Summer Festivals in Victoria BC

Summer Festivals in Victoria BC add spice to a visit to Vancouver Island. It’s a pleasant surprise to stumble upon a festival but better to plan a visit to coincide with one of your choice. Here’s a summary of the major varied summer festivals in Victoria BC.

Victoria Highland Games and Celtic Festival – over 150 years of fun and muscle.

Swiftsure International Yacht Race – four races contested by 200 yachts as the Inner Harbour gets thoroughly nautical.

Victoria International JazzFest – over 300 musicians in many styles.

Victoria International Buskers Festival – remarkable street performers give free shows throughout downtown.

Moss Street Paint-In – outdoor art created by 160 of Vancouver Islands leading artists. 30 years on.

Symphony Splash – join 40,000 people in Victoria’s Inner Harbour on the first Sunday in August. Ends with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and fireworks.

Victoria Dragon Boat Festival – 90 dragon boats with 2,500 paddlers race in the Inner Harbour.

Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival – 50 shows at eleven venues downtown.

Saanich Fall Fair – our agricultural show on the Saanich Peninsula since 1868.

Victoria Classic Boat Festival – 40 years of admiration of these craft.

Victoria International Chalk Art Festival – stumble across street art unfolding before your eyes.

Click on the above weblinks for full details about these Vancouver Island events and spectacles.

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.

Christmas in Victoria

Christmas in Victoria offers highlights and low-lights to fill your visit here on mild southern Vancouver Island. Its a time to enjoy traditions from the past, sometimes with a modern twist.

Warm, cosy feelings are assured when you walk through the Butchart Gardens marvelling at the lights of their Magic of Christmas. Magic indeed! Look for the Twelve Days of Christmas displays and then go ice skating on the outdoor rink followed by hot chocolate.

Craigdarroch Castle’s traditional Christmas and New Year celebrations have a Scottish touch. The glittering elegance of their seasonal decorations are magnificent. Its sister, Hatley Castle, has special events too.

Wandering round Victoria’s Inner Harbour by day or night has a distinctive holiday feel during December. Many of the moored boats are decorated after the Santa Parade and the red, green and white lights of the Parliament Buildings sparkle across the water. Wander through the Empress Hotels Festival of Trees among about 70 Christmas trees decorated by local organisations with donations supporting children’s charities. Walking further to another hotel, the Inn at Laurel Point, brings you to Victorias Gingerbread Showcase with remarkable baked creations, again in support of charity (Habitat for Humanity).

Music is an integral part of our celebrations. Try your hand (voice) at joining in the Hallelujah Chorus at the annual Sing-Along Messiah at the Alix Goolden Hall. Enjoy popular classics with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra. Carollers stroll through downtown Victoria which is illuminated delightfully.

Then there are Victoria’s many craft fairs. Some are juried with artisans creating fine crafts, such as the Dickens Fair at James Bay Community Hall or the Out of Hand Artisan Fair at the fascinating Crystal Garden.

These are just some of the highlights of Christmas in Victoria so do check with your B&B hosts or with Tourism Victoria Info Centre for further information.