Calendar: O’ Canada!

29 06 2011

That’s right, it’s that time of year again. A time of Canadian flags, drinking and fireworks. Fuel your patriotic fire with these Canada Day events!

Celebrate Canada – Enjoy entertainment, food, bouncy castles, face painting, games and more. THURSDAY 2-4pm on the front lawn of Oak Bay’s municipal Hall (2167 Oak Bay). Free. 250-595-7946.

Victoria Celebrates Canada day – Featuring a monster mural, a living flag, concerts and more. FRIDAY-SUNDAY at locations throughout Victoria. For a detailed schedule, visit

Gorge Canada Day Picnic – Celebrate Canada Day along the Gorge Waterway with a pancake breakfast, family parade, entertainment, classic cars, kids’ activities and more. FRIDAY 8:30am-4pm at Gorge Waterway Park. Free.
The Magic of Canada day – An afternoon of patriotic fun presented by the Downtown Victoria Business Association. Includes human chess. 11am-2pm in Market Square (560 Johnson). Free.

Cultural & Arts Festival of India – Dancing, music, Indian food, arts and crafts, fashion show, face/hand painting, food and more from India. FRIDAY-SATURDAY 11am-6pm & SUNDAY 11am-4pm at the Victoria Hindu Temple (1934 Cultra). Free. 250-884-2365.

Marcus Tipton Memorial Drag Ball Game – Take sides in the annual contest to see who will reign supreme: the Kings, or the Queens. Don’t miss the Queens running in their heels or the Kings massing on second base. This ballgame breaks all the rules, and is sure to entertain the entire family. FRIDAY noon at Vic West Park. Free.

Canada Day Lawn Party – Celebrate Canada Day with a visit to the 146-year old home of Francis Roscoe, MP for Victoria in the 1870’s. Tour the house interior and fascinating exhibits about the 10-year restoration project as well as the families who called Ross Bay Villa home. FRIDAY 1-4pm at Ross Bay Villa (1490 Fairfield). $12/$7.  250-382-4755.

Read about Canada’s participation in World War II’s battle of Ortona with this weeks prize, Mark Zuehlke’s Ortona Street Fight. Email (SUBJECT: ORTONA) to win!

Calendar: Picnics, Wrestling and Rollerderby

24 06 2011

Sagacity Annual Family Picnic – Who says you have to be kinky to have fun? THURSDAY 2pm at Gyro Park Beach. Free.

Summer Scentsation – The Victoria Lily Society hosts a display and tea. SATURDAY 10am-3:30pm at James Bay Community Center (140 Oswego). By donation. 250-389-1470.

Cordova Bay Day – Clowns, face painting, bouncy castle, golf games, refreshments, ice-cream and Block Watch. SATURDAY noon-2pm at St. David By The Sea Anglican Church (5182 Cordova Bay). Free. 250-658-8149.

Bret Hart – Autograph signing by the legendary former WWF/WWE/WCW pro wrestler. SATURDAY 2-4pm at 814 Broughton. $25 per autograph. 250-380-1958.

Eves of Destruction – Taking on Slaughter County’s Death Rattle Rollers. SATURDAY 6pm at Archie Browning Sports Center (1151 Esquimalt). $15/$10.

High Tea for Haiti – Enjoy a relaxing afternoon of good food, local music, friendly company and amazing gift baskets in support of École Mixte Petite Coeur de Jesus, an elementary school in Port au Prince. SUNDAY 1:30-4:30pm at Metchosin Community House (4430 Happy Valley). $8. 250-478-5155.

Looking for a quick beach read? Email (SUBJECT: US) to win Andrew Weaver’s book, Generation Us:The Challenge of Global Warming.

Calendar: Father’s Day Weekend

16 06 2011

It may be Father’s Day weekend, but that doesn’t mean that there’s fun to be had for everyone. Festivals and fairs abound and cover everything from dogs to culture, to blacksmithing, flirting and crafts.

Summer Fair – Including steam engines, museum, blacksmith demonstrations, entertainment, forest trails, train rides, log house and loads of family fun. SATURDAY & SUNDAY 9am-3:30pm at Heritage Acres (7321 Lockside). $7/free for kids under 12 years. 250-652-5522,

VIC Fest – A day filled with culture, entertainment and samplings of select Breweries and Wineries from Vancouver Island. Performances by Jon and Roy, Maurice, Acres Of Lions, Quoia, Georia Murray, Everybody Left, Cheesecake Burlesque Revue and Pocket Kings. SATURDAY 11am-10pm on the Academy Green, St. Ann’s Academy (835 Humboldt). $40. 250-953-8828.

Best in Show: The Dog Show for Mutts – Dog contest includes best dressed, looks most like owner, best trick, most distinguishing feature, cutest dog, most original hair and best voice. Proceeds support the BCSPCA. SATURDAY 11am-3pm at the Ocean Pointe Resort Patio (45 Songhees). Free. 250-360-5894.

Wild About Whales – Adopt a whale and watch it race down the Gorge Waterway for a chance to win one of six ‘fintastic’ prizes. With face painting, inflatables, conoe rides and more. Proceeds support school programs for kids. SATURDAY 1:30-4:30pm at Esquimalt Gorge Park. Free. 250-384-9133,

Flirtfest – A revolutionary event where women don’t wait for men to make the move. Participants are given the skills and encouragement to take control. Registration required. SATURDAY 7-10pm at Karma (603 pandora). $29. 1-888-879-0061,

Outdoor Discovery Day – An introduction to shooting sports, including archery, blackpowder, trap, pistol, rifle, cowboy action and airsoft. No Firearms license required. SUNDAY 10am-3pm at 700 Holker. Free. 250-896-0979.

First Peoples Festival – Celebrating National Aboriginal Day with cultural presentations by Unity Drummers and Singers, and special performances by the Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Dancers. SUNDAY 11am-5pm in Centennial Square. Free. 250-953-8808.

Iconocraft – Showcasing some of Victoria’s most exciting guerrilla crafters and artists, while giving the public an opportunity to craft for themselves. WEDNESDAY 7pm at the Victoria Event Centre (1415 Broad). $10 (includes $3 of craft-making tokens).

What could it be?

Email (SUBJECT: MYSTERY) to win this weeks Mystery Prize. Tickets? Books? CDs? Enter to find out.

Calendar: Buccaneers & Bikes

9 06 2011

Food and fun rule this weekend, whether your looking to support a cause or indulge in a little costume play.  Step out for dinner at the EMCS Fundraiser or Food Fest: both promise gourmet food and fun. If you’re looking for a little more whimsey, step back in time with Esquimalt’s Buccaneer Days, Jump Ship, Ritterfest or Art Attire. If you’re just interested in a quiet weekend exploring try the Victoria Hospice Foundation’s Teeny Tiny Garden Tour or the Pits & Whips Car show.

EMCS Fundraiser – Come out and support the Edward Milne Community School. Culinary arts students and sooke harbour house chefs will create wonderful food! THURSDAY 5pm at Sooke Harbour House (1528 Whiffen Spit). $55. 250-642-5211 ext.1142.

Buccaneer Days – Esquimalt’s premier summer community celebration. Enjoy the midway, vendors, contests, food, entertianment and more. FRIDAY noon-1:30pm, SATURDAY 7:30am-2am & SUNDAY 8am-5pm at the Archie Browning Sports Centre (1151 Esquimalt) & Bullen Park. Free.

Jumpship – Brings mind blowing skill and fearless competitiveness to a new level as riders will battle for cash and personal pride on the surface of a floating barge. FRIDAY 2-7pm, SATURDAY 11am-8pm & SUNDAY 11am-5pm in the Inner Harbour. Free. For a detailed schedule visit

Ritterfest – Celebrate the end of the school year with this Medieval Festival. Featuring music, tournaments, crafts, refreshments and silent auction. Please bring you own food utensils. SATURDAY 10am-1pm at the Goward House (2595 Arbutus). $5/$10 per family. 250-385-5069,

Art Attire – A wearable art extravaganza showcasing “sculpture for the human body.” Featuring origianl designs and creations from BC artists. SATURDAY 7:30-10:30pm at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (1040 Moss). $50-$65. 250-384-4171.

Teeny Tiny Garden Tour – Proceeds support the Victoria Hospice Foundation. SUNDAY 9am-5pm at various locations throughout Victoria. $25. 250-952-5720,

Pits & Whips Car Show – An open class car show, prizes awarded for best in show, best import, best domestic, best truck/suv and best motorcycle. Door prizes and raffles to be won. Proceeds support the local Dog Rescue. SUNDAY 10:30am-3:30pm at Gyro Park. Free.

Food Fest – Enjoy live music while sampling the Island’s best beer, wine, cider, mead and spirits. Chat with local artists and pick up locally grown produce at our farmers market. Presented by the Island Chef’s Collaborative. SUNDAY noon-4pn at the Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site. $50/$25 for youth 9-16 years/$100 per family.

The growing season is lurching into full swing now that the sun is out. Want some help turning your gardening aspirations into reality? Email to win Urban Agriculture: Ideas and Designs for the New Food Revolution by David Tracey.

Calendar: Big Bikes and Tea Parties.

2 06 2011

There’s no shortage of ways to contribute to the community while having a good time. Ride, dance, and party with a clear conscience this weekend with Monday Magazines events.

Big Bike Ride – The Heart & Stroke Foundations bicycle built for 30 rolls through town. THURSDAY & June 20-22 in downtown Victoria. 250-382-4035,

Salsa Dancing for a Cause – Raise funds for the Victoria Resorative Justice Society while dancing the night away. FRIDAY, Dance lesson 8:30-9:30pm, dancing and live music until 1am at the Victoria Event Centre (1415 Broad). $20.

Brentwood Bay Festival – Browse vendors and enjoy what Brentwood Bay has to offer. SATURDAY 8am-4pm at Pioneer Park (corner of W. Saanich and Clark). Free. 250-652-1758.

Oak Bay Tea Party – Enjoy this community celebration and fundraiser for local charities. Includes midway, amusement park rides, bathtub race, air show and musical performances. SATURDAY 10:15am-9pm & SUNDAY noon-7pm at Windsor Park. Free. 250-388-4457.

Westcoast Motorcycle Ride to Live – Support prostate cancer research and prevention. SUNDAY 7:30am at Steve Drane Harley-Davidson (2940 Ed Nixon Terrace). Free.

This week, email for another mystery prize! (SUBJECT: ANOTHER MYSTERY).

Looking Back: An Evening With Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings

1 06 2011

Victoria is a city that thrives on nostalgia.  From the Victorian-era houses which line our narrow streets to the horse-drawn carriages that trot around downtown, we are a people who operate in the past and the present simultaneously.  Those fortunate enough to claim a seat at the sold out Alix Gooldin Hall on Saturday night were thrown back to a more recent and funkier era, however, as Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings transported us all to mid-sixties Detroit with a potent breed of funk and soul.

The Hall was almost dark by the time The Dap Kings took the stage: the light of a dying sun barely had the strength to illuminate the Gooldin’s stained glass and eventually gave way to blue spotlights which crawled up the pipes of the Gooldin’s ancient organ.  Led by bass player Bosco Mann, the band immediately set to work showcasing an unparallel precision and style while warming the room in a fashion reminiscent of a 1960’s Soul Revue.

Dap King guitarist Binky Griptite doubled as master of ceremonies for the evening, and instructed security to allow the crowd to abandon their wooden pews for a more dance-friendly space in front of the stage.  He then introduced the backing singers, aptly called “The Dapettes”, who each gave a performance worthy of a lead singer.  Griptite’s eloquent introduction continued, guiding the eleven piece band through a medley of hit songs we could expect to hear throughout the evening until, finally, he introduced the evening’s brightest star, Sharon Jones.

At fifty five years of age, Sharon Jones shows no signs of slowing down.  She hit the stage dancing, and seemed to pick up momentum as the show went on, only stopping momentarily to remove her high heeled shoes.  Jones paced the stage frantically while belting out songs from all four of the band’s albums, most notably 2010’s I Learned the Hard Way, staring down those brave enough to stand at her bare feet and even inviting a few lucky fans to the stage to dance alongside her or be a temporary muse for a slower song.

A vocalist in the tradition of Etta James, Bettye Lavette, and Irma Thomas, Jones is a most dynamic singer.  She can switch from a wail to a falsetto without missing a beat, and while she divulged that she picked up a cold during a rainy outdoor concert the previous evening in Vancouver, her vocals and dance moves (which included the Boogaloo, the Tighten Up and the Swim only to name a few) were spot on; even those closest to the stage struggled to keep up to Jones’ staggering, sweaty pace.

Even though the band played for over two hours, the evening seemed all too short.  After an amazing rendition of “100 Days, 100 Nights”, Jones’ and co. left the stage, only to be called back for an equally impressive encore.  And for a brief moment, our sleepy little town was awakened by some genuine sixties soul.

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