A group of brave swimmers go in for a quick dip during Metchosin’s annual polar bear swim on Jan. 1, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Ed Watson Photography)

Greater Victoria polar bear plunges

Many will take an icy plunge on New Year’s Day

It’s the perfect wake-up call after a night of celebrations.

Every New Year’s Day, many Canadians participate in polar bear swims, plunging into icy waters to wash away the previous year and start new.

This year is no different, with three polar bear swims scheduled in the Greater Victoria area.

For the second time in a row, VSN hosts a Polar Bear Swim at Esquimalt Lagoon. Everyone can register for the swim for $5, with proceeds going to KidSport Greater Victoria. Those who want a convenient way to warm up after taking a dip can pay $30 and receive a commemorative T-shirt, hot chocolate and access to heated shelters.

Last year, about 500 people participated in the swim. This year’s starts around 11:30.

There will be a ceremonial send-off with the Songhees First Nation to acknowledge the celebrations are taking place on the land of the Lekwungen People. There will also be a ceremonial first dive by a uniformed Victoria HarbourCats baseball player.

“It’s kind of like in baseball, you have a ceremonial first-pitch,” said organizer Christopher Kelsall.

There will also be draw-prizes, one of which will go to the first person fully immersed in water.

“It’ll be fun,” Kelsall said. “I dove in last year after everyone was done, I couldn’t get out quick enough.”

The Peninsula Celebrations Society holds its annual Polar Bear Swim on the same day at Glass Beach at the end of Beacon Avenue.

In Sooke, the Otter Point Volunteer Fire Department hosts its annual swim at Whiffin Spit Park.

Metchosin will hold its annual swim at 2 p.m. at Taylor Beach after a six kilometre run and three kilometre walk to warm up.

READ MORE: Sooke’s polar bear swim a shiveringly good time

READ MORE: Otter Point Fire Department hosts 26th Polar Bear Swim

If you go:

Esquimalt Polar Bear Swim

Tues., Jan. 1, 11:30 a.m.

Esquimalt Lagoon

Registration is $5 for a regular ticket or $30 for a ticket, t-shirt, hot chocolate and access to heated shelters

Proceeds go to KidSport Greater Victoria

More information here

Sidney Annual Polar Bear Swim

Tues., Jan. 1, noon

Glass Beach, Sidney with access at end of Beacon Avenue

Free

More information here

Sooke Polar Bear Swim

Tues., Jan. 1, 11:30 a.m.

Whiffin Spit Park, Sooke

Free

More information here

Metchosin Polar Bear Swim

Tues., Jan. 1, 2 p.m. run/walk starts at 1 p.m.

Taylor Beach

Free

More information here

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Ancient microbes discovered off the Juan de Fuca Ridge potentially offers glimpse into alien life

The marine bacteria is dependent on hydrogen, a compound present almost everywhere

Volunteers needed for annual Mother’s Day walk

Breast Cancer Society of Canada hosts annual Mother’s Day event

Saanich rental project wins silver by going ‘green’

The Verve rental housing project stands at the corner of Boleskine Road and Whittier Avenue

Sidney Lions dish $4,000 to help build on growing trishaw bike charity

Cycling Without Age Society draws attention as far off as Washington

420 celebrations turn over new leaf at B.C. legislature

Cannabis is legal for the first time in the 21-year existence of the 420 event in Victoria

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

Most Read