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Victoria Performing ArtsWhether you're in Victoria on vacation or just looking for cultural things to do this weekend, you'll find plenty of options and fun places to go around the city.

McPherson Playhouse in Centennial Square is the center of Vancouver Island's regional and professional theater. The restored 1914 theater regularly presents noontime concerts and musical comedy productions in the evening; phone (250) 386-6121 or (888) 717-6121. The Pacific Opera Victoria, (250) 385-0222, performs at the Royal Theatre.

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The Royal Theatre on Broughton Street is also the home of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, (250) 385-6515, which offers a pop and masterworks series September through May. The Victoria Conservatory of Music sometimes offers performances; phone (250) 386-5311.

Contemporary plays, with an emphasis on Canadian works, are staged at the Belfry, (250) 385-6815, 1291 Gladstone Ave., while shows at the Royal Theatre, (250) 386-6121 or (888) 717-6121, 805 Broughton, range from touring musicians to classical concerts and ballet. The University Centre Farquhar Auditorium, 3800 Finnerty Rd., presents comedy, dance and other cultural events; phone (250) 721-8480. Butchart Gardens offers concerts and musical stage shows during the summer that are among the fun things to do with friends. Kaleidoscope Theatre, an open-air theater at the Inner Harbour, also offers summer productions.

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Top-name entertainers, rock groups and other performers draw large audiences to Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre, 1925 Blanshard St.; phone (250) 220-2600. A carillon at the parliament buildings, Government and Belleville sts., can be heard daily on the hour. The Royal BC Museum's IMAX Victoria Theatre offers big-screen films complementing the museum's natural and human history themes; phone (250) 480-4887 or (877) 480-4887.

Check with your local AAA travel agency for information about vacation packages and other things to do in Victoria that are geared toward the performing arts.

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Victoria, BC

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Travel Information

City Population

80,017

Elevation

17m/56 ft.

Sales Tax

British Columbia has a 5 percent goods and services tax (GST) and a 7 percent provincial sales tax (PST). Expect to pay an additional 3 percent for alcohol. Restaurants and admission fees are exempt from the 7 percent PST. Automobile rental sales tax is $1.50 per day.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(250) 995-7654

Hospitals

Royal Jubilee Hospital, (250) 370-8000; Victoria General Hospital, (250) 727-4212.

Visitor Information

812 Wharf St. Victoria, BC V8W 1T3. Phone:(250)953-2033 or (800)663-3883

Air Travel

Victoria International Airport

Rental Cars

Hertz, 1640 Electra Blvd., North Saanich, phone (250) 657-0380; and 548 David St., Victoria, phone (250) 952-3765, offers discounts to AAA members. Contact your AAA travel advisor for help with adding a rental car to travel packages.

Buses

The BC Ferries Connector, 721 Douglas St., provides daily bus service between Vancouver and Victoria via ferry. The vessels transport personal vehicles; reservations are required. Phone (888) 788-8840.

Taxis

Taxis charge $3.30 minimum plus $1.93 per kilometre (.6 mi.). Companies include Blue Bird Cabs, (250) 382-2222; Yellow Cab of Victoria, (250) 381-2222; and Victoria Taxi, (250) 383-7111.

Public Transportation

BC Transit buses serve Greater Victoria's downtown area 6:30 a.m.-midnight. Fare $2.50 (single boarding); $5 (day pass); free (ages 0-5). Buses run frequently between downtown and the ferry terminal. For route information, phone (250) 382-6161.

Boats

Several ferry systems make connections with mainland Canada and the U.S.

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