This post originally appeared on the Tourism Victoria website.
A great way to feel the pulse of a city is through its arts and entertainment, and this is certainly true of Victoria, British Columbia — a cosmopolitan city alive with culture.
The performing arts are well-represented in Victoria, with theatre and dance companies showcasing performances in historical playhouses, modern arts centres, and small, picturesque community theatres. Victoria is also home to numerous art galleries, exhibits, and studios. Music and arts festivals throughout the year celebrate jazz, blues, R&B, folk, independent film, Shakespeare, fringe theatre, comedy, and Victoria's cultural diversity. Buskers and street performers add colour to the streets and Inner Harbour.
Be moved, be inspired, and be entertained with the help of these five arts and culture experiences.
Regardless of when you choose to make Victoria your destination, chances are a festival is already happening, or just around the corner. Whether it's Symphony Splash — Canada's largest outdoor symphony event — in the summer, Art of the Cocktail in the fall, Victoria Film Festival in the winter, or the Swiftsure International Yacht Race in the spring, entertainment abounds in every season!
Click here to see all of Victoria's annual events.
Royal BC Museum
At the Royal BC Museum, the largest museum in British Columbia, you can follow in the footsteps of dinosaurs or slide back in time to the Ice Age. See how the fur trade touched and forever changed the lives of BC's First Peoples, climb aboard Captain Vancouver's ship as she anchors in the Nootka Sound, stroll through a forest for a visit with a cougar or grizzly bear, and lose yourself in the province’s history at the BC Archives: a collection of photographs, documents, maps, and historical records.
Discover the Past tours
Take a walk back in time with a Discover the Past tour. Author, historian, and lecturer John Adams guides three sets of tours — Ghostly Walks, Chinatown Walks and Discovery Walks — that will introduce you to Victoria's rich history in an unforgettable way.
Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites of Canada
From coastal gun batteries built over 100 years ago to acres of meadows and stunning ocean views, there's so much to do at Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse, Canada's oldest lighthouse on the west coast. Kids will enjoy playing with the interactive exhibits in the lighthouse and you can even stay the night in an oTENTik tent.
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria/Robert Bateman Centre
Explore the local arts scene at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and The Robert Bateman Centre. The Art Gallery is housed in a combination of contemporary exhibition spaces and a remarkable mansion built in 1889, and includes an important collection of visual and decorative arts, including one of the only Shinto shrines outside of Japan. The Robert Bateman Centre celebrates one of the world's greatest wildlife artists with over 100 original pieces spanning an astonishing seven decades of work.