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Our Community: Mascot tagged; Indigenous scholarships; art donation

Alto was carrying on a tradition that began when then-mayor Hugh Stephen presented the first Wallace with his dog tag in 1969.
Victoria Mayor Marianne Alto presented a dog tag to Wallace VII of the Canadian Scottish Regiment with, from left, Lt. Col. David Proctor, Sgt. Jesse Hunt and Hon. Lt. Col. Alan Lowe. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Regimental mascot gets dog tag number 16

Victoria Mayor Marianne Alto presented Wallace VII, the mascot of the Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s), with dog tag number 16 at a ceremony at the Bay Street Armoury on Tuesday.

Alto was carrying on a tradition that began when then-mayor Hugh Stephen presented the first Wallace with his dog tag in 1969.

The first mascot was K57000 Private Wallace, joining the 1st Battalion at Macaulay Point in 1939. He accompanied the infantry regiment — as a stowaway — as they were deployed to Europe to fight in the ­Second World War. At war’s end, he returned to Victoria­, ­leading the regiment from the Canadian Pacific ­Railway dock back to the Bay Street Armoury.

This is the seventh Wallace to serve as the ­regiment’s mascot. Past dogs have been St. Bernards. The current Wallace is a Great Pyrenees/ Sarplaninac cross.

Over time, the City of Victoria changed his dog tag number. The number 16 was chosen to recognize the regiment’s perpetuation of 16th Battalion (The ­Canadian Scottish) of the Canadian Expeditionary Force from the First World War.

Indigenous students to share $1.4M in scholarships

The B.C. Scholarship Society is disbursing $1.4 million in awards to 326 Indigenous students in support of their studies at public post-secondary institutions throughout the province.

The society’s Indigenous Student Awards program is funded from the returns on a $10-million endowment fund established by the Province of British Columbia in 2007 to assist in removing barriers to higher education.

Students are awarded between $3,000 and $5,000 through a competitive process open to students ­studying at all post-secondary levels, from trades ­training to doctoral programs.

“The Indigenous Student Awards are supporting Indigenous students in achieving their academic goals,” said Selina Robinson, minister of post-secondary education and future skills.

The Indigenous population in British ­Columbia is growing at more than triple the rate of the ­non-­Indigenous population, with nearly 45 per cent under the age of 25.

Since its inception, nearly $34 million has been ­distributed to B.C. students through six scholarship and award programs. The Victoria Foundation provides administrative support to the society.

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Artist Graham Scholes donates prints to museum

Local woodblock artist, author and educator Graham Scholes recently donated a full set of his 41 prints of lighthouses along the West Coast of British Columbia to the Maritime Museum of British Columbia.

A selection of these prints were previously on ­display for the museum’s Let There Be Light with Woodblock Prints exhibition in 2022.

“A complete body of Scholes’ woodblock prints is held in the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s ­collection, positioned in Canadian art history with the greats of West Coast art,” said Heather Feeney, collections and exhibit manager. “The Maritime Museum of B.C. is ­honoured to now be among the Victoria institutions with Scholes’ works held for the enjoyment and study of future generations.”

The collection will join about 500 artworks currently held in the museum’s collection, including prints by Harry Heine and John Horton.

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Applications open for grants in District of Sooke

The District of Sooke is accepting applications for funding through its community grant program until March 15.

The municipality has allocated up to $65,000 in its 2024 budget to the grant program. The grants are meant for community projects, programs or events.

Applicants must be a not-for-profit organization (incorporated under the Societies Act of B.C.) or an unincorporated group. They must be located primarily within the district or offer programs or events within the municipality.

Applications are for one or more of the following areas: Sports and recreation; fine arts and culture; ­heritage; public safety; community development, including promotion and economic development; ­community beautification; and environmental ­sustainability.

Community grants may be awarded for any amount up to, but not exceeding $7,000.

The deadline for applications is March 15. ­Applications can be received by email: [email protected] or in-person during normal business hours at the District of Sooke municipal hall, 2205 Otter Point Rd. Community grant applicants will be invited to appear before council to speak about their application.

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Youth projects aim to reduce substance harm

Island Health is welcoming applications for its 2024 Youth Harm Reduction Award. Projects focused on reducing harms related to unregulated substances are eligible for $1,000 and a framed certificate.

Last year’s winning team included three Victoria youth who surveyed students at their high school to explore awareness of substance use and discover what was needed to further harm reduction efforts. They also produced a short video about their project that was shared with staff and community partners.

“Young people’s voices are critical to our response to the toxic drug crisis,” said Dr. Réka Gustafson, chief medical health officer. “Island Health is honoured to recognize their inspiring work with this annual award.”

Applicants must be under 19 and live in any ­community in the Island Health region, which includes Vancouver Island, the islands in the Salish Sea and the Johnstone Strait, and mainland communities north of Powell River.

The deadline for applicants is March 31, with the winning submission announced in June.

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Victoria officers lace up for Wounded Warrior run

Three members of the Victoria Police Department will participate in the 2024 Wounded Warrior Run B.C., which takes place on Vancouver Island, Feb. 25 to March 3.

The department’s Sgt. Steve Kowan, Staff Sgt. Daryl Baswick and Deputy Chief Constable Jason Laidman will be part of a team of eight runners who will embark on a relay-style challenge covering 800 kilometres over eight consecutive days.

The purpose of the run is to raise awareness and funds for Wounded Warriors Canada, which provides services, support and training to military veterans, first responders and their families who have ­ suffered, or are dealing with operational stress injuries, ­including post-traumatic stress disorder.

People can support the officers, and the cause, by sponsoring them at

Victoria student a finalist for prestigious Loran Award

A Victoria High School student has beaten more than 5,200 applicants across Canada to emerge as a Loran Finalist for the class of 2024.

Elizabeth Rose is one of 90 finalists chosen for the Loran Award, a four-year leadership enrichment ­program consisting of summer work experiences, ­mentorship, scholar gatherings, an annual living ­stipend and a tuition waiver at one of 25 universities.

Rose and her fellow finalists will travel to Toronto for Loran’s National Selections interviews, Feb. 23 to 25.

Up to 36 students will receive a Loran Award, which are valued at more than $100,000 each.

Even if they are not selected as Loran Scholars, the finalists are still eligible to receive a $6,000 finalist award.

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