(Image / Victoria Symphony Facebook)

The 30th annual Victoria Symphony Splash is returning to the inner harbour this Sunday, August 4th!

The musical event is one of the largest annual symphony performances in North America, and attracts over 40,000 spectators from all over the world each year.

“Victoria Symphony Splash is a marquee event in the Victoria summer,” said Victoria Symphony CEO Kathryn Laurin.

“We’re thrilled to see the continued support of the business community and government partners to help make the event a reality. Without their support, this event doesn’t happen. We’ve seen plenty of changes over the past thirty years, but the essence of Victoria Symphony Splash remains the same: sharing extraordinary live music with our own community.”

Before you grab your lawn chairs and head to lawns of the legislature, or hop on your kayaks to watch the symphony from the water, here are 6 things to know about this year’s Victoria Symphony Splash.

1 . The Concert Program

While the entire day will be filled with fun events, the Victoria Symphony’s performance will begin at 7:30 p.m.

This year’s concert will focus on rhythm, with the first half of the performance featuring Mediterranean and Spanish infused dance rhythms while the second half highlighting upbeat Cuban and Argentinian beats.

The symphony’s performance, of course, will close with its traditional 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky accompanied by fireworks, and lastly, Amazing Grace.

  • O Canada
  • Roman Carnival Overture – Berlioz
  • Carmen (Prelude, Intermezzo, Toreador) – Bizet
  • Adagio from Spartacus – Khatchaturian
  • Concerto in G Major (mvt. 1) – Ravel
  • Capriccio Espagnol (mvts. 3, 4, 5) – Rimsky-Korsakov
  • Ritual Fire Dance from El amor brujo – de Falla


  • Cuban Overture – Gershwin
  • Libertango – Piazzolla
  • Malambo from Estancia Dances – Ginastera
  • Berliner Luft – Lincke
  • 1812 Overture – Tchaikovsky
  • Amazing Grace

2. Road Closures and Drop-off Zone

A variety of downtown roads will be closed on Sunday, August 4th, to accommodate the many visitors of the symphony.

Starting at 5:00 a.m., the north lane of Belleville Street between Government and Menzies Street will be closed.

At 12:00 p.m., both lanes of Belleville Street between Menzies and Douglas Streets for event set-up.

By 2:00 p.m., Government Street between Superior and Humbold street will be closed, though police may leave it open slightly longer depending on audience crowds.

Roads will reopen as soon as possible following the event, between 10:30 p.m. on Sunday and 1:00 a.m. Monday morning.

A passenger drop-off zone will also be available between 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Government Street across the road from the Fairmont Empress Hotel

3. Summary of Events – Sunday, August 4

Besides the Victoria Symphony’s headlining performance at 7:30 p.m., family-friendly events will run throughout the day starting at 12:00 p.m.

While the symphony performance on a floating barge on the inner harbour, the Albert Head Cadets will be the first performers of the day, and will hold a concert at noon on the steps of the Legislature.

Then, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., children can enjoy a bouncy castle, play musical instruments, and try Aztec-themed activities prepared by the Royal BC Museum at the Family Zone on the lawns of the legislature.

At 3:00 p.m., for adults that are 19+, a symphony Beverage Garden operated by the Lighthouse Brewery will be open for those looking for a refreshing brew. Meanwhile, the nearby Culinary Corner will be packed with food vendors offering a range of dishes like pizza, tacos, crepes, Greek food, ice cream, donuts, and more.

Then, at 4:00 p.m., the Royal Canadian Navy’s Naden Band will take to the symphony’s floating barge to kick-off music on the water.

4. This year’s young soloist

This year’s Symphony Splash young soloist is Carey Wang, a grade nine student at Oak Bay High school.

(Carey Wang / Victoria Symphony)

Carey is a pianist who has studied the instrument since he was four years old. He’s received a range of awards from organizations, like the Pacific International Youth Piano, Greater Victoria music festivals, the Don Chrysler Concerto Competition, and more.

Outside of his musical studies, he enjoys helping in numerous community musical programs, participating in extracurriculars at school, hanging out with his family, and oddly enough, doing homework.

5. Victoria Symphony Splash is a “by donation” event

The Symphony Splash is a free event hosted by the Victoria Symphony for the community. While the event receives support from sponsors and “heroes”, spectators are encouraged to donate $5 for attending the performance.

Every $5 donation will receive a Splash Button which you can wear proudly to show your support for the Symphony. Volunteers with donation buckets roam the crowds or you can track down one of their donation barrels, and all proceeds go to support the Victoria Symphony’s artistic and education programs.

6. Fireworks

As in years past, this year’s Symphony Splash will be capped off with an incredible fireworks display set to the bombast of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” between 9:15 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Victoria Symphony Splash fireworks 2018 (Brian Newham via Instagram)

Victoria Symphony Splash

  • When: Sunday, August 4th, 2019, 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Where: Victoria Inner Harbour
  • Admission: By donation

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