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

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

A video captured by Twitter user Teddy Jenner of a fire in Beacon Hill Park the night of Jan. 21, 2021. (Twitter/@OfftheCrosseBar)
Fire rips through tents, wooden structures in Beacon Hill Park

Emergency crews say there was no injuries in the blaze

Victoria police say a missing teen has been located safe. (Black Press Media file photo)
Missing teen located safe: Victoria police

Missing person alert ended for high-risk missing 14-year-old

Central Saanich installed a temporary portable along Lochside Trail near Michell’s Farm Market and remains in discussion with the Capital Regional District about finding what Mayor Ryan Windsor called a ‘permanent solution’ to ensuring washroom access at the popular location. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Central Saanich in talks with CRD about ‘permanent’ washroom facility near Lochside Trail

The municipality installed a temporary portable washroom near Michell’s Farm Market last week

There are many options for enjoying a meal out locally during Dine Around and Stay in Town, on now through Feb. 7. (10 Acres Commons)
Dine Around Stay in Town Victoria carries added importance during pandemic

Special menu items for eat in or takeout/delivery, staycation deals available through Feb. 7

(Black Press Media file photo)
Bylaw officers called to Saanich park for COVID-19 protocol violations on pickleball court

Raquet sport players reminded to avoid doubles play amid pandemic

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Reader’s Lens
The surf’s up at Whiffin Spit. Joan Stiebel snapped this photo on a recent windy day in Sooke. To submit a photo to Reader’s Lens, please email editor@sookenewsmirror.com. (Contributed photo)
Reader’s Lens

Reader’s Lens The surf’s up at Whiffin Spit. Joan Stiebel snapped this… Continue reading

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Mowi Canada West’s Sheep Pass salmon farm, the company’s final B.C. operation to receive certification from the Aquaculture Steward Council. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is questioning a government decision to phase out salmon farms in the Discovery Islands. (Photo supplied by Mowi Canada West)
Canadian Federation of Agriculture backs B.C. salmon farmers

Letter to prime minister calls for federal “champion” for aquaculture growth

Most Read