Explore: Ukulele week, Mother’s Day garden tour, Korean fest and more

Celebrate the 4th annual Victoria Ukulele Week, with strum-alongs, performances, workshops, a concert and a mass Uke Love-In.

Attendees can immerse themselves in the world of the diminutive instrument, commonly associated with music from Hawaii and 60’s Ukulele-playing pop singer Tiny Tim. Because of its size, children as young as six-months old can pick it up.

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“Interest in the instrument has grown in the last few years,” said Paul Laverick, who is the resident expert at Larsen Music. “We have monthly strum-alongs at the James Bay New Horizons Centre and in Fernwood. We are now considering having one in Oak Bay as well.”

He said many children pick up the instrument, thanks to its size, its relative ease to learn and its inclusion in music programs at most district schools.

Ukulele Week is an opportunity for current players to upgrade their skills or for people to try the instrument.

“The event is a big get-together for people who play, or want to learn to play, the Ukulele,” said Kanoux Larsen of Larsen Music. “There is something for everyone at the different events.”

Sunday’s Love-In typically attracts more than 300 people with their ukes. It’s a big sing-along, with everybody given song sheets to follow along with the groups on the stage.

There are six activities to choose from:

• Uke workshop, $25, 6:30 to 8 p.m. today at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre, 527 Fraser St. Call 250-412-8500 to register.

• Uke Strum-along, by donation, 7 to 9 p.m. today at the James Bay New Horizons Centre, 234 Menzies St.

• Concert with Paul Laverick and Friends, 7 p.m. Friday at Larsen Music, 1833 Cook St.

• Chord and Melody Workshop with Guido Heistek, $30, 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Hope Luteran Church, 1914 Carrick St. Call 250-389-1988, ext. 3201 to register.

• Larsen House Concert with Guido Heistek, $15, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Larsen Music, 1833 Cook St.

• Mass Uke Love-In, free, 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at Market Square, 560 Johnson St.

Details at larsenmusic.ca.


Impress mom with a day of gardens

A bouquet of flowers is nice, but if you really want to impress your mother on Sunday, consider buying her a ticket to the Mother’s Day Garden Tour instead.

This is the 32nd year of the event, which showcases 10 beautiful private gardens, from exotic to native, from city spaces to acreages. As this is a fundraiser for the Victoria Conservatory of Music, visitors to the enchanting gardens will be serenaded with live music by the school’s students and faculty.

Master gardeners will also be on hand to answer questions.

The two-day event includes a grand finale concert with a plant sale, silent auction and a performance by the Victoria Gospel Choir.

Admission is $30, children 12 and under free. The gardens will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The concert costs $10. It starts at 4 p.m. on Sunday at the Alix Goolden Hall, Victoria Conservatory of Music, 900 Johnson St. For more information, go to vcm.bc.ca.

Or if your mom is more of a crafty sort then perhaps the Mother’s Day Paint In and Craft Fair at Royal Roads University on Sunday would be more to her liking.

This family-friendly event features local artists and artisans with art, jewelry, plants and foodstuffs. The event also includes an art show and sale organized by the West Shore Arts Council featuring fine art and music (jazz and classical) performances by middle and secondary students from the Sooke School District.

Free admission to Hatley Castle and gardens with 20-minute castle tours every hour (on the hour). Parking is $5 all day. The event runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the university, 2005 Sooke Rd.

For more information, go to the website at royalroads.ca/event/mothers-day-paint-and-craft-fair.


Learn about culture at Korean fest

Get acquainted with Korean food, clothes, games and music at Victoria’s first Korean Festival on Saturday.

At the festival, organized by Korean students studying English here, visitors can take part in art projects, such as drawing on a folding fan, play games and even try on traditional Korean clothes.

Attendees can also try tae kwon do, a Korean martial art.

Admission is free. The festival runs 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Centennial Square. Information at facebook.com/vicorea2014.


Free your inner pilot with the flying club

Explore the wild blue yonder at the Victoria Flying Club’s open house on Saturday.

Attendees will get to meet pilots, learn about aviation careers and hobbies and tour the club. They can also experience the joy of flight with either a Redbird full-motion flight simulator or in an actual Cessna 172 (with an instructor as a co-pilot).

The club has been training professional and recreational pilots since 1946.

Visitors will also have the chance to meet members from various local aviation organizations, including CASARA (Civil Air Search and Rescue), NavCanada, COPA, the UVic Diploma in Business Administration Aviation Option program and the Vancouver Island Chapter of Women in Aviation.

Contrails Aviation is also hosting a Show ’n’ Shine at the same time, with a number of attractive aircraft on display.

Free admission. The demonstration flight costs $95 for up to three people. The event runs 11 a.m.

to 3 p.m. beside the Victoria International Airport control tower, 1852 Canso Rd., Sidney. Free parking. Details at flyvfc.com.


Join fellow Canadians in celebration of kid lit


The TD Canadian Children’s Book Week is meant to celebrate children’s love of books and to promote literacy.

Across the country 29 authors, illustrators and storytellers will visit schools, libraries, bookstores and community centres to discuss the pleasures of reading, writing and illustrating books for kids and teens.

In Victoria, Richard Scarsbrook, author of The Monkeyface Chronicles and Cheeseburger Subversive, will make three appearances at branches of the Greater Victoria Public Library:

• Central branch, 735 Broughton St. — 7 to 9 p.m. tonight.

• Central branch, 735 Broughton St. — 10 to 11:30 a.m. Friday.

• Nellie McClung branch, 3950 Cedar Hill Rd. — 1:30 to 3 p.m. Friday.

For information, go to bookweek.ca or gvpl.ca..


Beaded jewelry sale helps Ugandan women

Thousands of impoverished women in Uganda benefit with the purchase of every colourful bead at the BeadforLife Bead Party on Saturday.

The Victoria General Auxiliary is celebrating Auxiliary Day with the party.

The beads, bangles, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings featured at the party are made by Ugandan women who have created their own small businesses.

The women typically take two weeks to manufacture 60 long necklaces.

Artist Carol Koebbeman will also be painting on site.

Admission is free. The event starts at 1:30 p.m. at the Victorian at McKenzie, 4000 Douglas St. (corner of McKenzie and Douglas).

For more information, go to vgha.ca or beadforlife.org.

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