Choose the theme you are interested in:
- Location & parking
- Features & activities
- What to bring
- About the organizers
- Recycling & waste
- How to get involved
- Safety, lost & found
When is the event? Where is it held?
The event takes place on July 1, Canada Day, from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., along the Gorge Waterway Park / Gorge Road West, between Tillicum and Admirals Road in Saanich. On July 1, Gorge Road West is closed to traffic between Tillicum and Admirals from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Check out our interactive map >
How do I get there if the road is closed?
On July 1 consider walking, biking, busing (Routes 8, 11 and 26) or carpooling to the Gorge Canada Day Picnic. Parking is limited to neighbourhood streets. We ask that you do NOT park at the Gorge Plaza Shopping Centre nor at the Canadian Tire plaza in View Royal, as these businesses need spots for their customers. You may have to park several blocks away and walk through our neighbourhood to Gorge Road. Please be respectful of our community, as this is a day that requires cooperation and neighbourliness — good Canadian qualities for July 1, eh?!
Is there a bicycle lock-up?
Yes! The Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition is bringing 15 bike racks that you can lock up to for free. There will be a monitor all day and Bike Check tickets when you park it. As the event is quite full of people, it has been challenging for people to bring their bicycles around the event. Lock it up and stroll the event to enjoy the day without worrying about your bicycles! The bicycle lock-up will be located in the parking lots just in front of the Victoria Canoe & Kayak Club, by Buskers' Corner and a few steps away from the Tillicum and Gorge intersection.
What about the #11 bus that runs along Gorge Road?
On July 1, BC Transit will re-route the #11 to run from Tillicum Mall straight down Tillicum and then along Gorge Road to downtown. It will not run through the Gorge Road/Admirals/Tillicum neighbourhood. There will also be a Shuttle Bus that runs from Tillicum Mall through the neighbourhood as the #11 normally would, then down Admirals, where you can get off near the Picnic. It will continue over to Esquimalt and loop around to Tillicum where you can transfer to the regular #11 or get off at the Picnic on the Tillicum side. It will continue along back to Tillicum Mall. Please go to BC Transit's website for their service update.Here are the details of the BC Transit re-routing: 1. From the start of service until to 6:00pm on July 1st the #11 bus will run from Tillicum Mall down Tillicum and straight to Gorge Road at the Tillicum/Gorge Road intersection. It will not run through the Admirals/Tillicum/Gorge neighbourhood. 2. A Shuttle Bus will be operating from lower Tillicum Mall to Burnside, Right-Tillicum, Right-Obed, Left-Dysart, Right-Cowper, Left-Admirals to Left-Craigflower, Left-Tillicum back to Tillicum Mall at the approximate scheduled departure times in the Riders Guide. 3. The Shuttle Bus will stop on: Craigflower at Admirals and Craigflower at Tillicum (Gorge Golf Course) to connect with the #14 and #26, and on: Tillicum at Gorge to get to the Gorge Picnic or connect with #8 or #11 to downtown.
Is it a free event?
The event is free and takes place along the Gorge Waterway Park path and also on Gorge Road itself. Free activities include the Family Parade, kids' activities, the classic car show, and an amazing free and full day of excellent live music entertainment at the main stage. A variety of worthwhile activities are available for a nominal fee, including the Pancake Breakfast, Strawberry Tea, and canoe rides with the Victoria Canoe and Kayak Club. Attendees also will want to bring money to enjoy the wide variety of food and artisan market vendors.
How can I find out more about the activities going on?
The Features & Events page will give you an outline of the day's events. The Picnic program will also be available for download in mid-June, should you wish to print one, and it's delivered with our June newsletter to those living in the immediate neighbourhood. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date.
What kinds of food and beverage will be available?
You'll find food vendors listed on the Picnic site map or on the Picnic program (available for viewing or download on this site or on paper programs at the event. The map on this website allows you to click on the food zones and view which vendors are there. The CRD mobile drinking water cart will be onsite and located next to the washrooms at Kosapsom Park on the Admirals end, offering you cold, refreshing, delicious CRD water on tap!! Remember to BYORB (bring your own reusable water bottle). From August to May, the vendors shown are the prior Picnic vendors, to give you an idea. Current year vendor locations will be posted in the June before the Picnic.
Things to bring to the Picnic?
The picnic goes ahead, rain or shine. As it is an outdoor event, check the weather forecast. Sunscreen, a hat, and walking shoes are recommended — it's 1.7km from Tillicum to Admirals, along Gorge Road W. In addition, you may choose to bring cash to enjoy all that's available (see above). Remember to BYORB (bring your own reusable water bottle) so you can fill at the CRD water cart & stay hydrated all day. Finally, a happy face, and your red and white, are welcome!
Who organizes the Picnic?
The Picnic is organized by the Gorge Tillicum Community Association in conjunction with the District of Saanich, and is supported by local businesses. Please consider joining the GTCA — annual membership is just $5 to support this dynamic community association. This website has more information about the GTCA and the generous sponsors who support this event.
What about recycling and waste management?
There will be waste stations (and toilets) located in clusters along the length of Gorge Road. We try to be as kind to the environment as possible, and use ReFuse for our waste recovery. Please use blue bins for cans and bottles and green bins for compostable material (including paper). Plastic and bamboo utensils also are recyclable at the Pancake Breakfast and Strawberry Tea. Black or grey bins are for garbage only.
How can I become involved in this great event?
You can become involved either as a volunteer or as a sponsor. We can always use more hands to set up tables and chairs in the morning (for this, just come down at 7:30am to Craigflower-Kosapsom Park), take down tables and chairs in the evening, set up road hockey, or be zone captains. If you would like to volunteer at or sponsor the event, please connect with us via our contact page. To become a performer, vendor, or to participate in the car show, please see the questions below.
How do I apply to be a Food Vendor?
This year's application period has passed. For information about providing food service in July 2018, please contact us starting in March 2018 on our contact page. We will adjudicate your request and, if accepted, send you a link to our event registration page. The registration period is March 01st to May 05th.
How do I set up as a Canada Day Artisan Market Vendor?
This year's application period has passed. To attend next year in July 2018, please contact us starting in March 2018. To set up stalls at our market, you have to register beforehand. There are 65 Vendors permitted due to space and crowd restrictions. As the event has grown so much, there is no longer a 'just show up' policy. You must register, pay the fees, and be on the list before the event. The registration period is March 01st to May 31st by sending us a message by filling out the form on our contact page. We will adjudicate your request and, if accepted, send you a link to our event registration page. Once you have registered and paid on that webpage, you will be approved for a 10'x10' spot at the Picnic. On the day, stall set-up is permitted from 7:30am to 9:00am. Individual spots are not numbered or assigned.
How do I apply to be a Gorge on Art Artist/Vendor?
This year's application period has passed. To attend next year in July 2018, please contact us starting in March 2018. For information about setting up an Artist Stall in the Gorge on Art zone, please register and be placed on Gorge on Art list beforehand. Please email Brenda at the District of Saanich from March to May. Gorge on Art is a showcase of local artists who produce their own artistic works.
How do I apply to be a performer?
This year's entertainment line-ups are finalized. If you would like to perform on the Main Stage, Family Stage, or Gorge on Art stage in 2018, please fill out the form in February or March of 2018 on our contact page. We also have another stage at Busker's Corner intended for musicians interested in a casual performance, to play here for 2017, please contact Rob Wickson.
How do I participate in the Gorge Tillicum Canada Day Show and Shine (car show)?
This is not a judged event and there is no entrance fee — just plain old hanging around showing off your vehicle and enjoying the day. For information about participating in the car show, please fill out the form on our contact page.
The RULES:1) Please enter the car show zone by driving down Gorge View Drive ONLY. An attendant will greet you at the bottom of Gorge View Drive. Entrance is permitted from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. The road is NOT closed before 7:30am and residents are sleeping, so please do NOT show up before 7:30 a.m. As there are large crowds, a parade just after 9 a.m., and the road is closed, please understand that we must absolutely cut off any access and we regret that late arrivals cannot be admitted. 2) Cars must be parked on the south side of Gorge Road from Tillicum Road to Heath Drive. Please do not park in the bus bays, these are reserved Food Vendor zones. If you park on the north side/west-bound lane, a bus bay, or past Heath Drive we regret that you will be towed if we cannot find you and ask you to move. 3) Vehicles may not drive on Gorge Road between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. As there are large crowds and the road is closed, please understand that it is dangerous to drive a vehicle (to enter, move, or exit) during these times and cannot be permitted.
If you need assistance...
The GTCA's membership tent is located just before Craigflower-Kosapsom Park (Gorge at Admirals) in the Community Engagement booth area. The tent will serve as the Information booth, the Lost & Found, and the Picnic headquarters/control centre. Volunteers will be wearing distinctive blue shirts with a Gorge Canada Day Picnic logo. Additionally, there will be a second information tent, staffed by Saanich Parks and Recreation, in the kids' area near the bottom of Austin Ave. Saanich Police bike patrol squad, Saanich Reserve Constables, and a First Aid organization will be on site during the day.