Summer Events in Victoria BC

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Published Jul 4, 2013

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We live in a great place to raise kids. There are so many events, festivals, concerts and play times going on in Victoria in the summer, that we can find something new to do practically every day. There are so many, in fact, that it can be hard to choose. So, to help you out, here is our list of top 2013 summer events in Victoria BC.

Strawberry Festival (July 7)

Strawberry Festival originated as a celebration of the agricultural roots of Saanich and has blossomed into a grand festival for all ages. A wide variety of family activities will include information displays, face painting, program demonstrations, pony rides, relay races, arts & craft stations, a pie eating contest, and bouncy castles. The afternoon would not be complete without the traditional serving of strawberries and ice cream at 2:00 pm for only 50 cents.

Ska Fest (July 9 – 13)

The Victoria Ska Fest is celebrating its 14th year with five jam-packed days of concerts and workshops. The largest festival of its kind in North America, Victoria Ska Fest is dedicated to showcasing the world’s best reggae, ska, punk, rocksteady, Caribbean rhythms and world beats during a hyped festival for the people. Features headlining ticketed and free shows in the Inner Harbour

Festival Mexicano (July 12-14)

For the 7th year, the Mexican Canadian Community Association of Victoria will host Festival Mexicano. The weekend is packed full with professional Latin music and dance performances, traditional Mexican food, craft vendors, workshops, dance lessons, games and pinatas. The highlight will be the mariachi band. Admission is free for all Centennial Square programming.

Rock the Shores (July 13 -14)

The fields of Juan De Fuca Recreation Centre will be rocking out to Rock The Shores 2013, featuring Victoria’s own Vince Vaccaro. Other special guests at include Matthew Good, Jimmy Eats World, Acres of Lions, Weezer, and more! This is an all ages show, but children until 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Victoria Shakespeare Festival (July 15 – August 17)

Held on the lawns of the Lansdowne Campus of Camosun College, this year the festival will feature The Merry Wives of Windsor and Measure for Measure.

Victoria International Buskers Festival (July 19-28)

This year’s annual Victoria International Buskers Festival features 7 stages, 10 days, and countless laughs! This family oriented, free-to-attend event draws busker acts from Australia, the US, Europe, and from across Canada. Acts this year include Copper Cowgirl, Darth Fiddler, Funny Bones, The Mat Velvet and Charlie Show, The Funny Waiter, and The USA Breakdancers. Tips to busker hats welcomed and appreciated!

TD Art Gallery Paint-In (July 20)

The TD Art Gallery Paint-In is a community outreach initiative featuring 150 invited professional and emerging artists from Victoria and surrounding areas. Artists take their studios to the street to display and produce their work on Moss Street between Fort Street and Dallas Road. The Paint-In is a free and fun-filled community-based art awareness and education event that sees up to 35,000 visitors.

Free B Film Festival (August 2-24)

The Free B Film Festival is a annual event and this year kicks off on the August long weekend in Victoria at Beacon Hill Park’s Cameron Bandshell. Movies start at 9pm and are usually family friendly. Remember it gets very chilly so brings blankets cushions, bug repellent and snacks.

Victoria Symphony Splash (August 4)

Victoria Symphony Splash is unquestionably one of the top summer events in Victoria, and takes place over the long weekend. This is the largest annual outdoor event in Canada and includes music, food and fireworks. The concert performance concludes with a performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture with fireworks and cannons!

India Fest Mela 2013 (August 5-11)

India Fest Mela features a main stage with professional and budding semi-professional, Indian entertainment including classical and modern Bollywood dances and music, Gidda, Bhangra, Garba/Dhandia dances and highly energetic entertainment from many other multicultural communities. Enjoy a menu of mouthwatering Indian food, Indian fashions, jewellery, arts and crafts, henna, palm reading, balloon animals, face painting, clowns, and much more.

Cadboro Bay Festival (August 11)

Head out to the Cadboro Bay Festival for an afternoon at the picturesque Gyro Park featuring a variety of hands-on activities, bouncy castles, pirate school, information displays, arts & craft stations, and food and fun for the entire family. The big draw is the sand sculptures created by world class sculptors. Vote online to help determine who will win the “People Choice” award.

Fringe Kids Festival 2013 (August 24)

Part of the Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival, the Fringe Kids Festival is 100% free fun for kids with oodles of things to make and do. Live music, craft activities, face painting, and the famous Cardboard Castle the wee artists love to paint.

The Saanich Fair (August 31 – September 2)

For 146 years, The Saanich Fair has marked the end of summer. This traditional agricultural fair has all the classic pickings: animals, entertainment, food, displays, a farm and artisans market, and, of course, the midway.

Play in the Park (All Summer)

Every weekday during the summer (except BC Day), Panorama Rec is offering a free Play in the Park program at seven different parks in Sidney, North Saanich and Central Saanich. Panorama staff will facilitate interactive play, face painting, group games, and inflatable fun on their giant 50’ obstacle course.

Summer in the Square Lunchtime Concerts (All Summer)

Visit Centennial Square at noon on weekdays for eclectic mix of live music at Summer in the Square Lunchtime Concerts. Bring your lunch — and sunscreen — and soak up the sun and free tunes. From classical to world beat, folk to jazz and baroque to blues, there’s something for everyone. Summer in the Square Lunch time Concerts are presented by the City of Victoria.

Easel Art in the Park (All Summer)

Join Tulista Art Centre for Easel Art in the Park! Children visiting Tulista Park in Sidney are welcome to join instructor Emily Hemstock for supervised, free-flow play time with arts materials. Explore, experiment and get creative! Compliments of the Community Arts Council of the Saanich Peninsula. Daily in July and August, though may be cancelled in poor weather.

Music in the Park (All Summer)

Be sure to highlight Tuesday evenings on your calendar for another exciting season of Music In The Park in Saanich, hosted by Saanich Parks & Recreation and the Saanich Legacy Foundation. Every Tuesday evening enjoy music, face painting and crafts for kids in your local park. Bring a picnic dinner or purchase refreshments.

Concerts in the Park (All Summer)

Head down to the Cameron Bandshell in Beacon Hill Park on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Holiday Mondays this summer for Concerts in the Park. Also at the Bandshell on select Wednesdays are Children’s Concerts in the Park. Bring a picnic, sunscreen and a blanket and make a day of it with the kids!

Hard to believe, but this isn’t even all the summer events happening this year! Head on over to ChatterBlock and browse our complete listings of Summer Events in Victoria BC.


Written by Dave Garrison

Dad to two fantastic kids (and I'm not just saying that), I love doing outdoorsy stuff with them. In the summer you will find us on long bike rides, hikes, and at the dog park. In the winter you will find us speed skating, skiing, and at the dog park.

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