About the Gorge Canada Day Picnic

2023 EVENT: The Gorge Tillicum Community Assocation is excited to host you in our community on Saturday July 1, 2023!

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, 2023 - Wow, what a day! 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, 2023 - It's on! The food is great, the music is playing, and classic cars are shining! Come on down, it's on until 4pm.

  • 30 June, 2023 - Thanks to Hazelwood for getting the paving done! It's fresh new blacktop. There are some unpaved sidewalks and unlandscaped areas, so please take care. With the heat, we suggest a hat, and please consider the new pavement will be hot, so be careful with your dogs paws! There is no designated parking area, so if you are coming by car, you'll need to park on our neighbourhood side streets and walk a few blocks. We're looking forward to hosting you in our community!

  • 30 June, 2023 - 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.

  • 26 June, 2023 - Want to get off the land and onto the water? The Victoria Canoe and Kayak club offering rides from the beach at Craigflower-Kosapsom Park. For only a few dollars each, they will take you out for a paddle on the water, under the bridge, and back to the beach.

  • 24 June, 2023 - 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 28 local artists and view their art. This zone also features one of the day's entertainment stages. The entertainment line-up at Gorge on Art feature classical and contemporary musicians from the Victoria Conservatory of Music!

  • 05 June, 2023 - You may know there is currently construction along Gorge Road West. We met with Saanich and Hazelwood Construction today. They are working hard on having the road repaving complete this month. Sidewalks, landscaping, and other things will not be complete before the event. Rest assured they will clear equipment and clean up on June 30th and the Picnic will be able to take place on July 1st.

  • 22 May, 2023 - We are pleased to announce the Main Stage 2023 line-up! Paradise Street will kick off the day at noon. At 1:15pm come tap your toes to the high energy Stephanie Cadman Trio, with Adrian Dolan on keys and Kraig Waye on Guitar and vocals. A world-renowned dancer, celebrated violinist an accomplished actress of stage and screen, Stephanie’s talents know no bounds. Maintaining a busy touring schedule as a Canadian Folk Awarded solo musician, Stephanie has rocked audiences across North America and beyond. To end the day, come dance away to the 1980s cover band Freeze Frame!

  • 30 April, 2023 - Gorge on Art has become a staple feature of the Gorge Canada Day Picnic. You can visit over 20 local artists and view their art. This zone also features one of the day's three stages. For 2023, the entertainment line-up at Gorge on Art will again feature musicians from the Victoria Conservatory of Music!

  • 02 January, 2023 - Rest assured the Gorge Canada Day Picnic is on again in 2023! Plan to be there on Saturday July 1, 2023.

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.
Take me there!

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 2023 Programme!

Download the event poster!

Share the Gorge Canada Day event with friends, colleagues, and neighbours.
Download 2023 Poster!