Nightlife in Victoria
Victoria is famous for its robust craft cocktail scene and micro brew pubs, and an assortment of great bars and clubs to kick back and relax or dance the night away.When the sun goes down and the lights go on, Victoria comes alive with music, performing arts, concerts, films and much more. This is a place with a most musical past. After all, we're the birthplace and childhood home of music producer David Foster, winner of 16 Grammy awards. He has kept a strong connection with the community, and still visits regularly and contributes to local organizations. David Foster Way, a waterfront pathway along the Inner Harbour, was named in his honour in 2012.
Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub, located west across the Johnston Street Bridge, was the first one in Canada, and has been joined by a handful of others. Canoe Brewpub, located in a historic 1894 coal plant overlooking the Inner Harbour just north of the bridge, is famous for its handcrafted beers. Just east of the bridge, Swans Hotel serves beers handcrafted right next door. New players on the scene include the German-fusion beers at Moon Under Water (located on Bay Street), and traditional English-fashioned ales at 4 Mile Brew Pub (on the Old Island Highway). Popular British Isles-influenced downtown pubs include The Bard & Banker, Irish Times Pub, Bartholomew's English-Style Pub, Garrick's Head Pub and Darcy's Pub.
Cocktail culture is alive and thriving here, too. The celebrated Fairmont Empress Hotel overlooks the rose garden and is a great place to watch the sun set or sip a martini by the fire, accompanied by music from a live jazz trio. Clive's Classic Lounge, named after hotel owner, Clive Piercy, is renowned as one of the top cocktail lounges in the country. Located in the Chateau Victoria Hotel, it features Swarovski crystal lighting, glass and mirror pieces designed by local artisans, comfortable leather chairs and two elegant fireplaces.
The Strathcona Hotel on Douglas Street is home to an assortment of bars like the Sticky Wicket, Rooftop Surfclub, The Clubhouse and Big Bad Johns. Distrikt brings a big city club experience to downtown with an exceptional sound system, a fabulous light show and music to dance dance dance.
The Gallery Bar brings a Great Gatsby-esq style for a different lounge/club experience. It attracts both a funky and well-dressed crowd to its intimate space with low lighting. This place buzzes with energy as the night goes on with DJ-spun tunes and a projection mapping system on one wall. The Shark Club Bar and Grill is a popular sports bar, but it's also renowned for its West Coast cuisine, live DJs and top notch service. Enjoy complex dishes with Asian, Italian and Canadian influences, listen to great music, dance and enjoy the company. Upstairs Cabaret is an exciting new nightclub, which attracts a mature and lively crowd with great live acts and professionally selected music. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming with gorgeously appointed décor. It's a great place to enjoy premium liquors, wines and craft brewed beers and an upscale party alternative to the usual Victoria club scene. Hush has been the place for electronic music in Victoria for more than 10 years, and it is renowned for its house and progressive playlists. A fantastic place to ride the sub-bass waves and dance dub-step and down-tempo.
At the foot of Chinatown and overlooking the Inner Harbour, the Sunset Room is an arts and music venue with fashion events, dance nights, live rock shows, book fairs and a whole lot more. It's a favourite dance destination for Victoria's electronica music community, and also features a wide variety of DJ-spun genres. With its long, low, cavernous feel, Lucky Bar has long been a grungy favourite for hipsters. It's locally renowned for its theme nights, like its lounge night where the couches are rolled out and a relaxing DJ vibe is on the menu. There's live entertainment, too, with local music, touring acts and a bit of this 'n that. Paparazzi is Victoria's premier gay nightclub with awesome DJs spinning the latest dance music and fantastic drag shows. It's quickly gaining renown for its welcoming atmosphere and great customer service.
Torch Lounge has three different rooms with three different DJs and its exclusive table service and VIP areas are a popular way to make a night out special and distinctive. Torch is a fabulous place to mix and mingle, enjoy some drinks and let loose on the dance floor. V-Lounge Sports Bar and Grill is a great place to go if you love sports, but that's just the start.
There's plenty of sports on HD and also free pool, darts, live shows, DJs and karaoke – a participant sport! Its tropical, island-style décor sets it apart in Victoria, and there's a pub menu and extensive selection of beer and cocktails. Carlton Club Cabaret is Esquimalt's party machine. It's a New York-style cabaret nightclub with a relaxed cocktail culture and an excellent lineup of local and international DJs and live talent. There's been a cabaret at this location since 1959, and the wood and block interior dates back to the 1990s.
The Alix Goolden Performance Hall, formerly a church sanctuary, is an elegant 800-seat space with exceptional acoustics, a spectacular vaulted ceiling, handcrafted wooden pews and exquisite stained glass windows. The Hall plays host to acclaimed international performers and many not yet famous – but likely will be. As Vancouver Island's largest professional theatre company, The Belfry produces 10 to 12 shows each season in its two theatres. Its mainstage is in a beautifully restored heritage church seating 280.