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Summer heats up in Greater Victoria: 5 things to do this weekend

Paddle to the beat: Victoria's first Wave Rave hits the Gorge Waterway
On Saturday, July 13, Banfield Park in Victoria West will host a festival in honour of community, sustainability and dungeness crab caught in the area. (Crabben Fest photo)

TD Victoria International JazzFest, the first weekend of Phillips Backyard, AfriCaFest, Victoria Ska Fest – these events have all come and gone, but summer is just getting warmed up in Greater Victoria. There is still so much to do on July's second weekend, including first-time events and returning favourites. 

Catch the first Victoria Wave Rave

Banfield Park, Saturday July 13 from 4-9 p.m.

It's a chance to paddle to music, meet new friends, and enjoy the scenery with community! Going along the upper/lower Gorge waterway in Victoria, the rave will follow the "leader", who will be playing a specially-curated DJ mix of EDM/house/Euro/Tropical tunes. There will be stops along the way for dancing, hydrating and snacking.

The event requires people bring their own paddleboard/kayak/canoe, personal floatation device, hydration and snacks. Paddling experience is required. Learn more on the event's Facebook page

The newly expanded dock at Banfield Park. Courtesy City of Victoria

Experience a flamenco journey like no other with Qairo 

Victoria Event Centre, Sunday, July 14, from 8-10 p.m.

A Qairo show is a spectacle to behold full of passionate live flamenco dancing, electic music with Turkish, Orient and Balkan sounds and fiery stage presence. The band was founded in France, and its five current artists are from diverse backgrounds, bringing their unique multicultural musical expression to the stage. Leading the group is Deborah Dawson ("La Caramelita") and Alejandro Mendia who met in Spain and shared a vision for taking flamenco beyond its traditional path. Dawson fuses her own Indian/Malaysian cultural background into her performances. The show is constructed as a journey to have the audience up and dancing by the end.

Tickets are $33.13 at

Qairo blends Flamenco, Turkish music, and Arabic and Balkan influences. Courtesy Qairo

See Cousin Harley live in Victoria for the first time in 20 years

Wheelies Motorcycles & Cafe, Friday, July 12 from 8-11 p.m.

Formed in Victoria in 1998, Cousin Harley is a high-energy hillbilly jazz, rock 'n roll band. Talented guitarist and singer Paul Pigat has played in many different bands in Victoria over the years but this is the first time in two decades that Cousin Harley will be playing in Victoria. Pigat and band member Jesse Cahill now live in Vancouver. Jeremy Holmes rounds out the band on stand-up bass.

With a blend of original songs and classic covers, Cousin Harley has garnered a dedicated fan base and is celebrated for keeping the rockabilly tradition alive while infusing it with their unique flair.

Tickets are $23.76 on Eventbrite. There are only a few left, so grab them quick.

Paul Pigat fronts Cousin Harley. Courtesy Cousin Harley

Savour the sea at Vancouver Island CrabFest

Banfield Park, Saturday, July 13 from noon to 7 p.m.

Picture a full bucket, brimming with over a pound of crab, clams, prawns, corn, potatoes, sourdough, bread, lemon and of course, butter. This deliciousness fresh from the sea awaits at the 2024 crab boil. B.C. Crab Boil Buckets can be purchased in advance for $75 plus taxes and fees at

Admission is free and crab buckets are sold onsite in VicWest. Even without the buckets, the day will be full of family activities and live music, all set in a fully licensed park. Even better, the event supports the Vic West Community Center, Reciprocity Connects, BC Crab Fisherman Association.

Party at Vancouver Island Brewing's 40 Years Birthday Bash

Vancouver Island Brewing on Government St., Friday, July 12 from 3-8 p.m.

Nothing says summer like a beach bash! To celebrate 40 years of brewing, Vancouver Island Brewing is hosting an '80s-themed beach bash, set to surf rock tunes from Gett Wett. There will be beer bucket specials, Los Panas Kitchen Food Truck on site and giveaways.

Learn more on the event's Facebook page.

Vancouver Island Brewing is located at 2330 Government St. File photo






Sam Duerksen

About the Author: Sam Duerksen

Since moving to Victoria from Winnipeg in 2020, I’ve worked in communications for non-profits and arts organizations.
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