Art of the Cocktail is Victoria’s most spirited event—literally. It’s a 3-day festival celebrating the art, craft and tradition of the cocktail, with proceeds funding the Victoria Film Festival in February. The festival runs from Oct 1–3 at various downtown locations and has something for everyone, whether you want to learn tips, tricks and recipes from the pros or just want to sample something new.
On September 24th and 25th, Craigdarroch Castle is hosting the 2nd Annual Steam Exposition, which is two full days of steampunk art, tech, fashion, music, architecture, story, film and food. Steampunk depicts a world where steam power is still widely used, but intertwines it with elements of science fiction, fantasy and Jules-Verne inspired technology. This is your chance to explore the Victorian era in a way you never thought possible!
1307 Gladstone Ave. (250) 388-4222
Tucked away in the funky Fernwood neighbourhood, Stage is a small, 50-seat wine bar with a contemporary vibe. Their wine list features mainly British Columbia wines, plus a variety of affordable choices from around the world. Seventeen wines are available by glass, including three-ounce tasters that allow diners to match all of their menu choices. Stage also has a full kitchen that produces the most amazing small plates. Each dish is broken down into charcuterie, vegetables, cheese, fish and meats and always incorporates seasonal, sustainable, local produce.
If you’re looking for the best sushi in Victoria, look no further than these restaurants. Our guests love them all!
604 Broughton St (250) 383-3234
Ebizo is a cute little place right in the heart of downtown Victoria. Since it opened 12 years ago, it’s been a favourite with locals and a must-try for anyone looking for the best sushi in the city. Their menu is reasonably priced and always delicious, and their green tea is out of this world. Ebizo can get busy during dinner so reservations are recommended.
The Inner Harbour is the place to be this Labour Day, when over 100 boats from around the world arrive in Victoria for the annual Classic Boat Festival. The festival, now in its 34th year, is one of Victoria’s most popular and long-running events. It officially kicks off on Friday (Sept. 2) with the arrival of the Honorary Commodore, and runs until Sunday afternoon.
Admission is free, and in addition to races, parades and awards, many of the boats will be open to the public over the course of the weekend. The festival’s highlight—the famous sail-by—is happening at 10:45 am on Sunday morning. For more information on the festival, including the best places to watch the sail-by, check out the Victoria Classic Boat Festival.
Now in its 25th year, the Victoria Fringe Festival is back for another season of comedy, drama, dance, improv and performance art from around the world. The festival runs from August 25 to September 4 and features 60 shows and 420 individual performances at venues around the city.
Every Saturday night, the Butchart Gardens puts on a jaw-dropping fireworks display that attracts visitors from around the world. The half-hour show is choreographed to music and features dazzling ground-level and aerial pyrotechnics.
The Victoria Dragon Boat Festival is one of the city’s most spectacular events, drawing in visitors and paddlers from all over North America. This year, the festival runs from August 12–14 in the Inner Harbour and features 90 racing teams plus live multicultural entertainment, a food court and free tours of Canada’s oldest Chinatown. Admission is free. For a complete schedule, visit the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival.
This weekend, the Russian Sail Training Ship Pallada will arrive in Victoria’s Inner Harbour after a 7000 km journey from its home port of Vladivostok. The 354-foot, three-masted frigate is the fastest sailing ship in the world and has trained 12,000 cadets, midshipmen and students from all over Russia.
Until July 24th, the first-annual Buskers Festival will be presenting the world’s top street performers on event stages across downtown. It’s a free, all-ages event featuring acts from Australia, the US, Europe and from across Canada.
Performances include Flame Oz, a cutting-edge fire show that was a #1 People’s Choice Award winner around the globe, and Bendy Em, a comic contortionist who squeezes herself into a 16” box. Other acts include world-class juggling, comedy, Hula Hoops, aerial acrobatics and clowning.