By Elodie Adams

When the long, lazy nights of summer finally arrive, so does the urge to be outdoors enjoying them. Cities seem to come alive with a plethora of events for all ages and tastes during the summer months, and Victoria boasts her fair share of them. Be ye tourist or urbanite, you are sure to find fulfillment in more than one of the many distractions offered in 2011:

Here is a line-up of what you can do in the city this summer:

July 1, 2 & 3, Canada Day celebrations - Canada's 144th birthday!

Canada Day Mainstage on the Legislative Lawns on Friday, July 1, as well as a host of family-friendly events, music performances, and fireworks, all at the Inner Harbour.

Details of events at

July 3 - An afternoon of live jazz heats up the atmosphere in Centennial Square and brings the annual JazzFest to a close. 12:30 - 5:00 p.m., with Wes Caroll Quartet, VIU Sextet, San Francisco Jazzschool combo, and Vic High R&B Band.

July 5 - September 2, noon - 1 p.m. the City of Victoria presents Summer in the Square with a variety of free live music in Centennial Square

July 3 - August 13, Shakespeare in the Park Outdoor performances on the grounds of Camosun College, Lansdowne campus

Playing in alternance: Comedy of Errors, Hamlet

Adults: $22, children under 12 free.

Showtime 7:30, check dates at

July & August on Fridays, 1:30 - 3:20 p.m.

Concerts in the Park series at the Cameron Bandshell, Beacon Hill Park

Free, runs through to September 9, 2011

July 15 - 24, Victoria International Buskers Festival

A free festival featuring many of the world's top street performers on event stages across town. Pick up a festival programme guide for details.

July 23, Tickets go on sale today for the annual Great Canadian Beer Festival. If this September event is your favourite one, don't miss out. You can buy your tickets online, . Ticket prices (tax included) Sept. 9: $33.60, Sept. 10: $39.20

July 31, 4th annual national poetry and short story contest.

Attention writers: deadline for entries for Polar Expressions contest. The voices of Canadian poets and writers deserve to be heard. Entry forms and contest details at

July 31, Symphony Splash - Victoria Symphony Orchestra led by conductor Tania Miller performs at the Inner Harbour. Events commence at 1:00 p.m. and end at dusk with a grand finale of fireworks and cannons as the orchestra play Tchaikovsky's 1812 Ouverture. Free event.

August 5 - 27, Free-B Film Festival, Fridays and Saturdays at 9 p.m.

Take in a movie under the stars in Beacon Hill Park every weekend during August. Here's a sampling of what you can expect this year: Teen Wolf, Young Frankenstein, Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? and more. Full schedule is available at .

August 12-13-14, Victoria Dragon Boat Festival

Three days of unique culture & sport with something for everyone. Ninety dragon boat teams from all over North America race across a 500-metre water-course in the inner harbour. Full event calendar should be posted on their website soon: .

August 12-14, Victoria Tango Festival, Centennial Square

Free events: Friday noon - 1:15, Dr. D Accordion and Victoria Tango Community Dancers, Studio 7 Performance Group; Saturday, 1:30 - 8:00 p.m., Dance demonstrations by Tango Moderna, Kumbia, Libertango; Tango trio (violin, bass & accordion) dance workshops, vendors of cultural food, fair trade products, local arts and crafts.

Information on ticketed events at

August 19-21, Folkwest

Those for whom the defunct Victoria Folkfest left a void will welcome the new folk festival this summer. Come and meet the "new folk in town" during Folkwest, at Royal Athletic Park. Music line-up includes local, regional and national artists. Family and children's programming, beer gardens. Weekend passes, $50-$60, day passes $30-$40.


August 24, Victoria Fringe Festival Birthday Bash - Free

Block Party for all ages with live music, a beverage garden, and plenty of food. 7 - 9:30 p.m. in Centennial Square. Lots of other free Fringe events before, during and after the festival. Check it out at

Sept. 2, 3 & 4, 34rd Annual Classic Boat Festival.

Free public viewing of the vessels throughout the festival.

Saturday morning: Classic Rowing regatta, afternoon: Steam Boat parade leaves the Inner Harbour 2 p.m. to cruise the Gorge waterway. Sunday, 10:30 a.m. Salute & Sailpast.