four of the salads were very good and the Potato Pancake was to die for! I had mine stuffed with Polish Sausage and Sauerkraut and Linda had spinach and feta. So, I am passing on the recommendation for a West Coast Polish Disaster Dinner at the Skinny Tato. Katherina has a great sense of humor and I am sure she will appreciate the humor. I am going back for sure.

Darth Fiddler Attacked in Victoria's Inner Harbour

There has been a disturbance in the Force. Seems like dumb and dumber are alive and either hiding in or visiting Victoria. Darth Vader was attacked while performing in Victoria at his usual spot at Government and Wharf Street. Nobody messes with the Force and wins. Good always wins over evil. Think how messed up the Karma of the attacker is. Darth is OK and Larsen music rallied to provide him with a new violin. Hundreds of well wishers came to the support of Darth. So there dumb and dumber.

Victoria Wild Play Element Park

Today we took our 8 year old granddaughter to the Victoria Wild Play Element Park in the property of the Juan de Fuca Recreation centre on Victoria's West Shore. The staff here are very safety conscious and did a great job making sure the children's safety was job one! Well done gang. Every child there had tons of fun. A child with special needs was given individual attention. This is one of Victoria's great attractions. I took a look at the adult side and it gets progressively more challenging as you progress through the stages. If you are looking for a good core workout, this is just the place. You can have fun will you work on your six-pack! Give it a try, you will be glad you did. Also, for a pictorial of the Park, check out our Facebook Page.

Victoria International Cycling Festival, the Jump Ship Event

As part of the Victoria International Cycling Festival, the Jump Ship Event showcased the world's best freeride mountain bike riders who wowed the crowd with their mind blowing skills. Riders competed for a cash prize. These young me performed incredible moves high above the appreciative crowd. For more pictures, please go to our Facebook page.

For more information about Victoria British Columbia go to our website.

The Warmland Beckons - visit Cowichan Lake - an Article worth reading

The Warm Land Beckons article features beautiful Cowichan Lake and the surrounding area. Read about the amazing places to stay, things to do and the gourmet food at local restaurants. Then pack your bags and head out! Lake Cowichan is in the centre of the Cowichan Valley and close to so may attractions, vineyards, amazing sights, and cool activities.
Above is Lake Cowichan, a sample of great food ahd te amazing Kinsol Trestle.

Vancouver Pizza - It can't get any better than this

Now these guys have class. Perhaps when the Canucks win the Stanley Cup, maybe they will make it permanent. I like their style and there food is great too. Of all the business support given to our hockey team, this one wins my vote for the best eye catcher. Kind of gives a new meaning to the "Boston Brute", finger food, and a whole lot more.

Ric's Grill 910 Government Street Victoria BC

My wife Linda and I were fortunate enough to be invited to a wine and food paring hosted by Ric's Grill in Victoria. For a photo-pictorial of the event and some great pictures of their food, please go to our Facebook Wall. The staff were amazing. Our servers Meghan and Amy were constantly available refreshing our drinks, taking away our empty dishes and bringing us one great dish after another. We started with some incredibly delicious bread pared with Prospect Riesling. Then came the appetizer plate, followed by a seafood plate and then a 3-steak plate. Chef Randy Davis and Sous Chef Brett Hewitt prepared excellent dishes. Valerie-Marie Lessard, the Wine & Beverage Director did an excellent job finding just the right wine for each course. Thanks to host and CEO Sonny Gupta for providing us with an overview of the history and direction of their restaurant chain. They definitely are on the right track, excellent food, great drinks at reasonable prices and staff that are friendly, helpful, and courteous. A job well done! Look for their opening at The Prestige Oceanfront Resort in Sooke.

Ogden Point Breakwater Mural Dedication Ceremony and Blessing Port Victoria BC

Today the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations blessed and celebrated Phase 2 of the Odgen Point Breakwater Mural headed up by artists Butch Dick and Darlene Gait. The Victoria Harbour Authority sponsored the mural. Shirley Lang a First Nations Caterer and owner of Kitchens of Distinction provided the food for the event. It was a beautiful day and a wonderful ceremon with a large crowd in attendance. Check out the pictures. The large crowd was filled with residents, tourists, politicians, First Nation elders and members, and one approving eagle and heron. It was a great event and show-cased the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations. For a pictorial of the event please go to our Facebook Wall.

Feeding the Seals at Oak Bay Marina

Bus loads of tourists and lots of locals go to Oak Bay Marina where at least four harbour seals hang out by the fish cleaning table. The only seem to eat frozen herring from the Marina bait freezer. They are fat because they are well fed and they hang around there most of the year. There are signs everywhere telling people not to hand feed them to avoid getting bit. Many do not heed the warning. The seals seem so tame. I wonder if they like finger....

Sips Artisan Bistro in James Bay Victoria

Tonight the Victoria Guest Services Network has an orientation to Sips Bistro. This amazing little restaurant is a gold mine waiting for you to discover at 425 Simcoe in James Bay. Find Thrifty's and go west a few steps. Then discover delicious cuisine and amazing staff. For some great photos of the amazing food in this Bistro visit this Facebook page.
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