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October 2011

villagevibe News and views from the heart of Fernwood

Fernwood Inn Goes Green Green Contest Win Builds on a Father’s Legacy

›› Shaun Macpherson

W

hen Mike Colwill, co-owner o f t h e Fe r n w o o d In n , learned that he had won the BC Hydro Energy Fix Contest, he knew that he was building on the legacy of his father Roger. Five years ago, Roger Colwill, a real estate agent with deep ties to various local environmental causes, helped Mike and his sister Sarah purchase the 100year old George and Dragon Pub on the corner of Fernwood Road and Gladstone Avenue. Though Roger passed away six months after the purchase, Mike and Sarah continued their father’s passion for green initiatives, which was the major inspiration for entering the contest. Roger Colwill’s name is synonymous with “greenness” in Victoria. He founded the Victoria chapter of Green Drinks, a London-based group where professionals can meet for drinks and discuss various local green initiatives, and he worked with the Robert Bateman Art and Environmental Education Centre at Royal

To the untrained eye, the Fernwood Inn appears to be yellow, but if you look close enough you will see it is turning ‘green’. Illustration: Mila Czemerys

The Energy Fix Makeover: Changes made to the Fernwood Inn Lighting - Replaced incandescent light bulbs with Cold Cathode fluorescent light bulbs. These bulbs have an extremely long life span, lower wattage and operate at room temperature. They are dimmable and keep the same colour tone so you will not notice a difference in the ambience. Refrigeration -

Relined their walk-in fridge and replaced the door. This will save energy by fixing leaks and keeping the cold in.

Ventilation System - Installed a ‘Melink System’ which is connected to the hood vent in the kitchen. This system will adjust fan speed according to demand and save up to 90% in fan energy and 50% in conditioned air energy. More info at melinkcorp.com Building Envelope -

Thermal imaging of the building was conducted by ‘City Green Solutions’ to see where heat and cold were escaping from the building envelope. Subsequently leaks have been sealed. You can find out more at citygreen.ca

Roads University. Several years ago, Mike and Sarah, along with others, founded the Roger Colwill Fund for the Environment. Roger’s tireless interest in the environment rubbed off on his kids, which lead them to enter the BC Hydro Energy Fix Contest. The province-wide contest, aimed to encourage businesses around the province to become greener, awarded a prize of $35,000 (to be used for energy-efficient upgrades) to the business with the most online votes. The Fernwood Inn utilized social media and its close community ties to beat out over 150 other contestants to take the prize. And now that the contest has been won, what will the Fernwood Inn do with the money? Well, Mike says, the changes have already been made. These changes include lighting, refrigeration and upgrades to the hood vent system. Also, City Green, a local non-profit company, came and used “thermal

imaging” to detect the sources of air leaking from the building, which were then fixed. All told, the building will now save about $6,000 per year in energy costs after their ‘Energy Fix Makeover’. These changes will not only save money, they will reinforce the Fernwood Inn’s important role in the green-friendly neighbourhood, which is something that Roger would surely have been proud of. To celebrate the changes, the Fernwood Inn will participate in BC Hydro’s Candlelight Conservation Dinner on Thursday, October 27th. You can take part and join “restaurants across B.C. [who are] dimming their lights, dialing up the ambience and demonstrating how simple actions can add up to make a big difference when it comes to saving energy.” The Fernwood Inn wishes to thank all the regulars, friends, family, and neighbours who voted and helped them to win.

in this issue Buzz

Feature

Artist’s Aside

Life without Petroleum page 3

Who votes in Victoria? page 4

Release your Creative Spirit page 6

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editorial:

villagevibe

What are your priorities?

Published by Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group Editorial Committee

Lee Herrin Kellan Mckeen

Azelia Serjeantson Matt Takach

Founding Editor Lisa Helps Contributors

Shaun Macpherson Trevor Burnett Arlene Nesbitt Geoff Cross Margaret Hantiuk

Lee Herrin David Segal Al Williams Kellan McKeen Emmy McMillan

Art

Mila Czemerys Geoff Cross

Tamara Li Al Williams

Production

Mila Czemerys Contact us

1313 Gladstone Avenue Victoria, BC V8R 1R9 T 778.410.2497 F 250.381.1509 vibe@fernwoodnrg.ca www.villagevibe.ca To enquire about advertising in the Village Vibe, please contact ads@fernwoodnrg.ca The views expressed in the Village Vibe do not necessarily reflect the views of Fernwood NRG.

declaration of principles & values ›› We are committed to creating a socially, environmentally,

and economically sustainable neighbourhood;

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We are committed to using our resources prudently and to becoming financially self-reliant; We are committed to the creation and support of neighbourhood employment;

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We are committed to engaging the dreams, resources, and talents of our neighbours and to fostering new links between them;

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We are committed to taking action in response to neighbourhood issues, ideas, and initiatives;

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Ultimately, we don’t get the level of service and investment we deserve, we get the level of service and investment we demand—and the way we make our demands known is through getting active and involved. Learn about the issues; learn about the candidates; attend an all candidates meeting; ask a question; but most of all, on November 19th, save a few minutes to head to George Jay School to vote. In past years you wouldn’t have had to line up. Here’s hoping that this year it’s lined up around the block. And if it is, relish every second spent in line acknowledging the political awakening of Fernwood.

mark your calendar:

Vote! November 19th What: Municipal Election Who: If you are 18 years or older, a Canadian citizen, lived in BC for more the 6 months before Nov. 19, lived in Victoria for at least 30 days before Nov. 19, and not otherwise disqualified by law, you can vote. When: Saturday, November 19th from 8am - 8pm or advanced voting on Wednesday, November 9th from 8am - 8pm Also! You need to be registered to vote. If you voted in a municipal or provincial election in the past, you are probably registered. If not, you can show up on election day at any voting location with 2 pieces of ID and proof that you live in Victoria (e.g. a hydro bill), and you can register there. Bring government ID like your SIN card, passport, care card, or driver’s license. Happy voting!

neighbourhood control or institutions and assets;

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As has been documented previously in this newspaper, Fernwood has gone from being a neighbourhood with below average property values to a neighbourhood with above average property values. And higher property values lead to higher levels of municipal taxation. Taxes are not bad; they represent our pooled resources to provide services and infrastructure back to our neighbourhood. The people we elect to Council set priorities for service levels and expenditures, which hopefully reflect our priorities as citizens and taxpayers. However, City Council doesn’t just prioritize policy initiatives or major projects, they also set priorities in terms of neighbourhoods. Although politicians and bureaucrats will deny it, it does happen. For all the rhetoric about all citizens being equal, we know from our lived experience that this isn’t true. Everywhere the street signs are blue, you’re in the City of Victoria. And if you keep your eyes open as you move through the City, you’ll see clear indications that not all neighbourhoods receive the same level of service and reinvestment. For instance, Hollywood Park (in Gonzales) was kept like a golf green all summer long, while Stevenson Park (behind the Community Centre) began the summer as a withered heath. That is,

until we complained and asked the City to turn on the irrigation. A work crew was sent in short order, but citizen complaints aren’t required in most neighbourhoods to keep the parks green. You’ll spot dozens of other examples yourself on a short walk. How are priorities set? Ultimately, it’s a question how the priority-setters get elected—by your vote. Or, if you don’t vote, they get elected by other people’s votes. Would it surprise you to learn that Fairfield and Gonzales turned out 5,199 voters in the last municipal election, and James Bay 2,944, versus a meagre 1,230 in Fernwood (see Feature: Who votes in Victoria)?

We are committed to ensuring ownership of neighbourhood

››

›› Lee Herrin

We are committed to governing our organization and serving our neighbourhood democratically with a maximum of openness,

buzz:

A Moving Experience ›› Trevor Burnett It didn’t take long to feel the warmth of this loving, artistic community called Fernwood. From the get go, the painted poles, artisan shops, and the lounging residents humbly spoke, “chilled neighbourhood.” A quick stroll confirmed the verdict: galleries galore, an edible garden… and have you checked out the local hookah lounge, Darban Tea House? I’ve been searching Victoria for Turkish coffee for the past year to no avail, and now I can find it at my local shisha shop while sharing a nice chat with Shahab. The open-armed welcome didn’t stop there; a quick stop into Fernwood’s NRG

headquarters and you’re greeted by the smiling Mila Czemerys, who is more than willing to tell you about the community she calls home. She informed me of Fern Fest 2011, which turned out to be a total success that I unfortunately missed. However, she was quick to bandage my sorrows by letting me know that fun, rocking out, and other artsy events are always around the corner. This is no surprise considering the community members skating about, blowing bubbles, and sharing. I’d like to take a moment to share an experience that happened on my first night here in Fernwood. I was walking through the Springridge Common when I chanced upon a park wherein a band of merry travelers joked

and laughed, carrying acoustic instruments. Before I could approach the group a young man came to me, said hi, and invited me to the party they were heading to. The walk was full of metaphysical talk, blending spirituality and science. Once we arrived at our final destination, I joined my comrade in his quest for snacks. He graciously offered to buy me some since I left my wallet at home, assuming the neighbourhood stroll would end without adventure. When we entered the party, there was a room glowing with an eight-piece drum set, five electric guitars, and three basses, two fretless. The hosts said the instruments were up for grabs and we continued to jam the night away. This is the essence of Fernwood.

inclusivity and kindness;

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We are committed to developing the skills, capacity, self-worth, and excellence of our neighbours and ourselves;

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We are committed to focusing on the future while preserving our neighbourhood’s heritage and diversity;

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We are committed to creating neighbourhood places that are vibrant, beautiful, healthy, and alive;

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and, most of all, We are committed to having fun!

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villagevibe

October 2011

News and views from the heart of Fernwood


buzz:

Neighourhood Compost Pickup: A Company Cycling for the Future ›› David Segal Life without petroleum takes perspiration One person who knows this more than most is local Fernwoodian Trevor van Hemert, an employee for the local company Pedal to Petal (P2P). Founded in 2008, P2P is a zero emissions, bicycle powered, compost pickup service. Van Hemert explains that he and his coworkers are actively trying to close the nutrient cycle and create a model of sustainability that can be replicated far and wide. Pedal to Petal is “a permaculture-based collective of bicycle loving food security activists who are taking direct action to reduce carbon emissions and landfill waste and to feed the soil and the city’s hungry.” Among the many thought-provoking facts available on their website, one that stands out is a recent CRD study estimating that approximately 30% of Victoria’s household ‘garbage’ is biodegradable food and yard scraps. Until recently there were no city wide compost solutions available. P2P is attempting to fill that gap by allowing Victoria residents to participate in what they believe is one the most important things we can do for our planet;

Trevor van Hemert can be seen biking around the streets of Fernwood with his homemade bike trailer carrying loads of compost for the local company Pedal to Petal. Photo: Mila Czemerys

closing the nutrient cycle by finding ways to prevent these valuable resources from becoming trash. It was this guiding principle that inspired founder Matt Schultz to offer an alternative to throwing food waste into the garbage. Schultz was hoping to provide options for people who did not have access to back

yard composts and to find a solution that truly was sustainable, meaning it could function with very little to zero fossil fuel emissions. He achieved this through employing a team of bicycle pick-up carriers and setting up a network of “backyard hosts” who donate space in their yards to build compost bins in exchange for the finished nutrient-rich compost.

This eliminated the need for a centralized plant and big diesel trucks. Instead, for $5 a pick-up, an individual or business is provided with a sturdy, air and watertight 5-gallon pail to store their food scraps. Once full, this bin is then picked up and replaced. All through the power of two feet and a heart beat. Reflecting on the practices of Pedal to Petal as a zero emissions alternative to traditional landfill waste management, Van Hemert comments that “If we can take two steps in the right direction rather than one, why don’t we? And we are already doing it. For the past three years we have proven it can be done.” Pedal to Petal truly is a business for the future. They are focusing on not only environmental sustainability, but also the creation of a local and economically viable business model. Their services include domestic food ‘waste’ pick-up, an edible landscape program, urban garlic production, and composting. Most importantly though, they are helping our neighbourhood imagine and reconnect with a 4 billion year old process of nutrient recycling that in most places has long been forgotten. If you are interested in finding out more, or have access to extra land that can be used to provide food for the neighbourhood, check out pedaltopetal.com.

buzz:

Farewell from Collective Works ››

Arlene Nesbitt & Al Williams

Coincidence and an empty store front inspired five local artists to form the Collective Works Artists Association in the Fall of 2007. What this group lacked in experience they made up for in energy; new members joined and the transformation was underway. Windows were replaced, walls built and painted, lighting installed, and Collective Works Gallery offered its first exhibition in the winter of 2008. Over one hundred artists have exhibited their work at the gallery throughout the past four years.  The original thought of ‘wouldn’t that make a great gallery’ has evolved into a professional, contemporary venue commented on by many patrons as one of the best in town. The gallery added to the diversity of Fernwood and afforded an exchange of ideas  and images between  artists and the  public  and the artists themselves. Artists had the freedom to express controversial themes, try new technologies and mediums, and show contemporary work that portrays life in unusual ways.  People from near and far participated in the adventure, meeting to share in the world of imagination and creativity.  We had artists www.fernwoodnrg.ca

Left: The humble beginning of the gallery in late 2007. Right: Collective Works Gallery today. Photos: Al Williams & Mila Czemerys

from Japan and Peru engage with the community here in exhibitions and workshops. Victoria High School and Camosun College students displayed their unusual and fine work to family, friends and the general public.  Local children came regularly with their instructors to learn about and appreciate art.  Many visitors from other lands and parts of Canada came to enjoy our gallery and visit the theatre, shops and restaurants in the neighbourhood. An open and welcoming atmosphere invited many who had never been in an art gallery before.  The artists were able to chat about the work, talking about techniques and art in general in a relaxed manner

without that intense pressure to buy, as the association was non-profit. Those who create art need and welcome support but realize that beauty is essential and art is a gift.  We are grateful for the opportunity to  both give and  receive through our relationship with all who participated with us in our endeavour. Exhibitions will be held in the gallery until it closes its doors at the end of November: Sept. 23 to Oct. 13 - Unforeseen Circumstances, Oct. 14 to Oct. 27 - Hiromi Suzuki & Minori Dewa, Oct. 28 to Nov. 4 - Members Group Show, Nov. 5 to Nov. 24 - Isa Sevrain & Pete Rockwell

October 2011

villagevibe

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feature:

Who votes in Victoria? In the past two municipal elections, roughly 26% percent of the population voted.

››

Lee Herrin

In 2008, out of an estimated 65,569 eligible voters (the number eligible in the 2009 provincial election—the City didn’t present the number of eligible voters in the 2008 election), only 17,080 voted. Due to a three-way race, the Mayor was elected by less than 8,000 people! The City doesn’t present votes by neighbourhood, but rather by polling station. These polling stations are located at schools and community centres, and

individuals registered to vote actually vote (but not how they vote—the secret ballot is truly secret). Across the City of Victoria, 56% of us who were eligible to vote voted. However, this proportion varies dramatically by neighbourhood, from a high of 69% in the Fairfield/ Gonzales area (see Figure 2b) to a low of 45% in the southern part of the Hillside Quadra neighbourhood. Fernwood had a 52% turnout rate, lower than much of the rest of the City, and significantly lower than the more affluent neighbourhoods of Fairfield, Gonzales and Rockland. Though direct comparisons are difficult, this is similar to what we observed in the municipal data: Fernwood simply does not rouse itself to vote in the same proportion that other neighbourhoods do.

Figure 2a: Turnout by neighbourhood, 2009 Provincial Election

Ballots Cast

% of total

2,316

13.6%

Sir James Douglas School

2,085

12.2%

James Bay New Horizons Centre

1,804

10.6%

Oaklands School

1,700

10.0%

George Jay School (Fernwood)

1,230

7.2%

Central Baptist Church

1,141

6.7%

James Bay Community School

1,140

6.7%

Vic West Community Y

1,115

6.5%

Quadra School

1,026

6.0%

Sundance School

973

5.7%

Glenlyon Norfolk School

798

4.7%

Burnside Gorge Community Centre

572

3.3%

Advanced Polling

1,180

TOTAL

17,080

are likely sited due to observed historical turnout patterns. In other words, the polling stations are located where people actually come out to vote in numbers. Fernwood shows up as the fifth highest turnout at a polling station (1,230 ballots cast. See Figure 1), but if you consider that the George Jay poll also accommodates many folks from North Park neighbourhood, our relative turnout diminishes. Some further light is shed on this in a recent paper published by BC Stats, which explored voter turnout by neighbourhood (albeit in provincial elections). The Village Vibe requested a special extract of the data used to create the report to better understand the issue in Victoria. Elections BC records whether or not

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villagevibe

Turnout 2009

1.00

Fairfield + Gonzales

2,502

1,733

69%

6.00

Gonzales

2,102

1,423

68%

2.00

Fairfield South

3,171

1,989

63%

5.00

Gonzales + Rockland

3,146

1,953

62%

14.01

Oaklands South

3,423

2,092

61%

3.01

James Bay

4,734

2,822

60%

3.02

James Bay

4,746

2,846

60%

13.02

Hillside Quadra North

2,730

1,616

59%

11.00

Vic West

5,857

3,399

58%

4.00

Fairfield North

5,287

3,020

57%

14.02

Oaklands North

3,576

1,977

55%

7.00

Jubilee S+ part of N

4,701

2,548

54%

9.00

Fernwood

3,124

1,636

52%

8.00

Fernwood

2,742

1,402

51%

10.00

Downtown

6,446

3,080

48%

12.00

Burnside Gorge

3,954

1,821

46%

13.01

Hillside Quadra South

TOTAL

Fairfield New Horizons Centre

Voted 2009

Loose Neighbourhood

Figure 1: Votes by polling station, 2008 Municipal Election Station

Eligible 2009

Code (see map)

3,328

1,494

45%

65,569

36,851

56%

Figure 2b: Map of turnout by neighbourhood, 2009 Provincial Election

Fernwood

6.9%

100.0%

So why vote anyway? As far as we know, the incumbent Mayor and Council are all intending to run again. In municipal politics, incumbency is a huge advantage and unless there are strong challengers, it is likely these same nine (five of whom have 9 or more years on Council. See Figure 3) will be making decisions on behalf of all of us well into the future. Does this Council deserve an encore? Have they accomplished what they set out to do? As a person who has the privilege to work day in, day out to represent this neighbourhood and to stand up for our interests, I can tell you about a certain attitude I have encountered. In the past year

October 2011

Figure 3: Councillor Terms of Office Councillor (Mayor)

Term on Council

Geoff Young

21 years (1983 to 1996, 2005 to 2011)

Pamela Madoff

18 years

Chris Coleman

12 years

Dean Fortin (Mayor)

9 years (2002 to 2008 Council, Mayor 2008-2011)

Charlayne Thornton-Joe

9 years

Lynn Hunter

3 years

John Luton

3 years

Philippe Lucas

3 years

Marianne Alto

1 year (by-election)

News and views from the heart of Fernwood


buzz:

Our Shared Vision (though my experience of this attitude goes back more than a dozen years), I have heard a member of Council say “Well, you know Fernwood…you get three people in a room and you get five opinions,” and a senior City staff person say “We have a limited budget for improvements in this City, and we prefer to make them in neighbourhoods where people are easy to work with.” I don’t wish to tar all Councillors and staff with the same brush, but in my experience, this attitude is pervasive through the City. In both cases, these comments were made directly to me (with others as my witnesses) without the slightest hint of embarrassment or apology. In both cases, the implied meaning is that the City will continue to underinvest in Fernwood and turn a blind eye to our issues and problems—at least, until we demand fair and equal treatment. The accumulated decisions and priorities of Council through the years help to make the City what it is, as well as shape what it will become. You can bet that those who have been on Council the longest have had support from neighbourhoods with heavy turnout. If you’re happy with the way things are in the City and in Fernwood, and you’re pleased with the status quo, then there’s really no need to vote at all. You can trust the good folks in Fairfield, James Bay, Gonzales and Rockland to decide for you who should govern our city. But if you think that Fernwood would be an even better neighbourhood with greater investment and respect from City Hall, then you know what you have to do. And if together, we don’t do it, we have no one to blame but ourselves…

www.fernwoodnrg.ca

›› Geoff Cross The recent Neighbourhood Visioning Forum held in March yielded a tremendous amount of ideas to shape the future of Fernwood. A number of broad themes appeared, including urban agriculture, non-car transportation, and social supports. The most common theme throughout was the economic environment of the neighbourhood. Based on these ideas, here is a picture of what the diverse economic environment of the neighbourhood may look like. Around our streets many new businesses have arrived. Among the new arrivals there is a bakery, laundromat, and book store with a community reading room. Many of these new businesses are also cooperatively owned, such as the bike shop and the bulk food store. For a long time there has been talk about establishing a Fernwood market. Much energy and hard work has brought us a regular thriving market where farmers from Fernwood and Vancouver

Island sell fresh produce, local artisans sell their wares, and live performances occur throughout. Amidst all of this, the success of small-scale, home-based businesses and services in Fernwood is increasing. Every year a special issue of the Village Vibe is published which includes a section highlighting each of these businesses and providing contact information. This physical directory is also complimented by an online directory that may be accessed by residents. Need a mural painted on your garage? No problem, just check the directory to hire a local artist to do the job. Energy retrofits for your home? Browse through the profiles of local energy consultants. New organizing amongst residents has lead to the development of associations, agencies, and support systems. Residents now have the Fernwood Business Association, tons of networking opportunities, micro-loans for start-ups, and an employment agency to help find

temporary work to fit individual needs. Alongside all of these developments, the alternative economy of Fernwood is a strong, thriving and important part of the neighbourhood. Residents regularly engage in barter transactions, swapping fresh food for some electrical work, massage for bike maintenance, or mural painting for childcare. Equally exciting, over the years Fernwood has become well-known for the successful Local Exchange and Trading System (LETS), with other communities looking to our neighbourhood as a model to follow. This alternative economy helps to keep the neighbourhood affordable and encourage mutual aid amongst Fernwoodians. Interested? For starters, Fernwood NRG is collecting information on local businesses to compile an online business directory. Please send: name of business, owner(s) of business, what you do, address, and contact info to directory@fernwoodnrg.ca. Stay tuned for more projects to come.

October 2011

villagevibe

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artist’s aside:

Release your Creative Spirit ›› Kellan Mckeen Perhaps some of you have heard of Little Fernwood School of the Arts and wondered, what exactly do they teach there? You might be surprised to find that this is a school that isn’t focused on traditional art forms, and definitely not on traditional teaching. As Tamara Li, the owner, describes, it focuses more on “the art of living,” with the goal to “lure the inner creative spirit out of its hiding.”

environment where people can nurture their creativity and express themselves without judgment. Tamara uses non-conventional methods to help create this safe environment. For example, she has a very different take on punctuality. Recognizing the demands of our often-hectic lives, students are welcome to come late without worrying

classes include woodworking, writing, drama, and communication. Some programs to look for in the future are Storytime for Adults, Writing Circles with an emphasis on reading aloud, and seminars on Beauty and the Beast, which deconstructs notions of what is beautiful. Little School of the Arts is designed to be

“this is not a job preparation place, it’s a spirit preparation place.” Tamara is certainly no stranger to the small business world. She and her husband, Jerson, started Hernande’z Cochina, located on Yates Street, where patrons can eat scratch-cooked, authentic Central American cuisine. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Hernande’z is not a traditional restaurant, and focuses on delicious, authentic fresh food and word-of-mouth marketing. The success of Hernande’z has driven Tamara to use the same business model to try something new, and explore her passion and interests with Little Fernwood School of the Arts. She stresses that it is not like other art schools, in that there is no deliverable. Other schools promise that by taking a certain class, you will learn how to accomplish a goal. Little Fernwood School of the Arts focuses more on creating a safe, comfortable

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villagevibe

This small inconspicuous space on Chambers Street houses the Little Fernwood School of the Arts. This school is much more than meets the eye. Photo: Tamara Li

about disrupting the class. According to Tamara, “this is not a job preparation place, it’s a spirit preparation place.” Little Fernwood School of the Arts offers a series of workshops and classes beginning this October. Classes are aimed at different age groups, from children to adults, and were developed by Tamara based on what she would like her own children (and herself ) to learn and explore. This fall’s

October 2011

accessible to everyone. Prices are set to be a fair exchange of value, but if a student cannot afford to pay there are scholarships available. Little Fernwood School of the Arts, although not your traditional art school, may just be the thing you need to release your creative energy. Visit littlefernwoodschoolofthearts.com for information on classes and workshops.

News and views from the heart of Fernwood


garden gleanings:

Planting a Tree Properly ›› Margaret Hantiuk An interesting book I read recently by horticulturalist Linda Chalker-Scott, called Plant Myths, described the best way to plant trees and shrubs, and explained why I lost a new tree this year. Potted trees are often stressed and root bound. It does help to purchase younger, smaller trees from reputable nurseries, and larger trees are best bought in burlap as ‘bare root.’ Fall is a good time to plant these big-ticket items, as they are often on sale, the ground is warm, the sun is not as hot, and the fall rains are coming. Be sure to water well until the rain, and for the first season or two thereafter. Whether it’s a shrub in a container or a bare-rooted tree, first soak it in a pail or tub of tepid water, and keep it wet. Remove the

soil that the plant was grown in – either a porous container mix or clay for the barerooted. If you don’t, the container soil is porous and dries out quickly, which is death to newly planted trees in our dry summers. Dig a hole that is twice as large as your root ball, not deep but wide. Meanwhile, tease as many of the roots out of the root ball as possible and spread them out. Cut back roots that are ingrown and congested. One myth is that roots shouldn’t be pruned; in fact, removing unhealthy roots will encourage a new, stronger root system. Your tree may take a longer time to show growth up top, but it will be a vigorous tree. If your shrub is young and in a big enough pot, it may not need root pruning, just the removal of the starting mix and a teasing out of the roots. It is worth noting that most trees have a fairly horizontal root sys-

mark your calendar:

Owl Designer Fair returns to Fernwood ›› Emmy McMillan The Owl Designer Fair first started so,

so small five years ago and now is one of Victoria’s largest and most popular holiday shopping events. This show has grown from a small group of artisans to a community event with over 30 local artists and designers with live music from local musicians like The Ramble and Mark Ednie. We are so excited to continue this Fernwood tradition with this year’s show with even more vendors including long time favourites like uber-recyclers Modern Fair and Banbutsu, and exciting newcomers like folk artist Scrapwerks’ cigar box guitars and clothing designer Loden. This year’s show will feature additional newcomer vendors

in the upstairs studio space so come for the shopping and live music on Friday night and return Saturday for even more! The goal of the show has always been to showcase all of the local talent that the Island has to offer. There is no better way to shop ethically this holiday season than to support your friends and neighbours by purchasing locally-made gifts. The Owl Designer Fair will be held at the Fernwood Community Centre (1240 Gladstone Avenue) on Friday, December 2nd from 6:00pm to 10:00pm and Saturday, December 3rd from 10:00am to 6:00pm. For more information contact owl@eaphoto.ca or visit facebook.com/owldesignerfair.

tem, but some shrubs do have taproots. Mound some earth in the bottom of the planting hole, and place the tree on top of it at the same level as in the pot. It can be a bit higher if your soil is heavy or often wet, with mounding the soil on top to place the trunk at the right level. Spread out the roots, and back fill the soil that you have removed, with the topsoil last. Don’t stomp on it, just tamp gently. Finish with a two to four inch mulch of good compost and more watering. It is important to use your native soil in the hole, and to amend only on top because if the soil in your tree hole is richer than the surrounding soil, the roots won’t grow out, and the tree will eventually weaken. Mulching with compost prevents the tree from drought, keeps weeds from competing for moisture, provides nutrients

naturally as needed, maintains a moderate soil temperature and also encourages growth of the necessary microbes and mycorrhiza that create a healthy, alive soil and root system. Keep lawn away to the dripline. The new info on staking is to stake loosely for only one year. There is damage done to trees with tight binding left on too long, and other than very windy, busy or steep sites, a well-planted tree shouldn’t need much staking. It is vital to pick a healthy tree with good foliage colour and no damage or disease. Your selection must also match your site (size to space and sun and shade), your climate (cold hardiness, wind, rain) and your soil (sandy, loam or clay, fast or slow draining). Your investment will be happier and so will you, as it will be easier to maintain.

F E R N W O O D N R G FA L L P R O G R A M S O C TO B E R - D E C E M B E R 20 11 MONDAY

(Reg) Registration Required

(DI) Drop In

Life Ring (DI) Ongoing, 6:45pm – 8:00pm Victoria Street Soccer (Closed Group) Oct 17th - Dec 19th, 6:00pm-7:00pm Animal Witness (DI) Sept 12th - Dec 19th, 6:30pm - 7:30pm Nuu Chah Nulth Drumming (DI) Ongoing, 7:30pm – 10:00pm

TUESDAY Parent and Tot Play Group (DI) Ongoing, 9:30am – 11:30am Help I Have Kids Parenting Information Group (DI) Ongoing, 12:30pm – 2:30pm Iyengar Yoga (Reg/DI) Sept 13th – Dec 20th, 5:30pm – 6:30pm Guitar Star (Reg) Sept 6th – Dec 20th, 6:00pm – 7:00pm Floor Hockey (DI) Ongoing, 6:45pm – 9:45 pm Okinawan Karate (Reg) Sept 6th – Dec 20th, 7:00pm – 9:00pm Guitar for Adults (Reg) Sept 6th – Dec 20th, 7:15pm – 8:15pm

WEDNESDAY Parent and Baby Play Group (DI) Ongoing, 9:30am – 11:30am Best Babies (Reg) Ongoing, 12:00pm – 3:00pm Good Food Box Pickup, every third Wednesday, 1:00pm – 5:30pm Floorball (Closed Group) Sept 28th – Dec 21st, 6:00pm – 7:00pm Soccer (Closed Group) Oct 5th – Dec 21st, 7:30pm – 9:00pm

THURSDAY Parent Child Mother Goose (Reg) Sept 1st – Dec 22nd, 9:30am – 10:30am Parent and Tot Playgroup (DI) Ongoing, 9:30am – 11:30am Best Babies (Reg) Ongoing, 12:00pm – 3:00pm Art & Tots Gym (Reg) Sept 8th – Dec 22nd, 3:45pm – 4:30pm Moksha Yoga (DI) Oct 6th- Dec 22nd, 5:00pm - 6:30pm Laughter Yoga (DI/Reg) Sept 6th – Dec 22nd, 7:00pm – 8:00pm Okinawan Karate (Reg) Sept 1st – Dec 22rd, 7:00pm – 9:00pm Beginner Hand Drumming (Reg) Oct 6th - Dec 22nd, 7:30pm - 9:00pm

FRIDAY Autumn Glow Seniors Group (DI) Ongoing, 12:00pm – 3:00pm Moksha Yoga (DI) Oct 7th - Dec 23rd, 5:30pm - 7:00pm Youth Drop-In (DI) Ongoing, 6:30pm – 9:00pm

SUNDAY Art Buffet Munch & Learn (Reg) Sept 18th – Dec 4th, 3:45pm – 4:30pm Cartooning/Illustration/Claymation (Reg) Sept 18th – Dec 4th, 5:45pm – 6:30pm Canine Dressage & Freestyle Dance (Closed Group) Sept 11th – Dec 18th, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Beginner Canine Freestyle Dance (Reg) Sept 11th – Dec 18th, 8:00pm – 9:00pm No classes will be held on October 10th (Thanksgiving Day) & November 11th (Remembrance Day)

SPECIAL EVENTS Owl Designer Fair Dec 2nd & 3rd

www.fernwoodnrg.ca

Fernwood NRG 1240 Gladstone Avenue Victoria, BC V8T 1G6

October 2011

(250) 381-1552 info@fernwoodnrg.ca www.fernwoodnrg.ca

villagevibe

page 7


Scene in Fernwood : Urban Harvest

The Fortin Years – 2008 - 2011 COSTS ARE SOARING x Property taxes have risen 17.2%, three times the rate of inflation x The number of City Hall managers making $100,000+ a year has tripled, from 13 to 42 x Salaries and wages at City rose 8.1% last year alone, four times the national inflation rate

WHILE SERVICES ARE BEING CUT x Grants to community organizations slashed 40% this year alone x Budget for the City’s sewer utility reduced 14% this year x Parks, Recreation and Culture budget cut 18% over 3 years

VICTORIA DESERVES BETTER!

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October 2011 Village Vibe  

News and views from the heart of Fernwood.

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