Victoria Symphony Splash

Attend Splash

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, attracting up to 40,000 Victoria residents and visitors from all over the world, some who visit Victoria just to see Splash! Over 350 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 barge for the orchestra performance at 7:30 PM. The Family Zone opens from 1:00 – 4:00 PM, and the opening act 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 6!

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 (bleacher-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 Information and Merchandise tent on site. Blankets, t-shirts and other items are also available for purchase at the merchandise 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 in front of the barge to listen to the music from the water. Due to wind concerns, larger boats with propeller engines are asked to remain behind the barge. 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.

Specific details for 2017 are still to be confirmed but may include:

  • Face painting
  • Instrument petting zoo
  • An activity with the Royal BC Museum
  • Games and activities with Sportball
  • Bouncy Castle
  • Musical performances

Come see the Family Zone from 1 pm – 4 pm, July 31 on the grounds of the Empress Hotel at Belleville and Government Streets.


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 Murray 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.
2017 – First Splash for VS new Music Director Christian Kluxen

Splash Young Soloists

2016: Alyssa Fu, piano, Nelly Tian, violin, Tovin Allers, violin
2015: Rebecca Bracewell, accordion and Ben Parker, trumpet
2014: Erik Lin, piano
2013: Eric Manning, piano and Carter Johnson, piano
2012: Eehjoon Kwon, violin
2011: Alice Haekyo Lee, violin
2010: Grace Ma, piano and Phillip Manning, violin
2009: Christine Wong, piano and Josh Lovell, tenor
2008: Hugo Wong, piano
2007: Carolyn Tsao, piano; Sahara Sloan, voice and Timmy Chooi, violin
2006: Kevin O’Riordon, violin
2005: Heather McLeod, voice
2004: Jordan Ofiesh, violin
2003: Justin Chiu, piano
2002: Shika 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 350 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

Whether you love talking to people, have cash handling experience, or want want to beat your aunt’s step count on your Fitbit, we have a position for you! Check out a complete list of volunteer positions available.If you’re ready to sign up, please fill in this Volunteer Application Form, and our Volunteer Coordinator, Della Preston, will be in touch soon.

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 – Della will let you know if your position requires this.

All volunteers are required to attend a brief orientation meeting during the first week in August. Once we know which team you’ll be working with, we can let you know when your orientation session will be. Splash Volunteer Orientations are August 1 and 2nd @ 6:00 pm at the Cook Street Village Activity Centre (380 Cook Street, #1).

See you at Splash!

Concert Program


O Canada
Symphony No.2 “Little Russian” – Tchaikovsky
Piano Concerto No. 2 – Shostakovich
Porgy and Bess: Symphonic Picture – Gershwin
Navarra (Danza Espagnole) – Sarasate
Chicken Dance – arr. Oesterle
Radetsky March – Strauss
Danzon No. 2 – Marquez

Symphonie Fantastique – Berlioz
American in Paris – Gershwin (arr. Whitney)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Suite v. The Jedi Steps and Finale – Hal Leonard, J. Williams Signature edition
Star Trek: Into Darkness Suite
1812 Overture – Tchaikovsky
Highland Cathedral
Amazing Grace

The Opening Act of this year’s VS Splash is Chris Millington and Dancin’ starting at 4:00 pm!

Splash Young Soloists

#Splash2016 Young Soloists

2016 Young Soloists:

Alyssa Fu, piano

AlyssaFuAlyssa, is 16 years old and studies piano with her current teacher, Ingrid L. Henderson at the Victoria Conservatory of Music.

Alyssa has performed extensively in the community; St. Mary’s Church, Oak Bay Advent Concert Series, a concert to benefit the Breast Cancer Society, Enchanted keys for a Summer’s Eve 2015 at the Union Club of BC, the Honours Concert at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. Her repertoire includes advanced pieces by Beethoven, Debussy, Liszt, Mendelssohn, and Shostakovich.

Most recently, Alyssa performed in the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival receiving several awards and selected to represent Victoria in the Provincial Performing Arts Festival.

In 2014, she won the Medicine Hat Concerto Competition performing the Mendelssohn Piano Concerto. She received 2nd place in the Don Chrysler, Sooke Philharmonic Young Musician’s Concerto competition April 2015.

Alyssa completed the Royal Conservatory of Music Toronto Grade 10 piano exam in August 2014 receiving First Class Honours and the RCM Advanced History Award and she is currently working towards the ARCT Diploma level.

Alyssa will be playing Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2

NellNellyTiany Tian, violin

Sixteen year-old Nelly Tian has been playing violin since age six, presently under the guidance of Michael van der Sloot. She has been in the Collegium Program for Gifted Young Musicians for seven years, and for four years as member of the Victoria Conservatory of Music senior orchestra, in 2015/2016 as concertmaster. She also held leading positions with the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra, and had the privilege of performing the Saint Saëns Concerto No. 3 with them in April 2015.

In July 2016, she will be attending the world-class Morningside Music Bridge in Beijing. Recently, in May 2016, she won the Intermediate Strings Age Category at Provincials, and her chamber music group was selected as National representants for BC. She was finalist in the Don Chrysler Concerto Competition in 2015, and in 2012, runner-up of the Louis Sherman Competition.

She has won numerous awards and scholarships from the Victoria Arts Festival and the Victoria Conservatory of Music, her quartet receiving 1st prize for two years running in the Victoria Conservatory of Music Chamber Music Competition.

In 2015, she received a scholarship from the GVYO acknowledging her commitment and musicianship in the orchestra. Nelly has also taken part in the Orford Summer Academy, studying under Jonathan Crow and Federico Agostini. Finishing up high school this coming year, Nelly is in the International Baccalaureate Program at her school, and speaks four languages fluently: English, French, Mandarin and Spanish. In her spare time, she enjoys coaching swimming, reading, running and spending time with her friends and family.

Nelly will be playing Sarasate’s  Navarra (Danza Espagnole) with Tovin Allers.

TovTovinAllersin Allers, violin

16 year-old Tovin Allers has played violin for eight years and currently studies under Michael van der Sloot, Head of Strings at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. He has participated in the Collegium program at the VCM for three years and was Concert Master in the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra this past year. He was a finalist in the Don Chrysler Concerto Competition and a featured soloist in the VCM’s 2016 Student Showcase. For two consecutive years, Tovin’s quartet has won first place in the provincial festival for chamber music, and his current quartet is competing at the provincial/national level. As leisure pursuits, Tovin enjoys reading, writing, biking, and hiking, and recently completed the West Coast Trail.

Tovin will be playing the Sarasate’s Navarra (Danza Espagnole) with Nelly Tian.

Presenting Sponsor: Quality Foods

About Quality Foods

Quality Foods is a Platinum Member of the Canada’s Best Managed Companies program, with thirteen award-winning stores on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast. This year, QF celebrates  thirty-five years of being an Island Original, having started the first store in Qualicum Beach in 1982.

“Having decades of experience providing fireworks set to music here on the island with the Quality Foods Festival of Lights annual summer series, The Symphony Splash was a natural fit to put an exclamation mark on our 35th anniversary celebrations,” says Noel Hayward, president of Quality Foods. “What we love about this event is that brings people and families together. There’s nothing like seeing everyone, including grandparents smiling and interacting with young people and everyone in between.”

“Not many events can cross generational lines like this one.”

Splash Sponsors and Heroes

Splash 2017 Sponsors:
Presenting Sponsor: Quality Foods
Premium Sponsors: TDBC Lottery Corporation (also Fireworks Sponsor), Victoria Symphony Band of Heroes, Victoria Symphony
Community Sponsors: Splashes, Ralmax, Seaspan, Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, Butler Brothers, Slegg Lumber, Lighthouse
Event Partners: Capital Iron, Cook Street Village Activity Centre,  Leslie and Murray Glazier Young Musician Fund, Salt Spring Island Tours, Sportball, Dr. Oetker, Coast Environmental, Everything Wine
Media Partners: CTV, Kiss 103.1 FM, Ocean 98.5, Times Colonist
Government Partners: British Columcia Arts Council, Province of BC, Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, CRD, City of Victoria

Thank you to the following organizations who have joined Band of Heroes for 2017:

10 Acres
Black Ball Ferry Line
Brown, Henderson, Melbye
Chard Development Ltd.
Delta Victoria Ocean Point Resort & Spa
Downtown Victoria Business Association
Fairmont Empress
L.A. Limousines
Madrona Gallery
Milestones Grill & Bar
PARC Retirement Living
Royal Bank
Seabrook Developments Ltd.
Union Club of British Columbia

Road Closures

As Victoria Symphony Splash draws thousands of people into the Inner Harbour, some roads are closed to accommodate pedestrians.

5:00 am: the north lane of Belleville Street (except for easternmost 30 meters) between Government Street and Menzies Street will close to accommodate equipment set up. Pedestrian traffic on north sidewalk is maintained.

12:00 noon: the south lanes of Belleville Street are closed, leaving traffic on Belleville from Menzies to Government open only to pedestrians. All cyclists must dismount and pedicabs are not allowed through.

2:00 pm: Full Road Closure including Government St. from Superior to Humboldt, Wharf St. from Government to Broughton and Belleville St. from Government to Douglas. Government from Humboldt to Belleville may close later than 2 pm dependent on crowds and at the discretion of Police. Streets closed to traffic will be for pedestrian use only. Pedicabs, horse-drawn carriages, tour buses and Gray Line buses will not be permitted to use streets during closures. Access to the Empress Hotel via Humboldt will be maintained.

Guests with mobility needs can be dropped off behind the Empress Hotel off Douglas St. or near Confederation Park near Menzies and Belleville.


Victoria Symphony Splash

On August 6, 2017, tens of thousands of people will take to Victoria’s Inner Harbour for the 28th annual Victoria Symphony Splash!

From a floating stage in the Inner Harbour, Maestro Christian Kluxen, the orchestra, Splash Young Soloists, pipers and an opening act will entertain thousands at this one of a kind outdoor symphony event. Grab a seat on the lawns of the BC Legislature, the Empress lawn, or reserve a Grandstand seat for this wonderful event.

This one day festival happens right by the water at where Government St. meets Belleville St. in Victoria’s picturesque Inner Harbour. Events begin at 1:00 pm with the Splash Family Zone, and the barge entertainment begins with the Naden Band. 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 2017 Splash button! Your donation helps keep this great event alive in Victoria.

#splash2017  – August 6, 2017! We hope to see you there!

Check out some photos & a video from Splash 2014!