Tea time

When Lisa Stekelenburg became the manager of Camosun College’s Child Care Services, she had no idea her duties would include putting together the biggest public tea expo on the continent. Yet here she is, organizing the Victoria Tea Festival, happening this weekend at the Crystal Garden.

When Lisa Stekelenburg became the manager of Camosun College’s Child Care Services, she had no idea her duties would include putting together the biggest public tea expo on the continent. Yet here she is, organizing the Victoria Tea Festival, happening this weekend at the Crystal Garden.

“We were just looking for a signature fundraising event that would be something that would have some significance in dollar raising,” explains Stekelenburg. “For me, I’m a go big or go home kind of girl, so selling chocolates is a little bit on the small side.”

Now in its fifth year, the Victoria Tea Festival features over 40 exhibitors and attracts people from all over North America, with 2,400 folks flocking to take in all things tea last year — a large chunk of whom were, surprisingly, in the under-30 set.

“The traditional understanding of Victoria and tea is the traditional side of tea, but the festival really celebrates both the traditions and the trends of tea,” Stekelenburg says of the young demographic. “Certainly, we have the red hat ladies that attend, to the very hip and health-conscious young person who’s interested in pursuing tea for whatever their particular reasons are.”

In addition to the plethora of tea vendors and exhibitors, you can also catch presentations on things like the origin of chai, cooking with tea, how to make kid-friendly iced teas and even a traditional Japanese tea ceremony by Urasenke Nagomi Tea Circle. “They’ll be in full costume and it will be done in the authentic style,” says Stekelenburg.

If you like your tea a bit, well, stronger, Spinnaker’s will have cask-conditioned ales infused with Silk Road Teas on hand to sample.

“They’re going to be bringing three different tea ales to the festival,” says Stekelenburg. “They’ve actually already bottled one in time for New Year, it’s called Happy New Beer. It’s a witbier (“white beer”) with Silk Road’s Chamomile Bliss in it.”

The Victoria Tea Festival runs from 12-5pm Saturday and 11am-4pm Sunday at the Crystal Garden, 713 Douglas. Tickets are $20 advance or $25 at the door. Visit victoriateafestival.com for ticket outlets and more details on the festival.

Just Posted

WHAT’S ON TAP: Howl Brewing joins the pack of local craft beer operations

Monday beer columnist Matt Poirier checks out a new microbrewer in North Saanich

Charman’s name will live on through Victoria Conservatory of Music bursary fund

Iconic arts patron Eric Charman thrilled to see financial assistance fund growing

Women’s March Victoria keeps movement going with UVic symposium

Discussions, community building and fundraising event highlights women of colour, LGBTQ, immigrants

ROCK THE SHORES 2018: A variety of musical flavours throughout weekend in Colwood

Headliners Brian Wilson, Sheepdogs and X Ambassadors part of diverse lineup festival

Slow year for film productions on the West Shore

Local film commission says there’s still been lots of interest

WATCH: Trades workers brought into spotlight at Victoria’s Inner Harbour

Sheet metal, roofing apprentices compete for national bragging rights

Reviews are in for B.C.-shot ‘Skyscraper’ action movie

City’s film liaison recalls four days of filming at city hall last fall, with Dwayne Johnson on set

B.C. singer up against Shania Twain for Canadian country music award

Madeline Merlo and Shania Twain are two of five nominees for female artist of the year.

Nicolas Cage films in B.C. town

Hollywood actor filming A Score to Settle in North Okanagan

Canadian actress Sandra Oh makes Emmys history with ‘Killing Eve’ nomination

Oh made history as the first Asian woman to be nominated for an Emmy Award for lead actress in a drama series.

Mexican culture comes alive during Festival Mexicano

Free two-day festival happens this weekend in Victoria’s Centennial Square

NEW FESTIVAL: Vegans of Victoria unite

First ever Vegtoria features all things vegan, July 21 in Centennial Square

Victoria lotto winner looking forward to Mexican holiday with family

Angella Gordon-Spence won weekly $1,000 payday for 25 years on Set for Life scratch game

Justin Bieber confirms engagement to American model Hailey Baldwin

Bieber confirmed the engagement in an Instagram post Monday, July 9, 2018, that included a photo of Baldwin kissing him.

Most Read