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Musicians make a splash Sunday in big show on legislature lawn

Musical performances today at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Night ends with fireworks.
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The Steven Page Trio plays July 31 at the legislature grounds. VICTORIA SYMPHONY

Update: There’s no Symphony Splash this year, but there’s still a big show.

As the finale to its 10-day Splash Around Town music festival, the Victoria Symphony is offering a by-donation event on the legislature lawn today. Things begin at 1 p.m. with Family Zone, featuring activities aimed at children.

At 5 p.m., La Nef and the Leoni Men’s Choir will perform sea shanties. You might recognize the tunes from TikTok and video games.

At 7:30 p.m., the Steven Page Trio will perform with the Victoria Symphony.

The day ends with a fireworks show. 

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Where: Various locations in Victoria
When: July 22-31
Tickets: Some shows are free. Prices for ticketed events start at $29 through the Royal McPherson box office (250-386-6121) or rmts.bc.ca.
Information: victoriasymphony.ca/splasharoundtown

After a two-year absence, Splash is back — but it’s moving out of the Inner Harbour.

There is hope the hugely popular Symphony Splash will return, but the stage that has been used is no longer insurable and efforts are being made to figure out the cost of a replacement.

For now, musicians will be performing on solid ground as part of the Splash Around Town: Symphony in the Summer Festival.

Symphony chief executive Matthew White said it feels good to be bringing back Splash, which runs July 22 through July 31.

“For two years, this city has been without one of its signature celebrations,” White said. “And we’ve heard from countless community members that summer just didn’t feel right without it.”

He said the festival will be very inclusive.

“The music and musicians we’ll be sharing represent not only the western classical tradition but the many diverse cultures who make up our community,” White said.

The festival features both ticketed events and a free concert series at Beacon Hill Park’s Cameron Bandshell, presented in partnership with Caravan World Rhythms.

Highlights include Dee Daniels July 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the Royal Theatre. The jazz diva, who has a four-octave range, will be presenting standards from the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee and Sarah Vaughan.

The other ticketed events are the Complete Brandenburg Concertos with Marco Vitale, Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral, and Mozart and Martinis at 6 p.m. July 29 at the Atrium. Sean O’Loughlin will be conducting the Victoria Symphony at the 800 Yates St. site.

The free performances start Saturday, with Aysanabee taking the Cameron Bandshell stage at 7:30 p.m.

Aysanabee, who has Oji-Cree roots, has been in the spotlight since the 2020 Indigenous Music Awards, performing what has been called folk, indie-pop rock and rhythm-and-blues.

Further free bandshell concerts follow on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and next Saturday. Concert-goers can sit on one of the benches at the venue or bring their own lawnchairs and blankets.

The free two-event finale July 31 starts in the afternoon at the legislature lawn with Quebec ensemble La Nef performing sea shanties at 5 p.m. O’Loughlin will be conducting.

He will also conduct the Steven Page Trio in a 7:30 p.m. performance at the legislature. The group features former Barenaked Lady lead vocalist Page, Craig Northey on guitar and vocals, and Kevin Fox on cello and vocals.

Fireworks are part of the show.

jbell@timescolonist.com

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