Three British Columbia Festivals: Reading Comprehension
Read the story and answer the questions.
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.
Story by Shantel Ivits at BC Open Textbooks
Story adapted under Creative Commons license
Adaptations and exercises by Douglas Rodger, English Language Centre
Audio version performed by Cam Culham, English Language Centre
Clipart is Public Domain from Pixabay and WP Clipart
How many grey whales swim near Vancouver Island every year?
- No one knows.
Where do the grey whales start their annual trip?
- Vancouver Island.
- The Arctic.
- They start somewhere in the open ocean.
According to the reading, why is it easy for people to see the whales?
- The people use binoculars.
- The whales swim close to land.
- The people are also swimming in the water.
- They fly over the whales in helicopters.
Where does the Nanaimo Bathtub Race happen?
- Far off the north coast of Vancouver Island.
- On the South Shore of Vancouver Island.
- On the west side of Vancouver Island.
- On the east side of Vancouver Island.
What is special about every boat in the race?
- Each boat can carry three people.
- Every boat is made from a bathtub.
- Every boat gets a safety inspection.
- All the boats have sails.
How did the Nanaimo Bathtub race change over the last 50 years?
- The race became less popular.
- There were not bathtub boats in the beginning.
- The race started as a funny event, but it became a serious race.
- In the beginning, all the boats were sailboats.
Where did dragon boat racing begin?
- British Columbia.
- The east coast of Canada.
How does the dragon boat festival begin?
- It starts with races with only the fastest boats.
- It begins with a ceremony so that the rowers can be strong.
- The festival begins with music.
- The festival begins with a movie about Expo 86.
How do the people in the boat know to paddle together.
- They all paddle to the beat of the drummer at the front of their boat.
- They watch the person in front of them.
- They stay together because of experience.
- All the paddlers count the number of paddle strokes per minute.