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Spring Festivals

Victoria Spoken Word Festival – March

For six days in March poets from across North America come to Victoria to partake in the Spoken Word Festival. Each year there is a different theme to the festival and a variety of shows. Shows range from storytelling for adults, puppets and poetry, ad-lib or instant poetry, best original work by the festival ensemble, as well as a featured show by the Poet of Honour. The performances take place at the Intrepid and Metro theatres in downtown Victoria. For information about tickets please visit http://victoriaspokenwordfestival.com.

Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival – March to May

The Performing Arts Festival lasts six weeks, beginning in March and carrying through until May, and encompasses performances of music, dance, and dramatic arts. Over five thousand incredibly talented performing artist from Victoria and surrounding regions come to compete in this adjudicated festival in order to win significant awards and trophies. Performances range from solo musicians to school bands and orchestras, classical and modern dances, musical theatre, and ethnic performances. The shows take place in numerous venues throughout the city, for more information on schedules and tickets please visit http://www.gvpaf.org/

Creatively United for the Planet Festival – April

This festival, which occurs in mid to late April, is particularly aptly named. It is an event which unites people through creative education in order to realize a common goal of sustainability and Earth conscious behaviour. The majority of the festival takes place at the beautiful grounds of St. Ann’s Academy and promotes various works and lifestyles that encourage thriving communities and environments, both socially and ecologically. Activities at St. Ann’s include live music, photography exhibitions, children’s activities, food carts, art displays, and sustainability information booths. The events which take place at St. Ann’s are free to attend but the festival also offers ticketed events such as concerts and lectures with creative and environmental focuses. The main goal for the festival is to connect people from all social sectors and encourage them to engage and collaborate with each other in healthy, eco-friendly ways. For more information please visit www.creativelyunited.org.

Spot Prawn Festival – April

During the month of April the Spot Prawn Festival takes place in Cowichan Bay. Cowichan Bay is a small seaside community about an hour drive North of Victoria. If you are visiting Victoria during this festival it makes for a perfect little day trip and gives you an opportunity to see more of this beautiful island. The festival includes cooking demos, recipe sharing, kid friendly activities, and lots and lots of spot prawns. It is a celebration of local marine fare as well as a chance to explore the community of Cowichan Bay which is rich with indigenous culture and turn of the century history. For more information please visit prawnfest.ca.

Swiftsure International Yacht Race – May

This international yacht race, hosted by the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, takes place during a weekend in May and creates quite the hubbub in Victoria’s Inner Harbour and at Clover Point. The Swiftsure Centre, located at Ship Point in the harbour, provides information on the races and scheduled events for the weekend. Featured events include an awards ceremony, live music and a silent auction on Friday evening, and a complimentary pancake breakfast at Clover Point Saturday morning to coincide with the start of the races. Computerized tracking stations to monitor the races’ progress will be available for consultation throughout the day. The festival coincides with the Inner Harbour’s regular weekend night markets and so, in addition to the exciting races and events, visitors can also peruse the food stalls, craft vendors, buskers and street performers which make the harbour hum. For more information on the yacht races please visit www.swiftsure.org.

Highland Games – Mid may

One of the most well established events in town this festival has been going strong since the 1930’s. Now the event is a two day extravaganza of Highland dance, sports, music and Celtic heritage. Spectators can watch the sheep dog herding competitions or a sheep shearing demo, take a lesson at the Whiskey School, and watch some traditional heavy weight games such as tossing the caber! Of course, all these events take place to the Celtic score of bagpipes and drums performed by tartan clad men and women. For more information on dates and tickets please visit http://victoriahighlandgames.com.

Africa Fest – Mid may

Africa Fest is a cultural festival in mid May put on by the Victoria African and Caribbean Culture Society. There will be variety of African and Caribbean music and dance performances at Centennial Square, as well as many different food vendors that capture the culinary delights from these regions. The festival aims to promote cross cultural experiences and information, opening up communication and breaking down social barriers. This event is free to attend and in the spirit of bringing people together and intercultural community, everyone is welcome! For more information please visit www.vaccsociety.com.

Uno Fest – End of May

Solo performers come from all across North America to showcase their theatrical talents and entertain the masses. Uno Fest is an event put on by the Intrepid Theatre Club whose main goal is to push the boundaries of theatre and performance. The shows are daring and thought provoking. If you are interested in soul baring artists who challenge, embellish, and awesomely entertain the world as we know it then you will appreciate what this creative event has to offer! For more information on shows and tickets please visit www.intrepidtheatre.com.