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Tip some tea for Camosun tots

Victoria Tea Festival helps Camosun college childcare service

If you like to tip a few with your pinky raised, why not do it for a good cause?

The Victoria Tea Festival has been plying locals with fragrantly infused leaves for five years now and this sixth fundraiser for Camosun College Child Care Services will leave a sweet taste on your tongue.

"We were looking for a fundraiser that would be something to raise significant funds for our childcare services, so we were looking for something that would also be honourable and respectful," said Lisa Stekelenburg, chair of the tea festival committee.

The group hit the spot with Victoria tea lovers. "When we started we had 200 people come. We had 3,352 through the doors last year," said Stekelenburg. "It went from a one-day event to a weekend event in 2009 as attendance multiplied."

It is the largest public tea exhibition in North America, in the city that claims itself the tea capital of Canada.

While you may find bone china and handmade tea cozys at the Victoria Tea Festival, you're more likely to come across jewelry made of recycled tea tins, artisan soaps infused with tea and decadent tea cocktails.

"The tea industry has grown and changed over the last six years," said Stekelenburg. "The Western world is finally catching up with the Eastern world in a sense. Tea is the second most popular beverage in the world – next to water."

All the money raised during the festival goes to provide childcare at the two Camosun campuses allowing parents the opportunity to pursue their educational and career goals while raising children. "Most of the students we see are single moms trying to make a go of it and move forward in life. Young moms have a lot of stress in their lives and our childcare service is not in the money making business," said Stekelenburg.


The Victoria Tea Festival is on Feb. 18 from noon to 5 p.m. and Feb. 19 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at  Crystal Garden, 713 Douglas St.