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Village Vibe

news and views from the heart of Fernwood

november 2005

Halloween in the Hood Ghosts and ghouls were out in full force in Fernwood on the night of October 31st. Over 100 Fernwoodians of all ages decked out in an array of costumes wended their way through the streets of the neighbourhood only to end up back at the FCC for the bonfire to end all bonfires. Drumming, dancing, and hot chocolate slurping kept the crowd warm and entertained. A long Fernwood tradition of the “Parade of Lost Souls” seemingly forgotten for a couple of years was alive and well this Halloween. One wonders whether the celebratory feeling of the evening can be taken as a sign that neighbourhood spirit is on the rise.

Support the Cornerstone On December 6 The FCC has purchased the house from the Belfry on the night of December 6th - and we want to fill it. Build your neighbourhood by attending the the theatre. The Syringa Tree is an exhilarating story of an abiding love between two families, one black, one white, and the two children that are born into their shared household in the early 1960s South Africa. With humour and heart, the story follows their destinies through four generations, from early apartheid to the present-day free South Africa. Tickets for the December 6th

performance of this widely acclaimed and award-winning show will be on a sliding scale from $20 to whatever you wish to pay. Tax receipts can be issued for any amount over $20. Call the Belfry box office at 385-6815 or the FCC at 381-1552. There will be a pre-show reception with appetizers and a cash bar. Lots of delicious door prizes up for grabs too. Treat yourself your sweetie, your friends, or your family to a night out in Fernwood and soon you’ll be looking across the sqaure at one mighty fine Cornerstone building.

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 selfreliant; 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, selfworth, 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


Civic Elections 2005 by Tania Wegwitz Affordable housing, sewage treatment, and sustainable transportation were some of the key themes at a Victoria municipal All-Candidates meeting held at Vic High on October 25. Co-sponsored by the Vic High Students Society and the Fernwood Community Association, the event was attended by the five mayoralty candidates, 23 of the 28 candidates for council, and about 80 Fernwood residents. The fate of the City's proposed recreation renewal plan and ways to assist people living with poverty

or addictions were some of the other key concerns cited by candidates and residents. All of us here at the Vibe would like to remind our friends and neighbours that one of the easiest ways to be a neighbourhood activist is to get out and vote on Nov. 19. A voting virgin? Two pieces of ID on the day of the vote is all it takes. For information on eligibility, acceptable ID types, candidate lists, or advance polls, head to and click on "Hot Links" or call 385-5711.

Ancient Practice for Modern Times by Marie Beaulieu Much has been said about Falun Gong (Falun Dafa) and its brutal persecution by the Chinese Communist Party over the past six years. I often hear people ask “What exactly is Falun Gong?” In a few words I would say it is an awesome meditation practice – but that is rather vague! Let me elaborate. Falun Gong is an ancient form of qigong that refines the body and mind through special exercises and meditation. It is also called a cultivation practice: "cultivation" refers to self-improvement through the study of universal principles based on Truth-Compassion-Tolerance, while "practice" means doing exercises and meditation to energize the body. The book, Zhuan Falun, and the beginner’s text, Falun Gong, written by Falun Dafa’s founder Mr. Li Hongzhi, explain the principles in their entirety. Falun Gong has spread like wildfire since it was introduced to the public in 1992. It is now practiced in 78 countries and has brought better

health and inner peace to millions around the world. Learning Falun Gong is easy and absolutely free. You can get started with the simple but powerful exer-

cises at FCC, 1240 Gladstone Avenue, on Wednesdays at 5pm in the gym or at Beacon Hill Park on Saturday-Sunday (10 am) across from the children's farm. You can also start by downloading the books for free from or pick one up at the library.I invite you to join in at our practice sites and explore this amazing practice of Falun Gong for yourself.

Village Vibe

Faces of Fernwood Sustainability

by Susan Salvati Greg White is a Fernwood resident who is making a difference. Along with business partner, Johnny Thiessen, he is co-owner of Solarcrest Innovations, a company dedicated to using sources of renewable energy. Specifically, Solarcrest works with solar hot water (solar thermal) systems. These systems convert UV rays to electricity, which then heats water. Greg founded Solarcrest in 2003 and two years later, business is booming. His prairie farm background gave him much hands-on experience in many areas, includ-

Johnny Thiessen (left) and Greg White (right) at a sustainability home show.

ing systems design, which he later applied in construction doing plumbing and electrical work. work. Between his work in construction and founding Solarcrest, Greg worked in the Youth Entrepreneur Program at Lifecycles. Johnny was a participant in the program whose true passion was renewable energy. The two embarked on a research journey and realized that there were already existing systems in place; to start their business in solar hot water they would not need to manufacture their own modular systems. Greg pointed out that, "In fact, these systems have been in use for over forty years, even in Canada." Ironically, (considering the present cost of fuel) these renewable energy systems went out of fashion in Canada due to the low cost of energy. Greg notes that that Canadians are somewhat unsophisticated when it comes to energy use because of our relatively low energy costs. However, he expects those who

Fernwood Recycles

heat their hot water by gas to experience a 50% increase in costs this winter. He explains that solar heating systems are the cheapest way to make the biggest reduction on total energy costs with the least capital investment. Most people who inquire about Solarcrest's systems are interested in and ultimately sold on the financial merit of the system; a side benefit of course is the reduction in emissions and the overall boon to the environment. Each residential system that Greg and Johnny install reduces greenhouse gases by one to two tones per year; that’s one blimp less of greenhouse gases per household. And, what is more these systems require very little maintenance. The FCC is thrilled to be working with Greg in developing the heating system for the Cornerstone. Greg White’s work today will benefit us all tomorrow and with the help of people like him, Fernwood will serve as a model of what is possible in terms of sustainability, even at the neighbourhood level.

- At Risk

by Lisa Helps The second Saturday morning of each month from 10am - 12pm, coffee mugs in hand, rain or shine, raging wind or warm breeze, Fernwood Community Centre Society volunteers brave the weather to accept the recycling of Fernwoodians - all those things that the blue box just won’t hold. Fernwood Recycles takes anything you can think of, and more from styrofoam of all shapes and sizes to metallic coffee bags, to

plastic bags, to old toothbrushes (with the bristles cut off), to soft and hard plastics, even old rubber gloves! But this valuable program is in danger due to under utilization by Fernwood residents. Pacific Mobile Depots, the company that picks up the recycled goods each month and sends them off to their fate as new products, does not make money on recycling the items but relies on the donations

generated by neighbourhood residents whose goods they pick up to keep the program going. Donations range from $2 per small bag to $5 per large bag of recyclables. So gather ye plastics while ye may and come on down the Community Centre at 1240 Gladstone Ave. Remaining 2005 recycling days: Remaining 2005 recycling days: November 12, December 10.


Fernwood What’s On: November 2005 A monthly roundup of neighbourhood shindigs. Head to for more listings or to submit your event. Ma k e Yer Neig hb o urhood Nicer Fernwood N e ighbo urhood Revi taliza tion Group . Join others actively working to make Fernwood even more vibrant, beautiful, healthy, and alive. We d, Nov. 2, FCC, 7:30pm, Free! (Every 1 st Wed of month) Total P last ics Rec ycl ing Da y: Sat , N ov. 12, Back of FCC 10am - Noon. (Every 2nd Sat of Month) Cornerst one Work Pa rti es: Held on select Saturdays. Lunch provide d, sense of accomplishment free. Sign up to be notified of dates/times at or call 381-1552. Spring Ri dge Co mm on s Wor k Part ies : Held on select Saturdays. Sign up to be notified at

S pe ci al E ven ts Fernwood Sw ap n’ Sh op: Sat , N ov . 5, FCC Gym, 7: 30am – 3:00pm (Vendors set up at 7:00am). Free to browse! Vendors: $5 for space, $10/1 table, $15/2 tables, no re servations required. Rem em brance Day: Fri , Nov . 11, FCC Closed. Ne ighb ourho od Eme rge ncy Pre paredn ess P rogram Work shop s: B asic Sea rch & R escue / Damage Assessment. Fri, Nov. 18, Fairfield Community Centre, 6:30pm – 9 :00pm, Free! I ndividual & Family P repa redne ss , Mon, Nov. 21, SJ Willis, 7:00pm – 8:30pm, Fre e! Munic ipal Elect ion: Sat , Nov. 19. You give up the right to whine later if you give up your right to vote now. Fernwood area voting at George Jay Elem., Oaklands, Elem., and Central Baptist Church.

K id s & F amil ies Pare nt & Tot Pla ygrou p: Ongoing Tuesdays & Thurs days. FCC Gym, 9:30am - 11:30am, $1 per family, snacks provided. Moth er Goose Circle Time: Songs, rhymes & stories; Select Sat urd ays (Call 381-1552 to register and for info) FCC Infant & Toddler Centre, 11:30am 12:30pm, Free! ($2 for songbook) Commu nity Da y P are nt - Run Family G roup: Bring y our programming ideas and make them happen! Mon, Nov. 14 & 28, FCC Gym, call 381-1552 for times, Free!

Y ou th, Adults & Senior s D rop- In B aske tb all: Youth (13-17), Snacks provided. Ongoing Su ndays FCC Gym, 7:00pm – 9pm, Free! D rop- in Floorhocke y: Co-ed Adult (18+), all equipment provided. Ongoing Tues days and Thurs days, FCC Gym, 6:30pm - 8: 00pm, $3. D rop- in Vo lley ball: Co-ed Adult (18+), all equipment provided. Ongoing Tues days, FCC Gym, 8: 15pm – 9:45pm, $3. D rop- in Bas ke tball : Co-ed Adult (18+), all equipment provided. Ongoing Thu rsdays, FCC Gym, 8:15pm – 9:45pm, $3. Hatha Y oga: For beginners and intermediate s. Mats provided or bring your own. Ongoing We dne sday s, FCC, 7:30am – 8:30am, $24/4 sessions. Pre-register at 381-1552. Holisti c Hea lt h & Hea ling: Qi Gong exercise s and meditation; Ongoing Mond ays, FCC, 10:00–11:30am, Free! Falun Gong : Peac eful meditation practice. Ongoing We dne sdays, FCC, 5:00pm – 7:00pm, everyone welcome, Free! Fernwood Aut um n Glow ( 55+ ): Gentle exercise, lunch & activities; Ongoing Fridays , FCC, 11:00am, $5.50 for lunch.

Mu s ic, A rt, Theat re, a n d En terta in ment Commu nity Rhyt hm C irc le : Join Barry (Bazza) Hayward for a unique family friendly rhythm experience. Bring any hand drum s or percussion instruments. Ongoing Tuesdays, FCC, 7:00pm 8: 30pm, by donation, proceeds to FCC “Un le ss” at th e Bel fry Thea tre : A beautiful, heart-wrenching tale based on the Carol Shields novel of the same name. Tickets: 385-6815. Show continues to N ov. 20 V ic t oria Bl ue grass 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 Mus ic at Lo gan’ s: For listings, check out “The Syri nga Tre e ” at the Belf ry T heatre: Tale from South Africa that explores the n ature of love, family, and rac ial conflict with humour and heart. (Some strong language) Starts No v. 2 9. Not e : Special benefit perfo rmance for the Cornerstone Project on D ec. 6. Tickets: 385-6815.

Gr een Thu mb s Composti ng B asics Worksho p: Sat, N ov. 5, Compost Ed. Centre, 11:00am – 1:00pm, Free!

Village Vibe

news and views from the heart of Fernwood


To subscribe, contact, submit to or advertise in the Vibe, head to www.fernwoodneigh- generated by neighbourhood resi- den...

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