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villagevibe November 2008 : News and views from the heart of Fernwood

Accessibility a Challenge >> by Lisa Helps

T

he little house at 2214 Lydia St. is undergoing a big renovation. And though this was always the plan, Jill Adams and Roger Stephen now have to do things a little differently. The couple bought the house on Lydia St. between Pembroke and Denman two years ago. This was no ordinary purchase. “Part of the down payment came from the money I earned when I had a nanny job at fourteen,” Jill explains. “I wanted to have a place to grow food, to sustain myself.” And they wanted to live in Fernwood. When their real estate agent let them know he’d found a place in the neighbourhood in their price range they were thrilled. Despite the 20 tonnes of garbage they’d have to haul out of the backyard, despite that people had been squatting in the house, despite that they’d have to live in the basement for the first little while, Jill and Roger bought the place. And they’ve been

tearing it apart to restore it to its original 1911 condition ever since. In two years they’ve transformed the backyard from a garbage heap to a multi-bed, high-yielding food garden. “I’ve been moving some of these plants around with me for eight to nine years,” Jill says of her asparagus. While Roger started on the inside, for her, the priority was just to get things in the ground. But on July 12, 2008, in the midst of the ongoing renovation, everything changed. Roger was climbing with friends at Pitt Lake north of Vancouver and fell 35 feet. His T9 vertebrae was broken and dislocated to such an extent that his spinal cord was severed. Now he’s bravely and pragmatically working towards a full and active life in a wheelchair. But Roger’s come home to a house that he can’t even get into, a bedroom that he can’t manoeuvre in, and bathroom he can’t use. Since mid-August Jill has been working with the City to brainstorm options to make the house accessible, drawing up plans by hand on graph paper, and trying to be as creative as possible. The process

Out of the Rain in Fernwood >> by Susan Salvati

A

s the cooler temperatures of autumn begin, Fernwood has a unique opportunity to provide shelter to some of the city’s most vulnerable youth. Beginning on Thursday, November 6, Fernwood NRG, working with Beacon Community Services, will open its doors to the Out of the Rain Youth Shelter. Out of the Rain operates from November through April, rotating around the city throughout the week.

Out of the Rain will operate in Fernwood on Thursday evenings out of the Community Centre gym. A maximum of 30 young people between the ages of 15 and 25 will be given shelter at the site. Doors will open at 10 pm. Out of the Rain participants are greeted by two staff members as well as volunteers. Upon arrival, they are offered a warm meal. Mats will be provided for sleeping, and at 7:00am the youth will leave the facility after having breakfast. Out of the Rain Coordinator Jenn Mortimer explains that “clients are encouraged to show respect and to take responsibility for maintaining the space.” The Fernwood location is a no-pet site.

– continued on page 6

has been painstakingly slow. So slow that when Roger arrived back in Victoria from rehab in late October, the couple had to move to an accessible suite in family housing at UVic and is now paying $2500 a month between rent and their mortgage. According to building codes if they put in an accessible suite on ground level they can’t add an extension to the house for five years (for an accessible kitchen); if they add an extension to the house, they would have to leave the basement empty for five years (i.e. no suite). If left as a single family dwelling, they would need a staircase connection between the two floors. “What is Roger going to do with a staircase?” Jill wonders. The most stressful part of the process of making the place accessible within a web of building restrictions, she says, “is that you get your head around something and think ‘okay, we’re going to do this’. But then one little thing throws a wrench into the entire plan. This is so stressful when you’re already maxed.” How can Fernwoodians help? Skilled labourers are needed to lend a hand with the renovation. For more info and to offer support head to www.rogerstephen.org

in this issue How to build your own Vibe Box Page 2 Feature: 1 in 3: Women’s Sexual Assault Centre Page 4 Metis Storyteller at Stanley Stitchcraft Page 7


editorial : Meaningful action now

Like the work of Fernwood NRG? Go to CanadaHelps.org and donate to Fernwood NRG.

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;

on the streets. It is about creating housing. It is about the ability of downtown businesses to flourish. It is about a city core that is vibrant and alive. It is about the management of the City’s limited resources to ensure that these are spent in the best possible way to benefit the greatest number of people. What is needed from those elected this November is to take a risk and move beyond consultation, research, and planning, to collaboration, co-creation, and doing with and for everyone impacted by the lack of safe and secure shelter. Taking a risk means trusting that people who live on the streets, other downtown residents and business owners, shelter providers, non-profit societies, and grassroots coalitions all have the solutions to this crisis close at hand. A risk taking Council will bring these folks together for meaningful action, now.

A Vibe Box Near You Starting January 2009 the Village Vibe will no longer be delivered by Canada Post directly to your doorstep. Instead, the Village Vibe volunteer team is initiating a neighbourhood-based distribution system. Here are some plans and photos to help you build your very own Vibe Box. Email us at villagevibe@fernwoodneighbourhood.ca and let us know where your box is. We’ll place it on our Vibe Box map to be posted at the Cornerstone Café and make sure it’s filled with papers. Want to receive the Village Vibe digitally? Sign up at www.villagevibe.ca. Current and all back issues can also be found at this site.

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;

Photos: Sandy Ollsin

I ran into one of my former students up at UVic the other day. “I’ve been meaning to email and thank you Lisa for the advice you gave me.” I wondered what salient piece of advice I might have imparted in a first year history class. “You told us to take risks. And I’ve been doing that. It hasn’t always worked out but …” Exactly, I said, which is why it’s a risk! Those who hope to be elected to Victoria City Council this November had better be the risk taking types. Now is the time for outside the box, creative, risky solutions to Victoria’s most urgent crisis: the lack of safe, affordable, supportive housing. Many complain that this has become a one-issue election. Yet the lack of safe, affordable, supportive housing is hardly a single issue: It is about urban spaces that are safe for all Victorians including those who live

the Fernwood buzz

Rebirth of Commons: Water at Stevenson Park Fernwood celebrated the dedication of the Victoria Community Well at Stevenson Park in spectacular fashion on September 27th, marking a major milestone after years of work by dedicated Fernwood volunteers spearheaded by resident Bill Goers and a renewed commitment to Fernwood’s 150-year stewardship over public access to the water flowing under our feet. The Celebration welcomed several hundred celebratory Fernwood and Victoria residents and comments from a list of dignitaries including Songhees Chief Robert Sam, B.C. Lieutenant Governor Steven L. Point, Victoria MP Denise Savoie, Victoria-Hillside MLA Rob Fleming, Victoria City Councillors Helen Hughes and Dean Fortin, and the Fernwood Community Association Chair Tony Sprackett. The Unity Dancers and the Ukrainian Catholic Church Choir performed, and spiritual leaders representing Christian, Jewish, Buddhist and Wicca faiths offered blessings for the well. His Honour the Honourable Steven L. Pointe dedicated the well and stole the show with his reflections on the series of historical events leading up to this proud day. His rolling laughter and insights into the universal role water plays in all of our lives provided thoughtful moments, and glimpses of his youthful exuberance charmed and inspired his audience. Congratulations Fernwood, and to all who organized this magical community event!

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

Page 2 | News and views from the heart of Fernwood | November 2008

VillageVibe


What qualities are you looking for in Victoria’s next City Council?

Photos: Lisa Helps

views from the street :

Elizabeth Absolute compassion for the homeless and the ability to let us camp from 7am to 9pm. Eliminate the bylaws that keep us poor.

Wolf and Seth I see marginalization. So opening up spaces for the marginalized. Opening up space more generally. Inviting and inciting the ability for people to create within this city all forms of cultural resistance and production.

Haultain Common Celebration

Gerry Openness to new ideas and compassion.

New Kid on the Box

Photo: Marni Offman

Longtime Good Food Box Coordinator Says Goodbye

>> by Rainey Hopewell & Margot Johnson Recently on Vining and Chambers Streets neighbours gathered in the streets. On September 21st, the eve of Equinox, Haultain Street residents and other Fernwood commoners did something a little bit different. At the corner of Asquith and Haultain, a long table was set up and potluck dishes arrived in strollers, on bikes, and in wagons from around the neighbourhood. The stars of the show, the reason for the party, were the vegetables, lush on the boulevard. About 80 folks attended over the course of the evening. The crowd was truly intergenerational, with younger families attending earlier in the evening and older folks arriving as the night wore on. The food was fabulous, the music was sweet, the dancing swell, the poetry, jokes, speeches and stories were spell-binding and much laughter spilled onto Haultain Street. We have had a rich harvest of our own from the Haultain Common, and we want to share a bit of what we’ve learned: > We learned that although there may be some exceptions, in general, boulevards are perfectly fine places to grow food. > We learned that even a modest boulevard such as ours can produce about 300 pounds of fresh vegetables in a single summer, even when the heat is sporadic.

VillageVibe

>> by Susi Porter-Bopp

> We learned that in a culture where private property is deeply entrenched, it takes repetitive reassurance and encouragement for folks really to believe that anyone may harvest from public land. > We learned that in addition to the vegetable seeds planted here, we planted something else as well, a shiney something that grew beyond our wildest dreams. Through our research of the Common movement, we also learned that the Haultain Common is but one small manifestation of an immense yearning sweeping across western civilization, an unstoppable yearning to reclaim our species’ ancient understanding of a commonlyheld inheritance of life-sustaining forces, held in trust collectively for the common good. These are the forces of Earth, Air, Fire and Water, of light and dark, peace and quiet, seeds and knowledge, medicinals and healing, gene pool and DNA, radio and microwaves, the ancient forests and tumbling waters, the wealth of the past and hope for the future. And we know that all these life-sustaining forces are under assault. We yearn on a cresting swell for something different, and right across the western world, it appears the time has come to make it so.

After three-and-half years of bringing local fruit and veggies to Fernwood’s doorsteps through the Victoriabased Good Food Box, Program Coordinator Jennifer Freeman is hanging up her hat. The Village Vibe sat down with Jen for some Q&A. Village Vibe What’s the history of the Good Food Box Program? Jennifer Freeman The program started around eight to ten years ago when a bunch of young mums got together and thought about how they could buy food together to lower their grocery bills, and they started an informal bulk produce buying group. Maybe they knew about Good Food Box programs in other locations, but it was pretty informal at first. From there more volunteers got involved, and eventually community health and social – continued on page 6

How commoners can help: The Haultain Common needs your unsprayed grass clippings and leaves. Please bring them to the Common, dump them on the boulevard and take your bags or boxes away with you. By spring, we’ll have another layer of beautiful soil so veggies can prevail yet again!

November 2008 | www.fernwoodneighbourhood.ca | Page 3


feature : >> by Emily Ellingsen

13 in

O

n Wednesday, November 19th, the Women’s Sexual Assault Centre (WSAC) is partnering with local businesses and

organizations to raise awareness about sexualized violence through its second annual “1 in 3” campaign, which is based on the statistic that 1 in 3 women experience some form of sexualized violence in their the campaign and will be handing out buttons and information to customers or engaging with the public in other creative ways. Participating Fernwood Square businesses include the Cornerstone Café, Strongback Gallery, She Said Gallery, Stir It Up, Pink Sugar

Photo: Lindsay Pomper

lifetimes. Fernwood Square businesses are embracing

Cupcakery, Studio 1284, and the Green Goddess Café. The 1 in 3 campaign kicked off last year as part of the WSAC’s 25th anniversary event. Businesses were involved in many ways, including displaying posters and distributing information cards and pins. Some businesses even decided to donate a percentage of their day’s sales to the Centre. Downtown businesses are also participating in the campaign. David Cardinal of the Solstice Café said, “It’s important for us as a business to support the work that the Women’s Sexual Assault Centre is doing in the community. This is an issue that affects everyone, and I’m happy that we can help raise awareness.” Caffé Fantastico marked the event by giving a free chocolate to every third customer as a way to draw additional attention to the 1 in 3 aspect of the campaign. By focusing attention on the 1 in 3 statistic, the campaign hopes to promote conversations about a topic that is not often discussed.

WSAC has been providing services and resources to survivors of sexual assault for over 25 years. In 1982, a group of women recognized the need for ongoing support for survivors of sexualized violence and increased public awareness of the issue. In 1983, they incorporated as the “Victoria Women’s Sexual Assault Centre Society.” Today WSAC serves over 2,500 survivors of sexualized violence each year through the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART); Group and Individual Counselling programs; 24-hour crisis and information line; an award winning prevention and education program called Project Respect; and workshops for parents and friends. Funding is diversified, with approximately 46% provided by government contracts and 34% coming from the community through direct fundraising initiatives. There have been many changes at the WSAC since the 25th anniversary last year. The centre’s longstanding

Page 4 | News and views from the heart of Fernwood | November 2008

VillageVibe


Photos: Emily Ellingsen

Photos: Emily Ellingsen

Fernwood Participates in Women’s Sexual Assault Centre Campaign

Executive Director, Sandy McLellan, retired from her

“I would love to hand out buttons and put a poster

position. Makenna Rielly joined the team as the new

on my window,” said Natalie Tatem, manager of Stir

executive director earlier this Spring and has brought

it Up, the authentic Caribbean roti and jerk chicken

a wealth of knowledge, experience, and heart to the

stand in Fernwood Square, as she put a 1 in 3 button

organization. All of these attributes were required, as

on her jacket.

she had to hit the ground running. She was hired on the eve of the announcement that the centre’s location,

Even new Fernwood business owners Marnie Hueston,

the St. John’s Ambulance Building, had been bought

who recently bought She Said Gallery, and Adrienne

by VIHA, which meant an immediate move. As of

Jopp, who is creating quite a stir with her delicious

September 2008, the Sexual Assault Centre is located

works of art as owner and manager of the Pink Sugar

at #511-620 View Street.

Cupcakery, are taking part.

The WSAC is thankful for ongoing community

How can you get involved? Simple. On November

support in terms of partnerships, donations, and

19th, please come out to support the above listed

fundraising efforts. The 1 in 3 campaign is another

Fernwood businesses or other businesses and

more specific way to improve community ties,

organizations listed on the WSAC website. Tell

this time through encouraging one-to-one brief

someone you sit next to on the bus or in a line about

conversations focusing around sexualized violence and

the 1 in 3 statistic. Wear the button proudly, and

its far-reaching devastating effects.

encourage dialogue with anyone who asks about its significance.

“I am excited about taking part this year,” says Chris Howard, manager of Cornerstone Café.

For a list of participating businesses and additional

He is planning to involve his staff through

information, please go to the Centre’s website at www.

participation and is brainstorming creative ways to

vwsac.com or contact 250-383-5545.

get the message across.

Save Mom’s Market

Benefit at the Inn Sun Nov 9, 2-8pm Silent Auction Prizes Free Appy’s

VillageVibe

November 2008 | www.fernwoodneighbourhood.ca | Page 5


garden gleanings : Saving Your Own Seeds >> by Margaret Hantiuk

Saving your own garden seeds not only saves you money, but it also means that the seeds you grow are from plants that have adapted to your garden’s conditions, such as soil and climate. You can also choose seed from plants that have exhibited the best of desired traits: they matured earlier, were more disease resistant, yielded more, tasted or looked (if it’s a flower) superior to the rest. Some gardeners like to grow heritage varieties that have been saved by family and neighbours. These old varieties have been shunned by big commercial growers and seed companies despite having excellent taste, hardiness, or beauty. Many gardeners want to be more self-sufficient and less dependent on big business controlling their lives and local food supply. By saving your own seed, you will know the source of your seeds, whether they are grown organically or not and that the

Out of the Rain

| from page 1

Out of the Rain has been operating effectively since 1998. It was founded and is run by a coalition of faith communities and social agencies that saw a gap in terms of shelter space for young people. Sleeping facilities for youth in need are extremely limited. For most shelters, one must be at least nineteen years old to be admitted. Even if these young people could get into a shelter such as Streetlink, for many it is much more comfortable to be amongst their own peer group. The alternative is perhaps sharing space with somebody who has been on the street for twenty years and is much more entrenched in that way of life. While many of these young people experience extraordinary challenges, some of them get up and go to work or school in the morning. For a number of reasons (be it their age, lack of references or the expensive and competitive rental market), they are unable to secure housing and therefore rely on Out of the Rain for a safe and warm place to sleep. Volunteers are needed for the shelter (see below), both to provide food and to act in a support capacity. In terms of offering food once a month, this is something that some people do as a family or as a group of friends. One group of teachers gets together each month for some social time; they cook and chat and then drop off their casserole. The Out of the Rain Coalition would like to extend a thank you to students of Vic High’s Youth Supporting Community group. This group is part of the Victoria Foundation’s Youth in Philanthropy Program. Last year the students in this group donated $1250 to Out of the Rain. Welcoming Out of the Rain to Fernwood is a chance for our neighbourhood to show our concern for some of our city’s at-risk youth. It is a chance for Fernwood to demonstrate that we are a community that knows how to make a difference in a tangible way. Please consider volunteering for this worthy cause.

seed will be fresh. You can even really get into it and begin to breed new strains of plants, naming them after yourself, your loved ones, or your neighbourhood! Collect your seeds carefully: wait until they are ripe, but not lost to birds or spread into the garden. Dry them carefully on trays in a warm, dry place inside and away from direct sunlight. They may need one or two weeks, depending on the size of the seed. Label them with the name and date on the tray. Clean off debris before storing (a hairdryer on a cool and low setting can do this). Store them in a cool, dry and dark place, clearly labelled, in dry and clean glass containers or envelopes. Some gardeners tie a string around outstanding plants as they mature to see if they prove to be exemplary candidates. Decide which characteristics are important with each species and watch out for them as your garden progresses through the season. The difficult part of saving seed is knowing about the sex of plants! Plants that are ‘hybrids’ are bred from two different species and so the seeds will not come true. Plants of a non-hybridized species will breed true. However, there is among plant species, the further need

fairly close to each other (10 to 30 ft, depending) and still breed true. Tomatoes, beans, peppers, lettuce and peas are self- pollinating. If you are just growing one variety of these, there is no concern – unless your garden butts up against your neighbours. Cross-pollinating plants do not have both the female and male in their flowers and they do rely on bees and wind for pollination. They are more difficult to collect true seed from as they may be pollinated by another variety growing anywhere within a quarter mile. Another point to remember is that some plants are biennials, setting seed the second year of their life cycle. Examples are beets, carrots and cabbages, and foxgloves in the flower world. Beware as well that some plants interbreed with their wild cousins: carrots with Queen Anne’s Lace for example. Some plants interbreed within their own family: the Brassica family includes broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussel sprouts, collards and kohlrabi. Some distance must separate all of these species if seed is being collected, or mutants may occur. Increasing numbers of gardeners the world over are collecting seed. Seed banks have been set up to safeguard

Seed banks have been set up to safeguard our supply and to protect genetic diversity. to understand if the plant is ‘self-pollinating’ or ‘crosspollinating’. Self-pollinating plants have both male and female parts to their flower and don’t need wind or bees for pollination, so the different varieties can be grown

To volunteer contact Jenn Mortimer at jennmortimer@ hotmail.com or 250-884-3701.

Good Food

| from page 3

workers were advocating for funding for the program. Three-and-a-half years ago funding was secured to hire a paid coordinator, and that became my role. I was already an advocate for healthy eating and a volunteer with the program, and I found the transition into coordinator an easy one. V V How has the GFB grown under your leadership? JF I’ve definitely pushed local food issues into the program. Growth occurred too – it has more than doubled in size in the past three-and-a-half years, and many more agencies are involved now. But since I think that growth without proper infrastructure isn’t really moving forward and eating locally grown food is, I focused my work within the program around increasing the content of local food in the boxes. The emphasis on buying local within our Victoria GFB program really sets us apart from other GFB programs across the country. V V What are some of the specific ways that you brought local food into the program? JF The program was already connected with three local farmers when I first started; I just slowly started to incorporate more. We now use over ten local farmers on a regular basis, with the majority of them farming in the Saanich area. We also buy indirectly from different local farmers when we purchase through wholesalers. V V Where would you like to see the program go? JF Of course, more solid core funding for critical things like an office and warehouse space and support staff would be really nice. I would love to see the community, with the help of our new coordinator, Sushil Saini, focus on securing more core support and staff so that the program can do more around education, outreach, and community awareness. I also want to see the program move towards

Page 6 | News and views from the heart of Fernwood | November 2008

our supply and to protect genetic diversity. Look for ‘Seedy Saturday’, a gardening fair held in mid-February, where you can swap and purchase locally grown and collected seeds.

formalizing into its own registered non-profit with it’s own formalized board, which of course, I would have interest in being part of. V V What do you think about the idea of running the GFB as a social enterprise? JF I think it’s totally an awesome and legit idea and that the Good Food Box program has full potential to run as a social enterprise. But we really can’t move forward on developing that aspect until we have the proper infrastructure and proper resources – currently, I think we have a limited capacity to organize ourselves into a successful social enterprise. We need some seed funding first, and then I think we could do a fine job of running as a social enterprise. Part of the stuff that Sushil will be working on is moving the program to that next level so that it can function in this way. V V What’s next for you? JF Firstly, I will be focusing on my family and taking time to be with my sister on the Sunshine Coast while she has her baby. When I come back to Victoria in November, I will focus on my gardening; putting beds to rest, collecting mulch, and planting the rest of my garlic. After all of that, I am not exactly sure what the world will bring me or exactly what I will create, but I feel good about the changes that are occurring. I have loved my time coordinating such a grass roots local food program, and I am sure there will be more of the same kind of fun in my future. Because, at least in my lifetime, I think there will always be people to feed and food to grow. So let the adventure continue, and may we all have the privilege of accessing healthy and local non-corporately produced and packaged food. Long live the local carrot! To find out more about the Good Food Box Program, or how you can make a donation or volunteer your time, contact the new Coordinator, Sushil Saini, via email: goodfoodbox@fernwoodneighbourhood.ca or leave a message at 381-1552 ext. 33. Or check out our website at www.fernwoodneighbourhood.ca/goodfoodbox.html

VillageVibe


faces : Metis Storyteller at Stanley Stitchcraft

>> by Lisa Helps As I walk into Stanley Stitchcraft at Begbie and Stanley in the old Lum Grocery, it’s as if I’m walking into someone’s living room. “I wanted to create a space where people could feel comfortable,” Lani Laberge, proprietress of Fernwood’s newest small business tells me. “And I got everything for free off usedvictoria.com.” Lani recently returned to Fernwood from Duncan, but her story is much longer than this. Her mother came from Duck Lake, Saskatchewan, minutes from the site of the 1885 Battle of Batoche in which her grandfather participated. She’s Metis and traces her heritage back to the Red River Settlement. Lani grew up on a farm in the Cariboo. I asked her what that was like: “I absolutely loved it. It’s truly prepared my brothers and me for what I feel is coming in the future. We know how to live frugally, how to use things for many purposes.” She obviously passed these skills on to her own children. “This might sound rather

odd,” she tells me, “But my son is living in a 16 by 20 foot dugout cave outside of Terrace.” He bought land, dug himself out a cave, and forages and hunts for subsistence. Growing up in the Cariboo, she met Eliza Archie, a native storyteller from the Canim Lake Reserve, who seeded Lani’s lifelong fascination with women’s stories. She passed this tradition of storytelling on to her children as they were growing up in Nanaimo and even made costumes for them so they could act their stories out. Her love for story and costume led Lani to a theatre course at Malaspina University College. After college, she tells me she “wandered around the country from theatre to theatre, then came full circle back to the island, to Fernwood, in 1992.” Having been divorced along the way, she put an ad in the paper noting that she was looking for a husband, younger than her. Al Laberge replied, and they’ve been married for 17 years. Lani dragged her new husband out to Saskatchewan to research a book. They lived in La Ronge, 300 miles North of Prince Albert, where she worked in a native friendship centre with teen parents. When they arrived, she tells me, “there were still a lot of the old beliefs and ways of knowing.” Within three years a Kentucky Fried

since April 2006. In 2010 Kiwetin Press will publish A Canadian Legend and Other Stories, tracing Lani’s family’s female lineage from 1696 to 2003 – the year her mother died. Lani says her grandchildren brought her back to the Vancouver Island. Al’s mother had had a stroke, so they decided on Victoria, where he was from. “Most moves in the past few years have been about coming in closer contact with family,” she explains. When I asked her why she decided to open Stanley Stitchcraft – why sewing? – she tells me, “it’s something I can do while I’m writing,” and gestures to her laptop, set up beside her sewing machine. She also wanted to have a place where people could come in and get things done inexpensively. “My prices are low, and I intend to keep them that way.” When we spoke, she’d been open for a week and had repaired a sail and reproduced a cover for a boat battery box. She specializes in large size clothing and clothing for people with disabilities. “Quite often people are built a little differently,” she points out, “and clothing just doesn’t fit properly. My whole thing is to be non-judgmental in what I do.” She also does hems, alterations, etc.

She passed this tradition of storytelling on to her children as they were growing up ... and made costumes for them so they could act their stories out. Chicken had opened up and slot machines appeared. In a short time they witnessed an increase in diabetes, and gambling, alcohol and drug addiction. Pursuing storytelling in a more formal way, they returned to Kamloops, where Lani did a degree in English at Thompson Rivers University. She got involved with Women’s Studies, where her female profs inspired her to write. This led to “A Canadian Legend,” a 12 part series she’s been writing for Whispering Winds magazine

Asked what brought her back to Fernwood, she described living here in the early 1990s, when her friend bill bisset, the Canadian poet visited. They’d head down to the George and Dragon, and noticed “the old hippies, the nuevo hippies — how many like-minded people were around. Fernwood is a place where people seem to accept everyone. I came back because I wanted to be a part of that. I wanted to contribute to it.” As I was leaving, Lani gave me a black rubber bracelet with the word “kindness” written on it in nine different languages. “Start the day with this on your left wrist,” she advised. “When you do something kind for someone, move it to your right wrist.” Fernwood is lucky to have Lani back. Hours: Mon, Wed, Fri. 1:00-5:30 Tues, Thurs. 9:30-1:00 Saturday 9:30-5:30 Address: 1606 Stanley Ave. Phone: 250-294-6396

GODLY PLAY Experiences with God for children based on Montessori teaching principles.

St. Barnabas Anglican Church 10:30 a.m. Sunday School

corner of Belmont and Begbie. www3.telus.net/stbarnabas/

VillageVibe

November 2008 | www.fernwoodneighbourhood.ca | Page 7


what’s on in Fernwood Arts, Theatre and Entertainment Belfry Theatre. BRILLIANT! THE BLINDING ENLIGHTENMENT OF NIKOLA TESLA. presented by Electric Company Theatre. Nov 11-Dec 14. 1291 Gladstone Ave. Info: 250.385.6815 or www. belfry.bc.ca Bluegrass Wednesdays. Fernwood NRG and the Fernwood Bluegrass Association present Wednesday night bluegrass jams at the Cornerstone CafĂŠ. 7:3010pm. FREE! Collective Works Gallery. “Pathwaysâ€? Members group show. Oct 24-Nov 14. Gallery hours>11am-6pm Tues-Thurs; 11am-8pm Fri+Sat; 11am-6pm Sun; closed Mon. 1311 Gladstone Ave. 250.590.1345. www. collectiveworks.ca Cornerstone Collective Records. Cornerstone Collective Records (Fernwood’s own non-profit community-driven record label) welcomes new members Sun, Nov 8. 2:30pm. Drop-in to “talk shopâ€? with us and launch your music career! For info call James: 250.381.1552 ext.25. Live Music at the Cornerstone CafĂŠ. Nov. 22>Chantel Upshaw (from Vancouver) with Georgia Murray. Nov. 29>Kate Steele. 8pm start. By donation. Live Music at Fernwood Inn. Open Mic Thursdays. 8:30-11:30pm. 1302 Gladstone Ave. FREE! Live Music at Logan’s Pub. 1821 Cook St. www.loganspub.com Puppet Theatre. Help create and perform a grand puppet show from scratch using recycled materials. Seeking puppet-makers, puppeteers, musicians/ songwriters, set designers, audio-visual techs, script writers, etc. Sun, Nov 23. 7pm. Fernwood Community Centre. Saint Barnabas Sunday Concert Series. Sun, Nov 23. 2pm. Ensemble Pacifica: Folk Dances in Music. The second of 6 chamber music concerts. $10 at the door. Church of Saint Barnabas, at the corner of Belmont and Begbie. For info contact 250.595.4324 or www3.telus.net/stbarnabas Victoria Bluegrass Association Jam. Tuesdays 7:30-10pm. Orange Hall. 1620 Fernwood Rd. $2 to play. FREE to listen. www. victoriabluegrass.ca Victoria Folk Music Society. Sundays. 7:30pm Open Stage. 9pm Feature Performer. (Nov 2>THE HAINTS. Nov 9>KATE LONG and ROBIN KESSINGER. Nov 16>TBA. Nov 30>BRUCE COBURN TRIBUTE CONCERT). Norway House. 1110 Hillside Ave. $5 feature performer nights/$3 all open stage night. www.victoriafolkmusic.ca

Kids and Families at the Fernwood Community Centre Family Community Day. Family Fun directed and facilitated by the participants. Snacks, crafts, play equipment and varied themes. Mondays 9:30-11:30am. Fernwood Community Centre Gym. FREE! Oct 6-Nov 10, 10-11am we’ll be doing Belly Dancing. (Non-dancers still welcome) Mother Goose Circle Time, in partnership with Success by 6 South Vancouver Island. 10-week program to encourage attachment parenting. Wednesdays, Oct 15-Dec 17. 10:3011:30am. Fernwood Community Centre MPR. FREE! Info: 250.381.1552 ext.132 or email shelley@fernwoodnrg.ca. Parent and Tot Playgroup. Snacks/Crafts/Circle Time. Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30-11:30am. Fernwood Community Centre Gym. $1 per family.

Youth, Adults and Seniors NEW!! Improvisational Dance with Lori Hamar. 6 week course. Nov 10-Dec 15. 7-8:30pm. Fernwood Community Centre MPR. $7 per session. 250.381.1552 ext.25 to register. NEW!! Wizard School. Learn to be the deliberate creator in your life! Five part series starting Nov 4. Tuesdays. 7:30-8:30pm. $12/class. For info see www. moderndaywizard.com/classes.htm Falun Gong. Peaceful meditation practice. All welcome! Wednesdays 5-7pm. Fernwood Community Centre MPR. FREE! Fernwood Seniors. 55+. Gentle exercise, lunch and activities. Monthly special guest speaker. Fridays 11am Fernwood Community Centre MPR. $2 for lunch. Fairuza Fridays. Drop-in Co-ed. Ages 10-14. Nintendo Wii, big screen movies, basketball, floor hockey, roller skating, music. Fridays, 7-9:30pm. Fernwood Community Centre. Info: 250.381.1552 ext.25 FREE! Floor Hockey. Drop-in Co-ed. Adult (18+). Tuesdays and Thursdays 7-9:30pm. Fernwood Community Centre Gym. $4, or get a punchcard: $40/11 sessions.** Hatha Yoga. With certified instructor Elke. Gentle poses, breathing practice, deep relaxation and meditation. Tuesdays 3:30-5pm. Fernwood Community Centre Gym. $5. Karate. Drop in. Adult Co-ed. Instructor Lucas Trottier. Sundays, 1-2:30pm. Fernwood Community Centre Gym. $3.** Photography Club. Saturdays, 3-5pm. Fernwood Community Centre. Come out and meet other

photographers, work on projects, exchange ideas, and have a coffee. FREE! Flow Yoga with certified instructor Jay. Adult. Fridays 5:30-7pm. $5. Fernwood Community Centre Gym. Reflexology with Marianne McLauchlin. Feel like a new person after hand and foot treatments. Drop in. Tuesdays, 1:30-4pm. Fernwood Community Centre MPR. By donation. Women’s Soccer. Drop-in. Sundays 5-6:30pm, Fernwood Community Centre Gym. $3.** **We accept Sports Trader Bucks and Canadian Tire Money at face value!

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@fernwoodneighbourhood.ca www.villagevibe.ca Editor: Lisa Helps Assistant Editors: Aaron Ellingsen, Trish Richards

Special Events Fernwood Business Network. Everyone welcome. Tues, Nov 4 (first Tues monthly). 10am. Fernwood Inn. For info contact Ryan Rutley at ryan@rutleyventures.ca Cornerstone CafĂŠ Events: >B.C. Transit Open House. B.C. Transit open house seeking community input on possible Bay St. bus route. Thu, Nov. 6. 6:30-9:30pm >Open Mic hosted by Trans-Action. Everyone welcome – bring your instruments. Open mic night to raise awareness for transgender day of remembrance. Fri, Nov 7. 7-10pm. Victoria Green Drinks. An inclusive gathering of the sustainabilityminded for refreshments and conversation. Tues, Nov 11 (second Tues monthly). 5-7pm. Canoe Brew Pub, Marina and Restaurant 405 Swift Street. For info see www. greendrinksvictoria.ca Fernwood’s Outrageous Recycling Day. Bring your CLEAN plastics, styrofoam packing and food trays, electronics and foil-lined coffee/chip bags. Sat, Nov 8 (second Sat monthly). 10am-1pm. Across from Fernwood Community Centre. By donation. Fernwood’s Outrageous Recycling Day seeks volunteers! Come help us make it all happen! For info contact villagevibe@fernwoodneighbourhood. ca Fernwood Place Making Troupe. All Welcome! Bring your ideas for the square and the neighbourhood. Mon, Nov 17 (third Mon monthly). 7pm. Cornerstone CafĂŠ. Fernwood NRG Food Security Collective. All welcome! Tues, Nov 18 (third Tues monthly). 7-9pm. Fernwood Community Centre MPR. foodsecurity@ fernwoodneighbourhood.ca Fernwood Community Kitchen. Cook nutritious, creative meals with your neighbours! Info: fernwoodkitchens@gmail. com Spring Ridge Commons Workparties! Come get your hands dirty in Fernwood’s only public food garden. Thursdays, 5-7pm. Please bring tools if you’ve got ‘em.

Contributors: Emily Ellingsen Margaret Hantiuk Rainey Hopewell Margot Johnson Marni Offman Sandy Ollsin Lindsay Pomper Susi Porter-Bopp Jo Roueche Susan Salvati

The views expressed in the Village Vibe do not necessarily reflect the views of Fernwood NRG.

University 102 Info Session. Fri, Nov 12 - 4:00pm Fernwood Community Centre. Free. See www.uvic.ca/uni101 for info. The Fernwood Commons: A Fernwood Community Communication Forum. For info on Fernwood comings and goings and neighbourhood news and views, check out The Fernwood Commons online: http:// thevillagevibe.ning.com/ If you have a workshop or special event idea for the Fernwood Community Centre or the Cornerstone CafĂŠ email james@ fernwoodneighbourhood.ca If you have a Fernwood event you would like listed in the Village Vibe calendar please send an email with the subject line “vibe calendarâ€? to villagevibe@fernwoodneighbourhood.ca

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Denise Savoie Member of Parliament for Victoria

constituency office: 970 Blanshard Street Victoria, BC V8W 2H3 telephone: 363-3600 e-mail: Savoie.d@parl.gc.ca on the web: www.denisesavoie.ca

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Page 8 | News and views from the heart of Fernwood | November 2008

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s the cooler temperatures of autumn begin, Fernwood has a unique opportunity to provide shelter to some of the city’s most vulnerable youth....

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