Canada Day and Victoria's Pride week are coming up quick! Here are a few ways to celebrate while maintaining physical distancing, yet still enjoying the festivities.

Ongoing public health and safety measures mean that this year’s celebration of Canada Day and Victoria’s Pride week have had to go virtual. While it won’t be quite like gathering and connecting in person, there are a few fun activities to partake in, both online and in real life!

Canada Day in Victoria

With no concerts, activities, and the usual living flag formation on the Legislature lawn, this year’s Canada Day party in Victoria is definitely going to be different. You can still head downtown to enjoy a quieter opportunity to “Cheers!” to Canada nonetheless, thanks to some local pubs and restaurants.

Bard & Banker is hosting a Canada Day Celebration on July 1st from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on their expanded patio. Brunch will be on from opening until 2:00 p.m. Live music will be featured from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., with another band performing from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Happy Hour specials are also in effect from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. until closing.

Irish Times will also be throwing a Canada Day Patio Party on July 1st. Food and drink specials, as well as live music, will be available to enjoy throughout the day. The establishment is going to be open from 11:00 a.m. until 11:30 p.m.

For those in search of a more active way to spend at least part of their day off, there’s the Canada Day virtual run, roll, or walk. Register to participate, choose your own route, and track or share your results using the associated app.

And for the official local celebration, take part in Victoria’s Canada Day 2020! See musical performances and special guest appearances and submit your own short video clip signing “O Canada!” or explaining what it means to you to be Canadian. The one hour commercial-free program starts at 7:00 p.m. on July 1st and can be streamed via the City’s Facebook page or on CHEK News platforms.

Victoria’s Pride Week

Another opportunity to come together as a community that usually takes place during this time is Victoria’s Pride week. Marking the anniversary of the Stonewall riots of 1969, Pride week is celebrated from June 28th to July 5th in Victoria.

The Victoria Pride Society and other local groups plan events and festivities every year in celebration and commemoration, honouring those that have and continue to fight for the rights of LGBTQ2S+ people. Events are often aimed at supporting and connecting members of the community, while also educating others about the progress that has been made and highlighting the challenges that still must be overcome.

This year’s events are mostly being organized virtually. Start with the documentary premiere of the History of the Memorial Dragball Game on July 1st, streaming starting at noon. Then enjoy the Virtual Big Gay Dog Walk on July 3rd starting at 7:00 p.m. The usual costume contest and trick competition will still be hosted this year too, just online! Catch the final edition of The Vicarious Show on July 4th, starting at 8:00 p.m. And on Sunday, July 5th, the Victoria’s Virtual Pride Festival will be streamed from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Local queer artists will be performing and celebrating Pride in our city and communities all afternoon (and after that too)!

Celebrate Safely

However you’ll be celebrating Canada Day and Pride week in Victoria, please make sure to respect physical distancing guidelines and recommended measures if you’re out and about. And, whether you’re gathering with a few people that are in your bubble, going for a patio “Cheers!,” or enjoying the festivities loudly and proudly from home, stay safe as we continue to mitigate and manage COVID-19.

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