From March 24-26, our favourite Francophone festival returns with musical artists, cultural activities, and of course fabulous food. It’s all happening at Mackin Park in Maillardville, Coquitlam in celebration of the 34th annual Festival du Bois.
The festival is the largest of its kind in B.C., bringing a little bit of Québécois culture to the West Coast. The official kickoff on the first evening begins with the Friday Night Contra Dance featuring live music from The Sybaritic String Band with Sherry Nevins. What exactly is Contra Dance? It’s a social dance done in lines of couples usually accompanied by live traditional music. There’s a dance caller who teaches easy “figures” on the spot, like in square dancing, and prompts you during the dance. A great way to work up your appetite we’d say!
Speaking of which, we are already salivating in anticipation of the festival’s cuisine traditionnelle. Try some hearty, traditional tourtière, the famed Quebecois double-crusted meat pie with a flaky, buttery crust. Savour the gravy and cheese curds in a decadent bowl of poutine, or enjoy the flavour of a traditional Montreal smoked meat sandwich. You’ll likely find us hovering around the cheesy-melty deliciousness at La Poutinerie. And then for dessert over at Cabane à Sucre André Beauregard Sugar Shack for sinfully good maple sugar pie and freshly made maple taffy on an icy bed of snow.
Be sure to visit the Métis Village Experience at Festival du Bois to enjoy, explore, learn and appreciate the rich Métis history, art, culture, perspectives, language and tradition that have been part of this country for over 200 years.
In this very special part of the festival, and under the guidance of elders, artists, musicians and other knowledgeable community members, you will experience some of the rich and dynamic Métis culture. Expect to see musicians, dancers, storytellers, craftspeople, artisans and more.
Festival du Bois is excited to be partnering with the North Fraser Métis Association to offer you a glimpse into the Métis experience in British Columbia.
Come by, stop for a while, and share in the Métis spirit!
Along with a fantastic lineup of artists throughout the weekend, The Grand Chapiteau (Big Tent) is also where you’ll find the booths from a selection of talented artisans and info kiosks where you can learn all about local Francophone and community organizations.
Getting to the Festival du Bois is easy, be sure to check out the options available including a free shuttle from Ikea.
Why not make a make a weekend of it and book a Festival du Bois Accommodation Package.
If all the mingling and square dancing have you building back up your appetite, there are plenty of noteworthy restaurants in the area as well.
At Woody’s Pub, you can enjoy one of Coquitlam’s favourite spots for craft beer and live entertainment, while also ordering another round of poutine (it’s already a cheat day, you may as well).
If it’s a little extra spice you’re after, then an order of sockeye salmon aburi from Fat Tuna Sushi should be your next course. Flame seared and topped with fresh jalapeno and wasabi, it’s a delicious way to keep warm if the temperature starts to drop.
If you’re not ready to stop the French theme, however, then you ought to swing by Olivier’s La Boulangerie. One of our absolute favourite spots for fresh pastries in Coquitlam, Oliver’s never fails to delight. Croissants, croquants, baguette sandwiches – it’s basically like sending yourself a delicious postcard from Paris.
Maillardville is rich in restaurants, cafes, retail and fun things to do so be sure to leave some time to explore.
One final thing to do, check out Mackin House, operated by the Coquitlam Heritage Society, right across the street from Mackin Park to learn more about the history of Coquitlam.
For more information about Francophone family fun and feasting, visit www.festivaldubois.ca.