Festivals and Events
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Come and explore the fun side of Victoria BC! Starting with the colourful characters that built our city 150 years ago we have always showcased and celebrated our diversity. These roots are rich in cultural history and have branched out and blossomed into a city of fun, a city that celebrates with festivals and events! Whether your visit includes our early spring tulips, bustling summer harbour activities, striking autumn colours and stunning sunsets, or the warmth of our winter sunshine, our spirit of community is continually celebrated. All our Victoria communities proudly celebrate their creative arts, diverse cultures, and we love to share the spirit of Southern Vancouver Island with you. Please come and join the fun. Celebrate with us at the festivals or events happening during your visit.
Great Canadian Beer Festival
Attracting over 45 craft breweries from as far away as Australia, the little Victoria beer festival has won international acclaim in its short 16 year history. Over 7,000 beer enthusiasts will enjoy nonstop entertainment of local acts, local culinary creations, and of course the brew. This is one festival you want to get your tickets for right now because it sells out every year.
Celebrated the first weekend after Labour Day at Royal Athletic Park
Now over 10 years strong the Luminara Festival is stronger than ever. This celebration of light showcases how the international traditions brought here by our neighbours shape our local communities. Come and join the light and laughter, perfect for all ages.
Celebrated late July at St. Anne's Academy and in Beacon Hill Park
Organic Islands Festival
Our local organic roots are showcased at Organic Islands Sustainability Expo, an entertaining way to discover how easy it is to help sustain your local environment and learn new fun ways to support a healthy lifestyle.
Celebrated early July at Glendale Gardens
Passion for Tango Festival
Come and experience the exotic culture of the tango! Since 2003 the Passion for Tango Society has been sharing the magic of the music and dance, yes you can even take a tango lesson. Featuring Canadian and International artists it really is a delight for the senses.
Celebrated early August
10 years strong, the Ska Festival brings you the best of Ska talent. For those not familiar Ska combines the elements of Caribbean calypso, American jazz, with a good dash of rhythm and blues. Catch the spirit and move to the beat! There is no other.
Celebrated early July
Tall Ships Festival
An amazing success first in 2005, even more popular in 2008, and now plans are underway to have the most informative & entertaining festival yet in Victoria 2011. Don't miss your chance to go back in time and walk the decks of these amazing pieces of history. An amazing celebration of maritime heritage showcased in the scenic, historic, Victoria's Inner Harbour.
The next festival will be in the Summer of 2011
Victoria Dragon Boat Festival
For over 15 years Victoria's Inner Harbour has showcased the camaraderie and spirit of the rowing community. Only 90 lucky teams are selected to compete in Victoria's Dragon Boat Races various divisions- three incredible days of showcasing the best rowing talent and the best regional entertainment.
Celebrated in mid August in Victoria's Inner Harbour
Victoria Film Festival
Providing cinematic entertainment to over 15,000 people the annual Victoria Film Festival offers high quality films, activities, and events that celebrate artistic innovation and creativity. In collaboration with local arts organizations and businesses, the variety of films attract a broad audience and worldwide reputation.
Celebrated early February
Victoria Jazz Festival – Jazzfest International
We are grateful the Victoria Jazz Society works tirelessly to produce two major music festivals every summer: Victoria's JazzFest International and the Vancouver Island Blues Bash. Jazzfest features near 100 performances of all genres of jazz, blues, and world beat music during this wildly popular ten day festival. Blues Bash is held over the Labour Day weekend featuring regional, national and international artists. Jazzfest International celebrated late June
Blues Bash is celebrated Labour Day weekend at Victoria's Inner Harbour
Victoria Pride Week
Victoria Pride Society strives to create a better understanding of the diversity of all our neighbours. Striving to empower those in the gay community and educate public awareness, the parade is a fun-filled, festive atmosphere celebrating individuality.
Celebrated in early July
Victoria Tea Festival
Just four years young, this fun and educational tea festival is the largest of its kind in North America. Indulge yourself in the traditions and trends of the world of tea. Featured are presentations, tastings, the latest innovations in tea wares and of course exclusive blends to add to your tea cupboard.
Celebrated in mid February
Victoria Underground Film Festival
For 12 years Antimatter has showcased the best of experimental cinema. Building thematic programs from international submissions all screenings, performances, and media hybrids are noncompetitive. Enjoy their commitment to entertaining you with quality and creativity, the art of film and video.
Celebrated early October
Chinese New Year Celebration
Starting with the New Moon on the first day of the New Year, ending on the full moon 15 days later, Chinese New Year is called the Lantern Festival. Enjoy colourful folk dances, powerful martial arts demonstrations and the thrilling Lion Dance - all brought to life with music and gorgeous costumes.
Celebrated early February
Festival of the Arts
Dedicated to the development of artistic skills, the festival celebrates achievement and participation in dance, music, and speech arts.
Performances March through May
Moss Street Paint In
22 years strong, the Moss Street Paint In really is a truly ‘Victoria’ community event. Sponsored by the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria this fun event draws thousands each year as over 100 professional and emerging artists bring their studios outside and offers a rare glimpse into the creation of their art.
Celebrated mid July
Royal Victoria Marathon
"One of the Top 10 destination Marathons in North America" - Runner’s World Magazine. Can you think of a more scenic way to qualify for the Boston Marathon- not to mention the ions in our fresh sea air.
The run is on Canadian Thanksgiving in mid-October
Santa Light Parade
Christmas arrives in Victoria when Santa's Light Parade hits the town. Starting by the Legislative Buildings, this jolly procession travels through downtown proudly supervised by the old man himself. Fun for all, the best way to catch the Victoria Christmas spirit.
Saturday November 21st, 2009
Swiftsure International Yacht Race
The Swiftsure International Yacht Race is THE premier sailing event in the Pacific Northwest. Racers can choose from three offshore courses and one in-shore course. There are nine different races which provide a challenging venue for every level of sailor and yacht.
Usually celebrated the last weekend of May, but check their website for details
The Victoria Symphony is not to be missed on any visit to our wonderful city but Symphony Splash and a beautiful gift of the Victoria Symphony to all its fans and our wonderful city. The symphony offers a free concert in Victoria's Inner Harbour, celebrating British Columbia Day. This is one fun event!
First weekend in August