IS THE BEST OPTION FOR TREATMENT TO LEAVE VICTORIA?
CW: This article discusses harassment against the LGBTQ2S+ community.
A safe space where LGBTQ+ patrons could meet, drink, and dance, Paparazzi Nightclub was known as a gay club since its inception. Recently, though, the nightclub’s status as a distinctly queer space has diminished, with more non-LGBTQ+ guests than ever before visiting the night out hot spot.
Alex, whose name has been changed upon request for privacy, is a local performer who frequented Paparazzi pre-COVID when it was still a largely queer establishment.
“It definitely doesn’t have the same energy as it used to,” they said, adding that the loss of this space is “huge.”
“Paparazzi is a locally owned business for the past 16 years,” said a representative from the club in an emailed statement to the Martlet.
“Throughout our operation we provided, and will continue to provide, significant support to the local LGBT+ community.”
However, Alex is not the only one who feels a sense of loss toward the club. Reddit user ironiccowboy posted on the platform responding to a thread discussing how the venue is no longer primarily for LGBTQ+ patrons, saying “I think it went through the classic gay bar death where first the straight women come looking for a chill place, then the straight guys come and ruin it, and then the Queers leave. Happens in every city time after time.”
John, whose name has also been changed upon request, is a UVic student who identifies as a straight man. In an email to the Martlet, he explains that he and his friends never used to frequent Paparazzi because it was known as a gay club, but recently, they’ve been suggesting it for a fun night out.
“I don’t think I would quantify it as a definitively queer space,” he explains.
“I think [the fact that my friends suggest it] is a telling indicator, as a straight guy, about the experience that I can expect.”
Alex explains that straight patrons — namely straight women — have always visited gay bars and clubs because these venues are safe spaces for them too.
The club also acknowledges that its “guests make up a cross section of Greater Victoria,” adding that patrons are not asked to divulge their gender or sexual orientation.
However, according to Alex, the issue arises when straight visitors’ attitudes change from allyship to entitlement to the space.
“When [you as a straight person] are being invited and welcomed into a community that has been oppressed at the hands of straight people, I feel like there has to be a sense of mindfulness in how you approach that space,” they say.
An anonymous social media poll about the nightclub’s queer devolution generated an influx of replies, sharing in melancholy sentiment.
“Feeling the loss,” replied one user. Another corroborated this, sharing that they’ve experienced more harassment at Paparazzi than other clubs.
While Friends of Dorothy and Vicious Poodle continue to thrive as hot spots of queer nightlife in Victoria, Paparazzi was the only spot in town where you could always go to dance.
Reddit user lownleyangel expresses that “management is very clearly choosing to appeal to the masses” as of late, rather than adhere to their original status as a gay club.
While for some this is cause for massive concern, Shelita Cox, drag performer and longtime producer of Drag Sunday at Paparazzi, came to the defense of the nightclub.
She explained in an interview with Victoria Buzz that Paparazzi’s management team has been actively
According to Paparazzi, the nightclub has a zero tolerance policy for harassment and encourages patrons to bring complaints to their attention.
“The security, safety, and comfort of our guests is paramount,” reads the emailed statement. “If anyone brings harassment, intimidation, or violence allegations to our management, we will deal with them immediately and call police if needed.” The spokesperson also added that the club practices inclusive hiring.
However, according to Alex, the question was never whether or not Paparazzi remained welcoming of the LGBTQ+ community, it was whether the club did enough to protect their queer clientele — and for them, the answer is no.
class of more “privileged” queer people (like cis or cis-presenting folks) before they are taken seriously.
Alex points out that as the club continues to welcome queer patrons, but distances itself from its status as a primarily LGBTQ+ venue, the right thing for Paparazzi to do is to be transparent about what to expect when visiting the establishment.
“It is safer to just be honest about what Paparazzi is now, than to keep pushing a narrative that it's something that it’s not and [putting] queer people into a potentially dangerous situation,” they say.
This shift in patrons’ attitudes is what can lead to potential harassment and discrimination on the basis of queerness, Alex explains — and they are not the only one who feels this way.
trying to maintain their roots as a queer establishment, even partnering with Good Night Out Victoria, a non-profit that offers “workshops on preventing sexualized violence in the nightlife industry.”
Alex, as a “feminine-presenting, assigned female at birth lesbian person,” says that they hadn’t experienced violence or harassment at Paparazzi until very recently, but that their trans friends and loved ones have been feeling the wrath of Paparazzi’s clientele transformation for years.
They go on to note that this is a common phenomenon — that issues of discrimination often must reach a
Growing up on Saltspring Island, I have been at the mercy of BC Ferries since before I can remember.
And unfortunately, BC Ferries sucks.
I’m certainly preaching to the choir by complaining about our local aquatic transit system, but I’m not going to stop until something changes for the better. Just once it would be nice to make my way home from Victoria without stressing out about labour shortages, delays, and cancelled sailings.
I was excited as anyone to see Victoria and Saltspring in the Netflix original series Maid. What I didn’t enjoy was BC Ferries pimping out my only way home and sticking us with a much inferior vessel while they were shooting. But then again, why would the company care at all about residents of the Gulf Islands? We’re an afterthought supplemented by the cash brought in by mainland travel.
I only keep four cards in my wallet, and taking up a quarter of that precious space is my BC Ferries Experience card. It has saved me, well, more money than I’d like to think about. This handy piece of plastic lets you travel around the Gulf Islands at reduced rates. But really, it’s just a way to charge tourists more.
The price of the ferries isn’t really the problem. To my surprise, fares haven’t increased much in the past decade (but that could possibly change very soon). The real issue is unreliability.
I’m not using these ferries to tour around the natural beauty of the islands, I’m using them to commute for work and visit my family. So you can imagine my annoyance when I show up to the terminal only to find out that my only means of transportation can’t run because they’re short a deckhand.
I’ve learned not to trust the ferries until I am unloading where I want to be. I have been burned too many times thinking I was in the clear just because I made it on the boat and departed from the terminal. If something can go wrong, inevitably it will.
Last summer, standing CEO of BC Ferries Mark Collins was fired after the company cancelled over 170 sailings in just 28 days during peak travel season.
Nicolas Jimenez was appointed the new CEO, bringing with him all his knowledge from running… ICBC? It’s hard to tell what changes he’s actually made to the company, but I just hope he’s spending his salary well.
And what’s so frustrating, is that I don’t know who to be annoyed with most at the end of the day. I’m annoyed
on a macro level, at the company as a whole. I’m annoyed at a micro level seeing the incompetence of the workers who fail to load a vessel correctly. And I am especially annoyed at all the tourists who have forced me to show up for a 35-minute boat ride more than an hour early.
I keep hoping that BC Ferries will return to being a government-run service, but a part of me knows that government interference is the reason why things are the way they are.
Up until 2003, BC Ferries was not a
private company. In the late ‘90s, the NDP government made a decision so terrible that it even has its own Wikipedia page with a catchy name: The Fast Ferry Scandal. Instead of upgrading terminals and replacing old vessels, the brilliant idea was to build three shiny new boats named the PacifiCats. They were fully aluminum catamarans adorned with cougar graphics.
The NDP wanted to revitalize B.C.’s shipbuilding industry. This project ended up costing nearly half a billion
Paparazzi should be recognized as a cautionary tale, Alex explains, not only about the importance of protecting queer spaces, but about the cruciality of listening to marginalized voices and taking preventative action.
“If trans people are saying that there's a transphobia problem in a nightclub, or in a queer space, or at a queer event, take it seriously. Talk about it. Fix it. Don't just wait until it's become a big enough problem that it's affecting [everyone].”
dollars, more than double the original budget. And the worst part? These boats weren’t even very good.
They managed to do their route a whopping 15 minutes faster than the conventional ferries, but the increased wake was causing so much damage to the coastline that they weren’t even able to utilize their full speed.
After less than a year of service, the PacifiCats were retired from BC Ferries and eventually sold for under 20 million dollars. Who knows how many other facets of BC Ferries could have improved and upgraded if that money had been spent elsewhere.
What annoys me most is the fact that I can’t do anything about any of this. I could create yet another pointless petition calling for change within BC Ferries or I could boycott the company entirely and just never return home again. Even then, what would actually happen?
But hey, at least I can enjoy an overpriced beer on my way to Vancouver now.
If trans people are saying that there's a transphobia problem in a nightclub, or in a queer space, or at a queer event, take it seriously. Talk about it. Fix it. Don't just wait until it's become a big enough problem that it's affecting [everyone]
On an isolated, way too hot afternoon in late August 2020, I felt my heart clench at the audacity of an email appearing in my inbox. I had received a volunteer callout email from the Martlet to my UVic email. It asked for comic and graphic volunteers, stating artwork would be included in the university's independent student newspaper.
I had just moved to Victoria from my teeny-tiny hometown, 100 Mile House, a month prior to beginning my degree. I had no friends and was totally alone. I graduated from high school alone in my room, and then did my first year alone in my room.
But what a cool opportunity! So I emailed back. I thought the occasional drawing could help me stay occupied, get my name out, and maybe meet some people amidst the pandemic.
A month later, I was offered a position as the Martlet’s design director.
And, of course, I called my parents, cried a little, and accepted the offer.
As a Queer illustrator from the middle of nowhere, my craft was severely misunderstood, disvalued, and cringeworthy. I was absolutely floored and overwhelmed that someone wanted me, a totally scared 17-year-old, for such a cool position — they saw something in Sie !
I had absolutely no idea how much fun I'd have.
Thanks to my time here, I've been able to grow exponentially as an artist and mentor, and I am very grateful for that. I owe a whole lot to this little footless bird. I have always wanted to work in arts and be the tutor I never had growing up. I'm so thankful for the chance to design for 57 issues, three editorsin-chief, and around 30 staff writers and editors.
That's a lot of people! And a lot of freaking drawings!!!!! Not to mention that I even got to write a couple times!
I'm very lucky to have been able to work with so many lovely people and help visualize their stories. Everyone has always been so kind and co-operative, and have had so many great ideas. A writer even surprised me with a cake for my birthday once; nobody other than my parents had ever done that for me before.
Thanks to my experience here, I've been given multiple contracts and opportunities, including published illustrations, art shows, having my own booth at conventions, and even having my art on Dragon’s Den with Acrylic Robotics. I’m doing things I was told I never would and never believed I could, but strived to do out of pure spite. I’m literally living my silly little artist dreams. The other skills I’ve developed have allowed me to become more confident in my work, myself, and in connecting with people again.
Having been here for almost exactly three years, as I enter the final year of my degree, art and journalism are coming to a crucial point in history with the rise of AI, especially for student journalism.
More than anything, I am grateful to use this platform to stress the increasing importance of the rights of artists and journalists: Artists and writers deserve to be respected, work in safe environments, and, more than anything, to be paid — I refuse to be gentle about that. The future of art and journalism has become terrifying and uncertain, but we are a crucial part of society and the human experience. I truly believe we will always remain.
So, thank you, Martlet, for giving me a chance and showing me what I am capable of. I am ready to fly, but your hospitality is what allowed me to spread my wings. Thank you, volunteers and contributors, for drawing for me, listening to me recruit you, and reading my silly little pitch emails. It has been a pleasure.
And, of course, thank you, Martlet readers, for looking at and enjoying my art. That alone is more than I could ever ask for, and it means the world to me.
From this very tired, determined little artist from the middle of nowhere: goodbye for now. Drink water, be kind to yourself, and tell your friends you love them.
With lots of love, Sie
Why people in addiction recovery in Victoria need more options than 195 newly-funded bedsKRISTEN DE JAGER CONTRIBUTING WRITER
CW: This article discusses substance use.
It was a Wednesday evening in December. Dylan Samuels was riding his bike home from a floor hockey game when he saw a figure on a bike looming on the sidewalk up ahead.
As a recovering addict and outreach worker at the Royal Jubilee hospital in Victoria, Samuels had grown used to seeing people at different stages of their addictions and recovery. However, this experience didn’t prepare him for the moment he realized that the person in front of him was his best friend in need of help.
“Earlier in the day I had contacted him. I kept telling him, ‘Come to the hospital, come to the hospital, I’ll take care of you, get you into treatment,’” said Samuels, whose name has been changed upon request due to the personal nature of this story.
That night, Samuels was finally able to take the first step toward getting his friend help.
After convincing him to ride his bike with him for a couple of blocks, Samuels helped his friend get into the hospital and stayed with him over the following weekend. His friend then went onto New Roads to work toward his recovery.
The toxic drug crisis in B.C. is an issue that consistently makes headlines. According to a report published by the British Columbia Coroners Service, 2 383 people died from suspected drug toxicity in 2022. The Greater Victoria Area
had the third highest number of deaths, at 171.
To combat this, the provincial government has pledged 195-newly funded beds to be placed in different treatment centres across British Columbia. Ninety-five beds will go to the Vancouver area with 45 at St. Pauls hospital and 50 to Providence Health. The other 100 beds will be dispersed around the province.
Even though Samuels has been able to support others in their recovery, it took a lot of strength to seek help himself.
In 2020, Samuels went through his first experience in treatment. He came to the realization that he needed treatment while staying in a hotel room with a woman in Kelowna.
“I was in a very toxic, scary, dark relationship with this woman who was deeply damaged. I literally escaped,” said Samuels. “I got my bags together. I got out the door and she was hanging on my neck, trying to hold me back and follow me all the way down the stairwell.”
Within the next few days, Samuels checked into treatment with Together We Can; he and his parents opted to pay for a private bed so that he could access treatment immediately.
As Samuels is a self-described “shockingly introverted person,” he initially found it hard to connect with the people at the treatment centre.
“It can be a very intimidating experience to go there, especially if it's your first time in treatment,” said Samuels.
However, this changed for the better during a fitness class at the treatment centre. When a person came towards him, shook his hand, and asked how the transition was going, Samuels eased into forming connections in his community. Even though years have passed Samuels still says that he “never forgot that.”
Samuels’ experience going to treatment and the fear he felt is something that many people in the community can relate to. Often this nervousness can lead people to change their mind, opting to not go to treatment or seek out help.
“It takes a lot of courage to reach out and ask for help,” said Evan James, manager of education and training for the Umbrella Society, a non-profit in Victoria that offers support for people with addictions. “And when someone wants that help, it can often be fleeting. That moment, that window, can be small.”
James also outlined the multiple steps that people go through with the Umbrella Society when they are seeking treatment. Individuals usually start with meeting an outreach worker over a cup of coffee to talk about what kind of support they are looking for. From there, the Umbrella Society helps them fill out applications and arrange interviews to get them into treatment.
2022 in the Greater Victoria Area
However, getting into treatment in Victoria is not as simple as an application and an interview. Most treatment centres in Victoria require the person to be sober for a certain period of time before being admitted. In order to reach that step the person would usually attend detox.
The catch with detox is that it “typically involves people withdrawing from severe alcohol use and people withdrawing from longterm, significant opioid use,” said Island Health in an emailed statement. Island Health added that “detox is not effective for people withdrawing from stimulants such as crystal meth.”
According to James, this set-up is “frustrating because we have people that are addicted to stimulants that can't stop on their own and meet [the waiting] period.”
The current solution for people looking for support in withdrawing from stimulants is going to the Rapid Access Addiction Clinic, doing outpatient programs, or consulting with their family doctor. James
explained that regardless of said programs, the barriers to accessing detox still leaves a gap in managing peoples’ withdrawals.
A 2022 study investigating the gaps that care providers are finding in the Vancouver Island Health authority’s treatment program found that of the 50 social workers linked to inpatient substance use care at two of Victoria’s general hospitals, over 90 per cent found that there was a significant lack of withdrawal management services. In the same pool of workers, almost 80 per cent also found that there was a significant lack of residential services available in the region.
In Victoria, there are currently 48 beds in supportive recovery homes that are run by Island Health or its partners. Other publicly funded options such as New Roads Recovery and the Salvation Army Addiction and Rehabilitation Centre have under
20 beds each. With New Roads Recovery offering 14 and the Salvation Army offering nine. When there is no option for people to access the already limited number of beds in Victoria, they then have to seek care elsewhere. This can create more problems, including difficulty building relationships in their community.
As James explained, when people go to treatment, they form connections with mentors and sponsors. “So when you have to leave there and come back to Victoria, for instance, it can often feel like you're starting from scratch because all of your supports are where you went to treatment.”
Although leaving one's community can be problematic in terms of recovery, it is sometimes the only option. Choosing to attend a privately funded facility in Victoria isn’t viable for most of the population unless their employers pay for their beds.
Karen Urbanoski, the Canada Research Chair in Substance Use, Addictions and Health Services Research, explained that the problem with accessing treatment does not stop at people not being able to afford privately funded beds — as the government will sometimes arrange with private treatment centres to have some publicly funded beds for a fee that is paid for by the government.
“The problem is that the waitlist becomes long for those beds that are publicly funded — it's not an efficient way for the government to provide services,” said Urbanoski.
“And there are some complicated questions around quality of care, in terms of who the private treatment centres are accountable to (profit or patients) … If as a country, we identify strongly with our universal, single payer government insurance, I don't know why substance use treatment should be considered any different than other areas of healthcare. It shouldn't be.”
Another problem linked to having both publicly and privately funded beds is that often people who are left in the middle — meaning they don’t meet the requirements for
publicly funded options, but can’t afford the private ones — are left without care entirely.
In these situations, the Umbrella Society tries to find different avenues to fund people’s treatment, which is the option that Samuels had to take in his most recent treatment centre journey.
After being discharged from treatment in 2020, Samuels travelled to Victoria where he found a community of supporters to help aid him in his recovery, including the Umbrella Society where he was later employed as an outreach worker.
In late 2022, Samuels relapsed, and decided it was time to go back to treatment. Being unable to afford private care, he found funding through SoberFest, a substance-free musical and comedy festival and fundraiser that partners with different recovery organizations on Vancouver Island to help people access treatment.
The provincial government has acknowledged that the toxic drug crisis is a growing concern and continues to make promises to help the crisis. These promises and moves often fall in two seemingly separate categories in terms of care: treatment and harm reduction.
Recently, the provincial government has promised to add 195 new publicly-funded beds into the system.
While some professionals agree that this is a step in the right direction in providing people care, others say policy makers need to look at revamping the system as a whole. Urbanoski, for example, is calling for more care options to create a system where everyone’s individual needs are met.
“Every human is different,” said Jeffrey Baergen, executive director of the Salvation Army Addiction and Rehabilitation Centre in Victoria. “Anywhere, there's very few options. Most places on Vancouver Island, there's no option.”
Providing more options also means creating a system where harm reduction and treatment are not on two opposite sides; but instead function together to meet the needs of everyone, whatever their goals are in substance use recovery.
“We hear a lot of very unproductive debates about treatment versus harm reduction. And that is not borne out [of] evidence,” said Urbanoski. “There's no basis on which to assert that one should be funded over another, that one is more effective than another, that's just simply not true. A well-functioning system has to have both.”
“[I hope] that this isn't a quick, one off political move to silence a certain demographic or something. That this isn't about appeasement and it's a genuine desire to fix the problem,” said Samuels. “And I wish that we could strike a better balance in B.C. between harm reduction and recovery.”
Today, Samuels is an example of how important it is that people have access to a good recovery network. Nearing the close of his program, he is considering staying on at the treatment centre as a worker.
“I'm trying to make the most of this,” Samuels explained. “Working for a treatment centre may [be] better for me, because you get to see people succeed. And you get to see people transform, from when there's no light in their eyes to when the light comes on.”
Regardless of how he got here, Samuels is grateful to be working towards the next step in his recovery.
“I think there might be a future here for me.”
[I hope] that this isn't a quick, one off political move to silence a certain demographic or something. That this isn't about appeasement and it's a genuine desire to fix the problem.
- Dylan SamuelsPhoto by Pina Messina via Unsplash. Photo by Adhy Savala via Unsplash.
In an age of misinformation and rampant media sensationalism, the reallife story depicted in Satan Wants You, while shocking, fits right into today's landscape.
The Canadian documentary film covers the lead-up to and eventual global chaos that ensued with the publication of Michelle Smith’s 1980 memoir Michelle Remembers, which documents recovered-memory therapy sessions between Smith and psychiatrist Lawrence Pazder.
After seeing the documentary, I had the pleasure of interviewing co-director, Sean Horlor, over a video call to learn how his time in Victoria and at UVic influenced the film.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Congrats on the film and your premiere at South by Southwest. The film is quite a ride. For those who don’t know what the film is about, how would you describe Satan Wants You?
When we set out to make the film, we were hoping to tell the origin story of the global satanic panic in the 1980s and ’90s. When you set out to do a film like this, you have all these ideas of what it’s gonna be, [but] now that we’re five years since we’ve started, I see the film now as this story about two lives colliding in the most unexpected and horrible way that changed the world in ways that we’re still dealing with 40 years later after Michelle Remembers was published.
Did your personal perspective affect any part of the making of the film?
From a personal standpoint, this story has been with me almost my entire
was a scary place. Now, it’s this big historic cemetery that has Emily Carr buried in it, but when I was a kid, it was where all the “satanists” were.
of really great professors like Lorna Crozier, Patrick Lane, Bill Gaston, and Aislinn Hunter. I remember Patrick Lane saying that this is a degree about critical thinking and creative thinking; less so about the writing part, but how
guy — flaming-red hair, huge personality. He gave me a passion for film that I didn’t have before attending UVic, and between that and publishing a book of poetry after graduating, I just really wanted to be in TV and film.
Lastly, do you have any technical advice for people wanting to get into filmmaking, particularly Canadian filmmakers? I noticed a few Canadian broadcast logos at the beginning of the film. Yeah, the Canadian financing system is interesting. I would say to anybody who is in the creative writing department or in film studies who are wanting to actually get into the industry or they want to be an independent filmmaker and make their own films, Canada is a pretty special place. With this film, we’ve gone out into the international marketplace and I hear all these stories at festivals about how difficult it is, especially for documentary filmmakers, to get their work funded. Between the Canada Media Fund, Telefilm, Rogers, plus all of our public broadcasters, if you are a Canadian filmmaker wanting to make a film, you have a leg-up on a lot of other people around the world because of how the government and industry works in Canada.
life. I grew up in Victoria in the 1980s right after Michelle Remembers was published. When I was a kid, there were stores downtown in Victoria that you weren’t supposed to go to because they had altars in the back and killed babies and drank blood. I know it’s stupid now, but Ross Bay Cemetery
Do you have some things that you took from your time at UVic that helped your career come to fruition?
I have a bachelor of fine arts. I focussed in creative writing, so I studied poetry and fiction writing, and I had a lot
do you actually tell a story? When you look at a fine arts degree that way, you can take those skills and apply it to a lot of different artistic mediums. I took classes while doing my creative writing degree with Brian Hendricks, who was the film studies
Thank you so much for your time, Sean. Will the film be coming to streaming or digital? It’s coming to the CBC Documentary channel Oct. 1 and CBC Gem later in the Fall. And also Tubi in the U.S., if anyone’s in the U.S.!
The Victoria I Know is a 20-minute short film crafted by the creative collaboration of writer-producer Joel Brewster and director Mik Narciso. Presented through Telus Stoyhive’s Black Creators Edition, which empowers Black filmmakers in B.C. and Alberta by providing a platform for their creative expressions, the film stands as a testament to the diversity and innovation within the burgeoning Black filmmaking community.
The film follows Amber Ryley, a Black photographer, on her journey of self-discovery in Victoria. As she navigates her identity and artistic authenticity, she uncovers a hidden history that shapes her perspective. Through subtle portrayals of microaggressions and personal growth, the film sheds light on the challenges faced by Ryley, ultimately inspiring conversations about heritage, history, and hope.
The Martlet sat down with Brewster and Narciso to delve into their sources of inspiration and personal journeys.
“There is always something to learn from your past,” said Narcisco, explaining where the duo found inspiration for the film’s storyline.
The idea was sparked when Brewster, who has lived in Victoria for the last 33 years, found out that the first governor of B.C., Sir James Douglas, had lineage that traces back to Barbados. The duo began to research more about Martha Ann Telfer, Douglas’ mother. Rooted in historical research, the film’s storyline is influenced by Telfer, a figure from the past whose Barbadian heritage and ghostly presence convey a message of resilience and positivity.
The creative team opted to utilize horror as a tool to initiate candid discussions among people about heritage and historical backgrounds.
Brewster, who started screenwriting in high school, is also an aficionado of the horror genre.
“Horror is a great teacher as a genre,” said Brewster who drew inspiration from films such as Get Out, which possess a gentler approach in contrast to dramas.
Similar to the narrative of Martha Ann Telfer's life, The Victoria I Know underscores the existence of numerous untold stories and unrecorded histories that need exploring. Brewster and Narciso aim to cultivate conversations across racial lines, shed light on microaggressions in daily life, and hope to inspire and uplift minority communities.
Both Brewster and Narcisco are grateful to Telus Storyhive for cultivating a smooth experience for their filmmaking process.
“[Storyhive was] incredibly responsive and incredibly encouraging,” Brewster said about the mentorship provided by Storyhive.
Erin Shaw, the product manager at Telus Storyhive, also spoke to the Martlet to offer insight into the
program, which provides funding, training, and mentorship to content creators across B.C. and Alberta. Their goal is to support content creators and inspire audiences everywhere while “focussing on creators who have traditionally been excluded from the content creation landscape.” With the summer premiere available on TELUS Optik TV and Storyhive’s Youtube channel, the Black Creators Edition gives a
platform for excluded ethnic and marginalized groups to tell their stories like Brewser and Narciso have done with The Victoria I Know. Beyond this short film, the two have a pipeline brimming with other creative projects. They are currently working on a podcast called Horrified on Spotify that revolves around horror-based stories focussed on themes of loneliness and isolation.
As classes begin and September promises a flurry of new assignments, you can still soak up the last of the summer with vibrant cultural programming across the city of Victoria. Fill your weekends with fun and affordable events, travel across the world, sample new cuisines and even learn some new moves. This latesummer guide has some of the best cultural offerings in the city, so you can make your evenings and weekends as enriching as those classes!
When: Performances until Sept. 3, various times.
Where: Finnerty Gardens, University of Victoria.
Cost: $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors (+service fee).
Victoria's Fringe Festival showcases adventurous and entertaining theater productions from local creators. Infinity Gardens allows viewers to surround themselves with culture in this immersive, site-specific play that takes place in UVic's own Finnerty Gardens. GutPunch Theatre, a student collective launched this year, and award-winning playwright Kevin Kerr ask the audience to journey with characters and embrace the natural landscape around them. Tickets are available online through Intrepid Theatre.
When: Until Sept. 9, Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. (Thursdays 12–7 p.m.)
Where: Legacy Art Gallery, 630 Yates St.
Cost: Free entry
Celebrate the works of “one of the most prolific living Indigenous artists on the West Coast,”Francis Dick, through an intimate display. Experience her journey through paintings, prints, jewelry, and wood cuts, delving into personal memories and challenges. A UVic social work graduate, Dick turned to art to document her experiences as an urban Indigenous person, residing in Victoria since the 1980s. This exhibition documents her decades-long career, poignantly addressing the abuse and trauma of the residential school system and the lasting impacts on Dick and her loved ones. Amidst the flames of her life’s path, glimmers of light and hope emerge too, though navigating tough materials is part of the experience. Don't miss this impactful exhibit before it closes.
When: Sept. 2, 8, and 16 from 8 p.m.–12 a.m.
Where:Victoria Ukrainian Cultural Centre, 3277 Douglas St.
Cost: $15 Cover
If your goal was to learn a new skill this summer, it's not too late. Feel the beats of Salsa, Bachata, and Merengue with affordable summer sessions hosted by Latin Dance Victoria at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre. The sessions start at 8 p.m. with a lesson to help you master the steps, followed by a social dance to test your moves and practice fun, passionate dance styles. No partner? No problem! These sessions are open to all, including beginners. You’ll be lighting up the dance floor in no time.
Sept. 9 from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. and Sept. 10 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Where: Fisgard Lighthouse and Fort Rodd Hill
Cost: Free entry.
Soak up the coastal scenery and charm of Colwood at the second annual In Sight Festival. Bringing individuals together at the historic Fisgard Lighthouse, this two-day event kicks off with a traditional performance by Lekwungen dancers. This free, weekend-long festival is packed with dance, food, and interactive arts. Here, you can see aerial acrobatics, experience outdoor painting, and meet local artisans. This festival promises an amazing “mosaic” of art for everyone.
When: Sept. 22 to Oct. 8 from 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Where: Victoria Public Market
Cost: Admission free or by donation
Immerse yourself in vibrant culture this fall. Head down to Victoria Public Market in late September for daily programming hosted by the
ISSAMBA African art and culture center . Embrace African and Caribbean traditions by savoring the cuisines, learning about traditional dances, and enjoying drumming performances as part of B.C.’s Culture Days. Programs are offered in English and French, with gender-neutral washrooms and wheelchair accessibility.
As Labour Day long weekend approaches, it’s a great time to get outside and enjoy the weather! Here are five fun excursions to take near Victoria with your friends and family.
This scenic destination is a 40-minute drive from Victoria and has some amazing hidden spots to check out. With amazing access to freshwater, it’s great to take a swim while overlooking the river cliffs and scenery. If swimming isn’t your forte, there are a variety of hiking trails, including Mary Vine Creek Waterfall and Todd Creek Trail. You can follow the signs from Parking Lot 1 for more marked locations such as beaches and swimming holes.
An easily accessible gem with a rich and intriguing history, Elk Lake/Beaver Lake Provincial Park welcomes swimmers, surfers, paddle
boarders, fishermen, birdwatchers, and hikers alike to enjoy its beauty. Along with a swimmable lake, the site offers 15 km of trails.
With a playground and a nature hut open on the weekends during the summer, this is a fantastic spot to bring families and children.
A fun fact: Canada’s Olympic Rowing team utilises Elk Lake to host competitions and training sessions.
Located in a central part of Saanich, Swan Lake/Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary has a variety of wildlife, a stunning lake, and a short 2.5 km trail. The Nature House is also home to interactive exhibits and information about the sanctuary to check out. Make sure to leave your bike at home as riding is not permitted in the sanctuary.
Along the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, you’ll find multiple stunning day hikes, including Sombrio Beach, with opportunities to surf and swim. A few other highlights include
the suspension bridge, a hidden waterfall, and a chance to camp by the beach. A 10-minute walk from the parking lot will get you through a forest and to the route information and map to both East and West Sombrio Beach, which features the suspension bridge.
If you’re heading to the water, bring some waterproof/watersafe footwear as the rocks can be challenging to navigate.
With giant trees, fantastic hikes, and a winding river, it’s no wonder many visitors are drawn to Goldstream Park. With many camping facilities available for reservation, visitors can enjoy hiking, park-led programs, wildlife, and opportunities to swim in the summer. Though there are chances to see salmon spawning, the park advises visitors not to fish and to preserve the water. The 150foot waterfall is an unmissable sight with a pool below.
No matter where you go, make sure to stay hydrated, properly clothed, and safe throughout your adventures around Victoria this weekend!
Five spots to explore this Labour Day weekend
This late summer guide will help you embrace the best cultural offerings in and around Victoria
From swimming, hiking, and water activities to discovering waterfalls and environmental education hubs, check out these spots this long weekend
JUHI GANGARAMANI CONTRIBUTING WRITERPhoto by Sarah Roberts. Sombrio Beach, photo by Anna Alva.
Summer: the season of sunburns, fresh fruit, cold swims, and last but not least, farmers markets.
While farmers markets can be an introvert’s worst nightmare, they’re an instant mood boost for those of us who take pleasure in meandering, chit-chatting, perusing, and allaround dilly-dallying.
Not to mention, farmers markets are fantastic places to hear some live music, reunite with friendly faces, and stock up on produce for the coming week.
Here in Victoria, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to colourful, aromatic, and lively farmers markets. But the fun doesn’t have to end when the season does — here is everything you need to know about four markets in the area that you haven’t missed out on yet!
The Esquimalt Farmers Market, located in — you guessed it — Esquimalt, is held on Mondays and Thursdays from 4:30–7:30 p.m.
Regardless of whether it’s at Gorge Park on Monday or Memorial Park on Thursday, this market is just a ten minute drive (or 20 minute bus ride) from the core of Victoria’s downtown.
The market boasts over 60 vendors, who sell everything from jerky to candles to cider to handbags. And the fun doesn’t stop there!
Esquimalt Farmers Market also invites local musicians to play for their patrons.
Monday Sept. 4 and Thursday Sept. 14 will be the last days of the season to catch this market in its outdoor locations before it moves inside for the winter, so visit while you still can!
Pets are welcome on-leash Thursdays at Gorge Park, but prohibited at Memorial Park. Both locations have public parking and are accessible by bus. For more information about the Market be sure to visit their website.
MOSS STREET MARKET
Moss Street Market is not afraid of an autumn chill — it will only move inside come November! Until then, it will continue to be held on Saturdays from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. outdoors at 401 Moss St. for all of September and October. So be sure to bundle up, grab an apple cider, and enjoy the crisp fall air while you stroll through the market all season long.
The market lists vendors across various categories, including craft and artisan, farm, and food. Ceramics, linen clothing, jewellery, soap, dolls, hot and prepared foods, fresh produce, flowers, spices, and cheeses are just a few examples of what Moss Street Market has to offer.
Moss Street Market also invites local musicians to set the tone for their patrons, but only promises to do so until the end of September, so make sure to catch the market in all its jubilant, soundtracked glory while you can!
JAMES BAY MARKET
Rain or shine, the James Bay Market will be waiting for you every Saturday, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. — until Oct. 7, that is. This market is rich with history, having been around for nearly 30 years. Home to food trucks, live music, and, according to the market’s organizers, “community spirit,” the James Bay Market is a must-visit Victoria attraction.
Following Twitter changing its name to “X” and imposing strict rules which seemingly instigated a new app by Meta, general questions are: what is “Threads,” and why should anybody care? In an attempt to find out, I downloaded Threads myself to see if this rookie in the ring has the potential to knock out its digital competitors.
On July 1, Elon Musk announced Twitter will limit how many posts users can view in a day, and there was significant backlash. Conveniently, Threads launched five days later. This tipped people off that Threads is likely intended to compete with Twitter. Threads is also marketed as pioneering cross-socialmedia interaction. — It’s planned to work in tandem with a program called “ActivityPub.” This will blend the lines between platforms so internet communication is faster, more efficient, and more wide-reaching. However, the two apps are not compatible yet.
When I downloaded Threads, my Instagram username and account information carried over. While you can customize your account, it’s essentially an extension of your Instagram account minus your followers.
Users can post photos or videos paired with a caption, or a classic text post like on Twitter. The
formatting of the app is Twitteresque, but most posts are captioned photos like on Instagram. People use the app like Instagram “spam accounts” — for casual content that’s not fitting for their main profiles. There’s an abundance of brands, celebrity figures, Twitterstyle memes, political rants, and fanpages. Corporate accounts’ posts mirror their Instagram content.
At first, I was satisfied that internet jokes about a presumed older demographic who wouldn’t know how to act in a barren social media landscape seemed to be true. Comments on the first posts I viewed were hilariously outdated — they used capitalized full sentences, an abundance of emojis that were popular in 2010, and even massive Apple Memojis.
However, this theory came to be debunked. As I spent more time on Threads, I noticed uncapitalization, Gen Z lingo, and jokes that didn’t feel recycled. I was, however, caught off guard by the rage towards Twitter/X from previous users. Even Zuck himself wrote a string of posts roasting Elon Musk for backing out of an invitation to physically fight him.
As I scrolled through these posts, I struggled to create an unbiased opinion because of the app’s ridiculously fast algorithm. I was curious if my interests would be woven into my feed after a while,
but I was shocked that after liking one post about Taylor Swift, I received three more posts about her just two minutes later. Between my interests in activism and music, my open explore page intensely divided into the demographics of aggressively left-wing American grandma, and teenager with a parasocial relationship with Taylor Swift. On my first day, one of the first five posts I saw was about Taylor, three out of five on day two, and all five on my third day.
After exploring internet rumours that Threads quietly steals user data within small print in its terms and
Whether you’re looking for this week’s produce supply, a warm cup of coffee, a Saturday chat, or to say hello to a furry friend (pets are welcome!), the James Bay Market has what you’re looking for. Like the other markets, this one proudly hosts a generous number of artisans, selling jewellery, textiles, soaps, and specialty baking, among other goods.
Find the James Bay Market on the corner of Menzies and Superior St., stay to hear at least one of three sets of live music at each Saturday market, and leave feeling the spirit of community that the market is so proud to foster.
Bastion Square Market is the final feature of four. Another open-air public market, it is located in the heart of Victoria’s downtown, and runs from Thursday to Saturday, from 11 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Like the aforementioned markets, Bastion Square Market is home to countless local artisanal craft vendors, live entertainment from 12–1 p.m., as well as coffee and baked goods.
In addition, they boast vintage and art vendors, and host “Foodie Friday” every week, which features fresh produce, farm vendors, hot dogs, and foodie products galore for market goers.
This market is set to run all through September, so get to beautiful Bastion Square Market while you can!
conditions, I was surprised to find that the app is not secretive about its data collection. Among common permissions, Threads can access your job history, performance evaluations, and recordings of a user’s environment. If that wasn’t creepy enough, Threads has access to location, search history, health data, and “sensitive information.” The only thing the internet had wrong is that Threads is unique in this. If you thought you were safe from Threads’ invasive data collection because you’re sticking to Instagram, remember that, as Meta apps, they share the same disclaimers.
Internet PSAs that you can’t delete Threads without deleting the linked Instagram account proved to be helpful, as Threads posters themselves are complaining about this omission of a necessary feature. The only current solution is to assume a private, or “hidden” account.
In summary, I’ve gathered that Threads by Meta is a weird combination of Twitter and Instagram. It’s defined by the internet as a copycat of Twitter which steals your data and only hosts out-of-touch older users, but only half of that turned out to be true! It’s difficult to predict whether Threads will succeed because the proposed importance to a crosssocial-media breakthrough has not been tapped yet. I will be deleting the app as most content overlaps with Instagram. After two months, Threads currently has 125 million users which, compared to Twitter’s 330 million users after 17 years, is impressive. However, compared to Instagram (2.35 billion) and TikTok (1 billion), it still has a long way to go to be the shiniest new thing in the App Store.
Downloading Meta’s new app to test the truth of internet conspiracies
COOPER ANDERSON CONTRIBUTING WRITERPhoto by Gabby Bullock. Photo by Gabby Bullock. Photo by Azamat E. via Unsplash.