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villagevibe November 2006 : News and views from the heart of Fernwood

The 4 corners of Fernwood Village


he City Repair project in Portland Oregon defi nes intersection repair as “the citizen-led conversion of an urban street intersection into a public square … With an Intersection Repair,” they say, “public space is reclaimed for the whole community. Th e intersection of pathways becomes a place for people to come together. Th e space becomes a place.” Th e four corners of Fernwood village form a circle, not a square, a hub, a gathering space, a place of encounter. Since the renovation of the Belfry Th eatre, the opening of the popular She Said Gallery, and, more recently Fernwood NRG’s purchase of the Cornerstone building and the Wilson brothers’ revival of the tired old Dragon, people have been fl ooding into the village again. We hope they are here to stay.

in this issue Views from the Street: Look who’s talking! Page 3 Feature: Homelessness: A National Disaster. Page 4 Faces of Fernwood Inn Page 7

editorial :

This place on Earth

When our Society went through a rebranding process last year, changing our name from the Fernwood Community Centre Society to the Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group (Fernwood NRG), we had an extended debate about our new tag line. We ended up with “Resident Powered Neighbourhood Evolution” and we’re happy with this. Yet one of the taglines we dismissed has been ringing through my head as I’ve been putting this, the first issue of our spanky new Village Vibe together. As I’ve been spending all my free time volunteering at the Cornerstone building.

The line we rejected: “Place making people.” Fernwood NRG: Place Making People. I like the ambiguity. People make place but place also makes people. Where and how we live matters. In 2002 Alan Durning, founder of the Sightline Institute (formerly Northwest Environment Watch) wrote a book called, This Place on Earth: Home and the Practice of Permanence. In This Place on Earth he says: “The Earth is such a big place that it might as well be no place at all … If this is true, it means that to seek durable answers to global challenges, the conscientious must – without losing sight of the universal

declaration of principles and values We are committed to creating a socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable neighbourhood; We are committed to ensuring neighbourhood control or ownership of neighbourhood institutions and assets; 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; We are committed to engaging the dreams, resources, and talents of our neighbours and to fostering new links between them; We are committed to taking action in response to neighbourhood issues, ideas, and initiatives; We are committed to governing our organization and serving our neighbourhood democratically with a maximum of openness, inclusivity and kindness; We are committed to developing the skills, capacity, self-worth, and excellence of our neighbours and ourselves; We are committed to focusing on the future while preserving our neighbourhood’s heritage and diversity;

– begin with place, and specifically with one place.” Begin with one place. In this past year many people in the neighbourhood have helped to do precisely this. To start with one place. Fernwood and Gladstone.

A group in New York City that’s been around for over 30 years called Project for Public Spaces sent an email around recently announcing a weekend long workshop (for $475 US!) on “How to Turn A Place Around.” Seems like in Fernwood we’ve

Where and how we live matters. This place on earth. This little corner of the planet known as Fernwood. The four corners of our village square featured on the cover are a reflection of the place making that residents have been engaged in.

figured it out for ourselves. Building on what we have right here, on the dreams, skills, time, and efforts of our neighbours, Fernwood is coming alive again. Let the Fernwood Renaissance continue!

Fernwood NRG update >> by Roberta Martell The Society held its Annual General Meeting on Thursday September 28th. For the approximately 40 people who attended, it was an evening of celebration and recognition, highlighting the many accomplishments of the Society over the past year. These included the expansion of daycare programs at the Fernwood Community Centre, a third year in a row in the black, a substantial increase in the overall productivity of the Society, and the revitalization of the neighbourhood core through the soon to be completed Cornerstone Building. At the AGM Jim Starck, Susan Salvati, Margaret Hantiuk, Paula DeBeck and Lisa Helps – board members whose terms were up – were re-elected to the board. We also welcome our two newest board members elected at the AGM, Dave Kesson of Camosun Street and Lucky Budd who lives on Forbes. At the Centre itself we’ve made some changes in order to continue to offer quality services to the neighbourhood. CAP Computer users now have a more private place to access free email and Internet. Our administration is concentrated in a central location (the admin pod!) in order to increase communications and overall efficiency. Shauna Voss, our long time Operations Manager, has been promoted to the position of bookkeeper for the Society. James, Cindy, and Jacqueline will continue Shauna’s legacy of service at the front desk.

And we’ve hired a new accountant, Gwyn Thompson, who will soon be joining us (in person!) from Napanee Ontario where she’s retiring after over 25 years of service at Loyalist College. We intend to keep her busy in her retirement and warmly welcome her on board. Seniors Autumn Glow lunches have begun again after a break for the summer. Lunches were launched with an open house in mid September. Welcome to Joanne, our new chef, and thanks to Elsa for all her great work! In early September we held staff retreat and team building day facilitated by Mackenzie Brooks. On the Childcare front we say goodbye to Lisa Whynacht who moved on to open her own daycare. We welcome Tania Powell who has stepped up to run George Jay Out of School Care and has the program filled to capacity already. The renovation of the Cornerstone has continued and, as the Village Vibe goes to press, we are within days of finishing the four, market-based family affordable housing units, three of which will be occupied as of November 1st! We’ve also signed a conditional lease with great tenants for the middle suite. Stay tuned for more info. The Cornerstone Café, our community coffee shop, will be opening the end of October, creating eight new jobs in the core of our neighbourhood as well as providing a ‘space of encounter’ and neighbourhood living room for Fernwood! Thanks to all who have spent many a day painting, sweeping, sanding, cleaning, and building. Come down, grab a latte and help us build the neighbourhood from the grounds up!

Building neighbourhood from the grounds up.

We are committed to creating neighbourhood places that are vibrant, beautiful, healthy, and alive; and, most of all, We are committed to having fun!

Carole James, MLA Victoria-Beacon Hill Community Office Tel: 952-4211 Fernwood NRG staff model their new Society t-shirts following a day long team-building workshop.

Page 2 | News and views from the heart of Fernwood | November 2006


views from the street : What’s your favourite

street in Fernwood and why?

Esther Callo: during a work party

Ted Hodson

Vining. When I was a little girl one of my friends lived in the big brick house and I thought it was magical. And now I live on Vining Street in a cute little house that is also very magical.

Chambers. Because of the Compost Ed Centre and the allotment gardens.

Michael Jones Rudlin. It’s where I live and it’s a nice neighbourhood, that street. Everyone comes out and participates. We have block parties. My favourite architecturally? Vining.

Notes from Vic High: A School that is Proud of its Community, A Community that is Proud of Its School >> by Margaret Hantiuk, Vic High Parent Advisory Council Vic High is now rolling into full gear with nearly 900 students. We are a school that is famous for being tolerant and non-conforming and our students reflect the inner city neighbourhoods that surround the school. We have about 40 International students, 100 or so First Nations students, ESL students as well as some students who live on their own or are young parents with children in the daycare behind the school. Vic high students come from Fernwood, Fairfield, James Bay, North Park, Jubilee, Hillside, Quadra and beyond. Many students from outside of the area transfer to our school either for the outstanding Fine Art and Tech Ed courses (Vic High has some of the finest Tech Ed facilities of any high school on the Island!) or the casual and easy going ambience.

While being a historic landmark in Victoria (and the oldest high school in Western Canada), Vic High is sporting something new this year: a new principal and two new vice principals. After filling the position of vice principal for three years, Stephen Bennett, who launched his teaching career at Vic High when he did his final practicum here as a UVic student in 1980, has stepped into the school’s leading role. Stephen taught high school English and Social Studies for about 20 years in the Mission School District. His wife, raised up Island in Comox, is a nurse and they have three children attending UVic. Mr. Bennett is very happy to be our Principal. “I enjoy this schools’ students because they are open, thoughtful and respectful individuals,” he said. He enjoys the parents as well, noting that most Vic High parents are caring parents, concerned not just with their

Principal Stephen Bennett set on continuing to make Vic High and inclusive and supportive community.

own kid, but also with all of the kids at the school. He hopes to continue to work together with parents, staff, and the community to uphold Vic High’s traditions of acceptance and excellence. Stephen would like all Vic High parents and guardians to feel welcome to call or to come into the school to meet him and to express any concerns or get answers for any questions they may have in regards to their son or daughter’s experience at Vic High. Watch for an open invitation to come in and tour the school while classes are in progress to see what it’s really like.

Our new vice principals are Tom Aerts who hails from Arbutus Middle School and is originally from Campbell River and Maureen Munro, who was here last year and is our liaison with the Career Prep programs at Camosun College. September started with two events to welcome students back to school: first was the time-honoured tradition of staff serving the students pancakes (the “Cornerstone Breakfast”). The Students Council/Leadership crew has created a newer tradition, a lunch hour Corn Roast. – continued page 8

calling all writers, photographers, artists aspiring journalists, poets, short story writers The new and improved Village Vibe needs you. Contact All submissions due the 10th of the month for the following month.


November 2006 | | Page 3

National Disaster ... An End in Sight? feature :

>> by Lisa Helps

t 2007, s 1 3 h c r a M f As o d to end. e t la s is I H N the is not. r e t s a is d l a The nation

It is 6:30 a.m. I leave my Vining Street home bound for an early morning yoga class. The cold fall morning is upon me. Bike past a still silent Vic High, down Grant, steer deftly between the yellow guard rails bordering Haegart Park and there lying beneath the tree, a person. Asleep. I slow and slide quietly by. Continue down Grant. Mount Royal Bagels warm inside and fresh smells of baking. Onto Cook, past Wellburns and another body, curled in a doorway. Swing onto Yates, then Vancouver. At View, the Bottle Depot where shopping carts used to be lined up along the fence, awaiting those whose labour clears out our recycling box, whose labour saves the planet. Onto Meares. I lock my bike behind the Yoga Centre, glance across at Cathedral Park and there, another person, bundled in blankets, stretches awake. In 1998, at the urging of the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and over 400 other organizations around the country proclaimed homelessness a “national disaster requiring emergency humanitarian relief ” and demanded that the federal government take action. In response, Ottawa created the National Homelessness Initiative (NHI), which, through its Supporting Community Partnership Initiative (SPCI), funded 61 communities between 1999 and 2003 to the tune of $305 million. Given the success of the program in improving the quality of life for homeless people and those at risk of becoming homeless, in 2003 the federal government committed another $405 million for three more years. In just the first four and a half years of the NHI: >> Over 9,000 beds in transitional housing were created >> 725 homeless shelters received funding for upgrades, plus 403 food banks, soup kitchens and drop-in centres >> 3,600 services (including housing placement, food and clothing distribution, transportation, information/ referrals/follow-up, psychosocial services, emergency health and addiction services, education/life skills, training/employment, legal/financial services, identification acquisition) were funded >> Over 1,000 capacity building activities were supported In Victoria, Out of the Rain youth shelter, the Prostitute’s Empowerment, Education, and Resource Society (PEERS), the Burnside Gorge Community Centre, the Victoria Native Friendship Centre, the Cool Aid Society, and right here in Fernwood the M’Akola Housing Society, were just a few of many organizations to benefit. The government has allocated another $134.8 million for 2006-2007. As of March 31st 2007, the NHI is slated to end. The national disaster is not. What caused this disaster? The evidence is overwhelming. The solution to homelessness is affordable and supportive housing.

Page 4 | News and views from the heart of Fernwood | November 2006


Or, put another way, a decrease in affordable housing has equaled, in Canada over the past 35 years, an increase in homelessness. After World War II, returned veterans needed housing and the federal government responded; between the 1940s and 1960s Ottawa funded about 12,000 units of public housing. Between the 1970s and the early 1980s the federal government invested heavily in social housing, building on average 20,000 new units per year. Yet at the same time, in the early 1970s, new legislation in the provinces allowed for the conversion of private rental apartments into owner-occupied condominiums. This reduced the opportunity to rent for those who fell somewhere between being prospective homeowners and those qualifying for subsidized housing. In 1970 alone, 63,545 new private-rental housing units were opened in Canada. In 1996, only 4,290 were built. Finally, in 1994, the federal government withdrew from providing funding for any new affordable housing units, and, until disaster was declared, left the provinces and the municipalities to pick up the tab.

As part of Canada’s Homeless Awareness Week in midOctober, the Victoria Cool Aid Society, in partnership with community leaders and other service providers, announced the second Homeless Needs Survey for the capital region to be held from January 15 to 19, 2007. “The Homeless Needs Survey is designed to both count the number of homeless and determine their housing and support needs through a simple questionnaire,” said Kathy Stinson, executive director of Cool Aid. Hank Vanderkooi, a tenant with Cool Aid for the past 16 years points to the importance of the Survey: “I have friends who don’t have an apartment and I can tell you that it’s really hard to survive without shelter … A simple one-bedroom apartment that’s affordable,” he said, “has made a world of difference in my life.”

Fernwood is such a neighbourhood. It is 6:30am. Bound this time for my little cubicle at the university where a stack of unread books awaits me. Early start, feeling a little guilty having spent the previous day spackling and sanding, painting and washing. But only a little. Slink my bike past my neighbours’ motor bike and onto Fernwood. Towards Gladstone. About to whoosh down the hill. But stop. At Fernwood and Gladstone where I’d spent the previous day. The Cornerstone building. Sleeps quietly still. Expectantly. Awaiting the footsteps of the families moving in November 1st. One old building. Unboarded. Rebuilt with neighbourhood hands. Reduces housing affordability stress. One building then, at a time.

It is 6:30 a.m., the Tuesday after Thanksgiving weekend. I pull up in front of the Fernwood Community Centre on Gladstone to return the tables I’ve borrowed for the weekend. Still sleepy, and stumble out of the car. There beside the Community Centre door the remnants of a sleeping body. A blanket. A makeshift pillow. Feeling bad, disturbing someone’s few precious hours of sleep. I bend down, lower my hand. The pillow is still warm. On October 3rd, the British Columbia government announced Housing Matters BC, an innovative and comprehensive housing strategy to help British Columbians access affordable housing. Annual Number and Proportion,

“This strategy will immediately assist approximately 15,000 low-income working families and homeless individuals,” Rich Coleman, the Minister Responsible for Housing, said. “It’s also a new direction for housing, designed to provoke discussion about longterm solutions.” In addition to its $40 million a year new Rental Assistance Program (RAP) to assist families earning below $20,000 annually, the Province has committed to building 450 new supportive housing units, and to subsidizing these for 35 years. The government will also provide a subsidy of $13 million a year for 35 years to create 550 new assisted living units under the Independent Living BC program for seniors. Longterm solutions? A good beginning perhaps. The RAP program will give about $100 per month to families earning less than $20,000, but people can’t get this money if they are already on social assistance. And 1000 total units subsidized for 35 years is certainly a good start. Yet, according to Don McTavish, who runs the Cool Aid Society’s shelters, there are currently 14,000 people on waiting lists for subsidized housing in the province. What will this new provincial spending mean for Victoria? What kinds of housing do people need? How should the money be spent?


Social and Private Rental Housing Units Built in Canada, 1970-2001

A one-bedroom apartment, however, might not be that simple in some parts of the Capital Region District. According to the 2001 Canadian census, in Victoria, it is the residents of inner city (pre-World War II) neighbourhoods that experience the greatest housing affordability stress, that is, who pay 30% or more of their income on rent. While in fourteen other major Canadian cities suburban homelessness is on the rise, Victoria has the highest proportion (54%) of tenants experiencing housing affordability stress living in inner city neighbourhoods than anywhere else in Canada.

November 2006 | | Page 5

garden gleanings : Fall in the Garden

>> by Margaret Hantiuk Fall can be a beautiful time in the garden. It can be a busy time too. If the sun is still warm (as it is now) watch for wilting leaves and drought stress. Unless it is rains often enough your garden will still need to be watered – especially on the south side, under trees or under over hangs. You will not need to water as much for as long or as often though. Potted plants will still need to be watered as well, again, especially on sunny, patios or porches. Autumn is a good time to plant new trees and shrubs, as they will have time to get comfortable before the winter, and the November rains will settle them in. And, they won’t have to deal with the hot sun either. Make sure when you purchase your shrub or perennial that you know what you are buying and that you know where it will go. Read the label carefully and look up the plant in a book at the nursery (all good nurseries have reference books at the counter for their customers to use). Check the ultimate size – will it work in the space you have in

mind? For a shrub or tree to look its best, it should be able to grow unhindered. That means not being pruned into an unnatural shape to restrain its size (Bonzai trees, roses, fruit trees, and hedges are, of course, exceptions.) What are the requirements? Do you have enough sun or shade for the special new addition to your garden? If it needs ‘moist soil’, can you provide that? (I am at the point that I avoid plants that require moist conditions due to our increasingly dry summers). It’s worth it to get a healthy plant. When you get your prize home, water it if you have to leave it in the pot for a few days. When you are planting it, again, make sure that you understand the plant’s needs and what your garden offers. If you are planting in a spot when the leaves are already down, it may look sunny, but when the deciduous leaves return in the spring, it may turn out to be quite a shady spot! Most plants need a fair bit of sun to do well. That being said. there are some plants that tolerate partial shade (just a couple of hours), a few plants and trees that thrive in light shade, and a very few that thrive in deep shade. It really doesn’t pay to ignore this requirement as your investment of money, time, and energy will eventually be lost. Dig a big hole and amend the soil in it by adding some of your compost and perhaps a handful of bonemeal. (Buy a bag of sea soil or steer manure if you don’t have compost.) Plant according to the directions on the label or in a good reference book. It is advisable to gently tease out and loosen the rootball a little, especially if it is rootbound in the pot. (A green thumb’s rule: plant a $10.00 tree in a $100.00 hole and you will have a $100.00 tree – the reverse applies too!) Also, pay attention to the space needed for your new plant to grow. If at first your little plants seem too far apart, throw a few annuals in to cover the bare

leaf mould and then water well. Stake if necessary. For the first year or two, newly planted shrubs and plants must be watered more carefully and more often. Fall is also the time to prune lightly. Heavy pruning invites too much new growth just at a time when plants and shrubs are vulnerable due to the cold. Hedges may be trimmed lightly and roses, buddleia, etc. cut back a little. At any time you can cut back dead or diseased wood. Good reference books will talk about pruning in more detail with specific details for specific plants. Of course you may limb large trees at any time, but it’s best to consult an arborist (tree specialist) if you are new at this. Finally, fall is clean up time in the garden. I used to rake everywhere and would be exhausted by December. Now I am much more casual. I leave some small leaves in the beds to protect them from the cold. I rake up large leaves that can suffocate whatever they lay on like a cold wet blanket. I always rake everything off of my lawn, which I think is necessary. I rake up diseased leaves separately and throw them into a garbage bag – black spot, mildew and rust come to mind – to be put in the garbage and not added to the compost heap. (In the old days they would burn these.) Most of the garden will benefit from a little layer of smallish leaves left on the ground. Shrubs and trees like a mulch of their own leaves at their feet. If there are a lot of them, it’s best to rake up most and make a compost pile. Then the leaves can be returned to the plants as a very nutritious mulch because of all of the worms that help turn compost; compost is considered to be one of the finest ‘soil conditioners’ (enriches sandy soil, and loosens up clay soils.) I also used to trim all of my perennials down to the ground once they began to wilt and decay with cold wet weather. Now I wait and let the seeds develop for the birds. My garden used to be much tidier, but now it’s

A green thumb’s rule: plant a $10.00 tree in a $100.00 hole and you will have a $100.00 tree – the reverse applies too. earth. In a few years you will see why the instructions recommended so much space between plants. Mulching in between will keep the weeds down and keep the soil moist between watering. Compost as mulch will also increase the fertility of your soil and improve its tilth (structure). Make sure the new addition to your garden is straight up before you very gently tamp the soil around the trunk. Usually, the soil should hit just about the same place on the stalk or trunk that it did in the pot. Mulch with compost or

more healthy and alive. And I now have many birds that live in and visit my yard. It seems to me that my garden now has a life of its own; I have given up control and now the yard is following its own natural cycles. I am merely the facilitator! I learn as I go along and I enjoy the garden much more even if I do work in it a little less.

it’s easy to support Fernwood NRG Looking for a convenient way to support Fernwood NRG in its efforts to revitalize the neighbourhood? Consider designating all or part of your workplace charitable contribution to your neighbourhood. The United Way of Great Victoria has an easy designation option that allows you to support specific charities. Just tick the box and insert Fernwood NRG as your organization of choice. Our charitable tax # is 107 380 982 RR0001.

Page 6 | News and views from the heart of Fernwood | November 2006


faces of fernwood :

Fernwood Inn Reincarnated >> by Susan Salvati Walking into the Fernwood village core on a sunny afternoon in October, there is a whir of activity. Saws are buzzing, there is the sound of hammers and construction trucks abound. Workers are everywhere. Much of the action centres around the newly reincarnated Fernwood Inn. People have been curious about what exactly

headquarters – a collection of model cars lining one set of shelves and three Wharholesque Marilyn Monroe prints as a backdrop – I learn that Jeff ’s entrepreneurial spirit was born very early on. He recalls how he left school in grade six and began working as a lot boy for Metro Toyota. “I didn’t consult anybody,” he said, “I just did it.” As time went on, he developed a background in

Jeff Wilson in his headquarters anticipates Fernwood Inn’s opening in mere days.

is going on. After a period of negotiation, the fraternal team of Jeffery and Christopher Wilson took possession of the George and Dragon on August 1st, 2006. Immediately, the popular local hangout was closed for extensive renovations. August and September were very busy, both inside and outside the building. Many eyes were watching on October 11th as a crane set the signs for the new Fernwood Inn into place. So who are the faces behind the big change? Chatting with Chris and Jeff in their

marketing and promotions for the hospitality industry. Jeff explains that eventually he “evolved into an owner.” Chris, an alumnus of Vic High, has a background as a chef. Their partnership, spanning fifteen years, has included such ventures as The Diner on Yates Street and a number of cabarets such as New York, New York, Diesel, and The Boom Boom Room. Jeff explains that he and Chris had been talking about opening a pub for some time and surveying potential sights when “the opportunity arose here.”

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In renovating the Fernwood Inn, the Wilson brothers have aimed to recreate the spirit of the building’s original time period. A good guess is that the original Fernwood Inn was built between 1903 and 1910. Efforts to bring back some of the Inn’s former glory are evident in elegant lighting choices (including a large stained glass chandelier), wood floors and dental molding. The west-side door, most recently the entrance for Freedom Kilts, will once again become the main entrance for the establishment. Over thirty man hours were committed to reclaiming this important feature. The entrance to the Inn through this door will take the patron to zone one, the lounge/holding area. Customers can then move into zone two which is the dining area, and finally into zone three, the band room. Jeff and Chris are intending the entertainment at the Fernwood Inn to be very diverse including jazz, blues, Elvis impersonators, karaoke, and poetry readings. “We will basically be open to anything,” says Jeff. The menu will feature nightly specials and there are plans for the Inn to be open for weekend brunch. One thing is certain; the renovation of the Fernwood Inn is one more huge step toward a revitalized village core. Already the renovation has provided employment to numerous area residents and

fernwood marketplace Advertise Here Your ad could be here! $5.00 for three lines. $1/additional line. Send an email to Ads due the 10th of the month for the following month’s issue.

Volunteers Needed Are you looking for a guaranteed warm fuzzy once a month? If so, why not volunteer to help recycle plastic? On the second Saturday of every month, the Fernwood Community Centre at 1240 Gladstone Ave. is the place to recycle bags and bags of plastics, styrofoam and other stuff that your blue box just doesn’t take. Oaklands has closed down their monthly recycling and so Fernwood is getting busy. We need your help. The commitment could be as little as two hours once a month. If you’re interested, please contact info@ The Earth will thank you.

For Sale >> Old vanity bureau with mirror. $50.00 595-1684 after 3pm. >> Double Bed Frame/Mattress $50.00 595-1684 after 3pm >> Garden Design/Consultations 882-1929

Employment Opportunity Seeking confident, intuitive caregivers for adolescent male w/ Autism & challenging behaviours. Support in home/community setting. Competitive wage + benefits. Experience, good sense of humour & Class 5 DL required. Reply to 2104 Wenman Drive, Victoria BC V8N 2S2

Advertise Here Your ad could be here! $5.00 for three lines. $1/additional line. Send an email to Ads due the 10th of the month for the following month’s issue.

further opportunities are sure to present themselves. Neighbours are excited about the energy that is coming to the four corners of our village, about having another comfortable establishment where they can hang out, be entertained, get a great meal. Village business owners

are enthused at this newest development too as successful business brings a spiral of success to other businesses. With the renovation of the Fernwood Inn, our village core is poised to become the densely populated, energized, and economically vibrant hub that it once was.

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$150.00 (20% discount

$100.00 (20% discount

if booking for 12 issues)

if booking for 12 issues)

November 2006 | | Page 7

what’s on in Fernwood Nov 2006








































17 18






Make Yer Neighbourhood Nicer

Green Thumbs

Free Internet and Computer Access

Composting Basics Workshop

Complete your one-time registration and

Total Plastics Recycling Day

Sat, Nov 4, Compost Ed. Centre,

then get online through the Community

Sat, Nov 11, Back of FCC 10am - Noon.

11:00am – 1:00pm, Free!

Access Program. FCC Community

(Every 2nd Sat of Month) Recycle

Gardening without Pesticides

Room, 9:15am – 8:30pm, Monday to

plastics of all kinds (Styrofoam packing,


Friday, except for 11:00am to 3:00pm on

soft plastics and bags, and ALL hard /

Native Plant Gardening, Sat, Nov 18,

Wednesdays. Free!

rigid plastics) plus old electronics.

Compost Ed. Centre, 2:00pm – 4:00pm,

Drop-in Floorhockey

By donation to cover transportation.

members $13.50, non-members $15.

Co-ed Adult (18+), all equipment provided. Ongoing Tuesdays and

Special Events City of Victoria Residential Leaf Pick Up Autumn means it’s time to start raking! Residential leaf pick-up from curbs and boulevards begins on Sun, Nov 12. Pick up schedule for different areas of “Greater Fernwood” varies: check out more detailed pick up schedule info at prks_lfplpc_schdl.shtml. Remembrance Day Nov 11. All Fernwood schools closed on Monday, Nov 13. Neighbourhood Emergency Preparedness Program Workshops Individual and Family Preparedness, You may be on your own for up to 72 hours before help arrives. Learn how

Kids & Families

Thursdays, FCC Gym, 7:00pm –

Parent & Tot Playgroup

9:30pm, $4, or get a punchcard:

Ongoing Tuesdays & Thursdays.

$40/11 sessions. No wooden sticks.

FCC Gym, 9:30am - 11:30am,

Holistic Health & Healing

$1 per family, snacks provided.

Qi Gong exercises and meditation;

Mother Goose Circle Time

Ongoing Mondays, FCC, 10:00–

Songs, rhymes & stories; Select

11:30am, Free!

Saturdays (Call 381-1552 to register

Falun Gong

and for info) FCC Infant & Toddler

Peaceful meditation practice. Ongoing

Centre, 11:30am - 12:30pm, Free!

Wednesdays, FCC, 5:00pm – 7:00pm,

($2 for songbook)

everyone welcome, Free!

Community Day Parent-Run

Fernwood Autumn Glow (55+)

Family Group

Gentle exercise, lunch & activities;

Family directed and facilitated program!

Ongoing Fridays, FCC, 11:00am,

Ongoing Mondays, 9:30 – 11:30am,

$5.50 for lunch.








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villagevibe Published by Fernwood NRG (Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group) 1240 Gladstone Street Victoria, BC V8T 1G6 T 250.381.1552 F 250.381.1509 villagevibe@fernwood Editor: Lisa Helps Contributors: Margaret Hantiuk Annalee Lepp Roberta Martell Susan Salvati

FCC Gym, Free!

Youth, Adults & Seniors

Music, Art, Theatre, and Entertainment

Victoria Bluegrass Assoc. Jam

Urinetown: The Musical at the

Ongoing Tuesdays Orange Hall, 7:30 – 10:30pm, $2 to play, free to listen.

to prepare. Wed, Nov 15, Yates St.

Drop-in Badminton

Belfry Theatre: With 15 actors

Fire Hall (use Camosun St Entrance),

Ages 12 to Adult, everyone welcome.

and a four-piece band, this is

(Last Tuesday of month is open stage /

6:45 – 8:45pm, Free!

Ongoing Sundays, 7:00pm – 9:00pm,

“the biggest, and silliest production

feature night; cost varies).

Veterans Skate

FCC Gym, $2 per person or $5 for a

the Belfry has ever mounted,

Lee Hamer

family of 3!

”featuring a story filled with greed,

Canadian folksinger performs

love, revolution and some very

select Wednesdays at J.K. Do Forno

catchy numbers.

Café in Fernwood Square.

November 7 to December 10,

6:30pm – 8:30pm, free!

for tickets call 385-6815 or go to

Live Music at Logan’s

For listings, go to

Free skating at the Memorial Arena Sun, Nov 19, from 3:00 – 4:30pm.


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In addition students have been busy with Chariot Races in the gym at lunch where they compete by pulling their team along a course in the gym on sheets. The Vic High Players, a drama group, presented “Shards of Destruction,” a play about crystal meth addiction. The Jr. and Sr. soccer, volleyball, and rowing teams are well underway in their seasons. Leadership students, the Yearbook Committee, the Students’ Council and the Vic High R & B Band are all up and running. The R & B Band is hosting Danish students for about 10 days, an exchange for last May when our students traveled to Denmark. There is also an Aquarium club and a ‘Community Choir’ open to anyone who likes to sing. (Practices are Monday evenings – call Mark Hellman at 382-7048 for more info.) The Tech Ed students have received their solar-powered car kit and will be making it for the Skills Canada contest. The Tech Ed

deptartment just finished three successful summer courses for students in Carpentry, Auto Tech and Metalworking. Vic High has Career Prep studies that focus on specific career paths such as: Tech Ed (Auto Tech, Carpentry/ Joinery, Electronics), I/T, Human Services, Music and Biology. There is also Pre-Employment studies program to prepare students for work experience. Then there is the full array of academic courses from Grades 9 to 12, preparing students for colleges or universities. We also have three wonderful Youth and Family Counselors, knowledgeable Educational Counselors, a First Nations Educational Liaison (Ann Tenant), a full-time Librarian, and many people from the community come in to help out on a regular basis. Parent Advisory Council (PAC) meetings are for parents and guardians of all Vic High students and they happen on the first Tuesday of the month from 7:00 to 9:00pm in the staff room on the main floor. (Turn right in the main hall at the Grant St entrance – it’s the last door

Page 8 | News and views from the heart of Fernwood | November 2006

on the right.) Parking is available on Grant, Camosun or Gladstone. The meetings are informative, warm and casual and our Principal usually attends to answer any concerns and to let us know what is happening in the school. Our first PAC meeting of the school year, on October 2nd was a treat as we had an administration-led tour of the school. We visited the two new computer labs (one purchased with a grant from the School District, and one with a grant from the Ministry of Education through the PAC). We also visited the new dark room for photography students and the new weight room. These upgrades, together with the painting of the classrooms in lovely heritage colors and the refinishing of the Library floor, all occurred last year when Vic High received a Capital grant from the School District. All in all, Vic High is a wonderful old school with a keen new Administration, a great bunch of kids, and a staff that has hit the ground running!


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We are committed to using our resources prudently and to becoming fi nancially self-reliant; We are committed to taking action in response t...