Page 1

Island Parent Celebrating

29 Years

The Resource Publication for Vancouver Island Parents

March 2017

When Baby Outsmarts Your Baby-Proofing

Post-Married Mommy A New Monthly Column

Spring Break       Programs

Experience the precision of customized vision

Dr. Joslin, Dr. Morin & Associates Doctors of Optometry

Langford: #105–814 Goldstream Ave 250-474-4567 Sooke: #5–6726 West Coast Rd 250-642-4311

New Patients Welcome

Did You Know?

A school-age child’s eyes are constantly in use in the classroom and at play. For school-age children, several different visual skills must work together so they can see and understand clearly: • Clear vision (both distance and up close) • The ability to maintain focus and accurately at any distance • Binocular vision skills (including control of eye position) • Movement and tracking

Don’t forget to: • Talk with your child about the examination prior to the visit and encourage questions • Make an appointment early in the day so that your child is well rested. • Offer to look at websites such as that have online games to help familiarize them with what will happen during their appointment.

St. Joseph’s Elementary School

Educational Excellence to the Glory of God


Come and See.

Shop online at!

St. Joseph’s Elementary School has limited space in all grades (K–7), as well as space in our licensed Group Day Care and Preschool Program. Applications are available on-line or from the school office. St. Joseph’s offers a rigorous academic program in a Catholic Christian atmosphere.

757 West Burnside Road  250 479 1232

Come Grow With Us!


1581 Hillside Ave, Victoria  778•265•5651

Across the street from Hillside Centre Call to schedule your personalized baby registry consultation

I belong here, making friends. Register NOW

Spring Break Camps Schools out sooner than you think, register today.

Cedar Hill Recreation Centre G. R. Pearkes Recreation Centre Gordon Head Recreation Centre Saanich Commonwealth Place

250-475-7121 250-475-5400 250-475-7100 250-475-7600


March 2017  3

Spring Break Day Camps

44 Erin Lawless: Nature Notes

All camps run Monday to Friday

Little Chefs 3-5 Years


9:00-11:00am Mar 20-24 9:00-11:00am Mar 27-31

$90 $90

108281 108282

Rainbow Yoga Camp 3-5 Years


9:00-11:00am Mar 27-31



Spring Into Action 4-5 Years



Mar 20-24

$160 108172


Mar 27-31

$160 108173


Aspiring Artists 9-12 Years



Mar 27-31

$165 108446

Pottery Camp 9-12 Years


9:00-12:00pm Mar 20-24 9:00-12:00pm Mar 27-31

$110 108121 $110 108122


COLUMNS    5 Sue Fast:

   12 Jerri Carson:

   Explore the Music        of Ireland   13 Nine Things to      Do In the Dark

14 Spring Break  


  17 Christina        Van Starkenburg:     When Baby Outsmarts      Your Baby-Proofing

Acting and Improv 8-11 Years


11:30-3:30pm Mar 27-31

$105 108125

Groove Camp 8-11 Years



Mar 20-24

$150 108124

Spring Break Sports

In Every ISSUE Island Parent Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Party Directory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20, 21 Family Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Around the Island. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Family Services Directory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38, 39 Preschool & Child Care Directory . . . . . . . . . . . 40, 41 Business & Professional Directory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

      Editor’s Note 10 Erin Skillen:       Post-Married Mommy   22 Emillie Parrish:         Cooking With Kids 30 Ashley Degraaf: Is There an App for This?   32 David Leach: Dadspeak 34 Dee Dee McMillan:   Healthy Families, Happy Families    36 Sara Cassidy:     Book Nook    42 Laura Trunkey:     Maternity & Beyond    44 Erin Lawless:      Nature Notes   46 Allison Rees: Cut It Out!

6-12 Years


9:00-3:30pm 9:00-3:30pm

Mar 20-24 Mar 27-31

$165 108276 $165 108277

Register Today 250-478-8384



Sue Fast


Island Parent Magazine 830–A Pembroke Street Victoria, BC V8T 1H9 250-388-6905

Linda Frear

RaeLeigh Buchanan

Mark Warner

Office Manager & Sales

Advertising Consultant


Design & Layout Eacrett Graphic Design

Printed by Black Press

ISSN 0838-5505




Advertising Booking Deadline: March 15

Island Parent Magazine, published by Island Parent Group Enterprises Ltd., is a monthly publication that honours and supports parents by providing information on resources and businesses for Vancouver Island families. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. No material herein may be reproduced without the permission of the publisher. Annual mail subscriptions (12 issues) are available for $35 (GST included). Canadian Publication Mail Product Sales Agreement 40051398.

On the COVER

Sebastian (5). Photo by Dawn Schaefer, Peek Photography & Design,

4  Island Parent Magazine


Spring Fling Things To Do

Go on a scavenger hunt at Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea. Download one—or all!—of the five PDF’d scavenger hunts (in English and French) and, using the clues, search the Centre for each item on your list: from “an animal that has one shell” to “two types of sea cucumber.” Play a round of FootGolf at Cedar Hill Golf Course. Played in groups of up to 6 players, FootGolf is a the perfect way to get kids outdoors. Using similar rules as golf, all you need is a soccer ball and the ability to kick a ball. To book a kick off time, phone 250-475-7151. Go underground…caving at Horne Lake. See an underground river, climb a waterfall, slide down the ramps and ladders and try an optional squeeze through the “worm-hole”, a small taste of caving during the 3-hour Wet & Wild Cave Adventure. Visit the Beacon Hill Children’s Farm. The Farm’s 2017 season opens this month, providing both an educational and economical (by donation) form of family entertainment. Don't miss the goat stampede at 10:10am, a run from the goats’ sleeping pen to their day pen where kids can pet and brush the goats. The return stampede is at 4:10pm.

Check out Family Discovery Day at Nanaimo Museum. Explore the museum with your family through self-led Spring Break activities. Pick up your discovery sheet at the front desk for a chance to earn a prize, or take the popular “touch tour,” specially suited to younger kids. Make a petroglyph rubbing to take home.

See a movie at the IMAX Victoria Film Festival. Six great films for one low price ($41.25). See one, or see them all: Meerkats 3D, Space Station, Robots 3D, Under the Sea 3D, Deepsea Challenge 3D, and/ Editor’s Note or Amazing Mighty Micro Monsters 3D. Don’t wait: the Film Fest ends March 12. To buy an annual pass, for just $10 more, Make like Beyoncé. visit ...and sell lemonade. Set Take an overnight kayaking up a stand and re-hydrate the tour in Victoria. neighbourhood. Add some For a kayak camping ex- curb appeal with a banner made perience with comfortable from fabric scraps and have kids accommodations, embark decorate a handmade sign. on Victoria Waterfront Tour’s overnighter that departs from the Inner Pick up a copy of Harbour and, 11⁄2 hours later, ends up at Island Parent Teens. Fort Rodd Hill. Explore the lighthouse On stands now—and filled while dinner is being made and then sleep with valuable information, in a cozy Otentik, a mix between a tent insights, and resources, along and a cabin. $235/adult; $210/child 12 and with words of wisdom/frusunder; includes intro lesson, kayaking gear, tration/elation and support, Island Parent accommodations, dinner, breakfast, snacks Teens will give parents of little ones a and park fees. glimpse into the future. And it’s bright—not a glum, eye-rolling stereotype in sight. InAttend the Pacific Rim stead you’ll find articles on topics including Whale Fest. the value of exchange programs and workFrom March 11-26, the Whale Fest study opportunities, how much is too much features two weeks’ worth of familyscreen time, and why it’s still important friendly culinary, cultural, musical to reinforce morals and ethics in the teen and educational events—many of years. Island Parent Teens is free and availthem free. Don’t miss the Parade of Whales, able at all Thrifty Foods, Fairway Markets, the cookie decorating contest, and the Rub- Country Grocers, libraries, rec centres and ber Fish Race. wherever else you pick up Island Parent.

Sue Fast

March 2017  5

R  B M’ G, B,  T C

Our Academy Programs are the perfect combination of outdoor fun and professional instruction. From private instruction to group camps, our programs are tailor-made for all-ages and abilities. Choose from golf, tennis, or cycling. B E A R M O U N TA I N . C A

2 5 0.74 4 . 2 3 2 7 | 1 9 9 9 C O U N T RY C L U B WAY, V I C TO R I A B C



(250) 386-7526

Unmasking creativity

Register for Camps and Spring Programs Today 6  Island Parent Magazine


Island Parent NOTES Summer Pop-Up Design Competition

Victoria’s Centennial Square will look slightly different this July as it transforms into a magnetic, family-friendly space to showcase the winning design of the latest ‘Pop-Up’ Design Competition. The City of Victoria is seeking creative ideas to integrate play into Centennial Square, and invites qualified teams and individuals to submit design concepts to unleash the playful possibilities of this space this summer. The purpose of the ‘Pop-Up @ the Square’ Design Competition is to select a team to design, build and install a playful, playable feature that appeals to a wide range of ages. Participants are encouraged to explore unconventional approaches to ‘play’ that contribute to the architectural character and public realm experience in Centennial Square. The winning team will be selected by a jury panel, and will receive a $5,000 award and up to $50,000 to design, build and install an imaginative feature in Victoria’s signature public square. There will also be an opportunity for the public to cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award, with the winning team receiving $1,000. Submissions must be received by 4pm on March 30. Recognizing that there are currently few opportunities for families with children living in the downtown core, the City teamed up with the Downtown Victoria Business Association in seeking innovative and creative solutions to integrate opportunities for play into the everyday fabric of the downtown public realm. People’s choice vote will take place in April. The winner of the design competition and people’s choice award will be announced May 2. Installation of the temporary popup feature will take place in early July. For more information including application 11:27 AM details visit:

Visit a CRD Park

Choose from a full slate of fun and informative CRD Parks programs this month. Spring is here, and it’s time to head for the hills. Follow a CRD Regional Parks naturalist up Mill Hill, looking for slugs along the way at Ugh! A Slug! (Mar 11, 10-11:30am) a guided walk for all ages at Mill Hill Regional Park in Langford; there’s something fishy going on at Salmon Saturday (Mar 18, 11am-2pm), an all-ages drop-in event

at Charters Interpretive Centre (off Sooke Rd in Sooke); solve the riddles to find the clues hidden along the trail at Mystery Creature (Mar 20, 10-11:30am) at this all-ages guided walk at Coles Bay Regional Park in North Saanich; hear the Buzz About Bees (Mar 22, 11am-2pm) at this all-ages guided walk at Francis/King Regional Park in Saanich; experience life as a small bird through story time, a forest ramble and a nest craft to take home at The Best Nest (Mar 25, 10-11am) a guided walk for kids 5 and under at Francis/King Regional Park in Saanich; learn more about Busy Beavers (Mar 26, 10-11:30am) a guided walk at Elk/ Beaver Lake Regional Park in Saanich for those 5 and up. To find out more and to pre-register (required for some programs), visit (link to Spring Nature Outings brochure).

Tillicum LEGO Mania Challenge

Registration is underway for the 7th annual Tillicum LEGO Mania Challenge March 25 and 26 at Tillicum Centre. Over 100 contestants, ages 5-14 years will be showcase their Lego masterpieces for a chance to win Lego prizes. The theme this year: Happy 150th Birthday, Canada. Meet Lego Certified Professional, Robin Sather, and watch him build a giant scene using Lego bricks. Children under 14 years who are not contestants will have a chance to try out our mini build area. The Victoria Lego Users Group (VicLUG) will also be on hand with some of their fun Lego creations. Prizes will be awarded for the top three entries for ages 5-8 years and 9-14 years on Sunday, March 26 at 2pm. More prizes will be given out during Lego Trivia on Sunday, March 26 at 1:30pm. Drop by the lower level of Tillicum Centre during regular mall hours Festival Nanaimo and see an exciting Lego exhibit. For more Festival Nanaimo, a multi-dimensional information, visit community festival, is back this March with fun events for the whole family. For starters, 31st Annual Pacific Rim the festival has a lineup of eight Festival Whale Festival Nanaimo “Signature Events” at venues all Join the fun on the shores of Vancouver around the city—from concerts to theatre, Island’s wild west coast at the 31st Anfood tastings, cycling and walking tours nual Pacific Rim Whale Festival (PRWF) and sporting events. from March 11-26. Celebrate the arrival Grab your eye-patch and your sword of upwards of 20,000 grey whales—offor five days of bucaneering shenanigans at ten traveling within viewing distance of PirateFest. Arrgh mateys, the Purple Pirate shore—on their northbound migration is back. Bring the family for a fun all-ages from the Baja Peninsula to Alaska’s Bering adventure as award-winning children’s Sea and beyond. performer Dustin Anderson sails back into Throughout Tofino and Ucluelet and Nanaimo for a show at the Port Theatre around Pacific Rim National Park you’ll find during PirateFest 2017. Country Club an array of events. Bring your pets, favourite Centre is PirateFest Headquarters from dolls, outrageous costumes or your float, March 21-24 with free activities all week. and join the Parade of Whales and Wonders PirateFest Day is officially on March 25, (Mar 11, 10:30-11:30am), sign up for the starting at noon with a parade downtown, 21st annual Chowder Chowdown (Mar prizes and activities at the Nanaimo Mu- 26, 11:30am-2pm), get creative at the Sea seum, the Harbourfront Library and The Creature Cookie Decorating event at ComPort Theatre. For more information, visit mon Loaf Bakery (Mar 15, 3-4pm), drop by Maritime Kid’s Day (in Tofino at Tin Wis

Turn Off the Lights on Earth Hour

On Saturday March 25, from 8:30-9:30pm, hundreds of millions of people around the world will turn off their lights for an hour to demand action on climate change. But that’s just the beginning. Every hour, Canadians are taking small steps to lessen their impact on the environment. From hanging our clothes to dry to taking transit to work, those small steps add up to huge changes for the better. Earth Hour is about more than just turning off the lights. It’s also an opportunity to turn on young minds. Visit to find out how to help students understand Earth Hour and the importance of taking action against climate change. There are many ways to mark and celebrate Earth Hour at your child’s school, from outdoor activities to lights-out events. Before you start planning for Earth Hour, remember to register your child’s school on so the school’s participation can be counted towards the Canadian total.

Yoga, Support and Fun! March 2017 Schedule 975 Fort Street,Victoria | 250-595-4905

We have lots of classes, activities and support groups for Parents, Babies and Toddlers. All classes are drop-in. Come on down and tryy them out!


Prenatal Yoga 10:30am Family Yoga 12 noon

(all ages, all genders)


Songs & Rhymes for Babies & Toddlers10:15am Mommy & Baby Yoga 1pm Baby Massage 2:30pm Yoga for Labour & Birth 5:15pm


Fun in French 10:15am New Baby Group (0-4mos) 11:15am Mom & Baby Strength & Stretch 1:00pm Prenatal Strength & Stretch 5:15pm


Motherhood Circle 10:30am(by registration) Older Baby Group (4-9mo) 1:00pm Prenatal Yoga 5:15pm


Toddler Yoga 10:15am Mom & Baby Yoga 11:30am Mobile Baby Group (9-18mos)1:00pm Prenatal Yoga 5:15pm


Prenatal Yoga 10:15am Sing and Sign with Baby 12 noon Pregnancy Happy Hour 5:00pm

Find more information on all of our classes and groups, on our website at

Keeping the Love Alive When Partners become Parents Staying connected as partners and sweethearts can be challenging when you have to cope with the demands of a new baby. Join us to discuss the issues and learn some great communication skills! Monday March 20 & 27, 7-9:30pm $115 per couple See our website for more information, or call us to register.

The place for new and expectant parents |

March 2017  7

Resort on Mar 22, 1-4pm; and in Ucluelet at Ucluelet Community Centre on Mar 23, 1-4pm), among other family-friendly events. Many of the activities are free, with the purchase of an PRWF Events Button. For more information, visit, email info@ or phone 1-250-726-7798.

Fossil Fair

Who lived here millions of years ago? Dinosaurs, trilobites, ammonites, enormous clams and sharks lived in the ancient tropical coral seas and palm tree forests that covered Vancouver Island. The Victoria Palaeontology Society will hold its 20th Fossil Fair on March 25-26 from 10am-3pm at the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary, 3873 Swan Lake Road in Victoria. The Fossil Fair will display a rich and diverse variety of ancient fossil animals and plants from the Cambrian (550 million years ago) to the end of the last Ice Age (10,000 years ago). The fossils include dinosaur bones, ammonites, trilobites, corals, mollusks, insects, giant palm leaves and microscopic fossils. Bring your own fossils for identification to this family event. Kids can follow a

8  Island Parent Magazine

scavenger hunt, or make fossil and dinosaur • Poetry: Grades 7-9 and Grades 10-12. rubbings. The Fossil Fair is an educational • Random: Grades 7-9 and Grades 10-12. experience for all age groups. Admission What is the “Random” category, you ask? by donation. For more information, phone Writing in any format that is not a poem 250-479-0211 or visit or short story. This is where you can enter your graphic novel, your zine, your original TC10K School Team Challenge song lyrics, your screenplay, a personal esThe TC10K and Island Farms have say, your blog, your best tweets… teamed up to offer cash prizes to schools If you are not enrolled in a grade as departicipating in the teams category at this fined, your entry can be considered based year’s TC10K on Sunday, April 30. on your age, rather than grade. Entrants Three cash prizes of $1,000 will be must be born between January 1, 1999 and awarded to school teams in the following December 31, 2004. categories: Fastest Team Overall; Most Submissions must be your own work and Team Members; and Best Team Spirit. All not have been published elsewhere (submisschools on Vancouver Island from kinder- sions that you wrote for a school assignment garten to Grade 12 are eligible to enter in are accepted and encouraged) and must be either the Thrifty Foods 1.5K Family Run, received no later than midnight, March 27. or the TC10K run. Run or walk with more Short stories or other forms (such as esthan 15,000 others through the streets of says) must not exceed 2,000 words in length. Victoria in the 28th Annual TC10K. To Entrants must have a valid Greater Vicregister, visit Team registration toria Public Library card. One entry per deadline April 5. For more information, visit category per person. or phone 778-677-5RUN (5786). Winners will be selected by April 30 or earlier. Judges will be from a panel made Teen Writing Contest at GVPL up of library staff, local writers, and teens Enter Greater Victoria Public Library’s from GVPL’s Teen Council. Teen Writing Contest. Categories: First prize: a $100 gift certificate to the • Short Story: Grades 7-9 and Grades store of your choice. Runners up in each 10-12. category will receive a $25 gift certificate

to any store. Winners and their writing will be featured at a Teen Writers’ Reception on May 1. For more information, rules and submission guidelines, visit

committed staff and trained volunteers, the centre offers services to create foundations for personal and community growth in a welcoming and non-judgemental environment. The centre aims to help parents create stronger families and healthier children. Grandparents Raising GrandThe VSPRC offers comprehensive life children (GRG) Support Line skills programs, workshops and support Parent Support Services Society of BC’s groups that typically run from September Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Sup- through June. For a schedule of upcoming port Line assists grandparents and other workshops, visit, or relatives raising a family member’s child to phone 250-385-1114. navigate complex services systems such as Ministry of Children and Family Develop- Big Brothers Big Sisters ment (MCFD) and others. The support line The Big Brothers and Big Sisters Mentorhelps grandparents find answers, assistance, ing programs provide boys and girls with a and the resources they need to prevent or role model and a friend to talk to and share solve problems, and learn about benefits the experiences of growing up. Through and other services that will support the regular outings, a relationship is developed whole family. between the mentor and the mentee that is The Grandparents Raising Grandchil- built on trust and common interests, and is dren Support Line is staffed by two part-time supported by our experienced case-workers. advocates with training in advocacy, social The result is a life-changing experience for work, family law, and government services both the mentor and the mentee. pertaining to kinship caregiving. They can The Big Brothers and Big Sisters Mentorbe reached by phone at 1-855-474-9777 ing programs usually require two regularly (toll free anywhere in B.C.) or by email at scheduled outings a month, each of several The GRG hours, and a minimum one-year commitSupport Line is open from 10am-2pm on ment. The programs strive to: provide a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. At role model and a friend for mentees; proall other times you can leave a voicemail mote the importance of staying in school message or send an email, which will be and maintaining healthy relationships returned promptly. with family and peers; instill trust and self-confidence in order to make healthy Victoria Single Parent decisions; encourage leadership skills and Resources Centre independent thinking; and above all, make 1Up, the Victoria Single Parent Resource a difference while having fun. Centre (VSPRC), provides practical supTo learn more about becoming a mentor port, opportunities for growth, and a sense or donating to the Big Brothers and Big of hope for one-parent families across Sisters Mentoring programs, phone 250Greater Victoria. Guided by skilled and 475-1117 or visit

Royal BC Museum’s Learning Portal

The Learning Portal ( is a dynamic and intuitive website, designed to appeal to the different ways students of all ages choose to learn, featuring video content, audio recordings, images and stories and articles. Whether a visual learner, someone who wears headphones 24/7 or a lover of the written word, the Learning Portal offers plenty of ways for kids and adults to connect to BC’s human history and natural history. The Learning Portal was designed with input from a diverse network of educators across BC, including teachers, librarians and staff from the Ministry of Education. The Learning Portal features photos and bios about contributing researchers, collection managers, conservators, curators and archivists from the Royal BC Museum staff. This gives users the opportunity to get to know the people behind the stories—and perhaps inspire a few young learners to someday work at a world-class museum. The Learning Portal will continue to add rich multimedia content and new interactive features. The next stage includes the ability for learners to “pin” the most interesting articles, stories, videos and images to their own board, similar to Pinterest. The Royal BC Museum bridges the stories of yesterday with today’s technology, the better to reach learners of any age, no matter where they live. Visit learning.•


Highland Pacific Junior & Bantam Spring Break Camps Introduction to the FUNdamentals of the game and proper etiquette. On course play, games and contests keep things fun!

March 20 – 24 & March 27 – 31 Bantam (Ages 6 – 9) 9:30am – 12:00pm Junior (Ages 10 – 13) 1:30pm – 5:00pm 3 day camp (choose your days) $79 for Bantam and $99 for Junior Full 5 day camp $119 for Bantam and $139 for Junior

250-478-4653 450 Creed Road, Victoria

WestCoast Fertility Connections Are you interested in becoming a surrogate? • Do you want to help someone’s dream of having a child come true? • Are you physically and emotionally healthy? • Would you like a meaningful, supportive connection? Becoming a surrogate is a gift that lasts a lifetime. Enjoy new relationships, nurture the ones you have, experience love, confidence and be part of making a change in the world you live in. Connect with us to see what a journey like this can hold for you.

Your Family. Your Love. Your Way. 250.589.3270

March 2017  9

No Easy Answers


e’re supposed to take risks in life. At least that’s what posts in my Facebook feed keep telling me. And I’m a fan of that mentality; Get out there, be bold, YOLO, etc. I’ve done some weird things as a result. I’ve competed in a camel race, swung on a flying trapeze, gotten my motorcycle license and flown through the sky on a paraglider. They were all kind of scary, but the absolute most terrifying risk I’ve ever taken is ending my marriage. And there’s no life-affirming meme that could ever make it any easier to tackle. I’m sure the idea of separation or divorce occasionally crosses the minds of anyone in a longterm relationship. You tick each other off, say nasty things, take each other for granted. You compare yourselves to others—others who are generally hiding their worst selves when others are around—and start dreaming about some really green grass. But in a healthy relationship this fantasy is short-lived, apologies are exchanged, damage is repaired, and you move forward together. Deciphering between a mental escape and a life path you should pursue is damn hard. There are no easy answers and I am sure as hell not going to pretend to have them. And even when you think you know, you’re likely never going to be 100 per cent certain. Nearly a year passed between my husband and I separating and choosing to get a divorce. And it was an awful, awful year. I expected it would be difficult. Change is always challenging, but potentially parting ways with my husband—my best friend—left me in a heap. I anticipated lots of tears and confusion, and that I would waver back and forth on what to do. What I didn’t expect was my body’s physical response. Anxiety has always been an issue for me but this change put it through the roof. At random intervals I would be struck with bouts of chest pain, unable to get a proper breath. Whenever it hit me at work I would run and hide in the bathroom until it passed. I couldn’t get through the night without being woken by a panic attack and for some reason problems always seems worst at 3 a.m. My hair started falling out. I lost 30 pounds from being unable to eat (I was overweight and needed to lose it, but not like this). My doctor increased my anxiety medication from 10 to 30mcg. I started going to therapy twice a month. And through all of it a voice in my head egged my body on, “What if you regret it? What if you’re ruining your children’s lives?” My thoughts were even worse during the panic attacks, “You’re selfish and making a huge mistake. Your kids’ happiness is more important than yours. You’ll end up alone and you’ll deserve it.” I didn’t have a lot of friends who had been through a divorce, but I had enough to show me that sometimes it is the right choice. Seeing their happy, well-adjusted kids was the best argument they ever could have made. I have a lot of friends who haven’t been through a divorce and not one of them tried to talk me into anything. They listened, they held me up, they told me to do what I felt was right for me. They put up with an exceptionally annoying amount of crying, whining, flip-flopping and more crying. My mom was deeply concerned about me and did anything she could to help me sleep or eat or just relax. There is no thank you gift that could ever equate what my friends and family did for me during that year. The professionals in my life, both of whom are married women, offered the most frank advice of the bunch. My doctor said, “Medication helps. Therapy helps. But the anxiety isn’t going away until you make a decision. Then you’ll feel better.” My therapist laid it out for me another way. “You can divorce now. Or you can hold out for the sake of the kids and wait and see what it’s like in five or 10 years. But if you’re not happy now, what kind of an angry bitch are you going to be after another decade of the same stuff?” They were both right. The why’s and how’s of the relationship between my ex and I are private. We could both attempt to explain it, but the

10  Island Parent Magazine

stories likely wouldn’t match, having been altered by perspective, memory and emotion. I will say that no one did anything “wrong.” There was no good guy and no bad guy. There was no betrayal. Life just threw us curveballs and we struggled to face them. We chose to part ways before hatred ate up any love we had left. There was never any question that we would share custody equally. We chose to remain a unified front to our kids and co-parent fairly rather than compete. The journey is only beginning but for the most part I’m proud of how we are handling the challenge of being apart.

Erin Skillen Post-Married Mommy This new role as a divorcing, working mom is a hell of a cluster@!*#. But I can confidently say, with only the tiniest touch of anxiety, that it is right for me. But at the same time it has opened my eyes to a world that I never expected to be a part of, with a crazy new collection of problems: telling my kids about the divorce, creating a new home without a partner, MILF collectors, a sudden influx of spare time and the scourge of being the spare un-couplee at endless events full of couples. It’s completely bonkers. Stay tuned.


1Up Single Parent Resource Centre is a registered non-profit charity that has served the evolving needs of single parent families in Greater Victoria since 1978. 1Up offers practical support, opportunities for growth and a sense of hope. The Centre offers a wide selection of programs and free services to assist custodial and non custodial parents to meet the needs of their growing families. Visit For a list of other resources and useful links, including counselling and mental health services, click on 1Up’s Community Resources button. Erin Skillen is a coffee-addicted mom and media producer in Victoria. To ditch stress she shakes her booty to Beyonce, spins around in a giant metal hoop and writes romantic comedies with another mom.


We know academic results are important to you. We know academic results are important to you. Sylvan students typically see up to SYLVAN two to three ACE THE NEXT REPORT CARD WITH Sylvan students typically up to SYLVAN two to three times more growth in theirsee math and reading ACE THE CARD WITH ACE academic THE NEXT NEXT REPORT REPORT SYLVANto you. We know resultsCARD are WITH important times more growth inresults theircome math reading scores than if they hadn't toand Sylvan*. Weknow know academic are important you. Sylvan students typically see up to two totothree We academic results are important to We know academic results are important to you. you. scores than if they hadn't come to Sylvan*. Sylvan students typically see up to two to three Act now to take control of this school year. times more growth in their math and reading Sylvan students typically see up to two to three Sylvan students typically upand to two to three times more growth in theirsee math reading scores than if they hadn't come to Sylvan*. Act now to take control of this school year. times more growth in their math and reading scores thangrowth if they come Sylvan*. times more in their mathtoand reading $100hadn’t OFF on enrollment. scores than if they hadn't come to Sylvan*. Reading, Reading, Math, Writing, Skills, Act to take control of this school year. scores than ifEarly they hadn't come toStudy Sylvan*. Act now now control this school year. $100 OFF Support onof enrollment. Homework & more! Reading, Early Reading, Math, Writing, Study Skills, Call Now: 1-800-EDUCATE Act to take control of this school year. Offer valid locationsSupport only.of Cannot combined with any other Act now now toat participating take control this school year. Homework &bemore! $100 OFF on enrollment.

coupon or offer. Minimum purchase (40 hours) applies. Not applicable to camps or Reading, Early Reading, Math, Writing, Study Skills, Call Now:Prep. 1-800-EDUCATE SAT/ACT Expires 04/15/17. Offer valid at participating locations only. Cannot combined with any other Homework & be more! $100 OFF Support on enrollment. $100 OFF on enrollment. coupon or offer. Minimum purchase (40 hours) applies. Not Study applicable to camps or Call Now: 1-800-EDUCATE Reading, Early Reading, Math, Writing, Skills, Prep. Expires 04/15/17. Reading, EarlySAT/ACT Reading, Math, Writing, Study Offer valid at participating locations only. Cannot be combined with Skills, any other Homework Support & more! coupon or offer. Minimum purchase (40 hours) applies. Not applicable to camps or Homework Support & more! Call Now:Prep. 1-800-EDUCATE SAT/ACT Expires 04/15/17. Call Now: 1-800-EDUCATE Offer valid at participating locations only. Cannot be combined with any other Offer valid at participating locations Cannot be combined with any other or coupon or offer. Minimum purchase (40only. hours) applies. Not applicable to camps coupon or offer. MinimumSAT/ACT purchasePrep. (40 hours) applies. Not applicable to camps or Expires 04/15/17. SAT/ACT Prep. Expires 04/15/17.

Sylvan of Vancouver Island

1-800-EDUCATE Sylvan of Vancouver Island Victoria, Westshore, Nanaimo, Duncan


Sylvan of Vancouver Island

1-800-EDUCATE Sylvan Sylvan of of Vancouver Vancouver Island Island Victoria, Westshore, Nanaimo, Duncan

Victoria, Westshore, Nanaimo, Duncan *See the complete Sylvan Field Research Results at


Victoria, Westshore, Nanaimo, Duncan *See the complete Sylvan Field Research Results at Victoria, Westshore, Nanaimo, Duncan

Register Today!

*See the complete Sylvan Field Research Results at

July and August

*See the complete Sylvan Field Research Results at *See the complete Sylvan Field Research Results at

Summer Sleepover Camps Summer Day Camps Leadership Programs Year-Round

Rentals & School Groups • 250-743-2189 • March 2017  11

Where we draw for the fun of it!

We offer drawing, cartooning and sketching classes for children and adults that help students improve their drawing skills while developing their own, unique style. · Daytime, after school and evening programs · Spring and Summer Camps · Weekend programs and workshops

Explore the Music of Ireland


arch 17 is St. Patrick’s Day, a celebration of Irish heritage that recognizes Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It is observed around the world and anyone can join in the celebration. This St. Patrick’s Day, get the celebration started with your kids by exploring the world of Irish music. There are many traditional Irish tunes, jigs and songs that you can explore with your family and get your toes tapping. Jigs and reels are among the most popular. A jig is a joyful dance with a bouncy 6/8 rhythm. It involves a lot of hops and steps that repeat themselves over and over again. Popular Irish dance tunes include “The Road to Lisdoonvarna,” “The Swallowtail Jig,” and “The Galway.”

2325 Central Avenue, Victoria



Moving Expecting a Baby Planning a Wedding A Grandparent A New Business/Executive Interested In a New Career

CONTACT WELCOME WAGON TODAY! Victoria & Vancouver Island 1-866-518-7287 Nanaimo 250-756-9794 Or online at:

A fun Irish children’s folk song to sing is the popular “Michael Finnegan.” It’s a silly song that reminds young singers to “begin-igan” at the end of each verse and it has funny rhyming words such as “chinigan” and “shin-a-gan.” For toddlers, a good Irish nursery rhyme to sing together is “I’m a Little Leprechaun” that is sung to the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot.” I’m a little leprechaun dressed in green, 
 The tiniest man that you ever seen. If you ever catch me, it is told, I’ll give you my pot of gold! Get cozy and spend some time singing Irish lullabies. One beautiful traditional lullaby to sing is “Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral” which means “goodbye for now.” It is a classic Irish-American song and it’s

12  Island Parent Magazine

a comforting song to sing at bedtime. An excellent CD is “Celtic Dreamland” by Putumayo World Music. This CD includes soft melodies of Irish lullabies such as “When Juniper Sleeps” which features the tin whistle and “The Dove’s Return” with sounds of the harp.

Jerri Carson There are many interesting Irish musical instruments to check out, too. One of the oldest instruments is the harp—it has been important to the Irish since medieval times. The old Irish harp is called a clarsach. It is small and the harpist holds it on one knee to pluck the brass strings. The music has a ringing, bell-like sound. Fiddles are also prevalent in St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Fiddlers play lively Irish reels, flings, hornpipes, polkas, and jigs. Be sure to check out Riverdance on Youtube. Riverdance is a touring Irish Dance Company that performs worldwide. Their dances tell the stories of Ireland and feature Irish step dancing, which has very fast footwork. Other instruments used in Irish music are accordions, tin whistles, and the bodhran. The bodhran is a wooden drum with goat skin and beaten with a double-ended stick. The tin whistle is a simple metallic wind instrument with six holes and a mouthpiece. An excellent book to read is Everything Irish by Annmarie O’Grady. Learn to make Irish crafts, read and sing stories about Ireland, make a shamrock fridge magnet and make your very own “laughing leprechaun.” It’s a great way for young readers to learn about and enjoy St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day will keep you dancing and singing from morning to night. On March 17, wear your greenest finery and celebrate the luck o’ the Irish with the entire family. Jerri is a retired music teacher. She now spends her time playing the piano and cello.

Nine Things to Do In the Dark

become even easier to find events with the Earth Hour tracker, where you can locate events nearby or even add your own events! Visit

7. Get outside

Maybe a famous local landmark is going to be turning the lights off for Earth Hour. his year, Earth Hour is on Saturday time. That’s why Earth Hour is a special This is a great time to walk around and March 25. Celebrate a commitment to opportunity to view all the stars, even with explore places and buildings as you would the planet with friends, family, community the naked eye. Take this time to observe all not normally see them. or at work by turning off the lights for one the natural lights in the sky. 8. Relax hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Earth Hour can be a moment to just spend Here from World Wildlife Fund (WWF), 4. Play games Playing board games is great when you’re alone. Maybe it’s reading by a candle, or are nine things to do when the lights are out: with friends and family, so grab some treating yourself to a homemade facial. We candles and a game or two and have some could all use an hour to relax. 1. Plan a candle lit dinner Have a picnic indoors or outdoors, fun. You may even forget to turn the lights 9. Reflect depending on the weather. Candles create on because you’re having so much fun. Lastly, Earth Hour is a great time to a lovely ambiance to any meal, so gather reflect. This is a time to be disconnected some friends and snacks (ahead of time) 5. Exercise Practice yoga, or do some squats. Being from technology and have a moment to just and enjoy the special time together. physically active is a great and healthy way talk. Speak with family and friends about to pass the time. climate change, and all the magnificent 2. Host a trivia night species being affected like the polar bear. Have some climate change trivia with 6. Join a community event Or come up with ideas for using less energy friends. Many places all over the world are hosting beyond the hour. Earth hour events. Check your local com3. Stargaze Nowadays it’s difficult to find a spot that munity centers or businesses and see if they For more Earth Hour ideas, visit is not lit up by bright lights—even at night are having lights-out events. This year it has


March 2017  13


Spring Break Programs Ah, spring—a time of blossoms, breezes and Spring Break. There’s lots to do during the break as you’ll see from the following listing. For more information on any of these programs, please refer to the ads in this issue (Ad Index on page 43). Have fun in the—dare we say it—sun!

• A great selection of books • Dress-up for girls and boys • Shoes…Pedipeds, Stride Rite…and More • Rainwear and rainboots…TUFFO – MUDDYBUDDY, now up to size 5 • Children’s clothing up to age 12

Car Seats, Cribs, Play-n-Pak, High Chairs available for short term rentals

Join us this Spring for inspiring art classes and camps in the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s (AGGV) Studio! Connect with cool new ideas, techniques and experiment with the creative process. Classes are for a wide range of ages and inspired by Gallery exhibitions. Register online: art-studio, in person at 1040 Moss Street or by phone: 250-384-4171 For more information email: See you in the Studio!

Now Accepting Maternity & Spring Consignment New & Used Toys, Clothing & Furniture Visit our new location: 2005 Oak Bay Ave • 778 265 5430

Ride the Wild Cave Slide!

- fossil hike - self-guided caving - cave tours – mild to wild Ranked #1 Attraction OPEN YEAR ROUND


HORNELAKE.COM 14  Island Parent Magazine

Bring your family to Blue Vista Resort and start a new tradition. Located steps from Bennett Bay and the Gulf Island National Reserve with its beaches and shoreline walks on Mayne Island, this Tourism BC Approved Accommodation has been catering to families for over three decades. With nine individualized housekeeping cottages to choose from and a quiet lawn with barbecues, picnic tables and a children’s play area, this small family-run resort invites you to join a tradition many families have been enjoying for years. Cabins start at under $100/night. Visit for rates and details. 1-877-535-2424. Let your child experience everything you hope for them. Camp Pringle is more than just an amazing week of fun; our trained and screened leaders provide a safe place for children to develop socially, mentally, physically and spiritually. Spring Break Camp for ages 7-14 at only $460 + GST, Sunday to Friday with meals provided by our dietary Chef Lorri; you will love Camp Pringle. Visit for easy online registration or call 250-743-2189.

Christ Church Cathedral School’s Spring Break Program, “Lux Mundi”, provides a safe and exciting experience for your child. We have a high supervision ratio, energetic and experienced staff, excursions every day, opportunities for new friendships and lots of laughs, plus all the facilities of Christ Church Cathedral School, including a full size gymnasium. Children learn and grow in a safe and enjoyable environment. The program runs from March 13-24. Spaces still available. Registration also open for summer 2017. Contact us at 250-383-5125 or email: This spring the City of Victoria offers a range of programs for everyone. Looking for ways to keep the kids busy and active over Spring Break? Try Horseback Riding Camp or World Cup Soccer Camp. There will be Spring Break Fun Swims daily from 1-3:30pm. Mom and Dad why not hire a personal trainer while the kids are in the pool? You can find more information on all our programs and services, as well as drop-in schedules, at or by calling 250-361-0732. Highland Pacific Golf Junior and Bantam Spring Break Camps. Combine outdoor exercise with golf instruction and learn the game in a fun, exciting way! Includes professional coaching and on course play daily. March 20-24 and March 27-31: Bantam (Ages 6-9) 9:30am to noon; Junior (Ages 10-13) 1:30-5pm. 3-day camp (choose your days) $79 for Bantam and $99 for Junior. Full 5-day camp $119 for Bantam and $139 for Junior. 250-478-4653. Kate Rubin Theatre & Drama Studio offers young people with a dramatic interest or passion special programs. Courses and camps run fall, winter, spring and summer. The studio is highly regarded in Victoria for running quality theatre programming for youth. We offer something for all levels.

At the end of each term, students will have an opportunity to perform their work for an audience! Groups are small for quality instruction. For more information, call 250-386-7536 or email kathleen@skam. ca.

Also, don’t forget about our fantastic fun swims in the pool or Everyone Welcome skates. Whatever you’re looking for, you will probably find it at one of our four recreation centres. Check out recreation for more information.

The Nanaimo Museum offers drop in programs for children ages 5-12 and their families during spring break. Admission by donation. Caregivers must be present. Night at the Museum activities Wednesdays, March 22 and 29 5:30-7:30pm include lantern tours through the coal mine in the dark, and other hands on activities. Self-guided Family Discovery days Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays, March 20, 24, 25, 27, 31 and April 1 10am-5pm. Popular drop-in theme programs run Tuesdays and Thursdays 1-3pm with related activities: March 21—Planes Trains and Automobiles; March 23—Medieval Times; March 28—Only in Nanaimo and March 30—Bug’s Life.

St. Michaels University School. A break from school does not have to mean a break from learning. When students want to tackle something new and exciting, our Spring Break programs offer plenty of ways young people can stay entertained. From baking to sports to animation, holiday programs are diverse and engaging. The Passion Sports team also returns with more sell-out elite basketball camps. The Spring Break Programs at St. Michaels University School are open to all children in Victoria ages 5 to 15 and appeal to a wide range of interests. For information on any of these exciting programs, visit our website at smus. ca/spring or call (250) 370-6120.

Spring is all about new beginnings… so don’t wait a moment longer to learn to play music! Playing an instrument is a richly rewarding lifetime asset. Now is the time to begin your musical journey at Tom Lee Music Academy, where music is fun and Playful Pencil Art Studio is offering two learning is easy for all ages. tomleemusic. half day (9am-noon) spring break camps ca/academy. for aspiring artists and cartoonists ages 7-12. The first week (Mar 20-24) will be all Providing a child with a foundation in music about cartooning from creating characters is one of the most valuable things a parent to learning about layout and lettering. The can do. At the Victoria Conservatory second week (Mar 27-31) we will work on of Music we sing, we play, from Rock to improving our drawing skills and learning Bach we have fun and this is the best way to work with form and structure. Visit to begin a lifelong journey with music. or call us at 778-265-2261 We have awesome classes and individual for more information and to register. studio instruction at both our downtown and Langford locations. Visit or Recreation Oak Bay is your headquarters call 250.386.5311 for details. Let’s Play! for Spring Break Camp fun! Join us for themed activities, crafts, out-trips, swim- Spend Spring Break ming and more. New Exciting camps include with West Shore Busy Bees, Pikachu and You, Kids on the Parks & RecreGo and Bricks 4 Kids Teenage Brick Turtles. ation. This year we Have a blast at Oak Bay Recreation Centre offer a variety of with daily theme swims, fun on the ice or camps at Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre, enjoy Specialty, Aquatic and Sports camps! Centennial Centre and the Neighbourhood Check or call 250- Learning Centre at Royal Bay School. Pre595-7946 to find the right camp for you! schoolers will ‘Spring in to Action’ with camps for little chefs and young yogis. Looking for Spring Break fun? Then try one School age kids can try something new of our great programs at Saanich Parks from Acting and Improv to Art, from Sports and Recreation. We have a large selec- Camp to Mad Science. Visit westshorerection to choose from, including computers, for more, or call 250-478-838 dance, arts and crafts, martial arts, sports to register. West Shore Parks & Recreation, and daycamps for kids 5-15 years of age. 1767 Island Highway.•

Bleiddyn del Villar Bellis Artistic Director Fellow & Examiner CSC-CICB Enrico Cecchetti Final Diploma

2017 Children’s Summer Camps Storybook Ballet Programs for ages 4-10 Kinder Camp Ages 4-6

July 4-7 or July 24-28

Children’s Camp Ages 6-10

July 10-14 or July 17-21



Family Discovery Tours Self-guided: 10am-5pm Mar 20, 24, 25, 27, 31, Apr 1 Night at the Museum 5:30pm - 7:30pm March 22 & 29 Kids Drop-in Activities 1:00pm - 3:00pm March 21, 23, 28 & 30 Transport ~ Only in Nanaimo Bug’s Life ~ Medieval Times Admission by Donation 250.753.1821 ~ 100 Museum Way

March 2017  15


Learning Outside the Box


ature Kindergarten is a global phenomenon. Beginning in Europe, it has caught on in Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., and now in Canada. The list of benefits is so long it’s easy to see why the popularity of Nature Kindergarten is growing so fast. The big idea is that students learn about nature by being in nature. But there is much more to it. Award-winning author Richard Louv claims the effects of Nature Kindergarten programs show up in enhanced social skills, increased self-confidence, and improved problemsolving. St. Margaret’s School is a leader in early childhood education and their innovative spin on Nature Kindergarten called OWL (Outside While Learning) is central to all levels of early primary at the school. In fact, St. Margaret’s has taken outdoor learning to a higher level. Not limited to Kindergarten, outdoor experience is an integral part of the curriculum from JK to grade 12. This connection with nature is essential to the school’s commitment to STEM education and inquirybased learning. As the Head of School, Cathy Thornicroft, puts it, SMS students “…learn about natural science, geography, environmental studies, outdoor skills, team-building, and adventure living.” Kindergarten teacher, Rebecca Kaukinen, observes that “Children develop independent thinking more quickly when outdoors. They evaluate safety and make decisions in a way not seen inside the classroom.” Parents also notice a positive difference in their children. Todd Milford’s daughter has been part of the OWL program at SMS. He also has the unique perspective of evaluating the program as a professor and researcher. When observing the power of combining outdoor learning with St. Margaret’s focus on STEM, Dr. Milford says “I am in awe of what the girls do on a day-to-day basis. They are setting the emotional and cognitive foundations to move forward as confident and knowledgeable individuals.”

ST. MARGARET’S SCHOOL Confident girls. Inspiring women. 16  Island Parent Magazine

JK – Grade 12 (Boarding: Grades 7–12) 1080 Lucas Ave, Victoria

When Baby



Your Baby-Proofing


nce my son Oliver started exploring his world, my husband and I realized it was time for us to start baby-proofing. Books went on a higher shelf, TV cords vanished, and baby gates went in the doorways. We needn’t have bothered with that last one, because those gates did nothing. My son would simply climb over, knock over, or open the gates. We clearly needed a new strategy to keep our child safe. So we decided to teach him to respect the boundary those gates represented. The trick was to do that without stifling his desire to explore. Joan Astren, an instructor in Camosun College’s Community Family Child Studies Department, explains that one way parents can teach toddlers to respect the safety measures is by using words and phrases that match their level of development. For example, she recommends saying “stop,” “it’s not safe,” or “dangerous.” Just remember, it will take your children a little while to learn what those words mean, but they will learn. It is important to give our children the words they need to express their emotions, desires, and actions.


March 2017  17

“We want to give words to their actions: ‘I can see you’re crying, you’re really upset.’ By giving the words to their emotions, you’re giving them permission [to feel that way],” said Astren. You also need to give words to their actions—whether it’s climbing or playing

Once my son Oliver started exploring his world, my husband and I realized it was time for us to start baby-proofing. Books went on a higher shelf, TV cords vanished, and baby gates went in the doorways. We needn’t have bothered with that last one, because those gates did nothing.

Toys, Games & Puzzles for All Ages Kool Toys & Teaching Tools

18  Island Parent Magazine

#102 – 2517 Bowen Road Nanaimo  888.390.1775

with books on shelves—and you want to do this in a kind and objective way. You don’t want to sound angry or accusatory, because they are still learning. Just as it’s important to give your child a voice, Astren points out that it is equally important to make sure you know what it is that they want. For instance, one of the

main reasons my son will climb over the baby gate is that the toy he was playing with got away from him or he forgot to bring it into the room in the first place. Astren’s advice works well with “staylistening,” which is the method my husband and I used to teach our son not to climb over the gates. In the book Tears Heal: How

to Listen to Our Children, Kate Orson explains that staylistening is when you take time to listen to your child’s upsets. With my son I tell him that he can’t follow me over the baby gate, but that I need to go. If he bursts into tears, I climb back to his side of the gate and hug him and reassure

Is Your Child’s Face Developing Well? Does your child breathe through his/her mouth? Does your child suffer from allergies? Does your child have any oral habit such as thumb or finger sucking? Does your child have an untreated tongue tie?

Christina Van Starkenburg

him that I love him and that I am here for him until he stops crying. Then I repeat that I have to go, but he has to stay. Once again, if he cries, I hug him until he stops. It can take a few more tries, but eventually when I tell him I have to go over the gate, but that he needs to stay on his side of it, he says okay and plays with his toys until I come back. While my desire is to keep my son safe, it is important that I don’t overlook his desire to climb things, because, as Astren points out “little ones are meant to move.” By moving and exploring they learn about their world, gain problem solving skills, work their imagination, build muscle control, learn coordination, and find their balance. That’s why Astren recommends trying to find a different activity that will meet their need. “If they’re interested in turning things, is there something that would be considered appropriate for them that they could manipulate or play with? Is there a toy or something else in the house that they could turn or drop things into? It depends on what action they want to do. We want to support that movement as well,” says Astren. With Oliver, I want to allow him to climb as much as possible. So we create pillow stacks at the bottom of the couch or chairs so he can climb on them, we go to the park where he can climb up the rope ladder, and we even take him rock-climbing. Now he acknowledges that the baby gates are there for his safety, and that he’s not supposed to simply climb over them, and for the most part he stays on his side of the gate.

Does your child have crowded teeth? Does your child have jaws that seem too far forward or back?

Early Intervention can have far reaching benefits.


Myobrace® treatment focuses on addressing the underlying causes of poor facial and dental development and can unlock your child’s healthy growth and development. HOW MYOBRACE® WORKS • Promotes breathing through the nose


• Corrects tongue positioning • Retrains the lips and cheeks • Corrects poor swallowing habits

After 6 months

Saanich Dental Group Free Consultation: 250-477-7321 (for children under 12)

Christina Van Starkenburg is the mother of two young boys. One of them runs and climbs everything, the other isn’t crawling yet. You can read about their adventures at

March 2017  19

COMPREHENSIVE FAMILY DENTISTRY family centered practice extended hours evenings and weekends the latest equipment and caring staff request an appointment online


Live the Lifestyle

1089 Langford Parkway, Victoria BC V9B 0A5 119–1591 McKenzie Ave, Victoria  250 477 7321

*Bowling *Playzone *Mini-Golf *Skating *Skating *Inflatables *Party Rooms

Victoria’s favourite dentists believe a healthy smile starts early. Free first visit for children under 5.


For more information call 250-391-1738 or visit


Receive a FREE Round of Mini Golf with the purchase of any Mini Golf Round at Regular Price. Redeem at Playzone Expires September 30th 2017

LONDON FOG Edible tea with 10 times the antioxidants and nutrients.

**Some Conditions May Apply


20  Island Parent Magazine

Birthday Parties


Our great instructors will treat you to an action packed two hours of fun and fitness in our great facility!





N Celebrate your birthday with us! A

Pick up your copy of Island Parent at any Serious Coffee Café




43 sary r Annive 2016 1973–

• 2 large decorated birthday rooms



• Free T-shirt for birthday child, invitations for up to 10 children



• The ONLY Inflatable Climbing Mountain with trampoline in town



Book Early: 250-479-6424

#208 – 721 Vanalman Ave

(Broadmead & Royal Oak Area)


PARTY Directory birthday parties for all ages!

ctoria Gymnastics

Spa Parties • Rockin’ Pop-star • Spa-Jamma My Pick ‘n’ Mix Party • Neon Lights Dance Party Enchanted Fairy • Princess Party • Magical Mermaids BFF Mini Parties & more

Character Parties 250.590.5568 & DIY ‘Stuff a Pet’ ts Ki rty Pa

2 Great Locations!

Swim bounce , cook golf, create & more!

Henderson Recreation Centre Call 250-370-7200 Oak Bay Recreation Centre Call 250-595-SWIM (7946)

Birthday Parties



Come Fly With Us! Party sizes up to 18 kids We supply table top cover, napkins, hats, streamers and balloons Optional character

Two certified instructors and a host Optional character

Gymnastics games and music


HASSLE FREE PARTIES for kids & families You provide the space and food… We’ll provide an hour of fun with puppet shows and play

250 472 3546

Optional character

Book your Par-T-Pet Party! Adorable AND affordable. Exclusively made for Par-T-Perfect

Create and stuff a deluxe plush 8" pet to take home! · Choose from 5 pets to adopt · Unique Par-T-Themes available or add on to any party · An amazing goody bag replacement and activity · Ask about our DIY Par-T-Box option—shipped directly to your door!

Free t-shirt Foam landing pit and 40' long trampoline

Optional character

Optional character Optional character

Party participants can win a FREE month

Available Saturday & Sunday Afternoons Optional character


2051 Store St, Victoria


520 Mt View Ave, Colwood Call Par-T-Perfect today 250-386-5867 or visit

778-265-6414 March 2017  21

Community Board Making our Community a Better Place to Live

1Up Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre Art Gallery of Greater Victoria Child Care Resource & Referral Kaleidoscope Theatre Royal BC Museum Silver Threads Service TriStars Training Victoria Children’s Choir Victoria Conservatory of Music Enquire about non-profit brochure or magazine distribution in Greater Victoria: 22  Island Parent Magazine

Saint Patrick Wears Sunglasses


aint Patrick’s Day has a special meaning in our household. We moved to Ireland when my son was a toddler, and we spent a total of three Saint Patrick’s Days in Ireland. While the holiday in Canada often means green beer and shamrocks, the holiday in Ireland is more of a family day. Every small town has a parade along with other family-friendly events (we petted snakes in Maynooth and watched a soapbox derby in Trim). So for me, March 17 is a time to remember the friendships and community that make Ireland the sort of country that is celebrated around the world. When we moved back to Canada we were surprised to see how living abroad had changed us. My son, who had learned to speak in Ireland, had a thick accent that made everyone think he was saying “cow” instead of “car.” I had learned how to cook with only “good value” vegetables—potatoes, cabbage and various other roots vegetables—how to hang dry all my laundry, and how to live without indoor heating. However, it was our interpersonal skills that made us feel like foreigners upon our return to Victoria. My first surprise came while we were getting a bunch of chores done—updating

our bank account info, buying cellphones, among others. I was perplexed to find that the service people were impatient with me. Of course they were friendly and polite, but they were also distinctly impatient with my dithering over decisions. I’m not sure why anyone would be expected to take less than two minutes to decide which cellphone plan to choose. Regardless, the service personnel seemed to want me to “get on with it.” In Ireland, I was always the fast, efficient and organized person. When we first moved overseas, I was the person who was impatiently waiting in line while the bank teller finished telling everyone about her holiday in France. So I was surprised to discover that I had learned how to slow down and take my time with things (though my Irish friends would laugh at the thought, as I never did learn how to be late for an appointment!).

Though there are some second hand shops in Dublin, there isn’t anything as big as Value Village, WIN or the Salvation Army. In Ireland people constantly share furniture, toys, cookbooks and clothes. Within three months of moving there I had been given a bike, bags of clothes and boxes of toys. I assumed that it was because we were new to town, but I soon learned that it was part of the way people always engaged with each other. Getting together with friends meant drinking endless cups of tea, ignoring the dishes piled up in the sink and engaging in a heartfelt conversation. Here are two classic Irish dishes that are both easy and delicious.


Colcannon is an easy dish for any budding chef to make. It’s also a yummy way to convince toddlers to eat their greens! 1 lb of floury potatoes (russets) 1⁄4 cup of butter 2⁄3 cup of milk or cream 1 large bunch of kale 6 spring onions 1. Wash and peel the potatoes then boil them for 15–20 minutes, or until they are easily pierced with a fork. Drain the water. 2. While the potatoes are cooking,

pare the vegetables. Remove the kale stems and finely dice the kale leaves. Chop the spring onions. 3. Mash the potatoes with the butter and milk. Stir in the kale and spring onions while

Emillie Parrish Cooking With Kids the potatoes are still hot and put the lid on so that they can cook. Let sit for at least 5 minutes before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste. Have young children help with the mashing and stirring in the kale and spring onions.


Traditional barmbrack contains charms that are wrapped in waxed paper. Finding a charm in your slice of brack would tell you about your future. For example, if you got a ring, then you would be getting married, and if you got a coin, then you would be rich! 1 cup of strong black tea (or rooibos for a caffeine-free alternative) 31⁄2 cups of dried fruit (raisins, currents, chopped dates, prunes) 1 egg 1⁄2 cup honey 1 Tbsp orange zest 2 cups of wholegrain flour 1 Tbsp baking powder 1⁄2 tsp salt 1. Brew 1 cup of tea and use it to soak the dried fruit for at least 1 hour (or overnight). 2. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. 3. Mix together all of the ingredients, including the soaked fruit and any remaining liquid. 4. Pour into a greased loaf pan (or 8" cake pan), and bake for 50–60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. 5. Let cool before cutting. Serve with butter. Young children are great at mixing ingredients together, so include them in making the recipe. Emillie Parrish loves having adventures with her two busy children. She lives in Victoria and is the author of the fermentation-based blog

Peter PAN a Dufflebag Theatre production

Saturday, March 18 at 1pm VIU’s Malaspina Theatre Tickets $12 each or 2 for $20

250-754-7587 | Mid Island

Helping your family find the perfect place to call home. Melissa Collins Your Family REALTOR®

250-510-2729 RE/MAX Duncan March 2017  23

FAMILY Calendar

For calendar updates throughout the month visit

M A R C H Our Generous Sponsors




rhymes and puppets for young English language learners and their families. For young children and Community Connections for Parents at Saanich accompanying adult. 10:30-11am. Drop-in. 250-940Centennial Branch Library. Come after Baby Time GVPL (4875). to meet an Island Health Dietitian and learn about TH nutrition for your baby. Noon-12:30pm drop-in. WEDNESDAY 250-940-GVPL (4875). Island Health Nurse at Goudy Branch Library. Come after Baby Time to learn about baby care and other SATURDAY TH child development topics. Drop-in, 11:30am-noon. Early Signs of Spring at Witty’s Lagoon Regional 250-940-GVPL (4875). Park. Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist on a walk TH down to the beach. Look for birds, plants and other SATURDAY early signs of spring along the way. Meet at Nature Centre off Metchosin Road. 1–2:30pm. 5 years+. BC Ugh! A Slug! at Mill Hill Regional Park. Be it a banana Transit #54 or #55. 250-478-3344. or a licorice slug, stroll with a CRD Regional Parks naturalist to peek under fallen logs and leaves in search of these giant gastropods that are one of MONDAY TH nature’s best recyclers. Meet at information kiosk Pro-D Day Skate or Swim at Panorama Recreation. in parking lot off Atkins Ave at 10am. All ages. BC Come for a fun-filled Pro-D Day skate or swim. Skate: Transit #53. 250-478-3344. 1-2:20pm; Swim: 1-3pm. $2 admission. 1885 Forest Park Drive. 250-656-7271. Underwater Hockey Lessons at Panorama Recreation. Hockey player or not, challenge yourself by Emergency Preparedness Workshop at Victoria learning this new sport. Learn proper underwater City Hall Antechamber. Learn about the hazards that hockey stick & puck handling technique, run through can affect Victoria, what to include in your emergency fun drills, and even play a short match. Free with kits, what you can do to protect your home from an admission. Must be comfortable in the water. earthquake, and how to reunite with your loved ones 2-3pm. 1885 Forest Park Drive. 250-656-7271. after a disaster. Free. 1-3pm. Register at emvic@, or call 250-920-3373.





Teen Mini Challenge and you might win a prize. Get a mini task booklet at your Vancouver Island Regional Library branch or on our website teens, complete tasks, and return it to your library to be entered into the prize draw. Ages 12-18 years.




Country & Western Skate at Panorama Recreation. Yee Haw. Saddle up and mosey on in for this Country & Western theme skate. Victoria Costumes will provide all sorts of characters in western costumes, as well as treats for the young buckaroos. Bring in a nonperishable item for the Sidney food bank & have your name entered to win all sorts of prizes. 1-2:20pm. 1885 Forest Park Drive. 250-656-7271.




Giggles & Wiggles at Nellie McClung Branch. Little listeners with extra energy will enjoy action-filled stories, songs and rhymes followed by free play and stations. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. 10:30-11am drop-in. 250-940-GVPL (4875).




Spa Night at Brentwood Teen Lounge. How does an evening of pampering sound? There will be SATURDAY TH TO a variety of spa products available for you to FRIDAY ST pamper yourself. Bring your friends for this fun TUESDAY TH evening. 6-8pm. 1233 Clarke Road. 250-656-7271. English Language Learner Storytime at Nellie Spring Break: Teen Mini Challenge at Sidney/ McClung Branch Library. Fun-filled stories, songs, North Saanich Library. Take part in our Spring Break


24  Island Parent Magazine






Salmon Saturday at Charters Interpretive Centre. There’s something fishy going on. Drop by between 11am and 2pm to check out the demonstration hatchery and displays at the Centre with a CRD Regional Parks naturalist. Meet at Interpretive Centre off Sooke River Road. All ages. 250-478-3344. Music Bingo & Giant Jenga at Greenglade Teen Lounge. Do you have an ear for music and know all the lyrics to today’s Top 40 tunes? Bring your friends and steady hand for Music Bingo and Giant Jenga. Pizza and popcorn included. 6-8pm. 2151 Lannon Way. 250-656-7271.




Coast Capital Free Skate at Panorama Recreation. Bring the whole family for an afternoon of fun on the ice sponsored by Coast Capital Savings. Enjoy music and games and get skating tips from instructors. Skate rentals are free today too. 1-2:20pm. 1885 Forest Park Drive. 250.656.7271.




Mystery Creature at Coles Bay Regional Park. Solve riddles to find clues hidden along the trail with a CRD Regional Parks naturalist. Then piece the puzzle together to discover the mystery creature. Meet at information kiosk in parking lot off Inverness Road at 10am. All ages. 250-478-3344. Stories on Fern. The Victoria Storytellers Guild welcomes you to hear and tell stories. Tea and goodies. Doors open at 7:15pm, stories start at 7:30pm. 1831 Fern St (park on Begbie). $5; $3/ students.




Island Health Nurse at Juan de Fuca Branch Library. See WED 8 for details. Drop-in, 11-11:30am. 250-940GVPL (4875).




Buzz about Bees at Francis/King Regional Park. A honey of a program fit for the royalty of the insect world. What’s the buzz about bees—are they really good dancers? Join us for bee songs, bee crafts and some bee spit to taste. Meet at Nature Centre off Munn Road. All ages 11am–2pm drop in. 250-4783344.




Spring Break Puppet Play: The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark at Sidney/North Saanich Library. Who’s afraid of the big bad shark? Come for an underwater twist on the Three Little Pigs based on the book by Ken Geist. Suitable for all ages. 10:30-11:15am. Lego Certified Professional, Robin Sather, and watch him build a giant scene using Lego bricks. Children under 14 who are not contestants will have a chance SATURDAY TH to try out the mini-build area. Come during regular Birding in Uplands Park. Join expert Birder, Geoffrey mall hours to see the exhibition. Newell of Friends of Uplands Park, to observe the migratory birds of spring. Meet at Cattle Point to Fossil Fair at Swan Lake Nature House. Discover the watch the sea birds in this area of the Victoria Harbour past with our amazing annual Fossil Fair! Who was Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Then ramble through the here from millions of years ago to the last Ice Age? easy paths of Uplands Park to listen to the songs of Dinosaurs, trilobites, ammonites, clams, sharks, corbirds soon to be nesting. Bring binoculars and dress als and other weird and wonderful creatures lived for the weather. Suitable for people over 10. Free. in the ancient seas and forests of Vancouver Island. 8am. Contact: Margaret Lidkea, Bring your own fossils for identification! Experts from the Victoria Paleontology Society will share The Best Nest at Francis/King Regional Park. Spring their knowledge, discoveries and ongoing scientific is here and birds are busy! Bring your little ones and research. Kids of all ages can do a scavenger hunt, join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist to discover nests colour or make fossil and dinosaur rubbings, and and look for homes of hummingbirds, robins and more. observe tiny fossils through microscopes. All ages Children will experience life as a small bird through program. 10am-3pm. Admission by donation. 3873 story time, a forest ramble and a nest craft to take Swan Lake Road. 250-479-0211. home. Meet at Nature Centre off Munn Road at 10am. TH 5 years and under. 250-478-3344. SUNDAY







Busy Beavers at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park.

TH Bring your young ones to the shores of the Beaver

Lake Ponds to see an active beaver lodge. Children Tillicum Lego Mania Challenge at Tillicum Mall. will have a chance to learn more about this amazing Over 100 contestants ages 5-14 years will showcase mammal and its marvellous adaptations. Meet at the their masterpieces for a chance to win prizes. Meet grassy area adjacent to the picnic shelter in the Filter

Naturally aged a minimum of 21 days. Cut from the top 12% of Canada AAA beef.


Connect with us March 2017  25

Beds parking lot at 10am. 5 years+ BC Transit #70 or #72. 250-478-3344.

Mighty Mammals at Swan Lake Nature House. Games, crafts, songs, and hands-on activities. Fun for the whole family. Noon-3pm drop-in anytime. MONDAY TH 3873 Swan Lake Road. Admission by donation. For more information call: 250-479-0211 or visit Island Health Nurse at Central Branch Library. See WED 8 for details Drop-in, 11-11:30am. 250-940-GVPL (4875). WEDNESDAY TH

and 2pm and get the scoop from a CRD Regional Parks naturalist. Meet at the Beaver Lake Nature Centre off the main parking lot. All ages. BC Transit #70 or #72. 250-478-3344.

Swan Lake Trails at Swan Lake Nature House. Games, crafts, songs, and hands-on activities. Fun for the whole family. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes and bring a water bottle and snacks for the walk. Noon-3pm—walks leave at 12:15pm and 1:30pm. 3873 Swan Lake Road. Admission by donation. For more information call: 250-479-0211 or visit

Picnic on the Hill at Swan Lake Nature House. Games, crafts, songs, and hands-on activities. Fun for the whole family. Hike leaves Nature house at 12:15pm, suitable for hikers ages 7 and up. Noon-3pm drop-in anytime. 3873 Swan Lake Road. Admission by donation. For more information call: 250-479-0211 or visit Emergency Preparedness Workshop at Victoria City Hall Antechamber. See MON 6 for details. Free. 1-3pm. Register at, or call 250-920-3373.






Beginner Birding at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. Have you ever wanted to bird watch? This is a great time of the year for birding, as courtship and territory disputes fill the air with song. Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist to learn what to look for, and how to use binoculars and field guides. Bring binoculars if you have them. A spotting scope is provided. Meet at the Nature Centre off Metchosin Road at 10am. 8 years+ BC Transit #54 or #55. 250-478-3344. crd.

Giggles & Wiggles at Nellie McClung Branch. See THURS 16 for details. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. 10:30-11am drop-in. 250-940-GVPL (4875). Community Connections for Parents at Goudy Branch Library. See THURS 2 for details. Noon12:30pm drop-in. 250-940-GVPL (4875). Super Snakes at Swan Lake Nature House. Games, crafts, songs, and hands-on activities. Fun for the whole family. Live animals. Noon-3pm drop-in anytime. 3873 Swan Lake Road. Admission by donation. For more information call: 250-479-0211 or visit




Island Health Nurse at Saanich Centennial Branch Library. See WED 8 for details Drop-in, Noon12:30pm. 250-940-GVPL (4875).


Amazing Race at Elk/Beaver Regional Park. Chal- Baby Times, Toddler Time & Family Storytime lenge yourself on this skill-testing and fun jaunt at the Greater Victoria Public Library. Parents and through the forest. Drop by anytime between 11am caregivers are welcome and encouraged to partici-

Cover Photo Contest For the 2017 Family Summer Guide or Kids’ Guide to Victoria & Vancouver Island Send us a colourful, clear photo of your kids or family enjoying a summer moment on Vancouver Island, and it may end up on the cover of this year’s Family Summer Guide or Kids’ Guide. 1st Prize: Main cover photo on the Family Summer Guide and $100 Gift Certificate to the business of your choice on Vancouver Island. Runners up: five or more runners up will receive two IMAX tickets and their photos will be featured on the cover of either the Family Summer Guide or Kids’ Guide. Only digital submissions will be accepted. Send a maximum of three photos of medium or higher resolution (preferably 2–3MB). Photos must be colour shots of children or families in Vancouver Island locations. Contest is open to Vancouver Island residents only. No professional photographers, please. Entry deadline is Thursday, April 13, 2017; winners will be notified by email by Monday, May 15. Winning photos become the property of Island Parent Magazine.

Send entries to: 26  Island Parent Magazine

pate with their children. Drop in; space is limited. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis. For a complete schedule of drop-in programs, visit or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information.



Spring Break: Whale of a Good Time at the Sidney/ North Saanich Library. Come have a “whale of a good time” over Spring Break. Try the Sea Creature Scavenger to get your name in a draw for annual passes to the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea. There will be lots of fun and surprises. Check Facebook for more details.

YOUTH In Our Own Voice Teen Writing Contest at Sidney/ North Saanich Library. Teens, submit your awesome fiction in any genre, including poetry! Finalists will be published in an anthology and there are cash prizes for winners. See for more details. A partnership of Vancouver Island Regional Library and Rebel Mountain Press. Contest closes March 31.

Join us this spring for inspiring art classes


and camps in the AGGV Art Studio! | 250.384.4171 or in person at 1040 Moss Street

Connect with cool new ideas, techniques and experiment with the creative process. Classes are for a wide range of ages and inspired by Gallery exhibitions featuring: Life with Clay: Pottery and Sculpture by

FAMILIES Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Circles in Victoria. Every second Tuesday morning from 9:30-11:30am or every second Wednesday evening from 6:30-8:30pm. A safe supportive place to meet others in a similar situation and to share information and resources. Call 250-384-8042 for more information, or visit Province-wide toll free information and support line at 1-855-474-9777 or email Young Parent Drop-In at the Downtown Y. Free breakfast and drop-in for young parents in the community. Socialize with other young parents, enjoy a kids’ craft, let your little one explore the fully-equiped playroom, or have a look in the ‘free store’ for gently used children’s items and household supplies. Information available for local resources, advocacy and counselling support. The Y Young Moms Program also runs groups such as Mother Goose, Nobody’s Perfect, and Food Skills for Families. Thursdays 10am-noon. 250-382-1004. Monthly Dyslexia Information Sessions. Ending dyslexia is now possible. Learn about the latest developments in neuroscience and programs to end dyslexia quickly and with lasting results. Free information sessions held monthly with Marlene Lewis, award-winning registered speech pathologist. Please phone 250-474-6368 for details, or visit•

Jan and Helga Grove.

AG897_Island_Parent_Ad.indd 1

For more information about art classes and camps, contact:

2017-02-09 9:00 AM

Wednesday, March 8th

Hans Helgesen Elementary

Monday, March 13th Savory Elementary

Wednesday, March 15th Lakewood Elementary

Monday, April 10th Saseenos Elementary

Wednesday, April 12th Millstream Elementary

JOIN US!  6–7 PM

Ready, Set, Read Children ages 0 to 5 years

Join us for pre-bedtime fun! We will be playing games, enjoying snacks, and listening to a few delightful stories and songs. This FREE evening is for children aged 0 to 5 years and their parents/caregivers. Activities take place in the school gym, 6 – 7pm. Running shoes suggested, wear pajamas if you like. For more info contact

March 2017  27









Glow in the Dark Skate at Frank Crane Arena. Skate Monkey Around Monday at Nanaimo Aquatic in the atmosphere of dimmed lighting and special Centre. Burn off some of the Spring Break energy effects. 6:30-8pm. at the pool. 1-3pm. 250-756-5200.

Visit for these and other events and resources for families from Cowichan Valley north to Campbell River and west to Tofino

Dad’s Night Out Skate Night at Oceanside Place Arena. Dads, bring the kids out and enjoy a free skate together on the pond. 6:30-7:30pm. Sponsored by Building Learning Together. 250-248-3252.






Nanaimo Community Home Learners Monthly Meet-up at Oliver Woods Community Centre. Resource library, gym time, parent support, special events throughout the year. 1-4pm. $5/drop-in fee per family or $20 year-long membership.










Fun Seeking Fridays at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre. Fun is synonymous with Spring Break. Come for games, contests and more. 250-756-5200.


Parksville Lion’s and Save-On-Foods Family Skate at Oceanside Place Arena. See SUN 5 for details. Children must be accompanied by an adult 19+ years. Free. 12:15-1:45pm. 250-248-3252.







Starlight Skate at Nanaimo Ice Centre. An opportunity to come out and enjoy the soft light “stars” and passive LED glow lights. This is a great night out for families after dinner. Regular admission rates. 7-9pm. 250-756-5200.




Monkey Around Monday at Nanaimo Aquatic Spring Break Swim & Skate at Ravensong Aquatic Centre. Burn off some of the Spring Break energy Parksville Lion’s and Save-On-Foods Family Skate Centre & Oceanside Place Arena. Everyone welcome at the pool. 1-3pm. 250-756-5200. at Oceanside Place Arena. This popular session is swims with organized games planned on Tuesday & back. Pond hockey is not available. Children must Thursday. 1:30-4pm. Regular admission. 250-248be accompanied by an adult 19+ years. Free. 12:15- 3252. 1:45pm. 250-248-3252.

How does sticky rice help a wall last for centuries?

Opening March 13 250-480-4887 •

28  Island Parent Magazine




Fun Seeking Fridays at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre. Fun is synonymous with Spring Break. Come for games, contests and more. 250-756-5200.

ONGOING PRESCHOOL Family Storytime at Cowichan Library, Duncan. Bring the whole family for stories, songs, rhymes and fun. For ages 0-5. Tuesdays 10:30-11:30am. 2687 James St.

FAMILY Drop-In Science Studio at NS3 Science Studio. Children can explore the many features of the Science Studio including KEVA blocks, marble wall, air field, wind tunnel, and a variety of discovery boxes. $4/child; adults free. Thursdays and Saturdays 10amnoon. Schedule subject to change, so please check for most current schedule. 4355 Jingle Pot Rd. 778-971-6893. Lions Free Skate at Frank Crane Arena. Every Sunday noon-1:30pm. 250-756-5200.•

Send Us Your Stories! Island Parent is looking for articles for upcoming issues. Some of our best content comes from people just like you—Vancouver Island parents who are passionate about their families and are dealing with the day to day issues of raising children in our community. Share your experiences, your thoughts on a particular issue, your ideas on places to see or projects to do— anything related to parenting. Check our Writer’s Guidelines at for specific information on submissions. We’d love to hear from you. Please email submissions to

www. madeyoupeek . com


We are a 60-year-old community judo club, which is operated as a non-profit organization and we are in need of a new training facility as of the end of June 2017. We offer: • tots classes for children 4 to 7 years of age • junior classes of 8 to 13 years old • teens classes of 13 to 18 years of age, as well as adult classes (14+)

If you know of any facilities with an unobstructed 35 by 55 ft floor space, please contact Mike at or contact us on our website March 2017  29

Kids Wanna Rock


Each note, a new friend to play with Classical Roots Contemporary Reach



Inspire your child’s love for music with these fun, interactive, and educational classes. Age-specific sections embrace all facets of music education in an atmosphere of joy and discovery.

900 Johnson Street 250.386.5311


210 - 1314 Lakepoint Way 778.265.5355

SOUNDS FUN Birth - 3 years Downtown Wed Westhills Thu/Fri ORFF PROGRAM Birth - 9 years Downtown Wed/Thu/Fri Westhills Thu

VCM.BC.CA/FUN 30  Island Parent Magazine

om, is this the same band that plays the song ‘Ratchet?’ But it’s so smooth. I love it.” This came from my then four-year-old son, Jack, on the drive to school. He was referring to English indie rock band Bloc Party and their song “Montreal,” one of my favourites of theirs. At this moment, I didn’t care if Jack ever learned to tie his own shoes, skate, swim without a life jacket, heck even graduate high school. He has an ear for good music. I felt warm and fuzzy and extremely proud. Now, of course I care about all those other milestones. However, it’s truly humbling that both my son and daughter Audrey share a love of music with me. Why do I care so much? I believe music plays an instrumental (pardon the pun) role in children’s development. On the technical side, studies have shown that musical training physically develops the part of the left side of the brain known to be involved with processing language. Music is great for intellectual, social and emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy development. That explains why there are so many classes geared towards music and singing for toddlers, even babies. Music teaches kids to think creatively, to recognize rhythms, pick up on lyrics and decide what makes a song good or bad in their books. If a child grows up to be a musician, and, say, learns the guitar, it’s a positive muse and outlet for creativity. And besides, Jack Degraaf is the perfect rocker name. When I refer to our love of music, I’m not talking only children’s tunes. Often, I let Jack play DJ and choose from songs on my phone. He does this by scrolling through my playlist. And then he plays the song through my car speakers. I admit he loves Metallica’s ‘Unforgiven’ and ‘Nothing Else Matters.’

I’m sure a few parents might shake their heads at that, however I am cautious about lyrics. Letting my children listen to adult music does require quick reflexes (switching songs when one with F-bombs looms) and some improvisation to well-known choruses. In the Today’s Parent article “I Let My Kids Listen to Rock and Roll Music: Why one music-loving dad is turning his son on to riffs over Raffi,” writer Stuart Berman says, “In our house, the ‘shoot ’em in the back now’ line in the Ramones’ ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ turns into ‘pat ’em on the back now.’”

Serving the Families of Vancouver Island for Over 23 Years The Kiddies Store

Reinventing the Womb DOCKATOT is a multifunctional, portable, Scandinavian Baby Dock.

Ashley Degraaf

Suitable for: • Lounging • Supervised sleeping • Tummy time • Play Time • Changing & Dressing • Massaging, Cuddling, Bonding

Is There an App for This?

Arts • Cooking • Hockey • Swimming • Sports • Tennis • Themes • & More!

Oak Bay Recreation Centre 250-595-7946 NOW HIRING FOR SUMMER CAMP STAFF

Finlayson St.


Ashley Degraaf is a freelance writer based out of the Cowichan Valley. She enjoys channeling her inner momma while chronicling her daily adventures with her children.

3045–C Douglas St., Victoria, BC V8T 4N2 250-386-2229


Exposure to a range of grown-up music at a young age has enriched his son’s sense of the world, introducing him to cultures he wouldn’t learn about from singing cartoon characters or costumed children’s performers, writes Berman. I’ve gotten through tough moments with the help of songs. I’ve listened to my breath and meditated during yoga classes while listening to relaxing music. I gave birth to Audrey while my husband frantically tried to set up the Bluetooth speaker to play the Tibetan relaxation music I downloaded off iTunes. I have cranked heavy metal and head banged in the car to make my kids laugh. I have had a bit too much to drink and had a blast dancing to oldies at weddings. I have seen several of my favourite bands live. I have purchased their albums, read and thought about their lyrics. And I have wondered about the process it took to create the song. Oh, and the Tibetan relaxation songs have come in handy numerous times when the kids are fighting in the car. Music, and especially adult music, is a big win in our books.

Larch St.

Entrance off Larch St.


Day Camps: Monday-Friday March 20-31

Henderson Recreation Centre 250-370-7200

March 2017  31

Emmanuel Preschool 2121 Cedar Hill Cross Road (by entrance to UVic)

Children learn through play in our all inclusive, non-denominational Christian preschool. Great facility; outdoor play area and a gym for rainy day play! Two teachers with ECE certification plus an assistant teacher to help with special needs children. A competent and caring teaching team!


Class Options for 2017–2018: Mon/Wed/Fri morning class Tues/Thurs morning class 5 mornings a week

Phone 250-598-0573

Kids’ Dentist

Dr. Anita Gadzinska-Myers

is a Board Certified Specialist in Pediatric Dentistry and has a Fellowship in Special Needs Dentistry for children • Accepting new patients now (infants to teenagers) • Referral not needed • Member of Cleft Lip and Palate Team

Special Services:

short wait list • intravenous sedation • hospital dentistry • nitrous oxide

Victoria Pediatric Dental Centre 206–1830 Oak Bay Ave 32  Island Parent Magazine

Story Time


’m a writer married to another writer, so it’s no surprise, I suppose, that our kids, now nine and 10, have developed a love of reading. That’s not to say we live in a quiet house. We still need to nag our son to tidy his room and keep track of his most basic belongings. Our daughter can be as volatile as nitroglycerin until she gets the first fork of dinner into her mouth. Together they can go from silence to Sibling Shoutdown in a blink of an eye. But left to their own devices, they prefer to settle into a good book. And that makes me happy. I’d like to say reading is in their genes, but their bibliophilia is mostly thanks to their mom’s biceps. Every week, my wife hauls heavy bags of chapter books, graphic novels and books on CD back and forth from the library. Her arrival with a new haul ranks with the return of Santa or the Easter Bunny. On the flipside, our kids complain loudly if their stash of stories runs dry before the next resupply. I envy their utter immersion in a book. Standing beside my son as he reads on the sofa, I can’t break through his willing suspension of disbelief. “It’s time for dinner.” No reply. “If you don’t come now, I’ll eat your dessert!” Still nothing. “The library burned down and there are no more Garfields!” “Huh? What?!? No!” I wish I could bottle that feeling of being a new reader so I could savour it again—the joy of having nothing except school, dinner and bedtime between you and a vast universe of stories to explore. Most nights, after rustling the kids to bed and then an hour or more of answering emails, I’m lucky if I can pick up the novel collecting dust on my bedstand before I start snoring. Many of my best memories as a boy are associated with books: The thrill of getting the new Scholastic catalogue and the green

Matinees for KIDS!

light from my mom to buy a few books. The evening jaunt to the Bookmobile on its visit to our neighbourhood. Falling into a trance as we traced secret words on each other’s backs and listened cross-legged to our Grade 3 teacher read aloud to our class. Our son has a special fondness for audiobooks. (He is less fond of replacing the CDs in the library’s box sets.) He brews herbal tea in a china cup he found on the street and settles under a blanket to listen

Saturdays & Sundays and Spring Break!  All Seats $4.75 MAR 4 & 5 – 1:00 PM

MAR 21, 22, 23 & 25, 26 – 12:30 PM


MAR 11 & 12 – 12:45 PM

  SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN MAR 18 & 19 – 12:45 PM

David Leach




MAR 28, 29, 30 & APR 1, 2 – 12:30 PM

  SING .com

Student Union Building, UVIC | 250-721-8365 to the voices from Harry Potter or How to Train Your Dragon or a Rick Riordan novel. Nothing can pierce that spell. I worry about how fleeting that magic might be. Distractions already pull against the gravity of a good book. Like most kids, ours have schedules packed with sports and lessons, playdates and homework. Leisure hours for uninterrupted reading are already dwindling. It’s the reason we balked when both our kids asked for iPod Touches on their Christmas wish lists. Sure, they could download audio books directly from the library and save their mom from a hernia. But I wasn’t keen on letting the siren call of the Internet whisper relentlessly in their ears. Not yet. That’s the last thing young readers need, especially if they’ve inherited their dad’s weak impulse control. When I read with my son and daughter at bedtime, they often catch me sneaking glances at my own gadgets, scrolling sports scores or checking Twitter, and announce their disappointment: “Dad, stop mucking on your iPhone!” I know I can’t hold back our kids from the relentless tide of growing up, just as I know I will never reclaim the pure wonder of being a 10-year-old lost in a story. But at least I can try to preserve that rare joy for them a little longer. Besides, I’m not the one putting out my back for the love of a good book.

David Leach is the chair of the Department of Writing at the University of Victoria and author of Chasing Utopia (ECW Press).

Spring Break Programs March 13–24, for all kids in Victoria ages 5–15, including:

Springtime Chefs Passion Sports Spring Break Elite Camp On the Wild Side And much more... For information or to register, visit our website at: or call 250-370-6120



INDIVIDUALIZED PROGRAMS Pre-K TO Gr.8 Montessori education has at its core the understanding that all children possess unique interests and insights, and that they learn in individual and distinct ways. Book a visit to find out how this understanding translates to the classrooms at Westmont ...

Ensure a bright future! March 2017  33

Caring for Your Child’s First Teeth Healthy Families, Happy Families

Child, Youth & Family Public Health South Island Health Units Esquimalt Gulf Islands

250-519-5311 250-539-3099

(toll-free number for office in Saanichton)

Peninsula 250-544-2400 Saanich 250-519-5100 Saltspring Island 250-538-4880 Sooke 250-642-5464 Victoria 250-388-2200 West Shore 250-519-3490

Central Island Health Units Duncan Ladysmith Lake Cowichan Nanaimo Nanaimo Princess Royal Parksville/ Qualicum

250-709-3050 250-755-3342 250-749-6878 250-755-3342 250-755-3342

Port Alberni Tofino

250-731-1315 250-725-4020


North Island Health Units Campbell River 250-850-2110 Courtenay 250-331-8520 Kyuquot Health Ctr 250-332-5289 ‘Namgis Health Ctr 250-974-5522 Port Hardy 250-902-6071 34  Island Parent Magazine


id you know the most common disease in children is tooth cavities? Did you know kids as young as 12 months old can get cavities? Luckily, cavities are preventable. For a healthy start, the Canadian Dental Association and Canadian Pediatric Association recommend taking your child to a dental professional by their first birthday. When children go to the dentist at a young age they learn that visiting the dentist can be fun. The first visit will let your child meet the office staff, go for a ride in the chair and get used to the different sounds and smells. Studies show that children who visit the dentist at a young age will: • Need less dental work • Have lower dental costs • Be more likely to visit the dentist as an adult Not all dental professionals will see babies and young children so check for a pediatric dentist, a community dental hygienist, independent hygienist or a family dentist near you. To find a dentist in your area, search the BC Dental Association’s “Find a Dentist” web page (

ask for an estimate before your child’s appointment date. Try the ‘MSP Premium Assistance Eligibility Calculator’ online to see if you qualify for Premium Assistance for your BC Medical Service Plan. ORCCA—Oral Care for Children & Adolescents. ORCCA Dental Society offers low-cost dental care in a not-for-profit setting for kids and teens under 19 years old. The dental office is located in Sidney, on the grounds of Sidney Elementary School. The staff at ORCCA strongly believe that “all children and adolescents have the right to healthy oral care and that good oral care positively transforms the health and lives of children and adolescents.”

Dental Options for Low-Income Families

BC Healthy Kids Program. If you’ve been approved for Premium Assistance for the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP), your child will be signed up for the BC Healthy Kids Program. To qualify for Premium Assistance you need to live in British Columbia for 6 months and have an adjusted net income (with deductions for age, family size and disability based on MSP criteria) under $42,000. The BC Healthy Kids program will give your child access to check-ups, cleanings and basic dental care through their Health Care Card until they are 19 years old. It is important to know that the BC Healthy Kids Program covers only part of the cost of care. Most offices will accept the BC Healthy Kids Program but it is recommended that you ask when booking your child’s appointment. You can also

Parents can access the services of the clinic through their child’s Health Care Card (BC Healthy Kids), Status Card (NIHB) or if the family income is less then $40,000 a year and they have no dental insurance. For more information or to book an appointment: Call 778-351-3393 or visit

Everyday Things You Can Do to Keep Your Child’s Mouth Healthy

It is important to create good habits early because baby teeth are at a higher risk for cavities. • Before your baby has teeth, wipe their gums with a clean, wet cloth once a day. This will let your baby get used to you cleaning

their mouth and make it easier to switch to brushing when teeth appear. • When the first tooth comes in the mouth, start brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Before bed is the most important time to brush because we have less saliva to protect the teeth when we are sleeping.


NEW! rainwear

Dee Dee McMillan CH I LD YO UT H & FA MILY P U B L IC H E A LT H

Happy Families, Healthy Families

• Vancouver Island communities do not have fluoride in the water so it is recommended parents of children 0 to 3 years old to use a “grain of rice” sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. For children 3 years and older parents can use a “green pea” sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. • Young children are not able to brush well so it is important to help brush your child’s teeth until they are 8 years old or can tie their shoes. • Limit sweet and sticky foods because they stick to teeth and feed cavity causing germs. Nuts, cheese, fresh fruits and vegetables are tooth-healthy snack choices. Children do not need juice or pop, give water when thirsty. Even diluted juice or pop can be harmful. • The whole family’s oral health is important. Parents and caregivers can transfer cavity causing germs to children by “cleaning” soothers with their mouth, sharing utensils or pre-chewing food. If family members or siblings have cavities, they will have more cavity causing germs in their mouth that can be passed to your child. The entire family can access preventative dental care at a reduced cost through local school programs. Both Camosun College in Victoria and Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo offer dental exams, x-rays and hygiene services for the entire family. These programs offer services for children and adults who meet the program criteria. For more information on eligibility or to book a screening appointment contact: Camosun College Dental Clinic at 250370-3184 (email or Vancouver Island University Dental Clinic at 250-740-6240.

Dee Dee McMillan, RDH, is a dental hygienist with the Island Health Children, Youth and Family Dental Program in Victoria.



MARCH 25 & 26 LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO® Group of companies which does not directly sponsor, authorize or endorse this event.

Meet LEGO Certified Professional builder, Robin Sather, and watch him build a giant scene using LEGO bricks! Register online on February 20th at to be entered into the Tillicum LEGO Mania competition. As a contestant, you’ll have the opportunity to bring in your LEGO masterpiece featuring this year’s theme – Happy 150th Birthday, Canada. Visit us online for more details.


Lego Island Parent Ad 3.5x4.75 V5.indd 1

2017-02-22 9:33 AM

Christ Church Cathedral School TECH CAMPS: Minecraft, Lego Robotics & Scratch Programming SPRING: March 20 - 24

now in its 23rd year!

A field trip every day, sports, arts & crafts, and much more! Check out the Lux Mundi Summer Camp video on our website!

Details & registration online

250-383-5125 | 912 Vancouver Street |

March 2017  35

Read, Read, Read


his is my last column for Book Nook, which is annoying because writing this column is one of the joys of my life. But I’m lucky to have a number of (competing) joys: three children, work editing a government website, teaching, reading, and writing. I have been trying lately, after selling my thirteenth children’s manuscript, to write plays and fiction for adults, which means I’m no longer deep into children’s books. In fact, I’m also approaching a life no longer deep in children—my “children” are teenagers (and they’re lovely, helpful and hopeful). I’ve tried to curate the best books for this column over the past 14 months. Lots got missed. For this final column, I’m hoping for a little indulgence as I advise on raising readers. When my kids were young, they played so hard. There was an afternoon I feared for them—I thought they would blow a gasket or something. (Eventually, they did, in a way. The devices and screens came and they now graze and drift; I have thought of their teenaged years as a period of recovery from the intensity of the early years. “Absorbing” might be a better verb than “recovering.”) A friend read as many books with her children as I did with mine—like snacking on potato chips. We often brushed against the maximum number of books—60—that can be checked out from the Greater Victoria Public Library. We never took blue Tupperware tubs to the library, though. Some parents do—Gulf Islanders, I always

imagine, or homeschoolers, or daycare operators. But we did cram books into reusable shopping bags until the seams split. Anyway, she confided in me, with the same mix of awe and anxiety with which I’d watch my children in the fourteenth hour of play on a summer day, “Sometimes I panic at our greed: we devour the books, barely put them down before we’ve started on the next.” She was concerned about the writers, as if they were being undervalued. She thought books should be savoured. But we absorb books forever. They resonate at different times. They guide and offer images for what we are suffering or enjoying. And they heal, fill, offer a line or a story when we have none of our own. #1. Be greedy with books. Beware of making them hallowed, “special,” untouchable, like grandma’s wedding china, undevourable. Don’t scold your children for how they handle books. Don’t tell them, “Books are precious.” #2. Tell your children, if they are ever low—spiritually, financially, physically— read. You will never regret having read; even the horrible things that you abandoned half way through in terror or disgust inform you. #3. Let your children read to the side. I was only warned once when buying a book for my 12-year-old, about the content of a book: in this case, drugs. The book was by Ellen Hopkins, a prolific and able author of novels in verse. End a want by indulging it, a friend once said—bad advice when a child clamours for the third ice cream of

the day, but good advice for a child who wants to wear nothing but pink for a week or to know about kids unlike him. It is not about your children defying or disowning who they are, but about learning about others, and themselves.

Sara Cassidy Book Nook #4. Let your children read up. I mean really up. Start it. Read aloud the passages from your book that made you laugh or startled you. So what, if your kids don’t get it. Read a stanza by Irish poet Seamus Heaney: “The first real grip I ever got on things/ Was when I learned the art of pedalling/(By hand) a bike turned upside down, and drove/ Its back wheel preternaturally fast./I loved the disappearance of the spokes,/The way the space between the hub and rim/Hummed with transparency.” Explain to your kids what “preternaturally” means, then head into the basement and turn a bicycle upside down. They know exactly about the spokes humming transparently, but never thought they could put words to it. #5. Let children read down. We were taught that anything comics was not intelligent. That’s garbage. The Greater Victoria Public Library, and all of our local bookstores, have excellent offerings of graphic novels and comics. Just ask. Sometimes reluctant readers find their way to reading through these works, and sometimes strong readers interested in art crave this hybrid form; so many graphic novels being published in North America are high qual-

Sara’s Best Of:

Burnt Toast on Davenport Street by Tim Egan (Houghton Mifflin, reprint edition, 2004). A picture book for ages 3-8. Funny and smart. The publisher explains: When a magic fly grants Arthur Crandall three wishes, he’s not very impressed, especially since he doesn’t believe in magic flies. So he’s not particularly careful about what he wishes for: a new toaster, a solution to the bullies down on the street corner, and for his third wish…let’s just say that life on Davenport Street will never be quite the same for the Crandalls. A Northern Alphabet by Ted Harrison (Tundra Books, board book edition, 2017). Inadvertently earth-shaking/planet-tilting. My favourite alphabet book in years. Northern, indeed. In one illustration, the child has a rifle over his shoulder—going hunting! And Z! “In zero weather, Zack makes a zigzag path to the zinc mine.” Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell (Simon & Schuster, 2014). A novel for 8-14 year olds. Anything by Katherine Rundell is literary par excellence. If you have a writer, as well as a reader, in the house, Rundell is for them. Anything by Kate DiCamillo. 8-14 year olds. A Year Without Mom by Dasha Tolstikova (Groundwood Books, 2015). 8 and up. We all have lives and this one honours the fact that some kids have childhoods more complex than others. “In the early 1990s in Moscow, political change is in the air. But Dasha is more worried about her own challenges as she negotiates family, friendships and school without her mother (who has left for America).” An illustrated novel, perfect for reluctant readers. 36  Island Parent Magazine

ity—that is a blessing when a new form has to fight for validity. P.S. A friend who is a high school teacher argues that the side of a cereal box counts as reading, and he is happy if his students do this. I don’t agree. This is like comparing breathing through a straw to actually smoking. Putting letters together is reading on a level, but audio books are far preferable to cereal boxes. This reading thing, really reading, is about diction—words—and story and characters that make your children feel the world around them and them within it. #6. Trust your child’s inclinations and interests. Your kid is not interested in the trampoline spaceship, for example, she is really not happy that the others are destroying habitat. Maybe you have a scientist on your hands. She will like graphic novels, perhaps, but she’ll really dig non-fiction (try What Milly Did, about the pioneer of plastics recycling) and a novel like The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, about a burgeoning young scientist in Texas in 1899, one of the best novels written for children in North America in the past 10 years. #7. Experts abound. Librarians and bookstore clerks are the unsung heroes of literacy. Ask and you will discover a deep reader and a devoted book sharer. If you have no idea what to get for your kid—and that includes a kid who hasn’t picked up a book for years—they will help you. They are nurses and healers and sages and guides. They will ask a few questions; your duty is to answer honestly. #8. Give your kid $20 and leave them in a bookstore and say you’ll be back in 15 minutes and want the money spent. #9. Try not to grieve when books go unread. Think what you would have spent on hot chocolate and a couple of cinnamon buns. Read the ignored books yourself— that helps take out the sting. #10. Just like shopping for local vegetables, support your local writers. We in Victoria are lucky as pluck to have Orca Book Publishers, an international leader in children’s literature residing just a block west of Mount Royal Bagels, and writers such as Polly Horvath, Kit Pearson, Kari Jones, Laurie Elmquist, Robin Stevenson, Jenny Watson, Monique Gray Smith…the list goes on and on.

Sara Cassidy’s book for 8 – 12 year olds, A Boy Named Queen, is a 2016 Quill and Quire Book of the Year.

Preschool Spaces Available

• before and after

Open House

• small class sizes

May 13 from 10am–1pm

school care

• supportive and

caring staff

• excellent academic


• Kodaly music

A local non-profit for all children (Since 1973) 5575 West Saanich Rd 250 592 4411


• lovely rural location

connecting children to nature

Licenced group childcare for children 1 to 5 years Open 6:30am – 5:30pm 2758 Peatt Road, Langford  250-818-9225 or 778-265-5955

Join Kids’ Club at the Royal BC Museum! Sign up at the box office today and receive: • Exclusive behind-the-scenes tours and programs • A 10% discount on events and programs • Cool prizes earned with your Kids’ Club stamp card • Unlimited access to our core galleries and feature exhibitions

Don’t miss out– join today!


FAMILY SERVICES Directory This directory, sponsored by Thrifty Foods, features not for profit agencies and organizations serving children, youth and families.

1Up, Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre ( provides support, education and resources for parents in the Greater Victoria area through free counselling, volunteer training for peer helper positions, a mentoring program for single moms and a support group for dads. The Centre also offers a variety of integrated life skills and parenting courses which are open to the whole community (fees are on a sliding scale). The Centre provides free toys and books, a clothing room and bread pantry for single parents. Donations of gently-used clothing, small household items, books and toys are welcome. Hours are Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri: 9-4, Wed: 12-7. 602 Gorge Rd. East; call 250-385-1114 or Beacon Community Services is a community-based non-profit agency providing social, employment, and health services to Saanich Peninsula, Greater Victoria, and Southern Gulf Islands residents. Beacon offers: child, youth, and family services; a drop-in family resource centre; counselling; employment services for adults, youth, and people with disabilities; home support; volunteer services and opportunities; community events; affordable assisted living for seniors; referrals, information, and resources; thrift shops. For Home Support information call 250-6586407; for all other inquiries call 250-656-0134, or visit Beacon Community’s Employment Services. Beacon Community Services provides a full menu of employment services to the Saanich Peninsula, Southern Gulf Islands. We have been helping people find work since 1982! Our programs build on a client’s strengths and resolve barriers to securing and maintaining employment. Furthermore, we work in tandem with our employer network to support those residents looking for work. If you need help finding a job or need employees please pay us a visit! It’s FREE. 9860 Third St, Sidney, 250-656-0134, Boys & Girls Club Services offer after-school and evening social, educational and recreational programming for children and youth at 5 locations (Colwood, Langford, VicWest, Central Saanich and Esquimalt) and summer camps both in Esquimalt and at our Outdoor Centre in Metchosin. We also offer support to parents through our

38  Island Parent Magazine

Parents Together program and parent workshops. For more information on all programs and services visit bgcvic. org or call 250-384-9133. Canucks Autism Network (CAN) provides high-quality, adapted sports, recreational and social programs for kids, teens and young adults living with autism on Vancouver Island. Shawnigan Lake: Multisport day camp, bike clinics and family camp. Victoria: Swim, soccer, skate and physical literacy. Nanaimo: Swim and physical literacy. Family events take place throughout the year! Become a member for only $25/year at Call 604-685-4049, email or visit for more information. CHOICES Adoption & Counselling is a licensed, professional, non-profit agency that provides services to adoptive parents, birth-parents, and adoptees. CHOICES arranges adoptions domestically and internationally. We are committed to providing a comprehensive, clientcentered adoption service which best meets the needs of everyone in the adoption constellation. Please contact us at, or call 250-479-9811 for further information. Community Living Victoria’s Autism Services offers dynamic community-based programs for children and youth (6 – 18 yrs) with Autism. We offer 1:1 Behaviour Intervention, Social Skills Groups and spring, summer and winter Day Camps. Our skilled and caring team draws from various behaviour support models to customize programming for each youth. Fun programming within safe, supportive environments motivate youth to expand their interests, gain confidence, strengthen social and communication skills, and build friendships. 250-477-7231. Community Options for Children and Families offers recreational support groups for Children and Youth age 6-18 who have a brother or sister with a disability. The Sibshop Program allows children and youth to connect with peers who understand what it is like to be a Sib. Sibkids (age 6-12) and Sibteens (age 13-18) are play and activity based designed to provide opportunity for participants to

share in a comfortable and safe environment. For further info call 250-380-6363 or End Dyslexia provides a qualified speaker to share information about advances in neuroscience and technology that are now making it possible to end dyslexia relatively quickly, affordably and with lasting results. Award-winning speech language pathologist Marlene Lewis is donating her time and expertise to deliver research-based presentations that clearly show what steps need to be taken to do this. If you would like Marlene to speak to your group, find out when her next free public talk is or learn more, please visit or call 250-474-6368. Family Services of Greater Victoria (formerly BC Families in Transition) is a non profit agency that has been serving families since 1978. We provide a full range of services to the whole family in supporting their relationship and through separation and divorce. Counseling, mediation, legal information and a range of group programs are available for children, youth and adults on a sliding fee scale. Call us at 250-386-4331 or visit We can help. HappyBaby Sleep Solutions helps families create healthy sleep habits in babies and children so everyone is well rested and happy. Sukkie Sandhu, M.Ed., has worked with hundreds of families locally in Victoria and worldwide. Sukkie is a Registered Clinical Counsellor so the cost of a sleep consultation may be covered under your extended medical plan. For more information visit or call 250-857-1408 for a FREE evaluation. Let’s get started! HeadWay Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson’s Centre supports families living with seizures by offering parent workshops three times a year, educational presentations in schools and community groups as well as providing tutoring sessions and one-to-one professional consultations to help your child live up to their highest potential. Keep up to date with the latest research about treatments, lifestyle, and safety issues for your child. We can be reached at, or you can reach the Epilepsy Program Coordinator directly at 250-475-6677. Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) is a service agency for immigrants and refugees. Programs offered include cross-cultural counseling, parenting programs (child care available), family violence programs, employment services, interpretation and translation, diversity workshops and training, ESL instruction, volunteering, youth programs and tutoring, as well as intercultural arts programming. 930 Balmoral Rd, 250-388-4728, info@,

Learning Disabilities Association of BC, SVI Chapter, educates, supports and advocates for children and youth with learning disabilities and related conditions. Services include a public lending library, individual/group support for parents and children, professional/educational workshops for parents and professionals. Child and youth programs include: reading/writing, academic skills, social/ emotional skill development and Fast ForWord. 1562 Fort St, Victoria, BC V8S 5J2. Ph 250-370-9513. Fax. 250-370-9421. Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) provides programs and services to the military family community including: 24-Hour Information Line; Deployment Information and Workshops; Short Term Counselling, Crisis Support or Intervention; Welcome/Relocation Services; Childcare and Family Support Services; Assistance for Families with Special Needs and Responsibilities. Call the MFRC: 250-363-2640 (1-800-353-3329) for information or visit Power To Be provides inclusive nature-based activity programs for youth and families living with a barrier or disability who need support to access recreation and their community. We create year-round programs to fit participant needs through activities such as kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, canoeing and more. Visit or call 250-385-2363 to get involved.

Join us for our 31st anniversary celebration

March 11–26,2017



pacific rim



re spi




ain Calling All Party Animals

*Mention this ad and receive 10% discount

Member Price $110 for up to 10 children Non-Member Price: $135

$5 for each additional child to a maximum of 15

Sooke Family Resource Society (SFRS) provides Family Resource Programs including: Prenatal Education and Outreach, Parent-Tot Drop-In Groups, Parent Discussion Groups, Family Support Groups and Outreach, a Toy and Book Lending Library, and Kingfisher Preschool. SookeWestshore Child Care Resource and Referral services, as well as all-ages counselling services are also provided by SFRS. Services are provided from the Child, Youth and Family Centres in both Sooke and the Westshore. Call 250642-5152 for more information or visit our website at SFRS’s Welcome Home Program is looking for homes that can support adults diagnosed with a disability looking to gain further independence. The livingsituations are varied and unique and can include living within a family home or a suite in the family home. The needs of the individuals are varied, dependent on the disability, but can include relationship building, life skills, meal prep, etc. For more information, please call 778-433-2023 or go

Your child needs to experience a “hands-on” way of celebrating a birthday. This live animal interaction, customizable way of educating is something they will remember forever.

Call 250.479.0211 to book your child’s Swan Lake Adventure Birthday Today!

Sooke-Westshore Early Years Centres provide information to families about children and family services, supports, child development and parenting. The Early Years Navigator will assist families with referral information for local early years programming, child care, public health, special needs intervention services, and social supports. The Sooke-Westshore Early Years Centres are hosted by Sooke Family Resource Society and located at the Child, Youth, and Family Centres in both Sooke and the Westshore and can be reached at 250-217-9243. Additional information can be accessed at Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) supports immigrants and refugees living in Greater Victoria. Services are free and include one-onone counselling, parent education workshops, youth life skills classes, a preschool program, art therapy, language classes and academic support, employment help, computer classes and fun community events like free yoga, tai chi, dance and cooking classes. Visit us online at vircs. or phone 250-361-9433.

Field Hockey – A Game for Everyone April 8 – June 25, 2017

March 2017  39

PRESCHOOL & CHILD CARE Directory CENTRAL SAANICH Chrysalis Child Care................................250-652-0815 A nurturing and stimulating environment for a small group of 21⁄2–5 year old children. Qualified ECE promotes learning through play.


Island Kids Academy Esquimalt...............250-381-2929 High quality child care (ages 1-5). Enriched Curriculum Includes Music Classes and Character Development using the Virtues Project. Part -time spaces available.

Gonzales Co-op Preschool....................... 250-727-1003 An imaginative Reggio Emilia inspired Learning-Through-Play community that focuses on nature, music, and arts.

La Pré-Maternelle Appletree Preschool......250-479-0292 A French Immersion Program. 30 months to school age. Licensed Christian centre.

Recreation Oak Bay.................................250-370-7200 Fully licensed, ECE Daycare, Preschool and Nature Preschool. Play based, child led learning. Afterschool care available.


SAANICH Arbutus Grove Children’s Centre......... 250-477-3731 Formerly known as Goosey Gander Kindergarten. Half Day and Full Day Preschool Programs. Children’s learning is supported and nurtured through inquiry, exploration, play and creative expression.

Licenced group childcare for children ages 12 months to 5 years old. Open 6:30am-5:30pm. Leap Forward Dance School offers weekday and Saturday dance classes for children ages 2 and up. 2758 Peatt Road, Langford


Miles of Smiles Nature Junior Kindergarten........................................... 778-265-4374 Come See Why Learning In Nature Rocks! Reggio Influenced Philosophy ages 3-5. Have Your Child Become a Nature Detective Today! Email RIA Early Learning Centre........................ 250-590-0781 Reggio Program—for Preschool aged children. A unique learning environment—encourages each child’s development.


Cordova Bay Preschool........................... 250-658-3441 A bright and cheerful parent participation preschool with a philosophy of learning through play. 4 yr olds - M/W/F 9:151:15; 3 yr olds - T/Th 9:15-12:15. Lakeview Christian Preschool/Daycare..... 250-658-5082 30 mths to Kindergarten entry. Small group. Experienced teacher. Full time and part time spaces. Mornings only or full day. Monthly DROP IN STORY HOUR. For information please email

ESQUIMALT Ciara Early Childhood Centre...................250-386-7369 Education and Fun Hand in Hand! Exceptional care for ages 1-5yrs. Inclusive nature inspired kindergarten readiness program with Christian values. CiaraEarlyChildhoodCentre.

Resource & Referral 40  Island Parent Magazine

250-590-3603  Cub House waitlist: 778-432-3600

Carrot Seed Preschool.............................250-658-2331 Where children can discover, imagine, construct and learn through play. Wondrous natural playground.

Child Care

Only seconds past luxurious Bear Mountain our highly respected outdoor program will not disappoint! Our “Nurture through Nature” facility is rooted from the Reggio-Emilia philosophies, allowing the children to use their environment as the “third teacher.” Located on 2 acres of forest land, your child will learn and grow in a natural surrounding of tress and wildlife! Newly expanded, we NOW have more spaces available for your Infant/ Toddlers and Pre-Kindergarten aged children. We use the trees from our own property to build the furniture and some of the toys in all three centres. The children enjoy yoga, music, Spanish, signlanguage and an outdoor classroom. In 2016, Lexie Biegun won the BC Provincial Gov’t award of Excellence for Child Care Providers. Please visit our Facebook page for current info and pics.

METCHOSIN West-Mont Montessori School.................250-474-2626 Exceptional preschool Montessori instruction in a beautiful natural environment. Ages 30 months and up. Providing a balanced approach to incorporating French, Music, Art and Nature. Stop by and experience what it is like to be part of a community devoted to the development of the whole child. Open House: Thursdays 9-11 am.

Camosun College Child Care Services........250-370-4880 Quality licensed facilities on both campuses providing children, newborn to 5 years, with rich early learning experiences in a learn through play environment. Cloverdale Child Care................................. 250-995-1766 Register now for preschool 4 year olds Mon/Wed/Fri 9:00–1:00 & 3 & 4 year olds Tue/Thur 9:00–1:00. Full time Early Learning Centre 7:00am – 6:00 pm 3–5 year olds. Before and after school care. cloverdalechildcare@shawbiz. ca, Full o’ Beans Preschool............................... 250-360-1148 We offer ‘learn through play’ programming designed to foster your child’s natural curiosity and imagination. Flexible scheduling, 2.5 and 4 hour programs, qualified staff. Registration is ongoing! Island Montessori House.....................250-592-4411 Inclusive, integrated and nurturing Preschool and Kindergarten programs. Lovely rural setting with a focus on nature and outdoor environmental activities.


Lambrick Park Preschool & Childcare........ 250-477-8131 Gordon Head’s parent-participation preschool and childcare center. Flexible hours M-F 9am-3pm & drop-ins offered. Play based learning and outdoor play. Allergy friendly. Celebrating 40 years.

In The Garden Childcare Centre.............. 250-654-0306 A GREAT PLACE TO GROW. Offering preschool, full day care, before and after school care for children aged 2.5 to 12 years old. Open all year.

Montessori Educare.................................250-881-8666 Beautiful learning environment in Broadmead and Saanichton. 30 months to 5 years. All year round.


Neighbourhood Junior Kindergarten....... 250-479-4410 Welcoming, culturally sensitive parent participation program in Lakehill School. Morning and afternoon. For 3s and 4s. See website for details. neighbourhood

Emmanuel Preschool.............................. 250-598-0573 Children learn through play in our non-denominational Christian preschool near UVic. Bright attractive setting.

Looking for child care? Need help with subsidy forms? Taking care of children? Need child care training? Your community’s best source of child care information and resources. Victoria & Gulf Islands: 250-382-7000 or 1-800-750-1868 Sooke: 250-642-5152  Westshore: 250-391-4324 Cowichan Valley: 250-746-4135 local 231 PacificCare (Ladysmith north): 250-756-2022 or 1-888-480-2273 Funded by the Province of BC

Oakcrest Preschool................................ 250-472-0668 A welcoming, nurturing environment with a large, bright facility. Learn through play with 2 caring ECEs.

Licenced group childcare for children ages 1 to 12 years old Offering Before & After school care for Vic West Elementary School

Pre-School Junior Kindergarten 250-479-4532 Educational Excellence to the Glory of God

Open 6:30am–5:30pm 250-590-2722

949 Fullerton Ave

Castleview Child Care............................. 250-595-5355 Learning Through Play & Discovery. Licensed non-profit, ECE staff. Since 1958. Morning or full-time care.

Rainbows & Dreams Preschool................ 250-479-1966 Small classes for 3-5 yr olds in a safe nurturing environment. Children learn through play and fun–developing a sense of confidence, independence and creativity. Highly qualified ECE teacher.

Centennial Day Care............................... 250-386-6832 Exceptional childcare and education 35+ years. Nature inspired, play based program. NEW central, “green” building.

Ready Set Grow Preschool....................... 250-472-1530 Inside Hillcrest Elm. in Gordon Head, we help children transition to Kindergarten. Licensed Preschool with highly qualified, warm ECE.

Christ Church Cathedral Childcare and Junior Kindergarten.......................... 250-383-5132 ECE and Specialist teachers provide an outstanding all-day, licensed program for 3–5 year olds. Spacious, renovated facility with a huge backyard in Fairfield.

St. Joseph’s Catholic Preschool................... 250-479-1237 • A Christian child centre for 3–5 year olds. • A warm nurturing and challenging program • Offered by St. Joseph’s Catholic School.

Little Paws Preschool...............................250-384-3211 A program designed to enhance children’s creativity, interdependence, independence and to expand self-expression. Website:

Wiseways Preschool & Daycare................ 250-477-1312 Quality, fully licensed, Christian preschool/daycare for 3–4 year olds. Experienced team of ECEs. Spacious facilities include large playground and indoor gym. Subsidized fees welcome. Call for a tour.

Nightingale Preschool and Junior Kindergarten Ltd....................250-595-7544 We offer education through creativity and play, providing rich learning experiences through a well sourced and stimulating indoor and outdoor environment. Early years reading programme. Arts/Drama programme.

SIDNEY Acorntree Preschool................................250-686-1408 Balanced indoor/outdoor program, designed to stimulate natural curiosity and foster empathy and compassion towards others. We believe in the importance of both child and teacher directed activities. Positive Path Early Learning....................250-655-7244 Located near the library and Sidney School, our program has earned a stellar reputation for quality child care and is growing as fast as the children we care for. Space is available for your child to embark on a journey of active exploration and discovery, enjoying a natural outdoor playground and an expansive indoor learning space. Experienced educators foster a lifelong quest for knowledge and guide children with Christian values and virtues. Storyoga Preschool................................. 778-679-4004 Embracing and empowering children exactly as they are. Storyoga Preschool is a nature and yoga based program located in Sidney, BC.


Rainbow Express Daycare....................... 250-382-2314 A nurturing environment for children to learn through play and discovery in a natural setting. ECEs and specialist teachers. Close to city centre. 250.382.3533

View Royal Preschool..............................250-479-8067 Exciting inclusive program in a safe and exceptional care environment. 3-5 year olds. Outside play and themes enrich this program. Full/part-time spaces available.

DUNCAN International Montessori Academy of Canada................................................. 250-737-1119 Offers an enriching environment for preschool children 2-4.9 years with potty training. Nurturing young minds, keeping the spirit free. Parkside Academy..................................... 250-746-1711 Providing high quality early learning and care from infancy to 12 years of age, in a stimulating, respectful, nurturing, nature based environment with fully educated and passionate early childhood educators. Visit or find us on Facebook. Queen Margaret’s School.......................... 250-746-4185 Early Childhood Education Program. Co-ed nurturing curriculum to develop the whole child. Healthy snacks and lunch provided. Queen of Angels Early Learning Centre...... 250-701-0433 We believe that the development of the whole child (physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively, and spiritually) encourages each individual to develop to their full potential. We offer an enriched full day program for 3–5 year olds based on Kindergarten readiness. Sunrise Waldorf School Preschool..............250-743-7253 In a warm environment, this nature and play-based program enlivens and nurtures the growing child.

CHEMAINUS St. Joseph’s Preschool..............................250-246-3191 An enriching preschool program allowing children to grow as individuals in a safe and nurturing Christian environment.

NANAIMO Positive/supportive program motivating children to learn, discover and grow through play. Daily outdoor time, special guests and community events!

250-383-7445 The Sir James Douglas Playschool.......... 250-389-0500 Fun, creative and educational ECE program for 3-5 year olds to grow and develop life long skills. Come play and learn in our bright and modern centre in Fairfield. Victoria Montessori................................ 250-380-0534 Unique, innovative learning environment combining the best of Montessori and Learning Through Play. Open yr. round. 30mths–K.

v Comprehensive programs for Preschool through Grade 8 v Delivering academic excellence through music, dance, drama and visual arts v Outstanding educators, locations and facilities

View Royal Childcare...............................250-479-8067 Preschool structured, high quality childcare. Victoria Conservatory of Music classes. Part time spaces available. 2.5-5year olds.

VIEW ROYAL Island Kids Academy View Royal.............250-727-2929 High quality child care (ages 1-5). Preschool curriculum offered within a warm, caring child care environment. Character development using the Virtues Project. Access to community programs including swimming, skating, Victoria Conservatory of Music. Part-time spaces available.

Aspengrove School.................................. 250-618-2201 Aspengrove School in Nanaimo, an independent school offering Junior Kindergarten for 3 & 4 year olds. Play-based learning, rooted in the same International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum taught in our Kindergarten-Grade 12 classes.

QUALICUM BEACH Children’s Discovery Centre.....................250-752-4343 Our program recognizes the uniqueness of each child and provides a nurturing, safe and creative learning environment. Licensed preschool, group care and out of school care. Early Childhood Educators. childrensdiscovery Little Star Children’s Centre.....................250-752-4554 Mother, Daughter owned and operated. Earth friendly preschool education inspired by nature. Infused with fun and creative daily yoga practices! Licensed group care. Enthusiastic ECE instructors.

PORT ALBERNI John Paul II Catholic School.....................250-723-0637 “Where children grow and learn through play.” We provide a program that will inspire development physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively, creatively and spiritually.

March 2017  41

Nanaimo & District Celebrates Nanaimo & District Celebrates Schedule

a rt h E o

Schedule of Water Day Celebrations Events Sunday, March 12, 11am–3pm


* indicates advance registration required

Water Day Celebrations Sunday, March 12 11 am-3 pm Parksville Community & Conference Centre



Schedule of Events


Wat W er a t ter


Nanaimo & District 2017 Celebrates

ar o E th

of Events

* indicates advance registration required


•Wed, Mar 22: Nanaimo River Watershed & Treatment Plant Tour *

•Wed, Mar 22: NALT AGM & Guest Speaker, Dave Clough on “Water Course Restoration”

•Sat, Mar 25: Stream Walk at Little Qualicum River *

•Thu, Mar 30: Nanaimo River Rafting *

•Sat, Apr 1: Stream Walk at Departure Creek *

•Thu, Apr 6 & Mon, Apr 10: Septic Smart Workshop *

•Sat, Apr 8: Dive-In Theatre “Finding Nemo” at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre (regular admission rates)

•Wed, Apr 12: Water Films Night at VIU

•Sat, Apr 15: Water Safety Survival Day at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre (regular admission rates)

•Thu/Fri, Apr 20 & 21: Wild Foods Harvest (contact NALT for details)

•Sat/Sun, Apr 22 & 23: Stream Keepers Workshop (contact NALT for details)

•Sun, Apr 23: Stream Walk at Millstone River *

Earth, Water & Wild Foods Festival Sunday, April 23 11 am-3 pm Bowen Park

For more details on the listed events & to register: #water2earth Drinking Water & Watershed Protection Program

For more details on the listed events & to register: 250.756.5200 250.390.6560 250.714.1990 #water2earth

* indicates advance registration required

Parksville Community & Conference Centre Water Day Celebrations

• Wed, 22:12Nanaimo River Watershed Sunday,Mar March & Treatment Plant Tour * 11 am-3 pm

Community & AGM & Guest Speaker, •Parksville Wed, Mar 22: NALT Conference Dave CloughCentre on “Water Course Restoration”

•Wed,•Mar 22:Mar Sat,

25: Stream Walk at Little Qualicum River* • Thu, Mar 30: Nanaimo River Rafting* NALT AGM & Guest Speaker, Dave Clough on • Sat, Apr 1: Stream Walk at Departure Creek* “Water Course Restoration” Thu, •Sat,• Mar 25: Apr 6 & Mon, Apr 10: Nanaimo River Watershed & Treatment Plant Tour *

•Wed, Mar 22:

Septic Smart Workshop*

Stream Walk at Little Qualicum River *

•Thu, Mar 30:

• Sat, Apr 8: Dive-In Theatre “Finding Nemo” at

Nanaimo River Rafting *

Nanaimo Aquatic Centre (regular admission rates)

•Sat, Apr 1:

• Wed, Apr 12: Water Films Night at VIU •Thu, Apr 6 & Mon, Apr 10: • Sat, Apr 15: Water Safety Survival Day at Septic Smart Workshop * Stream Walk at Departure Creek *

Nanaimo Aquatic Centre (regular admission rates)

•Sat, Apr 8:

• Thu/Fri, Apr 20 & 21: Wild Foods Harvest (contact NALT for details)

Dive-In Theatre “Finding Nemo” at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre (regular admission rates)

•Wed, Apr 12:

• Sat/Sun, Apr 22 & 23: Stream Keepers

Water Films Night at VIU

•Sat, Apr 15: Workshop

(contact NALT for details)

Water Safety Survival Day at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre (regular admission rates)

• Sun, Apr 23: Stream Walk at Millstone River*

•Thu/Fri, Apr 20 & 21:

Earth, Water & Wild Foods Festival

Wild Foods Harvest (contact NALT for details)

•Sat/Sun, Apr 22 & 23:

Stream Keepers Workshop (contact NALT for details)

Sunday, April 23, 11am–3pm, Bowen Park

•Sun, Apr 23:

Stream Walk at Millstone River *

For more details on the listed events and to register: Earth, Water & Wild Foods Festival Sunday, April 23 11 am-3 pm #water2earth Bowen Park


Vancouver Island’s Natural Choice



Drinking Water & Watershed Protection Program


Spring, Easter & Mother’s Day Getaway Spring Recreation Program during Spring Break: March 11 - 26, 2017

Stay in our family-friendly guest rooms kids stay & eat FREE during Spring Break* book now! *some restrictions apply 1155 Resort Drive, Parksville, BC

1-800-663-7373 or 250-248-2072

TIGH-NA-MARA.COM 42  Island Parent Magazine

Adult Conversation


have been home with Angus since he was born, five and a half years ago. What began as a year-long maternity leave extended to a two-year leave, and then into a more permanent decision. Mike and I decided it was worth it to halve our income so I could stay home with Angus. On a practical level, it is easier for me to support him with his Autism intervention programs while staying at home. We have time to work together on skills that are harder for him: practice sessions of drawing vertical and horizontal lines and zipping zippers. That’s valuable for sure, but if Angus didn’t have Autism I have a feeling we’d have made the same decision. I have been so grateful to watch my boy grow up, to be there for every one of his milestones. Things can be tight financially. We’ll certainly never be in a position to browse MLS, but choosing to live in Victoria, we likely wouldn’t have been with two incomes either. I have never regretted the decision. I spend more time with Angus than I spend with anyone else. I have significantly more conversations with my five-year-old than I have with any other human being. Conversations about Roald Dahl and why you can’t put your feet on the table when you eat. Conversations about school recess and what the tooth fairy does with the teeth she collects. The adult conversations that I do have generally revolve around my five-year-old: his assistant recounts his day at school, his teacher tells me what they’ll be working on next, his interventionist updates me on his progress. Even conversations with Mike often centre around Angus. A grocery store cashier commenting on the brand of peanut butter I bought may well provide me with my only snippet of childunrelated conversation in a day. Angus is in kindergarten now, but for mornings only. When he’s at school I write, or I scramble to complete editing jobs so I don’t have to work on them past bedtime. Sometimes I haul the computer to places where other people are present, but this work is solitary by necessity. When visiting

with friends, particularly those without children of their own, I often feel a sense of smallness of experience. My options are to be one of those parents who only drones on about her child, or to say very little. Jobs are usually easy fodder, but mine don’t make for interesting conversation topics. While another writer might be interested in a revelation about a point-of-view choice in a short story or the frustration brought

Laura Trunkey Maternity & Beyond on by superfluous commas in an edit, I fully realize that most people will not be. Last month I went to Minneapolis for the American Booksellers Association conference. I had to give a short reading from my story collection, but for the rest of the time the only expectation was that I talk to other writers, to booksellers, to publishers, that I talk to these people about reading, and writing, and even point-ofview revelations and superfluous commas. Admittedly there was also frequent talk about their president, and travel bans, and other things that five-year-olds don’t understand and shouldn’t need to. In four days, I did not have a single conversation with a child besides the conversations I had on the telephone with Angus. I cannot remember the last time this occurred, but certainly it was before Angus was born. It was so unfamiliar, so unnatural, and so refreshing. Next year Angus will be at school full time. Five days a week, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., I’ll need to fill my days with things that don’t involve my son. I’ll write and edit, sure, but maybe—just maybe—I’ll find something else also. Something that involves talking to real-live grown-ups. Something that not only allows for conversation, but provides fodder for conversations with others. Though probably the person I’ll most want to talk about it with is my kid. I’ll miss his company, that I’m certain of.

Laura Trunkey is mother to the amazing Angus and the author of a forthcoming short fiction collection from House of Anansi. Email


Your Community Employment Centre

Job Search Program Worklink is offering a Job Search program for eligible Non EI adults living in Westshore, Sooke and Greater Victoria areas (excluding the Peninsula).

4 week in-class program Starting March 20th Email Call 250-478-9525

Your online source for quality used kids items We offer delivery!

Does your child have difficulty reading? • can’t read words just read earlier • letter reversal • symptoms of dyslexia • “sounds out” words but can not blend them correctly • confuses similar sounding words • avoids reading/poor speller I offer an effective program that works! Call for more information or to arrange your individualized one-on-one tutoring solution.

Brenda Osadchy  778-440-0997

Abra-Kid-Abra.................... 14 Art Gallery..........................27 Ballet Victoria.................... 30 Bear Mountain.....................6 Blue Vista...........................44 Camp Pringle...................... 11 Camp Qwanoes................ BC Christ Church Cathedral... 35 Cinecenta...........................33 Crystal Pool...................... IBC Dr. Joslin, Dr. Morin & Associates................ IFC Emmanuel Preschool........ 32 Highland Pacific Golf...........9 Horne Lake Caves............. 14 IMAX.................................. 28 Island Montessori..............37 Kaleidoscope.....................44 Kool & Child........................ 18 Leap Forward Childcare....37


Lifestyles..............................5 Lizzy Lee & Me Marny Recker Photography................. 32 Momease......................... IFC Mothering Touch..................7 William Murphy-Dyson.......45 Nanaimo Museum.............. 15 Oak & Orca............24, 28, 38 Oyaco................................. 13 Pacific Christian............... IFC Pacific Coast Swimming.... 19 Pacific Rim Whale Festival......................... 39 Peek Photography............ 29 Playful Pencil...................... 12 Pumpkin Pie...................... 35 RDN Nanaimo....................42 Re/Max Duncan................. 23

Recreation Oak Bay........... 31 Royal BC Museum........ 18, 37 Kate Rubin............................6 Saanich Dental.............19, 20 Saanich Recreation..............3 School District # 62...........27 Serious Coffee.................. 20 St. Joseph’s...................... IFC St. Joseph’s, Chemainus........................45 St. Margaret’s..................... 16 St. Michaels University School............................33 Sylvan Learning.................. 11 Swan Lake......................... 39 TheatreOne....................... 23 Thrifty Foods..................... 25 Tigh Na Mara.....................42 Tillicum Centre.................. 35 TJ’s The Kiddie Store......... 31

Tom Lee Music.................. 29 Victoria Academy of Ballet......................... 15 Victoria Conservatory of Music........................ 30 Victoria Judo Club............ 29 Victoria Jr. Fieldhockey.... 39 Victoria Pediatric Dental... 32 Victoria School for Ideal Education..............45 Victoria Symphony.............46 VIHA...................................34 Welcome Wagon................ 12 West Coast Fertility..............9 Westmont...........................33 Westcoast Ballet..................8 Westshore Parks and Recreation................4 Westshore Town Centre.. IBC

March 2017  43

Here to Stay Is a New Bird


still can’t seem to get certain holiday tunes out of my head. But, these days it seems to be the same tune, just different lyrics...“Gone away is the loon bird, here to stay is a new bird.’ And it seems the new bird—Canada’s new bird, that is—will be the Gray jay, aka Whiskey jack or Canada jay. Regardless of which common name you prefer, you’ve likely noticed that this bird has been receiving a lot of media attention in our nation over the past few months. In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, Canadian Geographic Magazine is encouraging the federal government to appoint Canada’s first national bird. But with over 450 species in our wide ranging

But still, many Canadians continue squawking, not only about the American spelling, but also that they have never even heard of the Gray jay, let alone seen it. However, one of the primary reasons the Gray jay was chosen is due to the fact that it can be found in all 13 provinces and territories, year round. Actually, the majority of its range is within Canadian borders making it for the most part unique to Canada. Like it or not, the Gray jay is the bird chosen to recommend to our government—the Gray jay is here to stay. And stay it will. The Gray jay doesn’t migrate to warmer climates in the winter, instead it stays with us, fellow hardy Ca-

country, how do we choose? Canadian Geographic decided to run a two-year debate surveying readers for their input, before announcing their official suggestion in November 2016: the Gray jay. Their decision has actually met a substantial amount of opposition, mainly since it ranked only third in the official vote (after the Common loon and Snowy owl), receiving only 7,918 of approximately 50,000 votes. However, Canadian Geographic assures this decision was not made lightly; in addition to the voting results they also considered the bird’s range, personality traits, and significance to Indigenous Peoples’ culture.

nadians, all year long. In fact, they actually prefer cold climates and are typically found in high-elevation boreal forests. Unfortunately, this means we don’t get to see the Gray jay here at Swan Lake, however we are lucky enough to be only a short trip away from a potential sighting. I must admit, my inner child was elated the first time I met a Gray jay. I felt like Snow White as soon as the graceful bird silently swooped down and landed on my outstretched hand. This feeling continued as the birds followed my seven friends and I for about 2 km as we snowshoed the back trails singing “Heigh Ho!”

Year-round Getaway on Mayne Island with direct daily ferries from Swartz Bay

9 housekeeping cottages perfect for family getaways

250-539-2463 • 1-877-535-2424 44  Island Parent Magazine

As you may know, it isn’t unusual to be accompanied by Gray jays. Historically they were companions of First Nations hunters and trappers, and European explorers. These days, they are common visitors in camps, research stations and will shadow hikers and skiers.

Erin Lawless Nature Notes As cousins of the Raven, and members of the corvid family, these birds are not only curious and trusting, they are also extremely intelligent and they learn quickly to recognize and look for human food. Gray jays are always on the lookout for food and will eat just about anything, from berries and fungi, to small animals and human food. Their varied diet likely helps them survive harsh winters, but perhaps more noteworthy is their ability to store food for a later time. The Gray jay has adapted and learned to use their sticky saliva to glue small food items to tree crevices and branches that lie above the eventual snow height. Thanks to their body-to-brain ratio being similar to us humans, they almost always remember the location of their stores. Since the Gray jay lives in such cold conditions, a consistent supply of food is essential for keeping warm. But, like true Canadians, these birds are tough and don’t feel sorry for themselves. Instead, they perform the most energy intensive task any animal goes through: they rear their chicks in the dark of winter, often sitting on their eggs in –30 degree weather. But luckily mom doesn’t have to do it alone; true to Canadian values, it’s all about cooperation and teamwork for the Gray jay too. Pairs mate for life, they build their nests cooperatively and rarely leave each other’s side. By now, the parallels may seem obvious; like Canadians, the Gray jay makes the most of the harsh conditions in which it lives, it is friendly, hardy, curious, trusting, and intelligent. If you haven’t had the chance to see a Gray jay yet (and even if you have) take this opportunity to explore the sub-alpine wilderness and be the polite Canadian you are, and (re)introduce yourself to who might soon become Canada’s first official bird. Erin Lawless is a Program Naturalist at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary.

Family Law

Mediator and Arbitrator Over 32 years as a family law lawyer “A better way to get things done” William Murphy-Dyson, B.A., LL.B. BARRISTER AND SOLICITOR

3rd Floor, Burnes House 26 Bastion Square, Victoria 250-388-4457

The Victoria School for Ideal Education • Daily meditation • Nature based learning • Small class sizes • BC curriculum K – Gr. 8 2820 Belmont Avenue

250-383-6654 A few spaces still available

ST. JOSEPH’S Elementary School

FOR 2017

St. Joseph’s TRADITIONAL VALUES Elementary School - CHEMAINUS


250-246-3191 March 2017  45

Couple Care

D ! !

ear Couple with Young Kids, You are in one of the most difficult times of marriage. Sure, you have those moments when your kids are so adorable that you could both burst with joy but typically, those are moments amidst the daily grind of life. You might notice that you parent very differently from each other. Often one parent believes that the other is

You might find that you don’t talk to each other much anymore. When this happens the glue of the relationship can dry up. You need that glue to stick. Your children will

too lenient and should just lay down the law. Or, you may see your partner as too strict and insensitive. There will be times when you may even wonder if you like each other; this is normal. Feelings can change moment by moment but the need for love is shared by both of you all the time. When you don’t have time to be creative, rest or be alone, it is natural to feel resentful. You might look at your partner and think they have it easier than you as they walk out the door to work with adults in an organized environment. Or maybe you wish you could have time at home to hang out with the kids all day. The truth is, you are both working hard—it just looks different. Try to avoid feeling competitive about time, soon enough you will have time, this is just a phase. How many people tell you to enjoy it while you can because kids grow up so fast? Doesn’t your sleep deprived body just want to kick them? But it’s true. Acceptance of where you are—with the wisdom to know it will change soon enough—can bring about a sense of peace. !

Allison Rees Cut It Out! benefit if you take some of the focus off of them and direct it back to each other. How do you stay connected? If it’s too complicated, it won’t happen. Keep it simple but do it. If you feel so resentful that you aren’t sure that you want to connect remember that distancing never helps it just creates more misunderstandings. If there are important issues to deal with, deal with them. Get help if you need to. There are three legs to the milking stool: Self Care, Couple Care and Child Care. How are you finding balance? LIFE Seminars has two books available, Sidestepping the Power Struggle and The Parent Child Connection. See

! ! !

Science @ the Symphony sunday april 2, 2:30 pm royal theatre

Maestro Joey Pietraroia, conductor Bob McDonald, host Join CBC Quirks & Quarks host Bob McDonald for a wacky afternoon of scientific hijinks for the whole family. Learn how rubber bands and soda bottles can make music, and how you can create your own instruments! Come prepared to be creative. Come early for the VS Instrument Petting Zoo and other activities starting at 1:30 pm in the lobby. media sponsors or call 250.385.6515 46  Island Parent Magazine

NEW! Public Washrooms & Mother’s Room

OPENING SOON! Join the Cubs Club at








Wondering what to do with your kids over Spring Break?


March 20–24 + March 27–31

We’ve planned two weeks, jammed full of exciting out-trips, swimming and fun activities tailored to the age of your child. Camps for ages 6–8 and 9–12. Trips and activities include: • Bug Zoo • Ice Skating • Bead World • Petting Zoo • Ocean Discovery Centre • Playzone • Archery • Rock Climbing • Laser Tag • Go Karting

Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre 5/$150 250.361.0732



life, g n i h c at ! Stop w e to live it i t ’s t i m t o a w e e k , n e Jump i h adventur y... wit ver filled ip and disco g sh azin m a friend g in

and counting!

h somet awaits!

Give them sum mer that a lasts forever!

Watch our SUMMER 2017 video! QWANOES.CA / SUMMER/MED IA

W W W.QWANOES.CA 1-888-997-9266

Life Like No Other

March 2017 Island Parent  

Spring Break Programs

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you