The island’s bar scene is gearing up for a dance-filled weekend

At the Sticky Wickett Pub in downtown Victoria, Brendon Norton cleans tables and chairs to prepare the dance floor.

“We’re going to be rockin’ and it’s going to be a great weekend,” said Norton, duty manager at the Strathcona Hotel.

Norton says since the BC government recently announced the lifting of several COVID-19 related restrictions, the phone hasn’t stopped ringing.

“We get, I’d say, probably 30-40 calls to reception a day, minimum, asking if we’re going to open our dance floor, when is it going to be open, do we have our DJ back.”

Meanwhile, Irish Times and The Bard & Banker are hosting live music throughout the weekend.

“I think it’s going to be a busy weekend anyway being Family Day,” said Dylan Hagreen, COO of the Victoria Pub Company. “But then, with the restrictions lifted, I think there’s a lot of energy in the city at the moment, so we’re expecting a busy weekend.”

Although indoor capacity limits have been lifted and dancing is now allowed across British Columbia, masks and vaccination passports are still required. Wearing masks while dancing drew a mix of reactions from people CHEK News spoke to in downtown Victoria.

“I will definitely be dancing this weekend, with my mask on to be safe,” said Thomas Mastromonacko. “I’m going to dance with my friends.”

“Probably yes, because I miss it,” said Anastasia Kurdelias. “But dancing with the mask on is not what I would like to do, to be honest.”

“Honestly, I don’t think so,” Sarah Coady said. “I think that takes away some of the fun.”

“We have to get to the dance floor,” said Cam Zarubiak. “I mean, if it’s open and we can go out and shake our butts with our friends, we have to.”

While some see masks as another hurdle, others take the new measures as a giant leap.

“I think at this point we’ll take what we can,” Hagreen said.

“Given the amount of challenge, that’s the least of our worries right now,” Norton said.

Anastasia Kurdelias, above, says she will likely be dancing this weekend when clubs reopen. She says she can’t wait to dance again, but doesn’t want to wear a mask while doing it. (CHEK News)

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