YOUR Magazine Victoria - Holiday 2019

Page 1








Celebrations of Life


4665 Falaise Drive, Victoria, BC 250-385-4465



12 04 05 06 08








The Victoria Foundation





5 questions, 3 organizations in this 1 great community

Devoting her talents to the community

22 24



3rd Annual Guide








Rugby at Windsor Park






feel like we have blinked,

my phone! He calls to show me things, tell me about school

and just like that, the holiday

(sometimes I need a translator as my comprehension of ‘toddler’

season is once again upon

is not great), but most recently he wanted to tell me about his

us. I often refer to Christmas

donkeys. Emmett doesn’t seem to understand the difference

as the 5th season. I absolutely love

between donkeys and reindeer and is convinced that Santa will

this time of year.

be borrowing his donkeys to deliver toys. This year our Christmas

As a child, I remember thinking that it was the most magical season;

visit will be a little more innocently magical as he is starting to discover all the excitement of this truly special season. This year will be an extra special post-Christmas

twinkly lights, bright smiles, the gift of giving something special to a loved one, great cheerful Christmas carols and the most wonderful of all, time with friends and family. As a family, we celebrated this unique mix; Christmas Eve was traditional German with an afternoon in church and then the most amazing spread of charcuterie (before I even knew this was a thing) and German wieners (or hot dogs as I called them). Christmas Eve was capped off with family time around the tree, one present, and my mom reading ’Twas the Night Before Christmas.

“I think sometimes we get lost in the list of tasks and forget to pause and truly bask in the beauty and love that is all around many of us this time of year.”

I believed in Santa much lot longer than many of my

celebration of family time with my littlest nephew turning 1! While Christmas can be a wonderfully bright and cheerful season, it can also be a struggle for many; it is a time many remember past Christmases, friends and family that aren’t sitting at the table this year, and struggles faced over the past year. Remember this as you bustle your through the season: be kind and find a way to show support to someone in your community. Be it a donation to a food bank, Coats for Kids, a gift for the Tree of

friends… On Christmas Day the family would all come together

Wishes, or just the simple act of helping someone with a door or

for a wonderful brunch, time around the tree, a Willows Beach

heavy load. We often get buried in the busy, but take a moment

dog walk, and a traditional turkey stuffed with Scottish oatmeal

to step back and make a memory. Be grateful for those around

dressing. I believe we had the best blend of two families’ traditions.

you, the past year you have had, and look to the New Year for

Now as an adult, while the twinkly lights, the gift of giving and

hope and happiness.

time with friends and family have continued to be highlights,

Thanks to all of you for another great year; YOUR is truly the

I have also taken on some of the more labour-intensive aspects

community’s magazine and without my engaged contributors,

(I make Christmas dinner). While I wouldn’t have it any other

advertisers and audience we wouldn’t be where we are today.

way, I think sometimes we get lost in the list of tasks and forget

Thank you. Enjoy the season with loved ones, good health and

to pause and truly bask in the beauty and love that is all around


many of us this time of year. My sister, brother-in-law and 2 amazing little nephews live on a rural property outside Calgary. My eldest nephew, Emmett, turned 2 in August and has recently discovered that he can ‘see auntie’ on the phone if we video chat. This has become one

Dianne McKerrell, Publisher

of the most entertaining and lovable interactions I have with




DANIEL PALMER Daniel is a writer and communications professional based in Victoria, B.C. His work has appeared in Monday Magazine, Metro News and The Province among other publications. Born and raised in Newfoundland, Daniel has a deep attachment to oceanside living. He attended the University of Victoria and has a postgraduate certificate in journalism from Langara College.


BEN BRANNEN Ben is the owner and principal designer at Bespoke Design Ltd - a design boutique offering Farrow & Ball paint, wall coverings, window treatments, fine linens and furnishings made in Canada and North Carolina. He has an Honours Degree in Commerce from Carleton University and 25 years of experience in the design and paint coatings industries. Ben has taught courses in Interior Design for the Calgary Board Of Education, Bow Valley College and most recently for the Pacific Design Academy.

Andrew Hoffman, CFA is a Vice President and Portfolio Manager with Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel where he works with individual clients and their families, foundations, endowments, and Indigenous communities across Canada. A great lover of the outdoors, Andrew enjoys hiking, cycling, and unnecessarily “spotting” his two rock climbing teenagers.



Dave Monahan founded Smart Dolphins IT Solutions in 2000, after completing the Application and Management of Information Technology Program (AMIT) at UVic, He was raised in a family that valued ambition and Dave, wanted to be an entrepreneur just like his father. As President of Smart Dolphins, he navigates the direction of the business and plays a key role in its continued growth and success.

Using natural light and seasonal ingredients, Lyndsey Eden devotes her work and online journal to rustic farm-to-table home cooking, travel, still-life photography, design and living in the present. She lives for the artistry in the every day, the beauty in the simple, and the imperfect in the perfect. When she is not photographing, running a workshop or cooking, she spends her days being in nature with her hubby, foraging farmers markets, cuddling her beloved fur babies, or dining with friends and family.

CHRISTOPHER KELSALL Christopher Kelsall is the founder of Athletics Illustrated, co-founder of Victoria Sports News, race director of the Victoria Run Series and run coach. Married for 25 years, with two kids, and a passion for sports.

AMANDA BATCHELOR Amanda is a graphic designer and lifelong south islander. A former founding member of Thrifty Foods’ in-house art department, she recently went independent to establish Paper Panda Creative. On sunny Victoria days, solar panels power her home studio and charge the car. A member of Think Local First, Amanda helps fellow local businesses put their best face forward. YOUR HOLIDAY 2019 05


YOUR ABOUT US The Concept Behind YOUR Magazine

The Three T’s

In the Capital Region there are close to 1,000 registered not-for-profit organizations, and one of their largest challenges after finances, is getting their stories told. Media coverage for them is oversubscribed. Because of this, there are a multitude of great causes but not nearly enough opportunities for these organizations to reach a wide audience to share stories of the valuable work they do on a daily basis, work that enhances the community and the lives of the people who call it home. Some of these not-for-profits started from the ideas of a visionary, such as the Victoria Foundation, others by a collection of like-minded people, and some by a grant from the public or private sector. Not a single one has the same story. Victoria needs to be more aware of all the great people and unique organizations that help to make this city remarkable.

Everybody has a cause close to their heart; one in which they would be willing to be a more active participant. What’s yours?

YOUR Magazine believes that right now we can help raise the awareness of such organizations, and shine a light on the philanthropic opportunities within organizations in this community. YOUR community. The story of each not-for-profit is engaging and distinctive and these stories are all around us. YOUR magazine will encourage the reader to share with us what is or isn’t happening in your community, what the issues are on your mind and how can we help to share information and connect you better to your community. In order to get these stories heard, not-for-profits need to find a way to connect with those who are willing to help them grow. They need people to support them through volunteering any of their 3 T’s. YOUR is pleased to be able to support each of these features with a portion of our ad revenue from their issue. As YOUR magazine continues to grow, so will the opportunities to give back within the community. The larger we get the more we can give back, not only to our featured not-for-profit each issue, but also to the greater community. A win-win; a meaningful commitment to the community paired with a collection of great untold stories 4 times a year.

Seven Fields of Interest YOUR provides stories about the not-for-profit world in and around Greater Victoria based on 7 distinct sectors or Fields of Interest. YOUR also endeavours to provide equal opportunity to each of the 7 Fields of Interest as a feature article in each issue. Below is a summary of feature articles to date in their respective Fields of Interest. 1) Arts, Culture & Recreation: 4 2) Education & Research: 2 3) Health: 2

Victoria is an incredibly fortunate community; filled with vibrant and active youth, a giving work force, and an incredible group of retired and semi-retired skilled individuals who have chosen Greater Victoria as home and a vast group of entrepreneurs of all ages. Each issue of YOUR will help raise awareness of a selected organization, connect people to their neighbours, share event information, and hopefully inspire members of the community to give one or two of their 3 T’s: 1) TIME – Although everyone has a hectic schedule, the gift of your time to an organization can be incredibly rewarding whether it is an hour a month or a day a week. This time is invaluable to an organization, as people power is often the largest cost for a not-for-profit and time is in the highest demand. Volunteering can give seniors an opportunity to be back in their community filling a meaningful role, while many students can often obtain credits in both high school and university for their time. Bottom line, your time is a gift to any not-for-profit, and you will most likely benefit just as much! 2) TREASURE – There has been much written about the financial benefits of giving treasure to a registered charity. The monetary benefit is a tax receipt while the personal benefit can range from the great satisfaction of gifting funds anonymously and to seeing your dollars at work in your community and having ‘your name up in lights’. Without private financial donations few organizations in your community would survive. 3) TALENT – Everyone has skills or knowledge to offer the community whether they realize it or not. Your gift of talent could range from driving seniors to appointments, serving food at one of our community shelters or food banks, writing reports, helping with strategic planning, guiding financial decisions, helping clean a local beach or park, swinging a hammer at a community housing project, or taking a seat on a board. Any one of these or other ways of donating your skills could benefit the organization and the community, while making you feel good as a contributing member; plus you never know what may happen or who you might meet.

4) Social Service: 4 5) Environment: 3 6) Development & Housing: 1 7) Civic & Advocacy: 1


CONTRIBUTORS WELCOME If you have a great story idea for YOUR or would like to contribute content please contact us at






FALL 201 9


PUBLISHER Dianne McKerrell


AM 2019-04-02 10:06:34

YOUR ng-2019.indd


CONTRIBUTORS Ben Brannen Lyndsey Eden Andrew Hoffman Christopher Kelsall Dave Monahan Daniel Palmer








PHOTOGRAPHY Lyndsey Eden Christian J. Stewart Steven Twardy Submitted














ich st Saan

PUBLISHED BY MDM Publishing Ltd. Victoria, BC




ro Liqu

y Met

ood Ba




54 | 250-




w. | ww

80 We y | 71

ood Ba


PRINTED BY Mitchell Press

YOUR magazine is published four times per year by MDM Publishing Ltd and distributed within Greater Victoria, BC. The points of view, opinions or recommendations expressed herein are those of the authors/contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher of YOUR. The content of YOUR magazine is protected by copyright, including but not limited to the designed advertising, original stories, and photographs. Reproduction is prohibited without written consent from the publisher. YOUR Magazine Victoria is distributed by Canada Post under agreement number 42992539. Mitchell Press is ranked #3 amongst North America’s Top Printers by for Sustainable Practices.




GRAPHIC DESIGN Amanda Batchelor

Your Magazine Victoria



For advertising inquiries: 250.858.9189



Anthropologist Margaret Mead’s most well-known quote goes like this: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”





o it was that back in 2013, a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens representing Greater Victoria’s food banks, charitable sector and social services gathered to discuss

food security. Assembled by the Victoria Foundation, the group’s goal was simple in theory but ambitious in practice: to help tens of thousands of Capital Region residents going hungry every single month gain better access to healthful, fresh food. “The underlying principle of food rescue is that there is an enormous amount of high quality produce moving through major grocery stores that is still fresh and that could be sold, but that must be disposed of because new shipments come in at regular intervals,” said Sandra Richardson, CEO of the Victoria Foundation. Today, the Esquimalt-based Food Rescue Distribution Centre diverts 600,000 kilograms of fresh food — otherwise destined for the Hartland landfill — to feed 35,000 people every month. Each day, over 2,000 kilos of food is processed and distributed through a network of more than 50 organizations including non-profits, First Nations, and public schools, among others. An on-site commercial-grade kitchen processes near-spoiled fruits and vegetables while simultaneously acting as a training facility for food literacy and employment. There are also plans to expand these training facilities and provide incubator space for local food-based start-ups, all while increasing the network’s distribution footprint to ensure no one goes hungry. In less than a decade, what began as a meeting of minds has indeed changed the world on the Southern Island. “We’ve had visiting delegations from other provinces and levels of government tell us this is a model for the rest of the country,” Richardson said. “It’s remarkable what has been accomplished.” Established in 1936, the Victoria Foundation is Canada’s second oldest community foundation and the sixth largest of nearly 200 nation-wide — an impressive position for an organization serving a relatively small populace.





“Once we had a map, we started to identify gaps in the system,

“For the size of our community, we’re a generous community,”

hunger and improve food security outcomes. Out of that, the most

Richardson said. “People are informed, they like to engage and want to

exciting things for me were the two regional food networks that were

find collective solutions. That really plays out in reality.”

established,” Richardson said.

The Victoria Foundation manages charitable gifts from donors whose

The FoodShare Network focuses on food access and security, working

generosity allows them to create permanent, income-earning funds. The

with food banks, meals programs, and social service and community

proceeds from these funds are then distributed as grants for charitable

organizations that manage everything from community kitchens

or educational purposes. To date, the Victoria Foundation has invested more than $225 million in people, projects and nonprofit organizations that strengthen communities locally and throughout Canada. The Food Rescue Distribution Centre was established after the Foundation’s annual Vital Signs report identified and quantified the need. A Food Security Roadmap was revealed in 2013, which became a guiding map for a complicated project.

and what opportunities we could align to the non-profits to reduce

“They are doing good work and I believe in it deeply.” Sandra Richardson, CEO of the Victoria Foundation

to food delivery programs for young moms. The FoodShare Network includes 77 agencies, non-profits, charities, First Nations, school districts, funders and different levels of government. The second network, known as the GoodFood Network, focuses on the local

food economy and works to increase the amount of produce grown in the region, as well as on food literacy. These two networks work together to address a broad range of food security issues in a coordinated and strategic way. In 2016, the Foundation joined forces with the Capital Region’s 13 local Rotary Clubs, small food rescue projects and the community-engaged food retailer Thrifty Foods to launch a coordinated regional food rescue program. “We wanted something that wasn’t just a food bank. We wanted to acquire a space and have one of the big networks in there to really disrupt the food delivery system,” Richardson said. A central priority that drove the project was also in supporting the United Nations’ Zero Hunger sustainable development goal, she said. In its first year, having rented the 20,000 square-foot warehouse owned at the time by the Capital Regional District in Esquimalt, BC, the Food Security Distribution Centre expanded to include 56 participating agencies and now rescues food from 17 regional retailers. The facility is managed and owned today by the Mustard Seed, thanks to a $2-million grant from the Ministry for Poverty Reduction provided through the Victoria Foundation. 10 YOUR HOLIDAY 2019

To prove that point, the Foundation and University of Victoria jointly announced the release of a study looking at the economic and social impact of civil society that revealed the sector generated over $4 billion in CRD economic activity in 2016. “We already knew that the sector was incredibly valuable to our community, but this study has shown definitively that it’s right up there with tourism and the tech sectors as one of the most important to our region’s economic and social wellbeing,” Richardson said. As for the hugely successful Food Rescue Distribution Centre, Richardson sees additional facilities opening on Vancouver Island and in other areas of the country, modelled after the good work done right here at home. “When the CRD imposed tipping fees for organic food waste at Hartland, that really created the financial incentive for grocers and other retailers to explore alternatives for their food waste. And that’s where the FoodShare Network comes in,” Richardson said. Today, participating agencies collect produce that in the past would have gone to landfills and bring it to the Food Security Distribution Centre where it is redistributed to 35,000 citizens monthly who would otherwise go hungry. Over time, the Victoria Foundation has become a critical organization in the Capital Region for directing funding to the huge network of non-profit and charitable organizations. Richardson prefers to use the term “civil

“When you look at the wellbeing in the community, and what this project is doing for people, it’s deeply satisfying,” Richardson said. “But there is always more to accomplish.” The Victoria Foundation accepts donations to its Food Security Fund, which is distributed by the Food Rescue Distribution Centre as it expands to meet demand. It’s estimated there are a total of 50,000 residents in the CRD who are food insecure. “I know there are so many asks during the holidays, but this is an incredible initiative to support,” Richardson said. “They are doing good work and I believe in it deeply.”

society” when describing the Foundation’s beneficiaries because of the

To donate via the Victoria Foundation, visit

sector’s huge economic footprint that often is undervalued.

or call 250-381-5532.




YOUR 5-3-1

YOUR will ask 5 questions to 3 organizations in this 1 great community with the goal to give our readers a snapshot of some smaller and lesser known not-for-profits, societies and organizations making a difference within the Greater Victoria community. If you would be interested in having your organization considered to be featured in 5-3-1 visit and complete the online form. 12 YOUR HOLIDAY 2019


1000X5 Children’s Book Recycling Project Society 1) When was your not-for-profit founded and what is your mission statement? 1000X5 Children’s Book Recycling Project - Victoria (1000X5) began in 2010. Our mission is that every baby and preschooler should have a selection of books in the home and hear at least 1000 stories by age five. There are also 1000X5 projects on the West Shore and on the Peninsula.

2) Briefly describe your program or organization? 1000X5 puts books into the hands of babies and preschoolers where families have few books. Books for babies and preschoolers are essential in this crucial early brain development and literacy stage. Every child needs a home library and to have those books read to them 1000 times by age five, building lifelong language, literacy and social-emotional skills. Sadly, many families do not have the opportunity to own many or any books. 1000X5 changes that by putting books into the hands of little ones and their parents. The whole community has the chance to be involved. • 12,000 families • at 27 Greater Victoria School District 61 elementary schools as well as Glenlyon Norfolk, St Michaels, St Margaret’s, Selkirk Montessori, Pacific Christian, St Joseph’s, St Margaret’s elementary schools donate books • 14 volunteers (retired teachers and administrators) sort, clean, and gift bag beautiful books • 1000 children receive 3 books monthly (30 books/year) •

from 27 agencies (in over 70 free programs)

3) What are your organization’s long and short term needs? Our short and long term needs are the same. 1000X5 needs donated books for babies and preschoolers­ — every single week. Monthly, we usually receive enough donations to meet our goal of 3000 books packaged into 1000 gaily wrapped gifts for 1000 children. We know that the next month, many of those children return to one of the 70 free programs and eagerly await another gift bag. 1000X5 would love to be a household word and for families to develop the ongoing habit of searching under the bed, behind the couch and in overloaded books shelves for baby and preschooler picture books that they then drop off at

their nearest elementary school — asking for the 1000X5 bin. We also welcome cash donations (tax receipts available) as we never have enough quality books for babies. We never send chewed or jam covered books and this seems to be common with this age group. ORCA publishing provides a very generous discount for lovely new books that we pop into the bags for babies.

4) Describe your contributions to the community and what outcome the organization has within the community. 1000 – 1200 babies and toddlers/month receive a gaily wrapped gift of 3 books and develop regular reading habits promoting school success. Over the course of a year, that little one has the opportunity to bring home 30 books to open and listen to as they cuddle on a lap. That soon translates to peeking through and “reading” the book to him or herself. 27 community agencies obtain critical resources from 1000X5. We have been told so often “we know how important reading to little ones is, but our budget would never begin [to cover the cost].” They report about how eagerly the gift bags are reached for by little hands and that some families report 1000X5 is their primary source of books. Each year, 1000X5 Victoria sends around 25,000 books into homes — over 210,000 since we began.

5) What is the best way to get involved and where can I get more information about your organization? In this giving season, we are holding the 3 Book Gift Challenge. Take a bag of gently used picture books for babies and preschoolers to your nearest elementary school and ask for the 1000X5 bin. The school will send the books to our fabulous volunteers who sort and create a beautiful gift package of 3 books for the 27 agencies with over 70 programs where families receive the gift. If you wish to donate or learn more, check out our website A book ....For Every Child.... Every Day.



YOUR 5-3-1

3) What are your organization’s long and short term needs? In the long term, Cool Aid needs to acquire and develop additional properties to house people experiencing homelessness, and affordable housing to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place. In the short term, Cool Aid is always in need of donations of cash and items like warm clothing, bus tickets, food cards, towels, journals, art supplies, etc., which we give away. To learn more visit

4) Describe your contributions to the community and what outcome the organization has within the community.

Victoria Cool Aid Society 1) When was your not-for-profit founded and what is your mission statement? Cool Aid was started in 1968 in Fernwood. Mission: Cool Aid acts to end homelessness by working in partnership with others to develop community-based solutions. We are committed to working in a non-judgemental way with adults experiencing marginalization in Greater Victoria by advocating for and providing emergency shelter, supportive housing, integrated health care and other support services.

2) Briefly describe your program or organization? Homelessness and poverty are issues that touch many of us and impact more lives than you may realize. As the largest local provider of services to people experiencing and at-risk of homelessness, the Victoria Cool Aid Society is a key contributor to ending chronic homelessness. Cool Aid advocates for and provides emergency shelter, supportive housing, integrated healthcare and other support services to the most marginalized and vulnerable individuals in the Capital Regional District. Each year, Cool Aid serves over 12,000 adults and seniors facing multiple challenges of poverty, unemployment, mental health and substance use, chronic health issues, brain injury and aging.


Cool Aid contributes to the life of Greater Victoria in many ways. We currently house 585 adults, most of whom were previously homeless. Last year, we also provided emergency shelter for 1,550 adults; provided primary health and dental care to 7,000 people; operated the Downtown Community Centre to provide free, healthy activities for street-involved people; helped people find paid work and supported many others. We operate in 19 locations in Victoria, Saanich and Langford and are busy redeveloping two of our properties to add over 150 new affordable apartments in our community.

5) What is the best way to get involved and where can I get more information about your organization? There are many volunteer opportunities at, we provide a chance for groups to sponsor and help serve a nutritious meal (, and of course donations help us do much more than is possible with government funding alone (CoolAid. org/donate). We depend on the generosity of thousands in our community to deliver these many services­ — thank you Victoria.

The Salvation Army 1) When was your not-for-proďŹ t founded and what is your mission statement? The Salvation Army was founded in 1865 in London, England. The Salvation Army exists to share the love of Jesus Christ, meet human needs and be a transforming influence in the communities of our world.

2) Briefly describe your program or organization? The Salvation Army is an international Christian organization that began its work in Canada in 1882 and has grown to become one of the largest non-governmental direct provider of social services in the country. The Salvation Army gives hope and support to vulnerable people today and everyday in close to 60 communities in British Columbia, 400 communities across Canada and more than 130 countries around the world.

3) What are your organization’s long and short term needs? The Salvation Army relies on the generosity of the general public, corporations and our partners in government to help us provide support and essential services to the community. Two of the biggest ways you can help is by donating your time and or your funds.

We are continuously in need of volunteers of all ages in every community, this could range from ringing some bells at a Christmas Kettle, to handing out food at a meal program. When it comes to both donating and volunteering, every single dollar, every single person, and every single minute spent is a great help to us and we simply cannot thank them enough.

4) Describe your contributions to the community and what outcome the organization has within the community. The Salvation Army feeds, clothes, and shelters individuals and families, while helping others escape addiction and violence. We also provide a number of programs and services related to skills and vocational training, peer counseling, spiritual care and a host of programs directed to families.

5) What is the best way to get involved and where can I get more information about your organization? People can either donate through a one time or monthly donation, give in honour of a loved one, donate to a specific location, make a gift in your will, or other ways including corporate sponsorship. Our programs often rely on the hard work of our volunteers. We offer many opportunities for individuals, groups, and families to volunteer with us. To learn more about how to support us please visit



YOUR GIFT OF GIVING GUIDE Victoria Hospitals Foundation

YOUR 3rd Annual

A picture is worth a thousand words – your father’s MRI, your sister’s mammogram, your friend’s surgical images, your partner’s CT scan, your first ultrasound.

Gift of

Giving Guide

Once again, the YOUR team has chosen to do things a little differently and rather than the traditional Gift Guide we present the 3rd Annual Gift of Giving Guide. We have compiled a few suggestions of great ways to give back to the community in a meaningful and rewarding manner. We hope that this inspires you to find unique ways to support your community by giving at least one of your 3T’s (Time, Talent or Treasure); whether old or young, supporting your community through giving to the charity of your choice, especially this time of year, can perhaps be the most enduring and rewarding gift you give.

Your pictures tell a story. Every picture does. They allow our remarkable care teams to see what is happening, right this instant, inside your body. Images help us understand sources of pain, discomfort, or uncertainty. Images mitigate the unexplained and eliminate the unknown. Images help us perform minimally invasive, life-changing treatments. Images help us map out the big picture. With 275,000+ imaging procedures performed annually in our hospitals and with more than half of all healthcare encounters requiring medical imaging, there is a vital need for $4 million of leadingedge imaging equipment at Royal Jubilee and Victoria General hospitals. To learn more about this high-tech, high-impact equipment, to meet our local caregivers and to read the stories of those in our community who benefit from our hospitals, please visit Picture this: more patients cared for, more care teams supported.

Festival of Trees Festival of Trees is a cherished community tradition and has become the unofficial kick-off to the holiday season in Victoria, serving our community for the last 27 years. Thanks to sponsors, local businesses, organizations and individuals, the Bay Centre is transformed into a lush forest of beautifully decorated trees to raise funds for BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. Starting on November 21st and lasting until January 6th, bring your family, your date or yourself down to the Bay Centre and immerse yourself in the holiday magic that only the Festival of Trees can provide. While there, be sure to vote for your favourite tree for your chance to win a $500 Bay Centre gift card. To make a general donation to support the Festival of Trees, please text the word TREE to 45678. 16 YOUR HOLIDAY 2019




CFAX Santas Anonymous

HeroWork is a charity that renovates other charities. We are a community of people who organize and complete Radical Renovations, just like a modern-day barn raising or Extreme Makeover! We do this at a fraction of the normal cost and time, through fast paced events, usually no longer than 6 weeks from start to finish.

Look for the beautiful CFAX Santas Anonymous Tree of Wishes at Mayfair Shopping Centre, Walmart Uptown, Hillside Centre and Westshore Town Centre. Each Tree of Wishes is decorated with Santa Bear tags containing gift requests from local children registered with Santas Anonymous. Select a wish, purchase the gift and return it — Santas volunteers will make sure it arrives at the workshop to the family’s hamper. Your gift will go to the child you choose, and no one else.

To date HeroWork's innovative program has completed 12 community projects in Victoria valued at close to $5 million dollars. HeroWork creates positive social change by improving physical infrastructure, program efficiency which leads to improved morale, program expansion and sustainability and community buy-in.

Santas volunteers will host the Tree of Wishes from November 25th to December 16th to assist you. You can make a difference in a child’s life this Christmas. Who knows, you may see Santa Bear there too! Visit

You can support HeroWork by becoming a general volunteer or donate your expertise in your trade, sign-up at or if you'd like to make a donation, you can rest assured that 100% of your donation will be used towards our project materials and supplies. If you'd like to apply to see if your charity qualifies for a Radical Renovation, send us an email at For more information, you can find us online on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Profoundly different philanthropy.

BC SPCA The BC SPCA Gift Catalogue is here! There are so many ways to show how you care about animals – from helping to fund a cruelty investigation to kitten care for a day to ensuring injured and orphaned wildlife get the life-saving help they need. Choose a gift, schedule an e-card (optional) and change the life of an animal in need forever. Visit shop or the direct link is https://shop. gift_catalogue YOUR HOLIDAY 2019 17



Classic Seasonal Decorating BEN BRANNEN



his year, when setting your

when the greenery dries out – its time to

fill it with an assortment of pillar candles for the

home up for the holiday season

compost them!

look and flicker of a fireplace.

Opt for flameless candles to ensure a safe winter

Opt for warm white LED mini lights for exterior

season. If you have a non-functioning fireplace

tree wrapping and bush draping so you can

to welcome family and friends, consider options that you can

leave out past the Christmas season by opting

leave them on for additional winter lighting long

to “wintery” decorating. Here are some great

past the holidays. Try white light projections

suggestions for outfitting your home with

under umbrella pruned trees for a flickery winter

seasonal adornment that doesn’t have to come

wonderland effect.

down after the New Year’s parties are over.

Add strings of micro LED lights on copper or

Winter Wreath — switch it up by hanging the

silver wires to nearly anywhere in your home for

wreath over the fireplace this year. Asymmetric

a beautiful addition of soft lighting. Wrapped

wreaths constructed of willow branches, pine

around branches they turn the branch into

sprigs and winter berries or golden magnolia

organic sculpture. Spread over a table they

leaves can stay up much longer than traditional

sparkle against the table setting and coiled into

Christmas themes.

a glass vase they magnify in intensity and bring a focus of attention to whatever you add to the

wintery and last longer than the Christmas

vase. Leave them out until the days become

season. Leave the boughs up as long as the fresh scent and needles survive. Of course 18 YOUR HOLIDAY 2019


Candles and winter greens are festive and

longer and the need for the cozy soft glow is exchanged for the craving to be outdoors.

Cushions and throws can cast a seasonal flair to your home. Faux fur throws and cushion or PHOTO: ISTOCK.COM/AUGUSTINECHANG

chunky knits encourage cozying in to sip tea or read a book in front of a fireplace weeks after the Christmas feast and shopping madness passes. For a more contemporary take try adding white Mongolian fur cushions to your room for a boost of texture to your home. If you are lucky enough to have flower-filled window planters in the summer — consider

Set your dining table with metal finishes — gold

When in doubt – opt for nature. Seasonal

filling them with winter greens of holly, pine

silver and opalescence give a festive feeling but

decorating is best when you bring nature inside

and fir boughs with winter berries for the winter

in a subtle way. Mercury glass votives cast a

for the winter. The benefit of a real Christmas

season. They will add a wintery feeling that is

beautiful glow to a table long into January when

tree in your home is the perfect imperfection

beautiful to look at from both the exterior and

you still crave the warm glow of candlelight and

of a tree born in nature bringing the natural

interior of your home.

the shadowy flicker of light.

scent of a walk in the woods. Wrap that tree in hundreds of sparkling white LED bulbs and you get to enjoy the shadows cast through the branches. It's not unlike the shadows cast from a crystal chandelier. The tree, of course, dries out and needs to be removed soon after the New Year's parties end, but the other suggestions I have made can last through January when you are still craving the warm cozy atmosphere that we need when


the weather is still cool and keeping us cozy in our homes. Happy Winter! YOUR HOLIDAY 2019 19




hen vocalist and entertainer Stephanie Greaves

stepped away as the longstanding guest performer with the Royal

Canadian Navy’s Naden Band in 2016, she wondered whether she’d be booking gigs as frequently with her newfound time. Three years later, Greaves jokes that she hasn’t yet taken a vacation. “Almost instantly, our calendar filled up with engagements, and it hasn’t slowed down,” said the Oak Bay native.



Greaves is no stranger to performing, having taken the stage at Canada Day celebrations on the lawn of the BC Legislature, and at BC Place to open a CFL game. But ask Greaves about her favourite venues, and she’ll tell you she loves the intimacy of a small room alongside her collaborator, keyboardist Darcy Phillips. “We play the Oaks Restaurant on Oak Bay Avenue once a month, which minimizes our audience,” Greaves said. “But most people aren’t really able to go out all the time to support their favourite performers at rooms across the city. So it works well.” Reservations at Oaks are made so far in advance that the venue usually has to turn people away at the door, Greaves said.

Greaves, who hasn’t missed a Tea Party event since she was a child, will return to emcee duties next year as well.

Also a huge supporter of charities in town, Greaves devotes her talents to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, as well as CFAX Santas Anonymous, the David Foster Foundation and the BC Cancer Foundation’s Jingle Mingle at the Fairmont Empress Hotel (November 28). Earlier this year, Greaves took on a new role as the emcee of the Oak Bay Tea Party, which will celebrate

its 58th anniversary in 2020. Greaves, who hasn’t missed a Tea Party event since she was a child, will return to emcee duties next year as well. “It went off without a hitch last year. We had incredible acts and started a Friday night dance to fundraise for the Kiwanis Club that’s now going to be an annual event,” Greaves said. “I donate my time to finding the acts and emceeing the event. It’s a great community event.” Greaves has versatility in many genres — including jazz, classical, country and R&B. Her favourite genre, however, is musical comedy. While her musical experiences are too numerous to mention, a personal highlight was performing across Canada marking the 100 th Anniversary of the Canadian Naval Service in a tribute called, “Sailors and Songs,” in 2010. Over the holiday season, a favourite for Greaves will be performing December 16 and 17 at the Victoria International Airport for families coming home and heading home for the Christmas season. “It’s a real tear-jerker, people coming home for the holidays hearing, ‘I’ll be home for Christmas.’ The waterworks just start,” Greaves said. She’ll also be putting on her own Christmas show in conjunction with Blue Bridge Theatre at the Roxy Theatre. That event takes place December 5 to 8. Head to for tickets. YOUR HOLIDAY 2019 21






hen the stock markets slid for a few months, about this

Figure 1: 10-Year “Return Gap” for Investors

time last year, some investors got spooked. “Ignore the noise,” we counselled. “It may hurt more yet but long-term

it won’t matter as long as you stay the course.” That response, though, to cut your losses and run, can be visceral and







-1.0 -1.5

rationality among investors, to give confidence where it’s unwarranted and


Central among these issues is the focus on the short-term. Short-termism



hard to ignore. Structural and psychological forces conspire to undermine create bogeymen out of thin air.





takes many forms and permeates the investment process from the

The stakes are high, but what can we do? Here are a few tricks to avoid

companies being considered for investment to the fund managers

the behavioural biases that can push your attention to the short term.

selecting stocks to the end investor assessing those managers. Allowing short-term factors to drive decisions around your investments,

Beware of Representation Bias

however, can be very harmful to long-term results, as end investors have

Representation bias occurs when you confuse cause and effect, such as

a bad habit of trying to time the market and/or change their managers at

thinking that “a good company will have a rising stock price (eventually)”

exactly the wrong time.

so therefore “a rising stock price represents a good company.” Many

Figure 1 shows the results of a recent study that documented the “return gap” for various investor types over a 10-year period — that is,

factors can drive a stock’s price in the short-term, however, which have nothing to do with its quality.

performance that was lost strictly as a result of changing managers or

To avoid this trap, we focus on the long-term intrinsic value of the

strategies. For example, if the average retail (individual) investor had not

company. That way we can recognize when its valuation (its price relative

switched funds during the decade, their performance would have been

to its value) gets ahead of that. Popular stocks can get expensive and

nearly 2% higher per year. In a world where equities may return 5-10%

when they do, we’re happy to trim holdings or sit them out until the hordes

per year, this leakage is enormous.

move onto to the Next Big Thing.


Appoint a devil’s advocate to provide you with an “outside view” One of the best ways to ensure you make a sound decision is to actively seek opposing views to help you try to “disconfirm” your own views. This tactic can be especially valuable when confronting the pressure to adhere to prevailing short-term market wisdom, even when it begs belief.

Availability Bias: Beware the data you don’t have … and the data you have British engineers mapped the gunfire patterns on fighter planes returning from the front in WWII in order to decide the most effective placement of scarce armour plating. You can see one of these diagrams in Figure 2. Where would you put the plates? On the wing tips? The tail? If so…. you’d be wrong. The problem with zeroing in on the red dots is that these data are from planes that returned from the front. The planes that didn’t return probably had the best data on them. Notice zero data points on the engines! You Figure 2: Gunfire Patterns on WWII Planes

have lots of data but little of it is useful, or at worst, could point you to the exact wrong conclusion. The same is true for investors parsing the barrage of market data available today. Don’t let the availability of data fool you into thinking it


provides you insight.

To be successful investors, we need to be vigilant of many things, not least of which is ourselves. By applying some of these techniques, investors can refocus their attention on what actually matters — adding value over the long term — and not be distracted by short-term noise. If this topic interests you, you may enjoy “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” by Daniel Kahneman. Leith Wheeler is an employee-owned investment counselor that manages over $21 billion for clients from Victoria to Whitehorse to Fredericton (and everywhere in between). Since the firm’s founding in 1982 it has taken a client-first approach,

Since 1920 Jennings Florists has proudly served the Victoria area. We are a fourth generation, family owned and operated business.

valuing integrity, investment discipline, and independence above all else. The firm supports a wide variety of causes across Canada including health care research, education, culture & the arts, veterans, children, and sports – including sponsoring the annual Leith Wheeler Stanley Park Open, Music in the Morning, and as national

2508 Estevan Ave. 250 477-9538

sponsor of Community Foundations of Canada’s Vital Signs program. YOUR HOLIDAY 2019 23





train used to whistle down the tracks of what is now known as the Galloping Goose Trail. Trains (at least in Greater Victoria) are now a relic of commerce. It was not that long ago that they were operating alive and well here. Now it seems e-bikes do the whistling; the world changes. Are Vancouver Island entrepreneurs ready for more changes in technology or are many of its local businesses relics-in-the-making?



I have met with hundreds of local business leaders over the past two decades to discuss their businesses as they relates to IT. This has given me a unique and meaningful glimpse into an important cross-section of the foundation of commerce in this community – and current trends make me a little nervous. The world is shrinking. For example, the waters (physical and metaphorical) surrounding us have been protective for a long time. We might feel safe on the island, but a bridge is being built. Many haven’t noticed, but this bridge is not one you drive on; it is digital. A connected world isn’t held back by our ‘moat.’ The Internet, automation,

So, as it turns out, too many companies on the island are not even taking care of the basics when it comes to IT - this is why I am nervous.

robots, artificial intelligence and other technologies are changing our world. And with that, cybercrime is just getting warmed up. I benefit by having a view into commerce in other cities through my peer group, travelling and from attending many industry events. Historically, this might not seem very relevant because we’re not Vancouver, Toronto or like any big

American city. “The Island is a unique place to do business”, says everyone doing business here. From my perspective, Island businesses invest a lot less into IT compared to our peers elsewhere. This lack of investment is very relevant to the future of local business. I have regular conversations with businesspeople who think they are being

Your Technology Success Partner

smart, for example by stretching their employee’s primary tool (computer) too far. Some think they have a “backup,” a “firewall” and “antivirus” so they’re “fine.” Many of these businesspeople ask me important and complicated strategic IT questions five minutes into our first conversation and expect valuable answers. Many have an IT guy who, when they call him, answers the phone quickly, so they check the “IT” checkbox on their business plan. Unfortunately, they view the cost of IT similarly to the way that they see their janitorial expenses. So, as it turns out, too many companies on the island are not even taking care of the basics when it comes to IT - this is why I am nervous. Of course, Vancouver Island isn’t going away nor is the sky falling. We have a lot of great things going for us – a place this magical will always find a way to be magical, but it won’t be a magical ride for all of us. Much has gone into building the businesses that I have peeked into. Unfortunately, I see a world of hurt bearing down on some of those peers. It is likely time now to take a more serious look into your IT. YOUR HOLIDAY 2019 25

Buttery Shortbread Cookies LYNDSEY EDEN





look forward to


Holiday baking all

1 cup butter

year long. There is

1/2 cup icing sugar

just something so

2 cups all-purpose flour

special about being in the

2 tbsp vanilla

kitchen this time of year,

1/2 tsp salt

whether it is a gooey batch of cinnamon buns, hand rolled truffles, homemade chocolate bark or my favourite a warm batch of fresh cookies, holiday baking is a real treat. Buttery melt-in-your-mouth shortbread is my favourite cookie to make during the holidays, it’s quick, easy and you can have some fun with them, different flavours, cute

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a stand mixer, cream the butter for 5–8 mins (this may seem like a long time but I feel it makes all difference in giving shortbread that super creamy, dense, melt-in-your-mouth texture).

shapes, plus they make a

Once creamed, add the icing

great gift as they keep well

sugar and mix for another

and even freeze great. I love

2–3 mins. Add in the vanilla, salt

a good ol’ batch of vanilla

& flour and mix until combined

scented shortbread but if

(if you are adding flavours, this is

you want to get creative, here

where you add them as well).

are a couple of additions I sometimes add to my shortbread: the zest and juice of one orange and once baked drizzled with dark chocolate; 1/2 cup chopped pistachios and once baked dipped in white chocolate; the juice

Roll the dough into 1-inch round balls, place on a cookie sheet

Eyebrow Microblading Eyebrow Shaping Eyelash Extensions

then flatten slightly with a fork. Alternatively, you can put the dough in the fridge for 20 mins, then roll out with a rolling pin and cut into fun shapes!

and zest of one lemon with

Bake for 18–20 minutes.

1–2 tsps of dried lavender.

Cool on wire rack. 1071 Fort St Victoria BC V8V 5A1 778-265-7795 YOUR HOLIDAY 2019 27




ith Victoria’s busy sports calendar the Castaway Wanderers

not know, one of Canada’s all-time great Rugby Union programs runs out

offer exciting competition in the rough game played

of there — just a couple of blocks off your Oak Bay waterfront stroll by the

by gentlemen.

Oak Bay Marina.

The autumn can be a very busy time in Greater Victoria for sports. Locally,

The Castaway Wanderers run two senior men’s and two senior women’s

there is major-junior hockey with the Victoria Royals, Jr-A with the Victoria

teams from Windsor Park. The men’s premiere team competes for the

Grizzlies and five Jr-B hockey teams in the Vancouver Island Junior

provincial Cieli’s Cup in the BC Premier League — long considered the most

Hockey League. There is a competitive first

competitive rugby in Canada and the other for the Island’s

division soccer league in the Vancouver Island

CDI Cup. They added to their storied history in 2015-2016

Soccer League, the professional Pacific FC and

when they started a women’s senior team. The sport

many of the Vikes programs start up including

continues to grow in popularity, so for the 2019-2020

soccer, rugby, cross-country and basketball. It

season, they have added a second women’s team.

is a tough decision for what sport and which teams to go watch.

The men’s reserve team is an important development program for the premiere team. The Castaway

Have you wandered over to Windsor Park in

Wanderers also receive many grads from the University

Oak Bay lately? In the off-chance that you may

of Victoria Vikes — a strong competitor in the BC Premier


Not just during the Olympics

League. UVic provides a feed of young players already prepared for premier league action. Castaway Wanderers have a long history on the island. Their journey dates back to 1912. The club was amalgamated from the Oak Bay Wanderers and the Castaway, which started 54 years ago in 1965. Though some form of rugby began in Victoria around 1876. In more recent times, the men’s team won three provincial titles between 1999 and 2002. They won again in 2011. Some of the players compete with professional teams, as leagues around the world know that Victoria and the BC Premier League produces strong talent, especially from the Castaway Wanderers.


Competitive varsity, premiere and professionals are not the only players in the club. They have a total of 350 players from ages 6 and up and offer teams and programs for men, women and children. Rugby Union season starts in September and ends in December. Men’s and women’s games happen on Saturdays in early and late afternoon at Windsor Park when they are at home. Consult the website for specific times and dates to get in some local, competitive rugby action.

Website: Email: Phone: 250-298-9788 Hours: M-F 9-6pm Alternate Times By Appt YOUR HOLIDAY 2019 29




Show us YOUR here. What is your favourite view in this community? Send your photos to

Come for the colour 2 0 1 9 / 2 0 2 0 S E A S O N N O W O N S A L E F R O M $ 2 9. 0 0

Flight | Carmen Flight of the Hummingbird Come for the rich, colourful experience of all that is opera: the music, the drama, the spectacle, the stories, and a live orchestra. Enjoy this breathtaking art form. Get your tickets today.