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MAYOR’S COLUMN: Esquimalt all about events come summer

Barb Desjardins bangs the drum for her community’s events

Esquimalt council is committed to enhancing the health and liveability of our community.

One of our strategies to achieve this is though promotion of local arts, culture and heritage and enhancing our parks. The community is raising the bar again this year. We’ve got a very full calendar of festive arts and cultural events for the whole family in Esquimalt.

Although it has already been used and enjoyed through the recent warm weather, we celebrated a grand opening of our Esquimalt Adventure Park on June 10. The park is an incredible addition to our parks system; an amazing facility (including the water park) geared towards fun in the sun, in the off-season it can serve as a venue for hosting events.

Our geography, history and parks infrastructure makes us a natural for events of all kinds. Recently we held our first Canada 150 event at Fort Macaulay – a coastal defence fortress built in 1895 that is an amazing combination of nature and history. If you have not visited the site I urge you to do so. This summer: we will be enhancing it with new interpretive signage, funded by the federal government’s Canada 150 Fund.

Council has also committed funds for our Canada 150 celebrations, and street banners on Esquimalt Road have been installed, symbolizing the message of Canadians connecting with Canadians. We are also planning a very exciting Canada 150 event at Gorge Park – site of our 2012 centennial celebrations. This will be an event that the region will not want to miss.

I am also very excited by the schedule of events that the Township Community Arts Council – sponsored by the Township of Esquimalt through its Local Grant Program– has planned this year.

With our Memorial Park Music Fest upon us – these six Tuesday night concerts run from June 13 to July 18 – bring your family, pack a picnic and enjoy the music. The arts council is also planning several other events, including Bard across the Bridge, with nightly performances of Macbeth from Aug. 3 to 5.

The Esquimalt Arts Festival runs June 23 at Memorial Park, with a performance by Ken Lavigne and the Naden Band’s Pacific Blue. This will be a fabulous evening of 40’s and 50’s big band music. On July 28 and 29 there will be a spectacular aerial event in Saxe Point Park with Aeriosa: Soaring with Eagles. Join us for a one-of-a-kind evening in the trees with aerial dancers celebrating the beauty of our west coast environment.

The Esquimalt Farmers Market – also sponsored through our Local Grant Program – has begun and will run every Thursday until Sept. 14 at Memorial Park. There you’ll find fresh produce, food products, beverages and the work of local artisans.

All of this adds to our summer offerings through Esquimalt Parks and Recreation. I wish everyone a warm and happy summer; find up-to-date event information at

Barb Desjardins is mayor of Esquimalt.