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Car-Free Music and Art

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Post By:  Laryn Gilmour

The engines may have been silenced on Douglas street for Victoria’s biggest street fair, the 2nd Annual ‘Car Free YYJ Day‘, but the music blared!

Dozens of local bands took one of four stages set up along Douglas Street, one of Downtown Victoria’s busiest thoroughfares and transformed it to give the city a great show!

Dave St. Jean, member of  local band, ‘Dope Soda‘ was wonderfully surprised by the throngs of people that flooded the street. “It was definitely more people than I anticipated, stated St. Jean.  I didn’t know what to expect for the event, but there was a ton of people and they were incredibly receptive.”


Local Band - Dope Soda

Local Band – Dope Soda


Dope Soda is a local Vancouver Island band, mainly performing in Naniamo and Victoria.  St. Jean says, they weren’t always known as Dope Soda.  ”We were originally called Kill Finders, but switched names four years ago. We play mostly Ska, reggae and rock music.”

You can catch Dope Soda on stage during Canada Day performances in Naniamo this year.


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Another local band, performing in Victoria for over a decade have grown their fame to include a massive fan club. ‘Acres of Lions‘ were the closing act on the Yates Stage this year.



Jeff Kalesnikoff, Singer/Songwriter – Acres Of Lions


“It felt great to play for Car Free Day, because we love this city, we love celebrating this city and celebrating with the city”, stated base player, Dan Ball.

Songwriter\vocals,  Jeff Kalesnikoff shared “Even though the band isn’t performing as much, fans can see us performing in September for the Rifflandia 2016 Festival.  I didn’t realize how many supporters we had until I was up there, it is a huge difference from eight years ago. I just want to say thank-you to all our fans.”

However, amazing music wasn’t the only thing ‘Car Free Day’ had to offer.   Over 245 vendors set up games, art work and hand-made jewellery  selling and showing their wares to delighted crowds.

Music crowds loving Car Free YYJ Day!

Music crowds loving Car Free YYJ Day!

The spirit of ‘shop-local’ was definitely the theme for this year’s event, but isn’t celebrating our beautiful community and what it has to offer always Victoria’s focus?!

Word has it, after the success of this year’s event, you can count on keeping your cars parked in your garage next year too.


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