The Legislative Buildings all decked out - photo by Instagrammer emiliezsi

The most iconic building on Vancouver Island is fully joining the holiday season tonight! 

As part of a nation-wide celebration that stretches from St. John’s all the way to downtown Victoria, the Parliament Buildings are lighting up especially for Christmas. The event is called “Christmas Lights In Canada,” and the evening promises to make for spectacular viewing. 

On Thursday night, starting at 6:00 p.m., Victorians can enjoy local choirs singing on the steps of the building, with the performances culminating in the lighting of the Sequoia tree on the lawn and the overall Parliament Buildings as well.

The buildings are currently illuminated with fairy lights, but Parliamentary Education Officer Jennifer Ives-Fournet says there are even more Christmas-specific lights yet to be seen.

After the lights go on, the celebrations continue inside with further holiday music and free hot chocolate, cider, and Christmas treats. The event is free and all-ages, and Premier John Horgan will be in attendance to help ring in the holiday season.

This is the 35th annual iteration of the event, which was introduced in Ottawa in 1985 to highlight monuments, museums, embassies, and other significant sites in Canada’s capital.  

Since then, the program has expanded to include the capital cities of each province and territory. Each city celebrates differently, with Victoria centring its display around the legislative buildings.

35th Annual Christmas Lights Across Canada

  • When: Begins at 6:00 p.m.
  • Where: Parliament Buildings, 501 Belleville Street