Explore: Wild times at museum photo exhibit until March 29

Victorians still have a chance to catch a few glimpses of some of the most stunning pictures ever taken of the natural world.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, with its 100 outstanding photographs taken by the best picture shooters in the world, remains until March 29 at the Royal B.C. Museum.

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The exhibit, now in its 55th year, comes to Victoria on loan from the Natural History Museum in London.

India Young, curator of art and images at Royal B.C. Museum, offers a few pointers to viewers on how to appreciate the pictures, whether it’s the first time or a return visit.

• Trust yourself. Don’t fall into the popular stereotype that says art and galleries are elitist. Most people are visually literate and know a good image.

• Slow down. Museums are a great place to take time and just look. Ask from where is the light coming? How did the photographer catch the moment? Why am I attracted to this image? What can I trust?

• Read the label. Context is important. We can all have a richer viewing experience by understanding an image’s relation to other things.

• Get (un)comfortable. The Wildlife Photographer of the Year contains some challenging images. Don’t turn away. Uncomfortable moments are often the ones where we learn the most.

• Bring a friend: Get together after and talk about the images. People always react differently to different things and it’s always helpful to find new perspectives.

“We all come with our own knowledge and world views, and everyone is more knowledgeable than they think so we can always bring something to a piece of art,” said Young.


Choir features works inspired by nature

Victoria’s own Linden Singers, now in their 40th year of performing choral music, is kicking off spring with music meant to evoke the land.

On Saturday, the 50-member choir whose approach to choral singing runs from the sacred to the secular will perform Portraits of Land and Sea. It will feature music by Canadian, including Victoria, and American artists all inspired by the natural world.

The music will include the Emily Carr Suite, by award-winning Victoria composer Brian Tate, whose scores are inspired by Carr’s unique, West Coast vision.

Also performed will be work of another Victoria composer, Christine Donkin, who sets to music poems by E. Pauline Johnson

(1861-1913). Johnson championed her Mohawk ancestry during her life in the late 19th and early20th centuries.

Susan Kennedy, president of the Linden Singers, said the choir has sopranos, altos and tenors, making it a “mixed choir” of women and men.

“We enjoy music together and we’ve always seen part of our mandate as presenting music to the community,” said Kennedy. “We also like the idea of creating community by singing together.”

The Linden Singers will present Portraits of Land and Sea at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 14, at St. John the Divine Church, 1611 Quadra St. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 and available at the door or online at lindensingers.ca.


Adults-only action at guided parks tour

This Saturday, it will be Adults Only, but not X-rated, during a naturalist tour of two local parks.

Lauren Sherwood, naturalist for the Capital Regional District will lead a tour of Matheson Lake Park and Roche Cove Regional Park billed as “Two Parks in One.”

“Hopefully, we’ll see some action,” said Sherwood. “The birds this time of year are starting to get to know each other and building their nests.”

She said the tour, expected to take three hours, will take people along Matheson Lake, perhaps the bank of the creek depending on water level and down to Roche Cove. People will come back along the Galloping Goose Regional Trail.

Sherwood said those attending will get a nice close-up look at a Coastal Douglas Fir ecosystem. With luck they may spy creatures such as the red squirrel, the common merganser duck and the painted turtle, B.C.’s only remaining native turtle.

The tour starts at Matheson Lake Park at 10 a.m. It’s free but spots are limited so preregistration is required. It’s adults only and families and children are asked to check out other events.

To register for Two Parks in One and to find other events, go online to crd.bc.ca and click on parks, recreation and culture.


Music of France returns to the Royal

Following on last year’s success of Piaf! The Story the show’s producers are returning next week to Victoria with another venue for the music of France.

Paris! The Show features French music as it arose in the years following the end of the Second World War.

It features an array of songs made famous by singers such as Charles Aznavour, Jacques Brel, Josephine Baker, Maurice Chevalier, Lucienne Boyer, Charles Trenet, Yves Montand and, of course, Edith Piaf.

Paris! The Show follows Françoise, a young girl who comes to the city dreaming of becoming a famous artist.

On her journey, she will cross paths with Piaff, become her friend, confidante and soulmate.

Françoise will fall in love with a young Aznavour living in the notorious Pigalle district. A romance will blossom between them in the city where love always conquers.

Paris! The Show is on Tuesday, March 17, 8 p.m. at the Royal Theatre. Tickets range from $63.50 to $73.50.


Kurt Browning making special appearance at Archie Browning Arena

The Greatest Showman on Ice, will be in Victoria this Saturday, courtesy of one local woman calling in a special favour from an old friend.

Kurt Browning, four-time figure skating World Champion and Canadian National Champion will be at Archie Browning Sports Centre in Esquimalt for a special performance of some of his most iconic routines, such as Singin’ in the Rain.

The only reason Browning agreed to show up is because Deena Beacom, director of Racquet Club of Victoria Skating Club and a former skater herself, happens to know him from their early days in training back in the 1980s.

And after taking charge of the Racquet Club and its annual show Beacom just never gave up trying to attract him to Victoria.

“Every two years, I would phone him up and say: ‘C’mon Kurt, you’ve go to do this,’ ” she told the Times Colonist in a telephone interview.

And this year, Browning happened to agree if only the date could be adjusted. Beacom said the Archie Browning Arena leapt at the chance, adjusted its schedule and made some renovations to make it suitable.

The end result will be a phenomenal ice show, with Browning himself and some of the Racquet Club’s best skaters, the youngest only three years old.

Browning appears at the Archie Browning Sports Centre Saturday, March 14, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday March 15 at 1 p.m. Tickets are $25, available online at racquetclubofvictoria.tickit.ca.c

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