Uncovering the Ghosts of the Plaza

Writers seeking help from community for Interactive performance in November.

Sarah Smith and Sadie Forbes hunt for ghosts in the Plaza Hotel's furnace room.

There’s no doubt that the 100-year-old Plaza Hotel on Government Street has a few ghosts inside. Just ask Sarah Smith.

Smith’s nine years as a bartender and server at Monty’s Showroom Pub have offered her a first-hand look at the bowels of this historic hotel, which has changed immensely since it was built as The Westholme Hotel in 1911.

“One of our bouncers refuses to go down here anymore,” says Smith, as she gives me the tour of the dark and enigmatic space. “Things just keep moving around.”

Long-time patrons and employees share numerous accounts of ghost sightings and mysterious happenings in the space on a regular basis and now, with the help of burlesque dancer Rosie Bitts and research assistant Sadie Forbes, the Ghosts of the Plaza will come to life.

The three ladies are writing an interactive performance about the ghosts, both literal and figurative, of the Plaza Hotel, which is due to close over the next few months and be redeveloped by Vancouver-based GMC Projects Inc.

“We’re losing a really iconic place,” says Smith. “It’s the end of an era.”

While Forbes has had some success uncovering information about the hotel at the provincial archives and through other sources, she’s seeking help from the community in the form of stories about the space, whether they’re about the Westholme, The Century Inn, or any of the many pubs, bars, coffee shops and more that occupied space in the four-storey building.

Funded in part by the Victoria Spirit Committee in conjunction with Victoria’s 150th anniversary, Ghosts of the Plaza is scheduled to premiere in early November.

Anyone who is interested in telling their story can reach Forbes at 250-588-7233, by email info@ghostsoftheplaza.com, on facebook (facebook.com/GhostsOfThePlaza) or at ghostsoftheplaza.com. M

Just Posted

Region’s 250th Little Free Library installed in Victoria

Greater Victoria now has the highest density of mapped little libraries in the country

PHOTO GALLERY: Cyclists were all smiles during ninth Tour de Victoria

More than 2,100 cyclists participated, locals and visitors alike

Final HarbourCats home game of 2019 happening tonight at RAP

Tickets still available for Game 1 of the West Coast League finals; first pitch at 6:35 p.m.

WINE NOTES: Going gaga over B.C. Gewürztraminer

Robert Moyes offers up some interesting late-summer vino choices

Take your opportunity to sing at the Royal Theatre

Great Canadian Sing debuts Sept. 8 with inspirational music, talented performers, singalong format

For the Love of Fibre: Fibrations 2019 wrapup

Fibre arts celebrated through demonstrations and market showcasing locally made items

Tour de Victoria: Giving you the down low on detours around the region

Thousands of cyclists participating in ninth Tour de Victoria on Saturday

Christopher Auchter’s story headed to the international stage at Toronto International Film Fest

Old Massett totem pole raising revisited in Christopher Auchter’s documentary Now Is The Time

Saanich Peninsula student scores only scholarship for Canadians offered by top U.S. music school

Stelly’s grad Isaiah Carvalhal-Smith and his electric bass off to Boston after successful audition

Yellow Wolf Powwow draws dancers from across Canada

Saanichton event a celebration of Indigenous culture

Victoria-based elephant advocate fighting to end ivory trade

Founder of World Elephant Day hopes to spread awareness, add political pressure

Most Read