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Cultural Sensations

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Come explore the magic of the capital’s cultural season

From the Music of the Mad Men Era with the Victoria Symphony to indie rockers The Trews, winter creates a cultural cornucopia in the Capital city.

Local stages are filled with all manner of dance, drama, music, comedy and more as Victoria’s cultural season shines a bright light on the darker days of the calendar.


The Belfry Theatre offers a diverse line-up on its stages this winter, from to the beautiful and compelling How to Disappear Completely, rounding out the season through March 1 in a double bill with Daniel MacIvor’s Best Brothers.

Langham Court Theatre is a long-standing Victoria favourite – and for good reason. The company shows its theatrical breadth with such unique performances as The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs, November 20 to December 6, to January’s People, in which playwright Alan Bennett shows – in great comic style – that everything has a price.

The University of Victoria’s Phoenix Theatre turns a creative eye to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream November 6 to 22 when two pairs of lovers become entangled in the underground culture of New York’s Greenwich Village in the mid-1970s. Come February, the theatre explores the story of young, lost Isobel who encounters people who are trapped, threatened, and like herself, fighting for their own survival in Judith Thompson’s Lion in the Streets, exploring the redemptive power of forgiveness, presenting a vision of grace that is earned in human, rather than divine, terms.

The holiday spirit comes to local stages through the theatrical stylings of the Victoria Operatic Society’s A Christmas Story: The Musical, following young Ralphie’s desperate attempts to ensure he finds a Red Rider BB gun under the tree Christmas morning – despite protests from all around him that “You’ll put your eye out.” Craigdarroch Castle takes a little more introspective look at the season with its hosting of Jason Stevens’ one-man production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

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Dance Victoria gets winter’s cultural showcase off to a rousing start November 14 and 15 with BalletBoyz, the “boy band” of the dance world, whose 10 dancers will perform two stunning works showcasing their strength and sensitivity in the contemporary ballet genre. Come the New Year, world-renowned ODC Dance brings its athleticism, passion and intellectual depth to the Royal stage for a Mixed Repertoire performance,including Triangulating Euclid, inspired by the discovery of a rare original edition of Euclid’s Elements, perhaps the most influential work in the history of mathematics, and Waving Not Drowning, an exploration of the role of fashion and its implication for women, forms the second part of the evening.

The holiday season is a popular time for both music and dance, and Victoria visitors won’t be disappointed.

Come December 5 to 7, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Nutcracker takes to the stage, accompanied by the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, but for a different take on Tchaikovsky’s classic, watch for Ballet Victoria’s The Gift. Placing Pandora as the central figure, opening the forbidden box unleashes a host of new characters. Accompanying the dancers for this clever Christmas tale will be the Victoria Symphony, conducted by Joey Pietraroia, fusing classical music with modern pop interludes.

Celebrate the dawn of a new year with the Victoria Symphony and A Viennese New Year, a New Year’s Day tradition featuring the music and dance of Vienna, January 1 at the Royal Theatre, while those of the TV sensation So You Think You Can Dance will want to head to the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre in February when the shows starts re-live some of their favourite Season 11 performances.


Sounds for every taste really does describe Victoria’s thriving music scene. From Beethoven and Brahms with the Victoria Symphony and the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra to kid classics from the likes of Fred Penner to hard-hitting sounds from iconic Canadian rockers like Bryan Adams and the Tragically Hip, What do you feel like listening to tonight? Additional not-to-be-missed performances on the winter calendar include local star Ken Lavigne in his Home for Christmas show, Canadian indie favourites The Trews, performing with rock-and-rollers The Glorious Sons, and the Irish Tenors, in concert with the Victoria Symphony.

Blues fan? The Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band’s Tribute to the Blues Songs of Christmas is a must!


Winter is the ideal time to indulge in the spectacle that is opera and Pacific Opera Victoria doesn’t disappoint with Donizetti’s iconic bel canto opera Lucia Di Lammermoor, February 12, 14, 18, 20 and 22 at the Royal Theatre. Enjoy brilliant melodies, tempestuous passions, and murderous deeds – not to mention the most celebrated mad scene in all of opera!


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