Arts and Culture
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The Belfry is Victoria`s largest contemporary theatre. It presents up to 12 plays per year in a beautifully restored heritage-designated building, originally a Baptist church dating back to 1892.
Critically-acclaimed and professionally mounted productions usually include one or two summer productions, a four-plays subscription series, plus mid-winter innovative and alternative works from across Canada. The Belfry strives to produce theatre that generates ideas and dialogue, and that makes the audience see the world a little differently.
Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre
The Blue Bridge is Victoria’s newest repertory theatre, having had an amazing and very well-received first season in 2009 in its new home at the historic McPherson Playhouse. Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre’s aim is to showcase masterworks from the classical and modern European and North American theatre.
Along with the professional presence of acclaimed directors and actors in lead roles, it provides significant creative, production and management opportunities to emerging theatre artists pursuing a career in the arts.
Their next season promises to be as smart and handsomely presented as its first.
Chemainus Theatre Festival
Just an hour’s drive north of Victoria is the quaint yet lively seaside town of Chemainus, famous for its outdoor bigger-than-life-size murals. It is also the home of the Chemainus Festival Theatre with its ambitious playbill that promises and delivers professional quality productions time after time. Don't miss out on the delightful ambiance and the great food in the Playbill Dining Room, open before every matinee and evening show. This impressive buffet offers an amazing selection of culinary delights with a new menu inspired by the changing season and the theme of each show with live musical entertainment to set the mood.
Impromaniacs Theatre Company
The Impromaniacs have a 20-year history, committed to Victoria’s arts, social, cultural and business community.
Diversity of thought and expression are the substance of the presentations of the Impromaniacs Theatre Company. The composition of the company is truly mosaic, comprising variously, computer architects, historical researchers, teachers, business owners, physicists, performing artists and students, ranging in age (and experience) from late teens to mid 40's, people of all classes, genders, religions and ethnicities.
The kaleidoscope theatre is at once a theatre arts program and a theatre company producing plays that are fun and educational and which direct themselves to a “family” type of audience. The 2009-2010 season included such wonderful productions as The Best Christmas Pageant, Pinocchio, Beauty and the Beast among others.
Langham Court Theatre
The Langham Court Theatre is a charming and historic 175-seat intimate venue and home of the Victoria Theatre Guild. Now in its 81st season, the Guild has mounted over 500 shows and performed to over 3000 audiences. Little theatre is alive and well in Victoria BC, as the Victoria Theatre Guild continues to bring entertaining and thought-provoking live theatre to Victoria audiences.
Pacific Opera Company
Founded in 1980, Pacific Opera Victoria (POV) is the fastest growing opera company in Canada. It has earned a reputation as one of Canada's leading opera companies. Indeed, on a per capita basis, POV's audience is Canada's strongest opera audience, by twice.
While some of its success can be attributed to the growth in popularity of Opera worldwide, in large part it is because of the quality of staff. Its dedicated technical artists, craftspeople, musicians and stage performers share a personal commitment to the success of the company.
POV is noted for its commitment to diverse repertoire; its original productions, and dedication to Canadian artists. It is a cultural leader within the arts sector regionally and the opera sector nationally.
Victoria Operatic Society
Founded in 1945, the Victoria Operatic Society has presented the best of Broadway’s musical stage productions and other light musical fare, to loyal and appreciative Victoria audiences.
Over the years it has mounted more than 70 shows, a variety of musical entertainment productions. These include Broadway musicals, light operas, and operettas including many by Gilbert & Sullivan, using largely local talent both on and off the stage. The Society strives for quality, professional productions, while endeavouring to maintain affordable family prices.
Each year, there are usually two presentations of musical theatre. Additionally, the Victoria Operatic Society offers the Victoria community its Christmas Carol Concerts, performing these concerts at seniors’ residences, hospitals and festive gatherings in the Victoria Region and beyond
Victoria Symphony Orchestra
The Victoria Symphony Orchestra (VSO) is Vancouver Island's largest and most active performing arts organization, comprising 70 professional musicians as well as its permanent Conductor, the very talented and innovative, Tania Miller.
The VSO provides outstanding live orchestral music for everyone, gaining both critical acclaim and massive popular appeal.
Each season the orchestra gives more than one hundred concerts, including regular series performances, as well as special concerts including opera and ballet, plus educational presentations to children of all ages.
The Victoria Symphony hosts the premiere event of the Victoria summer, the annual Victoria Symphony Splash which attracts over 40,000 Victoria residents and visitors on the August long weekend each year.
Early Music Society
The Early Music Society of the Islands (EMSI), founded in 1985, is based in Victoria BC, which is one of North America's top early music venues. EMSI presents 7 to 8 concerts annually, featuring music composed before 1800 and performed by internationally acclaimed artists / ensembles. Concerts take place at Alix Goolden Performance Hall, Victoria Conservatory of Music within an atmosphere that is intimate and informal. And most feature original instruments, historical performance practices, and historically-correct scores.
Victoria Chamber Orchestra
Originally The Island String Players Society, the Orchestra was formed in 1994 by a group of dedicated Victoria musicians from all walks of life, who shared a common passion for playing chamber works for string orchestra. They performed their first concert in February of 1995.
Under the direction of Yariv Aloni, the renamed Victoria Chamber Orchestra, consisting of 20 musicians, has continued to offer interesting and energetic performances.
They perform 3 string orchestral concerts and 1 choral concert each year, at the First Metropolitan United Church, 932 Balmoral Road, at Quadra Street, a wonderful venue near the heart of Victoria.
Lafayette String Quartet
In 2009, the critically-acclaimed Lafayette String Quartet celebrated its 23rd anniversary season.
The Quartet is an all-female ensemble, with the same 4 members over those twenty-odd years. Artists-in-Residence at the University of Victoria’s School of Music since 1991, these musicians have inspired audiences and performed to critical acclaim throughout North America and Europe, since 1986. In addition to their affinity for Beethoven, the Lafayette Quartet enjoys performing music from all eras of the vast output of quartet literature.
Victoria Conservatory of Music
Founded in 1964, the Victoria Conservatory of Music (VCM) offers music instruction in an interesting scope of formats and to a variety of eager learners in a range of disciplines including piano, strings, brass, wind, voice, jazz, percussion, composition, theory, and music therapy.
Students of the VCM gain experience by actually performing on stage to large and small audiences in its two fine performance venues, Wood Hall and the Alix Goolden Hall.
The public is invited to enjoy these lunch hour concerts which take place almost monthly during the concert season
Canadian Pacific Ballet
Canadian Pacific Ballet’s mission is to reach the people through performance and preservation of Romantic and Classical ballet through performance, whether in an opera house, a park or community center. The Canadian Pacific Ballet made its debut in the spring of 2007, on an eight city regional tour of mixed repertoire, Romantic and Classical ballet. In May of that year it performed its first full length production, at its home, Victoria's McPherson Playhouse.
Dance Victoria is dedicated to excellence in the development of dance and in dance presentation. Its mandate is two-fold: To present a superb annual subscription dance series to not only subscribers but to the general public as well. And to enhance the appreciation of dance by undertaking education about the art form called Dance using demonstrations, forums, open rehearsals, master classes and other engaging activities.