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Village Vibe

news and views from the heart of Fernwood

december 2005

November ~ It looked quiet, but what a month!!! Building Plans for the Cornerstone renovations were approved and Building Permits issued!

Funding Keeps Rolling In! 9Coast Capital donates $7,100 9CEDTAP approves $15,320 9City of Victoria Gives Us $50,000 !! 9Capital Regional District Approves $75,000 !! 9CMHC pre-approves $96,000!! 9Victoria Foundation $10,000

Fernwood fundraiser Lenore Rankin has been hard at work since the Centre purchased the Cornerstone building in August. Her tireless efforts have begun to show. In late November the City of Victoria granted the Cornerstone Project $50,000 from its Affordable Housing Trust Fund. On December 7 the Capital Region District Housing Trust Fund came on board with $75,000 for the affordable housing suites upstairs. In addition to these fantastic sources of confirmed funding, we are at the second stage of an application process with the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation for

$96,000. Thanks to Lenore’s grant writing enthusiasm and the assistance of Executive Director Roberta Martell, we have at least another $250,000 of applications submitted. These first sources of funding come just as the City has approved the building plans for the suites upstairs and occupancy of the commercial suites on the ground floor. Have a restaurant business plan in mind? Drop off proposals at 1240 Gladstone Ave Thanks to all who are along for the ride!

Society getsNRGized at Nov 24th AGM!

The Fernwood Community Centre Society held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on November 24th. Amidst the excitement of an inspirational slide show, a series of display boards documenting our activities, and the friendly conversations of neighbours over plates of baked goods, the Society passed two important amendments to its constitution and bylaws. First, reflecting our desire to include young people and to draw especially on the great crowd at Vic High right next door, the age requirement for membership in the Society was changed from 18 to 14. The second amendment reflects our growth over the

past few years. With our Out of School Care program running out of George Jay, the Infant and Toddler Centre out back, and, most recently with the purchase of the Cornerstone building we are no longer only the Society of the Fernwood Community Centre. We’ve chosen a name unanimously supported by the membership - the Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group Society - Fernwood NRG. (Energy!) We like this name because it reflects both the resources we provide, and the overwhelming energy that has galvanized in and around the Centre over the past few years.

Village Vibe Fernwood Community Centre Society Declaration of Principles and Values 1. WE are committed to creating a socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable neighbourhood; 2. WE are committed to ensuring neighbourhood control or ownership of neighbourhood institutions and assets; 3. WE are committed to using our resources prudently and to becoming financially self-reliant; 4. WE are committed to the creation and support of neighbourhood employment; 5. WE are committed to engaging the dreams, resources, and talents of our neighbours and to fostering new links between them; 6. WE are committed to taking action in response to neighbourhood issues, ideas, and initiatives; 7. WE are committed to governing our organization and serving our neighbourhood democratically with a maximum of openness, inclusivity, and kindness; 8. WE are committed to developing the skills, capacity, self-worth, and excellence of our neighbours and ourselves; 9. WE are committed to focusing on the future while preserving our neighbourhood's heritage and diversity; 10. WE are committed to creating neighbourhood places that are vibrant, beautiful, healthy, and alive; 11. AND, most of all, WE are committed to having fun! To subscribe, contact, submit to or advertise in the Vibe, head to /vibe


Fernwood is a great place for families. For one family, Matt O’Connell and Shannon Bjarnason and their two children, Aidan (seven) and Nuala (three), Fernwood has been home for the last five years. The location is perfect for Matt, who owns his own business as well as working at the Royal Jubilee Hospital. He can ride his bike to work in five minutes. The rest of the family also benefits from Fernwood’s proximity to resources. Aidan attends Oaklands Elementary and enjoys going to school nearby. In an age when more and more students travel by car to attend specific school programs, its enjoyable for him to be able to walk or bike to school as well as to get to know kids from the neighbourhood. Aidan especially likes the

extra-curricular "Mad Science" class that his school offers. Nuala goes to Lansdowne Preschool on Ryan Street, one of only a handful of co-op preschools on Vancouver Island and one that is very highly regarded. She can often be seen getting a lift to school in her stroller. (Thanks, Mom!) Through pre-school, she has also made a good friend from the 'hood (Hi, Soli!). Shannon loves the sense of community that Fernwood offers and the fact that she knows all of the neighbours on her block. “I like living in an urban, wellestablished neighbourhoud. And I really just like the people; the similar, like-minded people, and the families with kids.” The people are indeed what make Fernwood such a great place to live. by Susan Salvati

Lovin’ Livin’ in Fernwood Moving from UVic campus to Fernwood was an amazing change for me. After working, studying, eating, and living at the university, I needed a change of scene and some distance from “the institution”, and fast! What I noticed first about Fernwood were the colorful, heritage style houses with children playing on front lawns and summer BBQ parties in backyards. It definitely felt more like “home” than the artificiality of residence. It was great to simply walk down the street and have a beverage with friends or a slice of pizza and chat with folks about politics and life, in the Fernwood square. Seeing the illuminated Belfry Theatre as I’d drift off to sleep, also made me feel connected to a village bursting with vibrancy. Due to my shyness in getting involved in community events, I have only recently begun to participate in activities. I was prompted to join the FernwoodNRG Society after reading their “Declaration of Principles and

Values.” As a social justice activist, reading about the desire to serve and build a neighborhood by fostering inclusivity, democracy, kindness, and personal dreams, really caught my eye. What’s great about the FernwoodNRG is that if you want to engage in the plethora of existing groups or create a community connecting event, the support is there. Social change occurs in many ways, and needs everyone’s talents, visions, and volunteering in order to be successful. What I like most about living here are the people, of all ages, striving to enjoy life while simultaneously incorporating social justice work. This proactiveness will propel Fernwood to continue to be a cherished place to work collectively, live sustainably, and create community in hopes that everyone can feel “at home.” by Danielle Edwards

Village Vibe

Message from the Executive Director by Roberta Martell Wow! With a really successful AGM behind us, a full board of 11 wonderful residents,and membership in the society having tripled in the past year, we are moving forward with a full head of steam to increase our programs and services for Fernwoodians. A few key issues are already arising for 2006: The Cornerstone: Our Capital campaign is trucking along, and although there haven’t been many work parties lately, that’s because we’ve had such AMAZING community support that we had to stop working until our permits showed up! Way to go Fernwood! Now that permits are in

hand, we are eager to get to work on rebuilding the old gal! Dr. David Suzuki is coming to see the project on May 16th, and it’d be cool to have lots to show off. The Community Centre Building: With the recent increase in government support for Childcare, more money has been made available to create new community supported childcare spaces. Fernwood is one of two Victoria neighbourhoods that are considered ‘targeted’ for increased funding because of extreme needs. That means that we are eligible to apply for $500,000 to cover up to 90% of the costs associ-

ated wtih building or renovating to create new daycare spaces. We are beginning discussions with City Council (with Councilor Hughes as our new liaison -- welcome Helen!) to learn if this half-million we bring can kickstart renovations of the Centre as laid out in the Garyali plans years and years ago. Council will have to decide if they’re willing or able to match our investment in this neighbourhood facility An important facet of the planned renovations will be the seismic upgrading of the gymnasium, which ironically enough, is Fernwood’s neighbourhood emergency response headquarters!

Fernwood Childcare is the Choice

Fernwood Community Centre Out of School Care kids take a break and smile pretty for the camera. by Anne Murphy From James Bay to Brentwood Bay, people are drawn to Fernwood from far and wide because the Fernwood Community Centre provides excellent childcare for both local and not so local families. Quality childcare is of great need in Victoria and we are honoured that we can

news and views from the heart of Fernwood

be here for the many families we serve. Each of our programs is bustling and growing each day with new children, an increasingly committed group of talented staff, and new and improved equipment. Highlights in the past couple weeks have included the long awaited Infant and Toddler playground. Come check out the latest climbin’ and slidin’ equipment licensed for Infants and Toddlers up to 36months old. (Located behind the 1240 Gladstone building, attached to the Infant and Toddler Care Centre) Congrats to the Group Daycare, supervised by Tina Seymour, who together with staff, families and friends of the program fundraised the last few weeks for a new train table and painting easels for the 3-5 year olds. The sounds of joy and excitement can be heard up and down Gladstone Avenue! DO YOU HAVE A PRESCHOOLER??? We still have room in our Puddle Jumpers Program for a January start. Call 381-1552 This is a great program offering a caring and fun introduction to arts and crafts, maths, and sciences with a school readiness focus. Morning classes available 1-4 days a week.

Call any time for registration information or checkout the website


Fernwood What’s On: December 2005 A monthly roundup of neighbourhood shindigs. Head to for more listings or to submit your event. Make Yer Neighbourho od Nicer Fernwood Neighbourhood Revitalization Group. Join others actively working to make Fernwood eve n more vibrant, beautiful, h ealthy, and alive. Wed, Dec 7th , FCC, 7:30pm, Free! (Every 1st Wed of month) Total Plastics Recycling Day: Sat, Dec.10th, Back of nd FCC 10am - Noon. (Every 2 Sat of Month) Cornerstone Work Parties: Held on select Saturdays. Lunch provided, sense of accomplishment free. Sign up to be notified of dates/times at or call 381-1552. Spring Ridge Commons Work Parties : Held on select Saturdays. Sign up to be notified at

Special Events


Chris tmas Miracle Market: Dec 3 FCC Gym 10am – 2pm. Local artisans join together for this unique sho pping experience. Cornerstone Fundraiser at the Belfry: Dec 6 th Come out and support your neighbourhood. Tickets $20.00. Reception at 7:00pm, Performance at 8:00pm. th Santa Visits Fernwood Square: Dec 10 , J.K. Do For no Café (Formerly the Thin Edge) 10:30am – 2:00pm. Bring the little ones for a visit and a picture with the big guy in red, and then head up to the FCC to get a print out of your photo and see ”A Chr istmas Carol.” Visit and an emailed photo are free; print out by suggested $1 donation. th CBC Radio Presents ‘A Chris tmas Carol’: Dec 10 FCC Gym 2pm. Tickets $5.00 Proceeds to support Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan. Reception to follow. FCC Yuletide Closure: Sat Dec 24th – Mon Jan 2nd FCC closed for the Holidays, Season’s greetings to you all.

Kids & Families Parent & Tot Playgroup: Ongoing Tuesdays & Thursdays. FCC Gym, 9:30am - 11:30am, $1 per family, snacks provided. Mot her Goose Circle Time: Songs, rhymes & stories; Select Saturdays (Call 381-1552 to register and for info) FCC Infant & Toddler Centre, 11:30am 12:30pm, Free! ($2 fo r songbook) Community Day Parent-Run Family Group: Bring your programming ideas and make them happen! th Mon, Dec 12 , FCC Gym, call 381-1552 for times, Free! Youthlines Magazine - Y outh Writing Group st th Ages 13-20, T hursdays Dec 1 & 15 4:00pm – 5:30pm, Bring your story ideas, and get pub lished! Cal l for more info: 386-6328 or Drop-in Youth Basketball: Co-ed Ages 13-18, Ongoing Sundays, (Closed Dec 25th ) FCC Gym, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Refreshments provided. Free!

Adults & Seniors Drop- in Floorhockey: Co-ed Adult (18+), all equipment provided. Ongoing Tuesdays and Thursdays, FCC Gym, 6:30pm – 9:30pm, $4, or get a punchcard: $20/6 sessions, $40/11 sessions. Holistic Health & Healing: Qi Gong exercises and meditation; Ongoing Monday s, FCC, 10:00–11:30am, Free! Falun Gong: Peaceful meditation practice. Ongoing Wednesday s, FCC, 5:00pm – 7:00pm, everyone wel come, Free! Fernwood Autumn Glow (55+): Gentl e exercise, lunch & activities; Ongoing Fridays, FCC, 11:00am, $5.50 for lunch.

Music, Art, Theatre, and Entertainment Victoria Bluegrass Assoc. Jam: Ongoing Tuesdays Orange Hall, 7:30 – 10:30pm, $2 to play, free to listen. (Last Tuesday of month is open stage/feature night; cost varies). Live Music a t Logan’s: For listings, check out “The Syringa Tree” at the Belfry Theatre: Tale from South Africa that expl ores the nature of love,

Isabel’s Housekeeping *bondable *flexible schedule *efficient *hospital experience $15/Hour Call 380-0741 Fernwood kids are on the move. Village Vibe

news and views from the heart of Fernwood


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