Explore: Folktoria; World Ocean Day events; D-Day show at Fort Rodd Hill

Music and dancing show Victoria’s diversity

Celebrate the cultural diversity of Victoria with food, dance and entertainment at two multicultural events this weekend at Centennial Square and the McPherson Playhouse.

• Watch Russian ballet or cultural dancing, music, food, arts and crafts, games and more from around the world at Folktoria, Saturday and Sunday in Centennial Square.

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The two-day family-friendly festival is produced by the Greater Victoria Folk Festival Society.

Performers include the Kalyna Choir, Harmony Belly Dance Company, Folclore Alegre de Victoria, Lightning Hora, Hollytree and Island Thyme Morris dancers and others.

Five ethnic-food trucks will be on-site both days. Arts and Crafts presenters include the Royal B.C. Museum and the Greater Victoria Public Library. Games are courtesy of the Société francophone de Victoria. Community booths include the Sons of Norway fraternal association and the Songhees First Nation.

Admission is free. The event runs from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at Centennial Square. For more information, go to Facebook.

• See award-winning Ukrainian dancing at the Veselka Year End Showcase, Sunday at the McPherson Playhouse.

Join the Veselka Ukrainian Dance School as they take you on a cultural journey through Ukraine in their two-hour show, with the Kalyna Choir as special guests.

Veselka (meaning Rainbow) was originally formed to preserve and teach the art of Ukrainian dance. The school has expanded to include classes in ballet, modern dance and children’s yoga.

Tickets are $25 adults, $18 seniors and students. The event runs from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the McPherson Playhouse, 3 Centennial Square. For more information, go to veselkadancers.com.

Fantasy becomes reality at Island Comic Con

Dress up as your favourite fantasy character, attend a panel, join a game tournament or just sit back and watch the action at the Vancouver Island Comic Con, Sunday at Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre.

This is the third year of the conference, a one-day extravaganza full to the brim with creators, special guests, attractions, games and cosplay, in which people dress up as characters.

The Cosplay Show, which promises $1,000 in prizes, features contestants who have gone to extraordinary lengths to create elaborate costumes of characters from the world of Disney to Star Wars and beyond.

You can compete in a novice division as well.

Discover the people who created the characters at speaking panels featuring artists, animators, storytellers and more. The highlight is Nick Kondo, artist and senior animator at Sony Pictures Imageworks, who worked on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

He will be joined on stage by actors, comic-book artists, a professional seamstress, illustrators and writers.

Some of the artists will be creating a piece of art in real time at the Creator’s Corner.

Grab a pen or a digital equivalent and create a piece of art yourself — and win a cash prize in the ViGuy Art Contest.

Are you good at games? See just how good you are by checking out the games room and competing with others on board and console games, again for prizes.

You can also take home a piece of autographed art from the Artists Alley.

Looking for a comic, a game, memorabilia or collectable? Or just some pins? More than 70 exhibitors and attractions will be attending with their wares.

Admission is by donation (suggested $10). The event runs 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday at the Mary Winspear Centre, 2243 Beacon Ave. W. in Sidney. For more information, go to vanislecomiccon.com.

Artists’ work on display in capital region tours

Discover the talent, creativity and sense of community in two self-guided artists tours in Greater Victoria neighbourhoods, Saturday and Sunday.

• Experience culture, creativity and community at the Fernwood Art Stroll, a glimpse into the studios of artists and artisans, Saturday and Sunday at various locations in Fernwood.

This is the 12th year of the event, which also provides an opportunity to enjoy the neighbourhood’s cafés, bistros, spas and shops.

There is something for everyone. This year’s offerings include paintings, prints, drawings with pastels, mixed media and cards. There is handmade furniture and wooden objects, baskets and whimsically painted driftwood sculptures.

The event is free. It runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at various home studios, gardens and patios. For more info, location map or brochure, go to fernwoodartstroll.ca.

• Explore and experience the diverse artistic talent in Sidney, Central and North Saanich at the Spring ArtSea Studio Tour, Saturday and Sunday at various venues on the Saanich Peninsula.

Celebrating more than 25 years, the event is one of Vancouver Island’s longest running self-guided studio tours.

More than 25 artists are expected to participate. Many will open their studios to the public. Others may choose to partner with other artists to showcase their wares at local venues, such as the McTavish Academy of Art.

Expect to find paintings, sculpture, jewelry, fabric art, pottery, wood carvings and more.

The tour is free. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at various venues on the Saanich Peninsula. For more information, go to artsea.ca/artsea-studio-tours.

Mill Bay, Malahat museum opens

Discover the history of Mill Bay and the Malahat at the grand opening of a new heritage museum on Sunday.

Run by the Mill Bay-Malahat Historical Society, the museum aims to promote knowledge and public awareness of the history of the region through research, preservation and exhibits.

Its first exhibition is titled 1919 to 1929: The Roaring Decade. The displays give visitors a glimpse of what life was like in South Cowichan in the early part of the last century.

Volunteers from the Mill Bay-Malahat, Bamberton and Cobble Hill historical societies serve as museum docents.

Entry to the museum is free, with donations welcome. The museum is open noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at 2851 Church Way in Mill Bay. For information, go to millbaymalahathistory.com.

Military re-enactors put on D-Day show at Fort Rodd Hill

Experience the first 24 hours of the D-Day invasion with historic re-enactors at Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse on Saturday and Sunday.

Members of the Victoria-Esquimalt Military Re-enactors Association will be in uniform to bring Second World War history to life in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy.

The re-enactors will have on hand artifacts, such as kit or weapons, that were used in the first day of the invasion on June 6, 1944.

Members of the re-enactors association serve as living historians who focus primarily on the military and related history of Canada and its allies from 1775 to 1960.

The event is free, but regular admission applies at the national park.

The re-enactors will be on hand from 10 a.m. on Saturday to 5 p.m. on Sunday (they are camping overnight).

The re-enactment takes place at Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse, 603 Fort Rodd Hill Rd. For more information, go to vemra.org.

Dive into World Oceans Day events

Learn more about what lives in the water around us at two World Oceans Day celebrations taking place in the region, Saturday and Sunday.

• Take part in family-friendly activities to celebrate World Oceans Day at Esquimalt Gorge Park on Saturday.

The event, hosted by the World Fisheries Trust, celebrates community, conservation and all things ocean-related.

Watch Nail/Sail/Bail — the Gorge edition — a team competition to build a boat out of plywood, duct tape and a lot of determination.

Other activities include nature walks in the park, children’s activities, a silent auction, food trucks, live music from local musicians and ocean education, outreach and conservation vendors.

The event is free to join. It runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Esquimalt Gorge Park, 1070 Tillicum Rd. For more information, go to worldfish.org/event/ world-oceans-day.

• Another family-friendly event marking World Oceans Day takes place at Fisherman’s Wharf on Sunday, with everything from divers to touch tanks and a life-sized killer whale skeleton that you can help build.

More than 20 conservation organizations are expected to be represented on site.

The event is free. It runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Fisherman’s Wharf, 12 Erie St. For more information, go to Facebook.

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