by Jo Barnes –
July 2 Amazing Activities on the Avenue! Sidney Sidewalk Sale & Street Festival 40 stores are participating ensuring lots of selection for enthusiastic shoppers. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., there’s a dizzying array of activities for the whole family including a pancake breakfast, yoga, aerial performance by IGNIO Circus Company, music on the main stage and delicious cuisine by local vendors.
July 2 – August 30 (thursdays) Downward Dog Delights! Yoga in the Park offers the opportunity to de-stress, stretch, and revitalize in a delightful outdoor setting. Sessions are free and take place at Pioneer Park, 7130 West Saanich Road. Bring your mat and enjoy the summer evening air. All levels are welcome. 250-656-7271.
July 5 Outdoor Fun! Panorama Recreation’s Play in the Park Launch Party Taking place at Pioneer Park, this popular annual event from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. offers a variety of fun games in the great outdoors for the whole family. Bring an appetite! Members of the Sidney and Peninsula Kiwanis will be on hand preparing hot fare from the barbecue (by donation).
July 6 Be a Kid Again! Sidney Museum’s Up Up and Away! Comic Book Superheroes and Our Culture This event for all ages features comic books, action figures and other fun paraphernalia showcasing history from 1938 onward. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with activities such as a scavenger hunt, superhero cartoons and superhero trivia. For info: 250-655-6355.
July 8 Art that Amazes! Sidney Sculpture by the Sea Featuring over 30 artists and 100 pieces of art, the event showcases spectacular contemporary sculpture. Most items will be for sale. The event runs through to September and covers two venues: Mary Winspear Centre and Sidney Museum. The event also highlights the spectacular sculptures along Sidney’s gorgeous waterfront, Beacon Avenue and at other town sites like the Mary Winspear which features a stunning First Nations sculpture collection.
July 8 – August 26 Music in the Air. Summer Sounds Concert Series A variety of musical performances each Sunday will take place at the Beacon Park band shell stage. The popular event, sponsored by Peninsula Co-Op and by donation, draws music enthusiasts each year. Admission is free. The first concert features Rukus offering numerous songs from the Golden Age of Rock N Roll. The lineup includes Shari Ulrich and The Timebenders and other highly entertaining artists. Visit www.peninsulacelebrations.ca for the full lineup.
July 13 Musical Theatre in the Mix. A Tony award-winning musical, Side by Side by Sondheim at Mary Winspear will have you tapping your toes. This entertaining production, presented by Sound the Alarm: Music/Theatre, features many well-known Sondheim songs including “Send in the Clowns” and “Being Alive.” For tickets: Mary Winspear Box Office 250-656-0275.
August 10 Hear the Kings of Cool! 7:30 p.m. Direct from Las Vegas, The Rat Pack! This fast-paced interactive event at the Mary Winspear is a wonderful musical salute to some of the greatest songs of the 20th century. It’s an original presentation of famous members of the Rat Pack: Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin. For tickets: Mary Winspear Box Office 250-656-0275.
August 17 – 19 Farm Fresh Fun! North Saanich Food and Farm Festival With over 20 venues and activities, this exciting event celebrates food growers, harvesters, fishers, producers and vinters of the region. There will be activities for all ages, demonstrations, tours and a delicious array of food to sample. http://www.flavourtrails.com/index.php/north-saanich-food-and-farm-festival-august-18-20-2017/.
August 19 – 20 Cycling and Cuisine! The Flavour Cycle This delightful bike tour, which takes place during the North Saanich Food and Farm Festival, is hosted by Tides Destination Group. It departs from Melinda’s Biscotti at 9:30 a.m. returning by 4:30 p.m. Travel the country roads, explore local markets and farms and enjoy all that local flavour stops have to offer. Registration: www.TIDESgroup.com or call 250-891-6599.
August 25 Light Up the Summer Evening! Salish Sea Lantern Festival This event for all ages celebrates the Salish Sea and the creative spark in all of us. All the fun takes place at the Sidney Pier Bandshell from 7:30 to 10 p.m. and includes a lantern procession at 8:30 p.m., face painting and bubbles, and live music. Lantern-making workshops will be offered prior to this special event. For more info: https://artsea.ca/event/salish-sea-lantern-festival-by-artsea/
August 26 Farm to Table Fun. The 21st Annual Vancouver Island Feast of Fields An afternoon celebrating the connections between farmers and chefs, field and table and farm and town communities. This gourmet harvest festival at Kildara Farms offers the opportunity to taste gourmet fare, sip on local wines and spirits, and hear local musical entertainment. For info: https://www.feastoffields.com/
Up Close with Sea Urchins & Star Fish A fun interactive way to spend a summer afternoon is to visit the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea Aquarium at 9811 Seaport Place. Learn about the Salish Sea Bio-region and ecosystems. The Centre is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Summer Lights! Every Saturday through July and August, you can experience a jaw-dropping firework show from the fireworks lawn at Butchart Gardens, choreographed to music. butchartgardens.com.
Reel in a Special Experience! Fishing in and around the Saanich Peninsula can be an ideal way to spend a summer afternoon. Stock up on gear at Capital Iron or Booty’s Boat Locker. Try some crabbing at Sidney Pier, or take Bear Hill Road to the northeastern corner of Elk Lake and enjoy some great fishing off the pier.
Go Camping! A natural gem on the Saanich Peninsula, Island View Beach offers a long sandy beach to explore, picnic and swim. The RV and tent campground offers panoramic views of James Island, Mount Baker and Haro Strait. It’s an ideal spot for a family getaway. Book online at: www.crd.bc.ca.
Wonders of Whales! Sidney Whale Watching. This family run business offers a stellar whale
watching tour. Guests will have the opportunity to see a variety of amazing West Coast wildlife including orcas, grey and humpback whales, dolphins, porpoises, sea lions as well as sea birds and land mammals. Call: 250-656-7599.
Take a Walk in Time Situated next to Victoria International Airport, the BC Aviation Museum is home to numerous aircraft including civilian, commercial and military, engines, pictures, models, and artifacts. Maybe you’ve always wanted to sit in the cockpit of warplane; now
is your chance! Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sidney Seaside Sculpture Walk Where art and activity come together. The route begins at Beacon Park and follows along the waterfront walkway heading south. The outdoor gallery features a variety of creations such as the bronze Sea Otter Plaque by renowned artist Fred Dobbs. https://tinyurl.com/y94uc6ou.