Companion Activities

If you have come to Victoria accompanied by friends or family members, there are many activities for them to do while you enjoy the conference. You may also want to enjoy some of these activities during your spare time or before/after the conference.

This year is the 150th anniversary of Confederation in Canada and there will be many special events around the Canada Day (July 1) weekend. Check out the many events.

Whether you are a history buff, a hiker, a cyclist, or an urban shopper, the first place to look for information about Victoria is Tourism Victoria. They have links to all the major tourist attractions and activities as well as information about how to get there. Tourism Victoria is also the best place to look for whale watching tours, golfing, fishing, kayak rentals, and afternoon tea.

Fibre Places

Knotty By Nature
Weaving and spinning supplies
1704 Lillian Rd.

The Beehive Wool Shop
Yarn/knitting shop
1700 Douglas St.

Boutique De Laine (Facebook page)
Yarn/knitting shop
2530 Estevan Ave.

Button & Needlework Boutique
Buttons, yarn and embroidery supplies
614 View St.

Special Events

Victoria JazzFest – June 23 – July 2
Canada 150 in Victoria – June 21 – July 1

Our favourite tourist attractions

  • Springtide Whale Watching Tours offers all conference attendees and their friends and family a $30 discount just by mentioning “ANWG2017” when they reserve directly with SpringTide, either by telephone – 1.800.470.3474, on our website, via email, or by dropping in to see us at 1119 Wharf Street, whichever is most convenient. 
  • Butchart Gardens National Historic Site – a group of display gardens originally planted by Jennie Butchart starting in 1904.
  • Butterfly Gardens – a tropical, indoor jungle populated with butterflies.
  • Craigdarroch Castle National Historic Site – a historic, Victorian-era Scottish Baronial mansion built for Robert Dunsmuir.
  • Government House – the home of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia who is the Queen’s representative within the province. The extensive gardens are open daily unless a member of the Royal Family is visiting. There are occasional tours of the house available.
  • Hatley Park National Historic Sitenow home to Royal Roads University, the park houses gardens and Edwardian-era Hatley Castle that was built for James and Laura Dunsmuir.
  • Parks Canada operates both Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site – a coastal artillery fort built in the late 1890s to defend Victoria and the Esquimalt Naval Base and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site – the first permanent lighthouse on the west coast of Canada.
  • The Maritime Museum of British Columbia – exhibits about British Columbia’s maritime history.
  • Parliament Buildings – British Columbia’s landmark parliament buildings featuring ornate neo-baroque architecture, artwork, and guided tours.
  • Point Ellice House National Historic Site – a 19th-century Victorian home displaying original household items, and a period garden. Point Ellice House also serves afternoon tea.
  • The Robert Bateman Centre – located in the historic Steamship Terminal on the Inner Harbour, this gallery houses a collection of art works by Robert Bateman as well as shorter term exhibitions.
  • Royal BC Museum – the Province of British Columbia’s natural and human history museum. You will receive a coupon for a $3 discount on the price of admission in your conference bag.
  • Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea – is a not-for-profit aquarium and cultural learning centre that focuses on the ecosystem of the Salish Sea.

Art Galleries

  • A suggested Gallery Tour of places highlighting textiles includes four local galleries.
  • Art Gallery of Greater Victoria – home to one of the most comprehensive collections of Asian art in Canada, historical collections featuring Canadian and international works, and exceptional contemporary art.

Parks, Cycling, and Walks

  • Finnerty Gardens – The garden contains over 4,000 different trees and shrubs with more than 1,500 rhododendron and azalea plants, including 200 collected rhododendron species, and a spectacular range of companion plants artistically displayed on a 2.6 hectare (6.5 acre) site at the southwest corner of UVic’s campus.
  • Mystic Vale – a forested ravine that was acquired by the University of Victoria in 1993 and is located on the southeast corner of the university campus outside Ring Road.
  • Jogging trail around the campus – Discussion about the trail.
  • Five hikes around Victoria.
  • Cadboro Beach – close to the University, it offers a sandy beach, a grassy playing field and a great playground.
  • Dallas Road Waterfront Walk – spend a morning walking or cycling the Victoria seafront from downtown to Oak Bay.
  • Willows Beach – is one of Victoria’s most popular swimming beaches. Its shallow, protected water is suitable for young children, while views of Discovery Island and Mount Baker make basking, swimming, or paddling there just that much more beautiful.
  • Beacon Hill Park – is a 75 hectare (185 acre) park located along the shore of Salish Sea in downtown Victoria.
  • Galloping Goose Regional Trail – is a 55 kilometre (34 mile) walking and cycling trail between Victoria and the ghost town of Leechtown, north of Sooke.
    Lochside Trail – is a 29 kilometre (18 mile) walking and cycling trail that runs from the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal to Victoria.
  • Thetis Lake Regional Park – this regional conservation area was established as Canada’s first nature sanctuary in 1958. The park offers delicate spring wildflowers, Garry oak ecosystems and Douglas-fir forest. There are freshwater lakes for swimming, canoeing and fishing for rainbow trout.
  • East Sooke Regional Park – a west coast wilderness park with 50 kilometres (31 miles) of trails through forests, fields, marsh and a challenging 10 kilometre (6 mile) coastal trail
  • Elk Lake/Beaver Lake Regional Park – a 1,072 acres park in Saanich,  containing two conjoined lakes that boast four family-friendly beaches. The lakes include picnic grounds, 15 kilometers of walking trails, bird watching, windsurfing, fishing, canoeing and rowing. There is a concession and restaurant open in the summer near the north end of Elk Lake. Elk Lake is the training area for Canada’s Olympic Rowing team.