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Explore: Halloween events, fine art show and more

It’s that spooky time of year again and our haunted city is the place to be. Fearless Halloween lovers can stagger through the streets with a herd of zombies, visit an eerie sanitarium or hunt for spectres at the city’s most haunted locales.
Carl Wiebe gets into character at the too-scary-for-kids Carnevil House during the annual Festival of Fear at Galey Farms.

It’s that spooky time of year again and our haunted city is the place to be. Fearless Halloween lovers can stagger through the streets with a herd of zombies, visit an eerie sanitarium or hunt for spectres at the city’s most haunted locales.

If scares aren’t your thing, celebrate the pumpkin season for a good cause at The Great Pumpkin Jam, a fundraiser for the B.C. Cancer Foundation tonight.

Enjoy an evening of music, food and tastings of pumpkin-inspired beer from various local breweries. Entertainment includes live music from Scotty Hills & Amesi.

Tickets are $12 and include samples of seasonal beers and a raffle entry. The event runs 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the pub of the Brentwood Bay Resort, 849 Verdier Ave. Details at

Craigdarroch Castle will be transformed into a psychiatric hospital and the stage for Arkenham Abbey, a comedy-horror show, premièring tonight and running until the end of the month.

“We like to get a little spooky during the month of October,” said John Hughes, executive director of the Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society. “The castle is a fitting venue, and we’re thrilled to be able to be a part of this unique production.”

The show is set in the Post-Edwardian era, in a Suffolk country estate turned sanitarium, where the patients have taken over and are threatening to murder the staff and visitors.

The show stars Radford, Justin Carter, Jared Gowen, Trevor Hinton and Christina Patterson, and costumes are by Martha Burd.

While the show is comedic, the performance, which include blackouts, screaming and moments of extreme violence, is not recommended for children under 13. As the performance takes place throughout the castle, guests should be aware there are 87 steps and no elevator.

Tickets are $28. Tonight’s performance starts at 8 p.m. There are 7 and 9 p.m. shows on Friday and Saturday. The show runs until Oct. 31. Call 250-592-5323 to reserve tickets or go to


Hear some of the more than 500 tales of ghostly encounters at Ghostly Walks of Halloween, which take place every night from Friday until Nov. 1.

The 90-minute walks are led by John Adams, a well-known local historian and storyteller, and his team of guides.

The tours are $15 for adults, $13 for students and seniors. Start times are 6:30, 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 p.m., rain or shine. Meet at the archway entrance to Market Square, 560 Johnson St. No reservations needed. Purchase tickets 15 minutes before the tours from the ticket counter at the square. Call 240-384-6698 or go to


Want to sit back while looking for ghosts? Cruise past some of Victoria’s most haunted places in the comfort and safety of a charter coach in Ghost Bus Tours, starting Saturday.

The two-hour tours have been in operation for the last 25 years with different routes each year. The tours always include two stops where everybody gets off for on-site ghost hunting and storytelling. The Victoria Golf Course, home of Doris Gravlin, one of the city’s most famous ghosts, is always on the route.

The tours are conducted by well-known ghost expert John Adams on behalf of the Old Cemeteries Society.

Tickets are $37 online at Reservations are required. The tours start at 7 p.m. Oct. 17, 23, 24, 28 and 29 from the parking lot of the Oak Bay Marina, 1327 Beach Dr. Information at


Prepare to spill your guts (and brains) out at the Victoria Zombie Walk on Saturday.

It is one of the few events where people are invited to attend — dead or alive. More than 1,800 have indicated they will attend on the Facebook page created for the event.

Be warned that the assembled army of the walking dead plan to stagger through downtown on their way to the front lawn of the legislature.

The event is free to attend or watch. Recently dead participants are asked to meet at 3 p.m. in Centennial Square before they shuffle down Government and Douglas streets. Victoria Zombie Walk 2015 is on Facebook.


There is more to Galey Farms than fruits and vegetables during the annual Festival of Fear, which opens tonight and runs until Halloween night.

The event has four main venues, with a Haunted House for children, a much-scarier Carnevil House for adults, a Cornfield of Horror (including a Haunted Mansion, Pirates Island, the Addams Graveyard and more), the Crazy Train and Madame Isabella’s Séance.

The first venue is $10 for adults, $7 for children. Extra venues are $5 each (plus tax). The event runs 6 to 10 p.m. nightly at the farm, 4150 Blenkinsop Rd. For information, go to


Celebrate the arts by the sea in Sidney

The Sidney Fine Art Show, a 10-day celebration of arts and culture featuring more than 400 artists from across Vancouver Island, starts Friday.

The show, in its 12th year, typically receives more than 1,000 pieces of art for adjudication, with only 400 selected for display. Every year, up to 6,000 people come to admire the art displayed in a gallery setting.

During the festival, more than 40 businesses in and around Sidney will host local artists as they give demonstrations and display their artwork.

Single admission is $6, three-day passes are $10. The show runs 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Mary Winspear Centre, 2243 Beacon Ave. Sidney.

Other events during the festival include an evening of painting and wine on Saturday. Local artist and arts instructor Odette Laroche will lead participants in creating their own masterpieces. All art supplies are included. Tickets are $40, not including drinks. The event runs 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre,

9811 Seaport Pl. Sidney.

The ArtSea Gala Fundraiser will be held on Wednesday. Peninsula arts organizations donate time and talent in an unforgettable music and dance show.

Proceeds benefit the Arts in the Schools program. Tickets are $10. The event starts at 7 p.m. in the Charlie White Theatre of the Mary Winspear Centre, 2243 Beacon Ave. Sidney. For more information,

go to


Victoria Symphony spotlight on Bach 

The Victoria Symphony continues to celebrate its 75th anniversary season with a performance of Bach’s Musical Offering on Sunday.

Late in Bach’s life, King Frederick the Great of Prussia offered him a short, melodic theme to use in a composition. Bach turned it into canons and fugues that make the original theme dance in amazing ways. The Offering includes one of Bach’s lively Brandenburg concertos and a Concerto Grosso of Handel.

Tania Miller conducts and Christi Meyers will play a Vivaldi Concerto and will be joined by Terence Tam for Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Violins.

The program includes: Selections from Bach’s Musical Offering, Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto

No. 1, Vivaldi violin concerto Op. 8/No. 8, Vivaldi two-violin concerto Op. 3/No. 8 and Handel concerto grosso Op. 3/No. 1.

Admission $30 to $50 adults, $28 to $48 seniors and $15 to $25 students. The concert runs 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Farquhar Auditorium at the University Centre, University of Victoria, 3800 Finnerty Rd. For information, go to

Piano boss’s birthday bash

Robert Holliston, head of keyboard at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, will celebrate his 60th birthday by giving

a concert using a newly acquired Yamaha Concert grand piano on Sunday.

At the Robert Holliston & Friends concert, he will perform some of his favourite music with some of his favourite people.

The recital features Schubert’s Fantasy in F minor, D. 940, for piano 4-hands (with Tzenka Dianova); Brahms’ Piano Trio no. 1 in B major, Op. 8 (with violinist Gwen Thompson and cellist Paula Kiffner) and a selection of German and English vocal duets with sopranos Nancy Argenta and Ingrid Attrot (the conservatory’s head of voice).

Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students. The concert starts at 2:30 p.m. in the Alix Goolden Performance Hall, 900 Johnson St.

Tickets may be purchased and donations to the purchase of the piano may be made online at, in person or 250-386-5311.

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