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Gulf Islands National Park Reserve

2015 Interpretation Schedule


McDonald Campground, Sidney  

  • Campfire Magic
    Fridays, June, July and August, 7-8pm
    Share the magic of a traditional Canadian campfire with your family. Join an interpreter and guest presenters for songs, stories, s’mores and more! Bring a flashlight and a mug for hot chocolate. For families with children 12 and under. 
    *Please park at the adjacent Blue Heron Park and follow the signs to the campground. Meet at the group campfire ring.

  • Learn to Camp 
    Overnight event: 1pm Saturday June 20, to noon Sunday, June 21 
    Keen to camp with your family and friends, 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, start a fire and learn about outdoor safety. Circle up around the campfire with new friends and a mug of cocoa.
    Registration begins May 1st, 2015. Fees apply. For more information contact 1-888-773-8888. 

Sidney Island

  • Drop-in Saturdays
    Saturdays, July and August, 11am- 2pm (drop-in)
    Sidney Spit
    Get away to a tropical island for the day! There’s something for everyone - beautiful sandy beaches, nature crafts, and nets and buckets to borrow for beach fun. For a self-guided adventures, pick up your Xplorers booklet or try geocaching. Come for the day, bring your camera and a picnic! Drop-in any time, but allow one hour to complete an adventure.

Town of Sidney

  • World Oceans Day
    June 7, 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.

Saturna Island

  • Sunset Wildlife Watch
    Fridays, July and August, 8-9pm
    East Point

    Discover the wildlife of the Salish Sea and relax in the peaceful 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).

  • 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.

  • Orca News 2015
    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).

  • Family Sundays
    Sundays, July and August, 11am- 1pm (drop-in)
    Winter Cove

    Choose from two self-guided GPS Adventures: Nature Photographers or, new this summer, Nature Camera Pros. We supply the GPS devices. You bring cameras and a picnic. Pick up your Xplorers booklet. Do a nature craft. Something for everyone! Drop-in anytime. Allow one hour to complete an adventure.

  • Parks Day – Intertidal Safari
    Saturday, July 18, 1-4 pm
    East Point
    Fish with horns, sea slugs and maybe even a giant pacific octopus! What will the divers bring up from the deep? 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 the Saturna Island Heritage Committee.

  • BioBlitz 2015
    Friday July 17, 4 pm to Saturday July 18, 4 pm.
    Various locations on Saturna Island
    Help us find and identify as many different organisms as possible in 24-hours! Work side-by-side with experts and add to the park reserve’s official species list. Two ways to participate: Join scientists for nature activities (no registration required) or register your family as citizen scientists at For more information call 1-866-944-1744.

Pender, Saturna, Sidney and Vancouver Islands

  • Geocaching – Self-Guided
    May 15 to September 30
    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.

  • Trail Guide App
    Want to explore the park at your own pace? Love gadgets? Download our new trail app onto your phone – available for download from the App Store and Google play. Discover the park in a whole new way with mini quizzes, historic photos and insider info! Routes available for Sidney Spit, Russell Island, Georgina Point (Mayne Island) and Roesland (Pender Island), Winter Cove and Lyall Creek (Saturna Island). More coming soon!

  • Xplorers 
    Are you between the ages of 6 and 11? Do you want to go for hikes, complete quizzes, play nature games and use your GPS to find mystery locations? Then the Xplorer program is just the right adventure for you! Xplorer kids and their family can discover cool facts about the park reserve by completing activities in the booklet. Speak to a park interpreter or a campground staff member to pick up an Xplorer booklet. 

More information on park programs and events

  • Cost: Free, unless indicated
  • Ages: All ages, unless indicated otherwise
  • Registration: Not required unless indicated otherwise
  • 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