During its storied 23-year history, the Victoria Symphony Splash has grown to become one of the Capital Region’s biggest draws, putting on arguably one of the most eclectic concerts of the year.
A musical genre that traditionally caters to an older audience lures upwards of 40,000 people young and old, local and tourist, to the B.C. legislature grounds and Inner Harbour for a day of celebration each August long weekend.
But executing such a multi-faceted event – which includes a family splash zone, food carts, donation stations, security and a fireworks display – takes a small army of more than 400 volunteers.
University of Victoria student Hugo Wong, 20, is proud to return to this year’s Splash as one of those volunteers and hopes to encourage others to do the same.
Since 2006, Wong has performed twice as a young pianist with Splash and the Victoria Symphony, and stays connected to the event today as an event photographer. He also manned donation stations for several years.
“I volunteer mainly to try and give back to an organization that’s given a lot to me, introduced me to a lot of very interesting, capable people, contributing to one of the highlights of my life, performing in front of 40,000 people,” he says.
While most volunteers won’t experience the rush of performing onstage, the opportunity still provides a way to participate in a Victoria tradition, says Ian Piears, Splash volunteer co-ordinator.
Piears hopes he can convince volunteers to sign up early, as many people tend to inquire just weeks before the event begins.
“The earlier people sign up, the better options they’ve got to choose from for volunteer positions,” Piears says.
Some of the more popular positions include working in the family zone at the petting zoo and collecting donations from boaters by kayaking around the Inner Harbour.
Proceeds from the event go toward both the Victoria Symphony for their upcoming season, and Piears hopes to beat last year’s $40,000 in donations.
“We also throw a great volunteer appreciation party at Odd Fellows Hall following the event, and it’s a great opportunity to get to know some amazing people,” he says.
For more information on volunteering for this year’s Splash on Aug. 4, visit victoriasymphony.ca/splash.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Pacific Opera Victoria was benefiting from Victoria Symphony Splash.