Victoria Arts Guide
- Page 8
Art of the Cocktail — it’s back!
Art of the Cocktail, Vancouver Island’s premier and biggest cocktail festival for the past decade, returns on Oct. 13 to celebrate local and artisanal distilleries.

“We’ve been inviting distilleries and talented bartenders for a decade now.

It’s always a pleasure to see how the bartending community is growing and to help our audience discover and rediscover new and exciting spirits,” says Kathy Kay, director of the Victoria Film Festival, the charitable arts organization for which Art of the Cocktail serves as a fundraiser.

Kicking off at the Crystal Gardens on Saturday, Oct. 13, the Grand Tasting is priced at $65+tax.

A limited amount of VIP tickets ($90+tax) are available for patrons wanting to enjoy an additional hour of exclusive access to exhibitors.

Local distilleries, restaurants and brands are out to impress the patrons with their best sips and savouries.

“We love how creative bartenders get and we celebrate it by our Most Popular Cocktail Contest. Last year’s winner, Central City Brewers + Distillers, has already crafted for this year, a Queensborough Gin Edible Passion fruit toothpaste and a Nutella Old Fashioned. That should be interesting!” adds Kay.

For those who like to dress up, Art of the Cocktail just announced this year’s theme — “Old Hollywood.” The best-dressed winner will receive four tickets to the Opening Gala of the 25th Victoria Film Festival.

In addition to the Grand Tasting, Art of the Cocktail will host Cocktails Up Close — high energy, in-demand workshops where participants learn how to improve their cocktail-making skills to impress their friends at their next gathering.

This year, Art of the Cocktail will offer two seminars, the first led by patrons’ favourite duo, Kyle Guilfoyle and Nathan Caudle from The Nimble Bar Co. (in partnership with Vessel Liquor Store). These highly-skilled bartenders will show participants how to navigate the twists and turns of different bar tools through a curated cocktail tasting. The second seminar will be led by the sought-after mixologist, Gez McAlpine, an Australia-native known most for running the legendary Keefer Bar in Vancouver.

By creating the ultimate tasting experience, the Victoria Film Festival has their patrons leaving happy — it’s no wonder this event sells out every year. Make sure you get your tickets ASAP and come with two pieces of ID and a safe ride home. See you Oct. 13!

Tickets are available at artofthecocktail.ca or at the Victoria Film Festival Office, 1215 Blanshard St. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.