Canada Dry Victoria Dragon Boat Racing Festival

About the Festival

The Canada Dry Victoria Dragon Boat Festival is one of Victoria’s most spectacular Summer Festivals, and the only Dragon Boat Festival in Canada to take place in a working harbour. 2022 marks the 27th edition of the celebrations, which will be filled with memorable boat racing, culture, entertainment, and gastronomy, among other activities. Our theme for this year is ‘Spirit of the Dragon - Paddles Rise Up’, to recognize the collective resilience of our communities in overcoming the challenges incurred by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Join us in experiencing the full programming from August 12, 2022 to August 14, 2022!

Bringing Communities Together

Our Mission says it all: to bring communities together through the celebration of cultures and competition. Locals, tourists, racers, businesses, and families are all welcome!
Companies are discovering that dragon boat training is a great way of building teamwork and community in their offices. New paddlers are exploring the benefits of a total-body workout that simultaneously builds physical strength, long-lasting friendships, and personal confidence.

Each year, we bring close to 80,000 people together for the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival, a three-day celebration of culture and sports right in the heart of Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Visitors from local areas around Victoria and from around the world converge on our Festival to cheer on dragon boating teams, to sample global cuisines, to dance to local bands and to raise funds for the BC Cancer Foundation.

Our Festival is remarkably proud of its integral role in our community, and we strive to help bring people together – as individuals, as teams, as businesses, and as families.

Join us from August 12, 2022 to August 14, 2022 to celebrate and take pride in the inspiring accomplishments and the cohesiveness of our communities!

Our Vision

The Victoria Dragon Boat Festival is proudly brought to you by our Society. Thanks to the solid foundation of the Festival, stemming from our healthy and successful history, as well as our committed volunteers, the vision of the Festival and the Society reaches far and wide.
As the flagship Dragon Boat Festival of the City, our vision inspires to bring more people together than any other cultural Festival on Vancouver Island, and to continue to contribute to Victoria’s cultural fabric and economy.

History of the Festival

The Victoria Dragon Boat Festival began in 1994 as part of the festivities surrounding the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria. In commemoration of Hong Kong Day, the Victoria Chinese Commerce Association arranged for dragon boats to be brought to Victoria, from mainland Vancouver, for a one-day exhibition race. At the time, there was not a single dragon boat team training in town.
With the event being of immense success, it quickly blossomed into one of the city’s largest and most popular summer festivities. Today, the Festival draws up to 80,000 people to the Inner Harbour of Victoria, over the course of three days. It has also formed a special bond with the BC Cancer Foundation, for which the Festival proudly raises funds for through its programming.

Dragon boating is one of the fast growing sports in the world. The Victoria Dragon Boat Festival has provided the region with exciting race opportunities for more than twenty years, with teams emerging from all over Vancouver Island. We owe immense gratitude to the invaluable support of our community partners, the City of Victoria, the Harbour Master, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, RCM-SAR, the Royal Canadian Navy, and many others.

Additionally, local and national sponsors have generously supported our event throughout the years, and by extension, the joy of paddling sports to Vancouver Island.

Finally, our Festival would not stand where it is today without the assistance of many individuals, who have played key roles as volunteers to spearhead and to extend the reach of our Festival.

See you on Aug 11-13, 2023.

Stay tuned for team registration and other Festival information in the new year.

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