Three British Columbia Festivals: Reading Comprehension

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All Together Now: Three BC Festivals

Vancouver Island’s Pacific Rim Whale Festival

In British Columbia, people have festivals that celebrate the things that make their hometown special. Every year, about 20,000 grey whales swim past the west coast of Vancouver Island. The whales travel from Mexico to the Arctic and back again. The whole trip is about 16,000 kilometres. Every March, the people who live around the Pacific Rim National Park have a festival to celebrate the whales’ journey. The festival is the Pacific Rim Whale Festival. The whales travel very close to the shore as they swim north. This allows people to gather together to watch the whales from land and from boats.

Nanaimo’s Bathtub Race

On the east coast of Vancouver Island, you can see people moving through the water in a strange type of boat. During the Nanaimo Bathtub Race, people have a big race in boats made from bathtubs! The city of Nanaimo is home to the oldest and most famous bathtub boat race in the world. The race started as a silly event in 1967. Today, Nanaimo’s World Championship Bathtub Race is a serious sport that brings racers and visitors from around the world.

Vancouver’s Dragon Boat Festival

Vancouver is home to another famous festival on the water. This is the Dragon Boat Festival. Dragon boat racing started in China more than 2,000 years ago. It was brought to Vancouver during the World’s Fair called Expo 86. The Dragon Boat Festival came back to Vancouver in 1989 to celebrate the many cultures living together in the city. The festival begins with a ceremony. The ceremony wakes up the dragon and gives the people and boats the dragon’s strength. Each boat has a dragon’s head on the front and a tail on the back. The boat holds a team of about 20 people. The people in the boats paddle to the beat of a drummer. The drummer sits at the front of the dragon boat.



Credits:

Story by Shantel Ivits at BC Open Textbooks
Story adapted under Creative Commons license
Adaptations and exercises by Douglas Rodger, English Language Centre

Clipart is Public Domain from Pixabay and WP Clipart