The Royal Theatre (805 Broughton St.) and the McPherson Playhouse (3 Centennial Sq.) share a common box office (tel. 888/717-6121 or 250/386-6121; www.rmts.bc.ca). The Royal -- built in the early 1900s and renovated in the 1970s -- hosts concerts by the Victoria Symphony and performances by the Pacific Opera Victoria, as well as touring dance and theater companies. The McPherson -- built in 1914 as the first Pantages Vaudeville Theatre -- is home to smaller stage plays and performances by the Victoria Operatic Society.
The Belfry Theatre company (tel. 250/385-6815; www.belfry.bc.ca) is located in a former Baptist church on Gladstone Avenue; it’s a registered heritage building that dates back to 1892. It’s the major landmark in the artsy neighborhood of Fernwood, where even the telephone poles and garbage cans are works of art, decorated by talented local residents. The Belfry began producing plays in 1976, and since then has performed 230 plays, nearly half of them by Canadian playwrights, and the company frequently tours across Canada, the U.S., London, and Australia. The neighborhood also features a number of cafes and restaurants for a bite before or after the show. Check the online schedule for performances. Tickets range from C$25 to C$40.
The Intrepid Theatre Company (302-1205 Broad St.; tel. 250/383-2663; www.intrepidtheatre.com) runs two yearly theater festivals. In spring, it's the Uno Festival of Solo Performance, a unique event of strictly one-person performances. Come summer, Intrepid puts on the Victoria Fringe Festival (tel. 250/383-2691). Even if you're not a theater fan -- especially if you're not -- don't miss the Fringe. More than 50 performers or small companies from around the world put on amazingly inventive plays. The festival runs from late August to early September, and performances are held at six downtown venues daily noon to midnight.
Theatre Inconnu (1923 Fernwood Rd.; tel. 250/360-0234; www.theatreinconnu.com) is Victoria's oldest alternative theater group, celebrating 20 years of performances. The actors are local and often semiprofessional, but quality is excellent and tickets are inexpensive. They stage a two-man adaptation of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol every year as well as an annual Shakespearean Festival in July and August that takes place in St. Ann's Academy.
The Langham Court Theatre (805 Langham Court; tel. 250/384-2142; www.langhamcourttheatre.bc.ca) performs works produced by the Victoria Theatre Guild, a local amateur society dedicated to presenting a wide range of dramatic and comedic works. From downtown, take bus no. 14 or 11 to Fort and Moss streets.
The Pacific Opera Victoria (1815 Blanshard St.; tel. 250/385-0222 or 250/382-1641; www.pov.bc.ca) presents three productions annually from October to April. Performances are normally at the McPherson Playhouse and Royal Theatre. The repertoire covers the classical bases, from Mozart and Rossini to Verdi and even Wagner. Tickets cost C$35 to C$140.
The Victoria Operatic Society (744 Fairview Rd.; tel. 250/381-1021; www.vos.bc.ca) presents Broadway musicals and other popular fare at the McPherson Playhouse. Tickets cost C$20 to C$45.
Orchestral & Choral Music
The well-respected Victoria Symphony Orchestra (610-620 View St.; tel. 250/385-9771 or 604/385-6515 for box office; www.victoriasymphony.bc.ca) kicks off its season on the first Sunday of August with Symphony Splash, a free concert performed on a barge in the Inner Harbour. The concert always ends with Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, complete with bells, cannons, and fireworks. Truly a sight to be seen—and heard. Regular performances begin in September and last through May. The Orchestra performs at the Royal Theatre or the University Farquhar Auditorium.
Dance recitals and full-scale performances by local and international dance troupes, such as DanceWorks and the Scottish Dance Society, are scheduled throughout the year. Call the Visitor Centre at tel. 250/953-2033 to find out who's performing when you're in town.
Comedy & Spoken Word
Mocambo (1028 Blanshard St.; tel. 250/384-4468), a coffeehouse near the public library, hosts a range of spoken-word events through the week (multimedia fusion demos, philosopher's cafes, argument for the joy of it, slam poetry), then lets loose on Saturdays with improv comedy. There is no cover.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.