About the Gorge Canada Day Picnic

Monday July 1, 2019

The first Gorge Canada Day Picnic (GCDP) in 1999 came about through the vision and hard work of a small group of Gorge Tillicum Community Association (GTCA) volunteers. The key ideas were to have a day that Gorge residents could enjoy, traffic-free, along the Waterway and to build community through a popular celebration. We knew the Gorge had long been associated by older Victoria generations with fun and celebration, so we were just continuing a longstanding tradition.

With the support of Saanich municipality to close the road, we went about the job of filling up the 1.7km "stage" with fun, family oriented events. And we were fortunate enough to get it right almost from the beginning — many of the events you see today began in the early years of the GCDP and have maintained their popularity: the Family Parade; the Pancake Breakfast; the Canada Day Market; the Classic Car Show; the kids' games and road hockey; and the Strawberry Tea.

The first year went off without a hitch, but there were lots of open spaces in contrast to the busy and increasingly popular event you see today. One GCDP led to another, and thankfully many of the same team who produced the early Picnics have stayed involved over the years.

While there have been highlights over the years, the real highlight is the safe, secure and joyous event we've created for the growing numbers of residents and friends — now estimated at 10,000 to 12,000 people — who come each July 1st. The Picnic Committee is strong and vibrant and the event remains a largely volunteer-run operation but also benefits from significant support from Saanich and our sponsors.

We look forward to another fabulous year of offering a warm welcome to those celebrating Canada Day on the Gorge on Monday July 1, 2019.

Event News

  • 01 July, 2018 - What a great day! Thank-you to our sponsors, volunteers, and to our community! Catch it again next year for #21!

  • 01 July, 2018 - It's on! The grills are sizzling, the music is playing, and classic cars are shining! Come on down!

  • 30 June, 2018 - There have been hot years, there have been cloudy years. The weather is looking mixed sun and cloud tomorrow, but the event goes on rain or shine! Looking forward to welcoming everyone to our neighbourhood for 4 stages, 26 Food Vendors, nearly 90 market vendors, classic cars, and of course the Pancake Breakfast for only $3 with hot coffee for only $1 sponsored by Starbucks! We'll see you there.

  • 29 June, 2018 - The free Photo Booth returns! Amica at Saanich, one of our Presenters of the whole day, will be bringing back this popular free booth. Go capture the day with a silly photo of yourselves! The Photo Booth will be located in the Community Engagement area near the Main Stage on the Gorge & Admirals end of the event.

  • 27 June, 2018 - The Saanich Emergency Command vehicle will be on site to show off this impressive mobile unit. You'll find them up near the Admirals end of Gorge Road W. after the Parade and until Noon. Saanich Fire Department will be in this spot all day and showing a vintage tanker fire truck.

  • 25 June, 2018 - We are excited to confirm that Coastal Offroad Racing Victoria is attending again this year. This display is a crowd favourite! Watch these club owners race around their radio controlled cars on a track and obstacle course and see their cars whiz and jump! Catch them along Gorge Road near the bottom of Adelaide Street, near the Family Stage and just before the Gorge on Art zone.

  • 17 June, 2018 - There are 67 Artisan Market Vendors pre-registered, also the Schoolhouse Market joins forces with us again this year to bring another 20 vendors to the green space beside the old Craigflower schoolhouse.

  • 30 May, 2018 - We've got 27 Food Vendors registered to serve you on the day! In addition to our pancake breakfast and Strawberry Tea features, you'll find a wide variety of Food Vendors to keep you going on the day. We're very pleased to have, are you ready for it...Ali Baba Pizza, Amrikko's East Indian Cuisine, Bake My Day, Bite Me Cookie Company, Brady's Fish & Chips, Donut Delights, Enerchi Kombucha, Greek on the Street, Indecent Risotto, Jeff & Martha's Delectables, Judy's Snack Shack, Kukus Indian Cuisine, Langos by Louie, Lemon Heaven, Mai Mai's Streamline, Maple Cloud Company, Mr. Tube Steak, Optimist Club of Victoria, Road Treasure Treats (Ice Cream Bus), Salt Spring Island Fruitsicles, Snow Storm Shaved Ice, Softies Ice Cream, Tamales Don Carlos, Taste of Germany, Unplugged Foodie, Vinny's Gourmet Dogs, and Wild West Salmon Burgers...phew, there will be a test later : )

  • 08 May, 2018 - We are excited to announce one of our featured headliners on the Main Stage this year will be West My Friend! We are so excited to have them back, they graced our stage in 2013. West my Friend is currently on their 2018 Quiet Hum Tour, currently in Europe. This summer they will be at the Filberg Festival in Comox, but we get them here first on Canada Day. Described as everything from indie-roots to chamber-folk, West My Friend has an acoustic blend of instruments and three-part harmonies. The band features pure and thrillingly elastic vocals with catchy arrangements of guitar, mandolin, and accordion that draw from jazz, classical, folk, and pop influences.

  • 03 January, 2018 - Here we go, we've just updated the website, and it is time to start planning! Last year was Canada 150, but 2018 is the 20th Gorge Canada Day Picnic! Plan to be there on Sunday July 1, 2018!

About the GTCA

The Gorge Tillicum Community Association (GTCA) has established itself as a vibrant, proactive community group in south Saanich. We have achieved a great deal and our strength has been attracting great local people who invest their time, energy and skill to help build our community's future.

The Gorge Tillicum Community Association is a voluntary organization that is recognized by Saanich as the representative voice of our community on local issues. We promote a healthy, vibrant community by addressing issues such as environment and parks, traffic and transportation, land use planning and streetscapes, social wellness and community celebration.

We have good working relationships with Saanich Council and municipal staff, as well as with other community agencies. In addition, we also receive the support of several local and regional businesses for the Gorge Canada Day Picnic.

more about us >

How to Get Involved

To get involved as a volunteer, vendor, performer, or sponsor, please read our FAQs.

A Community Event

Event Map

We've plotted event locations, food vendors, and facilities in a Google map so you can use your smarphone or tablet as a guide.
Take me there!

Download the event programme!

The programme includes a map (event locations, food vendors, facilities, etc.) and complete event schedule. You can also use our online interactive map on your smartphone or tablet.
Download 2018 Programme!

Download the event poster!

Share the Gorge Canada Day event with friends, colleagues, and neighbours.
Download 2018 Poster!