A WELCOMING PLACE
INTER-CULTURAL ASSOCIATION OF GREATER VICTORIA
THE WONDERS OF NEPAL COLLABORATING FOR CANADA
A low quality sun lens dulls your vision and colour perception, a premium sun lens enhances it.
www.oakbayoptometry.com email@example.com 250-595-8500 2075 Cadboro Bay Road Victoria, BC V8R 5G4
PUBLISHERS NOTES Canada’s Sesquicentennial
A WELCOMING PLACE
Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria lays groundwork for new immigrates and refugees
5 questions, 3 not-for-profits in this 1 great community
KEEPING SCORE OF YOUR INVESTMENT PERFORMANCE
18 20 22 24 26 28
“If you can’t measure it; you can’t improve it”
THE WONDERS OF NEPAL
TRAVEL TREASURES How to decorate with them
TRAIL THERAPY Running at Thetis
BLOSSOMING FORTH The mysterious musical beauty of Fox Glove
THE WICKANINNISH Charming – Rustic – Luxury
COLLABORATING FOR CANADA
YOUR SPRING 2017 3
YOUR PUBLISHER’S NOTES
With spring finally in full swing, summer will soon be upon us, and for many, this means more time outside in our community enjoying markets, festivals and even lazy days at the beach. As much as I love winter holidays and the time spent with family, for me, summer signifies the opportunity to reconnect with your neighbours and with the greater community. This summer is especially significant for our great nation as it is Canada’s Sesquicentennial, or 150th birthday. To me it is amazing to see all the celebratory activities not just here in Victoria but nation wide. One initiative that I am particularly fond of comes out of Calgary. It is called ‘3 things for Calgary’ and was founded by their mayor Naheed Nenshi. Nenshi challenged that if every Calgarian did 3 things for the City, they would have 3 million actions making the community even better. With a population of just over 367,700 in the Greater Victoria region, this same challenge would result in approximately 1.1 million actions for Victoria. I strongly believe that Victoria is the remarkable place it is due in large part to how open minded and inclusive our citizens are. I encourage our readers to take time to look at community-based initiatives across Canada in celebration of our sesquicentennial and if there is one in particular that grabs your attention, like 3 things for Calgray did for me, I would encourage you to try to bring it home. Remember that positive change starts with one. I urge everyone to find a way to celebrate this great community over the summer - attend an event that supports a not-for-profit important to you, host a street party, shop for veggies at a local market, or just stop to chat with a neighbour. Most importantly, get out there and enjoy the weather, community and all those who make it one of the best places to call home!
Dianne McKerrell, Publisher Dianne@yourmagazinevictoria.ca
4 YOUR SPRING 2017
Remember that positive change starts with one
Erin grew up on the island and is extremely passionate about hiking, travel and the outdoors. After completing university in Montreal Erin decided to return home to their 88 year old family business and is now part owner of Robinson’s Outdoor Store. Erin has travelled extensively and loves talking about her experiences around the world.
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.
Christopher Kelsall is the founder of Athletics Illustrated, cofounder 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.
Devon is a Victoria-based writer who also dabbles as a social media & marketing coordinator for a local business. Devon attended UVic for her BA and went on to pursue a post graduate certificate in journalism from Langara College. After working as a reporter for a handful of years, she hung up her reporter hat and decided to embark on a new adventure as a freelancer.
Caroline is a graphic designer, photographer and artist who secretly wishes she could spend her whole life traveling the world with nothing but a backpack and a laptop. Being nomadic has it’s disadvantages, however, so instead, Caroline lives close to her family in Victoria, and dreams of exotic places. She tries to go abroad at least once a year.
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.
Tara Shanks feels fortunate to have grown up with four generations in the same household for a time. She has volunteered with seniors since the age of 11 and is passionate about advocating for seniors’ issues. Tara is a Certified Professional Aging Consultant who resides in Victoria with her fiancée and 3 spoiled pets.
Bob Worth retired as Executive Director of Financial Services at UVic and has continued serving on numerous pension and endowment boards and investment committees. Bob is a keen golfer and enjoys travel and kayaking with his wife Laurel.
YOUR SPRING 2017 5
YOUR ABOUT US
The Concept Behind YOUR Magazine
The Three T’s
In the Capital Region there are close to 1,000 registered notfor-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.
Support and Sustainability In this issue, YOUR is excited to share with its readers an organization based on the foundation of Canada. Creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for immigrants and refugees, the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria is doing a truly amazing job laying the ground work to ensure that newcomers are given every opportunity to thrive.
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.
CONTRIBUTORS WELCOME If you have a great story idea for YOUR or would like to contribute content please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6 YOUR SPRING 2017
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PUBLISHER Dianne McKerrell email@example.com CONTRIBUTORS Erin Boggs Ben Brennen Christopher Kelsall Devon MacKenzie Daniel Palmer Tara Shanks Bob Worth
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“We want our newcomers to be as best equipped as they can be to thrive in Canada and find employment” 8 YOUR SPRING 2017
Welcoming Place DANIEL PALMER
Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria lays groundwork for new immigrants and refugees
ean McRae remembers better than most the day a three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on the shoreline of a Turkish mediterranean town.
The photo of Alan Kurdi’s lifeless body dominated headlines around the world and changed the course of the 2015 Canadian federal election. But for McRae, and her team at the InterCultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA), that horrific image would also mark the beginning of an outpouring of generosity on the South Island. “Victoria was unique in that we had gone through 25 years since we had settled government-assisted refugees,” said McRae, Chief Executive Officer of ICA. “During that time, our private sponsorship numbers had been very low, which was very different than any other provincial capitals in the country. And while ICA had identified a refugee crisis was going on, it took that heartbreaking photo for us to see a very big shift in those numbers.”
generosity of Canadians, who had been bombarded by years of images of Syrian families living in refugee camps abroad, led to a substantial upsurge of donations to ICA for refugee sponsorships last year. Founded in 1971 as an organization to produce FolkFest, the InterCultural Association of Greater Victoria serves immigrant and refugee newcomers, and offers an array of programs like settlement and integration, translation and interpretation, English classes, mentoring, job search assistance and guidance, volunteer matching, and peer support. ICA also provides outreach and education in the community through arts programming, as well as community development workshops on antiracism, multiculturalism, diversity awareness, immigration, and human rights.
While governmentassisted refugee numbers are tightly controlled by the federal government, the federal Liberals’ promise to bring in 25,000 Syrian refugees last year also allowed private sponsorships to soar.
In the past two years, ICA has grown to 95 staff and more than 250 regular volunteers. Thanks to several forward-thinking strategic decisions by ICA’s board, this dedicated team proudly helped settle and provide services for 245 government-assisted refugees (GARs) from 68 families in 2016. Another 182 refugees from 51 families arrived in Greater Victoria last year through private sponsorship coordinated by ICA and the Anglican Diocese of BC. “We thought we’d have a gentle entry into this new role, but the community reacted so positively by wanting to get involved and help,” McRae said. While government-assisted refugee numbers are tightly controlled by the federal government, the federal Liberals’ promise to bring in 25,000 Syrian refugees last year also allowed private sponsorships to soar. The
“Our language classes go from basic level to Canadian language benchmark 8, which is very advanced. Childcare is also provided for parents to remove barriers to learning,” McRae said.
The Settlement Services Program makes up the bulk of ICA’s work. Relying on employees who speak a number of languages, ICA covers a multitude of newcomer topics from social insurance sign-ups to applying for language assessments. They also offer orientations on everyday cultural know-how like parenting methods in Canada and the state of the local and regional labour market. “We want our newcomers to be as best equipped as they can be to thrive in Canada and find employment,” McRae said. ICA also works with three Greater Victoria school districts – Saanich, Sooke, and Victoria –by providing on-site settlement workers to work with teachers. Those settlement workers meet with students and their families to help answer questions and provide assistance with the day-to-day school life that seems second-nature to locals. YOUR SPRING 2017 9
“We want to help young people be successful in school, that’s hugely important to their families. Sometimes, immigrant parents, as much as they want to help their children, they may be a little stymied by language. So we have volunteers who come in and help children generally with school subjects, or specialist tutors in math or the sciences who come in to volunteer their time,” McRae said.
“That kind of pick-up is a remarkable turnaround in Victoria,” McRae said. “One of our longterm partners has been Saanich Parks and Rec, they’ve done really simple things like putting multi-lingual signage in their facilities. They now mount an annual festival called Harvest Moon Festival, and they really work actively to reach out to various minority communities to take advantage of their facilities.”
Despite this huge network of programs, ICA still finds the time to organize Inter-Cultural Arts events, which are local celebrations that encourage community-focused artistic innovation and collaboration among diverse cultures. There are even theatre workshops where police and volunteers roleplay community interactions and then breakdown which choices could lead to better outcomes.
McRae, who is now into her 19th year at the helm of ICA, said her motivation comes from witnessing the dedication of new immigrants and refugees when they settle in Canada, and her staff and volunteers are what make ICA such a success.
“The feedback we get is very positive to help people understand how they can build different outcomes. It not only challenges you mentally but you can also end up in the scene, which is a very effective learning tool,” McRae said. Another growing ICA program is the Community Partnership Network, which started 7 years ago with 20 key organizations and has reached 230 organizations. These businesses send staff to go through training sessions that educate on how to be welcoming and inclusive to immigrants and newcomers.
PHOTOS BY CNW
10 YOUR SPRING 2017
“I always tell people I have the best job in the world. I work with a tremendous team of people here, and seeing how immigrants are so motivated to reach their goals once in Canada,” she said. “Some of the work we do is making the community a more welcoming place for newcomers. We’ve had great success in that. I’ve seen big changes in this area over my 35-year career in the industry. I’ve seen a huge shift in the community, as people have been more enthusiastic about supporting refugees, and there are so many individuals and organizations in Victoria who are open to diversity and want to live it and be open to others.” ICA relies on a network of dedicated donors and government funding to operate. To learn more about its programs and donation opportunities, call 250-388-4728, visit icavictoria.org/get-involved or stop by the office on the lower level of First Metropolitan United Church at 980 Balmoral Road.
PHOTO BY ELIGH PHOTOGRAPHS
Since 1920 Jennings Florists has proudly served the Victoria area. We are a fourth generation, family owned and operated business. 2508 Estevan Ave. 250 477-9538 www.jenningsï¬‚orists.com
YOUR SPRING 2017 11
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. 12 YOUR SPRING 2017
Wear 2 Start Society 1. When was your not-for-profit founded, what is your mission statement? If youâ€™ve never held an office job before or have been out of the workforce for a while, updating and upgrading your wardrobe can break the bank. The founder of Wear 2 Start, Kathleen McMullin, was faced with exactly this dilemma years ago when she found herself newly separated with three children and needing to go back to work. She had to borrow from friends to ensure her first impression at the office was a good one. She knew she was not alone, and she vowed to help other women in her situation. Fast forward 15 plus years later and Wear 2 Start Society continues to fulfill our mission by helping local women look and feel their best in preparation for job interviews or first days on a new job. Wear 2 Start Society (W2S) runs a boutique in downtown Victoria staffed entirely by volunteers. Clients are referred by local employment centres, and walk away from the boutique with 2-3 new outfits, complete with shoes and accessories and a big boost to their confidence.
2 Briefly describe your program or organization. The Wear 2 Start experience begins with the referral from our partner agencies of a job ready client. We arrange a private one-on-one appointment directly with the client and when she arrives, two or three volunteers greet her and have a chat to learn more about her preferences and type of work. Then the magic begins. The client is brought items to try on including undergarments, mix and match clothes, accessories, shoes, purses, a coat if desired and a custom wardrobe is created. She is an active participant in this process, and there is often lots of laughter and excitement as the transformation happens. Her items are then gently wrapped in tissue to be placed in a pretty bag and the client also receives a special blue bag full of much needed toiletries. Local hair salons generously donate haircuts to complete the look.
4. Describe your contributions to the community and what outcome the organization has within the community. Wear 2 Start relies on the generousity of our community to dress local women for more success in their career. This service and support at just the right time yields better results so more women can earn a living and proudly support themselves, help their families and in turn give back to their community. We have received client hugs, thank you letters and emails, shout outs on social media, even offers to help others by donating or volunteering. The circle of support includes our partner referral agencies, our generous donors, local retailers, hair dressers and dry cleaners who donate their services and many kind groups and individuals who have donated funds, clothes and their time to help local women improve their lives.
5. What is the best way to get involved and where can I get more information about your organization? Our website wear2start.com has great information under the heading How to Help and you will be able to view actual transformations, stories and feedback. We welcome financial, service, volunteer assistance and clothing donations and the details can be found on our website or just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PHOTO BY LEANNA RATHKELLY
3. What are your organizationâ€™s long and short term needs? Long-term we hope to continue to attract the community support necessary to enable us to support local women in need to look and feel their best in order to find and be successful in work they enjoy. Now and in the near future we are looking for more volunteers to help us in the Boutique and with stock processing and encourage those interested to apply to our postings with Volunteer Victoria.
YOUR SPRING 2017 13
For The Love of Africa 1. When was your not-for-profit founded, what is your mission statement? Our not-for-profit was founded in December of 2004. A group of 15 of us went to Dodoma,Tanzania in September of 2004 to work on the Kizota School. When we returned in October we had a photo exchange at a persons home. I asked the group who wanted to carry on doing work in Africa and 13 of us wanted to carry on. I worked for law firms at the time, although I’d never formed a society. I photocopied many papers and formed our society which was registered in December of 2004. Our mission statement is: To respond with care and understanding to the needs of the people of Africa, by establishing partnerships, and engaging in hands-on personal involvement.
2 Briefly describe your program or organization. We are l00% volunteer women and men. For the Love of Africa Society does work in Africa but performs many events in our community. We’d love to have more members join our society. All a person has to do if they are interested is look at our website, come to a meeting at Cordova Bay School the first Wednesday of each month (except for July and August). Our meetings are at 7:15 each month Our website www.fortheloveofafrica.ca shows all details. We need volunteers for events particularly the 11th Annual Water Garden Tour. We have a pre-tour on June 24th where volunteers and homeowners get to follow each other around and visit each garden. A lunch is sponsored for this tour. The tour takes place on July 8th and volunteers are a minimum of two to a garden, sometimes three or four, depending on how large the garden is.
3. What are your organization’s long and short term needs? Ongoing we need people and funding. Although costs in Africa are less than in Victoria, we are volunteer driven and rely on donations and events for fundraising. A person will see on our website www. fortheloveofafrica.ca that we’ve built 4 schools, a medical dispensary and Reproductive and Child Health Unit (the Nkhungu Community Medical Dispensary) The reproductive health unit alone has had 36.000 patient visits. We’ve also completed the Galilays Centre. Many of these children are orphaned because of HIV/AIDS. We also completed recently the first building of the Dodoma Technical Institute, (a mutli-building campus) which is a non-profit organization established to assist residents in Dodoma solve their socioeconomic problems. This new initiative will provide Tanzanian youth with market driven technical skills and training that will enable them to secure steady, well-paying employment and become productive members of their community. All of the above was provided with volunteers (who pay their own expenses on trips to Africa - accommodation, food etc.) We always are looking for new members.
14 YOUR SPRING 2017
4. Describe your contributions to the community and what outcome the organization has within the community. Our society contributes to the community by the events we hold, many are listed on our website www. fortheloveofafrica.ca but many past events aren’t listed. We’ll be holding our 11th Annual WATER GARDEN TOUR on July 8th and AN EVENING WITH GERSHWIN, event at 7:30 on June 3rd. Although we do all our work in Africa our events are community based. We promote our Water Garden Tour at the Gorge Canada Day event on July 1st. We have promoted other events at many places in Victoria, and have held many events in Victoria. Many in our community donate and contribute to our society which at most events have a display table set-up and we encourage new people to joint our society.
5. What is the best way to get involved and where can I get more information about your organization? By going to our website and sending an email to the society. www.fortheloveofafrica.ca We are always looking for new members, and you can come to a few meetings and join if you like what we do. There is a team going to Africa most years and as mentioned above, members pay their own expenses for accommodations, food etc. but it is reasonable, much less than you would pay if you were to arrange a trip yourself. Often they go on a safari afterwards (which they pay for). Each person on a team have meetings five or six months in advance of a trip, and decide amongst themselves what they want to do. Although two weeks or more is spent on working and visiting our past projects most members of For the Love of Africa Society enjoy being able to help out the youth and folks in Tanzania, Africa, and are fulfilled and amazed at the experience. Call (250) 891-0762 if you don’t have a computer and someone from our society will be pleased to speak with you. We are holding our “EVENING WITH GERSHWIN” event at 7:30 pm. on June 3rd. see our website www.fortheloveofafrica.ca for details or our watergarden tour on July 8th see our website www.watergardentour.ca for details. As I mentioned above, the pre-tour for volunteers and homeowners is June 24th. Volunteer and you’ll have an opportunity to view the gardens prior to working at a home on July 8th.
Victoria Humane Society 1. When was your not-for-profit founded, what is your mission statement? Victoria Humane Society is a registered charity founded in 2013. To date, we have rescued and re-homed over 2500 animals in the Greater Victoria region and in remote parts of BC. Our mission is to provide leadership to improve the lives of animals by alleviating their suffering or neglect. We do this by rescuing, sheltering, healing, adopting and advocating for animals in need, while inspiring community action and compassion on their behalf.
2 Briefly describe your program or organization.
4. Describe your contributions to the community and what outcome the organization has within the community. We have provided spay and neuters and medical help to low income individuals with their animals needs. We work in many communities providing education on the caring and welfare needs of cats and dogs in the community. We help people who are no longer able to care for their animals and we can help counsel them into letting us help them help their pets.
Victoria Humane Society is involved with animal welfare at many levels in the Victoria region and across the province. From heroic acts of rescue, to conducting spay and neuter clinics in remote communities, to ongoing fundraising events, we step up for animals in every possible way. Through a unique network of over 300 volunteers and 100 foster homes, the animals we rescue are placed with qualified and compassionate individuals before they transition to permanent homes. This provides adopting families with a very clear picture of each animal’s unique personality and suitability for their home.
We do a lot of events involving kids and animals to help further their education on these animal’s needs!
3. What are your organization’s long and short term needs?
And anyone who wants to foster animals, adopt animals or volunteer with us can go to our website and apply!
5. What is the best way to get involved and where can I get more information about your organization? We have an amazing Facebook following (over 20,000 and growing) and a wonderful website at www.victoriahumanesociety.com where people can follow what we are doing and see how they can help.
Our biggest need, and our number one goal, is to establish a shelter of our own so we can continue to grow and help more animals. As we don’t currently have a shelter or facility, we rely solely on an amazing network of foster homes to care for our animals as they await their forever homes This is amazing, and we love the fosters we have, but we are finding it harder to keep up with the demand of people wanting to surrender their animals to us. We also do large intakes, (sometimes 35 -50 dogs or cats at one time) so having a facility would allow us to have a place to bring these animals, so we can assess them, behaviourally and physically, prior to putting them into foster homes It is also key to our growth to have a central location where people can come to visit the animals and be able to have “one on one” sessions with our volunteer adoption counsellors. Other important goals are to work continuously to relieve suffering in remote communities that have no access to education and health care for their animals. We are currently working with three First Nations Communities providing education and spay/neuter and Wellness Checks for their animals.
PHOTOS BY WENDY NESBITT : PHOTOGRAPHY YOUR SPRING 2017 15
KEEPING SCORE OF YOUR INVESTMENT PERFORMANCE “If you can’t measure it; you can’t improve it.” - Peter Drucker BOB WORTH
ow impressed would you be if a sports announcer stopped after reporting: “the Victoria Royals scored 3 goals last night”? Without knowing how many goals the opponents scored, how do you know who won? Similarly, personal investment returns should be compared over one, five and ten year periods with both how the market has performed and how your returns compare with those earned by other managed funds. Along with more complete disclosure of fees being charged, the recent federal disclosure requirement for brokers, mutual funds and other investment managers regarding investment performance is helpful to investors. Some managers provide benchmark index returns for comparison of each category of investment (e.g. Canadian equities) but few show how their returns compare with similar funds. Fortunately, sources are available to provide this important evaluative information to you as an investor. The market index returns to December 31, 2016 in Canadian dollars for the most common categories of investment are:
Canadian Bonds FTSE TMX Canada Universe Bond Canadian Equities S&P/TSX Capped Composite Index U.S. Equities S&P 500 Composite Total Return
International Equities (non-North America) MSCI EAFE Net Index Emerging Market Equities MSCI Emerging Markets Global Equities including Canada and U.S. MSCI World Index
The above returns can be obtained from your broker or investment advisor or from an internet search early in the year under the index name. Be sure that they are expressed in Canadian dollars and for the year-end rather than for a different end date. Note that the dramatic difference in 5 and 10 year equity returns is due to the 10 year figures including the 2008-09 financial crisis collapse.
16 YOUR SPRING 2017
1367 Hampshire Rd Since your portfolio likely holds several of these categories, you can calculate your aggregate comparative return by weighting it according to your chosen asset allocation. For example, if you have a weighting of 30% in Canadian bonds, 30% in Canadian equities, 25% in U.S. equities, 10% in a non-North America international equity fund and 5% in an emerging market fund, a comparative market return to your portfolio over 5 years would be: (3.2% times 30%) + (8.3% X 30%) + (21.2% X 25%) + (12.6% X 10%) + (7.5% X 5%) = 10.38% If you have a more conservative portfolio with 40% in Canadian bonds, 35% in Canadian equities and 25% in a global equity fund, the comparative market return to your portfolio over 5 years would be:
1367 Hampshire Rd
To compare the return of a mutual or exchange traded fund (ETF) over various time periods against comparable funds and against an index, the Globe and Mail’s investment website is an excellent resource: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/ funds-and-etfs/funds Click on Fund Lookup, select the Category of fund (e.g. Canadian equity) and manager. On the left side of most fund displays is a table showing the fund’s performance over up to 20 years alongside comparable Group Average returns of similar mutual and ETF funds and the Index returns for that category of investment. Note that the fund return needs to be reduced for various fees which may apply. A periodic review of your overall investment performance and that of your specific funds and/or investment manager(s) over 1, 5 and 10 year periods provides a useful foundation for your approach to future investment. Pension and endowment funds do such an analysis each quarter, not necessarily to make changes, but to put daily business and economic headline events and market cycles into a fuller and longer term context. It enables trustees to compare the returns and chosen level of risk with what they deem prudently appropriate for their many employee members, retirees and the beneficiaries of their charitable donors. Tools are readily available for you to do the same for your investment portfolio.
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(3.2% times 40%) + (8.3% X 35%) + (16.7% X 25%) = 8.36% How do these benchmark returns compare with your own 5 year performance, net of fees, to the end of 2016? Your performance during those strong 5 years in the market may have lagged due to underweighting foreign equities which out-performed significantly due to the 25% drop in the Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar. It may also have lagged due to holding a larger amount in Canadian bonds as a risk management decision to live within your comfort zone. If you have made portfolio contributions or withdrawals over the five years, this will have an impact since the comparative return above assumes no additions, reductions or fees and a reinvestment of interest and dividends earned. Apart from these generally minor factors, by measuring your performance against the market you can re-evaluate your portfolio and have a more useful discussion with your broker or financial advisor.
577 Transit Rd 577 Transit Rd
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YOUR SPRING 2017 17
The Wonders of ERIN BOGGS
18 YOUR SPRING 2017
ost people know of Nepal for being home to Everest, the highest mountain in the world, but this country isn’t just for those who long to climb in the mountains. Nepal offers the most picturesque natural beauty along with ancient sites, vibrant culture and some of the most gentle and charismatic people you will ever encounter. Whether you spend your days exploring the streets of Kathmandu or walking through the foothills of the Himalayas I can guarantee your experience will be a life changing one. Nothing could have prepared me for my arrival in Kathmandu where on the road every person, bike, rickshaw and car believes they have the right of way. Exploring the markets and busy streets of Kathmandu quickly turned my overwhelmed feelings into a love for navigating the organized chaos of Nepal’s capital city. The narrow streets of Thamel, Nepal’s tourist district, will charm you with local restaurants and shops. You can find treasures to bring home and last minute essentials for your upcoming adventures. We woke up early and walked to Swayambhunath stupa at sunrise. As we climbed the steep stairs to the stupa we began to see prayer flags and the majestic painted eyes of Buddha welcoming us. A stunning view of Kathmandu valley lies before you as you wander through a complex full of shrines, statues and temples. This Unesco World Heritage Site, also known as the ‘Monkey Temple’ gave me the feeling that I was stepping back into an ancient and mystical time. Later that day, just steps away from the busy city streets, I found myself staring at yet another Unesco World Heritage Site. Boudhanath is one of the largest and most ancient stupas in the world. I watched in fascination as locals made their ritual walk around the stupa while running their hands over prayer wheels before going to work. A cab across town took us to Pashupatinath, one of the most sacred Hindu temples in Nepal, where the sick come to die in beliefs they will be reborn by being cremated at this holy place on the Bagmati River. Non-Hindus cannot enter the main temple but can walk the surrounding areas. Witnessing something so sacred, such as bodies being cremated, is so fascinating and different from our cultural tradition in North America. After our time in Kathmandu we took an 8-hour bus ride to Arughat to begin our Tsum Valley Trek in the Manaslu region. It was the most exciting and slightly terrifying bus ride of my life, a truly unforgettable experience. After being so mesmerized by Kathmandu it was hard to believe the stark contrast between the city and the countryside. If
you crave a change of scenery and escape from your day-to-day life, trekking in Nepal is something I would highly recommend. A walking holiday in this country guarantees breathtaking views of snow capped peaks along with landscapes so vivid you’ll feel the need to pinch yourself. The most beautiful thing about trekking is that anyone can do it; you just put one foot in front of the other and take your time. Trekking is different than any other form of traveling I’ve ever experienced. It awakened something inside of me I didn’t know I’d lost touch with as we all navigate our busy day-to-day lives. With every step I got to know my destination more intimately as I walked through small mountain villages, interacting with locals along the way. We were invited into monasteries, embedded into the very hillside we stood upon, watching monks go about their daily mantras and rituals. Trekking gave me a glimpse into the daily life of someone in a remote village halfway across the world, truly a once in a lifetime experience. A regular day on our trek started with a 6-7-8 start. At 6 you wake up for coffee/tea and then you have an hour to pack and get ready for breakfast. Then you begin walking through terraced valleys with flowing rivers and waterfalls. Before lunch on the 4th day I rounded a corner and saw my first view of the Himalayas. It is a moment I will cherish forever. After our days hike we enjoyed dinner, talking and looking at the stars together before an early bed. Life becomes simple. I experienced reverse culture shock coming back home. I didn’t want electricity, my cell phone or my comfy bed. I wanted to be back playing with the local kids and spending my days surrounded by mountain peaks and cascading waterfalls. I missed when my life consisted of walk, eat, sleep, and repeat. Nepal is more than just a destination. With every encounter the Nepalese culture truly reawakens what it means to be alive.
YOUR SPRING 2017 19
YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN
Decorating with your
Travel Treasures BEN BRANNEN
n your next trip, remember to pick up a little something that suits your home décor. It provides a lasting memory of your vacation or time with family and is a beautiful piece of artwork to add to your home. I often tell my clients to pick a theme and photograph architectural details on their trips so we can enlarge them and display them in their homes. One of my favourite themes is a study of doors or windows. Compared to North American homes, historic cities have beautiful, interesting doors – often carved or adorned with metal hardware. They provide a unique and tasteful memory of your trip. When given the choice of adding decorative accents to your home, I would rather display artwork or accessories with some sort of meaning. It reflects the home owner much more that something purchased from a retailer selling the latest trend manufactured in China or India. The fact is no one brings back these types of items from a trip to India or China, one is more likely to purchase an item that is more historic or one of a kind. Most travel collectibles look better when displayed in groups rather than scattered throughout the home. The powder room can be the prefect place for a collection of art or artifacts brought home from your travels.
20 YOUR SPRING 2017
Alternately a family room is a nice place to display your treasures along with some recent photos of the family on a trip. Many times you will find original art featuring landscape of the terrain you are visiting – be it the Italian Riviera or the deep blue Caribbean or wherever your travels take you. Sketches or Oil paintings can be easily transported back with you or shipped to your home while you continue to travel. If the items you bring home are more colorful – consider making them feel slightly more contemporary by framing and matting them in a white on white combination or a classic black frame with a white matte, or even a white frame with a black matte for a more dramatic presentation. By presenting your vibrant art in a simple contemporary frame you allow the piece to speak for itself and be the focal point on your wall. Keep in mind baskets, textiles or 3 dimensional items will display better in a shadow box or in a 3 sided plexiglass display case. Consider a wood or metal display pedestal to bring even more importance to a 3 dimensional or sculptural item. A clear glass or plexi cube will also bring some importance to a smaller item and raise it from the mantel or bookshelf it is being displayed on.
Consider the region’s specialties; perhaps select a fine quality wool rug from Turkey (which can be shipped home) or a silver tea set or cushions made of carpet from Morocco – they will look great on the fireplace hearth, the sofa or even as floor cushions. The trick is to not overdo it; add a few statement items to a room or put a grouping of items together, but make sure you don’t go overboard and make one room in your home feel like a theme park. If you like warm saturated colors, chances are you can sprinkle some new items into a room without a problem, but if you have a starker modern aesthetic, remember you will get a dramatic impact from even one accent item. Have fun and remember if it catches your eye and provides a unique memory of your trip, chances are you will love displaying it in your home!
BESPOKE D E S I G N
Paint, Wallpaper, Lighting, Bedding & Accessories 2 5 0 2 9 8 11 0 5 w w w.b es p o k e d e sig n.ca YOUR SPRING 2017 21
Trail Therapy CHRISTOPHER KELSALL
n heavily forested Thetis Lake Park, 10 minutes from downtown Victoria, the rolling trails are where some of the region’s best runners and triathletes often train. Several parks blend into one large green space, vast enough to allow a runner to train for an ultra or a daily, without covering the same swath of single track path twice.
The muscles and tendons are less taut now and somewhat supple. Any pains that were present have subsided. Now I want more of it, on my own terms. We may be propelled by the addiction of reaching a high, which the body provides in a rush of serotonin and adrenaline, released from their glandular hiding spots and I am here for that fix.
Creaking from my warm car, into the vaporous morning air of early spring, I feel a chill. I want to be in the middle of my run; already warmed and bathed in sweat. The first steps are callow and timid. Each plant of my feet sends signals up my legs. Because I’ve ramped my mileage lately, my muscles and tendons have been tuned an octave too high. If they could play, they would be piercing the air with the sounds of Marsalis’ trumpet in a crescendo at the top of the highest musical scale.
Now it’s time to run harder. Hitting a set of rock stairs, I climb them two by two, reaching the top in a victory of sorts. I drop down the other side, going faster. I keep mindful of recklessness and the risk of ripping my body to shreds on the jagged steps, rocks and tree roots that lie there. Hitting the flat section of dirt trail, hard, I pick up the pace. I know damn well that the next hill is merely seconds away. It’s a straight-up bit of vertical bedrock; short but deadly on the quads. Still, I leap from foothold to root, gripping and pushing off hard with each step, gritting my teeth arms splayed for balance. I hit the top, feeling warmth.
I want my heart to race, but I want to control it and make it hurt, to speed along in a torrid pace running out my internal clock. After my first lap of the main Thetis Lake, which is made up of approximately three kilometers of hostile terrain of roots, rocks and mud, I start to feel the heat.
22 YOUR SPRING 2017
The burn in my chest is matched by the burn in my thighs, which erupt and subside in a linear symbiosis. I’m gasping and my lungs need to suck every last ounce of oxygen from the universe. I throw my head back to open my wind pipe, for a fleeting moment. Then I recapture my breath
“Cross-country has always been a vital part of my training program. You can develop fine muscular endurance and suppleness in your stride by running cross-country. It also develops good running form and strengthens your muscles. In cross country the pressure is put on your muscles because of hills and uneven and slippery footing, your overall general conditioning can be developed without taxing your body too much anaerobically. So crosscountry is one of the best forms for general conditioning.” ~Arthur Lydiard
and continue on, leaping mossy bedrock and exposed Garry Oak tree roots. Bounding up more steps, I deftly crank a corner, I run on a flat stretch and over a wooden bridge. Thirsting to regain the burn, I drop the pace hard, over-striding, mouth gaping open, as no rogue oxygen is going to escape my wrath. Brow furrowed, perhaps displaying primal effort, a man with a dog passes; they measure me in all my muddy glory. I want to tell them a tale about how maddeningly ethereal the effort is . . . but I know they won’t understand. So I push on faster, for more of it. I hit a hill and again I climb and thrust my knees forward and up, devouring every inch of path, ripping shreds from the soles of my shoes. Just past halfway, I find the top of a hill, the feeling from the effort is so addictive, I scarper down the other side in a way that leaves me only partially in control of my hips, ass and legs. There is thrust, but no lift to this flight. I touch the pine and rocky path for enough time to toe-off, as my flight carries me to the top of the next hill. For good measure, I repeat the perilous descent, like on a roller coaster ride. In front of me is a small group of people and their dogs. I am only partially aware of them, and
the harder I go, the harder they stare. The dogs heave and tug on their leashes; they want to play too, to nip at my heels and bark themselves hoarse. They can’t catch me on the downhill. I dig into the road, which rises and curves before me like a ramp. It’s a fight between gravity and oxygen. I suck it up, just to regain balance, form and focus; it’s a life source. Down the other side, arms flail, following the paved road. Again I’m over-striding, so much so that my legs feel as though they could slip from my body and carry on all by themselves, leaving me to sit on my carcass, out of breath and helpless. To the beach I go, kicking into the sand and landing softly. I am slowed as if I have released a ‘chute. I jog a moment across the sandy beach, and then carry on into a torturous and wonderful third lap. This time I am going to run faster, I am going to get muddier and I am going to rip through the woods in my maddened quest for that high, which will consort to propel me for the rest of my day.
YOUR SPRING 2017 23
Blossoming Forth YOUR ARTS & CULTURE
The mysterious musical beauty of Fox Glove
orn out of a parking lot conversation, Victoria’s own Fox Glove is now in their fifth year making music and the band is gearing up to release a full album in 2018.
The trio, made up of Renn Madeleine Bibeau, Claire Butterfield, and Chelsea Kanstrup, met in a vocal jazz ensemble while they were students at the University of Victoria. “Soon after we formed we landed a regular spot at an amazing restaurant called The Superior,” Renn explained. “Shortly after that, we began writing music together; blending our individual styles to create a sound that none of us had ever tapped into on our own. There was no turning back at that point,” she said, laughing. The three women bring a brooding blend of dark folk pop to the table and so far have released two EPs. They perform regularly as a three piece band but reveal a quartet of merry men at bigger events to build their sound as they delve into a darker, more eclectic realm.
24 YOUR SPRING 2017
“Adding drums, bass and another guitar helps us to expand our sound and create the dramatic soundscapes that our most recent compositions require,” explained Renn, adding that the two set ups also allow the band to offer listeners two very different shows while adapting to a number of different venues. Highlights from Fox Glove’s life so far include appearances at Rifflandia, Song and Surf, and Tall Tree Music Festivals, acting as the live house band in studio for a major CBC fundraising event in 2014, and being played on Radio 1 often more than once a week. The band released a new single in April – Devil’s Grin – and, as mentioned, the three musicians are working on a full length album. Renn, Claire, and Chelsea say take great pride in how they’ve evolved in the years since they formed. “The EPs are kind of like time capsules - each really captures certain moments in our evolution as a band as we worked towards honing our specific sound,” Renn said.
“We are extremely proud of our most recent single, Devil’s Grin, because it offers a truly authentic representation of the aural direction of our upcoming full length release. Devil’s Grin hears us experiment with a range of sounds and layers, ultimately creating a cinematic foundation that provides a perfect foil to our vocal focus and dark lyricism. We have a couple more singles planned for release over the next few months leading up to the full length album in the new year,” she explained.
SO, HOW WAS THE GAME?
The trio recently took to Toronto for Canadian Music Week (CMW) and played three shows, one of which was with their friend and fellow Victoria-grown musician Sam Weber. “Music Week was amazing, exhausting, and insanely fun,” laughed Renn. “It was so incredible to take in such a large quantity of music while getting to network with industry professionals. We’re looking forward to attending again in the future and spending more time touring in Eastern Canada.” The three laud Victoria’s music scene as “small but mighty” and attribute the tight knit community of musicians and music enthusiasts to their recent near sell-out show in February, The Love In, at the Alix Goolden Hall. “We [are] fortunate to have ardent supporters who have been with us from the beginning and who continue to follow us in our growth as a band, as well as seasoned artists who have offered to collaborate and share their knowledge,” Renn said, adding that the band’s time at CMW was a true testament to the supportive music community in Victoria, as many of the people scattered through the crowds in Toronto were familiar faces from the local music scene.
Local • Original • Independent
Fox Glove will showcase their sound at both Tall Tree Festival and Islands Folk Fest this summer, as well as Car Free Day on June 18 and the Cameron Bandshell in Beacon Hill Park on Aug. 25, both of which are free shows. At the beginning of September, the band will start their tour – a loop of B.C. and Alberta going as far as Edmonton – hitting all their favourite towns along the way. Fox Glove has only just begun to bloom, and the three talented musicians are setting their sights high. “We couldn’t be more excited about the future,” said Renn. “Along with our community, the three of us have invested so much effort and love into the band. We’re so excited to release our full length album in 2018, and we have plans to take to the road more often and we will continue to collaborate with other artists.” Listen to the band’s latest single Devil’s Grin on Soundcloud or Spotify and check them out on Facebook (@foxglovevictoria) and Instagram (foxglove_music).
YOUR SPRING 2017 25
The Wickaninnish; CHARMING, RUSTIC LUXURY CHRISTOPHER KELSALL
lthough Vancouver Island is surrounded by 360 degrees of coastline that stretch for 3400 kilometres in total distance, the stunning Pacific Rim National Park, is known by many
as the coast.
The coast includes two villages that bookend the park. Set 40 kilometres apart, Ucluelet and Tofino offer access to stunning ocean vistas and opportunities for play or relaxation. It’s hip and its rustic, artsy, relaxing and recreational; the coast offers a vacation or staycation for any islander looking to get away to something completely different, without the hassles of flying for several hours to get there. Village businesses offer whale and bear watching excursions, surfboard, stand-up paddleboard and kayak rentals and instruction and guided trips. There is plenty of local artisan’s work, as well as a variety of culinary experiences to please the broadest range of dining needs. The scenery is jaw dropping on a world-class level. Vacationers to the coast can find a variety of accommodations too, ranging from good old fashioned tenting or RVing – although when bringing your RV, be prepared for a windy, hilly, narrow and mountainous drive to get out there. There is also a selection of affordable hotels and a handful of luxury resorts. The Wickaninnish Inn, located on the north end of Chesterman Beach and the south end of Wickaninnish Beach and just five kilometres south of Tofino, offers a rustic, yet luxurious stay that has been (literally) imitated, but cannot – especially its charming history – possibly be duplicated. There is a unique and fascinating story of the beginnings of the hotel from 1955 and of the more recent edition built in the 1990s. It’s worthy of a visit to hear the legend about a naked wood carver, who’s handiwork is apparent throughout the entirety of the Wick.
26 YOUR SPRING 2017
The Wick, includes two cedar buildings situated on a bedrock outcropping that looks out over the Pacific Ocean on the last piece of land between Vancouver Island and Japan (except for a few tiny islands). During the summer, sunsets are stunning, during winter, storm watching is mesmerising. All rooms provide ocean views, soaker tub, a gas fireplace and a private balcony. Tofino is so popular in the summer, staff members are provided with housing on the property, due to a lack of permanent or long-term accommodations. Supplies in town can run low and on long weekends when the weather is favourable, expect to line up at the Coop grocery store or any of several restaurants, early. Wickaninnish was the chief of the Tla-o-qui-aht people of the area, known as Clayoquot Sound. His legend is perpetuated throughout the coast, there is Wickaninnish Beach, Wickaninnish Island, Wickaninnish Bay and of course the Inn. Clayoquot, (ˈklɑːkwɒt) is an area that was occupied by the Nuu-chahnulth people, who have since blended with other sub-groups and are now known as Tla-o-qui-aht as “changing” or “different”. The name Clayoquot became well-known to Canadians during the late 1980s when MacMillan Bloedel wanted to clear cut the land. Protests took place up until 1994, the largest of which happened during the summer of 1993, when over 800 people were arrested. The protestors included local residents, the Tla-o-qui-aht and Ahousaht First Nation bands, and environmentalist groups such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Clayoquot Sound. Clayoquot was designated in 2000 as a UNESCO Biosphere reserve, a 350,000 hectare old growth forest.
Tofino is so popular in the summer, staff members are provided with housing on the property, due to a lack of permanent or long-term accommodations.
Thankfully, the protests were successful. During the summer of 2015, while on a day kayak trip with a guide, we left (my daughter and me) the harbour in the inside of Tofino and made our way to the Sound. The guide talked about the area’s history, the flora, fauna and marine biology. The stories were fascinating, the views are simply breathtaking. We owe the first nations and the protestors for maintaining the wild scenery of the coast. On several whale watching excursions once each with Jamie’s Whaling Station, Westcoast Aquatic Adventures and Adventure Tofino Whale Watching tours, we saw transient Orcas, Black bears, and Gray whales each time. Once we witnessed the very active Humpback whales, on their way to the birthing areas of Hawaii. In March, local businesses join in on the annual Whale Festival. What better reason to celebrate spring than to honour the whales that pass through the area? Black bears come to the beaches of Fortune Channel at low tide and turn over 30-50 pound rocks, to eat crabs. They roll the rocks over with one paw and quickly grab the scurrying crabs before they get away. The bears make their way down the beach, sometimes accompanied by a crow, who we can only assume tells the bear when to move on because a larger more dominant bear is visible, or perhaps tourists - bears are near-sited. We wondered what the toll was for this service, leftovers? The Gray whales seem to tread water, feeding, just floating peacefully. They seem to be the relaxed cousins of the Humpbacks. With the Grays, you will see the short dorsal fin and then their giant fluke, on a dive. The Humpbacks are darker in colour and roughly the same size, but they will breach and dive, repeatedly. They appear to show off. A scenic powerboat ride through the Russell Channel to Maquinna Provincial Park will take you to the hot springs. The springs run from the
rocks. They seem to be too hot at the surface, perhaps 50 degrees, but a few metres away, they pool and bathing in winter, while looking out over the ocean, is a serene experience. Sunbathing in February on Vancouver Island is worth the two kilometre hike in from the dock. Twice we tried surfing. New to the sport, we went out with Surf Sisters, who provide the gear and the lessons. Cox Beach, Chesterman Beach, Wickaninnish Beach, Long Beach - it didn’t matter, wearing a wetsuit and practicing clamoring onto the board, to hit waves with perfect timing will make you forget your social calendar. The hours whiled away, even if we rarely get up our boards it was pure, unadulterated joy. At the end of a day, relaxing in The Pointe Restaurant at the Wick is a reward in itself. The staff is well informed about recent catches, hand-crafted delicacies and they know expertly how to pair your entrée or perhaps a selection of tapas-like dishes with various wines. We went with a steady stream of small dishes and let the experts decide which beverage suited which dish best. They made the dining experience a perfect end to a fantastic day. On the property, a naturalist will take tourists for a walk of the grounds and share fascinating stories of the nearby wolves that are highly intelligent – keep your pooch close-by. A lesson in the area-specific tree and shrub varieties will make you appreciate the diverse and unique coast environment that Pacific Rim National Park is situated on – a gift to the area started by the original owner of the Wickaninnish Inn, Dr. Howard McDiarmid. In March, on a recent visit to the coast to stay at the Wickaninnish Inn, my wife and I enjoyed the perfected charm of the Inn and staff; rustic luxury with a fascinating history that should only be heard in person while on-site. YOUR SPRING 2017 27
YOUR SENIOR TARA SHANKS
Collaborating for Canada
watch as a large group of grade seven students come in from their walk from Landsdowne Middle School Park and begin joining seniors at tables covered with colourful images of Canada. Today they begin building their first pages and suddenly the quiet space is a buzz of greetings and activity. They call out names, waving excitedly at each other. I ask one of the adults walking past when the project began and when she says this is only the second week I am slightly stunned. Each weekly session is only an hour long yet the level of chatter between the two groups, the friendly greetings and excited faces give the impression of a project that has been going on for much longer. The project, celebrating Canada’s 150th, is a collaboration between Parkwood Place by Revera and Landsdowne Middle School next door. The combined group of approximately 50 will interview each other and create scrapbooks representing themes of Canada in small cohorts of seniors and students which will remain the same for the entire ten weeks. Each session is broken into 45 minutes of table time and a 15 minute break with delicious snacks from the kitchen and mingling. The student members of Jess Bundon’s grade seven class do other assignments and conduct research on inventors, animals, artists, politicians, places and other topics during the week related to the project as part of their curriculum.
“For me as a counsellor, so many (students) lack face to face social connections with this generation.”
Prior to the first visit, the students had an in-depth discussion with their teacher as well as school counsellor Shaueen Koch, on what could be gained from this experience. They also discussed what would be appropriate behaviour, such as being inclusive, not talking about inside jokes, being sensitive that some may not want to answer all interview questions. Each resident’s participation is due to answering a call-out within their newsletter by the recreation department looking for participants. An information session was hosted on scrapbooking and the project itself giving the residents the chance to make an informed decision on their involvement in the ten week project. The respectful groundwork laid by both parties is evident. That extra step has clearly set this project off on a fantastic start.
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Intergenerational projects such as these have so many benefits. I am delighted to see more and more popping up as part of Canada 150. For the many seniors without family or limited family contact, it gives them a chance to connect, especially with the younger generations. It also gives students exposure to older adults, many who do not have that generation close by or surviving as family demographics are changing. For myself, I always think that the most important thing to come out of these projects is understanding. A youth running down the street may take a moment to slow down when going past a senior to not startle them, realizing that they may be like their new friend from this project, perhaps a little unsteady on their feet. That senior may see the youth who are running by them quickly not as trying to be disrespectful or startling, rather caught up in a moment, like their eager friend from the project. It is those tiny acts, those relatable moments, that bind our communities. As Shauneen Koch said, “For me as a counsellor, so many (students) lack face to face social connections with this generation. It also highlights for the students that there is more to life then me and my little world. It helps to develop empathy and communicating skills through these shared experiences. The seniors have these amazing stories and the students are fascinated. They are hearing things they may have never heard”. Kathy Ajas, the residence’s Lifestyle Consultant, also sees the value of projects like this and community interaction, “Having community members come here helps keep some of our residents active in the community and engaged.” Chuck Naylor, a Resident Ambassador told me, “I am 81 years old. It is very important the younger generations catch on to our rich Canadian history; they are young and energetic. They need to know and carry it on.” Watching the students it is clear that they are up for the task, engrossed in conversations around the room. I feel nostalgia for my own Nana and our own long conversations about life when she was young. There is something special about witnessing these projects that I cannot help but feel hopeful and inspired. A sentiment echoed by grade 7 student Nick Swann when I asked him what he thought of the project, “I think it’s a great idea. I am quickly losing senior citizens in my life and this allows me to still be connected to them. They have so much to tell us”. I am curious to check up on the project over the next nine weeks. I loved wandering around listening to the snippets of conversation; some important, some amusing. I am sure the scrapbooks themselves are going to be fantastic and fun to look though, but I am also excited to see how those connections have evolved. Clearly something important is happening as stories are glued together.
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