What's New in Victoria, BC February 2011

Tourism Victoria’s Monthly Media Newsletter

De Vine Vineyards is the capital city’s newest winery. Located in the Saanich Peninsula, 20 minutes from downtown Victoria, De Vine produces wines specific to the South Island region. A recent family venture, from father to sons and daughter-in-laws, the Windsor family is hands-on in the production of their wines; everything from organic farming to pressing grapes and welcoming guests. Visiting the vineyard, winery and tasting room to savour their wines and enjoy the breathtaking views of the coast & mountains is an integral part of the Island experience, and is currently the only way to take home a bottle or two of these lovely white wines. The winery produces several different types of wines including Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and has the Island’s largest planting of Gruner Veltliner, a luscious Austrian white. For more information visit www.devinevineyards.ca.

From January 15 through March 31, 2011, The Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC celebrates the bride and groom. The Butchart Gardens’ Wedding Season coincides with the annual Spring Prelude, featuring an indoor garden of Spring flowers, blossoming shrubs and trees, water features including a pond with large colourful Koi fish and pathways which are available for indoor wedding ceremonies and photographs. Areas of the outdoor gardens are also available for photos. The Butchart Gardens offers wedding packages for ceremonies of up to 60 guests, which include indoor and outdoor photo rights. Weddings at The Gardens can also take advantage of The Dining Room Restaurant for a gourmet dinner in an historic setting, once home to the Butchart Family. For those choosing to have a ceremony, a two-hour rehearsal time is also included. For more information visit www.butchartgardens.com/weddings.

Emily Carr, one of Victoria, BC’s most notable, historical residents and considered Canada’s greatest woman artist, is the subject of the Royal British Columbia Museum’s latest exhibition, The Other Emily. Delving into the artist’s life prior to her fame from her formative teenage years to her emergence on the national art scene in 1927, this exhibition dares to challenge the stereotypes attached to her name and explores the influences of the time through historical documents, period pieces, Emily’s personal documents and rarely seen sketches, in addition to an outstanding collection of original Carr paintings. Paired with eighteen contemporary paintings of Carr, based on historical photographs, by artist Manon Elder, this modern addition shows the longevity of Emily Carr’s influence and the importance of the Royal BC Museum’s collections as public legacy and source of inspiration. Opening March 2nd, The Other Emily will run until October 2011. Tickets are $14.29 CDN for adults and $9.06 CDN for children 6-18 years. For more information visit www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.

Victoria, BC is home to the Spark Festival: the Belfry Theatre’s mid-Winter festival of innovative and alternative theatre pieces from across Canada. Running March 7 to 20, 2011, the festival features mini plays, play readings, Belfry 101 Live, professional development workshops and outstanding new plays. Festival highlights include Sign Language from Calgary, Alberta’s One Yellow Rabbit Theatre Company and the unexpectedly funny and poetic play about youth and homelessness, The Middle Place by Andrew Kushnir from Toronto, Ontario’s Project Humanity. Tickets for the mini-plays and readings are free and distributed by lottery each evening; Spark Passes, for the four shows, are $72.00 CDN, or $20.00 CDN per performance. For more information visit www.belfry.bc.ca.

Spring seems to be synonymous with new starts, and in Victoria BC, where Spring is already awakening, the Villa Marco Polo Bed and Breakfast Inn offers a babymoon package designed to celebrate expecting couples before two becomes three in the new adventure of parenthood. The Villa Marco Polo is one of Victoria’s most romantic B&B’s, with its stunning Italianate garden – perfect for quiet walks- sumptuous breakfasts and a luxurious Penthouse Spa Hamaam, complete with specialty pregnancy massage. Originally built in 1923 as a gift to a young bride, the Villa Marco Polo is an Italian Renaissance mansion with guest suites that feature double soakers, fireplaces, fine linens, luxurious beds, down pillows, hardwood floors and Persian carpets. Babymoon packages start at $520 CDN and include a $100 CDN voucher for dinner for two at favourite local restaurants Paprika Bistro or Café Brio. The Villa Marco Polo is 10 minutes from downtown Victoria, making a pre-baby trip an easy jaunt from the Lower Mainland or Washington State. So if the future holds sleepless nights, shouldn’t one of the last full ones be luxurious? For more information visit www.villamarcopolo.com.  

On March 10, 2011, visitors to BC’s capital city are invited to bring an empty stomach and immerse themselves in the wonderful world of fine cuisine at Culinaire, Victoria’s Premier Food Tasting Experience. Celebrating its second year at The Crystal Garden at The Victoria Conference Centre, the event brings together the region’s best restaurants and purveyors of fine foods. New to this years’ event is the addition of seating times, with the first seating running from 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm and the second from 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm. From the iconic Victoria landmarks of The Fairmont Empress and The Butchart Gardens, the new hip spaces of Pig BBQ Joint and The Oyster and the artisanal Hilary’s Cheeses and Pink Sugar Cupcakery, learn about menu offerings, indulge in samples of amazing cuisine and have the chance to rub shoulders with the chefs themselves to learn about their backgrounds, their vision and food concepts. Tickets are available online at www.selectyourtickets.com or by telephone at 250-220-7777 and are $28 CDN. Tickets include 10 food tastings from the presenters on hand with extra tickets for food and beverage tastings available for $1 each. Wine and spirits are available for purchase during the event. For more information visit www.culinairevictoria.com.

From March 28 to April 2, 2011, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria in Victoria, BC will hold their biennial event Art in Bloom to celebrate the “art” of all things gardening. Art in Bloom’s week–long celebration will  include floral demonstrations, lectures, workshops and The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, a red carpet gala event at downtown Victoria’s new Atrium building. Four special exhibitions, Flora, Down the Garden Path, The Immortal Garden, and Serenity, Asian Garden, will set the stage for the event this year beginning on January 21, 2011 and will run consecutively through the summer months. Art in Bloom will also present an impressive line-up of internationally respected speakers that are as colourful as the gardens they’ll talk about. Headliners include: farmer, author and photographer, Michael Ableman, former editor of House and Garden Magazine, Dominique Browning and internationally acclaimed Belgian floral designer, Tomas De Bruyne. Tickets to the lectures start at $20.00 CDN with tickets to the gala costing $200.00 CDN. For more information visit www.aggv.bc.ca.

Oak Bay is one of Victoria’s oldest and best known neighbourhoods, filled with beautiful character homes, Gary Oak trees and sandy beaches. Oak Bay Village, a quaint strip of Oak Bay Avenue, is a lovely destination for an afternoon stroll with plenty of time for shopping and eating. The many bookshops, art galleries and boutiques speak to the quiet pleasure of browsing in this community, but be sure not to miss Ottavio Italian Bakery & Deli known for its wide selection of imported cheeses, meats, homemade breads and gelato, along with its licensed café; a perfect spot catching up with friends. Stroll through the historic neighbourhood to view lovingly renovated turn-of-the-century homes and gardens, and down to Oak Bay Marina & Restaurant, where boaters and locals gather for stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, Strait of Juan de Fuca and Mount Baker, while sampling stellar sushi and regional cuisine. Top off the day with a drive along scenic oceanfront Beach Drive, which connects several Oak Bay beaches, ever-popular spots for walks, beach combing and ocean gazing. For more information visit www.ottaviovictoria.com and www.marinarestaurant.com.


February 2011


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


Top 5:

Places for a romantic meal

Brasserie L’ecole

Camille’s Restaurant

Paprika Bistro


Ulla Restaurant


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