Do you know why we celebrate VICTORIA DAY?

May 16, 2020

For many Canadians, the Victoria Day long weekend is the time to start thinking about summer and getting the backyard ready for swimming pools and BBQs. But do you know why we still celebrate Queen Victoria, 119 years after her death?

Until 1956, the birthday of the monarch of Great Britain was also celebrated in Canada, sometimes on his or her actual birthday, sometimes around that time and sometimes on Victoria Day. Queen Victoria was important in the creation of our country as she was queen when Canada became its own country in 1867, and she was the one who chose Ottawa as our capital. After she died in 1901, the Canadian government declared that May 24 would be a holiday in her honour. (If the 24th fell on a Sunday, the holiday would be May 25.)

In 1957, Victoria Day was named the official birthday in Canada of Queen Elizabeth II. Victoria Day is officially held on the Monday right before May 25. Now, you may wonder, what about the name of our capital city here in British Columbia. We can also attribute the name to the Queen Victoria. Erected in 1843 as a Hudson's Bay Company trading post on a site originally called Camosun (the Coast Salish word was "camosack", meaning "rush of water"), known briefly as "Fort Albert", the settlement was renamed Fort Victoria in November 1843, in honour of Queen Victoria. The name "Victoria" was adopted when the town site was laid out in 1852. Victoria was incorporated as a City on August 2, 1862.


As you enjoy this long weekend, here are a few local activities you may want to check out:

ONLINE-ARTiFACTS Art Show, April 23 – May 24
Sooke Arts Council's art show, ARTiFACTS is on - Online. The sixth annual art show that has traditionally been held at the Sooke Region Museum is going on in the digital world. Artists have submitted their work to be showcased and that are available for purchase on the Arts Council's website. Take a click into the Virtual Gallery and see what local artists are doing! For more information call 250-380-8090.

Sooke's Saturday Market, Saturdays May – October, 10am – 2pm
Purchase and enjoy fresh local vegetables and fruits, homemade breads and baked goods, jams, jellies, preserves, local arts and crafts. PLEASE NOTE: Since we are not having a physical market at our usual site right now, but vendors are still selling! Sooke Country Market is now ONLINE.

Virtual Event: The Craic with KWENCH, Monday May 18, 2020 8:30am - 9:00am
About: KWENCH is a work + culture club in Victoria; we are a small business who had to close temporarily due to the current pandemic. So, in order to keep our community connected and engaged, we have just launched The Craic with KWENCH, a series of live and interactive video calls featuring casual convo, valuable learnings, workshops, how-tos, gatherings, debates, and general fun and hilarity from a diverse range of hosts around the world! Craic” (/kræk/ KRACK), or “crack”, is an Irish term for news, gossip, fun, entertainment, enjoyable conversation and general good times with good people. With all of us doing our best to isolate ourselves physically during this pandemic, it’s more important than ever for us to stay connected as a community in every other way we can and keep learning and sharing.

(Virtual) Victoria Day Parade, Monday May 18, 2020 9:00am - 10:30am
Join the Greater Victoria Festival Society for a once-in-122-year Victoria Day Parade experience! Because of the ongoing public health emergency, this year’s celebrations will be different than the usual annual parade. The event will instead be live streamed on Monday, May 18 starting at 9:00 a.m. via CHEK TV.


With just six lots remaining in Phase 3 of RiversEdge Village in Sunriver Estates, things have been running smoothly despite the COVID 19 restrictions.

We are looking forward to a wonderful summer. Information on the history of Victoria Day was sourced from and