Family Day 2020 in Greater Victoria: arts festival, free admission at RBCM and pools

People across Greater Victoria took advantage of the beautiful weather to get out of the house on Monday to mark Family Day. Many headed for one the events organized for the annual holiday — an arts festival, free admission to recreation centres, and free admission to the Royal B.C. Museum.

This was the seventh year that British Columbia has observed the statutory holiday and the second that it celebrated it on the third Monday of February.

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The Municipality of Saanich hosted the Family Arts Festival, which featured hands-on art, music, literary and creative activities at the Cedar Hill Recreation and Arts Centre.

Among the many participants were Ruby, 8 and her sister Myra, 5, who were making trees with hearts instead of apples. “It’s great to have a long weekend. Ruby was performing earlier with the ArtsCalibre Academy and the crafts is just a bonus,” said Jenny Kremler, their mother.

Hundreds of children participated in what organizers described as a journey of imagination and discovery where both the young and the young-at-heart can spend time together.

“It’s really multi-generational,” said Carla Scott, a volunteer at the pottery spinning-wheel section. “Often, we initially see the child do the activity and then involve the parent or guardian to join in.”

Organizations represented at the festival included the Royal British Columbia Museum with a travelling collection of 22 fossils; British Columbia First Tech Challenge, with their motorized robots; and the Greater Victoria Public Library, with a programmable Robot Mouse to teach children how to code.

Bailey Zussman, 8, was transfixed with instructing a programmable mouse to make its way through a maze to get to its goal. His sister, Eli, 4, watched him command the mouse to take a straight line or turn.

The Robot Mouse game introduces young children to the basics of computational thinking and simple coding concepts

Attendees were also entertained by performances by Chinese Dance Victoria, Shan-e-Punjab Dance School, Wong Sheung Kung Fu Club Lion Dancers and the Lekwungen Traditional Dancers.

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Monday, Feb. 17, 2020

Family Arts Festival: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Cedar Hill Recreation and Arts Centre, 3220 Cedar Hill Rd. Free admission. Hands-on art, music, literary and creative activities led by the Arts Centre and special guests. Performances by Chinese Dance Victoria, Shan-e-Punjab Dance School, Wong Sheung Kung Fu Club Lion Dancers, Lekwungen Traditional Dancers, Victoria Conservatory of Music students. More details at

Royal B.C. Museum: free admission 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., supported by the Province of British Columbia. Photography-related activities 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Wildlife Photography of Year exhibition.

Panorama Recreation Centre: free admission 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., 1885 Forest Park Dr. Swimming, skating, weight room, fitness classes. Sponsored by Peninsula Co-Op. More details at

Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre: free admission 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 2275 Quadra St. Special activities include Wibit inflatable, waterslide, rope swing, games for the whole family.

Oak Bay Recreation Centre: free admission 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., 1975 Bee St. Ice games, pre-school section. Colouring and crafts station off ice. Family Day free swim, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 

Family Dog Day: 10 a.m. to noon at Meadow Park at Royal Bay on Latoria Road. Bring your family, bring your dog (must be leashed). Free photo opportunity, on-site master canine trainer, plenty of treats.

Family Day at Victoria Public Market: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1701 Douglas St. Music, face painting by Danger By Design, story time with Marmalade Books, photobooth from Mr. Booth Photo Experiences. More details at

Lego exhibition: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Sidney Museum, 2423 Beacon Ave. Daily through March 21. Featuring Star Wars, Minecraft, Friends, Harry Potter, Batman and vintage sets. Admission by donation. More details at 

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