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Our Community: Learn about tsunami preparedness

The City of Victoria is hosting a Be Tsunami Smart information session as part of B.C. Tsunami Preparedness Week, April 9 at City Hall.
Local seismologist Alison Bird of the Geological Survey of Canada will be among the presenters at the City of Victoria's Be Tsunami Smart information session on April 9 at City Hall, part of B.C. Tsunami Preparedness Week.

The City of Victoria is hosting a Be Tsunami Smart information session as part of B.C. Tsunami Preparedness Week, April 9 at City Hall.

Although tsunamis are rare, it is important for residents to understand what a tsunami is, the impact of a tsunami — and what to do in the event of a tsunami warning.

Guest speakers will include Alison Bird, earthquake seismologist with Geological Survey of Canada, whose presentation Earthquakes — What to Expect will cover what to expect from earthquakes in the capital region, how to prepare for them, and how they can trigger a tsunami.

Tania L. Insua, ocean analytics program manager with Ocean Networks Canada, will present Tsunamis 101. Her presentation will lead participants through the basics of tsunami science — how they are detected, measured and modelled for the capital region.

The evening will close with an opportunity for questions, moderated by the city’s emergency-management staff.

The event is free. The session runs 6 to 7:45 p.m. April 9 at Victoria city hall, 1 Centennial Square. B.C. Tsunami Preparedness Week runs April 8 to 14. To reserve your spot, email or call 250-920-3373. For more information on tsunami preparedness, go to

Donor challenges for Children’s Wish

A business owner has issued a challenge to other businesses to match his $10,000 donation to the Children’s Wish B.C. and Yukon Chapter.

Bayne Vardy, owner of B.C. Furnace and Air Conditioning Ltd., recently donated $10,000 to grant a patient’s most heartfelt wish of travelling to New York City with her family.

“It is like a dream come true to me to make a donation to the Children’s Wish Foundation,” said Vardy, whose business is in Coquitlam. “I challenge any business owner to get involved.”

For more information, go to or Facebook.

BBQ raising funds for Haiti relief

Support the work done by local volunteers in Haiti at a fundraising barbecue at Glenwood Meats on Saturday.

A group of Victoria volunteers, including members from the West Shore Rotary Club, are returning to Haiti this month to continue their work at the Divine Hand Orphanage.

On previous trips, the volunteers have helped the orphanage set up micro-businesses, such as a commercial bakery and a chicken farm to sell eggs. They are hoping to make the orphanage self-reliant within two years.

Some of the money from this fundraiser will help to pay for the 52 children’s school fees and books.

The barbecue runs 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 7 at Glenwood Meats, 1245 Parkdale Dr., Langford.

To learn more about the project or to donate, go to

Cancer society’s Daffodil Month returns

Open your door to volunteers with the Canadian Cancer Society as they start their annual door-to-door canvassing for Daffodil Month on Vancouver Island.

April is Daffodil Month, when canvassers embark upon a month-long campaign to raise awareness and funds for cancer research and support services.

Locally, proceeds go to Victoria Lodge, which supports people coming to Victoria to receive cancer treatment. The lodge provides a safe and supportive place to stay near the cancer clinic, complete with meal service for $55 a day.

Spread the word on social media via Twitter (@cancersociety) and Facebook (CanadianCancerSociety) using #DaffodilMonth #JoinTheFight. For more information, go to

Sooke gets ready to clean up

Organizers getting ready for the Sooke Region Earth Day Celebration are inviting people to pitch in for a community cleanup on April 14.

Local teams are already forming in communities across the Sooke region as residents enter a friendly competition that will ensure the area is clean before Earth Day the following weekend.

Organizers are inviting teams of one or more people to register to clean up areas where they live, at the beach, park, highway or byway. Teams can get busy any time on April 14 and continue as long as they like.

Crews are needed in the Scia’new First Nation, East Sooke, District of Sooke, T’Sou-ke First Nation, Otter Point, Shirley, Jordan River, Port Renfrew and the Pacheedaht First Nation.

Registration is free. Bins for garbage, recycling and metal will be provided in each community, and teams will be supplied with gloves and bags. (A few grabbers are also available; however, it’s easy to create one by hammering a large finishing nail into a pole.)

Disposal fees will be covered by the CRD Community Cleanup Assistance Program, with other costs paid for by the event’s sponsors.

When complete, participants are asked to take a fun photo of themselves alongside their haul, then submit it with a registration form. People can win prizes in a wide variety of categories, awarded at the Planet Earth Party Sunday, April 22 at the Sooke Community Hall.

To register, or for more information, contact Wendy O’Connor at or 250-361-6965.

Nanaimo historian to be honoured

Vancouver Island author Jan Peterson will be recognized with an Honour in Heritage Award from the City of Nanaimo on Thursday.

The award is presented to individuals and organizations that “demonstrate outstanding support, advocacy, promotion or interpretation of Nanaimo’s heritage and history,” according to the city.

Peterson has published 11 books on the history of the Nanaimo and Port Alberni areas, including six for Heritage House Publishing.

Peterson will share the stage with singer-songwriter Rick Scott, Coast Salish artist William Good and poet Audrey Alexandra Brown at the 2018 Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Awards Celebration, a free event at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo on April 5. For more information, go to

Saanich seeks environmental leaders

Nominations for the 2018 Saanich Environmental Awards are being accepted. Nominations will be considered in the following categories: Individual Citizen; Volunteer Organization; Business; Youth; Biodiversity; Conservation; Long Term Environmental Achievement; and Sustainability.

“Saanich encourages and invites individuals, groups and schools to submit nominations for the 18th year of the Saanich Environmental Awards,” said Leif Wergeland, Saanich councillor. “These awards are a great opportunity to recognize the many deserving individuals and organizations that play a vital role in protecting the natural environment throughout the district. Protecting our natural environment is essential to maintaining the balance, well-being and livability of Saanich’s many diverse communities and neighbourhoods.”

Past award recipients have been involved in projects such as invasive-species removal, environmental education, native-plant propagation, waste reduction and conservation on private property. Business awards have been given for sustainable developments and energy-efficiency programs.

Deadline for submissions is 4 p.m. April 18. The awards will be presented in June in the Saanich council chambers. The date is being finalized.

The nomination form and information are available at

Blues concert aids UVic scholarship

A benefit concert will raise money for the Eric Leblanc Memorial Scholarship, aimed at University of Victoria music students with a passion for blues, gospel and jazz. It takes place Saturday at the Oaks.

Blues lover Eric Leblanc was the host for the weekly Let the Good Times Roll program on the University of Victoria’s CFUV radio station. It was, for decades, blues heaven for music fans both locally and around the world on the internet.

The benefit concert will include Juno and Maple Leaf award nominee Bill Johnson.

Tickets are $20. The concert starts at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Oaks, 2250 Oak Bay Ave. For more information, or to donate to the Eric Leblanc Memorial Scholarship, contact or 250-590-3155.

Tommy Douglas remembered in Nanaimo

The City of Nanaimo has recently installed a memorial plaque downtown to recognize the service of politician Tommy Douglas, both locally and nationally.

The plaque can be found, on city-owned land, in a planter on Front Street, next to the bastion.

“The city was pleased to provide a site for the installation of this donated plaque commemorating one of Canada’s most iconic politicians and his service as a member of Parliament for the Nanaimo region,” said Mayor Bill McKay.

The plaque is to highlight the lasting impression he left, as both a federal representative of Nanaimo and as a Canadian politician. His accomplishments include:

• First leader of the New Democratic Party from 1961 to 1971.

• Member of Parliament for the Nanaimo-Cowichan-Islands riding from 1969 to 1979.

• Freedom of the City from the City of Nanaimo on May 25, 1981.

• Selection as the Greatest Canadian through a Canada-wide CBC poll in January 2004.

For more information, go to

Observatory is gathering memories

The Dominion Astrophysical Observatory is not looking for stars, but stories, as it approaches its centennial in May.

The world-renowned scientific facility is looking for recollections from people who have worked at or been involved with the observatory as staff, students, visitors, or even as children or grandchildren of former staff.

Material received will be used to document the story of the observatory. Excerpts may be shared with Canada’s professional astronomers who are convening at the Victoria Conference Centre in late May.

Contributions will be saved in a time capsule.

Stories, memories and/or pictures from people previously associated with the observatory can be sent to

Uplifting film profiles Nobel nominee

See and hear a 2018 Nobel Peace Prize nominee at the B.C. première of Hippocratic: 18 Experiments in Gently Shaking the World, a feature-length documentary film on palliative care April 9 at Cineplex SilverCity Victoria.

The film is an intimate and uplifting story based on the life and work of Dr. M.R. Rajagopal, dubbed India’s “father of palliative care.”

He is a recipient of the Human Rights Watch Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism, a 2018 recipient of the Government of India’s Padma Shri Award and a 2018 Nobel Peace Prize nominee.

The film is for anyone interested in the power of the human spirit, human rights and social justice, and essential viewing for anyone working in health care.

It speaks of key global challenges, such as access to palliative-care services; delivering health care in low-resource settings; the tragedy of unnecessary suffering; and delivering ethical, whole-person care through a grassroots movement.

A question and answer session with Rajagopal will follow the screening.

The film is co-presented by the Victoria Hospice and the B.C. Centre for Palliative Care.

Tickets are $16. The event runs 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. April 9 at Cineplex SilverCity Victoria, 3130 Tillicum Rd. Tickets available at

For more information, go to