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Our Community: Donations help float the Maritime Museum's boat

The Maritime Museum of British Columbia is inviting the public to nominate candidates for the 2021 SS Beaver Medal, which recognizes outstanding achievements in B.C.’s maritime community.
Laura Robin, school and programs manager for the Maritime Museum of British Columbia, adds water to the Float the Boat fundraising display, a model boat inside a glass tank. With each donation, the water level rises - and so does the boat. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

The Maritime Museum of British Columbia is inviting the public to nominate candidates for the 2021 SS Beaver Medal, which recognizes outstanding achievements in B.C.’s maritime community.

This is the 10th year of the award, which is bestowed on living people who have made noteworthy contributions in the areas of science, technology, business, applications of maritime skills, nautical heritage and culture, art and academia.

Another medal recognizes a significant organization, vessel or technological project.

“Our wide span of maritime activities generates about eight per cent of B.C.’s gross domestic product,” said Jan Drent, a member of the medal steering committee, who notes past medal winners include entrepreneurs, naval architects, boatbuilders, technology innovators, publishers, authors, historians, a hydrographer, a marine artist and museum curators.

The gold-plated medal is struck from machinery salvaged from the pioneering paddlewheel steamship SS Beaver, which was built in England in 1835 for the Hudson’s Bay Company.

In her 53-year career, SS Beaver, which grounded near Vancouver in 1888, served as a floating trading post, hydrographic survey ship and towboat.

Nominations close June 4. More information and forms can be found here.

Meanwhile, the museum is calling on the public for donations to help keep its programs and exhibits running. To date, the Float the Boat fundraising campaign has raised more than $4,500 toward its $25,000 goal. The museum marks donation milestones by filling a tank with water to float a miniature boat higher and higher.

“The campaign is off to a good start,” said associate director Brittany Vis. “Within two weeks, we surpassed our first two milestones, and are now working towards the third one of $5,000.”

The registered charity and non-profit has received government emergency COVID funding and the B.C. Arts Council Resilience Supplement, but those programs are being phased out this year.

Western Canada’s oldest maritime museum, the Maritime Museum of B.C. showcases the rich maritime culture and history of the Pacific Northwest.

For more information, or to donate, go to

Scouts Canada collecting bottles for Camp Barnard

Save all your returnable bottles for monthly drives by the 30th Baden-Powell Guild to raise money for Scouts Canada’s Camp Barnard, which remains closed due to COVID-19.

The 30th Baden-Powell Guild is made up of mostly former Scout and Guide leaders who, while no longer active at the grassroots level, continue to serve the Scouting community.

The guild was inaugurated in 2004 to manage and maintain Scout House and Camp Barnard on a cost-neutral basis.

Camp Barnard is a 101-hectare property usually used year-round for nature programming by various youth and adult organizations.

The bottle drives run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 13, March 13 and April 10 in the parking lot (near the Garden Centre) of the View Royal Canadian Tire, 1519 Admirals Rd. (at Craigflower Rd.).

Oak Bay Rotarians raise youth housing funds

Oak Bay Rotarians and guests from as far away as San Francisco recently took part in a Zoom live auction, raising $6,000 for the Threshold Housing Society, which provides stable and supportive housing for at-risk youth ages 13 to 24.

Auction items included gift certificates donated by local businesses.

Some participants who weren’t successful in their bids still left cash donations.

The proceeds of the evening event benefit the Threshold Housing Society, which provides a community for youth who live independently of parents and caregivers but don’t have the means or ability to care for themselves.

The Rotary Club of Oak Bay is part of an international service organization operating in more than 200 countries worldwide. Members make a difference by getting involved in projects that serve the communities they live in.

For more information, go to

Harbourside Rotarians help charitable groups

The Rotary Club of Victoria-Harbourside is accepting applications for funding from regional charitable groups.

The group will consider funding requests of between $2,000 and $50,000 from societies incorporated under the B.C. Societies Act and/or registered charitable organizations.

“Our membership has worked hard to fundraise and this means we are in a good position to put much-needed dollars into the community,” said club president Angus MacPherson, noting that last year, the club handed out about $75,000 to various organizations.

MacPherson said recent fundraising efforts included two “very successful” raffles, including the Staycation Rotary Raffle.

“This may be hard to believe but we have actually been more successful fundraising since COVID started. So we’re excited to get these dollars to work.”

The Rotary Club of Victoria-Harbourside traces its roots to the inception of the Rotary Club of Victoria as the 90th Rotary club in the world in 1913. It became Canada’s first breakfast club in 1980.

More information, funding guidelines and an application form can be found on the club's website.

A callout to artists to add your inspiration

The City of Victoria is looking for artists to submit their work to be considered for display in Commercial Alley and earn a place on the city’s Mural Roster.

This will be the ninth year of the Commercial Alley art installation, located between the 500 block of Yates Street and Bastion Square.

The successful artwork will be presented as a series of four 1.2 metre-by-2.4-metre panels that the artist can cut and reshape within structural limitations.

Submissions to the Mural Roster will be assessed based on an artist’s experience and visual storytelling style.

“Victoria is known as a creative city full of opportunities,” said Mayor Lisa Helps. “Continuing to provide outdoor exhibition spaces for artists in Victoria not only supports our local creative communities, it helps foster a city rich in inspiration and joy.”

The callout is directed at emerging and established artists and artist teams who live in the capital region, including the Gulf Islands.

The selected artist/artist team for the Commercial Alley art installation will be paid a fee of $3,000, plus a $250 stipend to transport the artwork, which will be displayed from August 2021 to August 2022.

There will be an information session for both artist callouts at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 16. To register, email

The deadline for submissions is 4 p.m. March 1 via email to Hard copies will not be accepted. For more information, go to