James Bay, known for doing a good line in hidden gems, has another to add to it’s sparkling crown. Moving away from heritage houses and blooming flower boxes, this gem is a little different…It’s a floating slab of concrete.
OK, bear with me here.
Now in it’s second summer, The Breakwater Barge goes through something of a transformation every Friday night, changing from aforementioned concrete slab into a lively, community minded live music venue. Presented by The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, in partnership with Deanna Young Promotions, this gem of a spot is breathing new life into Ogden Point. Victoria locals may be tempted to shy away from this tourist hub in the summer months (we’ve all felt ripples of frustration when stuck behind a horse drawn carriage – let’s not pretend otherwise) but what The Breakwater Barge is offering up is simply too good to miss. Local brews, ciders and wine, fresh and delicious food truck fare, stunning views, all soundtracked by some of the most talented local bands Victoria has to offer.
The season kicked off in style with a special surprise acoustic set from ‘The Metchosin One’ himself, Jesse Roper. Upcoming draws for the summer include Americana rock from Union Cartel on July 14, the psychedelic jazz fusion of Weird Party on July 21; with August 4 bringing the funkified reggae stylings of Trinidadian Caleb Hart and his band the Royal Youths. Morgan Brooker, artistic director for The Breakwater Barge, has strived to create a diverse musical lineup of local artists, sure to appeal to all ages. “The Breakwater Barge is such a great venue and so unique to Victoria. I honestly don’t think there is a better place to see music this summer.” It’s not just Brooker who feels this way. Local musician Chris Van Sickle has graced The Barge’s stage with several projects over the last year. “ I love playing there,” he says, “ It’s a self-contained mini-festival every weekend. The crowds are always really warm, and having the cruise ships tower over the stage is both odd and charming.”
Van Sickle has a point. Where else in Victoria can you shimmy in the shadow of a colossal cruise ship, or sip upon a cold one framed by the silhouettes of the Olympic mountain range? With suds from Phillips, Hoyne and Driftwood, and ciders and wines covered by Seacider and The Artisan Wine Shop, there’s plenty of libations to get you feeling festive. You’re not exactly hard done by on the food front either. Dead Beetz, The Songhees Seafood & Steam and Thriftys Smile Truck are serving up scrumptious snacks all summer long, with weekly rotating trucks rounding out the lineup. This gals’ picks? Taqueria style tacos from The Kracken Cantina served up with a chilled pint of Phillips’ Solaris White Peach Ale.
Despite a slow start to the summer weather wise, The Breakwater Barge has been hitting its capacity early most weeks with no sign of slowing down. With a curfew of 9:30 pm, it’s the perfect location to see in those sweet summer evenings and ease into your weekend. Just save me a taco.
Friday nights at The Breakwater Barge run until September 22nd. These events are All Ages. Please no pets and no smoking.