VICFEST private promoter pushing ‘festival frenzy…up to 4,000 attendees’, no children, beer, wine, burlesque, guards, fences, $40.00… for entry to our public NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE: L’ACADEMIE SAINTE ANNE

Dylan Willows and Misty Aitken, co-founders of the Vancouver Island Cultural Festival, stand on the grounds of St. Ann's Academy, where the festival will take place on Saturday.

A private corporation composed of only two principles has somehow managed to fence off free public access to a National Historic Site today in Victoria, contrary to the public interest.

VicFest is charging $40.00 to buy a ticket to enter the Sainte Anne’s Academy Gardens and designated provincial heritage buildings, including an art show in the chapel, and shows in the auditorium.

Ugly rented fencing surrounds many parts of the public park, and private security guards have been hired to stand by, guarding vulnerable points of access.

Many partiers are congregating on the old porch near the chapel, which is the ‘pro-cathedral’ for Victoria.

There is a real danger that the weight of so many of these inebriated party people could bring the old porch down, injuring numerous people.


Wolf/Sheep’s Instant Classic Art Show, preinstalled inside the St. Ann’s chapel, will be a highlight of the day for art fans.

Music fans will be well taken care of: Music B.C., a non-profit industry association that supports the B.C. music community, will host a closed-door songwriters’ circle featuring Dan Hill, Vince Vaccaro, Ralph Murphy and Ron Irving. Following the Music B.C. showcase, all four performers will perform free of charge at 2 p.m., inside the St. Ann’s auditorium for V.I.C. Fest ticketholders.

In addition to a mainstage entertainment roster that includes 11 bands and three DJs, there will be a handful of local artists, clothes makers and jewelry makers on hand to showcase and sell their wares.

A wine garden, beer garden and numerous food vendors will transform the sprawling heritage setting into a festival frenzy come Saturday.

V.I.C. Fest can accommodate up to 4,000 attendees on the St. Ann’s property, Willows says.

One of the acts hired to perform is a sexist burlesque vaudeville show which is completely inappropriate to be publicly subsidized on this old Catholic heritage property.

I am not aware of any private corporation cordoning off the public’s free access to this National Historic site in the past, so this is an historically significant and a very bad development, and therefor I will be investigationg the legality of this sad trend in the coming days.

I am quite sure that this activity is not in the public interest, and I am also quite sure that we should stop all talk of 4,000 wine and beer aficionados cramming into Saint Ann’s gardens for any future events.

It should be noted for the record that the Greater Victoria Concerned Citizens’ Association (our legal arm) did not go to Court for years in concert with the Saint Anne’s Rescue Community Coalition to have our public Catholic heritage park and buildings sabotaged, and effectively privatized, and commercialized for a whole day in such a brazen manner by a private corporation.

Gregory Paul Michael Hartnell, President, Historian

Concerned Citizens’ Coalition


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