Congress 2013: Visiting Victoria

On this, my first full day here in Victoria for Congress 2013, I thought I’d share some of the fun I’m having as a tourist before the first of my association meetings starts tomorrow. I hope it will inspire other Congress-goers to enjoy a visit to Downtown.

I started the day off with a (free) tour of the British Columbia Legislature (which is the only way to get into the building on a weekend). There are two things that stuck out for me. First, the stained glass is some of the nicest I’ve seen. There was some old stained glass.

Stained glass in celebration of Victoria's Diamond Jubilee after 60 years on the throne in 1897. It was forgotten in a basement after renovations for 62 years.
Stained glass in celebration of Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee after 60 years on the throne in 1897. It was forgotten in a basement after renovations for 62 years.

There was some new stained glass.

Stained Glass for Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee in 2002
Stained Glass for Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee in 2002

There was some stained glass that was largely inexplicable.

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Second, there was an unexpected visit from Amor De Cosmos, which definitely tickled our tour group.

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All in all, it’s worth heading over to the legislature.

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I also decided to take advantage of an unusual opportunity for an Ontarian, and have the famous tea at the Empress. It’s pricey, but delicious, and I’d say it’s worth doing once.

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If you go to the Empress for tea, make sure you eat the green thing on top. I’m told it’s a “macaron,” and it’s particularly fabulous.

 

I get the sense that there’s often something interesting going on in Downtown Victoria.

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I was lucky enough to stumble across a high school choir from Washington State singing on the steps of the legislature. Its members were talented, professional, and having a great time.
This is the "Whale People" Spindle Whorl by Susan Point, at the Convention Centre. As a knitter and someone who's tried her hand at spinning with a spindle, I was excited to find it.
This is the “Whale People” Spindle Whorl by Susan Point, at the Convention Centre. As a knitter and someone who’s tried her hand at spinning with a spindle, I was excited to find it.

If you’re at Congress and you get a chance, I hope you’ll do some local exploring, and share what you can with us online. I’m planning to provide some updates on the Women and Gender Studies and Political Science conferences as they start up, both here and on Twitter.

4 thoughts on “Congress 2013: Visiting Victoria

  1. Wonderful post Kate! I’ve greatly enjoyed your Congress2013 tweets. This is a bonus and you’ve inspired me to tour the legislature! 18 yrs in Vic and I’ve never done it! I hope our paths cross before the end of the conference!

  2. Great post and I’ll be watching for more Congress 2013 thoughts. Glad you toured the legislature – I recommend it to all our visitors! Beautiful and interesting history, just in those windows :-)

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