Apple Festival 2017

Our 26th Year!

A family event for all ages, the UBC Apple Festival celebrates one of BC’s favourite fruits. From learning about the diversity of apples to tasting rare and unusual varieties, the Apple Festival is a great opportunity to discover more about this delicious fruit.

Sorry, we have sold out of apples but the Festival continues! Please join us for the Tasting Tent ($5), live music and dancing, Children’s Area, Best Apple Display in Canada and much more. Admission to the Festival is now $3 and includes Garden admission.

Apple Fest (web)

Admission is $3 (cash only) for adults; children 12 and under free.*
Apple Festival admission includes Garden admission.

This fundraising event, organized by the Friends of the Garden, supports UBC Botanical Garden.

*Membership cards or passes for UBC Botanical Garden Members, UNA members, affiliated organizations and Groupons are not accepted in lieu of the $5 admission fee.

Hours: 11 am - 4 pm

There will be NO parking at UBC Botanical Garden. Please park at the West Parkade or Fraser River Parkade. There is a free shuttle bus from the UBC Campus West Parkade and Fraser River Parkade beginning at 9:30 am and running every 15 minutes. The last shuttle leaves the Festival at 4:45 pm.

The Garden is serviced by the #49 UBC/Metrotown bus or the #C20 UBC Shuttle. Please check the Translink website for up-to-date bus schedules.

A bike valet will be available at the main entrance.

Map of Apple Festival grounds

This event aims to be a zero waste event.

Interested in volunteering at Apple Festival? Please email

No pets are allowed in the Garden (service animals excepted). Please leave them at home.

Media Sponsor:

Special thanks to Dunbar Lumber. Pumpkins supplied by Save-On-Foods. Fencing supplied by Scott Construction Group.

This year, we are expecting to receive and sell approximately 34,000 pounds (15,422 kilos) of apples (63 varieties of heritage, new and “tried and true” apples), as well as over 70 varieties of apple trees.

We recommend you arrive early. Some varieties of apples sell out quickly.

Sorry, apples SOLD OUT

2017 Trees Available - Sunday, October 15

One of the most popular activities at the Apple Festival is the Friends of the Garden Apple Tasting Tent Supported by Whole Foods Market. For $5, curious event goers can taste a huge variety of new and heritage BC-grown apples.

  • up to 60 varieties of new and heritage apples grown in British Columbia
  • Friends of the Garden's Apple Booklet, available for purchase at the event, lists the history, propagation needs and features of more than 100 varieties of apples
  • Tasting sessions from 11:00 am to 3:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday
  • Tickets $5, available outside the tasting tent

Please note that not all the apples in the tasting tent will be available for sale due to very limited availability of some heritage varieties.

Apples available for tasting in 2017

Children's Area

Kids can engage in a number of activities in the Children’s Area, ranging from face painting, games and storytelling. They can learn about biodiversity, the environment, bees and other pollinators and more from our outreach partners. And don't miss everybody's favourite—the Leaf Pile!

Best Apple Display in Canada

Also at the event is The Vancouver Island-based BC Fruit Testers Association, who hosts a physical display of the nearly 200 apple varieties that are still grown in British Columbia.

  • Demonstrations of grafting and cider-pressing
  • Apple ID - try to stump the experts with apple varieties from your garden (hint: bring along six apples from your unidentified tree)
  • Master Gardeners will be available to discuss apple and fruit tree-related diseases and pest management for those seeking problem-solving advice
  • Learn all about bees and pollination

Attractions at the Garden

Be sure to spend some time exploring our beautiful Botanical Garden:

  • Take a “walk in the trees” on the Greenheart TreeWalk - special event pricing in effect!
  • The Shop in the Garden features an exciting array of apple-related merchandise as well as tools, books and gifts
  • Our Garden Centre has a wide variety of fruit and ornamental trees and hundreds of plants for your garden

Don’t forget about our Scarecrow Contest! Kids, teams and families are welcome to submit their scarecrow for judging. All entries will be eligible for great prizes!

Register online here.
Make sure you read the Scarecrow Contest Rules.

This year's Food Fair promises to have something for everyone! From apple pie to hot coffee, chocolate, pizza, cookies, popcorn and much more, you'll be sure to have fun sampling all of the different offerings.

You can also discover great finds from our crafters, including books, soaps, pottery and stationery.

A variety of talented entertainers keep the family amused, including family-friendly shows on both the Great Lawn Main Stage and the West Entrance Small Stage.

Here is the entertainment schedule for 2017.

Along For The Ride: Helen Hansen, Kathy Francis and Ken Hatch have made music together for well over a decade, originally in quintette and now as a trio. Helen has sung at venues such as The Cellar and Frankie’s (Coastal Jazz) Clubs. Kathy is half of the duo known as “Pearl” and has performed at Apple Festival in recent years. They will be joined by Ken, now a resident of Denman Island, to bring a mix of songs from their electric repertoire, featuring duo harmonies and possibly a bit of ukelele as well. They can be reached at



Anthony Blackman is a steel drummer loved by many. He has attended Apple Festival for the last six years. The beautiful sounds of his expertly played steel drum will soothe or energize you depending on the tune. You will find him in various areas of the Garden during Apple Festival 2017.


Blackthorn is a Vancouver-based Celtic folk group whose extensive repertoire is rooted in the musical traditions of Scotland and Ireland as well as the folk music of English and French Canada. Their repertoire has expanded to include creative original compositions that reflect the influences of these traditions. From lively jigs and reels, to songs with rousing choruses and heart-wrenching airs and ballads, they bring the music to life with their luscious harmonies and complex instrumentation. For more information, check out their website at


Rebecca Blair’s career as a harpist and teacher has been both rich and varied. She is active in the Vancouver folk music scene, performing with groups such as the Maenads and Triskellion. Rebecca works as a freelance musician and her audiences have included the International Bar Association and the President of Ireland. She sometimes works as a studio musician playing on CDs such as the Maenads and Orra Chan by Teresa Doyle. Rebecca regularly gives harp workshops at Place des Arts in Coquitlam. She keeps a busy schedule of teaching and performing, as well as studying Irish dance. Visit her website at

Join Ellen van der Hoeven and Tom Rawson for some humorous stories, user-friendly songs, and acoustic folk philosophy that are guaranteed to leave you smiling. Armed with banjos, penny whistles, and other weapons of mass delight, Tom and Ellen will have you singing along in no time. Tune up your vocal chords; you'll need 'em! They can be reached at


Vancouver's ErRatica is your all-purpose kitchen party band, performing original material and a whole lot of songs and tunes from a variety of folk traditions in a variety of ways on a variety of musical instruments. Bernard Gobin, Cameron Stewart, Don Davidson and Jane Slemon make up this hearty gang of four. Their CD is called We Sail On a Notion. They can be reached at

Barry Truter, Henk Piket and Roger Holdstock are Fraser Union, who have been singing together for what seems like forever! Their repertoire covers a lot of Canadian songs, many that tell stories of this land and its people. They love to sing songs with choruses and hope others will join in. They have performed at numerous festivals, including the Vancouver Folk Music Festival and Vancouver Island MusicFest, and are very happy to return to the beautiful Apple Festival at UBC. You can take their music home on their five CDs. For more information contact Roger Holdstock at or visit


The Hot Teas is an a cappella group based in beautiful Vancouver, BC. Upon graduation from UBC (for some, with two degrees), they collectively realized that the only way to fill the a cappella-shaped hole in their hearts was to start a group of their own. While they may be young professionals by day, each singer has a musical history that includes at least five years of acappella. The group rehearses over cups of hot tea and laughter, blending friendship and a love of harmony into a signature style. They sing everything from pop to indie rock, and bring talent and a vast range of experience to the stage. You can find more information about them at

The motto of The Irish Wakers is “Celebrate Life,” appropriate for a fun and rollicking Celtic band who alternate all manner of fiddle tunes with a wide range of songs, from contemporary Irish ballads to old sea shanties. Band members are Blake Williams (bodhran), Brian Robertson (guitar, bizouki), Hugh Brock (flute, whistles, pipes) and up-and-coming fiddle sensation, Michael Burnyeat. They can be reached at

JES is Jane Slemon, Ellen van der Hoeven, and Susan Larkin. A tight braid of voices backed by a tapestry of instruments, the members of this musical friendship often can’t help but get themselves mixed up with one another. JES brings a diverse repertoire that includes celtic, folk roots, and original songs. They can be reached at


Jon Bartlett and Rika Ruebsaat have been singing together for nearly forty years. They sing songs—many have been recorded on their 7 CDs—made by the prospectors, miners, loggers and settlers of early BC. They have also published two books: Dead Horse on the Tulameen, a collection of verses, songs and historical essays drawn from the papers of the Similkameen Valley newspapers between 1900 and 1945; and the award-winning Soviet Princeton: Slim Evans and the 1932-33 Miners’ Strike. Their most recent CD is Now It's Called Princeton: Songs and Poetry from the Upper Similkameen, a collection of mining, ranching, logging and settling songs that they have found in the archives of the Princeton Museum. Jon and Rika have been involved in every aspect of folk music—singing, collecting, publishing, educating, producing radio programs, and organizing folk music societies and festivals. They are the founders and organizers of the annual Princeton Traditional Music Festival. Visit their website at


Vancouver area Celtic harpist and flutist Judy Henry began her musical studies at the age of ten on the flute. Steeped in the classical realm of flute and piano, Judy immersed herself in the study of Celtic harp as an adult. Judy performs on both harp and flute in White Rock, Surrey, Delta, Langley, Richmond and Vancouver. Experienced as both a solo and chamber musician, her breadth of experience encompasses concert halls to hospices, special needs benefits to dinner music for the King and Queen of Sweden. Judy creates magical musical atmospheres to enhance your special occasions. Visit Judy's website at


Just Duets is Andrea Smith and Dave Lidstone in a musical collaboration of wonderful sibling-like vocal harmonies with solid guitar accompaniment. Their repertoire consists of songs of life and love that come from a variety of musical genres and reflect a commitment to social justice, to Canadian roots, and to poetry in song. They can be reached at

Start with some bluegrass; stir in country, rhythm & blues, and swing, then add a pinch of Latin and simmer for about 30 years—that’s the recipe for an evening of music with the Little Mountain Trio. Kitty King, Dave Lidstone and Rob McGregor put their varied musical talents together on acoustic bass, guitar, mandolin, and 3-part harmonies. Delicious! They can be reached at


Maria Ho Trio: Maria's impeccable articulation and precise diction captivate audiences through a musical breeze of swinging standards, Brazilian rhythms and romantic ballads. Throughout this summer, Maria performed at The Vancouver Art Gallery garden patio, in celebration of the Claude Monet Secret Garden exhibition. Maria has released two albums: Where or When (2012) and Smile (2015). The albums have received rotation airplay on major jazz stations in New York, Denver, California, Denmark and Italy. Maria is now finishing her third album, and she looks forward to performing at the Apple Festival again! She can be reached at

Michael and Micki: The UBC Fiddle Club was founded by UBC students Michael Burnyeat and Micki-Lee Smith in 2016, and hosts jam sessions, concerts, and other events around the UBC campus, as well as playing outreach gigs for various organizations. It is one of the only university fiddle clubs out there! The club is open for any UBC student to join, all instruments are welcome! For more information, like and follow the page at

Pearl (Kathy Francis and Andrea Smith) draws from a diverse musical palette to deliver gems in many genres. These two soulful performers have been a big part of west coast music camps over the years and pop up at coffee house and festivals whenever asked. From swing to folk to old time, this duo will warm your heart and tickle your funny bone with their lush harmonies and varied instrumental support including guitar, mandolin, clarinet, ukulele and percussion. Add in a few original songs and pearls—what’s not to like? They can be reached at


Romance, passion and lively rhythms: Sangre Morena is a musical duo with Elsa Rojas Marquez and Jose Gimenez, who perform music from Mexico, Latin America and Spain. They bring the most beloved Spanish-language songs to life with beautiful, passionate singing and the fiery sounds of the Flamenco Guitar. Find them at and

The Tiddley Cove Morris Dancers is a women's Morris dance and music group that has been active in the Vancouver area for over thirty years. Originally from England, these dances are part of a worldwide family of ritual ceremonial dances sharing the common features of colour, vitality, disguise and choreography based on circles and processions. Morris traces its roots back to medieval times, although we like to say that its origins are lost in the mists of time, and was traditionally done to mark both seasonal and agricultural highlights such as first ploughing, harvests and summer solstice. It later became an important part of most village and town community celebrations. Their costumes and music reflect the lively, celebratory nature of this ancient English tradition. They can be reached at

The Vancouver Morris Men: Fine purveyors of Traditional English Folk Dance, Theatre, & Song since 1982. The Morris is a form of English folk dance based on rhythmic stepping and the execution of choreographed figures by a group of dancers. Unlike most folk dance, the Morris is not a social dance: it is not a form of social interaction between the genders for their personal pleasure. In this sense, the Morris is probably better described as a ceremonial, or ritual, dance. The earliest known reference to the Morris is from 1448. Mention of it also occurred in the late 15th century. These early references invariably mention "Morys" in a court setting but, by the mid 17th century, it had adopted the nature of a folk dance performed by local church parishes. Today, there are hundreds of morris dance sides (or teams) all over the world. Associated with the Morris are other folk customs including theatre (mumming plays) and song which the Vancouver Morris Men include in their repertoire. The Vancouver Morris Men’s website is at

50 responses to “Apple Festival 2017”

  1. Chris

    Why have a comment section if you only allow favorable posts to appear?

  2. Garden Marketing

    Hi Jeff, sorry you missed the Topaz but thanks for attending! You might want to try the Salt Spring Apple Company.

  3. Jeff

    Where can one purchase Topaz apples as we missed the supply yesterday. My friend is obsessed .. help !

  4. Chris

    While I recognize and appreciate that this event is a charity fundraiser and that the entrance fee is minimal I also recognize when I’ve been mislead and swindled. I attended with my family expecting that we’d be able to sample apple varieties grown in BC. While we did that, and it was very informative, I did not expect to have to pay twice; first at the gate and then inside (if you’re response is that the $5 granted access to the gardens, that is false, there were people stationed at intersections on the route to the festival making sure you paid to go elsewhere in the gardens). Further, if patrons showed up in the mid-afternoon on Saturday they were out of luck in being able to sample apples, thus a wasted trip. If you are going to be an effective fundraiser that is trusted in the community, including hidden costs has the opposite of your desired intention. There’s an easy solution to your problem; make people buy their admission to the sampling tent at the gate instead of waiting to ambush them once they are well inside the event. Then they know what the real cost of attendance is. I will never attend the festival again and I suspect that many who paid but didn’t get what they thought that were paying for will not attend again either. Nor will I support UBC botanical gardens again. Your loss.

  5. Garden Marketing

    Hi Francine, the trees will be potted, with no multiple varieties on one tree. Hope you can come out and see them!

  6. Garden Marketing

    Hi Marg – You do have to pay the $5 admission to enter the grounds, yes. Please remember that Apple Festival is a fundraiser for UBC Botanical Garden, and raises money for research, education and conservation efforts.

  7. Marg

    Hi, will it be possible to access the Apple Sales section without paying festival admission?

  8. Francine

    Will you be selling any grafted apple trees (i.e. with multiple varieties on one tree?) Are the trees bare-root or potted? Thanks!

  9. Garden Marketing

    Hi Leila – awesome, we are excited you are coming! When you show up for the Tasting Tent and pay your $5, you can get a ticket for the time slot of your choice. The time slots begin at 11:00 am and run every 30 minutes until 3:30 pm. The tickets are handed out first come, first served basis.

  10. Leila

    Hi there,
    Super excited for the festival this weekend. I understand one can only enter the tasting tent in an assigned time-slot. How do I reserve a time-slot?

    Thank you,

  11. Garden Marketing

    Hi Linda, trees are generally prices at $32-$35.

  12. Linda Goble

    How much will the apple trees be selling for?

  13. Garden Marketing

    Hi Dale, while we don’t divide the apples between the two days, we do ensure that we order enough supply so that we still have something to sell on Sunday. There are a few rare varieties that sell out on Saturday but rest assured there will be plenty of apples on Sunday for you. Hope you can get the day off work!

  14. Garden Marketing

    Hi Michael, we have a Holding Area where you can leave your purchases and then pick them up when you are done visiting the rest of the Festival and Garden. Each tree is 3.5-4 feet and is planted in a 1-2 gallon tub. We’ve seen people carry trees on a bicycle, but we wouldn’t recommend it! Many visitors come with heavy duty bags, wagons or wheeled buggies.

  15. Dale Jones

    Hello. I am going to try to get time off work to attend the Apple Festival this year. It will be easier to get Sunday than Saturday. My question concerns the sale of apples. Do you divide the amount of apples available for sale between the two days or is it normal for varieties to keep being sold until gone (i.e. all gone on Saturday, none left for Sunday)?

  16. Garden Marketing

    Hi Linda – Great that you can finally get to Apple Festival! It is best that you speak to our Pomologist in Residence, Richard Hallman, who will be there to answer any questions you may have about trees. He has a handout that explains the espaliering process in detail. See you this weekend!

  17. Michael Patterson

    Once you buy the trees do you have to pack them around with you or can you buy them and pick them up later?
    How do you transport them back your car? Can you bring them on the shuttle? How heavy are they? How tall?

  18. Linda Goble

    I have been trying to get to the festival for years but have never been able to. I have the day off on Saturday so am heading your way! My main mission is to get some apple tree babies to espalier in my small backyard.
    Can you suggest a few varieties that are suitable for this?
    Also, will you have anyone there that will be talking about espaliering in particular?

    Thanks so much.


  19. Garden Marketing

    Hi Kathy, there will be dwarf apple trees. We order enough to supply us for both days and there will certainly be trees on Sunday; however, it is possible that certain types of trees may sell out. Your best bet is to arrive early on the Saturday if you can!

  20. Garden Marketing

    Hi Gloria, if you scroll up on this page, you will find a section called “Apples and Apple Trees Available” – click on it, and you will find the link to both the apples and the trees available this year.

  21. Garden Marketing

    Hi Rachel, there will be Empire apples, yes. Please see the “Apples and Apple Trees Available” section above. Thanks!

  22. Kathy C

    Will there be dwarf apple trees that will grow in a huge planter on a patio or deck? Also, will there be trees available on Sunday?


  23. Rachel

    Will there be Empire apples?

  24. Gloria

    Could you please post a link to the varieties of trees for sale. I haven’t been able to locate it. Hanjs

  25. Garden Marketing

    Hi Kim, we will have Gravenstein and Gravenstein Red trees for sale, but not the apples. Hope you can come out and enjoy the Festival anyway!

  26. Kim

    Will Gravensteins be for sale?

  27. Garden Marketing

    Hi Andalé, the list has been posted!

  28. Garden Marketing

    Hi Jocelyn – yes we will have Chestnut, Dolgo, Hansen, John Downie, Kerr & Wickson available. We’ll be putting a full list of trees up on the website soon.

  29. Jocelyn

    Will there be crab apples and/or crab apple trees for sale at the Festival?

  30. Garden Marketing

    Hi Rachel – We are expecting Jonathan apples. They will be for sale and/or available at the Tasting Tent (we won’t know for sure until our shipment arrives mid-week; for some apples we don’t get enough to sell and they go direct to the Tasting Tent).

  31. Rachel Banks

    Will there be Jonathan apples for sale?

  32. Garden Marketing

    Hi Margaret, yes there will be Cortland apples!

  33. Margaret

    Hi, Will there be Courtland apples at the festival this year? (2017)

  34. Andalé

    Any update on the list of different cultivars of trees that would be for sale.
    Thank you

  35. Garden Marketing

    Hi Maria, there are no espaliered trees available but you can purchase a one-year whip and begin the espalier process once you have new growth next spring. We have a handout written by our Pomologist in Residence, Richard Hallman, that explains how to do this in detail. If you come to Apple Festival there will be many people available who can answer your questions!

  36. Maria

    Hi, are there espaliered trees for sale during the festival? I’ve come to the event about 3x but I don’t recall if espaliers are available.

    Appreciate any information. Thank you!


  37. Garden Marketing

    Hi Heather, I’ve been told M9 and M26 rootstock might work. If you do end up coming to Apple Festival, please feel free to talk to our Pomologist in Residence, Richard Hallman, who can advise you further.

  38. Heather

    I have a dwarf liberty apple tree and am looking to find a dwarf apple tree that will cross pollinate with it. Any recommendations?

  39. Garden Marketing

    Hi Ming,
    The Apple Tree Committee tells me they won’t have quince trees but we should have a small box of fruit to sell; it depends on how the fruit develops in the next few weeks.

  40. Ming Ng

    Dear Garden Marketing,

    Will there be any fruiting quince trees for sale and quince fruit for sale at your event? Please advise. Thanks in advance.

  41. Garden Marketing

    Hi Monique,

    We will have six apple growers selling trees at Apple Festival this year; all will be able questions about heritage apples. Ginger Gold is not a heritage apple; it was developed in the US in the 1980s. Generally speaking, heritage apples were developed in Europe, USA and Canada around the 1900s or earlier. We will have a variety of apple trees for sale (the list will be placed on our website in early October) but unfortunately, no peach trees and no Ginger Gold. We invite you to come to Apple Festival this year and find out the answers to your questions!

  42. Monique

    Hello, I am interested in coming to the Apple Festival and buying heirloom trees. I really want to also grow apple heirlooms but it is really hard to figure out which apples are heirloom on google as when you typr the question is x apple tree a heirloom you get a number of sites talking about apples but none are answering the question and no matter which way you change the google search you still don’t get it. I am hoping there might be an apple tree guru therefore at your event as I would like to purchase some rarer trees that I have discovered are heirloom and then find out whether Ginger Gold is a heirloom and a few others. Also, I know it is the apple festival but by any chance will there be peach trees for sale?

  43. Garden Marketing

    Hi Ron – please feel free to send the photos through to; otherwise feel free to drop by Apple Festival this year and try to stump our experts!

  44. Ron Sudermann

    Hi . I’m looking for someone who maybe able to identify this apple growing in my yard. Again this year there is an abundance of them, haven’t been able to identify. I will send pictures if you are up to the challenge

  45. Garden Marketing

    Hi Victor,
    While we don’t yet have the exact details of who will be coming to this year’s Apple Festival, we do expect to have similar apple displays including the Best Apple Display in Canada. It includes a demonstration on apple cider making. Hope you can make it!

  46. Victor Chui

    Any idea who is/are coming to showcase apple cider making this year? I’d be very interested in learning more about these cider making pioneers and masters. Thx.

    Victor Chui
    Fantasizing about living on a farm, making apple ciders
    (604) 512-1873
    PS: Please feel free to contact me if you need extra hands on your farm. I am willing to travel across BC for short-term farming jobs. I am multilingual (English, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish), loving (talking to ^-^) plants and flowers. Being industrial and physically fit with an appreciative, learning attitude, I am able to help out in many positions as requested. Thx.

  47. Garden Marketing

    Hi Marlys – I have passed your information along to the Friends of the Garden, who run Apple Fest. Thanks!

  48. Marlys Wolfe

    I am interested in entering the Apple Fest as a vendor. Is there any space that comes available? I have an organic farm in Kelowna, B.C. and I make different teas, jams, jellies, garlic products and natural health products. Would these be suitable for that event? You can check my website out if you wish…

    I would appreciate any information on being a vendor at this event.

    Marlys Wolfe
    Falcon Ridge Farms
    250 2120755

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