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Explore: City Nature Challenge; Masterclass with Montreal troupe

Upcoming events: City Nature Challenge at various locales, April 26 to 29; Masterclass with Ballets Jazz Montréal at Stages Performing Arts School, April 27.
CRD Parks naturalist Adria Hussain uses the iNaturalist app on an iPad for tracking and identification of organisms at Elk/Beaver Lake Park on Tuesday. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Get to work as a citizen scientist with the City Nature Challenge

Become a community scientist by observing and identifying local plants, animals and fungi during the 2024 City Nature Challenge: Greater Victoria, April 26 to 29.

The annual community science project is held in more than 400 cities around the world. The data collected helps scientists and local governments to better understand and protect our region’s biodiversity.

Citizens are encouraged to photograph and document their local biodiversity, uploading them in the iNaturalist app or website. Staff and volunteers at most of the events listed below will be on hand to give assistance and tips on its use.

To join, go to

There will be a number of family-friendly events taking place across the Capital Regional District this weekend in collaboration with the initiative:

Friday, April 26

The Esquimalt Lagoon Stewardship Initiative is hosting Esquimalt Lagoon BioThon to count the different wild plants and animals. Meet by the washrooms near Lagoon Road between 4 and 6 p.m.

Saturday, April 27

CRD Regional Parks is hosting Birding Basics, a self-guided walk to learn about what to look and listen for when identifying birds in the area. Go to Island View Regional Park between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The District of Saanich is offering two Pulling Together park tours. Park volunteers will give guided tours of Cedar Hill Park between 9 a.m and noon. Park staff and volunteers will be at Camrose Park or Peacock Hill Park between 10:30 a.m and 11:30 a.m.

Staff at the Gorge Waterway Nature House, 1070 Tillicum Rd. will help visitors learn about the biodiversity of the Gorge Waterway and how to protect it, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. (This program repeats Sunday, Apr. 28)

The Friends of Uplands Park Society will take visitors for a walk in the park to find flora and fauna to document between 1 and 3 p.m. Meet at the grassy field on Beach Drive at the entrance to Cattle Point.

When you go to the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary make sure you visit the booth near the Nature House to get iNaturalist tips and participate in their ecoquests for the chance to win a prize. The event runs 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

(Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary is also offering bi-weekly Pollinator Parties to help monitor pollinator biodiversity in a rewilded meadow on-site, 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesdays)

Sunday, April 28

Rocky Point Bird Observatory is organizing a bird walk at Outerbridge Park, starting at 9 a.m.

CRD Regional Parks is hosting Glory of the Understory, a program explaining how each layer of the forest offers food and shelter for a variety of wildlife, at Thetis Lake Regional Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Free masterclass with Ballets Jazz Montréal

Explore elements of contemporary dance under the guidance of a principal artist at a free Contemporary Masterclass with Ballets Jazz Montréal at Stages Performing Arts School, Saturday, April 27.

Dance Victoria, in collaboration with Ballets Jazz Montréal, is offering intermediate/advanced dancers an intimate opportunity to perform under the guidance of Ballets Jazz Montréal’s principal artist Yosmell Calderon Mejias.

The 90-minute session includes a dynamic contemporary warm-up, followed by an immersive repertory workshop delving into excerpts from the company’s current repertoire.

The company is in Victoria, performing at The Royal Theatre on April 26 and 27 with a program by all-female choreographers.

Photographs will be taken during the masterclass. A photo release form will be available to sign, but it is not mandatory to consent to photos in order to participate. A parent or guardian must sign photo release form for those under 18 years of age.

The event is free to join but registration is required. Arrive at 10:15 a.m. to sign-in. The workshop runs 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 27 at Stages Performing Arts School, #301-1551 Cedar Hill Cross Rd.

For more information, or to register, go to

[email protected]