People put on a series of concerts in honor of a waterway that sails largely unseen through three boroughs of Greater Victoria. Creekside Concerts, featuring Tune Your Ride, is a spin-off of a San Francisco festival.
James Davis, then living in Ontario, was inspired by the cycling party hosted by a friend and brought the idea to life in his community.
“I went to the festival in 2009 and I came back to Toronto thinking, people in Toronto would really like this,” he said. Davis spent the better part of a year in the garage trying to figure it out and not long after, crowds were having music in the park.
When he moved to Greater Victoria in 2016, Davis, whose primary mode of transportation is the bicycle, cycled extensively through the area.
“My bike is my main mode of transportation, I’ve never owned a car,” Davis said.
He soon realized that Tune Your Ride was a good fit for him. “To come across these urban creeks made me curious,” he said. Davis teamed up with the Friends of Bowker Creek Society to host the Creekside concerts in 2019.
Three events fill parks along Bowker Creek, “somewhat suggestive of the salmon that used to up the creek,” Davis said. Part of the goal is to educate and raise awareness of the river basin, while promoting and providing a platform for independent musicians and poets in the region. “It’s an interesting way to discover the region and areas they didn’t know existed,” Davis said.
The creek events are primarily acoustic and spoken, so equipment is minimal and audiences are eager to participate, Davis said. Those who kick quickly notice how easy it is and the entertainers tend to include them in the performance.
“It’s cool to see the interaction between the artist and the person on the bike,” Davis said. “The performers literally feed on the energy of the audience.”
The free family-friendly events will open with a Lekwungen welcome by TEALIYE (Brianna Bear) at the Bowker Creek Walkway in Oak Bay on July 8 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM, Browning Park in Saanich on July 22 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 AM and at Clawthorpe Park in Victoria on Aug 5 from 6-8pm
The opening concert will be interpreted in American Sign Language and Davis hopes to continue the service for the other two concerts in the series.
Read more about the concerts at creekside-concerts.weebly.com.