(Image of the 2017 Esquimalt Lagoon polar bear swim / Colin Smith Takes Pics)

It’s that time of year again. 

Time to clean up the holiday decorations and start planning for a new year ahead! 

And there’s no better, more invigorating way to start 2022 fresh than with an icy polar bear swim!

Every year, hundreds of eager swimmers meet at beaches across Vancouver Island to dive into the icy cold waters marking a fresh start to the new year.. 

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many annual events have been postponed, however, there are two polar bear swims happening in the West Shore area to help kick off the New Year!

Smart Dolphins IT Solutions New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim

Smart Dolphins IT Solutions fifth annual Polar Bear swim will start your New Year off with a splash and support a good cause. 

This year’s event includes a ceremonial first dive by a fully uniformed Troy Birtwistle of the Victoria HarbourCats and two-time Olympic and three-time world championships marathon runner Bruce Deacon.

There will also be prizes for best costume and a prize for the first person in, fully immersed, as well as a random draw. 

Attendees are asked to bring a suggested donation of $5. All proceeds go to the Victoria Women’s Transition House.

  • Where: Esquimalt Lagoon, Colwood
  • When: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., January 1st
  • Donation: $5. Spots can be purchased online here

Whiffin Spit Polar Bear Swim 

The Otter Point Volunteer Fire Department hosts their annual Polar Bear Swim at Whiffin Spit. Registration starts at 11:30 a.m. with a cannon start at noon!

  • When: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday January 1st
  • Where: Whiffin Spit, Sooke

Do you know of another polar bear swim happening in your area? Send us an email to tips@victoriabuzz.com to be included on our list!

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