There’s plenty of ways to celebrate the first day of 2020 in Greater Victoria. (Unsplash)

10 ways to spend New Year’s Day 2020 in Greater Victoria

Everything from swimming to live music and a levee on Jan. 1, 2020

There are plenty of ways to spend the first day of the new year in Greater Victoria, including getting a head start on those exercise-related resolutions and taking in some live music.

Start the year off at the Lieutenant Governor of B.C.’s New Year’s Day Levee at Government House (1401 Rockland Ave.) with light refreshments and entertainment. They will be accepting donations for the Cridge Centre for the Family, cash preferred. Doors open at 10 a.m., music and remarks will begin around 11 a.m., and the event wraps up at noon.

READ ALSO: BC Transit offers free bus service for New Year’s

The City of Victoria will also be holding a levee from 10 a.m. to noon at Victoria City Hall. Complimentary refreshments will be provided by Chef David Roger of Songhees Seafood & Steam, and musical entertainment will be performed by Hal Fraser on piano. Parking will be free downtown at city parkades and on-street meters on New Year’s Day.

The Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre, located at 2775 Quadra St., is offering free admission on Jan. 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The facility invites you to start the new year off with some fitness from noon to 1 p.m. with Fitness on the First, a full-body workout for anyone 13 years of age and older. The fitness centre will also host an Everyone Welcome Fun Swim from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

If you prefer your swims to be of the polar variety, Polar Bear swims are being held at Esquimalt Lagoon in Colwood at 11:30 a.m., Whiffin Spit Park in Sooke at 11:30 a.m., Glass Beach near the end of Beacon Avenue at noon, Banfield Park in Victoria at noon, and Taylor Beach in Metchosin at 2 p.m.

READ ALSO: 5 places where you can do a polar bear swim in Greater Victoria

In Oak Bay, enjoy a four-kilometre community walk with the Oak Bay mayor and council from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The procession will be leaving the Oak Bay Recreation Centre lobby at 12:30 p.m., with coffee and tea provided in the Upstairs Lounge from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Also at the Oak Bay Recreation Centre, locals can enjoy free fitness sessions including jazzercise class from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on the indoor sports field, fitness studio orientations, 15-minute private tennis lessons from 1 to 3:30 p.m., an Everyone Welcome skate from 12:30 to 2 p.m., and pool access from noon to 4:30 p.m. Donations will be collected for Kid’s Sport on New Year’s Day.

For a green option, the Greater Victoria Greenbelt Society is hosting a gathering at Mary Lake Nature Sanctuary and Nature House at 1772 Millstream Rd. A guided nature walk starts at 1 p.m., followed by a 20-minute presentation on what’s happening at the sanctuary, and Stories from the Land from 3 to 4 p.m. Mulled cider, herbal teas, and gourmet popcorn will be available. This event is free for members and children, and otherwise by donation.

Victoria Orienteering is holding the first race of the year in Beacon Hill Park from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Orienteering is a sport where participants find various checkpoints with only a map and compass. Membership is required for this event, so arrive early to fill out any paperwork. The cost is $8 per map, but only $5 for returning members and free for first-timers. For more information go to the New Year’s Day Orienteering Levee Facebook page.

READ ALSO: Animals, house parties, manhunts: Top 10 most read stories across B.C. in 2019

For something more classical, consider having A Viennese New Year with Ballet Victoria and Victoria Symphony at the Farquhar at the University of Victoria. Singers join dancers for an afternoon of music and dance featuring the work of Johann Strauss. Tickets are $50 to $70 and can be found at victoriasymphony.ca.

For a quiet start to the new year, join Lanny Pollet on the flutes and recorders, and Denis Donnelly on the Irish harp and guitar at the First Unitarian Church of Victoria. Join them at at 5575 West Saanich Rd. from 2 to 3:30 p.m. to enjoy traditional acoustic music from many cultures with no announcements and no applause. Admission by donation.


Like us on Facebook and follow @yrlocaljourno

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Norm Scott, president of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch no. 91 in Lanford, pins the first poppy to launch the annual Poppy Campaign on George Baker, who served with the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1953 to 1989. Baker said it was an honour to be chosen for something so significant for veterans everywhere. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
Poppy campaign launches in Langford with pinning ceremony

The poppy campaign is officially underway with the first of the pins… Continue reading

Cat owners are being warned to keep their pets indoors after a threatening note was found posted in a North Saanich neighbourhood. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
ROAM warns Peninsula cat owners after threatening note posted in neighbourhood

Note writer doesn’t want cats pooping in their yard, threatens to trap them

Police are looking to identify suspects in an Oct. 10 report of mischief in at a construction site in the 2800-block of Peatt Road in Langford. (West Shore RCMP handout)
West Shore RCMP seeks suspects after trio spray paints Langford construction site

Three individuals caught on camera hopping a fence on Peatt Road

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Allentown, Pa. on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
POLL: How closely are you following the U.S. presidential election?

It may feel like it’s been going on forever but the U.S.… Continue reading

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Police service dog Herc helped RCMP locate and arrest suspects in the Ladysmith area on Oct. 23, 2020, related to a stolen vehicle. (Submitted)
RCMP nab prolific property offender in Ladysmith with assist from police dog Herc

Police attempted to stop the vehicle but it fled from the area towards Chemainus.

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

Most Read