History2Life Family Festival

History2Life Family Festival    

Sunday, July 29, 2012, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Centennial Square
The community was invited to take a step back in time to participate in the History2Life Family Festival in Centennial Square!  Family and friends had the opportunity to explore Victoria's history through art, music, crafts and activities for all ages!

Children participated in the Time Traveller Scavenger Hunt, an inspiring way to connect with local history that was tons of fun and had some great prizes! The first 75 kids through the gate received their own Time Traveller Suitcase, and one lucky winner won a round trip for two anywhere that WestJet flies (subject to conditions). People of all ages took part in the many hands-on art and activity stations, and met the wonderful, roving characters in the History2Life performance troupe. The Pioneer Players were on-hand to perform random historical vignettes.

Music performances, historical stories, tours and activity stations made the History2Life Family Festival a fun way to learn more about the city's past and celebrate Victoria 150.  

(Note: Due to a lack of registration in a previously offered fort building competition, this event focused on bringing "History2Life".)

Live Performances

Families had the opportunity to enjoy live music, dance, and musical theatre by:

  • Boston Dance
  • Yanik Giroux Performing Arts Studio
  • Sacred Centre Dancers, and
  • Stages Dance

History2Life Characters

The History2Life troupe were created specially for the City of Victoria's 150th anniversary by Puente Theatre in association with Merlin's Sun Puppets. The seven larger-than-life characters were designed and built by Catherine Hahn, Timothy Gosley and Mercedes Batiz-Benet and were performed by local actors and puppeteers. The characters creatively represented elements of the City's history and culture, while adding life, colour and fun to the many events and festivals planned for the 150th year.

Amor de Cosmos: Over 12 feet tall, this giant puppet symbolizes the larger than life character of Amor de Cosmos, an eccentric character from Victoria's early days as a colony. Amor de Cosmos (William Alexander Smith) was the publisher of the British Colonist and went on to be the second premier of British Columbia.

Big News: There's a story to tell here and Big News has the scoop. Clothed in a turn-of-the-century inspired dress made of archival news stories and crowned in a hat of vintage photos, Big News towers over the crowd and heralds our proud history and bright future.  


Caddy: This giant puppet represents the mythical Cadborosaurus, a sea creature reportedly seen off the waters of Oak Bay, Victoria and beyond. Monstrous in size only, our Caddy is a friendly creature who moves through the crowd with fluid motion and a touch of mystery.

China Gate: This character represents the spirit of Chinatown -- she is graceful, beautiful and serene and a touch mysterious, but always auspicious.

Eagle: Inspired by an Emily Carr painting and rooted in traditional Coast Salish design, this giant Eagle puppet stretches out its wings and soars above the crowds, circling and swooping.

Flower Dancer: Representing the City of Gardens, the Flower Dancer circulates through the crowd on her floral bicycle, passing out fresh flowers or other things of beauty.

Woo: This fun, interactive character is based on artist Emily Carr's favourite pet, a monkey named Woo. Woo usually is seen with a young Emily near by.


Funding Partners and Sponsors

The City of Victoria gratefully acknowledges the financial support of its funding partners who have made Victoria 150 celebrations possible: Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage Community Anniversaries grant, the Province of British Columbia, the Canada -- British Columbia Cooperation Agreement on Official Languages, and the Greater Victoria Spirit Committee Society. The History2Life Family Festival was presented by the City of Victoria in partnership with the following community sponsors: