July 3 - Canada Day drone show blown away

Plus: What to watch out for before swimming and a Langford man buys swimming safety stuff

Good morning !

We got an explanation from city officials about what happened to the drone show on Canada Day. They didn’t just blow it off. Mother Nature did.

And a tip of the way-to-go cap to a Langford man providing safety equipment for swimmers at Langford Lake.


Today’s approx. read time: 5 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: ☀️ 21 / 12

Tomorrow: ☀️ 21 / 13

Friday: ☀️ 25 / 12


This is what happened to the drones on Canada Day

Canada Day Victoria Facebook notice from Canada Day evening.

If you were there and left disappointed—and you haven’t heard yet—it was the wind that prevented Victoria’s first Canada Day drone show from taking flight.

“The cancellation was made at 22:05 [Mon. night] after checking results of the hover test with the show drones and sending a larger drone up at various heights to take wind readings,” city spokesperson Colleen Mycroft tells Capital Daily.

Large crowds lined the Inner Harbour anticipating the $25K show designed by Kwakwaka'wakw artist Rande Cook, which was supposed to send a message of support for Indigenous people in Canada. But the seven-minute drone display didn’t fly. A bunch of bummed-out Canada Day revellers took to social media, disenchanted there was no show—and not even a mention from the legislature grounds stage that it had been called off. To be fair, organizers did post a notice on Facebook (above), explaining the cancellation.

Mycroft said the Flyfire Kaiken show drones were wind tunnel tested at 54 km/h, although the manufacturer does not recommend operators fly the drone at more than 70% of this limit for safety, which is 37.5 km/h. “The larger drone was displaced about 2m from take-off position to landing position to give you context for the wind,” Mycroft said.

Further, Mycroft said, wind limits are also affected by drones flying over water and the spacing between them during a performance. 

On the bright (and loud) side, the fireworks portion of the show was a hit, drawing oohs and ahhs, and generally received as one of the best the city has put on in recent memory.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

Missing person: William Bender, 70, last seen Canada Day. [Saanich Police]

Missing person: Nicholas Marion, 28, last seen June 20 in Youbou. [RCMP]

Construction on Gorge E, Cook, and Fort & more. [City of Victoria]

Sunshine expected all week, and the weekend should be warm

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


Summer is the season for worrisome spikes in some bacteria

Langford Lake, pictured, was one of several Victoria beaches with elevated bacteria levels in June. Photo: City of Langford

Summer brings not just warmth and sunshine but also heightened concerns about bacterial contamination in local water bodies. Langford Lake and other popular area destinations recently have seen spikes in enterococci and E. coli levels, raising alarms among health officials and beachgoers alike.

Enterococci, typically found in human and animal intestines, indicate fecal contamination when present in recreational waters. This contamination poses health risks, including gastrointestinal illnesses and skin infections, particularly troublesome during peak swimming season when exposure is more frequent.

Island Health has issued water quality advisories for several CRD beaches, including Langford Lake, Gorge Park, Ross Bay along Dallas Road, and Esquimalt. Monitoring efforts have identified concerning levels of bacteria, prompting temporary closures.

So what causes this? Lots.

Water temperature, tidal patterns, and stormwater runoff are exacerbated by heavy rainfall. Even animal waste, notably from waterfowl, contributes significantly to contamination levels. As summer progresses, warmer temperatures and reduced rainfall create conditions conducive to bacterial growth.

⭐️ Capital Picks

Daniel Myers sent in this photo of a Canada Day orca appearance in Sidney.

🪱 Bristle worm swims through water in Esquimalt. [Video]

🤝 Now hiring: Community Engagement Consultant at Sooke Region Museum and Visitor Centre.

🗞️ In Other News

Langford dad steps up with safety equipment for Langford Lake
Ryan Oakley says he was devastated by the recent drowning of 17-year-old Keron Dequan McKay. He doesn’t want to see a similar tragedy. So the owner of True North Group estate liquidation bought five dock-edge life rings, hoops, and other equipment to install on the lake’s docks. Last week, the CRD park’s committee recommended safety equipment be installed at Elk Lake’s Hamsterly Beach and Thetis Lake. [CHEK]

Chinatown gate to get $1.4M restoration
Parts of the iconic, four-decade-old Gate of Harmonious Interest on Fisgard are beginning to age, prompting the restoration. Work will begin this year, mostly targeting the gate’s roof and some wooden paneling. To maintain the design, the city has acquired tiles to match. Some wood panels also will be refurbished. [Victoria News

WestJet cancellations: Know your rights
If you’re one of the tens of thousands who got caught up in the WestJet strike—have ticket but didn’t travel—there’s potential compensation for you, but you have to contact the carrier and plead your case. If after 31 days you don’t get a favourable response, you may want to consider small claims court. WestJet cancelled 800+ flights over the weekend when unionized mechanics walked off the job. A tentative deal has since been reached. [CTV]

60 captive-bred Island marmots to be released 
The marmots will be released over the next few weeks. At last count, 303 marmots were found living on the Island in 30 separate locations—a huge improvement from the 200 living in 2022, when 50 died and none had reproduced. The marmots to be released were bred in programs at Mount Washington and the Toronto Zoo. [Times Colonist]

🗓️ Things to do

🏳️‍🌈 Victoria Pride Festival in the Park. Celebrate queerness and show your support for Victoria’s 2SLGBTQ+ community. MacDonald Park in James Bay. Sun. 11am. [Free] [Info]

🎵🍺 Phillips Backyard Tilt. Check out Tilt weekend July 5-7 with acts including Saint Motel, Half Moon Run, Noah Cyrus, and Orville Peck set to perform. Phillips on Government. Fri.-Sun. [$105+] [Info]

🍓Savour Saanich: Flavour Trails. Follow the trail (download the digital map) and taste the best of Saanich at this yearly fest. Sunday will be the Saanich Strawberry Festival at Beaver Beach at Elk Lake, with multiple local makers selling their works. Sat.-Sun. [Free] [Info]

🐶 Big Gay Dog Walk 2024. The annual Pride event is back, this time at its new location at Banfield Park in Vic West. A dog costume contest, trick contest, and food vendors will kick off the party, followed by a walk along the Gorge. Today. 5:30pm. [Free] [Info]

🍭Candy Land Pride Party. A delicious variety show and dance party featuring drag, burlesque, live singing, and a DJ. Dress the theme in your sweetest and brightest. Victoria Event Centre. Tomorrow. 8pm. [Info]

🎹 Joan Bessie. The Torontonian’s debut single, G.G. hit #3 on the CBC Music Top 20 and hung on to the chart for 11 straight weeks. Her sophomore album, Girls I’ve Lost, instantly generated praise for its songwriting and artistry. Hermann’s. Thu. 7pm. Doors 5:30pm. [Info]

🎸 Oak Bay Summer Concert Series. See Daniel Cook and The Radiators perform. Willows Park. Tomorrow. 6pm. [Free] [Info]

📖 Pride in the Word. Celebrate and showcase LGBTQ+ pride through literature, and spoken word at Pride in the Word 2024. Lecture Theatre at Victoria Conference Centre. Fri. 6:30pm. [Info]

🤣 A comedy fundraiser for Amy’s Bunny Barn. Featuring Syd Bosel. Hecklers. Tomorrow. 8pm. [Info]

😂 Comedy for a Cause. Enjoy some laughs from top local comedians while supporting Community Living Victoria, a non-profit that supports individuals and family members with intellectual disabilities. Vic Theatre. Fri. 7:30pm. [$25] [Info]

🎤 Coast to Coast: Scorpions, UFO & MSG. Experience the heyday of arena rock and enjoy BIG sound and BIG lights in one HUGE performance. Mary Winspear Centre. Fri. 7:30pm. [Info]

💻Club Kid Couture presents Kilbourne & Bedtime Snack. Capital Ballroom. Fri. 9pm. [Info

🎙️Diana Braithwaite & Chris Whiteley Band. Diana Braithwaite, Chris Whiteley & Band featuring Karel Roessingh on piano, Jack Lavin on bass, and Matt Pease on drums. Hermann’s. Fri. 7pm. Doors 5:30pm. [Info]

👀 In Case You Missed It

Tuesday’s headlines: Heart transplant saves Langford life, twice; Central Saanich man betting on self; Humpback entangled near Campbell River; And more. [July 2]

Timothy Durkin faces deportation. [Capital Daily

Timothy Durkin: The man who stole a hotel. [Capital Daily]

Canada Day fireworks/drones were scheduled for Vic. [Capital Daily]

Telus puts $25M into Langford, Vic, and Oak Bay connectivity boost. [The Westshore]

Jellyfish at sunrise and other sights from Esquimalt Lagoon. [Doug Clement]

Victoria restaurants named among tops in country. [Tasting Victoria

Owls & owlets near Nanaimo. [VanIsleWildlife]

Hungry guinea pigs, sleepy goats, and other creatures from Beacon Hill Park. [Photos]

That’s it!

If you found something useful, consider forwarding this newsletter to a fellow Victorian.

And before you go, let us know:

What did you think of today's newsletter?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.