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Gulf Islands National Park Reserve

2014 Interpretation Schedule

(Download the 2014 Summer Fun Guide for the interpretation program schedule - PDF, 1.12 MB) 

McDonald Campground*, Sidney

*NOTE: For all programs at McDonald Campground, please park at the adjacent Blue Heron Park and follow the signs to the campground. Meet at the group campfire ring. How to get to McDonald Campground?

Weekly Programs

  • Campfire Magic
    Fridays, June, July and August, 7-8pm
    Share the magic of a traditional Canadian campfire with your family. Join an interpreter for songs, stories, s’mores and more! Bring a flashlight and a mug for hot chocolate. For families with children 12 and under.
    *NOTE: We will gather around a lantern if there is a fire ban.

  • Junior Naturalists
    Thursdays, July and August, 11am-12pm 
    Love nature? Bring your curiosity and join the club! Collect a new sticker each week and get a prize for collecting all four. For children ages six to12 with an adult.
    *NOTE: This four part program will repeat in August.

Special Events

  • Learn to Camp
    Saturday, June 14, 1pm to Sunday, June 15 at noon
    Keen to camp with your family, but not sure where to start? We can help! Parks Canada, Mountain Equipment Co-op and volunteers will show you how it’s done at an overnight event. Learn how to set up a tent, cook over a camp stove and rainproof your site. Enjoy special workshops with Coast Salish guests. Circle up around the campfire with new friends and a mug of cocoa. Price is $22 per person, including most equipment and some meals. Registration opens April 18. Contact 1-888-773-8888.

Saturna Island*

*NOTE: Interpretation programs on Saturna Island are held at either Winter Cove or East Point. See program descriptions for locations. How to get to Saturna Island?

Weekly Programs

  • Orca News 2014
    Saturdays, July and August, 2-2:30pm, East Point
    A short, engaging update on the endangered southern resident killer whales. East Point is a prime spot for land-based whale watching. Bring a blanket or a chair. Meet out at the point (5 min. walk).

  • GPS Family Adventures
    Sundays, July and August, 11am- 1pm (drop-in), Winter Cove
    Set out on these family activities equipped with a GPS and a clue book. Choose from three adventures: Wildlife Trackers, Smelly-Sticky-Prickly or Nature Photographers (bring your camera for this one). Drop-in anytime but allow 1 hour to complete an adventure.

  • Sunset Wildlife Watch
    Fridays, July and August, 8-9pm, East Point
    Discover the wildlife of the Salish Sea and relax into the peacefulness of an East Point sunset. Dress warmly and bring blankets, chairs and flashlights. Enjoy the talents of island musicians and storytellers. Meet out at the point (5 min. walk).

Special Events

  • Saturna Lamb BBQ
    Tuesday, July 1, 10am-4:30pm, Winter Cove
    Celebrate Canada Day with islanders at a country fair picnic. Play games and win prizes at the Parks Canada booth. Learn traditional skills from our Coast Salish guest.

  • Parks Day – Under the Sea
    Saturday, July 19, 1-3 pm, East Point

    Fish with horns, eel-like creatures and maybe even a giant pacific octopus! Come see what the divers will bring up from the deep! Drop- in and join Parks Canada and the Saturna Island Marine Research and Education Society for fun marine activities. Enjoy free ice-cream courtesy of Saturna Island Parks and Recreation. Tour the Fog Alarm Building with Saturna Island Heritage Committee volunteers.

Pender, Vancouver, Saturna and Sidney Islands

  • Geocaching – Self-Guided
    May 15 to September 1
    Try one of our geocaching programs and embark on a self-guided adventure to experience the park’s cultural and natural hotspots. Choose from two routes: a family-friendly treasure hunt or a more strenuous route. Each visitor to complete a route receives a limited edition geocoin. First person to find the caches at season start-up wins a special coin.

Town of Sidney

  • World Oceans Day
    June 8, 11am-3pm, Beacon Park, Town of Sidney

    Check out the fantastic live marine creatures inside the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre. Outside on the Sidney waterfront enjoy music, face-painting and exhibitions by local environmental organizations. Visit the Parks Canada booth for fun marine activities.

More information on park programs and events

  • Cost: Free
  • Ages: All ages, unless indicated otherwise
  • Registration: Not required
  • Bring: Water, hat, jacket, sunscreen and appropriate walking gear
  • Meeting place: At the park kiosk/info sign at the location listed, unless otherwise noted
  • To get here: Travel to Sidney Island by Alpine Ferry; travel to Saturna Island by BC Ferries
  • To reserve an activity in French, please contact the park office at 250-654-4000