Victoria Jazz Society



The Victoria Jazz Society was founded in 1981, and reincorporated in 1987. We produce two major multi-day music festivals every summer, TD Victoria International JazzFest and the BC Smoke Shop Harbour Blues ‘n Roots Festival, as well as a Fall/Winter/Spring Presentation Series.

“Ten hot days and nights of the coolest music in town.”

TD Victoria International JazzFest

The TD Victoria International JazzFest (formerly known as JazzFest International) is the longest-running professional music festival on Vancouver Island. This iconic event, the “grandfather” of music festivals serving audiences on Vancouver Island and beyond, has evolved from a four-day festival to a vibrant, 10-day celebration of jazz and its associated genres located in the heart of Victoria. Attracting over 40,000 people every year, TD JazzFest is an integral part of the local, national, and international jazz scene, and the highlight of the Victoria Jazz Society’s annual presentations.

“The blues in all shades for your soul.”

BC Smoke Shop Harbour Blues ‘n Roots Festival

The BC Smoke Shop Harbour Blues ‘n Roots Festival (formerly Vancouver Island Blues Bash) is a celebration of blues, roots, soul, and R&B music which has marked the end of summer in Victoria for over two decades. The outdoor stage is located at Ship Point in Victoria’s inner harbour and includes a large dance floor and beverage garden. Since its beginning, BC Smoke Shop Harbour Blues ‘n Roots Festival had grown into an key aspect of the local and national blues scene, and is enjoyed by over 20,000 people each year.  The three day festival over the last weekend in August has free programming during the day, and three ticketed performances on the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Nights.

“Keeping live jazz alive.”

Fall/Winter/Spring Presentation Series

In addition to its two music festivals, the VJS also presents a Fall/Winter/Spring Presentation Series, an annual mid-September to May concert season of various presentations featuring local, national, and international artists. Throughout the year, the VJS facilitates a number of Workshop/Clinics with touring artists for the benefit and development of local music students and the general public at no cost to the attendees.


The Victoria Jazz Society is a professional arts organization committed to presenting the highest quality of jazz possible to our community, by presenting music in performance, with acclaimed musicians. Since 1981, through its innovative artistic vision, the VJS has attracted thousands of leading artists from around the world to perform in Victoria. Hundreds of thousands of fans have enjoyed many outstanding festival and non-festival performances that have featured the full spectrum of jazz and improvised music – from the traditional and mainstream, to the avant-garde, including worldbeat and the blues. The Victoria Jazz Society’s primary activity is to produce two major multi-day music festivals in the summer, TD Victoria International JazzFest and the BC Smoke Shop Harbour Blues ‘n Roots Festival (formerly Vancouver Island Blues Bash), as well as a series of concerts from September to May, all featuring international, national and regional jazz artists.

core values

  • ARTISTIC EXCELLENCE: Showcase the best possible programming of music in live performances from local, national, and international artists/bands.

  • COMMUNITY: Produce outreach programs and educational workshops, present local artists, and provide opportunities for the community to access jazz and its associated genres. 

  • SUPPORT MUSICIANS:  Ensure all musicians are paid a performance fee and provide them with the highest available production values.

  • DIVERSITY: Present artists/bands that are culturally and musically diverse for audiences of all ages and cultural backgrounds.

  • RESPONSIBILITY: Uphold a respected history by committing to a sustainable financial model and best business practices as a not-for-profit society and registered charity.


The Victoria Jazz Society is dedicated to increasing the awareness of and the exposure to the musical idiom of jazz in all its forms including blues and world music in the Greater Victoria area on a year round basis by presenting nationally and internationally recognized artists/bands in performance opportunities as well as educational opportunities for area music students through workshops and clinics with visiting artists.  These presentations of national and international artists act as a catalyst for local and regional artists to further develop their careers by exposing local artists to the highest degree of musicianship. By presenting nationally and internationally recognized artists/bands, the VJS also creates a greater awareness for jazz and its related forms in our community, which also develops a greater and new audience for the music.

The VJS has an excellent reputation for the management, programming, production, and promotion of world-class events. For the past four decades, the VJS has maintained its track record of fiscal responsibility as a not-for-profit registered charity governed by a Board of Directors. We work closely with corporate sponsors and government funders/grantors to deliver exceptional promotional value and cultural programming, and we provide a very strong return on investment.