You may wish to plan to be in Victoria for its sesquicentennial. Its what?, you may ask. I enjoy discovering new words and endured seven years of Latin at school (yes, seven) but this eluded me.
It is Victoria’s 150th birthday. On 2nd August the city of Victoria will be 150 years old. That’s not much, but we are on the West coast and it took a long time for causasians (that’s politically correct “white man”) to reach the coast.
Captain James Cook arrived on British Columbia’s coast in 1778 but a fort was not established here until 1843 by the Hudson’s Bay Company and its Chief Factor, James Douglas. Not surprisingly, it was named Fort Victoria after Queen Victoria. The significance of 2nd August 1862 as the birthdate of the city is that this was when it was incorporated as a City. By then the original community, numbering 230 in 1854, was growing fast to serve the goldrush in the Fraser Valley. Tales were told of city lots valued at $25 being sold for $3,000 a week later to meet demand. Hindsight is everything. The photo shows Fort Victoria in about 1860, from the City of Victoria archives.
57 arts and cultural groups have received grants for Victoria 150 productions and the city is planning central events so this may be a good period to plan to visit Victoria. Oh … please bring some candles; we need to find 150.