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Used Around Town December 2020

Victoria Festival of Trees – November 19 – January 5

Festival of Trees is a cherished community tradition and has become the unofficial kick-off to the holiday season in Victoria, serving our community for the last 28 consecutive years. Beginning on November 19, the Bay Centre will be transformed into a lush forest of beautifully decorated trees to raise funds for BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, all thanks to sponsors, local businesses, organizations and individuals. Guests can bring their loved ones, marvel at the magic of Victoria’s community spirit and vote for their favourite tree.

Donate to Camp Barnard!

Camp Barnard has been providing a nurturing environment for people to learn new skills and experience nature and their place in it for more than 75 years. 

Each year more than 175 groups use the facilities to deliver age-appropriate, exciting, challenging camping and outdoor discovery experiences that fulfill the needs of today’s children. A wide variety of groups use the camp to offer programs for children as young as five all the way through to seniors. No other camp on Vancouver Island, with the facilities and setting that Camp Barnard has, offers these groups the same flexibility and value for money. 

Open year-round, Camp Barnard provides excellent camp rental facilities for the youngest/least experienced camper to develop skills and confidence in residential camp settings, rustic cabin circles with dining halls and kitchens, and backcountry tenting sites for more advanced and adventurous leave-no-trace camping.

Donate now online at

Habitat for Humanity 2020 Gingerbread Showcase – November 21 – January 3

It may look a little different this year, but Habitat for Humanity Victoria’s premier fundraiser the Gingerbread Showcase, sponsored by Revera, will launch its 12th season on November 21, 2020!

Creations will be displayed online and at several locations in Downtown Victoria and Sidney. Habitat’s key host partner, The Parkside Hotel & Spa, will be joined this year by nine additional host locations:

* Tre Fantastico at the Parkside Hotel & Spa

* The Marriott, Inner Harbour

* The Chateau Victoria

* The Doubletree

* Vintage Spirits at The Hotel Rialto

* Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa

* Peninsula Gallery

* Flush Bathroom and Travel Essentials

* Seawards Souvenir and Apparel

The Showcase will open on Saturday, November 21st and run until Sunday, January 3rd, 2021. Further details on Habitat’s host partners, route maps and detailed views of these amazing creations will be made available on our website at

Buy Local Cowichan

In the wake of the unprecedented economic interruption that the COVID-19 pandemic has created, #cowichanstrong has partnered with Economic Development Cowichan and a coalition of other local business organizations to mount a cross-platform awareness initiative to encourage Cowichan Valley residents to purchase goods from local stores and service providers.

It is widely known and understood that small businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy. Now, more than ever it is vitally important that we make an effort to keep dollars within our communities so that their effect on financial recovery is multiplied through the recreation of previously lost jobs.

Just as a rising tide floats all boats, a contemplative and compassionate look at the way we spend our money will play an important role in the way we navigate these uncharted waters of our “new normal.”

Light Up the City – November 28 – January 3

The Greater Victoria Festival Society will host a 5 week “Light Up The City” campaign beginning the day of the original Santa Claus Parade; November 28 through January 3, 2021. Event organizers in the city are pooling their resources and collaborating together to coordinate a set of drive-through drop off events every Saturday in the ‘core’ municipalities of Greater Victoria. We will be able to accept non-perishable food, new toys and cash donations to pass along to our local food banks, Salvation Army, and Toy Banks. Drive through events will have Santa and Mrs. Claus to wave at, Convoy trucks aglow, music, and more to enjoy as you drive through and drop off your donations. Social distancing practices will be in place at all drop-offs. Chek TV and our local media supporters will be your source for information as the details are finalized. Go to for locations near you.

The Greater Victoria Festival Society is also bringing back the Christmas Lighting Contest throughout all 13 municipalities! We will have winners in each ‘core’ municipality and the prizes will be epic! The categories will include homes, apartments/condos, local businesses, community organizations and first nations.

We want to “Light Up The City” and bring everyone (safely) together as a way to celebrate and enjoy the glow of Christmas! 

Winder Wander on Fort St – Saturday, December 5

The reality of 2020 means that many small, local businesses are suffering, and on the verge of extinction. In response, we have invited Fort Street businesses to join together for a one-day initiative celebrating all that Fort Street has to offer – Winter Wander on Saturday, December 5. 

Winter Wander is a day where businesses and shops on Fort Street will bring the festive cheers with special festive offerings and customer appreciation initiatives. Visitors can expect discounts and giveaways, as well as festive decor, drinks, and music in select stores. Winter Wander is free for businesses to participate in and shoppers to attend. Robust plans for safety, social distancing, and sanitization will be in place throughout the initiative. All stores will have capacity limits, and all visitors will be asked to wear masks while on Fort Street. 

Join us for a special day of supporting our Downtown businesses with safety and courtesy on Saturday, December 5, 2020. Follow @ShopOnFort on Instagram and Facebook for more details!

Victoria Hospice Celebrate a Life – November 17 – December 31

Grief can be the loneliest feeling at any time of year. But in a global pandemic, with holidays approaching, grief is even lonelier.

That’s why Victoria Hospice invites everyone to come together to celebrate the lives of people we have lost – whether this year or long ago.

Join us this holiday season for a virtual gathering of memories and reflections by dedicating a star in memory of your loved one at

Victoria HarbourCats Baseball – WE WILL BE BACK!

Despite the cancellation of the 2020 season due to COVID-19, the Victoria HarbourCats are gearing up for what will be a celebratory season and a return to West Coast League baseball in 2021.  Season tickets, 10-game flex packs and merchandise are now on sale through the HarbourCats offices at 101-1814 Vancouver Street, or by calling 778-265-0327.  Merchandise and 10-game packs may also be purchased on-line through “The Cat Shop” at  

Help support the best summertime sports entertainment in the City and lock in your 2021 tickets today!  Offices open 10-5 Tuesday to Friday.   

Note: Thanks to all our fans who purchased 2020 game tickets or flex-pack vouchers!  Please keep them in a safe place and we will happily exchange them for tickets or vouchers to any regular-season game in 2021 once the schedule has been released. 

For more information, follow the HarbourCats at  or at our Facebook page at

Dine Around and Stay in Town Victoria – January 14 – February 7

Easily one of Victoria’s most anticipated culinary events, Dine Around & Stay in Town Victoria gives locals and visitors alike the chance to indulge in some of the destination’s finest restaurant offerings by choosing from a $20, $30, $40, $50 or $60 set menu. 

If you opt for the drink pairing, consider making a night of it at one of the participating hotels offering a special rate. Whether you’re looking for something budget-friendly, or luxurious, you’ll find an array of options available. 

Enjoy 24 days of culinary bliss from over 50 participating restaurants who have thoughtfully paired their Dine Around menus with wine and beer from BC VQA Wineries and B.C.’s finest craft breweries.

If you’re a serious foodie, you’ll want to take an advance peek at the menus and plan to try as many of Victoria’s top spots as possible over the 24 days from January 14th through February 7th, 2021. Visit Dine Around & Stay in Town Victoria to plan your visit!

Emerald Day Spa Fundraiser for Victoria Women’s Transition House – Dec 12-13

Women Empowered is the opportunity to celebrate, support, and empower our community and local women in need. There will be wellness tips, presentations, and giveaways. This online event is free to attend with donations being accepted for the Victoria Women’s Transition House. The event will take place on December 12th – 13th, 2020 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can register for the event today! Check out our website at for more information.

Intrepid Theatre Next Phase Campaign

For more than 30 years, Intrepid Theatre has been the home base for contemporary theatre and theatre festivals in Victoria, bringing audiences the annual Victoria Fringe Festival, UNO Fest, OUTstages and some of the country’s newest voices.

Intrepid Theatre also runs The Metro Studio, and Intrepid Theatre Studio. These two downtown venues host Intrepid’s festivals and shows, as well as shows & events from local arts & community groups. Now, our much loved and much used theatres need some important “under the hood” upgrades and we need your support.

Over the next year, we will be making important upgrades to theatrical structures and equipment (like energy efficient house lights above the audience, new drapes, and new overhead structures for lights and aerial acts) to modernize our theatres.

Make a tax deductible charitable donation, and help the local arts community by helping Intrepid Theatre upgrade these two venues that are a staple of the local performing arts community. Donate here.

Our Place Coldest Night of the Year Walk – February 20

For the fourth straight year, Our Place is participating in Canada’s National Walk for Homelessness. Coldest Night of the Year is a family-friendly walk that raises awareness and raises money for charities serving hungry, homeless, and hurting people in our community.

There will be walks in Victoria and the Westshore (in partnership with PCFSA) but, with the corona virus, things will be a little different this year but your support and participation In Coldest Night is just as vital.

This year participants will: book a walking time to ensure there are no lineups (50 people max per ½ hour or whatever the Provincial crowd mandate is at the time and practice social distancing protocols. There is also the option of a virtual walk so participants can show support from their own home/neighborhood

Go to our website for more info. and to register. Your support helps us to provide hope and belonging to people facing poverty and homelessness in our community.

Victoria Symphony presents Appalachian Spring

Maestra Tania Miller returns to conduct the Victoria Symphony in Copland’s Appalachian Spring.  Often described as ‘music of and for the American people’, the popular piece reflects the vitality and richness of the pioneering tradition.  The Unanswered Question by Ives and Barber’s elegiac Adagio for Strings complete the program. The free concert premieres December 10 @ 7:30 pm at and will be available online until January 8, 2021.

“SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO DODD’S!” – Sunday, December 20TH from 11AM – 1PM

Come Light Up the City in support of the Times-Colonist Christmas Fund. Dodd’s Furniture & Mattress has been designated an official no-touch drop off location for toys, non-perishables and cash. Donations will be distributed to families in need this Christmas with help from Santa’s Lil’ Helpers at Starlight Developments, The Greater
Victoria Festival Society, Island Equipment Owners Association and Mr. Gordy Dodd.
Cheques may also be mailed to: The Times-Colonist Christmas Fund Society
201-655 Tyee Road, Victoria, BC V9A 6X5. It’s all part of Dodd’s 12 DAYS OF KINDNESS!

Easter Seals Chip In For the Kids – January 2-3, 2021

Easter Seals’ annual Christmas Tree Recycle, Chip In for the Kids, will be happening on January 2nd & 3rd, 2021.  People can dispose of their Christmas tree in an environmentally-friendly manner at one of 7 of our sites on Vancouver Island.  All funds raised from Chip In for the Kids goes towards Easter Seals programs and services, including our Easter Seals Camps and Easter Seals House.

 Lions Club members, along with volunteers from Davey Tree Services and Competition Tree Service (at the Shawnigan Lake and Duncan location) will be accepting Christmas trees in exchange for a donation at the following locations from 10am to 4pm on January 2nd & 3rd, 2021:

         Tillicum Shopping Centre

         Save-On-Foods – Saanich Plaza location

         Save-On-Foods – Fort & Foul Bay location

         Westshore Town Centre

         University Heights Shopping Centre

         Mason’s Store, Shawnigan Lake

         BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan

Check out more here!

Victoria Symphony’s Christmas Pops: Joy to the Brass – December 20

Celebrate the holiday season with your favourite MC Sean O’Loughlin as he decks the halls with all things Brass. Join conductor Giuseppe Pietraroia and the brass and percussion of the Victoria Symphony for a holiday program including classics like “O Holy Night”, music from “The Nutcracker”, “Frosty the Snowman”, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and more. As a special holiday gift, the concert will include the world-premiere of Sean O’Loughlin’s musical arrangement of “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus.” The free concert premieres December 20 @ 7:00 pm at and will be available online until January 22, 2021.


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