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Critic's picks: Nurse Blake; Anchors Away fest; The Choirs YYJ

Our Arts reporter’s favourite upcoming events in the Greater Victoria area, including Nurse Blake on Tuesday at the Royal Theatre.


Where: Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton St.
When: Tuesday, Aug. 29, 8 p.m.
Tickets: $57.50-$117.50 from the Royal McPherson box office at 250-386-6121 or

Why: Blake Lynch, a former overnight nurse turned comic and speaker, has made his Nurse Blake character into a thriving cottage industry, with podcasts, children’s books and smartphone apps among his growing list of creations. The native of Orlando, Florida, has become a rallying point for health care workers, who often account for a large portion of his audience. His North American tour, Shock Advised!, will have hit 100 cities — from Anchorage, Alaska, to Honolulu, Hawaii — by the time it wraps in December. Victoria is the first stop on his Canadian run, so expect a hyped-up host.


Where: Starlight Stadium, 1089 Langford Parkway
When: Sunday, Aug. 27, 1 p.m. (gates at noon)
Tickets: $30 from

Why: This all-day event hosted by CFB Esquimalt at Starlight Stadium in Langford is the definitive something-for-everyone event. From indie rockers Yukon Blonde, big band favourites The Naden Band, and drag performers Kendall Gender and Vivian Vanderpuss to children’s entertainers Mister Mojo and his Magic Band and dance floor favourites The New Groovement and The Fabulous B Sides, it’s a surefire win for the first-year festival. A military discount for current members and veterans is the icing on the cake at Anchors Away.


Where: The Butchart Gardens, 800 Benvenuto Ave.
When: Friday, Aug. 25, 8 p.m.
Tickets: $3-$39.50

Why: The Butchart Gardens postponed its fireworks display last week due to the provincewide state of emergency, but the music goes on. That’s good news for those looking to attend The Choirs YYJ performance on Friday, which has all the makings of a good one. More than 100 singers are enlisted in The Choir, The Chorus, and The Mini-Choir, which should complement the main stage area nicely with choral versions of songs by everyone from Pat Benatar and Rihanna to Tears for Fears. The concert is included with regular admission fees.