Every year the main streets of the village are closed to traffic as up to 5,000 people from mid-Vancouver Island and Vancouver’s Lower Mainland visit for this fun-filled family event. Along with the festival, Qualicum Beach offers a unique mix of gift & specialty shops, boutiques, galleries and restaurants. This area is also home to an array of artists and artisans, many of whom welcome visitors to their studios. Qualicum Beach is located on the sheltered eastern shores of Vancouver Island, just 40 km. north of Nanaimo, and an easy ferry ride from Vancouver.
Vancouver Island’s famous chili cook-off is once again one of the centrepieces of the Qualicum Beach Fire and Ice Street Festival. Join us to see up to 25 teams in their decorated booths compete for the best tasting chili served by enthusiastic cooks. Teams must prepare a minimum of 75 litres of chili with each team having its own distinct flavour. A one-time cup purchase for $3.00 from the festival ticket sellers will allow you to go from team to team on the streets of our quaint and friendly town sampling the culinary fare and voting for your favourite. The teams, all from local restaurants, supermarkets, golf courses, organizations and businesses, are competing for the “Best Professional”, “Best Amateur”, and the coveted “PEOPLES CHOICE AWARD”.
Ice carvers from Western Canada compete for prizes in this annual event. Up to 18 ice carvers will be at various locations throughout the town where spectators can gather round to watch as they work their magic with chainsaw and chisel on two large blocks of ice. Cash prizes are awarded for the 1st, 2nd & 3rd best ice sculptures. There will also be an “Honorable Mention” cash prize for the most interesting sculpture not placing in the top three.
Fire & Ice is a family-oriented street festival so there are lots of activities for the kids. Once again, the local branch of the Coastal Community Credit Union is sponsoring the “Kids Zone”. This is one of the busiest places in town with lots of little people getting their faces painted, listening to story time, playing games and participating in activities planned just for them. Volunteers are there all day to ensure that kids of all ages are entertained.
Music & entertainment will be ongoing all day on the streets of Qualicum Beach. The music varies from country and folk to jazz and rock all coming from three stages situated at various locations around town. Vancouver Island is home to some of B.C.’s finest performing artists and this festival will showcase their talents throughout the day. Stroll the streets of Qualicum Beach and listen to the music, as you taste the different varieties of chili.