Victoria, BC Canada – April 2001

Happy Springtime!

Rhododendron Path

When coming to the "City of Gardens" this spring and summer you may find things quite brown and shriveled up, and wonder where the city’s title came from. The latest news is that Victoria had half its usual winter rainfall, and that water rationing will be instituted beginning Apr. 1, on outdoor watering. We may still face severe shortages by fall if scientific weather predictions are valid.

As a tourist, you hope for bright and sunny weather. As much as Victorians, too, love the sun (we see so little of it in the winter), we are keeping our fingers crossed for lots of rain. So remember the old adage, "April showers bring May flowers," if it does happen to rain when you come.

Although the annual blossom walks (see Events below) take place in April this year, blooms are ahead of schedule due to the dry, sunny weather. From the first of March onward blossoms appeared on fruit trees. I hope, if you are coming in April, that the late-blooming ones will greet you. They are normally quite spectacular, lining neighborhood streets with colourful displays of white, pink and fuchsia.

And, believe it or not, there are still more cougar problems. Mt Doug Park is a popular city "wilderness" park. A cougar was spotted there a number of times the week of Mar. 16, and residents in the area were put on alert. And just north of Cowichan Lake on the island, a cougar stalked two small children. Fortunately an adult happened along to scare it off. It seems a whole colony is squatting in the nearby abandoned sawmill.

Government House Gardens

Legends

Myths and legends are something we think of as belonging to ancient and superstitious civilizations, but Victoria and Vancouver Island, on which it sits, have their own legends.



The Sasquatch

The Sasquatch is probably the best known, as it has been reported from northern California to the Yukon and east to the Rocky Mountains. Apparently the forests of the Island are the ideal home for the Sasquatch, according to the numerous sightings and reports from Island residents (although nothing recently). In 1988, large footprints (about 40cm, or 15.7 inches) were discovered. Then, in 1992, near Comox Lake, John Bindernagel, a Ph.D. wildlife biologist, reported hearing ape-like whooping noises. Could these be simply sightings of bears? Not according to Bendernagel, who believes the Sasquatch is a large ape. Sasquatch researchers arrived at the following assumptions:

  • Sasquatch sleep during the day, making their beds out of piles of vegetation.
  • Sasquatch feed on whatever they can get hold of. (Wonder if that includes people?)
  • Sasquatch live in small groups of one male and up to four females and their young. Males stand 2.4 metres (8 ft.) tall and weigh about 363 kg. (800 lbs.). Females are smaller.

The Mermaid

The Mermaid of Active Pass (where the ferries go through the waters of the Gulf Islands) was seen in 1967 by passengers. They claim that she had long blonde hair but the lower body of a porpoise, and that she was sitting on the rocks eating a salmon. A photo taken by someone was printed in the local paper. Hmm, do you think someone was having fun with a super hoax?

The Monster

Cadborosaurus (called Caddy, for short) is Vancouver Island’s sea monster, akin to Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster. Sightings have been recorded for over a century. Interestingly this monster is also a part of the aboriginal oral history.

The most recent credible sighting occurred in 1933, when the Clerk to the Legislature spotted Caddy. In 1940, two canoeists reported seeing a huge creature come swimming up alongside, with snake like coils moving up and down. Caddy’s name is derived from the location of the majority of sightings, Cadboro Bay. Three to four sightings take place yearly.

Caddy is described as having a long (about 24 metres, or 80 ft), greenish-brown looped body with a horse or camel-like head mounted on a long slender neck with two or three coils. The tail is rarely seen. Spottings occur when the water is calm, around dusk or early morning. If you want to spot Caddy for sure, head for the Cadboro Bay local park where, in 1958, a 30.5-metre (100-ft) long Cadborosaurus made from concrete was designed as part of the children’s playground.

Quirky Stuff

Scientists have discovered, off the BC Coast, giant sea sponge reefs that are living fossils. They say the discovery is much the same as finding a living dinosaur. Not like ordinary sponges, these are brittle as glass. You’ll need a submarine to see them, though, because of their depth.

Blossoming Tree


Events

Please note that some items listed require ticket purchase. For weekly events, nightclub shows, etc., pick up the Thursday Times Colonist newspaper, which lists everything happening for the upcoming week. Otherwise check at the local Tourist Information Centre in the Inner Harbour for weekly events. You can check out the local TV station weather and news at www.chektv.com.

Apr. 4, 9am-4pm: Royal BC Museum Annual Open House

"A Day in the Life of"

The inner workings of the Royal BC Museum are part of a special attraction at the Museum’s Annual Open House. There will be free admission to the galleries and curatorial tours and behind-the-scenes visits to seldom-seen sections of the museum.

Apr. 3 – May 12: Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival

Various Venues
Eight days of exciting dance performances, provincial competitions, master classes and workshops. Categories in the Festival include: dance, piano, vocal, brass, woodwinds, speech, strings, accordion, ukulele, harp, classical guitar, choral and bands. The Festival highlights studio dance and honour performances. Sessions at 1pm and 7pm at the University Centre Auditorium. Approximately $3 per session at the door.
Contact: +1 +1 (250) 986 9223

Apr. 13-15: Victoria International Blossom Walks

Different scenic walks take you along the waterfront and through picturesque neighbourhoods every day. The total trail system goes through or alongside 32 parks, five golf courses and one historic cemetery. Walks are 5 km (3 miles), 10 km(6 miles), 20 km(12 miles), 42 km (26 miles) long. All walks start and finish at the Victoria Curling Club, 1952 Quadra St.
Contact +1 (250) 752 3922 or +1 (250) 656 0149
For further details visit their web site: www.coastnet.com/~blossom/.

Apr. 18-22: Terrifvic Jazz Party

Various Venues
Twenty red-hot jazz bands. Cruise the venues! Boogie on the dance floors! Great fun! Free shuttle service
Contact: +1 (250) 953-2011

Through Apr. 22: Chang Dai-Chien: Master of Three Perfections

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, 1040 Moss Street
Although scholars acknowledge that Chang Dai-Chien was one of the most skilled artists in the long history of Chinese painting, they are still debating the merit of the man who’s eccentric personality and ability to master the many painting styles of the past seem to place him closer to a great forger than innovative and prolific artist. Almost 70 paintings have been assembled from the Taiwan National Museum of History and private collectors in Taiwan, Canada and the US.

Through May 21: Marlene Creates: Dwelling and Transience

This photo-based exhibition profiles Victoria through the eyes of Marlene Creates, an artist from St. John’s, Newfoundland. In her work she plays with ideas of experience, memory, language and their relationship to the land or the actual location. Open daily.
Tickets: adults, $5; seniors/Students $3; children under three are free.
Info: +1 (250) 384-4101

Apr. 1-2: Be Enchanted by the Masters

Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street
Victoria Symphony performs Beethoven and Bruckner. Performances at 2:30pm Sunday, and 8pm Monday.
Tickets: $29, $21 and $16. Tickets available at Tourism Victoria.
Info: +1 (250) 385-6515 / +1 (250) 386-6121

Apr. 5-7: 2001: A Century of Movie Music

Seagrams Pops Theatre, 805 Broughton Street
The first half features music adapted for the silver screen, including the Blue Danube waltz, and the opening theme from 2001:A Space Odyssey. The second half features music written for the movies, including at least one selection by John Williams. Performances at 2pm Thursday; 8pm Friday and Saturday.
Tickets: $29, $21 and $16. Tickets available at Tourism Victoria.
Info: +1 (250) 385-6515 / +1 (250) 386-6121

Apr. 13: The Greatest of These

Farquhar Auditorium, University Centre, Uvic
Performance by Louise Rose and the Victoria Good News Choir, at 8pm.
Tickets: adults, $15; seniors/students, $12. Tickets available at Tourism Victoria.
Info: +1 (250) 386-6121

Apr. 28: Lafayette String Orchestra: Concert III

Phillip T. Young Recital Hall, Uvic
Victoria’s world-renowned Lafayette String Quartet performs Schubert’s Quartet in E flat major, Op. Post. 125 d. 87; Istvan Marta’s Doom and other works. Performance at 8pm.
Tickets: adults, $16; seniors/students, $12. Tickets available at Tourism Victoria.
Info: +1 (250) 721-7903

Apr. 29-30: A Rendezvous with Friends

Farquhar Auditorium, UVic (Sunday)
Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street (Monday)
Victoria Symphony performs Rachmaninoff, and Stravinsky. Performances at 2:30pm Sunday, and 8pm Monday.
Tickets: $16-29. Tickets available at Tourism Victoria.
Info: +1 (250) 385-6515 / +1 (250) 386-6121

Apr. 10-May 6: The Drawer Boy

Belfry Theatre, 1291 Gladstone Avenue
The Drawer Boy is about Miles, a young Toronto actor sent to the country to gather stories for The Farm Show. While living with Angus and Morgan, two middle-aged farmers, Miles stumbles upon the truth about their past and unwittingly alters their lives. Nightly performances Tuesday-Saturday at 8pm; matinees on Saturday at 4pm, Sunday at 2pm, and 12pm on Apr. 18 and 25.
Tickets: $14-27. Tickets available at Tourism Victoria.
Info: +1 (250) 385-6815

Apr. 19, 21, 24, 26, 28: Nabucco

Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street
Nabucco is an epic tale of a king and his captives, an eternal story of clashing peoples, of greed, of oppression, and of freedom. Verdi gives us the famed toe-tapping chorus, from whence sprung a fervour among his people and which, upon his death, was sung throughout the streets of Milan. In Italian with English subtitles. Performances at 8pm.
Tickets: Adults, $21-$75; seniors/students, $19-$70. Tickets available at Tourism Victoria.
Info: +1 (250) 386-6121

Apr. 22: Tesseract

Alix Golden Performance Hall, 907 Pandora Ave
The Kaleidoscope Family concert series, at 2pm.
Tickets: general admission, $9.50. Tickets available at Tourism Victoria.
Info: +1 (250) 386-6121

 

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