Cowichan Bay Spot Prawn Festival Aped by Group from Victoria.

Victoria’s First Annual Spot Prawn Festival to take place from 11AM-5PM on May 26th.

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. That phrase has long been an old cliché. Yet it appears ever more fitting when a group of Victoria restaurateurs and business people recently chose to copy a long standing Cowichan Bay Village tradition. They flattered us all, by announcing their First Annual Victoria “Spot Prawn Festival”, to be held May 26th.

Created by the “Island Chef’s Collaborative” the festival has attracted sponsorship from a varied group of area food suppliers, including our own Cowichan Bay Seafoods.

The event, which has selected the old Car Shop Building at Bay View Place as their venue, runs exactly one week after Cowichan Bay Village plays host to the locally original event, the 5th annual being this year.

It is a particular  pity that an idea which was first presented in this area by our little Village (the prawn festival in Vancouver was two years old when the first event was held here. However Vancouver is a ferry ride and some driving away, and their event did not compete with our festival for visitors.) has been more or less taken over by what will undoubtedly become a larger venue for locally caught Spot Prawns.

Visitors from Victoria (where the bulk of day trippers to Cowichan Bay come from) who might have otherwise decided to come to the Cowichan Bay Festival, now have a good reason to stay home that weekend. After all the Victoria Festival is the following weekend anyway.

Meanwhile, those who harvest and sell the seafood have opened up a new weekend on the calendar to market for their product.

It begs the question: “How much is enough?” How long will this fishery remain “sustainable”? How long will it be before we are picking the barnacles and mussels off the bottoms of our float houses and hosting festivals based on them? Remember the “Salmon Festivals” in Campbell River and Port Alberni? You don’t? You must be in your early to mid twenties then.

We should perhaps consider ourselves lucky I suppose, that they didn’t decide to hold it at the same weekend as ours. There is that.

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