Arts and Culture

The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply impacted the arts sector in unbelievable ways. City staff are here to help where we can and connect you to the resources and information you need as we navigate this unprecedented time.

City staff are participating in COVID-19 emergency response conversations among artists, funders, arts leaders and public officials to help us determine how best we can be helpful in immediate, recovery, and long-term efforts. We have gathered resources to help connect local artists and organizations with the support they need. The City will continue to update this page and provide resources to help the arts community during the pandemic. 

COVID-19 Special Event Permits 

The Arts, Culture and Events Office will not be issuing permits for events until such time that the Ministry of Health lifts the Provincial Class Order.  Arts, Culture and Events staff are available to discuss event protocols to ensure that all recommendations from the Ministry of Health can be followed when events are permitted to resume.  Please contact the events office at culture@victoria.ca with any special event and block party inquiries.

If your organization has already cancelled, changed or re-scheduled your event, please email the clerk that would normally issue your permit so that your file can be updated, or email culture@victoria.ca.

Block Parties

The Arts, Culture and Events office is accepting applications for Block Parties. Applicants are required to poll residents and develop a safety plan that limits the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Details on the new block party application process are available here.

Arts, Culture and Events Staff Directory 

Phone calls to the office will not be answered but we will be checking messages. Please include your name, phone number and email address so that we can respond accordingly. 

City Culture staff continue to serve the public and we can be contacted directly by email: 

  • Permit Clerk 
    Email: kbarlow@victoria.ca   Phone: 250.361.0524 
  • Senior Cultural Planner (Events & Festivals) 
    Email:  jday@victoria.ca  Phone: 250.361.0357
  • Cultural Programmer (Centennial Square and Cameron Bandshell) 
    Email sfaria@victoria.ca Phone: 250.361.0449 
  • Arts, Culture and Events Liaison (Music and Creative Industries) 
    Email:  dmcconachie@victoria.ca   Phone: 250.361.0566 
  • Senior Cultural Planner (Arts & Culture) 
    Email: nreddington@victoria.ca Phone: 250.361.0363 
  • Permit Clerk 
    Email: lostewart@victoria.ca Phone: 250.361.0246 
  • Arts, Culture and Events Liaison (Public Art & Literary Arts)     
    Email: ctice@victoria.ca  Phone: 250.361.0308 

Resources for Artists and Arts Organizations 

Opportunities to Share Your Work Online    

If you are a local artist there are great opportunities to share your work online. Here are a few opportunities for submissions and websites to list your event, concert or program:  

  • Culture Online: visit museums, view live music, watch dance, explore science centres, from across British Columbia, all from the comfort of your home. Add your content here.
  • National Arts Centre: the National Arts Centre will receive and administer applications until April 20, 2020Selected artists will receive a financial grant, and their performances will be shared on the NAC’s Facebook page. Apply for funding here
  • Social Distancing Festival provides a platform to enjoy diverse range of art forms that may have been cancelled or disrupted due to COVID-19. Submit artwork here
  • YYJ Arts United is a Facebook group hosted by the UVic Fine Arts Department for sharing online and livestream content from across Victoria’s diverse arts community. Submit content by posting to the group. 
  • Virtual Singer/Songwriter Open Stage and Virtual OpenMic are two Facebook groups hosted by local musician Robbie Hancock for sharing music. The Singer/Songwriter Open Stage is on Thursdays at 5.30 p.m., and the Open Mic is every Monday at 6.30 p.m. Request permission from the group admins to join. 

Local Events and Programs Happening in Greater Victoria  

The arts are an amazing way to feel creative, revitalized and connected to community. Support your local arts community and tune into a wide array of curated creative programs from your living room.  

Greater Victoria Folk Festival Society

  • 3rd Annual Folktoria Virtual Celebration: With in-person events not possible this year, Folktoria moved to an online format to present songs, dance and music from different cultures around the world. 

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria 

  • Field Trip: a new online platform to deliver arts experiences with some of Canada's most celebrated artists in a national partnership with leading arts organizations.
  • Community Conversations: Participate in a discussion about how cultural institutions can re-think ways of doing, and be spaces that are relevant, engaging and responsive to a range of communities and experiences.

Royal BC Museum 

  • RBCM @ Home: The museum has plenty of ways to explore BC’s natural history and human history, whether you’re browsing from your sofa or tackling schoolwork from your kitchen table. Check out RBCM’s online programs, from materials for learners of all ages to videos, talks with curators and more. 

Greater Victoria Public Library 

  • Virtual Branches: Discover GVPL’s online catalogue and e-resources for everything from books to music libraries, engine repair manuals to consumer guide reports, and language lessons to movies.  
    Note: to access this content you must have a library card

Pacific Opera Victoria 

  • Acoustic Afternoons: Pour yourself a cup of coffee at home, take a deep breath, and enjoy intimate glimpses of some of the Pacific Opera family of artists, who will share their homes, their songs and how things are going for them during this extraordinary time. Mondays at 1 p.m. 
  • Listening Party Podcast: Join us every Friday for the Listening Party Podcast as Rebecca Hass and guests share favourite stories about the role music plays in the lives of our artists, creative team, and collaborators – and in your life as an arts lover. After each podcast, tune in to Pacific Opera’s Spotify Playlists. A new Listening Party Playlist is added every week. Meet the people, hear the stories, experience the music! Fridays at 4 p.m. 

Maritime Museum of BC 

  • Tea and Talks: Museum volunteers, archival staff, and educators present unique artefacts from our collection, surrounded by discussions of maritime history and other seaworthy topics – all over a cup of tea and refreshments! Second Thursdays at 2.30 p.m.  
  • MMBC Discovers Live: Watch and listen to a variety of topics presented by MMBC educators. These programs have been designed using the BC curriculum and adapted for a virtual format. See the event calendar for dates and times. 
    Note: $5 tickets for both programs are available on the MMBC website, and programs are conducted via Zoom. 

Intrepid Theatre 

  • Uno Fest Online: Experience video clips and new work online, interviews with the artists, free streaming solo performances, and Facebook Happy Half-Hours with artists and artistic staff. We are embracing our festival tagline – this is theatre outside the lines! The festival runs April 28 – May 9. See the Uno Fest event calendar for specifics.  
    Note: tickets for Uno Fest are available from their website.

Open Space 

  • online / on land: weekly walks and talks that will take viewers to different sites within Lekwungen & W̱SÁNEĆ territories to spend time with and learn from local Indigenous artists, educators and knowledge keepers. Sundays at 1 p.m., April 12 – May 10.
    Note: streams will be available on Instagram Live and available for viewing 24 hours after the event. 

Ministry of Casual Living 

  • Virtual Art Club: this is the excuse you need to get creative, share, interact and have fun! Wednesdays at 6.30 p.m. 
    Note: streams are available on Zoom and Facebook Live. 

Hermann’s Jazz Club 

  • Live streamed concerts: The relationship between audience and performer is something that is built. This is one reason that Hermann’s has decided to livestream - an effort to maintain that connection. See Hermann’s event calendar for dates and times. 
    Note: concerts are free to attend with donations accepted for the musicians and venue. 

Do250 

  • Get Your Stream On: gone are the days of waiting for your favourite artists to visit Victoria- now we can go to them! Join the livestream revolution and find out who's broadcasting over the interwebs each and every day. See D250’s daily listings and weekly top picks for dates and times 

Live Victoria 

  • Online streams: Live Victoria is a community-driven music calendar. Check out the new “Moved Online” tag for concerts to see if they are now being streamed. 

Quarantunes 

  • Victoria Quarantunes was compiled by Canoe Brewpub in an effort to raise support for local artists. The playlist – which consists exclusively of Vancouver Island artists – is constantly expanding. 

Victoria BC Community Portal

  • The Community Portal is a great site for connecting to resources, activities and information, intending to foster community resiliance and connectivity. 

Landmarks Public Art

  • Discover over 167 public artworks in this public art database. Search for art online by location, artist or discipline, and curate your own self-guided tour to see them in person. 

Explore Art from a Distance

Artist in Residence Kathryn Calder's Live Stream Performances

With music venues closed and public events postponed due to COVID-19, musicians around the world are finding creative ways to perform and share access to live music. The City of Victoria’s Artist in Residence Kathryn Calder is no exception.

On Friday, April 3 and Friday, May 1, Kathryn Calder performed a live stream concert from her home. The solo sets included a selection of Kathryn’s own songs, as well as, favourites written by others.