Free events celebrate BC Family Literacy Week 2023

Families, schools, libraries, literacy organizations and communities across BC celebrate Family Literacy Week, January 22-29, 2023, with activities, events and contests.

“This year, more organizations and businesses have collaborated to help families celebrate family literacy with in-person activities in their communities. There has been a comeback after a two-year hiatus due to COVID–everything from puppet shows to snowshoeing,” says Decoda program manager Maureen Kehler. “And many events include a free book, refreshments and contests.”

What is family literacy?

“Family literacy is the way parents, children and extended family members use literacy at home and in the community. It occurs naturally during the routines of daily life and helps children and adults get things done.” – Hayden & Sanders, 2017

“Reading together, playing games, shopping and cooking together, sorting laundry, getting active outdoors, making crafts – almost any activity can enhance family literacy,” says Maureen. “Children learn vocabulary, numeracy and skills, while parents build strong bonds with them and get to share in the learning.”

See some of the creative Family Literacy Week activities happening around the province below!

BC Family Literacy Week Events

Bella Coola

Bella Coola Valley Learning Society and Bella Coola Elementary School are holding a Family Literacy Day event with free books, literacy games and activities, and healthy snacks.

Bowen Island

The Bowen Island Public Library has Storytime, Babytime, Game Night and Crafternoon Collages – plus a fun measuring activity for little ones.

Central Okanagan

A collaboration of Central Okanagan Partners for Literacy, Project Literacy Central Okanagan Society, Okanagan Regional Library, Interior Savings, organizations, museum and government, Central Okanagan has more than 30 activities planned during its annual Interior Savings’ Unplug and Play Family Literacy Week! It begins with a kickoff event on January 22 with a free magic show, bouncy castle, interactive games and prizes. Throughout the week, there is something for everyone: storytimes, crafts, free swim, and outdoor activities.


In Clearwater, several organizations are helping families celebrate Family Literacy Week by offering 17 free activities!

  • Clearwater Library has book hunt, Storytime on the go, Fractured Fairy Tale Festival, drop-in board games, maker club, craft club, magic show, puppet show, and Nerf battle.
  • Dutch Lake Community Centre will have bingo, Family meal prep boxes, Teddy Bear Picnic, tabletop game night, and drop-in painting.
  • Raft River Elementary hosts Tumble Bumble gymnastics.
  • Wells Grey Outdoors Club donated a free cross country ski day at Candle Creek.
  • Mom and baby walk at Dragonfly Splash Park.

Creston Valley

Schools in the Creston Valley will have a Great Big Buddy Read, where children are paired for a set reading time during Family Literacy Week and includes activity pages and prizes!

Dawson Creek

Dawson Creek has an Annual Baby Welcome Party to introduce families to early learning services and supports, plus a gift bag, resources, snacks, a photo booth and more!


Enderby has many community activities to celebrate all week – the Enderby branch of Okanagan Regional Library will have a scavenger hunt, STEAM activities, and glow in the dark storytime. Enderby Drill Hall offers several activities during the week: author Sandy Forseille will read aloud her book Believe, followed by games and activities; a magic show, balloon fun and parachute play.


Literacy in Kamloops and other organizations have more than 20 events during Interior Savings Unplug and Play for Family Literacy Week:

  • Visit the Kamloops Museum for magnet story making, drop-in creative activities and family genealogy.
  • The Henry Grube Education Centre will have a Family Literacy Week kickoff event.
  • Western Canada Theatre has drama games and drama and improv for teens at Kelson Hall.
  • Downtown Kamloops Library has a StoryWalk™ and family board games night; North Kamloops Library has pajama storytime with grandma and grandpa; and children can pick up a craft to go, while seniors can pick up a colouring contest entry at any Thompson-Nicola Regional Library or Interior Savings Branch.
  • Overlander Ski Club in partnership with PacificSport Interior BC is sponsoring free winter snowshoeing at Stake Lake. Or try Sledge Hockey at McArthur Island Sport and Event Centre Olympic Ice. Or cross-country skiing at West Highland Park!
  • Kamloops YMCA/YWCA and Westsyde Pool offer a free family swim.
  • John Tod Centre offers Welcome Winter Circle Time, drop-in youth board games and mindful movement.
  • Mount Paul Community Food Centre has a take and make meal kit and kid’s kit.
  • Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family & Community Centre has a free drop-in Learn, Sing and Play the Métis Way.
  • A free comedy magic show with Clinton W. Gray, January 26 at 4:30 or 6:00m.
  • Kamloops Art Gallery has a free creative activity.


Langley Literacy Network, the Fraser Valley Regional Library–Langley and the Langley Art Gallery are partnering up to showcase what Literacy means to you.  Pick up your cut out to create your art/words/drawings at Fraser Valley Regional Library – Langley.

Maple Ridge

The Maple Ridge Library has an action-packed Winter Fun Fair with a dance party, popcorn, contests and prizes for all ages.

Merritt & Nicola Valley

Starting with a Merritt Centennials home game sponsored by Interior Savings & Literacy Merritt & Nicola Valley, the list of Literacy Merritt’s Family Literacy Week free activities incudes active stories, Come Read with Me, Dungeons and Dragons, Fibre Fun, Storytime, Beginner Mobility, a free public skate and parent and tot skate, plus a literacy event with stations from dance to art to storytime to games, a concession and prizes. They are accepting book donations for their Bright Red Bookshelves all week long at these events.


Saanich Peninsula Literacy is hosting the Great Estimation Challenge! Participating businesses in Sidney will display a variety of creative estimation jars filled with goodies. Give your best estimate to enter to win the contents of the jar and a free book! The Sidney/North Saanich Library will have Stories & Songs with Nancy Dobbs, coffee, snacks, free books for children and door prizes.

Salmon Arm

Salmon Arm and the Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society kicks off its Interiors Savings Unplug and Play Family Literacy Week with a magic show and organizations and businesses have collaborated to host more than 50 free community events! There are scavenger hunts, StoryWalks™, storytimes, games, theatre, dancing, swimming, snowshoeing, skating, soccer, reading to dogs, a puppet show, a cooking challenge, Jungle Mania, Breakdancing Boogie, and more!


Sicamous Library has free drop-in yoga.


In Vancouver, Kits House offers an intergenerational event with interactive games and stations with Decoda’s 2023 Family Literacy numeracy theme “Make it Count!” and a free book for every child.


Literacy Society of the North Okanagan will have a Story-Window Walk in Downtown Vernon – pick up a map and entry form at the library for a chance to win a prize!

Williams Lake

The Cariboo Regional District Library – Williams Lake has after-hours dinner, reading and fort building, and the Child Care Resource and Referral Program has a family fest with activities, giveaways and goodies!

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