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Dragon Boat Festival set to hit Victoria waters with 1,000 racers

There will also be plenty of local music on stage
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A trio of dragon boats race neck and neck at a previous Victoria Dragon Boat Festival. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)

Tanara Oliveira/Contributor

The much-anticipated 2023 Canada Dry Victoria Dragon Boat Festival, presented by Fairway Market, is set to bring the Inner Harbour alive on Aug. 12 and 13.

The festival is back after a break and more than 1,000 eager racers are ready to go.

The live music program at the festival also has an exciting lineup of all local acts, including Bridal Party. Best of all, the festival remains free and accessible to the public.

“Canada Dry has been rooted in many of our Canadian traditions for over 100 years and we would like to invite you and your family to this year’s Canada Dry Victoria Dragon Boat Festival,” said Lee Porter with Canada Dry, in a statement. “Join the festivities for all ages; the Canada Dry Victoria Dragon Boat Festival offers entertainment and delicious local food vendors and of course, the exhilarating dragon boat races in the heart of beautiful Victoria.”

The Lights of Courage campaign takes centre stage, with proceeds making a significant impact on Vancouver Island, supporting BC Cancer’s new initiatives in Victoria. Through this philanthropic endeavor, festivalgoers can contribute to the fight against cancer and support vital projects that directly benefit their own community.

As a special addition to this year’s festival is a meaningful collaboration between Chinese and Indigenous groups will be included. Margaret August, a two-spirit artist from the shishalh Nation, has been asked to design the artwork for the festival’s new prize.

The piece of art, which is a stylized sea wolf, not only honors Indigenous areas that are important culturally, but it also represents the long-lasting relationship between the Chinese and Indigenous communities, which was made through shared struggles and challenges.

“We would like to express our sincere appreciation to all the volunteers and participants for all the hard work that goes into producing this vibrant event and to say ‘thank you’ to our communities and visitors who have included the Canada Dry Victoria Dragon Boat Festival in their summer plans,” said Doug Yuen, president of Fairway Markets.

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