New Festive Dragons to Decorate Canada’s Oldest Chinatown

Two new festive dragons will soon permanently decorate Victoria's historic Chinatown. Installation of the two painted dragons along Government Street begins this Saturday, February 9, coinciding with the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations on Sunday, February 10.

The new dragons will adorn the gateway to Chinatown along the 1600 and 1700 blocks of Government Street. Installation of the dragons is the final phase of the Heavenly Lights Project, a partnership between the City of Victoria, Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA), and Chinese community to enhance the appeal of the vibrant and historical district of downtown. In 2010, the Heavenly Lights Project commenced when strings of festive red and yellow lights were added along Government Street between Pandora Avenue and Herald Street, and along Fisgard Street between Government and Store Streets.

Local artist Steve Milroy developed the artwork for the dragons in consultation with the City of Victoria, Downtown Victoria Business Association and members of the Chinese community. He will begin installation of the first dragon on Saturday, February 9. The second dragon will be installed in following weeks. 

Other enhancements to Chinatown in recent years have included the installation of 28 new pagoda pedestrian lamps in partnership with the DVBA, historic murals, decorative bike racks, the tiling of a water feature, and the refurbishment of phone booths and garbage cans with the words “Canada's Oldest Chinatown.” In addition, a self-guided Chinatown walking tour map was developed, and the City helps support the annual celebration of Chinese New Year.