FIRST NATIONS CULTURE
The city of Victoria resides on the traditional territory of the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations and Victoria's First Nations communities are continually finding new ways to share their culture. Join Eagle Wing's Songhees Nation Cultural Tour and learn from a Songhees Nation guide about the people who lived here while searching for local marine life. The fourth Annual Aboriginal Cultural Festival taking place from June 16 to 18, 2017 showcases their rich culture and history. Enjoy live performances including an act by three-time world champion hoop dancer Alex Wells, interact with artists at the artisan craft fair area showcasing arts and crafts, and try delicious traditional dishes from different vendors including the Songhees Seafood & Steam Food Truck. | eaglewingtours.com | aboriginalbc.com
ROMANCE IN VICTORIA
Voted the Most Romantic City in Canada for four years in a row by Amazon.ca, Victoria sets the scene for a whole host of amorous experiences. The city looks the part with soft pink lights decorating the trees along Government Street and two further “singing trees” are decorated with special voice activated lights. Indulge in the “Death By Chocolate” buffet at the Fairmont Empress, a sinfully delicious all you can eat sweet buffet featuring the hotel's house style etina chocolate. Tempt or tease your partner with the “Naughty” or “Nice” romance packages at Inn at Laurel Point. Either sweep them off their feet with the “Nice” package including rose petals on the bed, a romantic bath kit from Victoria's Silk Road and a bottle of sparkling wine, or entice them with the “Naughty” package featuring a cheeky love kit and a bottle of The Velvet Devil Merlot. | fairmont.com/empress-victoria | laurelpoint.com
WEST COAST WELLNESS
Victoria's proximity to ancient forests and pristine ocean provides exceptional opportunities to reconnect with nature. Leave the city streets behind and become immersed in the tranquil comfort of Victoria's local parks through a forest bathing experience with The Natural Connection. Hike beautiful trails with a knowledgeable guide, beginning with static and dynamic stretches to warm up and connect you to your surroundings. Enjoy a healthy lunch and a meditation practice incorporating mindfulness and the five senses. Afterward, unwind at Sante Spa at the Westin Bear Mountain and select from their soothing treatments featuring B.C. products. The Elements Mountain Massage includes indigenous inspired rituals for a rejuvenating experience. A clearing sage smudge begins the massage followed by a foot treatment and full body massage while B.C. jade stones are placed on energy pathways. | thenaturalconnectionvictoria.com
LIVE THE LUX LIFE
Treat yourself to a little luxury in Victoria, B.C. Arrive in style from downtown Vancouver to downtown Victoria in only 30 minutes via seaplane with Harbour Air or helicopter with Helijet. Admire spectacular views of the Olympic Mountain range and Gulf Islands then take the complimentary shuttle provided by each company to your hotel. Stay at the new Villa Eyrie Resort perched on the Malahat Summit overlooking the Saanich Inlet. The hotel is close to the new Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit, an exclusive private membership club and motorsports circuit with a world-class 19-turn Tilke-designed track. Members receive exclusive access to a performance driving program with world-class drivers and instructors. From June 2017, yachters will be able to moor in the Victoria International Marina, Canada's first purpose built luxury marina featuring 28 slips for luxury vessels between 20 and 50 metres long. harbourair.com | helijet.com | villaeyrie.com | islandmotorsportcircuit.com vimarina.ca
CRAFT BREWS AND CIDER
Victoria is famous for its locally made beers and ciders. Home to Spinnaker's, Canada's oldest brewpub which opened in 1984, Victoria's craft beer scene now features 14 breweries. Beers produced in the city are often winners at Canadian craft beer awards, such as Category 12's Disruption Black IPA, Canoe's Lager and Lighthouse Brewing's Race Rocks. The annual Victoria Beer Week (March 3 – 11, 2017) shines a spotlight on the city's brewers along with others from B.C., providing beer lovers with the opportunity to meet brewers, attend workshops and drink local beers. Local ciders are made on site at Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse on the Saanich Peninsula and Merridale Ciderworks in Cobble Hill. Sea Cider's orchard has more than 1,300 apple trees growing 50 varieties of heritage apples which are pressed on site. Merridale Ciderworks creates traditional ciders and spirits including their Cowichan Gin, Cowichan Cognac and Stair's Pear Brandy.
spinnakers.com | victoriabeerweek.com | seacider.ca | merridale.ca
FARM TO TABLE FOODS
Close to both the ocean and verdant farmland, Victoria is the perfect place to sample truly local west coast cuisine including sustainable seafood, local meat and seasonal vegetables. Only 25 kilometres from downtown Victoria, 10 Acres Farm in North Saanich supplies vegetables, meat, fruit and honey to its three restaurants, the Kitchen, Commons and Bistro. Each restaurant's chefs communicate their needs to the farm and create innovative seasonal dishes. There are many notable individuals contributing to the city's food community. Bob Duncan, a former entomologist who lectures on agriculture around the world, supplies a variety of apples, peaches, quince, olives and citrus grown on the Saanich Peninsula to local restaurants. Former chef Andrew Shepherd owns Vancouver Island Salt and uses filtered sea water to create flavoured salts and high quality fleur de sel which are used in kitchens throughout the city.
10acres.ca fruittreesandmore.com | visaltco.com