It’ll be hot and it’ll be busy, with about 2,000 visitors expected to come through this weekend’s Arts and Music in the Gardens at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific.
The West Saanich festival is now on its 23rd straight year and is relied on as HCP’s biggest annual fundraiser. With three music stages and more than 40 vendors, food trucks, plant sales and more, it’s become a celebration of the garden for the public and for HCP’s members and volunteers alike, said Cheri Le Brun, HCP’s volunteer co-ordinator.
The event runs Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We have about 100 volunteers to make this happen, setting up and working throughout the weekend,” Le Brun said.
Music and entertainment will vary between the three stages. The entrance will host the Victoria Accordion Club on Saturday morning and Irish dance on Saturday afternoon, with a marimba band on Sunday afternoon. The great lawn stage will also feature some livelier groups while a Takata garden stage will host a harpist, Latin instrumental and mandolins through the days.
New this year are the artisanal food vendors in the Mel Couvelier Pavilion.
“It’s locally sourced and produced foods to take home, pies with local fruit, that sort of thing,” Le Brun said. “If you want meals, we will have food trucks.”
Also new this year is the Victoria Rhododendron Society selling rhodos as part of the plant sale.
Returning after a two-year hiatus is the kids’ activity centre. HCP’s library, which is open twice a week, will be selling off some books.
Bring sunscreen and water. Parking is available at the V.I. Tech Park with a shuttle running every 15 minutes from 9:45 to 11:30 a.m. then on the half hour from noon until 3 p.m., with shuttles returning to the Tech Park until 4 p.m. Note that leashed dogs are welcome in the gardens but not on the shuttle bus.
Parking at HCP is reserved for people with mobility issues.
Admission is $12 general, $10 for students and seniors and free for members or children 16 and under.