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  • Writer's pictureMathieu Powell

Happy Canada Day Victoria!

Yes, it’s a brag, but really; is there a better city in which to enjoy Canada Day than Victoria BC? Our city's proximity to the natural beauty of parks, hiking trails and beaches lend to our laid-back, West Coast lifestyle that can’t be beat.

Have you noticed every 5th vehicle on the road seems to be fitted with some kind of boat in the summer? Every year, more people are taking up yachting, kayaking, paddle boarding, wind surfing or scuba diving.

Our arts and culture scene host numerous galleries, theaters, and music venues to explore. This month, we’re featuring Bastion Square’s “Summer Market Series”, the “Symphony in the Summer” at the Starlight Stadium on Langford Parkway, and “Walking Through My Fires” showcasing Indigenous artists.

Our diverse culinary offerings, include every ethnic dish, world class restaurants, farm to table food and fresh-caught seafood. Have a look at the Strawberry Festival in Saanich, the 2nd annual Royal Beach Eats & Beach Party in Colwood, the Beer Festival in Langford, and the popular Backyard Festival Series presented by Phillips Brewing & Malting Co and The Zone @ 91.3. *

Today (Saturday), the Inner Harbour is THE hub of activity on Canada Day. You’ll find the best of food truck vendors, Indigenous Artist Collective pop-up markets, live entertainment, and family-friendly activities such as face painting, crafts, and games. After 10 pm, fireworks will light up the sky above the Inner Harbour over what we predict will be huge crowds. *

When you’re spending time with family or friends in the sun this afternoon, don’t forget your hat! Don’t have one? We found an eclectic collection of head huggers! Check out Roberta’s Hats at 1318 Government Street.

If you can walk, bike or bus downtown instead of driving, you’ll have an easier time of it. Belleville road closures started last night, and you can’t park on Belleville between Menzies and Kingston. To ensure public safety, more streets may get closed off today. But why drive when you can ride the bus all day today with a $5 pass? (Kids under 12 can ride free).

If you would rather avoid downtown, check out Butchart Gardens. Starting tonight, July 1, and every Saturday through to September 2nd, you can enjoy a breathtaking firework show in the evening. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy original aerial and ground displays choreographed to music by Christopher Ross, Jennie Butchart's great-grandson. The fireworks show is included with admission. *

If you’re heading out on a camping trip this long weekend, hopefully you made a reservation long ago. But in case you didn’t you might not have to entirely forego camping this summer. We found some interesting tips offered by Gemma and J.R. in their blog “Off Track Travel”. For instance, did you know there are “first-come-first served” campsites available, even at this time of the year?

As we celebrate our nation’s 156th birthday, it’s a good time to reflect on the values that make Canada unique. For us, inclusivity, diversity, and respect for all individuals are worth honouring.

What do you most value about being Canadian?

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