What's New in Victoria… January 2011 news

Tourism Victoria’s Monthly Media Newsletter

The Victoria International Cycling Festival will take place over four weeks during May and June 2011 in Victoria, BC, the cycling capital of Canada. The cycling festival will bring together families, children, professional riders, commuters, road racers and track racers of all ages and abilities. The festival kicks off on May 28, 2011 with Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria. The tour includes a scenic yet challenging 100km waterfront “Gran Fondo” style ride around the Victoria Peninsula, on roads Ryder used to train for the 2010 Tour de France in which he placed 7th overall. Registration for the Tour de Victoria opens on January 10, 2011 and is limited to 2000 participants. Other cycling festival highlights include the Kids Bike Weekend, the Rockstar Freeride Competition and the Bastion Square Cycling Grand Prix Criterium. The Bastion Square Grand Prix features a closed loop circuit on city streets around historic Bastion Square in downtown Victoria. The course is short and fast, with riders often only an arm’s length away from spectators. Visitors are welcome to participate as cyclists or simply take in the excitement of watching some of North America’s top cyclists take over Victoria. For more information visit www.vicf.ca.

In 2011, the Intrepid Theatre celebrates a quarter century of adventurous shows, courageous artists and thrill-seeking audiences during the five-show season of cutting edge theatre from around the world. Running from January through April 2011, the 25th year sees plays from Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada hit downtown Victoria’s Metro Theatre stage. The season opens on January 21, 2011 with Australia’s Nicola Gunn’s At the Sans Hotel, a psychological detective story about a woman piecing together fragments of her past. The UK’s, Floating, about a 1982 earthquake hitting The Isle of Anglesey runs from February 10 to 11. Influence, playing March 4 to 5 and March 9 to12, is presented by the Intrepid Theatre and looks to transport theatre goers to the British Museum and delve into the drama and godly world of ancient Greece. Running from March 18 to 19, The Last 15 Seconds by The MT Space explores the impact of terrorism and asks viewers to ponder the question: what would you say to a suicide bomber? Last but not least, wrapping up the 2011 season is Chairs, a comedy by the Vancouver Theatre Company Itsazoo, running from March 30 to April 2. Single tickets start at $21.00 CDN/USD with 5 show passes available for $84.00 CDN / $85.00 USD.  For more information visit www.intrepidtheatre.com.

Throughout 2011, Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse will be offering visitors signature cider classes at their working farm and cidery on the Saanich Peninsula, located 20 minutes from downtown Victoria, BC.  Open to both new and seasoned cider enthusiasts, Sea Cider will offer three classes giving students the opportunity to glean insider information and tips from seasoned experts. The classes offered will be a half-day Introduction to Cider course, a basic foray into the world of cider; a full day Introduction to Cider course, focusing on everything from sourcing the apples to an introduction to the fermentation process; and Orcharding and Sensory Analysis, a lesson about heritage cider apples, cider lore and organic orchards, complete with a guided in-depth tasting. Courses will be held on Fridays, subject to change due to private event bookings. Courses start at $200.00 CDN / $202.00 USD. Two weeks’ notice is required for booking classes. Sea Cider is a10-acre certified organic farm boasting panoramic orchards and ocean views. They grow over 50 varieties of certified organic heritage apples selected for their superior cider qualities. All ciders are crafted on site. Sea Cider also makes cider vinegar and carries a variety of local farm products for sale in their traditional ciderhouse. For more information visit www.seacider.com 

From February 4 to 13, 2011, the 17th Annual Victoria Film Festival will be held in Victoria, BC. The festival showcases the best in Canadian and world cinema including feature films, documentaries and shorts. Highlights of the Victoria Film Festival include the Opening Gala, a red carpet screening followed by a reception at The Atrium; Empire Lounge at The Office, the festival hub in which to eat, drink, take in some live local music and discuss the day’s films; SpringBoard Talks 2011, a series of talks by notable and emerging film and television personalities meant to move, inform and inspire; and Sips and Cinema, an afternoon of film followed by an evening of wine, hors d’oeuvres and engaging discussion. The Fairmont Empress Hotel will offer a festival package for two beginning at $149.00 CDN / $150.00 USD. The Lights, Camera, Action Film Festival package includes overnight accommodation, breakfast for two, two film festival tickets of your choice and two complimentary cocktails. For more information on the Victoria Film Festival visit www.victoriafilmfestival.com.

Taking place on the forth Sunday of every month until June 2011, The Fairmont Empress Hotel presents a new program sure to excite every budding junior pastry chef. Providing a behind the scenes look at Pastry Chef, D’Oyen Christie’s creation space, The Pastry Apprentice Program at Victoria’s iconic grande dame is a one hour and 30 minute all access experience literally filled with sweet delights. Open to children 16 and under, program participants will receive a Chef’s hat, personalized apron, framed certificate, and their specially created pastry treats to take home. The cost of the Pastry Apprentice Program is $100.00 CDN / $101.00 USD per child. For those looking to linger a little longer and share the excitement of the day over a steaming cuppa tea, the whole family can enjoy The Fairmont Empress’ Afternoon Tea service for an additional $44.00 CDN/USD per adult or $18.00 CDN/USD per child. For more information visit www.fairmont.com/empress.  

From February 11 to 12, 2011 the streets of Victoria will come alive as British Columbia’s capital city plays host to sixty street hockey teams from across Canada vying for national supremacy in CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada Presents Play on!National Championship. The 4 on 4 street hockey championship tournament, played in conjunction with the tenth annual Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada celebration, will see teams take to the pavement on Belleville Street in Victoria’s picturesque Inner Harbour for the chance to hoist the Redwood Cup. Each of the sixty teams participating in the championships qualified through one of the fifteen Play on! events held this past summer in a number of Canadian communities. CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada Presents Play On! features both men’s and women’s recreational and competitive street hockey tournament divisions which includes all skill levels and ages. More than 520,000 Canadians have ‘taken back the streets’ from coast to coast through involvement in one of the fifty Play On! events since the program’s inception in 2003. Past events have seen the participation from many current NHL, AHL, CHL and CIS players. The two-day event is free to spectators with seating available on a first come first serve basis. For more information visit www.playon.ca.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the 5th Annual Victoria Tea Festival is sure to warm your heart like no other event. The two-day festival will be held in Victoria, BC, from February 12 to 13, 2011 at the Crystal Gardens and features an international collection of black, oolong, green, white and herbal teas for sampling. Tea experts and purveyors will be on hand to discuss traditions and trends of tea, health benefits, and serving suggestions while bakeries, chocolatiers, and restaurants will be in attendance to provide samples and recommendations for food pairings. Festival goers can also attend complimentary presentations given by local and international tea experts. Topics include Cooking with Tea, Naturopathic Medicine & Tea: Health Benefits and Risks, and Making Iced Teas Fresh. The Fairmont Empress Hotel is the official host hotel for the event and is offering rates starting at $99.00 CDN / $100.00 USD. Tickets to the Victoria Tea Festival are $20.00 CDN/USD ($25.00 CDN/USD at the door) and available by calling 250-370-4880. For more information visit www.victoriateafestival.com.

Mount Washington Alpine Resort, Vancouver Island’s premier ski and snowboard area hopes to help encourage a love connection just in time for Valentine’s Day. On February 12, 2011 the resort will offer singles the opportunity to join like minded snow enthusiasts for a day of high-speed chairlift dating. Spend the day hitting the slopes and riding the lifts, and when the day is done guests are invited to indulge in après ski drinks and appies all in the name of love. Alpine lift tickets for interested bachelor and bachelorettes at Mount Washington start at $64.00 CDN / $65.00 USD for an adult for the day. Home to one of North America’s deepest snowpacks, Mount Washington receives an average of 11 metres (36 ft.) of snow annually. Located just three hours and 30 minutes from Victoria, BC, Mount Washington offers visitors 60 downhill runs, two terrain parks, a half pipe, 55 km (34 mi.) of Nordic trails, 20 km (12 mi.) for snowshoers, and a 300 m (984 ft.) all natural luge. For more information visit www.mountwashington.ca.

Celebrating its 11th year in 2011, Victoria BC’s Dine Around, Stay in Town will take place February 17 to March 6, 2011. British Columbia’s capital city boasts the second highest number of restaurants per capital in North America and this year’s event will see over 50 of Victoria’s restaurants participating including Aura Waterfront Restaurant & Patio, Paprika Bistro and Veneto Tapa Lounge. Along with offering amazing three-course menus in three prices categories: $20.00, $30.00 and $40.00 CDN/USD per person, food lovers are invited to take advantage of the great accommodation packages also offered and stay in town. Prices for participating hotels, resorts and bed & breakfasts are available for $69.00, $79.00, $99.00 and $129.00 CDN / $70.00, 80.00, 100.00 and 130.00 USD. Coinciding with Dine Around, Stay in Town this year is Bravo! Victoria. This promotion offers reduced prices for various arts performances taking place during this same period at venues such as The Belfry and The Royal Theatre. A complete list of participating restaurants and hotels will be available online on January 15, 2011. For more information visit www.tourismvictoria.com/dine.



January 2011

FOR MORE INFORMATION please contact:

Cathy Ray

Manager, Travel Media Relations

(United States)

Phone: 250-414-6985


Holly Lenk

Manager, Travel Media Relations

(Canada & Overseas)

Phone: 250-414-6974

holly.lenk@tourismvictoria .com

Lisa Pilling

Coordinator, Travel Media Relations

Phone: 250-414-7390


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