The Victoria night life scene is pretty impressive for a city our size. We have beautiful theatres, world-class wineries, distilleries and breweries open for touring and tasting, sporting and entertainment facilities, and a good assortment of pubs and bars.
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The Victoria performing arts and culture options are as diverse as most large cities but on a slightly smaller scale.
The Victoria performing arts scene boasts contemporary live theatre at The Belfry Theatre. Located in Fernwood village, the Belfry makes its home in a former Baptist Church. They produce up to 12 plays each year with a special emphasis on Canadian productions. They promote themselves in this way:
"With love, from scratch, and with some of the country's best theatre artists, we build, rehearse and create our plays in our own home, a renovated 19th century church in Fernwood - Victoria's most interesting neighbourhood."
The McPherson Playhouse located in the Centennial Square complex is affectionately known to locals as The Mac. It is a 772-seat theatre and concert hall that was originally built in 1914 and has been continuously in use since opening. The Mac hosts professional, community and amateur events year-round.
More performing arts entertainment is available at the Royal Theatre located on Blanshard Street in downtown Victoria. The Royal Theatre is a 1,413 seat opera house and concert hall that opened its doors in 1913. It is a popular venue for the Victoria Symphony and the Victoria Philharmonic Choir as well as for touring bands, dance and ballet companies and stand up comedians.
The Victoria Symphony performs at two venues – The Royal Theatre on Blanshard Street and at the Farquhar Theatre at the University of Victoria. Tickets can be purchased at the venue or at the Symphony Box Office located at Suite 610, 620 View Street. Box office hours are 9 am until noon & 1 pm to 4 pm Monday to Friday, except holidays or call them at 250-385-9771.
During the pandemic, the Symphony suspended their season and offered virtual concerts as well as some larger-scale concerts featuring the whole symphony, socially distanced on stage, and some featuring quartets and quintets playing live together from local venues. The virtual concert season was available at no cost.
As of the 2022-23 season, the Victoria night life scene is alive again with the return of in person concerts. Find the full schedule here.
Another popular Symphony event that has evolved over the past few years is the Symphony in the Summer Festival known as Splash Around Town. The 10-day summer festival is held at some of the most beautiful locations around town. With free and ticketed events, the 2023 festival will be held July 22-31 and will end with the Splash Finale on the lawns of the Legislature on July 31st featuring the Steven Page Trio followed by fireworks. Get more details here.
Every year Victoria welcomes comedy tours such as the Snowed In Comedy Festival and Rick Mercer's Comedy Night but you don't have to wait for a touring group to get a good laugh. Other options include Heckler's Bar & Grill, Philips Comedy Night and Garden City Comedy.
This listing is a good resource of all comedy happening in Greater Victoria,
Indoor concerts in Victoria are generally held at one of the following venues:
The area is also known for outdoor concerts including the major draw for country music fans - Sunfest. Sunfest is scheduled for August 3 to 6, 2023 with Blake Shelton headlining. Find a listing of concerts around town at LiveVictoria.com.
Here on Vancouver Island, we have an excellent variety of delightful locally produced alcoholic beverages.
Our selection of breweries, distilleries and cideries is diverse and many of them are accessible through tasting rooms and tours (a responsible and very fun Victoria night life option). We have several terrific tours to choose from. Find the best deals on food tours, wine tastings and beer tastings in the region here.
The age of majority in the Province of British Columbia is 19. That’s the age an individual is legally considered an adult and is able to do things like vote, smoke cigarettes and marijuana, apply for a credit card, get married or join the armed forces without parental consent, enter a binding contract, buy lottery tickets, consume alcohol and gamble.
You may be asked to show your ID if you appear under the age of 35.
For most teenagers, they look forward to turning 19 so they can legally drink and enjoy more Victoria night life but as of October 2018, it is also now the age they can legally purchase and consume marijuana. This includes “weed” for smoking and:
This whole industry is very new to Canada and I am expecting companies will soon expand their tour businesses to include stops at farms to sample the weed but I'm not aware of anything like that yet.
Learn more about purchasing and consuming cannabis in British Columbia.
Vaping and smoking of any kind is prohibited virtually everywhere indoors and have some restrictions outdoors as well which includes parks, at bus stops and around doors, open windows and air intakes of public and work places. Smoking and vaping are also not allowed in spaces deemed to be substantially enclosed public places (both permanent and temporary structures) if they have a roof or other covering and more than 50% of nominal wall space that prevents air from easily flowing through.
The gambling landscape has certainly changed over the years. It wasn't too many years ago that this type of Victoria night life thrived in the region, including live harness racing that was taking place at Sandown Race Track. As of September 2018 that location is now home of the new Sandown Shopping Centre. The demand for bingo halls has seen the same decline with the city supporting 4-5 halls in the past and as of November 2021, there are none left in town. And we have just one casino.
The View Royal Casino recently underwent a renovation and name change. Now known as Elements Casino Victoria, it is still located on Island Highway near the View Royal/Colwood border and is the place to go for live gambling entertainment. The casino is open 9 am to 4 am Monday through Friday and 24 hours per day on Saturday and Sunday.
As of 2022, it is the only casino in Greater Victoria however rumours continue to swirl that a second casino will be built in the core area. Many people question whether the region has the population to support a second facility with another casino located just 45 minutes north on the Trans Canada Highway in Duncan.
Enter the casino and you can feel the excitement building as you are greeted with the lights and sounds of the slots. You can’t help but get energized by the electric atmosphere!
The casino boasts a whopping 770 slot machines that range from .01 to $5. With names like 88 Fortunes, Race to Win and She’s a Rich Girl, there is game for every ego! They claim that a game called Buffalo, where players try to fill the screen with Buffalo symbols to win, is one of the most-played slot machines of all time. I like the sound of Stinkin’ Rich (not only for the obvious) but because you simply select a bet, choose the number of lines you want to play and hit the spin. Who really wants to think too much when you’re just out for an evening of fun?
In addition to the slot machines, the casino also has popular table games such as Texas Hold’em, Blackjack, roulette, No Limit Hold'em' Poker and several more.
With the recent renovation, they included a multi purpose entertainment facility called the Platinum Room. It is designed to be a flexible place that can host everything from live bands to banquets and conferences. There have been a few live shows since their grand re-opening but it has not been as popular as I had hoped when I heard about the new space. We are however still feeling the effects of the COVID lockdown so hopefully things will improve.
There is live entertainment every Friday night and Saturday night at The Well Public House.
Every Thursday is Senior Slot tournament and Tuesdays is the Triple Diamond Slot Tournament. Check out their website for a full list of promotions and entertainment.
And if all this fun makes you hungry, there are 4 different dining options:
All restaurants are 19+.
If you read online reviews, you'll find just as many people who love it as those who find it lack-lustre. I recommend you try it for yourself.
The Victoria night life options change frequently. Be sure to check Get Your Guide to find tickets and tours for the most popular activities.
Jun 03, 23 11:04 AM
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May 24, 23 08:05 PM