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The Maritime Museum of BC’s 43rd Annual Victoria Classic Boat Festival Returns this Labour Day Weekend!

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The Maritime Museum of BC, and sponsor Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard, with support from the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and the BC Fairs, Festivals, and Events Recovery Fund grant from the Province of British Columbia, will be hosting the 43rd Annual Victoria Classic Boat Festival this Labour Day Weekend, from September 2nd-4th.

Schedule of Events

Docks are open to the public by donation (suggested $5):
Friday, September 2: 8 AM – 8 PM
Saturday, September 3: 8 AM – 8 PM
Sunday, September 4: 8 AM – 6 PM

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Watch the Festival Kick-Off in the Inner Harbour at noon on Friday, and take in the sounds of the Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy!

The Hounds of Cuchulain will play on the deck of Deerleap at the docks on Saturday at 1 PM, and the Costume Contest for Boaters will be held on the docks at 2 PM.

See all the gorgeous classic boats in the annual Sail Past—a cannon salute starts the sail past at 11 AM. Best view is from Ogden Point Breakwater and Clover Point!

The MMBC and the Ex-Forest Service Vessel Squadron (EFSVS) are pleased to announce their new affiliation and mutually supportive relationship. The Squadron is a unique Canadian organization of common-purpose former workboats comprising British Columbia Forest Service Ranger Launches now in private ownership. As these vessels currently represent a floating museum of BC’s coastal maritime heritage, this new relationship complements MMBC’s purpose of promoting the maritime heritage and maritime culture of the province.

Each BC Day long weekend in August, the Squadron holds an annual Rendezvous at different locations around the south coast and encourages the public to visit the attending vessels. In keeping with its new relationship with the MMBC, the Squadron will promote the Museum at these annual events. This year, the Squadron will hold its Rendezvous over the 2022 Labour Day weekend in conjunction with the Victoria Classic Boat Festival!

Additional information about the EFSVS and its origin may be found on the EFSVS website and MMBC’s website.

About the Victoria Classics Boat Festival

The Victoria Classic Boat Festival is a spectacular annual gathering of vessels of a Classic design, both new and old, power and sail.  Vessels attend from all over the Pacific Northwest, with the occasional visiting vessel from distant oceans. Each year during the Labour Day Weekend, approximately 10,000 visitors tour the docks and the boats on display. The public is invited to view the boats while they are moored at the Inner Harbour docks. Many owners generously offer tours of their boats.

William Noon, Festival Chair, noted that “the Pacific Northwest is blessed with an enormous number of traditional boats – from sailboats, to workboats, to cruisers. The Festival began in 1977 with the idea that our maritime heritage must not only be preserved, but also celebrated. The Festival’s open docks, events, and activities serve to engage our community and visitors on our maritime history, culture, and its ongoing story. “

Don Prittie, General Manager of Canoe Cove Marina, is “proud to be the principal sponsor of one of the great maritime festivals on the west coast. This event truly showcases floating works of art that make up an important part of our maritime heritage. Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard shares in this history, having first been established in the recreational and commercial boating community in the early 1900s.”

As in previous years, these classic boats will participate in a “sail past” and race on Sunday, September 4. The modern day “sail past” tradition began at the first yacht club that was formed in England nearly 200 years ago. It was first introduced as a continuation of the naval habit of having Admirals and Royalty review the fleet on special occasions. The Festival’s tradition is similar, however, the Honourary Commodore instead of the Admiral receives the salute. Spectators can head out to watch the parade of ships and races from Victoria Waterfront on Sunday afternoon.

Learn more at: https://mmbc.bc.ca/news-and-events/classic-boat-festival/events/

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