New cultural market to grace Victoria’s Chinatown

Tea, dancing, music and demonstrations on order

The sights, sounds, tastes and smells of Victoria’s Chinese community will come alive for a new night market.

Once a month, until late September, vendors and performers will set up in the 500-block of Fisgard St. between 5 and 9 p.m.

“How cool is it to be under those lanterns at night?” said Tony Joe, chair of the Chinatown Market Committee. “Chinatown is a vibrant place and we are looking forward to adding to that vibrancy with these evening events.”

Before Joe went door-knocking in Chinatown to see which merchants were on board (100 per cent were interested), the idea of a night market in Chinatown had been floated around.

“As far as history is concerned, there’s been many attempts over the years to have a Chinatown night market, but they’ve just never materialized for whatever reason,” he said.

Initially, there were plans to set up a daily market with several vendors, but it didn’t work out.

Businesses and individuals from North America’s oldest Chinatown are working with the Victoria Chinese Commerce Association to put on the event. It will include Chinese dance, harp, violin, flute and tai chi demonstrations, as well as calligraphy, and rare and exotic tea samples. That block of Fisgard will close during the market.

“It is a pilot project,” Joe added. “What I would personally like to see is have the community come out and let us know what capacity there is for regular markets. It would be great to have it become self-sustaining. we have such a beautiful focal point in Chinatown.”

It will run Wednesdays, July 27, Aug. 31 and Sept. 28.