Our Community: Donation aids Cowichan hospital

Dr. Sylvester Chuang, a retired physician and owner of several businesses on Vancouver Island, donated $58,000 to support a new hospital in Cowichan last week.

Chuang owns the Villa Eyrie Resort, the Cowichan River Lodge, the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit in Cowichan and 12 car dealerships on Vancouver Island.

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The donation to the Cowichan District Hospital Foundation includes proceeds from the annual Vancouver Island Motor Gathering and Classic Car Show.

“I am proud to continue supporting the Cowichan District Hospital Foundation and the future health-care needs of residents of the Cowichan Valley,” said Chuang, who was the head of magnetoencephalography at Sick Children’s Hospital in Toronto. “As a hospital physician, I believe that when you contribute to a hospital, you contribute to the entire community.”

The Cowichan District Hospital was built in 1967 with 95 beds, serving a population of 35,000. Today, the hospital has 114 beds, serving a population of 82,000.

The Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit has contributed more than $200,000 to local community non-profit organizations since opening in 2016.

For more information, go to islandmotorsportcircuit.com.

Chinese cemetery receives donation

Last week, Chuang also presented a donation to the caretakers of the Hillcrest Chinese Cemetery to support its ongoing maintenance.

The cemetery, a provincial historic site, was established in 1945. It is the final resting place of 127 Chinese-Canadian men, interred between 1946 and 1968. The land was donated to the workers by the Hillcrest Logging Company in honour of their contribution of talent and labour.

The Duncan Chinese Community Association formally pays respect to the pioneers annually and continues to maintain the cemetery.

“I applaud the community volunteers who have been working to restore, maintain and improve the cemetery and for their extensive research of burial documentation,” said Chuang.

“I also celebrate the award Neil Dirom and Willie Chow have recently received from the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of B.C. for their immense efforts to record all of the gravestone data and burial records.”

Heritage B.C. considers the site to have to have historical value through its association with the extensive involvement of Chinese Canadians in B.C.’s logging industry.

The cemetery, which exemplifies feng shui principles in its design, is located off Payne Road in Duncan.

More information can be found here.

Fashion show helps refugee family

Attend a fun and inspiring Spring Fashion Show and help resettle a refugee family from West Africa, April 6 at Emmanuel Baptist Church.

The event, hosted by Just for You Fashions, includes a luncheon and a Jewelry and Fashion Accessories jumble sale.

Proceeds will help a refugee family launch a new life where their dreams of a bright, meaningful future can be fulfilled.

You can come and hear about their escape from peril in West Africa and their 14-year journey to secure sponsorship in a safe country.

Tickets are $30. Doors open at 11:30 a.m., with the lunch/show starting at noon, followed by the fashion show at 2 p.m. April 6 at the Emmanuel Baptist Church, 2121 Cedar Hill Cross Rd.

Tickets available through victoriarefugeesponsorship.org/tickets.html. Reserved seating for groups available by contacting debbie@victoriarefugeesponsorship.org.

Book club founder honoured

Pat Thornton, a longtime resident of Mill Bay, was presented with a Lifetime Membership award on Monday by members of a book club she started almost 20 years ago.

The Phoenix Book Club is still going strong and includes a vibrant cross-section of thoughtful, opinionated women who aren’t shy to engage in lively discussions, clashes of opinion and lots of laughter.

“Members agree that the club has become a very supportive, trusting and safe arena for the multitude of personal issues we’ve experienced over the years — the complexities of marriage, motherhood, widowhood, illness all leavened with laughter and fabulous food,” said member Nancy Buan. “We love and respect one another and appreciate how this book club Pat Thornton started has broadened our horizons, increased our perspectives, challenged our assumptions and touched our hearts.”

Thornton, 94, was born in Swift Current, Sask., and was a hockey player at the University of Saskatchewan.

Nanaimo names youth poet laureate

Valina Zanetti has been selected as Nanaimo’s youth poet laureate for the next two years.

Valina was chosen for her ability to clearly articulate her goals. Many of her ideas speak of the importance of partnerships and collaborations.

Valina has the ability to be inspirational and is looking forward to working with aspiring young poets on many creative initiatives.

“Youth nowadays have a lot to say, so I am excited to help let these passionate young minds be heard,” said Valina, a high school student.

While filling the role, Valina will be mentored by the poet laureate and will be a literary youth ambassador for Nanaimo.

For more information, go to nanaimo.ca.

Celebrate with city’s Filipino community

The Victoria Filipino Canadian Association is celebrating its 50th anniversary with two events open to the public on March 31 at the Philippine Bayanihan Centre.

Gather and get a taste of the Philippines and meet members of the community at a lunch featuring a selection of traditional Filipino food.

Lunch costs $12. It runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Philippine Bayanihan Centre, 1709 Blanshard St.

After lunch, discover the rich history of the Philippines and its peoples at a song and dance presentation by members of the local Filipino community at Story of Victoria Filipino Canadian Association: 1969-2019.

Tickets at the door, $10 adults, $5 students. The event starts at 3 p.m. March 31 at the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre, Oak Bay High School, 2121 Cadboro Bay Rd. Tickets can be purchased in advance by phoning 250-704-8311.

For more information, call the centre at 250-472-1898 or go to bayanihan.ca.

Stickers designed to deter thieves

The Sidney/North Saanich RCMP are distributing high-visibility stickers for vehicles, telling thieves All Valuables Removed as part of a crime-prevention initiative.

The initiative, in partnership with Greater Victoria CrimeStoppers, aims to send a clear message to thieves that the vehicle is empty of temptation.

“We have seen a 22 per cent increase in thefts from vehicles in the Sidney/North Saanich area in 2019,” said Staff Sgt. Wayne Conley. “These stickers are a proactive step to deter theft, and serve as a handy reminder to owners, as well.”

Stickers are available at the Sidney/North Saanich Detachment, 9895 Fourth St., Sidney. They are also available at Canadian Tire in North Saanich and Thrifty Foods and Save-on-Foods in Sidney. More information can be found here.

Consider becoming emergency volunteer

If you are calm under pressure and want to be part of the action in an emergency, consider attending a Volunteer Fair to learn more about the Victoria Red Cross Emergency Social Services and Cycling Response Teams, March 26 at Victoria City Hall.

The fair will feature displays, an opportunity to meet representatives of each volunteer team, as well as a presentation.

The city is the first municipality in the capital region to partner with the Canadian Red Cross to deliver Emergency Social Services, from emergency response to recovery for residents.

Complimentary snacks and refreshments will be served.

The event runs 6 to 8 p.m. March 26 at Victoria City Hall, 1 Centennial Sq. All volunteer training is free. Volunteers must be 18 years of age, have a valid driver’s licence and undergo a criminal record check.

For more information, go to victoriaready.ca.

Top chefs bring their best to fundraiser

Join Victoria’s top chefs for the sixth anniversary of Hungry Hearts, April 6 at the Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort.

At the event, a fundraiser for Our Place, local top chefs engage in a night of culinary competition for your vote and the title of top chef. At the elegant soirée, attendees are encouraged to come in cocktail attire.

In the past five years, the event has raised more than $600,000 to help Victoria’s vulnerable residents.

Tickets are $150. The event starts at 6 p.m. April 6 at the Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort, 100 Harbour Rd. For more information call 250-940-5064 or email hungryhearts@ourplacesociety.com.

For tickets, go to ourplacesociety.com/events.

Victoria looking for public artists

The City of Victoria is accepting submissions for three calls to artists for its outdoor summer banner program.

Artists and graphic designers are invited to submit proposals for the city’s biennial summer banner program, which will showcase four original banner designs on downtown lampposts.

The successful artist/graphic designer will receive a fee of $1,500 for the design, which will be on display May to September in 2019 and 2020.

The second call is for the Commercial Alley Outdoor Art Gallery, with artwork located between the 500 block of Yates Street and Bastion Square.

The selected artist/artist team will be paid a fee of $2,250, with the artwork to be installed and showcased between August 2019 and August 2020.

The third project is for Commute — A Bus Shelter Exhibition, with up to 18 artworks showcased on six bus shelters in Victoria from July 2019 to June 2020.

The commute call to artists is open to emerging, Indigenous and multicultural artists, craftspeople and artisans living in the capital region, including the Gulf Islands.

All works must be original to the artist.

The selected artists will be paid a fee of $500 per image that is displayed.

The deadline for submission is March 27 at 4 p.m. for the Summer Banner Program; April 9 at 4 p.m. for the Commute — Bus Shelter Exhibit; and April 9 at 4 p.m. for the Commercial Alley Outdoor Art Gallery installation.

Proposals must be submitted online. Selected artists will be contacted in April.

For submission guidelines and more information, go to victoria.ca/publicart.

100 Men Victoria holds first meeting

100 Men Victoria, a men’s group, concluded its inaugural event last month with the presentation of a $5,200 cheque to the Extreme Outreach Society.

The group’s concept is simple. They meet for one hour four times a year. They each come with $100 and have one vote. They vote for a worthwhile charity to give the collected money to.

The idea of 100 Men Victoria was born during a regular Union Club Men’s Business Lunch meeting in August 2017. There are now more than 60 members.

The next event takes place at the Robert Bateman Centre on May 16.

For more information, go to 100menvictoria.org.

Young artists decorate cathedral

Colourful banners will adorn light standards on the grounds around Christ Church Cathedral this summer, thanks to young artists from Christ Church Cathedral School’s Grade 8 art class.

“By beautifying the area around the cathedral, we hope to increase the enjoyment of many community members who already use the space as a quiet retreat in the city,” said the cathedral’s dean, the Very Rev. Ansley Tucker. “We are honoured that the students have helped us do that. Artistic expression is also an important part of who we are as human beings.”

Art teacher Sandi Henrich said many of the students put in extra time after class to complete the colourful abstract designs. She introduced them to expressionism through the work of famous painters such as Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky.

The panels and the young artists will be celebrated at an official unveiling at 3:30 p.m., April 4, at Christ Church Cathedral, Quadra and Rockland.

For more information, go to christchurchcathedral.bc.ca.

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