Rotary-stamped wine glasses stand ready to be used by patrons at at the Colwood Rotary Art and Wine Festival. This year’s edition happens July 26 at Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site.

Art, wine and music with a view

Fourth annual Rotary Art and Wine Festival at Fort Rodd Hill

How many times have you visited Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites?

If you were raised on the West Shore, you probably have many memories set here, from childhood visits to July 1 festivities. With the lighthouse being the first of its kind on the West Coast of Canada, this dual Historic Site has the reputation of being a popular field trip location. It can be easy to forget, however, just how breathtaking this oceanside spot really is.

Parks Canada has been doing much in recent years to promote Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse as being more than historic; even beyond the annual Canada Day festival, it’s becoming known as a vibrant, accessible and stunning event destination.

One upcoming event, the fourth annual Rotary Art & Wine Festival, will be sure to provide West Shore residents with a new experience of an old favourite place.

The Art & Wine Festival was conceived by the Rotary Club of Colwood to raise funds for its various community projects, such as the newly opened Rotary Playground at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre, and international projects such as the Haiti Divine Hands Orphanage.

But that’s not the only reason Rotary continues to spearhead this cultural bright spot for Colwood.

“We wanted to hold an event which brings our community together,” said club treasurer Bonnie Kelleher. “So our focus for the artists, entertainment, and wineries is local Vancouver Island and to highlight Fort Rodd Hill (as) a local venue.”

The festival is supported by the City of Colwood, which provided a community grant this year and in 2013. It has been a fantastic way to connect the residents of Colwood, the West Shore and beyond with the abundance of local artistic talent. In previous years, up to 30 artists have participated with demonstrations of their creative process and original artwork of various media for sale.

“This year we’ve had a great deal of support from both the Coast Collective and the West Shore Arts Council,” Kelleher added.

Included in the entertainment schedule is the Battle of the Artists painting competition, presented by the Coast Collective Arts Centre. The West Shore Arts Council has sponsored a performance by internationally renowned jazz trumpeter Miguelito Valdes. Award winning singer/songwriter Terry Brennan will also perform for his second year. And Langford magician Jason Verners will be entertaining ticket holders with his sleight of hand, thanks to the sponsorship of NEXX Mortgage.

The West Shore Arts Council will also be facilitating an arts and crafts area to keep the kids occupied, leaving the adults free to enjoy wine samples. Included in the ticket price are tastings of Vancouver Island wines, with tasting tips with sommelier Micheline Ouimet, and delicious canapés created by Evedar’s Bistro and other local chefs.

The event takes place on Sunday, July 26 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Advance tickets are available for $25, or at the gate for $30. Tickets can be purchased online at colwoodrotaryfestival.com or in person at Coast Collective, 3221 Heatherbell Rd., or the West Shore Arts Council office at 4495 Happy Valley Rd.

Find out more about the West Shore Arts Council by visiting westshorearts.org.

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