From the twinkling lights of the Butchart Gardens’ winter displays to the annual presentation of Nutcracker, Victoria celebrates the holidays in a big way.
The Barra MacNeils’ Christmas offers a musical start to the season November 18 when the talented family brings their captivating harmonies to the Alix Goolden Hall.
Theatre fans will delight to The Belfry Theatre’s November 13 to December 16 presentation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, while for dancers, the magic of Nutcracker is a holiday must – enjoy it this year with Vancouver’s Goh Ballet and the Victoria Symphony, November 30 to December 2.
Head to Centennial Square November 17 for the annual holiday tree light-up, including entertainment, ice sculptures and treats before the Island Farms Santa Light Parade illuminates downtown Victoria. The holiday parades continue December 1 when the IEOA Truck Light Convoy and Food Drive follows an array of cheerfully illuminated trucks through the streets of the Capital Region, delighting onlookers and collecting donations for the local food bank.
Oak Bay Avenue turns the lights on for its celebrated holiday display November 25. Head to “The Avenue” for the 12th annual Oak Bay Village Light-up, with festivities beginning at 2:30pm, including children’s entertainment, street food and music. Help count down to the light-up at 5pm when Santa arrives by fire truck to hear children’s Christmas wishes.
The 19th-century Craigdarroch Castle is transformed for the holidays with its historic rooms decorated in traditional Victorian fashion – see period toys peeking out from beneath the Christmas trees and beautiful boughs decorating the mantels. While browsing the beautifully restored castle, enjoy a varies selection of music and children’s performances throughout December.
Visit the Fairmont Empress Hotel for the annual Festival of Trees, showing through the New Year in support of BC Children’s Hospital, stop by Market Square December 1 for the rousing Tuba Christmas, and at Victoria Butterfly Gardens, don’t miss Christmas in the Jungle through December, including a special evening light display.
Wish You Were Here
Theatre isn’t just for grown-ups when Victoria’s long-standing children’s company, Kaleidoscope Theatre hits the stage. This winter, journey to Neverland November 24 to December 1 when the company presents Pan, a brand new multi-media adaptation of JM Barrie’s classic tale at the McPherson Playhouse.
MAG hosts Stinking Fish artists
Some 23 artists and artisans from the West Coast communities of Metchosin and Sooke come together at the Metchosin Art Gallery – MAG – for a month-long exhibition November 2 to 30. While traditionally this Stinking Fish Artist Group – named for the First Nations word for the community of Metchosin – hosts two tours a year, one in summer and one in winter, this November they opted to host a longer exhibit at the community’s brand new gallery space. Enjoy a leisurely 30-minute drive to this picturesque farming community that provides plenty of inspiration for these talented artists!
Gallery Walk offers a seasonal stroll
Enjoy a night of fine art and seasonal festivities November 29 when a selection of downtown Victoria’s finest galleries open their doors for the 15th annual Gallery Walk. Participants include Madrona Gallery, Winchester Galleries (Modern and Humboldt), West End Gallery, View Art Gallery, Legacy Gallery and Alcheringa Gallery, welcoming the season with music, refreshments and plenty of holiday fun – a great way to get a jump on your Christmas shopping and enjoy a unique Vict oria art tour at the same time!
Oak Bay welcomes art lovers the following week for the Art on the Avenue Gallery Walk, December 6. Visit the beautifully decorated Oak Bay Avenue where a fine collection of art galleries and merchants feature special exhibits, music and seasonal treats. Be sure to stop by Ottavio Italian Deli at the top of the Avenue for their annual open house – a holiday must conveniently located next to the delightful Winchester Gallery!
Well-known Victoria historian John Adams hosts his entertaining Ghostly Walks throughout the year, but his tours take on a seasonal flair come the holidays.
Discover the city’s spooky spirit Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm, with nightly tours December. 27 to 31. Tours start at Visitor Centre – no reservations needed.