Explore: Garden experts ready to help; fun, free Family Day, Valentine's events

Spring is just around the corner. Find seeds, plants, tools and knowledge of how to propagate plants at Victoria Seedy Saturday, Saturday at the Victoria Conference Centre.

The event offers everything a gardener might need for all gardens great and small. There will be a full day of workshops, presentations and vendors offering all the materials necessary for seeds to flourish.

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“One of the best things about Seedy Saturday is that the seeds and plants are tailored to our local climate and conditions,” said Carole Elliott, chair of the James Bay Market Society, the host of the event. “Combined with guidance from the seller it's the best place to find interesting things for the garden that are proven to be successful here.”

Nearly 60 exhibitors will be in the exhibitor hall, including a range of smaller seed vendors selling harder to find varieties and heritage seeds.

Seedy Saturdays supports seed saving, seed diversity and sustainable growing. To support this, gardeners are invited to bring home-grown vegetable, herb or flower seeds to donate or trade at the Seed Exchange. Gardening books or magazines can be traded at the Book Exchange.

There will be 18 presentations and workshops are held throughout the day, offering information for gardeners at various levels of skill, experience and interest. Workshops specifically for beginners include Growing Culinary Herbs, Plant a Tree, Starting with the Seed and Composting for Gardeners.

For more advanced gardeners, workshops range from Where Have all the Insects Gone and Growing Flowers for Cutting and Arranging to Invasive Plants in Your Garden and How to Conquer Them and Introduction to Growing Cannabis at Home.

A number of garden societies, clubs and educational programs will be in attendance. Volunteers from the Victoria Master Gardeners Association will be set up in the exhibitor hall to answer gardening questions and help solve gardening conundrums.

A children’s activity area, courtesy of Kaleidoscope Theatre, will feature crafts and activities for young gardeners.

The Seedy Café is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. offering coffee and lunch.

Admission is $8 (free for those 16 years and younger). The event runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Victoria Conference Centre, 720 Douglas St. For more information, including workshop times, go to victoriaseedysaturday.ca.

Family Day features free programming 

Enjoy special programming geared for the young — and young-at-heart — as well as free admission for the day at the Royal B.C. Museum as Victoria celebrates Family Day on Monday.

Celebrate Family Day with a wide variety of hands-on art, music, literary and creative activities at the District of Saanich Family Arts Festival, Monday at the Cedar Hill Recreation and Arts Centre.

This family-friendly event celebrates imagination and discovery, where the young and the young-at-heart can spend time together exploring creativity, diversity and the arts.

“Saanich has been a proud supporter of Family Day celebrations since the inception of this special day in British Columbia,” said Karen Harper, councillor and chair of the Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee.

“Family Arts Festival is a celebration of arts, culture and creativity and a great way to come together as a family and a community.”

Special guests from the region’s creative and cultural communities include the Victoria Conservatory of Music, Kaleidoscope Theatre, the Royal British Columbia Museum, British Columbia First Tech Challenge, The Makehouse and the Greater Victoria Public Library.

There will be performances by Chinese Dance Victoria, Shan-e-Punjab Dance School, Wong Sheung Kung Fu Club - Lion Dancers and the Lekwungen Traditional Dancers.
The Victoria Conservatory of Music youth performers will also be in attendance.

The event is free to attend. It runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday at the Cedar Hill Recreation and Arts Centre, 3220 Cedar Hill Rd. For more information and the performance schedule, go to saanich.ca or call 250-475-7121.

• Admission is free on Family Day at the Royal B.C. Museum on Monday.

Visit with your family of birth — or choice — to celebrate familial bonds and have a family photo taken at the annual photo station.

As a bonus, it will feature a mystery animal specimen from 1 to 3 p.m.

Stroll through Old Town to reacquaint yourself with the little details you always loved as a child, and visit the Natural History gallery to take a selfie in front of any of the classic

Head to the First Peoples gallery to learn more about the Indigenous peoples of the and share your family’s ideas about the future at the Indigenous Summer Arts Studio.

Free admission. You can visit the museum from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday at 675 Belleville St.

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

What’s your pleasure — Valentine’s events range from sensual to sizzling

You can rock your socks or you can talk sex with a scientist at two events that celebrate the most romantic day of the year, on Friday.

Sizzle: Valentine’s Day Erotica is part of the Victoria Film Festival, with a selection of short films — sensual, seductive, altering- your-state films that can rock your (or your date’s) socks.

The night’s entertainment includes a furry photo booth (with cocktails), a smidge of burlesque, a scavenger hunt for erotic toys, dirty dancing and tips for S&M.

The event is hosted by Missie Peters, a local performer and writer.

The experience is $40 (must be 19 and older) to join.

It runs 7:15 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Vic Theatre, 808 Douglas St. For more information, go to victoriafilmfestival.com/box-office/sizzle-valentines-day-erotica.

• If you are looking for an unconventional, provocative and thought-provoking take on romance you might enjoy Night Shift: Vintage Valentines, at the Royal B.C. Museum on Friday.

The museum’s Valentine’s edition of their popular adult-only party, Night Shift, features delightful activities with intimate access to museum staff, collections and learning activities.

You and your date can sit in on Sex Talks with Scientists, featuring presentations about sex, reproduction and/or mate selection by museum scientists Victoria Arbour, Heidi Gartner and Henry Choong.

You can then catch A Century of Writing on Love and Sex, when archivist Genevieve Weber will use records from the museum’s collections to explore the changing ways we have written about romance and desire.

Sip a cocktail while you explore the galleries.

Strike a pose in the photo booth, create your own vintage Valentine greeting at the craft station and revel in the bawdy burlesque of House of Cheek Productions.

Take part in a Newlywed Game activity, inspired by the 1960s game show, for couples to test how well (or not) they know their dates.

Enjoy vintage vinyl soul, funk and disco from DJs db Chessa and Hristo and dance to live music by Hank Angel.

Chill out with Sarah Osbourne and Elder Sister Plum.

Tickets to this 19 years and older evening are $49.95 plus taxes.

The event runs 8 p.m. to midnight Friday at the Royal B.C. Museum, 675 Belleville St.

For more information, visit their Facebook page.

For tickets, visit the museum’s online calendar at royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.

Aviation museum holding Kids Fest 

The young and the young at heart are invited to take flight as the B.C. Aviation Museum moves its popular Kids Fest to the Family Day weekend, Sunday at the museum in Sidney.

The annual event features flight-related activities, hands-on experiences, exhibits of vintage aircraft and other activities.

“As always, Kids Fest will be a full day of fun for kids of all ages with aviation-themed activities,” said museum president David Jackson.

Children can do crafts, play games and get their faces painted at the event.

The museum, run by the B.C. Aviation Museum Society, is dedicated to preserving aircraft and artifacts related to the history of aviation in Canada, with emphasis on British Columbia.

Admission to the event is by donation. It runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the museum, 1910 Norseman Rd. in North Saanich (near the Victoria International Airport). For more information, go to bcam.net.

Your dog welcome at Royal Bay

Your four-legged best friend is part of your family. Show your love by taking him or her to Family Dog Day, Monday at Meadow Park in Royal Bay.

Marjanna Wornell, master trainer from Middle Earth Canine Academy, will be there to offer individualized training tips to bring you and your pup closer in a meet-and-greet format.

You can get a free photograph with you and your pup at the Four Frames Photo Booth.

Capital Regional District Animal Care Services will be on hand with a useful giveaway and the Royal Bay Bakery will be giving out free dog treats.

Coffee, tea and treats (for humans) from Sequoia Coastal Coffee with a donation to the B.C. SPCA Victoria Branch.

Please note that pups must be leashed within Meadow Park, for the safety of all attendees and residents.

The event is free to attend. It runs 10 a.m. to noon Monday at Meadow Park in Royal Bay. For more information, go to Facebook.

Top wildlife photographers vie for honours

Get up close and personal with nature through the lenses of award-winning photographers from around the world at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, now until March 29 at the Royal B.C. Museum.

This is the 55th year of the all-ages exhibition, which figures a global selection of outstanding nature photography by 100 award-winning photographers.

Each photo is presented in a backlit display with a caption exploring the image’s story. Travelling from London’s Natural History Museum, this exhibition takes viewers on a visual journey around the world. The visually stunning and thought-provoking images always evoke a wide range of emotions from visitors.

The exhibit is included in the price of regular admission. It can be viewed 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at the museum, 675 Belleville St. For more information, go to

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