Victoria Symphony Splash

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What is Victoria Symphony Splash?

Victoria Symphony Splash is an annual Victoria Symphony event that takes place on a floating stage moored in Victoria’s Inner Harbour. It includes musical entertainment, food, souvenirs and the evening’s highlight: a live performance by the Victoria Symphony. Splash is now one of the largest annual symphony events in North America, attracing up to 40,000 Victoria residents and visitors from all over the world, some who visit Victoria just to see Splash! Over 400 volunteers help to bring the event to the community.

What kind of music does the orchestra play?

The music performed is a mix of classical and popular selections and one (or two) talented young soloists are featured each year. The concert concludes with a performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, complete with bells, cannons, and fireworks.

What time does Splash begin?

Many people arrive early to ensure they have a good view of the barch for the orchestra performance at 7:30 PM. The Family Zone opens from 1:00 – 4:00 PM, and the opening act (2014 opening act features The Timebenders) begins at 4:00 PM. Splash concludes at approximately 10:00 PM.

What is the admission?

Victoria Symphony Splash is produced entirely by the Victoria Symphony and supported by generous sponsors. We ask that you donate $5 per person to make this event a reality. Every $5 donation will receive a Splash Button which you can wear proudly to show your support for the Symphony. You’ll find volunteers with donation buckets roaming the crowds or you can track down one of our donation barrels. All proceeds go to support the Victoria Symphony.

What should I bring?

You may want to bring a folding chair, or a blanket if you plan to sit on the Legislature lawn. If you do bring a chair, please observe all posted signs and roped-off areas. The wind off the water can be chilly after sunset, so bring a sweater or wrap. Please be advised that sunscreen and hats are recommended for sun protection and water to keep you hydrated! Chairs will not be allowed to be set up before 8:00 AM on August 2.

What amenities are available?

Food and beverage vendors are located on Government Street next to the Royal BC Museum. A percentage of sales is donated to the Victoria Symphony. Portable washrooms are located in easily identified areas and St. John’s Ambulance staff several first-aid stations. Seats on the Grandstand (bleecher-style seating) are available for purchase in advance through the Victoria Symphony Box Office (250.385.6515). Grandstand seats remaining on Splash Day can be purchased through the Informatoin and Merchandise tent on site. Blankets, sweatshirts, cooler bags, and other items are also available for purchase a tth emerchandise tent on site.

What should I do if I have a physical disability?

We have a designated area for people with disabilities on the lawns of the Empress. People requiring assistance and those in wheelchairs are welcome to come with their family to enjoy this area after 4 pm.

Is it possible to come by boat?

Yes! Small craft owners (kayakers, canoeists) can moor their craft near the barge to listen to the music from the water. The Harbour Master will let you know if your watercraft is too close to the barge.

Bring Your Family

Instrument Petting Zoo - Photo Credit Daniel German
Open 1:00 – 4:00 PM, the Victoria Symphony Splash Family Zone will feature plenty of activities for the entire family

Activities include:

  • Face painting
  • Instrument petting zoo
  • Craft activities by RBCM, Robert Bateman Centre, Parks Canada and more
  • Games and activities with Sportball
  • Bouncy Castle
  • Clowns and more!

This year’s Family Zone is generously sponsored by the Province of British Columbia. Come see it from 1 pm – 4 pm, August 2 on the grounds of the Fairmont Empress.


History of Splash!

The Victoria Symphony launches its first Symphony Splash in celebration of its 50th Anniversary. Thousands of people showed up at the Inner Harbour to watch the orchestra play on a barge moored off shore. And they have been coming ever since, in greater and greater numbers.

The leaders of the organization at the time were Board President Murry Glazier, General Manager C. Stephen Smith and Music Director Peter McCoppin.

The following year donation barrels were set up and staffed by volunteers. In 1992 organizers arranged for a larger barge and a better sound system and, by 1993, concrete pilings were installed in the harbour to provide permament moorage for the Splash barge.

Splash is now one of the largest annual symphony events in North America. The event attracts up to 40,000 Victoria residents and visitors, and over 400 volunteers contribute to its goal of brining the symphony to the people.

Each year a young soloist is chosen to perform with the Victoria Symphony, a tradition that began in 1994 and to this day is supported by the Keslie and Murray Glazier Young Musicians Fund.

2014 marks the 25th anniversary of this great community event. Throughout the years, the event has continued to grow and improve. There have been a myriad of sensational acts, countless successes and overwhelmong support from the generous community of Victoria.

Moments in History

1994 – The tradition of the Splash young soloist is commenced with violinist Timothy Haig through the support of the Leslie and Murray Glazier Young Musician’s Fund.
1995 – Splash is postponed due to torrential rain showers and is rescheduled for a later show in August on Belleville Street.
2003 – Tania Miller’s debut as Splash conductor.
2005 – Maestro Giuseppe Pietraroia steps in to save Splash when an expectant Maestra Tania Miller delivers her first child a few days earlier than anticipated!
2006 – The only year anyone actually made a ‘splash.” One of the pipers, in full regalia, accidentally stepped off the barge at the end of the show. Although he was pulled quickly out of the water, the band still jokes about the “piper down!” cries that were heard from the crowd!
2009 – The orchestra parade is added giving Tania Miller, the young soloist, and the musiians the grand entrance they deserve.

Splash Young Soloists

2014: Erik Lin, piano
2013: Eric Manning, piano, Carter Johnson, piano
2012: Eehjoon Kwon, violin
2011: Alice Haekyo Lee, violin
2010: Grace Ma, piano, Phillip Manning, violin
2009: Christine Wong, piano, Josh Lovell, tenor
2008: Hugo Wong, piano
2007: Carolyn Tsao, piano, Sahara Sloan, voice, Timmy Chooi, violin
2006: Kevin O’Riordon, violin
2005: Heather Mcleod, voice
2004: Jordan Ofiesh, violin
2003:Justin Chiu, piano
2002: Chika Card, piano
2001: Nikki Chooi, violin
2000: Margit Juhasz, piano
1999: Caitlin Tully, violin
1998: Samuel Seong, piano
1997: Audrey Bild, piano
1996: Anthony Dolhai, piano
1995: Anthony Dolhai, piano (scheduled, but didn’t play)
1994: Timothy Haig, violin

Volunteer at Splash

Colourful volunteers

Volunteer at Splash!

Splash simply cannot happen without its team of wonderful volunteers, each year we recruit over 300 volunteers to help ensure that our event runs smoothly. We need you for a variety of tasks leading up to and during the day.

Benefits of Volunteering at Symphony Splash

– Be part of one of the largest outdoor orchestral events in North America and one of Vancouver Island’s signature summer events!
– Give back to your community and be part of a fantastic team!
– Support the Victoria Symphony, Vancouver Island’s largest arts organization
– Meet new and interesting people while you hear wonderful music in a spectacular setting
– Get a Splash volunteer t-shirt and invitation to the Splash Volunteer after-party in August
– Receive a ticket voucher for a concert in the Victoria Symphony’s 2014/2015 season

If you’d like to join us, please fill in this Volunteer Application Form , and our Volunteer Coordinator, Holly Brinkman, will be in touch soon.

Splash Volunteer Orientations are Monday, July 27 / Tuesday, July 28 and Wednesday, July 29 @ 6:00 pm at the Cook Street Village Activity Centre (380 Cook Street, #1)

The minimum age for volunteering at Splash is 16. If you are younger than 18, we’ll need permission from a parent or guardian before we can let you volunteer. Some volunteer positions require a criminal record check – Holly will let you know if your position requires this.

All volunteers are required to attend a brief orientation meeting during the last week in July. Once we know which team you’ll be working with, we can let you know when your orientation session will be.

Thank you!

Concert Program


Let’s Dance!

O Canada
Overture to Colas Breugnon – Kabalevsky
Tritsch-Tratsch Polka – J. Strauss Jr.
Wiener Blut– J. Strauss Jr.
España – Chabrier
Trumpet Concerto – Arutiunian
Dance of the Comedians (from the Bartered Bride) – Smetana
Bolero – Ravel


Huapango – Moncayo
Excerpts from Carmen – Intermezzo, Prelude and Aragonaise and Les Toréadors – Bizet
Mexican Hat Dance –arr. Hearshen
Libertango, Oblivion – Piazolla
1812 Overture – Tchaikovsky
Amazing Grace

Splash Young Soloists

The 2015 Young Soloists!

Ben Parker, Trumpet

Ben IIBen began playing trumpet when he was seven years old. The first year he played without a teacher and taught himself how to play by ear. Attending Comox Youth Music Centre’s classical music camp inspired him to play more classical music. He auditioned for the GVYO and got to play second trumpet with his schoolmate, Chris Fenje. This is Ben’s third year playing with the GVYO. He currently goes to St Michael’s University School and studies trumpet with Tim Quinlan.

Ben will be playing Arutiunian’s Trumpet Concerto.

Rebecca Bracewell, Accordion

Rebecca IIRebecca Bracewell was born in 1997. At the age of three, she was diagnosed with a severe hearing loss and ever since has had to wear hearing aids. One would think that someone having such an immense obstacle could not possibly be a musician. But not Rebecca, at the age of seven she started playing the piano.

After getting an old accordion at the age of 13, Rebecca fell in love with it, and couldn’t imagine her life without the music. At the age of 15, she decided to find herself the best possible accordion teacher and started having lessons with the internationally recognized classical accordionist and teacher, Jelena Milojevic. Under her guidance Rebecca made great strides, becoming the best classical accordionist in North America, under the age of 18. Rebecca recently successfully performed in Canada, US and Australia.

Rebecca will be playing Piazzolla’s Libertango and Oblivion.

Splash Sponsors and Heroes

Splash 2015 Sponsors

Sponsors for Web Splash 2015

Thank you to the following organizations who have joined Band of Heroes for 2015:

Annamaria and Dr. Perry Bamjii
Black Ball Ferry Line
Brown, Henderson, Melbye
Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa
Driftwood Brewery
Fairmont Empress
Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (Superhero)
Helijet International Inc.
L.A. Limousines
Magnolia Hotel and Spa
Milestones Grill & Bar
Monk Office
Murchie’s Tea and Coffee
Pescatores Fish House & Oyster Bar
Rick Arora – Stone Jeweler
Robbins Parking Services Ltd.
Rogers’ Chocolates
Royal Bank
Royal Roads University
Tempo Trend Music
Tourism Victoria
Union Club of British Columbia
University of Victoria
Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour
West End Gallery

Road Closures

Victoria Symphony Splash opens up roads around this Inner Harbour for pedestrian traffic. The first road closure of the west-bound lanes of Belleville St. between Government and Menzies occurs at 5 am, followed by the entire block at 12 noon then stretches of Government, Wharf and Belleville at 2 pm. During these times, bicycles, pedicabs, horse carriages and motor vehicles are not allowed to travel on the selected roads to allow for safe pedestrian access.

Roads re-open after the site is cleared between 11 pm and midnight.Splash Road Closures

Victoria Symphony Splash

On Sunday, August 2, 2015, tens of thousands of people will take to Victoria’s Inner Harbour for the 26th annual Victoria Symphony Splash!

From a floating stage in the Inner Harbour, Maestra Miller, the orchestra, Splash Young Soloists Ben Parker and Rebecca Bracewell and the opening act The Midnights will perform. The grand finale of the event is the performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture – with fireworks of course!

Events begin at 1:00 pm with the Province of British Columbia Splash Family Zone, and the barge entertainment begins at 4:00 pm with the Midnights. The Victoria Symphony concert begins at 7:30 pm.

Admission is by donation to help support the event. Donate $5 or more and get a 2015 Splash button!

#splash2015  – August 2nd, 2015! We hope to see you there!

Check out some photos & a video from Splash 2014!