After experiencing the 4th annual Car Free YYJ, I’m looking forward to Year Five. Can more of Douglas Street be used? Can carnival rides get offered at Centennial Square? That’s the feeling I got while thinking about what will draw me back. This event has music which I enjoyed, food to snack on, shopping local and seeing exhibits to highlight the best of what Victoria, BC can offer. I know more is possible. The Downtown Victoria Business Association has a good plan to revitalize the city core, and I can only hop on my soapbox to offer my suggestions.
W & J Wilsons Limited
1221 Government St
332 Menzies St.
W & J Wilsons is an established fine clothier that carries tasteful fashion for both men and women. Wilsons carries among their three locations such brands as Vetono, Mycra Pac, Marc Cain, Betty Barclay, Viyella, Esprit, Eileen Fisher, Joseph Ribkoff, Tommy Bahama, Culture, Gerry Weber, and Bianca. Wilsons is also one of the oldest customers of such firms as Burberry and Alan Paine.
Among the men’s fashion, they carry Harris Tweed jackets and navy blue and black blazers.
Capital City Comic Con is happening from March 16th to 18th, and the Inner Harbour at Victoria, BC will soon be abuzz with superheroes needing sustenance and speedsters needing their energy fix. No, The Flash is not appearing. Many attendees will not be hopping far to get to panels and exhibits since the venue is side-by-side with each other. Distrikt Nightclub has special geeky Trivia Nights planned but before any of this fun can begin, plenty of hungry geeks will be looking for good places to dine at.
The past guides we wrote in the past are still valid (click here for the 2015 edition, or to read the comprehensive guides), but since then new operations have popped up and others have closed. This 2018 list breaks the list down into sub-categories.
DISCLAIMER: The Victoria Conference Center staff discourages attendees to bring food from other venues into its court. Please finish any snacks or meals beforehand. Water bottles are safe, but any visible food items will be subject to security’s discretion.
Beginning Feb 12th on VisionTV is a very well-meaning documentary, Ageless Gardens. This five-part series looks at the role of tending to a garden, be it to grow for food or to pretty a front lawn, can affect anyone on many levels. Whether that’s in to stay physically or mentally healthy, to avoid expensive trips to the grocery or to take up as a hobby, the results from the people who tend to them are many. When my doctor is surprised at how well my mom is doing at her age, I said that’s because she’s outside tending to our garden. He responded I should still keep an eye on her but keep at it!
To hear director, producer and cinematographer Ian Toews (Bugs on the Menu) created this series to show that the elderly do not have to be put in care homes. They can be engaged in an outdoor activity from their own comfort zone. For those who can’t move around as much, sons, daughters or special care nurses are around to help as the episode “Therapeutic Gardens” demonstrated. This series feels very personal. He’s spreading the word to encourage others to get off the couch and explore what the outdoors can do to anyone, at any age. This show is intended for the older generation to watch, but even kids like me need hard knocks too.
The groups behind organizing Capital City Comic Con is confident folks far and wide will come to the Garden city of British Columbia to get their geek on. It takes place at the Victoria Convention Center and Crystal Garden on March 16-18th, 2018 and passes are on sale through Ticket Rocket.
Cherry Bomb Toys, The Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) and Tourism Victoria are not resting over the holidays. Announced Friday morning is Patrick Warburton. He’s done many cartoon voices like Kronk in The Emperor’s New Groove and played The Tick (2001) and the narrator, Lemony Snicket in Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. To hear him talk about his career will be fascinating. Most will remember him from Senfield but how many people will remember him in Quantum Leap?
Guests announced in previous month include Graham McTavish (Aquaman movie, Preacher) and James Marsters (Buffy). Both are great draws for those people who love their works. More names will be revealed in the coming months, and the plan is to make the star around this city brighter. It is known for Nerd Row where the corner of Broad and Johnson has a high concentration of shops to buy goodies from and the municipality of Oak Bay is recognized as where Gracepoint was filmed. On other parts of Vancouver Island, Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla came to town and so did parts of the western beachscape became the battlefront for War for the Planet of the Apes.
Biago Woodward is one of the convention producers. He said he would love to get more people from Hollywood to take notice in everything this city, if not the entire island, can offer. It’s been used in many a cheery Hallmark movie like A Heavenly Christmas and independent production like Nick Simon’s masterful horror flick The Girl in the Photographs. Disney and Fox sent a crew to this island to make use of Hatley Castle to film Descendants (both movies) and X-Men 2. Deadpool knocked at the door of this historic building to find Professor Xavier. Only time will tell when the second movie comes out if he answered it or not.
“This city has its own tastes, its own feel … we’re going to do what’s best for the city to highlight the tourism and what the downtown core offers,” revealed Woodward.
Post-Halloween, I’m not sure what I want to do next. Thankfully, the season is not over with Last Chance Productions bringing Evil Dead the Musical to town November 3rd and 4th to the Metro Theatre! You can click here to buy tickets. I mentioned them in an article last year about them finally coming to town, and this show is worth revisiting since it’s bloodier than Rocky Horror. As with live theatre, there will always be refinement. It’s not often audiences get sprayed than toss stuff in celebration of a scene in the latter.
Honestly, I should not have to leave my hometown of Victoria, BC to have some spooky fun. Usually, I’m tempted to go to Vancouver so I can enjoy Fright Nights at Playland. With this island community, a few events are more or less going to be the same year-after-year. Sadly, Rocky Horror Show fits under this bill as with slightly different Corn Mazes and variations of the Haunted House to navigate through. To get the route you want on Ghostly Walks requires getting a specific tour guide. What I want to experience are the special one-off’s. This garden city is home to an annual theatre production at Craigdarroch Castle which Launch Pad Theatre Company is doing a great job.
About four years ago, the Royal BC Museum (RBCM) experimented with the idea of making a Night at the Museum style fun and having a party like none other — perhaps inspired the film of the same name. Other museums around the world offer something similar, and they are usually geared for the whole family than adults to enjoy. There are even a few which get a touch academic. The articles I read online about these events often makes me think I should travel to check these other options but I always hold back, hoping my town’s museum can offer something similar. In what I’ve experienced at RBCM’s Night Shift, the organizers do a great job. They also touch up a few of their permanent exhibits to get into the spirit.