Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Our Community: Could pink be the bravest colour?

Ryan Thirlwall is putting on a pink tutu and walking non-stop from Nanaimo to Victoria — again. Four years ago, the Victoria dad put on his eye-popping costume to walk 125 kilometres in 28 hours to raise funds to fund anti-bullying initiatives.
In this 2012 photo, Ryan Thirlwall's daughter Chloe Diercks, then 2, shows everyone what she thinks after Thirwall finished his walk from Nanaimo to Victoria. This year, he's doing it again.

Ryan Thirlwall is putting on a pink tutu and walking non-stop from Nanaimo to Victoria — again.

Four years ago, the Victoria dad put on his eye-popping costume to walk 125 kilometres in 28 hours to raise funds to fund anti-bullying initiatives.

He will repeat the feat on Monday, hoping to raise $5,000 to support the Boys and Girls Club of Victoria’s anti-bullying programs and raise more awareness about child/youth suicide prevention.

He hopes school districts on Vancouver Island and beyond, especially elementary schools, will be inspired enough to host their own annual tutu walks.  

His last goal is to get Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to tweet a photo of himself in a pink tutu.

He will begin his walk at 7 a.m. Monday from Nanaimo’s Woodgrove Mall. He is expected to reach the Boys and Girls Club of Victoria, at 301-1195 Esquimalt Rd., about mid-morning Tuesday. For more information, or to donate, go to Tutu Walk for Hope is on Facebook.

A night of laughs to aid animal rescue

The plight of abandoned animals is no joke, but a St. Patrick’s Day Comedy Night with green beer and comedian Ivan Decker should bring a smile to Broken Promises Animal Rescue on Thursday.

Tickets are $15.  Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. at Hecklers Bar and Grill, 123 Gorge Rd. East. Tickets at Bosley’s pet store in Greater Victoria or online at

Zonta Club donations celebrate Women’s Day

The Zonta Club of Victoria celebrated International Women’s Day by disbursing $30,000 to local agencies and organizations that serve the needs of local women and girls.

The contributions carry on a tradition of empowering the lives of women through service and advocacy, which began in 1968.

“Also this month, our club will be celebrating our Young Women in Public Affairs award recipients,” said Barbie Zipp, club president. “Two young women of Victoria were selected from several applicants to compete for the award for young women who have demonstrated a commitment to leadership in public policy, government and volunteer organizations.” The two financial awards total $2,250.

The club members’ fundraising efforts continue to make a difference in the lives of women locally and globally. They have helped international projects, such as the elimination of obstetric fistula and reduction of maternal and newborn mortality in Liberia, working toward an HIV-free generation in Rwanda and helping a gender-responsive school program in Vietnam.

For more information, go to

Swing into spring for Gorge community garden

The Gorge Park Community Garden, which took root last year, has blossomed to become an answer to the question of food security for neighbours who lived in nearby apartments and condos without land to grow vegetables and fruit.

The community is inviting neighbours and supporters to its Swing into Spring, a fundraising dance and chocolate potluck feast on Saturday.

The event will feature live music by Rusty and the Roosters, live and silent auctions — and lots of chocolate (bring a chocolate finger food to share, or something healthier if you prefer).

Proceeds will go toward new allotment beds (last year, Saanich received 100 applications for the 60 plots), plants for the common areas and an improved irrigation system.

Tickets are $20 in advance from Gorge-ous Coffee, 300 Gorge Road West or through Eventbrite; $25 at the door. Children under 12 free. Doors open at 7 p.m. March 19 at the Les Passmore Centre, 286 Hampton Rd. For more information, contact Kay Stewart by email at [email protected].

Depression support group begins Tuesday

Depressed? Know a family member or person living with a disability who suffers from depression? Attend a new monthly peer support group on Tuesday.

Depression Talks is a monthly program hosted by the Victoria Disability Resource Centre.

At the meeting, people will be able to meet others living with the condition and be both a resource and support. Participants will learn healthy coping strategies as well as building and broadening their support network. This is not a therapy group.

The meeting runs 5 to 7 p.m. at 817A Fort St.

For more information, contact Suzan Jennings, 250-590-8863 or [email protected].

Virtues program gets grant from Rotary Club

Children will learn values such as co-operation, respect and honesty, thanks to a donation by the Rotary Club of Victoria to fund the Virtues Youth Group.

The service club recently announced that it will donate $4,200 to Pacifica Housing toward the successful youth program.

Virtues is a free, on-site, weekly drop-in program based on the internationally renowned Virtues Program. The program is offered to children ages four to 12 living in five of Pacifica’s family housing complexes in Greater Victoria.

Each week, children are introduced to a virtue, which is one of the fundamental principles of living harmoniously. Youth explore and learn about the various virtues in group sessions through educational workshops, cooking sessions, creative play, arts and crafts, physical and sport activity, celebration of holidays and events, and trips into the community.

The program is attended by 80 students.

Advocates believe the program leads to improved mental health, strengthened sense of belonging, excitement for healthy eating and learning values such as co-operation, respect and honesty. The community benefits by having responsible, confident and compassionate youth who are engaged in and care about their social and natural environments.

Pacifica Housing provides affordable housing and support services for more than 1,500 people in Greater Victoria, Duncan and Nanaimo. It also runs youth groups, community gardens and community meal programs.

For more information, go to or

Art drive raises $40,000 for Victoria Hospice

The Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem Knights Hospitaller —Victoria Commandery recently raised more than $40,000 on its first Art Drive and Sale for the Victoria Hospice.

The order is a non-political, ecumenical, international Christian organization directly descended from the Order of St. John, founded in the late 11th century. The local branch’s history goes back more than 25 years.

The order was founded upon the premise of aiding the sick and the poor. The membership of the local branch consists of people with extensive backgrounds of voluntary contribution to a variety of charitable organizations, working for the betterment of those who are in need.

The inaugural Art Drive and Sale fundraiser began with a call to the community for donations of art. That resulted in more than 2,000 pieces available for sale at an event late last month. The donated art was appraised and donors were given a tax receipt for the estimated value.

“We were elated by the generosity of the citizens of Victoria,” said Frank Bourree, a member of the order. “We plan to repeat the event every other year.”

People purchased 1,500 pieces of art in seven hours. The remaining 500 pieces were then donated to the Victoria Cool Aid Society, to brighten walls in some of the charity’s 15 buildings in the region — including Mount Edwards Court.

Regret you missed out? You’re in luck. The order held back 20 of the most expensive pieces — worth between $3,000 and $5,000 each — to be sold to the highest bidder on Gobid, an online auction site to help charities, organizations or individuals. The pieces will go up on the site later in the week, said Bourree.

For more information, go to

Churches recruiting team to work with refugees

Two Anglican churches, St. David’s-by-the-Sea, Cordova Bay, and St. Peter’s, Lakehill, are holding an orientation session for people interested in getting involved with supporting a Syrian refugee family.

Volunteers are invited to join an established refugee sponsorship group — 2 Saints and Friends — that is expecting a government-cleared Syrian family in the next few weeks. People are needed to help with fundraising, finding housing, finding furnishings, recruiting translators and assisting the family for its first year.

Ample parking is available, and light refreshments will be served. The meeting takes place at 7:30 p.m. Monday at  St. David’s, 5182 Cordova Bay Rd.

For more information, email [email protected].

[email protected]