(Photo credit: Matt Love)

The annual Victoria Cheese and Meat festival is coming back to town this summer with a fresh new vibe and even fresher ingredients!

This year, the festival will be taking over The Parkside Hotel & Spa on May 9th, after spending previous summers at Crystal Gardens and the Roundhouse at Bayview Place.

The event showcases some of the best local and international cheeses, meats, and drinks to pair them with. Just make sure to come hungry!

“The biggest advice we like to give the guests of the festival is to come empty-handed,” festival founder Dave Bain told Victoria Buzz.

“When you arrive at the festival you are given a charcuterie board (that you get to keep) and a wine glass which keeps your hands very busy. You then walk around the Festival grounds tasting creations of the artisan food and beverage vendors.”

New this year

The classy new venue isn’t the only change you’ll notice at this year’s iteration of the Cheese and Meat festival.

Instead of two tastings, patrons will be able to choose between three two-hour sessions during which to peruse and taste BC fare to their heart’s content.

“We’ll be selling the same number of tickets as every year, but three tastings means there will be fewer people in each session so there’s more opportunity for interaction with the vendors,” says Bain.

These three hour sessions will be hosted at 12 p.m., 3 p.m., and at 7 p.m. on the day of the event.

In addition, Whole Foods will be hosting two one-hour-long seminars that guests can also attend at an additional cost of $40.

At 2 p.m., experts will be walking their audience through a History of Cheese (paired with liquor, of course), and at 6 p.m., seminar hosts will be discussing the Science of Artisan Food and Beverage, with plenty of each to taste.

Details

The annual Cheese and Meat Festival doesn’t just showcase cheeses and meats – they’ve also got a host of fresh, artisan food and beverages that you’d be hard pressed to find all under one roof.

On top of their popular Olive and Antipasto Bar that made its first appearance at last year’s festival, the event regularly features items like jams, fresh produce, smoked salmon, and much more.

Vendors include giants like Whole Foods as well as local farmers – and the event operators don’t charge them anything to be there!

“The only way we charge them is if they want to sell something because it costs us money to sell for them. We wanted to make this accessible to vendors so they have the ability to showcase the best products,” says Bain.

According to Bain, around 20% of the Victoria Cheese and Meat festival tickets have already been snatched up during their holiday pre-sale, so he expects the event to sell out fairly soon.

Regular tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. on Monday February 3rd – don’t be late!

Victoria Cheese and Meat Festival 2020

  • When: Saturday May 9th, 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Where: The Parkside Hotel & Spa, 810 Humboldt Street
  • Admission: Tickets go on sale Monday February 3rd at 9 a.m. and can be purchased at this website.