ARTSMARTS – Janis La Couvée

Literary Fair is a play on words

Summer is all about exploring further afield. Whether you live in one of the region’s core municipalities or in the suburbs, why not make a commitment to stretching physical boundaries and exploring some of the many opportunities that are available – from art to music to theatre, there is truly something for everyone to enjoy.

Begin the month with the YOU Show, hosted by Intrepid Theatre as a platform for emerging artists. Aug. 1 Aaron Simm, Victoria’s Grand Slam Poetry Champion, presents Places to Wait, an intimate look into the downtime of an epic journey.  Intrepidtheatre.com

Join Ballet Étoile at The Butchart Gardens Aug. 2-3 on the historic Concert Lawn Stage for a program that is humourous and lyrical. Included in the price of admission. Butchartgardens.com

If you like either the board game Dungeons and Dragons or improvised theatre, you’ll want to be sure to get tickets as Paper Street Theatre’s The D&D Improv Show makes its triumphant return. With new rules, and new heroes, this two-night, audience driven adventure will be nothing short of epic. Aug. 7/8 at the Intrepid Theatre Club. Paperstreettheatre.ca

The Peninsula Players have been performing community theatre on the Saanich Peninsula for more than 50 years, and for the past few summers it has become their tradition to present a brand new musical at Muse Winery. This year it’s Space Wars: The Empire Strikes Blanc a hilarious romp through the galaxy with the ultimate weapon, a lovebot. Aug. 15/16, 29/30.  Thepeninsulaplayers.ca

In BOOM, at the Belfry Theatre Aug. 4-23, Rick Miller (Bigger Than Jesus, MacHomer) presents an explosive new solo performance documenting the music, culture and politics that shaped a generation. BOOM takes us through 25 turbulent years, giving voice to over 100 influential politicians, activists and musicians.  Belfry.bc.ca

Sooke Fine Arts Show, July 26-Aug. 3 at the SEAPARC Recreation Centre, is one of Vancouver Island’s premiere arts events. With more than 375 artists exhibiting, there is sure to be something for every artistic taste. Sookefinearts.com

The Sooke Community Arts Council presents the Art in the Park Festival at Ed McGregor Park Aug. 8, with a full day and evening of art, music, entertainment, food and activities. Sookecommunityarts.com

The Esquimalt Arts Festival, presented by the Township Community Arts Council, heads to the English Inn, 429 Lampson St., Aug. 16 for the third iteration of this popular exploration of the arts with great music and Strawberry Tea served up in the fine English style. It’s a family-friendly event with lots to do for kids too. Townshiparts.org

Also on Aug. 16, meander along the banks of Oak Bay’s Bowker Creek for the 11th annual Bowker Creek Brush Up and enjoy art, music and refreshments. Don’t forget to participate in the community arts project. Oakbay.ca

The ninth annual Integrate Arts Festival takes place Aug. 28-30 at locations throughout the (mainly) downtown core with a multitude of galleries and performance or creation spaces hosting events including: Play on Words Literary Fair at the GVPL (Broughton Street), the art crawl, a bike tour and, new this year, Sunday in the Square (Market Square) with live music and art demonstrations. Integratearts.ca

The summer wraps up with the 29th annual Victoria Fringe Festival Aug. 27-Sept. 6. One of Victoria’s favourite festivals with theatre, comedy, improv, puppetry, dance, spoken word and one-person shows by talented local and international artists, this is one of my personal summer highlights. Intrepidtheatre.com.

Janis La Couvée is a community builder, writer and arts advocate.

 

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