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Summer Events in Victoria

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Despite restrictions, there are still many events taking place in Victoria this summer for you and your family to enjoy. From markets, museums, music, and events, there is plenty happening to have an exciting and enjoyable summer right here in the city. Here are a few activities and things to do both in person and online. 

Outdoor Markets and Food

Colwood Beach Food Days

As we all work to stay safe by following the latest health orders, the City of Colwood is striving to support the mental health of our community by encouraging residents to head out and enjoy our spectacular natural surroundings. One way we do this is by inviting local vendors to offer food for sale at the waterfront, where there is abundant space to stay apart while enjoying the benefits of nature and nourishment. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, head to the Lagoon Beach along Ocean Boulevard in Colwood for eats from your favourite local food trucks in the fresh air by the ocean. Wander by the waves, beach comb, bird watch, paddle or just lounge on the sand in the sunshine. Together, but apart.

Website: Schedule
Where: Lagoon Beach along Ocean Boulevard
When: 12:00 - 7:00pm Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays until September 6, 2021

Esquimalt Farmers Market

A community farmers market committed to healthy & local living, relationship building, and environmental sustainability in Esquimalt. Our diverse vendors create a thriving and exciting market every time.

Website: EFM
Where: Bullen Field, behind the Esquimalt Rec Centre (527 Fraser Street) 
When: Thursdays, 4:30 - 6:30pm

The James Bay Market

Providing the James Bay Community and Greater Victoria with Local Farm Fresh Produce, Specialty Food Items and quality craft items. Our motto is Handmade, Homemade, or Homegrown. No sampling and no live music are allowed at this time.

Website: JBM
Where: The corner of Menzies and Superior
When: Saturdays 9:00am - 3:00pm 

Sooke Country Market

Visiting Sooke Country Market is a perfect Saturday morning activity. Browse through the vendors selling everything from fresh produce, jewelry, gardening supplies and more. 

Website: SCM
Where: John Phillips Memorial Park
When: Saturdays 10:00am - 2:00pm

Sidney Street Market

The popular Sidney Street Market made its return this month after a prolonged COVID-19 absence, at a new location. Following a council vote late last year, the Market is now holding its weekly event at the Mary Winspear Centre.

Website: SSM
Where: Mary Winspear Centre
When: Sundays 11:00am - 3:00pm

Moss Street Market

2021 is Moss Street Market’s 30th season of providing local and organic farm-fresh produce, local foods, handmade crafts, artisan clothing, inspiring services and community education to folks from the entire Victoria & area region!

Website: MSM
Where: Corner of Moss Street and Fairfield Road
When: Saturdays 10:00am - 2:00pm

Museum and Art Exhibitions

Artist in Residence

A Gallery Experience Showcasing Local Artists And Their Unique Works. The Township Community Arts Council (TCAC) and Aragon Properties are pleased to present the first Artist in Residence program at Esquimalt Town Square! This three-week program will showcase local artists David Hunwick, Kristen Carleton and Arden Rose in a ‘gallery space’ inside a home at Esquimalt Town Square. Guests will be able to tour the gallery space and purchase original pieces of art work. 

Website: Tickets
Where: Esquimalt Town Square - 1216 Carlisle Ave
When: 11:30am - 5:30pm on weekdays, 12:00 - 5:00pm on weekends, until 15 June, 2021

Bateman Foundation: Thomas D. Mangelsen – A Life In The Wild

Renowned American nature and wildlife photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen has traveled throughout the natural world for over 45 years observing and photographing Earth’s last great wild places. A Life in the Wild is a collection of his most resonant images. These photographs showcase iconic species and landscapes, documenting the everyday struggles for survival happening around the globe. 

Website: Information
Where: The Bateman Foundation
When: January - July 23, 2021

Maritime Museum: SS Valencia “A Theatre of Horror”

The shipwreck of the SS Valencia is well known as one of the worst maritime disasters in an area along Vancouver Island’s west side known as “The Graveyard of the Pacific”. Its tale lives on in Victoria through ghost stories and it has even captured the attention of an international audience. But what actually played out during this dramatic sinking? How did this “theatre of horror” drag on for 40 hours? What are the human stories behind the infamous scene of the shipwreck? This exhibit tells the story of the SS Valencia and considers what conditions led to such a horrific ending.

Website: MMBC
Where: The Maritime Museum of BC
When: 12 March – 2 September 2021

Royal BC Museum: Orca Exhibition 

Dive deep into the stories and science that surround the magnificent orca, spirit of BC’s wild coast and apex predator of all oceans. Follow the currents of ecological activism, popular culture and Indigenous beliefs to gain a new appreciation of these sophisticated animals, long feared in Western cultures as “killer whales.” Discover the complex social structure of orca society and reflect on the surprising consequences of captivity.

Website: RBCM
Where: Royal BC Museum 
When: Daily

On Beaded Ground 

On Beaded Ground explores the essential role of Indigenous artists' creative practices in the reclamation and renewal of culture, identity, stories and teachings. The beaded artworks in the exhibition carry stories. The materials, methods of making, designs and functions of beaded objects are languages particularly devised to transmit memories, legacies and narratives between people across time and space.

Website: UVic
Where: Legacy Art Gallery, 630 Yates St
When: Wednesday - Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm, Thursday 12:00pm - 7:00pm, June - August

Costume Museum at BC Government House

The Costume Museum is located in the Carriage House and showcases a large variety of period pieces. From former Lieutenant Governors’ uniforms and Chatelaines’ dresses to an original butler’s uniform, the Museum takes visitors on a sartorial journey through the history of the Estate and Office of the Lieutenant Governor. These historical artifacts are from both the Government House collection and thanks to the generosity of several donors. 

Website: LTGOV
Where: Government House, 1401 Rockland Ave
When: Tuesday-Friday 11:00am - 3:00pm. June 1 - September 3

When Two Waters Meet

This exhibition and accompanying publication honours the 35th anniversary of the Victoria-Morioka Friendship (“Sister City Accord”) by highlighting the work of City of Victoria Indigenous Artist-in-Residence Qwul`thilum Dylan Thomas and Japanese artist, who has been active in Morioka, Sakura Koretsune. A version of this show, featuring the two artists, was presented in Japan in November 2020. This reworked exhibition expands the conversation by seeing Thomas transition to a curatorial role as a way of promoting Coast Salish contemporary visual art through the inclusion of work by additional artists.

Website: VAC
Where: Victoria Arts Council
When: Wednesday - Sunday 12:00 - 5:00pm, May 5 - June 27, 2021

Music

TD Victoria International JazzFest "Virtually JazzFest"

This year, the “ten hot days and nights of the coolest music in town” will be the “ten hot days and nights of the coolest music online.” The Victoria Jazz Society proudly presents its next virtual experience, Virtually JazzFest, for the 38th edition of TD Victoria International JazzFest. The 2021 festival celebrates Vancouver Island and BC-based jazz talent from an array of diverse musical backgrounds, including Phil Dwyer, Angela Verbrugge, and many more!

Website: Jazz
Where: Online
When: 8:00pm, June 25 - July 2, 2021

Victoria Symphony: Tam Plays Mendelssohn

The last concert in the Victoria Symphony’s 2020-21 Virtual Season closes as it opened with a programme featuring Concertmaster Terence Tam. Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto is an undisputed romantic masterpiece that is paired here with a work by Louise Farrenc, a French composer of the same period as Mendelssohn who rejected Parisian tastes and pursued instead the ideals of German absolute music. Her Overture No. 2 in E-flat major, Op. 24 is clearly influenced by Beethoven and evidence of why her music was performed widely in Europe during her lifetime.

Website: Symphony
Where: Online
When: Premiers Thursday, June 24 at 7:30pm. Available until 23 July, 2021

Phaedra & Serenade 

Immerse yourself in the passion. A two-night première of Benjamin Britten’s small-scale epic masterpieces. Conducted by Maestro Timothy Vernon, this dynamic double-bill performance from Pacific Opera Victoria and the Victoria Symphony features mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy, tenor Colin Ainsworth, horn player Alana Despins, and musicians of the Victoria Symphony.

Website: Opera
Where: Online
When: June 10 to July 9, 2021

Family Activities 

Victoria Harbour Ferry Water Ballet 

Taking inspiration from the world famous RCMP Musical Ride, they set out to test their abilities by creating a synchronized performance. With no passengers on board, the Captains were able to push the their little boats to the limit, making them twirl around the water in and out of beautifully choreographed sequences.

Website: Pickle Ballet
Where: Inner Harbour. Best view from Steamship terminal
When: Sundays at 10:45 am

Victoria's Story Walking Tour

Victoria's Story is a leisurely 90-minute walk through Downtown Victoria. Our professional guides are passionate about Victoria's history and breathe life into their stories. Iconic architecture, fascinating details about local events that link to world themes, famous and colorful people from the past are all included. By the end of your tour, you will know why Victoria is here, how it became the capital city and what the current civic issues are. Find out about the city’s First Nations origins, its fur trade and gold rush periods and how it has evolved over time. Along the way, you will be inspired and informed by our friendly and knowledgeable guides who will be able to customize their tours to suit your specific interests.

Website: Tour
Where: Starts Visitor Info Centre, 812 Wharf Street
When: Saturdays and Sundays 2:00pm

Big Gay Dog Walk 

Our annual Big Gay Dog Walk is going virtual again! This year, celebrating in our own homes means the Big Gay Dog Walk is accepting submissions from ALL our furry, fluffy, feathered and other feisty friends! To enter upload your submissions to Facebook or Instagram, tag us, and use the hashtag #BGDW2021 so we can find you! 

Website: Dog Walk
Where: Online
When: 7:00pm 2 July

YYJ Pride Parade

Victoria Pride is calling on everyone under the rainbow to “Pride Up” their homes, offices, stores fronts, cars, bikes or anything else that shows their PRIDE during the month of June! This is a chance to come together as we celebrate apart. Let’s join together to brighten up our local communities!

Website: Parade
Where: Online
When: 12:00pm July 4

Children and Youth Activities

Family Sunday “Sweet Summer Surprise”

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria: an afternoon of exploring hands-on art-making and ideas for all ages. This recurring program often features special guests like storytellers, artists, performers or musicians.

Website: AAGV
Where: Online
When: 2:00pm June 20, 2021

Victoria Pride Week Festival Youth Pride Kick-Off Party 

Kick off the Victoria Pride Week Festival with a night of inspirational speakers and dazzling performances in an online Zoom event hosted by the Victoria Pride Society Youth Leadership Council. While geared for those 15 to 24 years old, the party is open to all ages and will also include opportunities to play online interactive games like One Night Ultimate Werewolves and Among Us.

Website: Festival
Where: Online
When: 6:00pm June 28

GVPL Summer Writing Studio

For ages 12-18. Let your imagination run wild! Create the most fantastic story, novel, poem, or script you’ve ever dreamed of with Story Studio and GVPL! This 8-week summer program is designed to launch your writing into the stratosphere! Set your writing goal for the online “writer’s room”, and get weekly advice and support from Story Studio staff and visiting local authors and illustrators.

Website: GVPL
Where: Online
When: July 5 – August 27


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