July in Victoria BC

July in Victoria BC always starts with a bang: Canada Day. Join in with the local celebrations even if only to ooh and aah at the fireworks displays. In 2017, Canada Day celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday.

Visiting Victoria BC in July has something for everyone, from regular summer activities to festivals and events.

For example, the Royal BC Museum presents a major exhibition each summer in addition to its highly impressive regular exhibits. In 2017 “Terry Fox: Into the Heart of Canada” celebrates the inspiring story of this heroic young man. Also: visit the Terry Fox monument at Mile 0 of the 8,000km Trans-Canada Highway, at Beacon Hill Park. While there enjoy a stroll through our favourite park with its floral displays, pond and bridge, heronry, petting zoo, cricket pitch and more.

When I visit a new city I like to check if there are any special festivals taking place. One of these in July in Victoria BC is the Victoria International Buskers Festival. In 2017, this runs from 14th to 23rd July. If you miss the Festival you’ll catch a variety of performers on the Inner Harbour causeway every summer day. Look for the one man band (how many instruments does he play?).

The Butchart Gardens are a must for any itinerary, with many hours of delights. These end invariably with a concert on the lawn each evening in July. A wide variety of high quality music is enjoyed in a glorious setting. Afterwards, stay to wander through the illuminated gardens where lights replace flowers for colourful displays. On Saturdays in July there’s the additional bonus of a 15 minute firework display accompanied by music.

Summer markets abound where local artisans and farmers proudly present their wares in a buzz of activity. My favourite is the Thursday evening street market in Sidney, just north of Victoria.

Explore the area – the lakes, beaches, hills, wineries and farms and the Vancouver Island coastline that surrounds us for kayaking, sailing, whale-watching.

Do ask your B&B hosts for information about the events and activities that might interest you. Alternatively, visit the Tourism Victoria InfoCentre in the Inner Harbour for details about all that’s happening in July in Victoria BC and southern Vancouver Island.

Fishermans Wharf in Victoria

Fisherman’s Wharf in Victoria BC is just a short walk from the Inner Harbour along an oceanside path with its intriguing colourful houseboats.

Years back the salmon fleet moored here, so the name is a valid one, though today only prawns and crabs are brought in by a few fishing boats. Nonetheless you can buy fresh fish or (definitely recommended) taste the battered variety at the fish and chip shop eating at communal tables: the person who passes you the salt may have come from just about anywhere in the world. Then wander around with ice cream in hand watching out for the friendly harbour seals looking for fishy handouts.

Fishermans Wharf in Victoria is a base for whale-watching and for kayaking too. If these explorations do not appeal then hop on one of the regularly passing harbour ferries which will take you back to the Inner Harbour, bobbing along with commentary from the skipper.

It’s a charming place where you just can not stop smiling and feeling relaxed. The houseboats seem to present a laid-back lifestyle (there might even be one for sale or rent) and the tourists are here to enjoy themselves.

The Arts in Victoria

Is it the lifestyle, the culture, even the weather, that draws so many artists to enrich the arts in Victoria? The city may not be large but it has so much to offer artistically to residents and visitors alike.

“Big names” play here occasionally, although the heartbeat of the artistic community is locally-based, the ones who create artistic cultures from the ground level. Victoria is bursting at the seams in many genres. Musical offerings include classical, jazz, hard rock, blues. Clubs, pubs and bars present them all. Theatres feature both professional and amateur drama, films too.

Victoria galleries showcase First Nations art to a wide range of contemporary art. If you are here in mid-July do visit the Moss Street Paint-In with over 180 artists lining the street.

Creative artisans proudly present their wares at craft fairs and markets like these summer markets: the Bastion Square Market, the Friday and Saturday evening Ships Point market and the big Thursday evening Sidney street market. On any summers day enjoy wandering along Victorias Inner Harbour causeway for visual and musical arts; you may spot the one man band. Buskers come to town for a July festival.

The Arts in Victoria enrich our lives with a wide range of music, drama, film, and visual art. Artists and artisans abound for our pleasure. Best of all is the fact that there are so many small venues, each focusing on a niche artistic presentation. Add them all together and there’s something for everyone. Enjoy!