Amelia Street Block Party featuring Kathryn Calder, Mike Delamont, Acres of Lions, Theatre SKAM, Clay George and more
When: Saturday, noon to 8 p.m.
Where: Amelia Street
Tickets: $5 (suggested donation)
When the City of Victoria put out a call for event proposals relating to the city's 150th anniversary, a business on one of the downtown's most historic streets stepped up with the perfect idea in mind.
End result: the Amelia Street Block Party, a one-day event celebrating some of the best music, theatre, visual arts and food Victoria has to offer. The free event is being held Saturday afternoon on Amelia Street, which will be closed off from traffic for the day. The team behind Rifflandia, Atomique Productions and Amelia Artists, which maintains an office on the street, is credited with hatching the idea for the event.
"We had always wanted to put on some kind of event on this block, so when this came up it made sense," said Kimberli Persley Kozlowski of Amelia Artists.
"We thought it would be a great opportunity to showcase our company and expertise to the rest of the city in a way that isn't common. This is open to the public, free for everyone, and combines art, theatre and music."
The block-party program is far-reaching. Musical acts (Kathryn Calder, Acres of Lions, Chris Ho, Clay George, Brian Boitano, Righteous Rainbows of Togetherness) are spread throughout the day between sets by Theatre SKAM and comedian Mike Delamont.
There will also be a kids' area, beer garden and heritage tours of the nearby North Park neighbourhood, among other offerings.
"The idea was to create a lineup that didn't consist of the usual suspects," Persley Kozlowski said. "This is a different lineup, different vibe."
A sure-fire highlight will be the audience participation portion of the event. On tap during that 90-minute stretch is a power-ballad singalong (to the sounds of Journey, Bonnie Tyler and Meat Loaf ballads) and karaoke with a live band of indie rock allstars playing everything from Modest Mouse and the Black Lips, to Heart and the Beatles.
Persley Kozlowski expects more than 1,200 revellers to pass by her office door throughout the day.
Every business on Amelia Street is open to the idea of such a unique community event, with some staying open to provide services for visitors.
"Events in the summer are usually defined to existing squares," she said.
"We want to draw people to this area of town. When we tell people where our office is located, they always forget where that is.
"It's in people's brains, but a little off their radars. It's a neat era of town with a great history."
© Copyright 2013