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New Year’s events in Greater Victoria
• Organizers of the New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim at the south end of Esquimalt Lagoon in Colwood say it conforms to all current measures for public gatherings and will proceed as planned.
This is the fifth year of the event, with Smart Dolphins IT Solutions as its title sponsor.
Organizers are expecting 2,000 people to attend, with two-time Olympic and three-time world championships marathon runner Bruce Deacon joining a fully uniformed Troy Birtwistle of the Victoria HarbourCats for the ceremonial first dive.
Prizes will be awarded to the divers with the best costumes, for the first person in, fully immersed, as well as a random draw.
Registration is a suggested $5 donation or $30 with a commemorative “I took the Smart Dolphins New Year’s Day Dive” t-shirt. The event runs from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 1 at the south end of Esquimalt Lagoon.
Organizers encourage participants to observe health recommendations around distancing. After the dip, everybody will be treated to hot chocolate. Proceeds go to the Victoria Women’s Transition House. Register at eventbrite.ca.
For the second year in a row, the Smart Dolphins IT Solutions New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim has been cancelled.
The decision was made in light of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the province and tightening public health restrictions, organizer Christopher Kelsall told Black Press Media on Wednesday (Dec. 29) evening.
“We thought about it, and decided it would just be catastrophically damaging for the sponsors if we held the event … and people got COVID there,” Kelsall said.
“It’s sad because this is the second year in a row, and the proceeds go to a good cause.”
The event, scheduled to kick off at 11 a.m. on Saturday with the plunge at noon, was offering tickets by donation in support of the Victoria Women’s Transition House. Kelsall said anyone who purchased a ticket can ask for a refund, but his hope is some people will choose to let their purchase stand as a donation.
Smart Dolphins IT Solutions fifth annual Polar Bear swim will start your New Year off with a splash and support a good cause.
This year’s event includes a ceremonial first dive by a fully uniformed Troy Birtwistle of the Victoria HarbourCats and two-time Olympic and three-time world championships marathon runner Bruce Deacon.
There will also be prizes for best costume and a prize for the first person in, fully immersed, as well as a random draw.
Attendees are asked to bring a suggested donation of $5. All proceeds go to the Victoria Women’s Transition House.
Edited by Victoria Watcher, 31 December 2021 - 03:40 AM.