Explore: Holiday lights, holiday music, holiday parade

Legislature light-up a seasonal fave with music, treats

Victoria will join other provincial capitals across Canada by illuminating the legislature with about 4,000 lights for the annual Christmas Lights Across Canada program, tonight.

You can watch as lights are turned on for the provincial Christmas tree and the legislature and then move indoors to enjoy music and seasonal treats.

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The decorated Christmas tree you will see inside is a nine-metre Douglas fir cut in Grasmere.

The tree was donated to the province by the Fleming family and the Saanichton Christmas Tree Farm.

Free admission. The event runs 6 to 7:30 p.m. today at the legislature, 501 Belleville St. For more information, go to leg.bc.ca or the federal government's website.

Winter Harp recalls Christmases past with classical, Celtic sounds

Delve deep into a place of joy, hope and light at Winter Harp, a holiday concert played on classical and Celtic harps with a backdrop of cathedrals and snow, Friday at the Alix Goolden Performance Hall.

The concert evokes the spirit of Christmases of long ago, with velvet gowns, golden instruments and candles.

Be enchanted by a world-class ensemble of singers, harps, flutes, violins — rare medieval instruments and percussion performing a concert of music and poetry in celebration of Christmas.

Tickets are $40. The concert runs 7:30 to 9:40 p.m. Friday at the Alix Goolden Performance Hall, 907 Pandora Ave. Tickets are available at eventbrite.com or the Victoria Conservatory of Music.

For more information, go to winterharp.com/concertinfo.htm.

Nautical parade a bright spot

Enjoy the spectacle of a nautical parade of bobbing lighted boats at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club’s annual Sea of Lights parade Friday, from Cadboro Bay to Willows Beach.

The flotilla, made up of about 20 brightly decorated boats, will be led by a Canadian navy training ship.

The event has been held annually since 2006, when it helped celebrate Oak Bay’s centennial. It is made possible through a partnership among the yacht club, the Districts of Oak Bay and Saanich, the Victoria and Oak Bay Sea Rescue Societies and Maritime Forces Pacific.

The event is expected to attract several thousand spectators to Gyro Park beach and Willows Beach, where judging takes place.

Events taking place on shore include hot chocolate by donation at the Willows Beach pavilion, a roaring beach bonfire run by the Oak Bay Fire Department and hot chocolate and coffee at Cadboro Bay’s Gyro Park beach.

Money raised by the event supports the Salvation Army Christmas Fund and the Oak Bay Kiwanis.

Admission to the beach events are free, but the public is encouraged to bring along a non-perishable food item or other donation. The fleet leaves the Royal Victoria Yacht Club in Cadboro Bay at 6:45, passes Cattle Point at about 7 and reaches Willows Beach at 7:15 p.m. It will arrive back at Cadboro Bay about 7:45 p.m.

This event is also open to anyone with a boat, paddleboard, kayak or other floating device. Call 250-592-2441 to register.

Local units of the coast guard auxiliary will be on hand to help to ensure safety on the water by marking and patrolling the route.

For more information, go to rvyc.bc.ca.

Holiday faves on the musical menu with Naden Band

Join the Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Salvation Army in Jingle Bells and All that Jazz Christmas concert, Monday to Wednesday at the Royal Theatre.

The Naden Band teams up with special guest vocalist Maureen Washington for a festive program of holiday favourites.

Tickets are $10 plus a new, unwrapped toy on the night of the performance (all proceeds benefit the Salvation Army). Performances at 7:30 p.m. Monday to Wednesday at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton St. For more information, go to the Royal Theatre's website.

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