Explore: Expo features wellness for women

When interior designer Nora Bouz begins a consultation, she starts by asking clients to look inward, to consider their own hearts before looking out to their room interiors.

“I want to try to understand a person physically and psychologically so that includes the emotional, spiritual, social and mental side of things,” said Bouz. “And then I can try to design their environment accordingly.”

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Bouz will be one of nearly 20 speakers, leaders and demonstrators conducting sessions this weekend at the Victoria Women’s Expo. The workshops, demonstrations and products will cover issues ranging from dance workouts to creative journalling and sexual self-care.

Bouz is a newcomer to Victoria. She lives in Vic West after 10 years in Calgary and is already charmed by her new exterior environment: the year-round green, the moderate temperatures and even its light.

But she noted studies have demonstrated people in North America spend 90 per cent of their time indoors. So it’s important to achieve a home environment that can nurture and sustain.

On the other hand, Bouz said, she never likes to completely “finish” a home. She likes to leave space for people to make their own adjustments as their lives progress.

“I don’t want to leave a person with a home design that is perfect, with nothing to be changed,” she said.

“We change, our needs change, our tastes change so it’s good to leave room for a person to evolve.”

Bouz and What Design has to do with Health and Happiness is scheduled for noon on Saturday. The Victoria Women’s Expo is on Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Pearkes Recreation Centre.

For information on events and tickets go online to victoriawomensexpo.com.

Art gallery show revisits 1977 pipeline story

As some Wet’suwet’en First Nation members protest the Coastal GasLink pipeline in B.C., the show To Talk With Others, at the Victoria Art Gallery, seems eerily prescient.

The show consists of the work of five Yukon artists, four of them Indigenous, inspired by readings and discussions of minutes recorded in 1977 during meetings between then-prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau and five Yukon First Nations leaders.

The historic meeting was called to discuss the construction of natural gas pipeline across the Yukon’s Mackenzie River Delta. Opposed by environmental groups and Indigenous people, the pipeline was never built.

Nicole Stanbridge, curator of engagement at the Victoria Art Gallery, said the show wraps up on Sunday, but it first appeared in November after exhibitions in Whitehorse and Dawson City.

“It’s all based on a historical documents, but it’s so relevant now because we are in the same situation,” said Stanbridge. “It seems like the same story.”

To Talk With Others is made up of contemporary works of Yukon artists who responded to the historical minutes in the medium of their choosing: sculpture, carving, painting and video. Also included are beaded portraits by Yukon traditional beaders of people who attended the 1977 meeting.

“All of the works provoke conversation,” said Stanbridge. “They make you curious and start a conversation with the viewers.”

To Talk With Others will remain at the Victoria Art Gallery Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Victorian brings one-man Treasure Island to life

Few tales can hold as many large characters as Treasure Island. From the wickedly intelligent Long John Silver to the dangerously trustful Squire John Trelawney, the 1883 book is a dramatic cauldron.

But this weekend, Victoria actor/teacher Jason Stevens will bring them all to life in his one-hour, one-person presentation of the classic adventure tale of buccaneers, forgotten maps and pirate treasure written by Scottish novelist Robert Louis Steven.

“The characters are all so grotesque and so big,” said Stevens in a telephone interview. “But all these characters have their own voice and their own tempo and can stand distinctly on their own and that’s what allows people to follow the story so well.”

Stevens will be performing his Treasure Island, tonight, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Thursday, March 12, in the 19th-century setting of Craigdarroch Castle.

This is not his first one-person presentation of a classic tale. He has also adapted and performed Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

For Stevens, American-born, English-trained and Victorian by choice, these one-person shows are not novelty plays. They are a return to the classic form of storytelling in which a good teller injects life, tension and dramatic resolution to a tale.

“Of all the acting I’ve done, I think storytelling has become my favourite,” he said. “You can be really indulgent as a performer because the most important thing is to make sure the story is happening for me, so if I’m experiencing, it the audience will.”

For more information on tickets and times, go online to the Craigdarroch site at thecastle.ca.

Bridges luncheon raises funds to support women affected by violence

The Bridges for Women Society hosts its 10th annual International Women’s Day Luncheon on Friday at the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort.

More than 200 people are expected for the 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. event, which includes networking and a variety of speakers.

Tickets are $85, with proceeds going to the range of programs offered by Bridges for Women to assist women affected by violence and trauma. The programs help end the cycles of violence, poverty and isolation for women in Greater Victoria and around the province.

Here is the lineup of speakers:

• Frazey Ford, singer-songwriter and actor from Vancouver;

• Lindsay Delaronde, Victoria’s inaugural artist-in-residence;

• Darlene Clover, a University of Victoria professor whose areas of research include arts, women’s political education and social activism;

• Tiffany Joseph, Bridges graduate and storyteller who works on cultural and ecological revitalization for the WSANEC people;

• Diane Gilliland, former Bridges counsellor and a member of the Victoria Storytellers Guild.

Handling the emcee duties will be Robin Farrell of radio station Ocean 98.5.

Bridges for Women was established in 1988. It helps women get past barriers to employment that are linked to abuse by offering training, education and professional one-on-one support.

For tickets, go to bfws.ca or call 250-385-7410.

Bateman exhibit puts lens on textile industry

The exhibit Castaways: Art From the Material World has its official public opening Saturday and Sunday at the Bateman Foundation Gallery of Nature, 470 Belleville St.

It is described in a gallery statement as “a rags-to-riches tale of the textile industry and its global impact.”

That impact is explored by 20 female artists from Canada and the Americas through the lens of climate change, and looks at factors such as consumer culture.

Foundation executive director Peter Ord said the exhibit is an important part of efforts to encourage Canadians to be part of their environments and local conservation efforts.

“The goal of the Castaways exhibit is to bring attention to the impacts our consumer-obsessed like has on our waterways and how we can search within ourselves to find solutions,” Ord said.

Exhibit producer Vivienne Challandes said Castaways artists were asked to “face the destructive chaos of the garment industry and corporate greed.”

“No small task,” she said. “Fortunately, when highly creative people are encouraged to create brave work and commit to revolutionary thinking, the extraordinary happens.”

In honour of International Women’s Day on Sunday, admission will be by donation to the Bateman Foundation for the entire weekend. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. The entire run is from Friday to June 5.

Student ingenuity on display in robotics contest

Local teams such as the Spectrum ThunderBots, the Esquimalt Atom Smashers, the Belmont Bytes and the Reynolds Reybots are putting their ingenuity up against an international field in the First Robotics Competition, running through Saturday at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.

There’s also Spooky Action Robotics from Comox, Honolulu’s Team Magma and the Warrior Borgs from Sacramento, California, vying for honours among more than 30 teams in the Canadian Pacific Regional competition.

The team from farthest afield is New Zealand’s Wingus & Dingus.

The competition has students raising funds, designing a team brand and putting together robots designed to carry out specific tasks.

Teams are made up of 10 to 50 students in grades nine to 12.

The event is open to the public and admission is free.

Things got started Wednesday and continue today from 7:45 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday’s schedule runs from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday’s from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Best viewing will be Friday and Saturday afternoon.

First Robotics has programs for students from kindergarten through high school.

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