Located at the entrance to Parksville, the Parksville Visitor Centre is conveniently located just off Highway 19A (Exit #46), between the Parksville Museum and Rotary Peace Park.
Picnic tables and benches in the Rotary Peace Park make the stop a lovely place to relax and have a picnic. Our parking facilities will accommodate your SUV, RV or even your bus, right next to a nice walking trail and close to our washroom facilities.
Our courteous and knowledgeable staff provide professional visitor counseling, itinerary planning tailored to your interests and needs, accommodation and activity reservations, helpful travel information including transportation and community information on all areas of British Columbia.
Visit our unique gift shop which showcases local artisans, with an exclusive collection of souvenir t-shirts, jewellery, and souvenirs. A hand-selected assortment of books cover hiking trails, cookbooks and the flora and fauna of our beautiful area.
Our Visitor Centre has public washrooms and up-to-date road, weather and event information. We have the most complete selection of brochures and publications providing visitors with all the information needed to make informed decisions, whatever their vacation plans.
The Parksville Visitor Centre serves over 25,000 Visitors each year. Many visitors plan their trips to the Parksville area to coincide with our many annual events and festivals and start their trip by visiting us.
We're looking forward to seeing you.
This area is home to potters and painters, weavers and sculptors, carvers, glass blowers and many other artisans who welcome visitors to their studios. Organizations such as Oceanside Community Arts Council and Arrowsmith Potters Guild promote arts and culture in the community, and there's almost always an exhibition to enjoy at one of our local galleries.
Coombs Village and the Famous Goats on the Roof
Coombs Village is dotted with several heritage buildings, unique galleries as well as numerous gift shops and craft outlets, many of which are open year round. There is also, of course, the goats on the roof at The Coombs Old Country Market. (Yes, the goats are really are on the roof...well, where else would you put them?) Coombs Village is located approximately 15 minutes west of Parksville on the Alberni Highway, right on the way to Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park and McMillan Provincial Park (Cathedral Grove).
Festivals and Events
Parksville Beach Festival: International sand sculptors work their magic, turning giant piles of sand into unbelievable works of art! Over 60,000 visitors are drawn to the Parksville beaches during the five week festival, to see these spectacular creations and vote for their favourites! Admission is by donation.
Brant Wildlife Festival: The festival started because of a small goose called the Black Brant which migrates from California and Mexico to Alaska and stops off in Parksville/Qualicum Beach to rest and feed. As many as 20,000 Brant may be found along the shore at peak times at the end of March. Each year the festival shares this story through a variety of events. Wildlife viewing, ecotours, marsh walks, speaker series, an art exhibition and children's concert are some of the many activities that run from early March to the end of April.
The Rotary Club of Parksville's Canada Day celebrations are renowned on Vancouver Island, with a full day of entertainment that delivers something for everyone. Make sure you mark it on your calendar and come and wave the flag with us! It'll be a day of fun for the whole family, from the morning's parade to the fireworks at dusk, and a full day of music in the Community Park.
These are just some of the many festivals that take place during the year.For up-to-date information, check out the Community Calendar of Events.
Fishing & Boating
Beachcomber Marina - 1600 Byrnmarl Road. Nanoose Bay. Daily moorage is offered subject to availability. 1.250.468.7222.
French Creek Marina - a public boat launch located on Highway 19A at Lee Road. Facilities include charters, tackle shop, fresh seafood store, marine sales, nearby camping and condo rentals, a sports centre and Morningstar golf course. French Creek Marina is also host of the French Creek Salmon Derby, held each August. For details on the Marina Services, contact the French Creek Harbour Authority at 126.96.36.19951.
Schooner Cove Resort and Marina - 3521 Dolphin Drive, Nanoose Bay. Fairwinds Schooner Cove Marina is the place to moor your boat on an annual or seasonal basis or for those just visiting, on a daily basis. Amenities at the marina include: 30 & 50 amp power, tackle shop, convenience store, cafe, gas & diesel, beer & wine store, laundry, boat ramp, pub, pool, hot tub & showers. Docking is available for vessels up to 150 ft. Visitors should call on marine VHF channel 73 upon approach to the marina and you will be directed to a slip prior to registering. Advance Reservations are recommended, call 1.800.663.7060.
Deep Bay Marina - A private boat launch located on Burne Road in Deep Bay, Deep Bay Marina is a commercial harbour supplying berthage for both commercial and recreational vessels. Facilities include tackle shop, charters, licensed restaurant, tent & trailer camping. Contact the Harbour Authority at 1.250.757.9331.
You'll find contact information and links to all of these in the Marine Services section of our Business Directory.
Hockey and Skating
Oceanside Place features two NHL regulation size ice sheets named after two local ice skating legends and heroes, Howie Meeker and Victor Kraatz, a Leisure Ice sheet, multipurpose rooms, a meeting room, a concession, skate shop and the main offices for the Regional District of Nanaimo Recreation and Parks Department. The facility is attached to Wembley Mall, and has won two provincial awards since opening.
For further information visit the Oceanside Place website.
Craig Heritage Park is located about 3 km south of Parksville on the Island Highway, right next to our Visitor Centre. Take a trip into yesteryear and see how our early settlers lived. On location are several local heritage buildings that you can tour. The Museum is open daily in the summer.
St. Anne's Anglican Church was built in 1894 by 45 farmers with the aid of oxen to haul the logs, and is one of the oldest churches on Vancouver Island.
Parksville Community Park - Located right on the beach, with an endless shoreline, the Parksville Community Park is a dandy! The waterfront boardwalk is ideal for convenient access to the vast sandy beaches of Parksville Bay or for a beautiful sunset stroll on a summer evening. 445 meters in length and 4.5 meters wide,the boardwalk accommodates pedestrians as well as wheelchairs and strollers. The multitude of dog-walkers, joggers, families, cyclists, skateboarders and people on rollerblades using the path each day illustrates the fact that the Community Park is truly a community meeting place for residents and visitors of all ages.Two ball fields and a lacrosse box are located at the entrance to the park, with public tennis courts, a curling rink, seasonal food trucks, an awesome BMX/Skateboard Park, 2 conditioned beach volleyball areas, and an incredible children's playground with Vancouver Island's greatest water spray park completing the entertainment spectrum.
Or, of course, you could just go to the beach.
Springwood Park is home to the Parksville Royals, a BC Premier League baseball team, Springwood Park is Parksville's primary sports field complex. The 8.57 ha (21 acres) park is located adjacent to Springwood Middle School. In addition to the park facilities there is a small children's playground and an outdoor basketball court located at the school.
Foster Park is an example of one of Parksville's neighbourhood parks. Neighbourhood parks are interspersed throughout the City and are equipped with varying facilities. Foster Park is 2.72 ha of park land tucked away just off Pym Street. There is a large gazebo that can be rented for special events, picnic tables and benches, and a small playground. Foster Park is the perfect spot for a quiet family afternoon or a child's outdoor birthday party.
Top Bridge Mountain Bike Park is the only park on Vancouver Island designated for mountain bikes. Its trails vary from intermediate to advanced and are maintained by a local mountain bike club, in conjunction with the City of Parksville.
Our Provincial Parks are truly natural wonders. Whether for camping, picnicking, swimming, fishing, hiking, from ocean to forest they're nature at its best.
Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park's high tide offers the warmest ocean swimming opportunities in Canada.
Englishman River Falls & Little Qualicum River Falls have gorgeous waterfalls, which have been featured in various television commercials and the family movie "Alaska".
MacMillan Provincial Park (Cathedral Grove) is the home of the "really big trees"! This 132 hectare grove of giant trees is the most accessible stand of giant Douglas-fir on Vancouver Island. Some of these giants have seen over 800 summers pass.
Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park will thrill you! Though there are two small caves you can explore on your own, a guided tour through part of the large chambers will be more enlightening and a great introductory tour is available, as well as more adventurous ones.
Spider Lake Provincial Park is adjacent to Horne Lake and is noted for its excellent canoeing, kayaking, swimming and fishing.
Rosewall Creek Provincial Park, located past Deep Bay, is a pocket-size park with an attractive wheelchair-accessible trail.
For more information go to BC Parks. To reserve camping, call 1.800.689.9025 (seasonal service) or go online at www.discovercamping.ca.
Horne Lake Regional Park, featuring spectacular views of area mountains and cliffs, is a great place to spend the day and explore the world-renowned Horne Lake Caves next door.
Moorecroft Regional Park was purchased by the RDN on March 2, 2011 from the BC Conference of the United Church of Canada. The property, formerly known as Camp Moorecroft, was first identified by the RDN in 1995 as a priority site for regional park acquisition due to its rare conservation and recreation values. The park is managed under a Conservation Covenant held by the Nature Conservancy of Canada, which requires ecological protection and enhancement as the highest priority and low impact recreation amenities within a natural setting.
Mount Arrowsmith Regional Park features the historic Arrowsmith Trail. The trail offers hikers the opportunity to climb through several forest zones and experience dramatic views of the Georgia Strait. The trail requires moderate level fitness as it climbs steadily to gain elevation to the 6,000 ft summit. Allow 6-7 hours for the round trip and take drinking water.
Top Bridge Regional Park is a fabulous day use park and is connected to Rathtrevor Provincial Park by the Top Bridge Trail, a 10km round trip which crosses both private and public land and is perfect for walking, riding or equestrian use.
For more information on these and other Regional Parks, go to RDN Nanaimo - Regional Parks
Rathtrevor Beach is a Parksville beach that is one of the province’s most popular family destinations, and home to the BC Provincial Park/campground of the same name. The park includes five kilometers of beachfront, and at low tide, the ocean recedes almost a kilometer from the shoreline.
Our beautiful expanse of beach in Parksville Bay was recently named one of Better Homes & Gardens' favourite family-friendly beach destinations. Summer water temperatures exceed 21 degrees celsius, as the tide washes in over the warm sand.
The beaches found at our rivers and lakes are perfect for cooling off on a hot day or for a quiet hike. The crystal clear waters of Cameron Lake (Hwy. #4 - about ten minutes past Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park and on the road to Cathedral Grove) shouldn’t be missed. Forested slopes surround the lake, and the pea-gravel beach is a lovely spot to warm up after an afternoon dip.
Top Bridge at Englishman River is a local favourite, just a couple of minutes from downtown Parksville. Englishman River Falls Provincial Park has great swimming just a short hike down to the lower falls. The waters of Horne Lake make for a great place to go swimming, paddling, or just sunbathing.
Indoor Swimming at the Ravensong Aquatic Centre
If the ocean water is a little cool for you, take a dip at the Ravensong Aquatic Centre. The facility features a 25-metre Olympic short course pool, a leisure pool and a whirlpool, as well as a Nordic dry sauna and a Finnish steam room. There are family change rooms, and a variety of programs including aqua-aerobics, senior swim, etc.
The Ravensong Aquatic Centre is located in Qualicum Beach, next to the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT THE PARKSVILLE & DISTRICT CHAMBER
Browse through our most frequently asked questions. If you'd like to add a question, use the comments form at the bottom of this page.
Are there any committees that may be of interest to me?
Can I host a Business After Business event?
Can the Chamber of Commerce donate or help my not-for-profit raise funds?
How can I market my business through the Chamber?
PROMOTE YOURSELF! (Who can do it better?)How?
- Set up a display table at one of our Chamber dinners. Do you have a new product, service or staff person to introduce to the business community of the Parksville area? Or perhaps it has been a while since you formally reminded the business community of the consistent quality of service and products available at your business? As a showcase table host at a Chamber of Commerce membership dinner you have the opportunity to fulfill either of these marketing strategies! A table is provided with covering and skirting - so all you need to bring is your promotional material, which can be elaborate or very simple. Hosting a business card draw is a good way to attract attendees to your display. During the meeting, you will have the opportunity to tell the membership about your business - a mini commercial! Being a showcase table host at a membership meeting has many benefits - and the investment is very affordable at only $25 ( + tax).
- Buy a sponsor button in our weekly eflash – only $25/week.
- Display your rack cards or business cards in our Chamber of Commerce office / Visitor Centre for hand-out to new residents, visitors and new business operators in our area – it’s free with your membership!
- Be a Table Sponsor at a meeting - Table Sponsorship allows you to display literature on the dinner tables (only one table sponsor per meeting), address the membership for 3-5 minutes and also includes a display table.
- Chamber Membership Meeting-- Investment: $100
- Joint Membership Meeting -- Investment: $250
- Enhance your website listing with up to four images (photos and/or company logo) at no extra charge.
- Submit newsworthy (not advertising) items for our weekly eflash.
- Attend Chamber of Commerce meetings and events and network, network, network!
How do I get involved with the Chamber activities?
There are many ways you can get involved with the Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce. You may just wish to take advantage of the networking, promotion and education opportunities, but for those wish wish to move behind that, there are other options:
Become a Director and join our Board
The Board of Directors determine policies and programs. We meet the first Thursday of the month at 7:00 a.m. These meetings operate under a specific agenda and are normally over within 1 hour. This is where you get the pulse of the organization and make the decisions that govern the Chamber. These decisions are then carried out by the Executive Director and his staff.
Serve on Committees and Task Forces.
Whether you are a Board member or not, as a member, you can volunteer to serve on any of the committees and task forces that are necessary for the delivery of our services. This is where you can bring your experience to our team. You may choose to Chair a committee or simply join a group of dedicated volunteers to contribute to projects. Some of these committees are set in advance, like the Business Excellence Awards, the Gala Fantasy Auction, Canada Day and the Street Market. Other committees are established as needed for special projects.
Volunteer at the Visitor Centre.
Our Visitor Centre welcomes over 25,000 people each year. We supplement our regular staff with volunteers to assist these visitors. In this case, you receive Tourism BC training and become an accredited "Visitor Counsellor". Our Visitor Centre Manager will establish a schedule that will meet your availability. This is an exciting job where you can promote the area and help our visitors.
Do you have special skills?
Some of our members are artists, writers, photographers, musicians or are professionals from other fields. We welcome your input and are always happy to give you an opportunity to either showcase your talent or to help by applying your skills to our many undertakings.
I have some free time, can I volunteer for the Chamber?
Volunteers are always needed, in many different areas.
Of course, you could become a Director and sit on our Board, but, in addition, most of our sponsored events are spearheaded by a committee of volunteers who bring their specific experiences to the team.
The Visitor Centre also needs people to assist the 25,000+ tourists visiting us every year. These volunteers receive Tourism BC training, and, once they graduate, they can offer their time as Visitor Counsellors. Our Executive Director would be happy to provide more information.
What are benefits of Chamber membership?
We hear this question all the time from prospective Chamber members. Some of the top ways in which Parksville & District Chamber members tell us membership has benefited their business are the Group Insurance Plan, Advocacy, Networking and Promotional Activities and Exclusive Member Discounts.
What is a Chamber of Commerce?
Your Chamber of Commerce is a non‑profit organization comprised of businesses, professionals, residents and other community groups working together to ensure a healthy economic and socio‑economic base to benefit the entire community. Your Chamber of Commerce harnesses the tremendous potential of the private enterprise system and the community at large and enables its membership to accomplish collectively what no one person could do individually.
How does your Chamber work?
The policies and programs of the Chamber are determined by its Board of Directors, elected by the membership. They in turn, employ a paid Executive Director, whose basic responsibility is to organize and execute the chamber's programs and carry out its policies.
What does your Chamber do?
Your Chamber represents and promotes our City's economy, tourism initiatives, environmental, cultural and governmental concerns, and encourages business, residential and industrial investment, broadening the tax base and providing employment. To business prospects and newcomers, the Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce represents a viable force in seeking solutions to today's social and economic problems, as we are in touch with municipal, provincial and federal issues affecting the Parksville and District area.
Who finances the Chamber?
Your Chamber is a "Business" and it incurs costs of operation and expenses similar to any other type of business. Those expenses are apportioned among its members, individuals and firms, representing all types of business, industry and professional sectors. We have been fortunate to have received financial assistance from the City of Parksville and Destination BC in an effort to help us continue to provide our many services for the community. Your Chamber also hosts its annual Gala Auction fundraiser.
Why should you join the Chamber?
Your Chamber of Commerce is the sales force for our community and businesses, unceasingly promoting their products and services, and at the same time is their watchdog ‑ protecting their interests, particularly in the political arena. The united voice of the Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce has often proven effective and beneficial to businesses and the residents of our community. The benefit of belonging to the Chamber is full‑time representation and results.