Magic brings Victoria French Fest to life

15th annual event brings together region’s francophones and francophiles

Musicians Chris Frye

As the Capital Region prepares to celebrate its French roots and prominent francophone subculture with the 15th annual Victoria French Fest, there’s already a heady dose of magic in the air.

Esquimalt musician Chris Frye and the Analog Ghosts plan to add to the festival’s theme of magic when they open for renowned magician Alain Choquette on Friday (March 9), at 7:30 p.m. at the McPherson Theatre.

Frye, along with vocalist, keyboardist and saxophonist Brooke Maxwell, Joey Smith on upright bass and jazz drummer Kelby McNair, will perform tunes in French and English.

Their blend will be reflective of the bilingual festival, which draws some of the Capital Region’s estimated 7,000 francophones, whose first language is French, and some of the 30,000 francophiles, who speak French as a second language.

More than 4,000 children are enrolled in French immersion school programs in the region.

“And the numbers keep going up, so I think there is an interest in our community to speak both official languages,” said Marie-Pier Courbron, cultural services manager at the Victoria Francophone Society, which is organizing the festival.

“The festival really invites people of all cultures and backgrounds to celebrate together, and you just feel it all the way,” Frye said. “It’s very inclusive, which is what Victoria is all about.”

The festival, running tomorrow through Sunday, includes free events at Centennial Square on Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.

There will be French food, an arts fair, live entertainment, balloon and face-painting artists, bouncy castles and military displays.

A French-language guided tour of Victoria, which costs $5, leaves from the square on Saturday at 1 p.m.

A free circus arts workshop for children age three to eight will happen inside the lobby of the McPherson Theatre on Saturday, from noon to 3 p.m.

Then at 4 p.m. Cirque du Soleil co-founder and performer, clown Ben Labarouette, will take the McPherson stage with his Dream Circus act. Tickets are required.

For event details, please visit or call 250-388-7350.

Just Posted

Some SD62 schools without emergency supplies

PACs want province to step up with funding

Jazz songstress Ellen Doty brings her sweet sound to Hermann’s Jazz Club

March 27 concert in Victoria part of national CD release tour

No injuries in single-vehicle accident on Sooke Road

Traffic moving slowly in both directions

McClure house fire saw Victoria firefighters utilize drone for first time in live situation

Aerial device feeds intel to crews to help formulate firefighting action plans

View Royal residents to see minor tax increase

The 0.92 per cent increase is significantly lower than what was projected

Submariners come home after 197-day deployment

Tears and laughter filled the jetty where emotional friends and family welcomed the HMCS Submarine Chicoutimi

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women this weekend

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

B.C. Scientists witness first-ever documented killer whale infanticide

“It’s horrifying and fascinating at the same time.”

Charges formally laid against Nanaimo city manager

City of Nanaimo CAO Tracy Renee Samra charged with fear of injury/damage by another person

Okanagan Falls winery showing international photo project

Liquidity Wines will be sole Canadian show of National Geographic’s Photo Ark

Lawyer for one suspect in beating of man with autism says he’s not guilty

Ronjot Singh Dhami will turn himself in, lawyer said

Liberals awarded $100,000 contract to man at centre of Facebook data controversy

Christopher Wylie says his voter-profiling company collected private information from 50 million Facebook users

Facebook’s Zuckerberg admits mistakes in privacy scandal

Zuckerberg admits to privacy scandal involving a Trump-connected data-mining firm, but no apology

UPDATE: Former B.C. city councillor sentenced nine months for sexual assault

Dave Murray, convicted this past fall, hired a private investigator to intrude on the victim’s life.

Most Read