About the Gorge Canada Day Picnic

2022 EVENT: The Gorge Tillicum Community Assocation is excited to bring this event back on Friday July 1, 2022!

The first Gorge Canada Day Picnic (GCDP) in 1999 came about through the vision and hard work of a small group of Gorge Tillicum Community Association (GTCA) volunteers. The key ideas were to have a day that Gorge residents could enjoy, traffic-free, along the Waterway and to build community through a popular celebration. We knew the Gorge had long been associated by older Victoria generations with fun and celebration, so we were just continuing a longstanding tradition.

With the support of Saanich municipality to close the road, we went about the job of filling up the 1.7km "stage" with fun, family oriented events. And we were fortunate enough to get it right almost from the beginning — many of the events you see today began in the early years of the GCDP and have maintained their popularity: the Family Parade; the Pancake Breakfast; the Canada Day Market; the Classic Car Show; the kids' games and road hockey; and the Strawberry Tea.

The first year went off without a hitch, but there were lots of open spaces in contrast to the busy and increasingly popular event you see today. One GCDP led to another, and thankfully many of the same team who produced the early Picnics have stayed involved over the years.

While there have been highlights over the years, the real highlight is the safe, secure and joyous event we've created for the growing numbers of residents and friends — now estimated at 10,000 to 12,000 people — who come each July 1st. The Picnic Committee is strong and vibrant and the event remains a largely volunteer-run operation but also benefits from significant support from Saanich and our sponsors.

Event News

  • 01 July, 2022 - Wow, what a day! We were so glad to be back bringing you music, food, and fun. Happy faces everywhere (well, maybe a few kids tears here and there) and a fantastic celebration here on the Gorge Waterway. Thank-you to all our sponsors and volunteers and to our neighbourhood!

    01 July, 2022 - It's on! The grills are sizzling, the music is playing, and classic cars are shining! Come on down!

    30 June, 2022 - A shout out to Saanich Parks Department who spent the last two days working hard on making Gorge Waterway Park look fantastic to welcome you all tomorrow!

    28 June, 2022 - Riding your bicycles to the event? There will be bicycle valet parking staffed by Capital City Bike. They will be in the parking lot near the playground just past the Gorge & Tillicum intersection.

    25 June, 2022 - Want to get off the land and onto the water? The Victoria Canoe and Kayak club will be bringing a dragon boat and voyageur canoe up the Gorge to the beach at Craigflower-Kosapsom Park. For only $2 each, they will take you out for a bit of a paddle on the water, under the bridge, and back to the beach. Do something different! Support the VCKC!

    18 June, 2022 - The Lekwungen Traditional Dancers will be opening the day at the Pancake Breakfast under the Buskers' Corner tent at 9:30am. Due to a scheduling conflict they have elsewhere, they will no longer appear on the Main Stage at 11am. The 11am Main Stage timeslot will now feature Rick and Rusty.

    15 June, 2022 - Gorge on Art has become a staple feature of the Gorge Canada Day Picnic. This year it expands into the grassy area at "The Bend" at the bottom of Austin Avenue. You can visit over 25 local artists and view their art. This zone also features one of the day's entertainment stages. For 2022, the entertainment line-up at Gorge on Art feature classical and contemporary musicians from the Victoria Conservatory of Music!

    01 June, 2022 - In 2019, after 20 years of the Main Stage being in Craigflower-Kosapsom Park, we made the decision to switch things up. The Main Stage was re-located to the natural grass amphitheatre in Gorge Waterway Park, near Tillicum Road. It was a success and will be located there again. There will be 4 acts starting at 11am. We're excited to welcome the Lekwungen Dancers, Tom Morrissey, Q Bachand, and Late Shift in 2022! Bring a blanket, a picnic, and enjoy the music!

    03 April, 2022 - The Gorge Canada Day Picnic returns after a two year hiatus! We look forward to hosting you in our community for a family friendly event on Friday July 1, 2022.

    05 January, 2022 - The Gorge Canada Day Picnic will potentially be held this year. The Gorge Tillicum Community Assocation is hoping to hold the event, but due to uncertainty at this time, decisions will be delayed until February or March.

About the GTCA

The Gorge Tillicum Community Association (GTCA) has established itself as a vibrant, proactive community group in south Saanich. We have achieved a great deal and our strength has been attracting great local people who invest their time, energy and skill to help build our community's future.

The Gorge Tillicum Community Association is a voluntary organization that is recognized by Saanich as the representative voice of our community on local issues. We promote a healthy, vibrant community by addressing issues such as environment and parks, traffic and transportation, land use planning and streetscapes, social wellness, and community celebration.

We have good working relationships with Saanich Council and municipal staff, as well as with other community agencies. In addition, we also receive the support of several local and regional businesses for the Gorge Canada Day Picnic.

more about us >

How to Get Involved

To get involved as a volunteer, vendor, performer, or sponsor, please read our FAQs.

A Community Event

Event Map

We've plotted event locations, food vendors, and facilities in a Google map so you can use your smarphone or tablet as a guide.
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Download the event programme!

The programme includes a map (event locations, food vendors, facilities, etc.) and complete event schedule. You can also use our online interactive map on your smartphone or tablet.
Download 2022 Programme!

Download the event poster!

Share the Gorge Canada Day event with friends, colleagues, and neighbours.
Download 2022 Poster!