As we approach the birthday of Robert Burns, Scotland’s celebrated poet, Victoria prepares to pay tribute to his life and work with two exciting events set to take place this week.


On Sunday, January 26th, the Robert Burns Memorial Concert will be held at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Kirk Hall. The event promises to be an enchanting afternoon of melodies, verse, and lively Scottish dance, with the Victoria Scottish Gaelic Choir set to serenade the audience. The concert will be followed by a delightful serving of tea and shortbread. Tickets are priced at $10, and doors open at 2 pm, with the concert running from 2:30 to 4:30 pm. Secure your spot at, and bring your ticket confirmation to the door.


After the concert, visitors are encouraged to take a leisurely stroll to Beacon Hill Park to appreciate the Burns memorial, a locally designed structure erected by Victoria’s Scottish community over a century ago, featuring a bronze statue of Burns and his muse, Highland Mary.


On Friday, January 24th, music enthusiasts can experience a unique Guest Masterclass with mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy, organized by the University of Victoria’s School of Music in collaboration with the Victoria Symphony. McHardy, a renowned opera singer, will be coaching students at Phillip T. Young Recital Hall on Friday from 2:30 to 4 pm. Admission is free, and all are welcome to attend.


Robert Burns was a poetic genius who crafted 500 poems that captured the essence of love, nature, and the lighter side of life in the language of the everyday person. Despite departing at the young age of 37 in 1796, his poetry continues to resonate worldwide. Each year, around Jan. 25th, enthusiasts worldwide commemorate his birthday with music, readings, and Burns Suppers featuring the iconic haggis.


Victoria is proud to join the world in celebrating the life and work of this iconic poet with two events that are sure to delight music and poetry enthusiasts alike.