BC Seafood Festival Backgrounder

May 10, 2019

About:  The 2019 BC Seafood Festival #BCSeafoodFest

The 13th annual BC Seafood Festival will be held in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island from June 7-16, 2019. Western Canada’s largest seafood festival welcomes its most extensive list of chefs from British Columbia and Canada to celebrate the bounty of BC Seafood.

The 2019 BC Seafood Festival Program – Reach for BC Seafood:

Signature Weekend June 14 – 16th

Brought back by popular demand! Three-days featuring new and popular events and celebrations including celebrity chef demonstrations, award-winning shellfish and seafood tastings, interactive and educational displays all with the famous seafood competitions. New for 2019 – Enter the Shuck It! Let’s Go! culinary and adventure contest featuring airfare, accommodation and tickets for two to the Signature Weekend.

BC Seafood Festival Chef Challenge – Presented by FortisBC and Garland – The ultimate seafood challenge using the freshest ingredients from BC seafood with a top prize of $5,000 to the winning Chef and a second prize of $1,500 awarded by FortisBC, small wares provided by Bargeen Ellingson & cooking equipment sponsored by Garland Canada.

New for 2019! Junior Chef Challenge: June 16th It’s time for the next crop of aspiring chefs to test their culinary chops! Four young people (aged 8 to 12) will be selected and transform BC seafood ingredients into mouth-watering, gorgeous culinary creations. Just like in the big leagues, there’ll be a twist ingredient the junior chefs must incorporate into their dishes. And what’s a competition without a race against the clock? The junior chefs will have just 45 short minutes to prepare a seafood masterpiece and win the judges over with their creativity, plate presentation and, of course, delicious flavours. The winner takes home the RESP prize AND bragging rights as the Junior Chef Champion!

Fanny Bay Oysters Shucking Championship – June 15th

The fastest shuckers in British Columbia will compete for the top prize of an all-expense paid trip to compete in the PEI Shellfish Festival Raspberry Point Shucking Championship. Guinness Book of World Record Holder, Shucker Paddy, will be returning in this “must-attend” event.

Ocean Wise Chowder Challenge – June 16th

Restaurants and their seafood-lovin’ chefs serve up the best sustainable seafood chowder for a chance to win an OceanWise annual membership and attendance to the big leagues of chowder competitions, the Vancouver OceanWise Chowder Chowdown.

Best Caesar in Town – June 16th

Show off your Caesar making skills amongst some of the best bartenders in BC, as part of the 13th annual BC Seafood Festival. Participating bars, pubs and restaurants will showcase their signature competition Caesar during the BC Seafood Festival Signature Weekend, Filberg Lodge and Park, Comox.

Featured ticketed events during the Signature Weekend include:

  • June 14thThe BCSGA Gala Dinner
  • June 14thShucked! Oyster Bar Happy Hour. The largest oyster bar happy hour in Canada;
  • June 15thBaked n’ Boiled! Kitchen Party. Where Eastcoast meets Westcoast in a slurptastic seafood boil;
  • June 15thCeviche! Ceviche! Ceviche! A masterclass for ceviche seafood creations;
  • June 16thBounty! Seafood Brunch Cookout. A delicious brunch seafood cookout experience.

Chefs – The 2019 Festival’s local and celebrity chef lineup: 

Local Comox Valley area participating chefs include: Ronald St. Pierre, Executive Chef and Owner, Locals Restaurant; Nigel McMeans, Executive Chef, Black Fin Pub; Andre Durbach, Executive Chef, Il Falcone Restaurant; Dawne McRae, Owner & Chef Custom Gourmet Catering; Sloan Romano, Executive Chef, Atlas Café; Wes Erickson, Chef, Wild Pacific Halibut; Aaron Rail, Chef, Kingfisher Oceanside Resort.

Regional and Canadian participating chefs include:

  • Nathan Fong, Executive Chef Producer of the BC Seafood Festival; Fong on Food, Vancouver, BC;
  • Duncan Ly, Owner and Chef and Jinhee Lee, Executive Chef, Top Chef Finalist, and Hyungae Lim, Chef de Cuisine, Foreign Concepts, Calgary, AB;
  • Hamid Salimian, Culinary Team Canada Chef and Chef NextJen Gluten-Free, Vancouver, BC;
  • Shelome Bouvette, Owner and Executive Chef, Chicha Restaurant, Vancouver, BC;
  • Lee Cooper, Executive Chef and Owner, Coquille Fine Seafood and L’Abattoir, Vancouver, BC;
  • Chris Andraza, Executive Chef, Fanny Bay Oyster Bar and Restaurant, Vancouver, BC;
  • Ned Bell, Executive Chef, Ocean Wise, Vancouver, BC;
  • Ricardo Valverde, Executive Chef, Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio, Vancouver and West Vancouver, BC;
  • Jean-Francis Quaglia, Executive Chef and Founder, Provence Marinaside, Vancouver, BC;
  • Welbert Choi, Executive Chef, Forage, Vancouver, BC;
  • Eva Chin, Sous Chef, Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar (Vancouver Restaurant Award Winner 2019), Vancouver, BC;
  • Bobby Milheron, Executive Chef, West Restaurant, Vancouver, BC;
  • Morgan Wilson, Executive Chef, Fairmount Empress, Victoria, BC;
  • Isabel Chung, Executive Chef, Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Whistler, BC;
  • Derek Bendig, Executive Sous Chef, Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Whistler, BC;
  • Lisa Ahier, Founder and Executive Chef, Sobo, Tofino, BC;
  • Culinary Team British Columbia.

Also returning for 2019: Patrick McMurray, “Shucker Paddy”, Guinness Book of World Record Holder oyster shucker; and Charlotte Langley, Marine Stewardship Counsel Chef Ambassador and Culinary Curator for the Comox Garland Culinary Competition and Chef & Owner of Scout Canning and Events, Toronto.

Mixologists include: Amber Bruce, The Keefer Bar, Vancouver, BC (Vancouver Restaurant Award Winner 2019); Sabrine Dhaliwal, Pourhouse, Vancouver, BC; Katie Ingram, Elisa, Vancouver, BC; Kumiko Umeno, Chicha, Vancouver, BC.

Competition judges include: Pino Posteraro, Owner and Chef, Cioppinos, Vancouver; Mijune Pak, Iron Chef and Top Chef Canada and Follow Me Foodie; Alex Chen, Executive Chef, Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, Vancouver; and Quang Dang, Executive Chef, Top Table Group, Vancouver, BC.

For the entire family!
In addition to the seafood competitions and tastings, this year’s festival offers up the largest Kids Interactive Zone. Designed to show children how eating seafood is good for you! Children will learn how seafood is sourced and cooked, along with exploring numerous touch tanks, interactive displays, seafood cooking classes.

Signature Event Sponsors for this year’s festival include: Air Canada, Garland Canada, Fortis BC, Buy BC, Nespresso, Sobeys, FFAF Cargo and Coast Capital Savings.

Other Sponsors for the 2019 BC Seafood Festival include:

  • Discover Comox Valley
  • Coast Fresh Salmon Raised in BC
  • Fanny Bay Oysters
  • Comox Valley Airport

BC Shellfish Growers Association

  • 40 Knots Vineyard & Estate Winery
  • Mac’s Oysters
  • Old House Hotel & Spa
  • Travelodge
  • The Anco Motel
  • Comox Valley Inn
  • River Heights Motel
  • Cona Hostel
  • Holiday Inn Express
  • Best Western
  • Crown Isle Resort & Golf Community

About BC Seafood on Your Plate – June is BC Seafood Month

As June is BC Seafood Month, we’ve designed a campaign for seafood fans, participating restaurants will once again come together for BC Seafood on Your Plate highlighting favorite seafood experiences for diners from June 1-30, 2019. Top participating British Columbia restaurants will be showcasing their favorite seafood dishes to celebrate BC’s bounty and compete for a $1,000 prize by earning the most votes. Seafood options range from appetizers, entrees, three-course meals and wine pairings. A complete list of participating restaurants can be viewed at

About Buy BC

Funding support for the 2019 BC Seafood Festival is provided, in part, by the BC Government’s Buy BC Partnership Program; delivered by the investment Agriculture Foundation of BC with funding from the Government of British Columbia.

The 2019 BC Seafood Festival is working to promote reaching for BC seafood as part of a healthy diet. Canada’s new Food Guide recognizes the health benefits of eating fish and seafood.

About the BC Shellfish Growers Association (BCSGA)

The BC Shellfish Growers Association originally founded the BC Shellfish Festival which has evolved to what we know today as the BC Seafood Festival – a collaboration between BCSGA and the Comox Valley Economic Development Society. The BCSGA is a non-profit society that represents the farmed shellfish industry which include farmers, processors and hatcheries as well as industry service providers and stakeholders

About the BC Seafood Expo

Held from June 12-13, 2019. In its fifth year, this is the largest seafood industry trade event in the Pacific Northwest attracting suppliers, buyers, distributors, producers, industry leaders and government representative to network, meet and grow the seafood sector #BCSeafoodExpo

Tickets: For a limited time, the “Limited Release” Signature Weekend Passes for the BC Seafood Festival are available for purchase. Tickets prices are $15.00 per Day Pass, $25 for the Weekend Pass, and the Weekend Pass with food vouchers is $70. For information, Signature Weekend or other event tickets, and accommodations, go to Or, call the Vancouver Island Visitors Center 1-855-400-2882.  Inquire about a Free Signature Weekend Pass with Stays at participating hotels while supplies last!

About the Comox Valley

Located midway on the east coast of Vancouver Island, the Comox Valley is well known for its culinary bounty from the farms and sea to table. Rich with festivals and sporting events, stunning alpine to ocean resorts and spas, this region is a place of super natural beauty that offers lush culinary, cultural and outdoor experiences. It is comprised of the communities of Comox, Courtenay and surrounding rural areas in the Comox Valley Regional District. Visit

Join the conversation #BCSeafoodfest