December 8th, 2022

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From the Martlet p.5-8
Happy Holidays
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What’s happening to the Capitol 6 fig tree?

Over 100 year old theatre to close in Victoria, locals concerned

The construction of a new commercial building to replace Capitol 6 Theatres downtown has been approved, and it has left the fate of its iconic indoor fiddle-leaf fig tree a mystery.

Victoria City Council unanimously voted on Oct. 6 to support Victoriabased developer Jawl Properties’ application to redevelop Capitol 6 Theatres on the corner of Yates and Blanshard and build a modernized 10-story building containing commercial and office spaces in its place.

Capitol 6 features a massive fig tree that fills the entirety of its unique glass and brick cone-shaped entrance. Movie-goers are not only sad to see one of the city’s most historic theatres be replaced, but are also concerned about what will happen to this impressive piece of nature.

During the city council hearing, Robert Jawl, managing director of Jawl Properties Ltd., was asked about the possibility of saving the fig tree during the construction of the new building, which is aptly named Capital VI.

“We don’t know for sure,” said Jawl. “There’s been a hope on our end when we get a little closer to

planning that, that there could be consideration given to how we could devise a suitably sizable root ball and remove it and transport it. We’d be open, and thrilled in fact, to do that if we could find a home.”

The exact date of the theatre’s closure and start of construction is still uncertain, but this will not be the first closure for Capitol 6. It shut its doors in 2013 when its owners, Empire Theatres, announced that they were exiting the cinema industry.

Concern was also raised at this time to save the theatre’s landmark tree.

Capitol 6 sat empty until 2016 when Jawl Properties bought the building and it reopened as an independent theatre. The indoor fig tree managed to stay alive through this extended closure.

Now, “The question with a specimen that old will be if it survives transportation,” says Jawl.

Capitol 6 first opened as Capitol Theatre in 1921, until it expanded to six screens in 1981 and gained its current name. It has been a major proponent of the Victoria Film Festival for many years.

Concern was raised during city council that Victoria would not only be losing a historically important landmark, but that there was no need for more commercial space downtown as there is a substantial amount of space already sitting unoccupied.

Jawl responded by saying that the need for modern workspaces built with COVID precautions in mind are in demand.

The pandemic disrupted the cinema industry heavily, leading to theatre closures across the world.

Though it is pending a date for commencement of work, the otherwise definitive closure of Capitol 6 means that the Cineplex Odeon just down the street will be the only remaining commercial theatre downtown.

Jawl Properties owns a substantial amount of land in downtown Victoria, including a giant glass building called The Atrium directly across from Capitol 6 —perhaps the perfect spot to relocate the tree to?

Victoria’s Iranian community continues to rally in solidarity

we put pressure. Canada has an important role to play in upholding human rights and international law around the world … The only way that we are going to ensure that the people of Iran can live freely — can live peacefully — is if we speak out, if we stand together and take action.”

The crowd cheered as Collins finished her speech and others took to the stage to talk about their experiences.

On Nov. 19, a peaceful protest organized by members of Victoria’s Iranian community took place at the legislature. The event commemorated the lives lost during the November 2019 riots in Iran that were caused by dissent over the rise in petroleum prices.

This year, the death of Zhina Mahsa Amini while in police custody acted as a trigger for the unresolved anger of Iranians against their regime. Known as Bloody November, the 2019 riots still act as a reminder that there is a strong chance that today’s Iranian protestors could face charges, detention, and execution.

At the protest, there were chants of “Zan Zindagi Azadi'' and “Women, Life, Freedom” preceding co-organizer Yasaman Soofi’s speech which discussed the protests.

“The Islamic regime is counting on us to be silent,” spoke Soofi. “It is counting on you to be silent. So when we shout ‘Zan Zindagi Azadi,’ we

shout for Iranians, when we post, tweet, and use hashtags we help fuel their fire, we amplify their voices and we give them hope that we are standing in solidarity, that they are seen and heard. Let’s unite in our voices and fight against dictatorship, patriarchy, and oppression. Because we are not free until everyone is free.”

There were two politicians present at the protest. Laurel Collins, MP for Victoria, and Victoria council member Susan Kim both spoke at the gathering.

“It’s so important right now that we put pressure on our federal government to step up,” said Collins.

“For months my colleagues and I have been pushing the government to implement sanctions, to actually acknowledge that this regime is engaging in acts of terrorism, in systemic and brutal acts of oppression. And finally after months, just days ago, the government finally acknowledged that these are acts of terrorism … We need to go farther, we need true sanctions on the senior officials of the IRGC to ensure that

The Martlet was able to interview Yasaman Soofi afterwards and discuss the plight of Iranian Canadians who have family in Iran. Soofi explains that the main aim of the protest was “to shine a spotlight on what is happening in Iran and the need for international solidarity and action against the Islamic Regime.”

Soofi explains that over 15 000 political prisoners have been abducted and arrested since September 2022, and many are at a high risk of being executed. She goes on to state that in order to prevent this from happening, as it has in the past, it is important that the issue continue to be circulated and discussed.

Toomaj Salehi, an Iranian rapper who backed the anti-government protests in Iran, is one of the six unnamed people who are facing the death penalty. His charge is “corruption on Earth,” which is a severe crime in Iran. Other celebrities who are facing charges but were released on bail include actress Hengameh Ghaziani, activist and blogger Hossein Ronaghi, and former football player Voria Ghafouri.

Like other Iranians, Soofi’s message to the people of Victoria and the world at large, is that “there is currently a historic feminist revolution happening in Iran, where people are demanding fundamental human

rights and a safe, peaceful, and free country. And it is our obligation as global citizens to stand with the Iranian people as we do with the people in Ukraine and the people in Yemen, and people who are enduring difficulties because of their government or because of war that is inflicted on them. We need to stand with them and do what we can to support and stand in solidarity with people that are not having the freedom that we take for granted on a daily basis.”

Soofi hopes that there is a regime change soon, since she says there is not a lot this government can do to regain the people’s trust. Protests against the government have been happening in Iran since 1979, most of which have been silenced through murder and imprisonment.

“The change that I hope for is a revolution that [causes] the regime to leave Iran,” Soofi says. “For us to have a secular and democratic government.”

NEWS DECEMBER 8TH, 2022 // 3
‘We are not free until everyone is free’
Photo by Atum Beckett. Photo by Manmitha Deepthi. Photo by Manmitha Deepthi.

Christmas is just another normal day for me

It is not the season to be jolly for everyone

Well, it's the most festive time of the year again. People decorate their houses with fairy lights, massive inflatable Santa Clauses, reindeer, and Christmas trees.

Soon, most families in Canada and worldwide will get together and have dinner with their loved ones, open presents under Christmas trees, sing Christmas carols, and enjoy hot cocoa or eggnog near fireplaces. These are the things that most people in Canada, whenever they hear the word “Christmas” or receive a comment such as “happy holidays,” primarily think about. That is not quite the case for me.

I grew up in a Pakistani household that mainly did not celebrate Christmas. We celebrated Eid for the most part, but towards my middle-teenage years, my family started to go to Christmas lunches. Cultural globalization is the root cause of this evolution.

The most exciting time of the year for the Muslim community is Eid, our version of Christmas. Muslims celebrate two Eids, Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha, which are of equal importance and each three days long. However, the former is more popular as it comes directly after the arduous Ramadan.

Contrary to most Canadians, whenever I mull over the words “togetherness” and “family,” Eid automatically pops up in my mind. Going to early morning Eid prayer with

my father and siblings, visiting my family friends, and having a traditional Eid lunch at my great-grandmother’s house are the situations I think about whenever somebody says “happy holidays” to me. I cherish these memories and sometimes yearn to experience them again.

I spent the first two years of my post-secondary education in Vancouver. Since I was scheduled to start my studies at Columbia College (a two-year post-secondary college) in early January, I landed around Christmas. I remember going out to Robson Square with my family (who came to Vancouver to help me get settled) and behold, there was a 76-foot, overly-decorated Christmas tree right in front of our eyes. We were in awe of that massive Christmas tree, but deep down inside, we knew we were not as thrilled about the tree as the family next to us. As for myself, a new international student at that time, a subtle sense of not belonging became a subconscious part of my brain.

To be clear, I am not against the notion of celebrating Christmas. Everyone has the right to celebrate their religious festivals. Also, if families from other religions want to celebrate Christmas, they should do that, as it is their personal choice.

A 2019 survey by the Angus Reid Institute suggests that Canadians progressively see Christmas as a secular holiday rather than a religious one. This could be the reason behind

the celebration of Christmas by nonChristian Canadians. However, peer pressure and conformity to societal norms may also be contributing factors here. Hence, nuanced societal assimilation is potentially manifesting in this situation.

Furthermore, everything is excessively Christmas-centric or commercialized at this time. The Christmas ads on YouTube with celebrities, malls with their flamboyant decorations, and overly-decorated houses are evidence of this Christmascentrism. We seldom see this exuberance in Canada, especially amongst Anglo-Saxon Canadians, when it’s Eid, Diwali, Hanukkah, or Vaisakhi.

In recent times, I have observed that efforts have been made by the Canadian government and businesses to truly reflect their multicultural status — more so than a couple of decades ago. Whether it's Eid, Diwali, Hanukkah, or Vaisakhi, Canadian dignitaries and businesses acknowledge these religious holidays and send heartfelt messages to members of respective religious communities. However, in my opinion, these celebrations are not recognized with the same intensity and conviction as Christmas. Gauging the current Canada we live in, I believe it is highly improbable that other religious holidays will ever be as commercialized as Christmas.

If this time of the year is Christmascentric and overly commercialized, then other religions have the right to do the same when they celebrate their religious holidays. It depends on if they want to be this way. As a Muslim, I would love to see every second commercial about Eid and some kind of Eid sale in Canadian retail businesses.

Moreover, only Christmas, a predominantly religious holiday, has statutory holiday status in Canada. This is a bit unfair for people of other religions as they mostly have to use their vacation days or get special permission from their employers to

be a part of their religious festivities. Let’s make other religious holidays statutory holidays as well!

Like a broken record, Canadians proudly claim to be the pioneers of multiculturalism policy. At the moment, this policy is just rhetoric and, thus, a myth. However, if other religious festivities become statutory holidays, we can officially state that Canada has taken baby steps to becoming a multicultural state. Only under this hypothetical scenario can we officially say that other religious holidays are equally the most wonderful time of the year.

The LGBTQ2S+ community is begging for your allyship

Why it is vital to pay attention to incidents of homophobic violence

society, we need to target the root of homophobic conduct in order to prevent it from growing.

As someone who grew up openly Queer, I have experienced situations that I am sure the majority of the LGBTQ2S+ community can relate to. I have become far too desensitized to the word “gay” being thrown around as an insult or making its way into the punchline of a harmful joke. Why is it that those who have the most love to give receive the most hate? To this day, I still feel the pit of rage in my stomach grow when I hear these homophobic undertones in casual conversation and no one around me steps in to stop it.

hateful actions around you, small or large. Identify them, address them, and shut them down. We, the Queer community and allies, are our own

agents of our safety. It is us who have the power to create a safe and inclusive community – and it is us who are at fault if we allow it to deteriorate.

This article discusses violence against the LGBTQ2S+ community.

They went there to dance. To celebrate their identity. To regain a sense of normality among others who understand them. To be in their safe space.

On Nov. 19, 2022, a gunman opened fire at an LGBTQ2S+ nightclub in Colorado Springs, tragically resulting in five fatalities and 22 injuries.

The display of senseless hatred has brought devastation and dismay to communities across the globe. The malicious actions that took place at Club Q have left the Queer community stunned. However, we refuse to stay silent. These actions of hate will not

push us into the closet any longer. Instead, we’re speaking out and we plan to be even louder than before.

As a marginalized community, Queers worldwide have been consistently fighting for equal rights in a dangerously heteronormative society. The violence we face occurs when large platforms are given to groups that perpetuate hate and detrimental stereotypes. The only way to stop these crimes of hate is to address them loudly, with voices from communities outside of our own. It is vital that allied voices speak out against targeted violence and support us in our pursuit to receive the same treatment as heterosexual civilization.

Every voice of support matters. As an ally, the best thing you can do to support your Queer loved ones is to identify harmful and homophobic behaviour and shut it down. As a

For me, the true problem with these situations is that most people who identify the LGBTQ2S+ community as something to make fun of don’t understand that this is the very root of homophobic violence. It begins in the schoolyard. It begins in the back of your math class. At Thanksgiving dinner with your extended family. In the locker room of your high school. Violent behavior doesn’t spawn from nothing, it stems from the dismissal of harmful actions that fester and grow into normalized discrimination. We are your neighbors. Your children. Your friends. Your parents and siblings. We need you to see the humanity in us all. Sexual orientation should not determine the hierarchy of human rights. Rather, we should celebrate our differences and encourage diversity. We are not all the same. Diversity is what makes us authentic – what makes us human. Embrace your individuality and allow us to embrace ours alongside you.

Once again, we need you to pay attention to the conversations and

Graphic by Sie Douglas-Fish. Photo by Leon Frankie via pexels.
6 // DECEMBER 8TH, 2022
Get lost ACROSS 1 Bit
5 Heart
16 ____name
34 Cancel 35 Trash
39 French
42 One
47 Spiderman's
61 Blood
DOWN 1 Therefore 2 Sage 3 Word
4 Microbe 5 Nomadic
tribes 6 Mercury or Mars 7 Actor Damon or Bomer 8 Bucks, equally slangily 9 Ireland, to poets 10 Airport screening groups 11 Medical emergency tool, in brief 14 Pfizer drug, Viagra 15 Actress Donovan of Clueless and Sabrina the Teenage Witch 20 Ear-related prefix 21 Greek goddess of youth 24 Walk-ins? 25 What can take a punch? 26 Pleasant whiff 27 Large body of eau 28 Like greenhouse air 29 Short dagger, or misspelling of FIFA 2022 locale 30 Over-the-top 31 Bean or Connery with n added on 36 Like the motions before a hearing 37 Gobsmack 39 Rants, with "off" 40 Actress Hathaway 43 The Devil 44 Rejected 45 Wears down 46 Your: Fr 49 Some frills 50 His name means "desire" 51 Span's counterpart 52 Condition treated with Adderall, for short 53 Not e'en once 54 Subdued 55 From the top 56 Noble title Season's Greetings!
Martlet on the shelf Dear reader, Keep warm this holiday season; cozy up with a hot drink and enjoy our staff's specially-crafted holiday activities: our gift to you. The back of this section is designed as reusable wrapping paper. Love, the Martlet staff ❤
of tinder
Travel guess, for short
Lie low
Kingdom east of Babylonia
Something to sing
and password
It may be unlimited in a phone plan
Troy story
The Hawaiian Islands, St. Helena, and Tasmantid, for example
It might be broken in overtime
They're tapped
Create skid marks, perhaps
Fabled loser to a tortoise
day reminder, maybe
Canadian political V.I.P.s
Lead-in to boy or girl
Victim of a bark beetle attack
with lots of experience
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Before, poetically
Holiday correspondence... or what 20-, 25- and
have in common
Grammy winner McLachlan
Touch, for one
Annalee Lepp, Peter Loock, or Lois Harder at UVic, for example
A shout of pain or alarm
Some TVs
Nancy, who solves mysteries
implied in "I haven't the foggiest"


It’s that time of year again! The holidays are here and so are all the best traditions. Gift wrapping, putting up your light display, decorating your Christmas tree. It’s what makes the Clark Griswold in us feel fulfilled, but there is one tradition that some of you may be dreading — family dinner. This feast is meant to bring the family together, but, for many it often goes up in flames, and I’m not just talking about the turkey. We all have those family members who love to bring up controversial topics, or those who love to argue about anything. Thus, I’ve decided to compile a list of some of the topics that could come up, what to expect from them, and some cues that signal it’s time to put some airpods in or get up to go to the bathroom.


One of the hottest topics for discussion this year will be abortion rights. Everyone has something to say about this, from the overly religious grandparents to the ultra-liberal cousins. This is definitely a topic that could start when the discussion of babies comes up (like when your

aunt asks when you’ll finally give her a nibling). Either way, it may be best to make sure nothing is in the oven at the time (pun intended), as someone may decide to make their point by spoiling dessert.


While this may not stir up the craziest of arguments, there might be one family member deep in the realm of conspiracy theories who will hit the table with some fake news or “Putin only did this ‘cause he knows he’s gonna die soon.” The real discussion will be about what the world should do to help, with the answers ranging from sanctions to all-out nuclear war.

If you want to avoid this topic, be aware that it’s bound to come up after someone mentions their trip to Europe over the summer.


The crème de la crème of family dinner conversations is always the political climate of our neighbours down south. Someone is destined to bring up how the midterm results were good or bad, depending on their political affiliations. The talk could shift to the Republican candidate bids, or to how Biden has performed as President. Unfortunately, there is almost no

avoiding this subject at the table, as it has become an intrinsic part of small talk in Canadian households.


The economy is also a subject that can come up fairly quickly. Inflation, the cost of living, and housing markets are the biggest topics that fall under this category. A looming economic crisis (expected to cause markets to crash like Harrison Ford piloting an aircraft) could also be mentioned subsequent to your relatives complaining about government spending, the Russia/ Ukraine conflict, or that governments are blaming Russia and COVID for the state of the economy to hide all the money they’re printing. In fact, you might even be the one to bring up this doomsday subject, as a response to being told, “When I was your age I’d already bought a house/started a family.”


Both of them have been all over the news. The $8 blue check mark and the reinstatement of Trump and Ye have been the major talking points of Musk’s takeover of Twitter. Ye himself has had a crazy year, capped off with antisemitic remarks made on a podcast which saw him lose his

billionaire status, followed by even more horrifying exclamations on another podcast six weeks later. Highprofile people may make fun topics when they get started, but heated arguments can and will arise when controversial celebrities are involved. It’s probably best to avoid mentioning any of this, but your gossip-giddy relatives could always bring up Pete Davidson’s historic dating run, which is a pretty slippery slope towards Ye. As I wish you all the best navigating the family dinner conversation landscape, I will leave you some ideas on how to avoid such conversations. Perhaps talking about the best

Christmas movies ( Elf or Die Hard , nothing else) is the safest bet, or bringing up how nice it is that [insert winning team] won the World Cup. Or you could always talk about how the first semester of uni went for you, if you’re desperate. Either way, I hope this has left you better prepared for the uncomfortable conversations families like to bring up, and more confident going into the unpredictable storm that is holiday dinner.

DECEMBER 8TH, 2022 // 7
own ornaments Easy Shortbread
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup icing sugar • 1 cup flour • 3/4 cup butter DIRECTIONS
Sift together dry ingredients with wooden spoon.
Blend in butter until soft, smooth dough forms. Roll into a log and chill for at least one hour.
Cut log into one inch thick disks and place two inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.
Bake at 350°F for 15–20 minutes. Makes ~14 cookies. TIPS
You can substitute any flour, sugar, or butter.
Try adding different extracts, lemon zest, or earl grey tea leaves to the dough.
Try adding jam or sprinkles to cookie tops before baking!
this holiday season
dinner table conversation topics to be wary of
A Martlet guide to surviving this year’s family feast
Photo by Libby Penner via Unsplash.
Mum's recipe

Try these Christmas traditions on for size

With the arrival of December, it’s time to make the best of the holiday season

Looking to try a new tradition for the holidays? Ready to be done with this semester and spend time doing literally anything other than school?

If you said yes to either of these questions, look no further!


One tradition to really get you into the holiday spirit is having everyone open one present the night before Christmas. In my family, it’s a tradition to receive a new pair of pajamas on Christmas Eve. It’s a fun taste of what you can expect the next morning. There’s nothing like unwrapping your gifts the next morning on Christmas Day, lounging in a new, soft pair of pajamas!


If you’re looking to start a tradition of helping those who need it most during the holidays, volunteering or donating to your local food bank, church, charity, or soup kitchen is a great way to give back.

In Victoria, the Festival of Trees event at the Bay Centre is also a great way to support the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation. The festival is open daily, so take your family or friends downtown to tour the one-of-a-kind decorated trees and help raise funds for a good cause.

This year, proceeds will go towards diabetes care for kids in B.C. in order to support the health and wellness of more than 2 500 children. You can also donate by voting for your favourite tree at the Bay Centre! The Festival of Trees runs from Nov. 17 to Jan. 3.


A great tradition is to have at least one evening set aside over the holidays for a games night with your friends or family. As a girl with Mennonite roots, my personal favourite is bringing out a card game called Dutch Blitz

It’s a fast-paced German game that is simple to pick up, making it the perfect game for everyone to play. Each player has their own deck of cards and must work to get rid of the cards in their hand. There is no turn-taking, just frenzied slamming down of cards!

In review: Going All the Way

So, be warned — especially if you have competitive family and friends — the game gets heated pretty quickly. But, of course, there’s no hard feelings that a steaming mug of hot chocolate together after the game won't smooth over.

If you’re looking for something a little more lowkey and relaxing, I suggest games such as Apples to Apples , Scattergories, or Settlers of Catan


Sometimes time gets away from you, and you realize you're in need of some last minute gifts. Visiting a local Christmas market is a great tradition that gets you out into the community to finish your shopping list, while supporting local artists and vendors at the same time.

A variety of winter Christmas markets are happening around Victoria in December. You can check out the Yuletide Market Series and the Last Chance Christmas Craft Fair in Victoria for some great gift ideas. While some Christmas markets have already wrapped up for the season, such as the Sooke Winter Market, Dickens Fair, and the Metchosin Christmas Market, these are definitely markets to keep in mind to visit next year!

Sex, puppets, friendship, what’s not to like?

Sometimes, an intermediate is needed to convey a person’s true feelings.

Going All The Way is a play about two friends, Avery and Beatrice, as they finish up university. For their final fine arts project, they decide to teach sex-ed — with puppets. The play follows the friends as they attempt to maintain the interest of a middleschool audience, while their own problems threaten to emerge.

Much of the show’s humour and drama comes from the embarrassment felt on behalf of Avery and Beatrice, as they accidentally blurt out secrets and overstep personal boundaries. Going All the Way never ignores its framing device — the performance is in itself simply a school presentation for a bunch of uninterested kids. This basis — that keeping the kids’ attention span is hopelessly out of reach while the performance begins

to go awry — is what propels the play from comedy to personal drama. It’s a unique brand of humour that may not appeal to everyone.

But this is also a puppet show.

The puppets are well designed, even Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea, and they’re distinct, like Aunt Flo, Bird, and Bee. But a good puppet is only as good as how it's performed, and actors Ty Wesley and Loreto Espinoza do a great job with them. The puppets never feel separate from the actors, instead they function as an extension of characters Avery and Beatrice. Near the end of the play, when everything has fallen apart, secrets are revealed in front of the class of middle-schoolers and in a moment of poignancy, the two friends can only truly be honest with one another through the puppets.

Speaking to the actors, both manage to balance the difference between being "on" for the class and "off."

Avery, played by Wesley, cares less about the class than Beatrice does,

but it never feels like Wesley isn’t giving the role their all — as shown through the show’s more dramatic moments. Beatrice, played by Espinoza, is more involved than Avery, and is a strong contrast to Avery’s laidback attitude. This odd-couple setup allows for the comedy of the piece to shine, and for tension to build towards the end.

Despite the sex-ed class being a framing device, the play has something to say about how sex education is taught too. Going All The Way’s script had a sex-ed consultant, Dr. Leah Tidey. The play’s sex-ed class uses real lessons and terminology with the intent of informing kids about sex. It’s not just window-dressing for the plot to move forward, it’s a proper sex-ed class. Without the rowdy audience, missing puppets, or personal drama, the play’s sex education may even translate to a real-life classroom setting. You almost feel disappointed when the sex-ed class ends early due

to the said personal drama. The creative team didn’t have to put so much thought into it, but it helps legitimise the play.

It’s a short show about sex, puppets, and the anxieties of life after university.


If you’re looking to get really creative with your traditions, a fun way to mess with your family and friends is by wrapping your gifts to look like an item that is completely different to what the gift actually is. For example, last year I gifted my mom a tea kettle. But with the help of some cardboard cutouts, I wrapped it to look like a ceiling fan. With some tape, extra cardboard, wrapping paper, and a creative mind, the options are endless.

Have clothing items to gift to your sibling? With the help of some empty toilet paper rolls, you can stuff the item and shape it into a structure that looks like anything but clothing once wrapped. It’s a great way to get some laughs, get people guessing as to what their gifts actually are, and to be inventive with the gift wrapping process!

Starting a Christmas tradition is a great way to make new memories with friends and family, and to get to know a bit more about your community. No matter how you celebrate, these moments help build anticipation for the holiday season and create positive memories to reflect back on!

Underneath it all are two friends who realise that their lives are going in different directions. It says what it needs to say, and it ends on a sweet note.

Graphic by Sie Douglas-Fish. Photo provided by Theatre SKAM.

The Grad House reopens its doors to the UVic community

“The Grad House: Quietly Open Again.” That is the heading that you are greeted with when you open the UVic Grad House website.

Located beside the Student Union Building, and housed within the Halpern Centre for Graduate Students, the Grad House has had a rocky past couple of years in terms of ensuring its preservation. But this semester, it has finally reopened for staff and students to enjoy again.

So what is the Grad House?

The Grad House was once operated by UVic as a food service location, before it was taken over by the Graduate Students Society (GSS) to function as a graduate student space. Today, it seems to be a hidden gem on the edge of campus, as a restaurant with made to order meals, a full bar, and courtyard patio views.

Although it has the word “grad” in its name, the Grad House is open to both graduate and undergraduate students to relax and grab a bite to eat or to get together with classmates to study. Faculty, staff, and the broader community are welcome too.

The Grad House’s recent, tumultuous journey largely has to do with the effects of COVID-19.

Neil Barney, GSS operations and services manager, completed his graduate degree at UVic and has been working for the GSS ever since. He perhaps best understands the consequences of COVID-19 on the Grad House.

“So the big shutdown, the most recent shutdown, was COVID, as people might expect,” said Barney. “We shut down in March 2020 and then it was a matter of having suitable comfort and suitable will to bring it back.”

Much of the GSS board members’ apprehension in bringing back the Grad House also had to do with anxieties involving monetary issues that began pre-COVID.

“Before [it] closed, the Grad House was — there's no gentle way to say this — hemorrhaging money,” said Barney. “There was a bit of anxiety around that [from] some of our board members, particularly last year, when it went to referendum, [they] remembered that period of the Grad House. And so there was anxiety around that, as well as … they were very conscious of COVID. And they were very much like: ‘how can we open a restaurant?’”

These anxieties led to the organization of a referendum to see what students and other UVic personnel believed to be the best course of action in deciding the fate of the Grad House.

The question was whether the Grad House would continue being a restaurant or if the space would be utilized differently, such as a big study space for students. Ultimately, the mandate concluded that the Grad House should continue its operations and continue being a restaurant. While this meant the triumphant return of the Grad House with the

addition of a new menu this past September, some business has been slow to return.

“We [previously] did a lot of lunchtime business with faculty and staff, and so we could almost use faculty and staff lunch dollars to subsidize grad student stuff,” said Barney. “What we've seen … is a really, really strong return from grad students

to the space, but not those faculty and staff.”

Still, as the holidays approach, the Grad House seems to be picking up more business, and as an incentive for grad students to continue coming back, they are maintaining a discount of $1 off all food items for grad students (as long as you bring your OneCard).

“The more we can do to leverage this space as a community space for grad students, the happier we are,” said Barney. “Everyone approaches grad school differently, but going and grabbing beers with grad students who were in my department or not in my department, you know, was a thing that I really liked doing in grad school.”

In terms of special events, Barney encourages grad students to come by on Wednesdays to take advantage of free coffee and baked goods that the Grad House provides, as well as the GSS board rooms also within the Halpern Centre that are free for grad students to book.

“Grad school's really stressful,” said Barney. “[We want to] make [the Halpern Centre] a space that people can engage with as much as they want, ideally in ways that are cheap or free and just a place where people are welcome, people are safe, … and can hang out …That's the driving thing that’s shaping what we’re trying to do.”

Shaping Relations, Tethered Together opens at the McPherson Library

The new exhibition explores relationships and togetherness

When you walk into the McPherson Library, your first thought would rarely be about the art that’s displayed beneath it. However, tucked in the lower level is the Legacy Maltwood Gallery, a space dedicated to artists and their works.

On Nov. 25 the McPherson Library held an opening reception for Shaping Relations, Tethered Together, a new collection of art housed in the Legacy Maltwood Gallery that explores relationships and togetherness.

The event celebrated the exhibition by emerging Edmontonian curator Mel Granley. They are Metis on their mom’s side and a fourth generation Ukrainian settler on their dad’s side.

The UVic alumni, now works as a guest curator at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

The event began with Granley reading their curatorial statement. They spoke about how relationships hold an important place in every individual’s life. Shaping Relations, Tethered Together aims to explore this by highlighting BIPOC work, experiences, and relationships.

The exhibition was originally curated for the First People’s House in 2019, however it was delayed until early 2020 and then again due to the pandemic. Three years later, Granley was finally able to see their first show open.

A lot of the art in the exhibition is from the Legacies collection which belongs to the university. The collection includes a variety of mediums and is interdisciplinary in

nature. The works range from ceramics, a video piece, and charcoal work to prints, posters, and a magazine.

Rain Cabana-Boucher, whose art is included in the exhibition, also spoke at the event. Cabana-Boucher is a Michif and British artist from Saskatoon and a recent recipient of the Takao Tanabe Prize for emerging British Columbian painters.

Cabana-Boucher’s piece French Exit was made in April 2021. The charcoal piece is about losing community spaces during the pandemic. The work was inspired by one of many parties that Cabana-Boucher attended at a friend’s apartment, where a lot of her friends during university met and interacted. These were queer parties where everyone knew each other and created a safe space. In the piece, Cabana-Boucher wanted to convey the longing she felt for those places and the feeling of isolation that queer people and everyone experienced during the beginning of the pandemic.

Granley and Cabana-Boucher also spoke about the relationship between an artist and a curator and the possibility for a power imbalance between them. The curator is an arbitrator of whose art is shown, yet their relationship is mutually beneficial. Maintaining relationships with artists is essential for curators to showcase art to their community. As well, working together to apply for grants and supporting each other has helped both Granley and Cabana-Boucher to grow in their own careers as curator and artist respectively.

Before the reception came to an end, Granley invited the crowd to ask questions. One attendee asked, “When you were looking through the collection, what were you looking for? What was attracting you to different pieces?”

“I was looking for what I can see and perceive as relationships,” Granley responded. “The show is filtered through my bias of what a relationship is.” They explained that with around 20 000 pieces in the Legacy database, finding BIPOC artists to feature in the collection was

a challenge. “[They] have a lot of colonial remnants in them so it is difficult to unravel all the layers of the museum,” Granley said. They tried to not only find relationships but celebrate BIPOC relationships in a non-voyeuristic way. As a result, many BIPOC works were included without labels. Granley felt it was important to avoid imposing their voice on the work, since they can’t speak to where the artists are coming from or why they made the work.

Granley also talked about an upcoming exhibition called Symbiosis that they are working on at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. The collection is all about mushrooms and will open in late March of 2023.

Cabana-Boucher also has a new show in the works for next year as part of her residency at the Polygon Gallery in North Vancouver. She is also an artist in residence at the Contemporary Art Gallery of Vancouver which is a research-based residency for which she is working on a podcast.

Photo by Karley Sider.
Jolly af.
After a period of uncertainty, the restaurant is now operating once again, and with a new menu
Photo by Manmitha Deepthi.

How to wrap gifts sustainably this season

These five tips can help you curb Christmas’ trashy aftermath

It wouldn’t be Christmas without an obscene amount of gift-giving. Unfortunately this means that this joyful holiday ends up looking like a battleground of garbage with cheap wrapping paper strewn about. Each year Canadians throw out over 500 000 tonnes of wrapping paper and gift bags. If you’re engaging in mass consumerism this holiday season, the least you can do is put some consideration into how to create a little less waste with your gift-wrapping habits. Here are a few tips and ideas on how to be a sustainable secret Santa this year.


Sometimes the most effective solution is, fortunately, also the easiest. Although it may not be the most exciting thing to hand someone an unwrapped gift, just keep in mind the old adage: “it’s the thought that counts.”

If someone gets upset when receiving an unwrapped gift, just ask them if 10 seconds of ripping up paper is worth more to them than trying to help the environment.


Is there anything more impressive than a homemade gift? Yes, homemade wrapping paper. Grab a magazine or newspaper (maybe an ancient copy of the Martlet) that’s lying around to create a wrapping paper that will be wholly unique. Doing this will show the receiver of the gift that you put some real effort in for them. If you’re feeling extra fancy, decorate your recycled wrapping paper with some personalized art.

There’s nothing more sustainable than using what you already have available, so see if you have any gift bags around to use from previous holidays. Once you’ve given your gift, you can ask to have the bag back to use it again, or suggest that your giftee reuse it and pass it forward.


What’s better than being given a present? Being given a present that’s wrapped inside another present. Artisanal tote bags, fancy towels, cozy blankets, and clothes are all great gift choices, and they just so happen to have the added benefit of being perfect for wrapping other presents with.

Once someone is given a gift inside a gift, it will make any other regularlywrapped present pale in comparison.

Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean there can’t be any one-upmanship.


Nothing feels quite like Christmas like sticking the last piece of tape on a present. But is it really necessary? Millions of little pieces of plastic tape shouldn’t be needed for a successful Christmas.

Channel your inner Pinterest board and bust out the twine. Gifting a present wrapped in art-adorned newspaper, tied

with rustic string, and accented with some local foliage will hit aesthetic levels that most people will only dream of. There are many guides online that teach how to wrap a present without tape, utilizing origami techniques to fold the paper in ways that will be sure to impress. Eventually your wrapping skills might start to outshine the gifts inside.


Unneeded wrapping paper is a small part of a much bigger issue surrounding the holidays: unnecessary waste. After you’ve put some consideration into how to wrap presents sustainably, take a look at some of your other habits and how they could be changed.

Ordering everything off Amazon? Try sourcing gifts from local businesses. Not sure what to get someone? Make sure you’re buying them a gift that they’ll actually keep and won’t just end up in a landfill. Wanting to flex your creative muscles? Take a break from capitalism and show someone that you truly care about them by making a gift from scratch.

Homemade Christmas gift ideas for the broke and

An original poem about a person, a place that means a lot to the both of you, or even about how much you love the winter can really hit the mark on being a thoughtful gift. It’s also a bonus that it doesn’t require too many materials to be successful: just a pen, a piece of paper, and a piece of your soul.

And fret not if you think it’s cheesy or not as good as James Joyce. I promise that your loved one will cherish an acrostic poem with their name more than any poetry book off the shelves of Russell Books.


I know that, for a lot of people, crocheting can seem like an extremely daunting task. However, I’m here to tell you that there is a surprising amount of

beginner-friendly patterns, and a coaster for someone to rest their warm drinks on this holiday season is the perfect object to tackle.

For beginners, there are many easyto-follow tutorials online to help you nail either a circle or square coaster to gift your loved one. I personally recommend, which gives detailed written instructions for each step of the process.

If you’re still worried that coasters don’t scream Christmas, I recommend picking up yarn in red, white, and green so that they perfectly fit with the rest of the Christmas decor.


Of course, I couldn’t get through a list of homemade gifts without mentioning the classic gift: the coupon.

Some examples of things that might star in your next homemade coupon book are a coupon for an outing of their choice, completing a task that you know they’ve been dreading, or something simple that you know they are always afraid to ask for — like a hug.

If done right, this can be a really thoughtful gift because you are promising to give someone what they need right now. While this might be attached to the cliché of being a lastminute gift, sometimes giving someone the gift of an act of service is better than any physical gift they could receive.

At the end of the day, no matter what you make, you can’t go wrong with any homemade gift. The true gift is that you put in enough thought and care to try and make something that you thought that they would like.

As Christmas rapidly approaches so does exam season, which means that students might not have the time or money to figure out what to gift their loved ones. But fear not, oh depressed but jolly ones, this list should help spark some ideas about what to make for the people you love at a relatively decent price.


There is no better way to show someone you love what they mean to you than writing it down on over a dozen pieces of scrap paper. This is where the affirmation jar steps in.

The materials needed are an empty jar (I prefer jars from pasta sauce), small pieces of paper, and a writing utensil of some sort. On the pieces of paper you can write anything that reminds you of the person: memories that you share, your favourite things about them, songs they should listen to, or even quotes you think they would enjoy. You then fold them up and mix them in the jar for your loved one to pick out one by one whenever they need a pick-me-up. If you have time, you can dress up the jar and affirmations by painting or writing their name onto the outside of the jar. And as for the inside of the jar, you can

cut the paper into shapes that are indicative of the season – candy canes, snowflakes, snowmen, or whatever your Christmas-loving heart desires.


A great way to show someone that you care for them is by gifting them homemade baked goods. Have you ever felt bad about someone giving you a cookie? No? I thought so.

For beginner bakers, sugar cookies are a great place to start. With most easy recipes stating that you only need three ingredients, they leave very little room for error. Even if they come out of the oven looking a little wrong, there’s no cookie that a bit of icing and sprinkles can’t fix.

For more advanced bakers, or bakers with a bit more time on their hands, creating an assortment of cookies like gingerbread cookies, crinkle cookies, and other sugary delights is the best way to show that you put your heart into this gift.


Who said that you need to be a writing major to give someone the gift of words this Christmas season? Not me, that's for sure.

You don’t have to break the bank to show someone how much you care
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Photo by Simrat Otal. Photo by Sie Douglas-Fish.

Days of Thunder event draws large crowd to watch men and women play

Vikes’ basketball programs in full swing

The Vikes basketball programs kicked off their seasons and fans showed their support at Days of Thunder on Nov. 25 and 26. Days of Thunder has typically been the weekend of the season opener, but this year that fell on Nov. 11 and 12, when students were on reading break. Both programs played the Trinity Western University Spartans for the first time this season and played hard with some fantastic highlights from both squads.

While both programs appear to be on opposite trajectories, there are bright spots to be found within each team.

The women are off to a tough start, sitting at 4–6 which includes three losses of three points or less. Their games over the weekend mimicked this storyline to a tee. The women went down early, failing to score a basket in their first four minutes of play.

However, they stormed back, with the Vikes outscoring the Spartans 34–12 in the second quarter. It all fell apart in the second half, with the Spartans chipping away at the score before ultimately taking the lead by 3 points and running out the clock.

On the second night, the Vikes went down by 15 in the first quarter, but rallied to make it close in the fourth, losing by only six points in the end.

Ashlyn Day was a human highlight reel in game one, scoring from everywhere. Day finished with 25 points, six rebounds, and three steals with four 3-pointers made. The fifth year guard has been spectacular all season averaging 20.7 points per game along with 5.9 rebounds. In game two, it was teammate Kate Johnson who led the team in scoring with 25 points. Johnson has been averaging 15.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game.

The men’s program is off to a phenomenal start, sitting at 8–2 with their two losses being by a mere five points. This has led them to be ranked as the number two team in all of USports, only trailing Carleton, who were last year's champions and have won 16 of the past 20 USports Championships. Their game during the Days of Thunder displayed exactly why the Vikes deserve to be holding that second spot. They

dominated the first half in both games, outscoring the Spartans 42–21 and 55–38, allowing them to maintain the lead throughout the second half.

The Vikes men had four players finish with double-digit points in both games — led by Diego Maffia’s team high of 22 points in game one and Elias Ralph’s 25 in game two. Maffia had a fantastic weekend averaging 23 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 5.5

assists. So far this season he has been averaging 23 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game.

Teammates Ralph, Trent Monkman, and Renoldo Robinson have also averaged double digit points this year. Fifth year big man Dominick Oliveri has also been showing out on the stat sheet, finishing with a double-double on Nov. 26, and averaging 8.2 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 4.1 assists this year.

Aside from basketball, Days of Thunder did not disappoint, with tons of fan energy and involvement. Touted as the rowdiest games of the year, the fans brought their A game with many in the Student’s Spirit Section having props of some kind, including viking helmets and a cutout of Michael Jordan's face. There was plenty of hype with fans cheering hard for the Vikes and jeering the other team and refs. The experience was boosted by the cheerleaders and the band, who performed at stoppages in play. Likewise, Vikes Nation ensured there were plenty of activities and giveaways in between the games to keep fans on their feet.

The Vikes Basketball teams won’t play again until the new year, but they will look to start 2023 in the win column with away games in Regina. Their next home games will be against UNBC on Jan. 13 and 14.

What happens to students living on campus over Christmas break?: An explainer

It’s the holidays, the time of year when family and friends are the most important people in the world. To ensure that everyone gets to spend time with their families, the UVic campus closes for one week over the holidays and has a Winter Break Closure Policy for campus residences.

This policy affects all those who live on campus, especially residents in dorm units, as there are no residence staff and no food services available during the closure. Students living in residence and in cluster must ask for permission or special accommodations if they plan to stay — though cluster students require less accommodations, since they have kitchens in their units and are in charge of their own housekeeping.

According to UVic, typically 100 students stay on campus over the break. This is potentially due to students being unable to travel home or needing to work. Students can apply in October to remain in residence, with applications available for a limited time and late applications not accepted unless there are extenuating circumstances.

The question is, how do most of these students eat during the closure?

While none of the older residence buildings have kitchens in them, UVic recently renovated Robert Wallace Hall so that there is an externally accessible kitchen available for students with permission to cook food. This is relatively new, as prior to a few years ago, students would have been given access to empty clusters or apartments with kitchens in them. Moreover, the new Student Housing and Dining building has a

community kitchen, which means that students living there do not have to use the Wallace community kitchen.

Over the holidays, UVic does employ some staff to clean bathrooms and the kitchen area where students cook. Residence Services also remains open on a limited basis, with staff working four hours a day at the front desk to allow students to pick up parcels that may have been sent to them.

Campus Security also remains staffed in case of any emergencies that occur. Likewise, Senior Management for Residence Services are also available for facilities or student-related needs and issues. While this is not news for those living in residences (at least I hope not, apparently there have been a lot of emails), it is interesting to think about campus being essentially shut down for a week.

12 // DECEMBER 8TH, 2022 LIFESTYLE & SPORTS Newsroom 250.721.8361 | Business 250.721.8359 | | @TheMartlet |
The Martlet Publishing Society is an incorporated B.C. society and operates based on our Statement of Principles. We strive to act as an agent of constructive social change and will not publish racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise oppressive copy. Our paper is written and published on the unceded lands of the Lekwungen peoples, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Ashlee Levy DESIGN DIRECTOR Sie Douglas-Fish OPERATIONS MANAGER Mary MacLeod SENIOR STAFF WRITERS Atum Beckett, Sajjan Sarai, Karley Sider VOLUNTEER STAFF WRITERS Brianna Bock, Kristen de Jager, Raheem Uz Zaman SENIOR STAFF EDITORS Yo'ad Eilon-Heiber, Aidan Nelson-Sandmark CONTRIBUTORS Manmitha Deepthi, August Foulds, Julien Johnston-Brew, Meghan Molnar, Hannah Seaton, Paul Voll
This issue's cover illustration is by Sie Douglas-Fish, design director. Photo by Sajjan Sarai. Photo by Sie Douglas-Fish.