Located in the heart of the city of Victoria, on Vancouver Island right off of the Tran Canadian Highway (Route 1) and overlooking the bay, is the Parliament building of the entire province (not state) of British Columbia. It is an incredibly beautiful building and worth taking the time to admire.
In the summer of 2016 I had actually been living in Victoria’s China town for about a month when I finally got around to doing this… there’s actually quite a lot to do in that city… to those who come here for a few hours on a cruise, seriously… you’re missing out.
I had come intent on doing the 3:00 tour, but it turned out that instead of doing it for everybody, they did it for JUST two people (VIPs who turned out to only be the general manager and concierge of the Empress Hotel). Personally, I think that was incredibly rude of management (absolutely no reason they couldn’t have joined a group of other people, or done it between tours). Anyway I kind of stalked the VIP group (who you would assume would have the best docent) … just enough to pick up some of the spiel; and, since it didn’t sound like their guided tour was even going to be all that interesting anyway (it sounded a bit boring actually), I didn’t bother to stick around a full hour for the 4 o’clock guided tour and opted to do it alone.
One of the major differences you see in Canada is the respect (or some might say over whelming guilt) that they accord to their Native populations, which they call the FIRST Nations, as in they were there FIRST. Laying on the floor (ground floor) in the picture bottom right is a quilt devoted to the issue of the dead and missing indigenous women of Canada (explained by the image below) … this is a HUGE problem in the US as well, only in the US it gets no press coverage.
Having now been in Australia, whose government has only just recently even bothered to recognized that Aboriginal populations were on the continent at all, when the British Landed, I have an even greater appreciation to the mea culpa Canada has chosen to embrace
This recognition of the respect due to the First Nations Peoples of Canada, is not the only ‘we’re getting better’ that the building proudly advertises, but also its treatment of what used to be referred to as “the fairer sex.”
Along the walls of the building are also nods to Canada’s history as part of the British Empire, from which it only recently separated itself in 1887… but that in its zeitgeist hasn’t quiet, as documented below…
You don’t see Americans emotionally embracing the traditions or monarchy of England in quite this way…. SO for instance their war memorials were ‘informative’ in that respect.
Pay attention to symbols and language, a knights sword, the WWI 88th regiment “who gave their lives for the Empire” and “for King and Country” — which they separated from which they had separated from 17 years earlier… and if you look closer in the Korean War (upper left), about 30 years later … there it still says “at the call of King and Country” left their families to serve the in the war.
After touring the building, I caught the little play that they do which gives some of the history of the founding of Victoria and the development of its buildings.
It was very cute, and informative… although a bit hard to hear (not the best acoustics) I did however love the fact that they hired a really tiny girl to play Victoria