Canadian College of Performing Arts

The Canadian College of Performing Arts is a unique training institution offering the highest level of performing arts instruction with a national scope and vision. Through our training programs, performances and alumni successes, the College fosters development, education, and appreciation of the performing arts in British Columbia, Western Canada, across the nation, and internationally.
The College presents a season of six plays over an October – April season, five of which are typically presented at the College’s Performance Hall on Elgin Road, as well as special events including the annual TD Festival of New Works, community events and performances, and more.

Chinese Cemetery / Harling Point

The cemetery lies beside the rocky shore of Harling Point, looking out towards the Olympic Mountains. Simple markers and a ceremonial altar are found among wildflowers in a setting selected according to the ancient concept of feng shui.

In 1903 the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association purchased 3.5 acres of land at Harling Point and established the Chinese Cemetery. Traditionally it was a sanctuary of temporary repose before final interment in China, a pattern which reflected the early aspirations of these immigrants to return to their homeland. After the Sino-Japanese war broke out in 1937, it was no longer possible to ship remains back to China. In 1961, bones of 849 Chinese pioneers whose return to China had been blocked since 1937 were finally laid to rest at Harling Point. At that time the cemetery became a memorial site in honour of Chinese-Canadian pioneers.

Harling Point also houses Harpooner rock, or Sahsima, to the Lekwungen First Nations, and falls on a meeting point of two geological plates. When the tide is low, you can see one side of the rock is grey and the other is green – someone says is shows a joining of cultures. It is a wonderful place to go and contemplate the world’s wonders.

In 1994 the Chinese Cemetery at Harling Point was designated a National Historic Site by the Government of Canada.

Historic Sites

Heritage designation is a method of conserving places. The effect of heritage designation is to preserve the key features of a building and/or land that give it a distinctive heritage character. A formally designated municipal heritage site will remain a legacy to be appreciated by present and future generations. In Oak Bay there are presently 28 heritage designated homes and 7 heritage designated properties. The great majority of designated sites are also listed in the Community Heritage Register.

Click here for a list of historic sites. 

Heritage Properties

The Oak Bay Community Heritage Register is an official list of properties deemed to be of heritage value or character, as adopted by resolution of Oak Bay Municipal Council. It provides formal recognition for historic places and is a useful planning tool for other land use planning processes in the municipality. It does not offer heritage protection, and is not a formal designation.

Click for a list of heritage properties.

Oak Bay Archives

Oak Bay Archives collects, preserves and provides access to Oak Bay’s historical records. We are located on the lower level of the Oak Bay Municipal Hall and welcome visitors during our open hours on Tuesday mornings and Thursday afternoons. Volunteers are available to assist with inquiries.

Oak Bay Archives was established by the District of Oak Bay in 1994 and serves as the central repository of the community’s historical records. Oak Bay Archives gratefully accepts donations of photographs, family albums, personal papers and other documents relating to the history of Oak Bay.

For more information on our archives click here.

Oak Bay's Free Summer Concerts in Willows Beach

Summer Concerts at Willows Park

Oak Bay Parks, Recreation, and Culture spoils us in Oak Bay with free concerts on the beach throughout the summer!

The musical line-up is chosen to support established, as well as up and coming local talent who blend musical styles. Audiences can expect something different each time and a chance to enjoy music outdoors.

Bring a blanket and a picnic, and enjoy live music in a beautiful setting. Expect a variety of musical styles by local performers. Willows Beach Park is located at Dalhousie Street at Beach Drive.

All concerts in the series will take place at Willows Beach Park, starting at 6:30pm.

Oak Bays Artists' Studio Tour

Annual Artists’ Studio Tours

Oak Bay’s art scene truly is unique! Resident artists of Oak Bay open up the doors to their homes and studios several times a year and invite the public in to view and appreciate their art.

These tours are self-guided and free. There are around 25 local artists that participate, showing paintings in watercolour, acrylic, and oil, as well as ceramics, jewelry, photography, fibre art, paper castings, art cards, woodcuts and more.

Participants are invited to walk, bike, or drive the streets of Oak Bay at their own pace to view the art, meet the artists, and learn about artists’ inspiration and process.

This unique event is organized and produced by Oak Bay Parks, Recreation, and Culture.

In addition to the displays in their home studios, artists also exhibit a selection of works in the Neighbourhood Learning Centre (adjacent to Oak Bay High School). Oak Bay is proud to support local artists share their art with the community, and to provide education about art and its many expressions.

This event is free to the public. Printed brochures are available at the Oak Bay Recreation Centres, Oak Bay Municipal Hall, and the Oak Bay Library as well as at local businesses and through participating artists prior to the show.

Oak Bay Village Christmas Light Up

Oak Bay Village Christmas Light-Up

Every year as the cooler sea air sets in, Oak Bay Village welcomes the oncoming holidays with a grand Light Up festival.

Family activities start at 2 PM with a bouncy castle, street games, craft stations and lighted trucks. Onstage entertainment begins at 3 PM. Plus enjoy roasted chestnuts, letters to Santa, and thousands of lights on buildings, trees and lampposts throughout the Village.

Santa Claus arrives in style riding an Oak Bay Fire Truck to really get things started!

The Oak Bay Christmas Festival kicks off the last Sunday in November with the Light Up

Oak Bay Tea Party

Oak Bay Tea Party

For over 50 years, Oak Bay has celebrated the first weekend in June with the Oak Bay Tea Party. The parade kicks off early on the Saturday morning, and is led all through Oak Bay to its final destination, Willows Beach. Don’t miss the Mayor of Oak Bay, as he usually leads the parade (and tosses a couple of kilos of candy along the way).

Enjoy carnival rides throughout the whole weekend, an air show, ladies nail driving contest, Mayor’s floating teacup challenge, live bands, raffles, baron of beef, a kiddy coral, and much more for the whole family.

Why do we celebrate the Oak Bay Tea Party you ask? Because it’s fun! The event is a non-profit organization that fundraises for organizations such as Oak Bay Kiwanis, Lions, and community projects.

For more info about participating in the parade, sponsorships, event times, etc, please visit the Oak Bay Tea Party website for updates.

Come for the unique, Oak Bay experience!

Oak Bay Summer Night Markets

Summer Night Markets

From June through to September, Oak Bay Village closes down its street once a month and is transformed into a European style street market. You’ll find a wide range of fresh and local produce and hot-n-ready street food available. There is live music (watch out for people dancing in the street!), a magician, pop-up theatre, face painting and balloon animals.

Artists and artisans showcase a variety of unique treasures, including wood turned bowls, handmade greeting cards, glass art, fabric arts, jewelry, toys, fresh made soaps and cosmetics and preserves.

The stores of Oak Bay Village are open with special pricing, tastings, demos, sampling and more.

The market comes alive between 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm on the second Wednesday of the month.

For vendor info, see the Oak Bay BIA website.