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Our Community: Exploring the simple joys of books

Celebrate the talents of hundreds of authors who work and live in the province during Read Local B.C., a provincewide campaign launched by the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia.
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Thursday: Lucky Budd looks at one of his books with his four-year-old son, Levi, at the Oak Bay library.

Celebrate the talents of hundreds of authors who work and live in the province during Read Local B.C., a provincewide campaign launched by the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia.

Bookstores, libraries, community centres and publishers across the province are taking part in a community celebration to showcase the talents of local storytellers. It urges everyone to “Read Local, Buy Local, Think Global.”

“Similar to the 100-mile diet, people reading and buying B.C.-produced books significantly contributes to our local economy, both culturally and economically,” said Margaret Reynolds, executive director of the organization.

The celebration, which demonstrates the vitality of reading and writing, includes events, competitions, talks and promotions by more than 23 publishers, 300 authors and 70 presenters.

The campaign culminates with B.C. Book Day on April 22, when dozens of publishers will showcase their work to MLAs at the legislative assembly.

Other free activities locally include:

On the Road — Join some of Victoria’s hottest fiction writers for an evening of exploration and conversation with Julie Paul, Aaron Shepard and Charles Tidler. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. April 14 at Munro’s Books, 1108 Government St.

Children’s Readings — Writers Lucky Budd, Sylvia Olsen, Penny Chamberlain, Ann Walsh and Carol Ann Shaw will read, tell stories and answer questions about where ideas come from and what it’s like to be a writer. The event starts at 1 p.m. April 21 at the Juan de Fuca Branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library, 1759 Island Hwy. For more information, go to books.bc.ca.

Cross-Canada ride to support veterans

A veteran and his wife are riding their horses across Canada to raise money and awareness to support veterans.

Veteran Paul Nichols of Quesnel and his wife Terry, a therapeutic-riding instructor, will embark on their journey Monday in Victoria, with a plan to arrive at Saint John’s, N.L., on Remembrance Day.

Along the 210-day journey, Nichols will invite as many as 700 fellow veterans to join him on horseback. He and his wife will also be collecting veterans’ stories so that they can share them when the ride is over.

The couple started Communities for Veterans Foundation, a non-profit charity, to raise funds for programs to support veterans and their families.

The ride will begin at noon on Monday with an official send-off by Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon on the front steps of the Legislative Assembly.

For more information, go to communitiesforveterans.com.

Dinner, auction benefits dragon boaters

The Island Breast Strokers Dragon Boat team is hosting the Power of Women, a dinner and auction on Saturday to ensure that all breast-cancer survivors are able to paddle without worrying about the cost.

The event is the major fundraiser for the team, which is made up of breast cancer survivors (thrivers) who paddle for health and to inspire other survivors to a full, healthy life after the disease.

The buffet dinner is followed by live Latin/Jazz music by Los Gringos Locos. Former Victoria mayor Alan Lowe will be the master of ceremonies and auctioneer for the live auction. Items up for auction include a fishing excursion with a bed and breakfast on Salt Spring Island, a bed-size “cancer cannot” quilt, a large basket of goodies from Butchart Gardens and a large wine cooler. There will also be a silent auction with a wide variety of services, restaurants, artwork and other surprises.

Proceeds from the event goes toward boat rentals, coaches, equipment, festival costs and any other costs associated with participating in the sport.

Tickets are $50. Cash bar opens at 6, dinner at 7 p.m. at the Chief and Petty Officer’s Mess, 1575 Lyall St. Esquimalt. For more information, go to islandbreaststrokers.com.

Fundraiser benefits kids in developing countries 

Help women and children in developing countries by attending a fundraising dinner put on by supporters of Child Haven International on Saturday.

The organization, founded by Rev. Fred Cappuccino (recipient of the Order of Canada) and his wife Bonnie, supports destitute children in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Tibet with shelter, food, clothing and education.

The event consists of a gourmet Indian vegetarian dinner and entertainment. The event is supported by the Unitarian Church of Victoria.

Tickets are $30. Doors open at 6, with supper starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre, 3277 Douglas St. Please contact Christine Johnston at 250-385-5444 for tickets. For more information, go to childhaven.ca.

Paddling club raises $22K for Easter Seals camp 

Members of the Victoria Canoe and Kayak club recently paddled 12 hours to raise $22,000 for Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan.

Members of the paddling club took part in their 34th annual Peninsula Paddle for the Kids March 28, a trek of approximately 75 kilometres, from Brentwood Bay and along the Peninsula to their clubhouse on the Gorge.

The money raised benefits Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan, a residential summer camp for children with disabilities. Thanks to fundraisers such as this, 300 kids will be able to go to camp this year. For more information, go to eastersealscamps.ca or vckc.ca.

Master auctioneer will share his secrets

Celebrate National Volunteer Week at an event that includes a workshop led by the top fundraising auctioneer in Canada on Tuesday.

Danny Hooper, who recently moved to Victoria with his fiancée, is the official auctioneer of the David Foster Foundation, as well as an author. He has raised millions of dollars for charity auctions across Canada.

Tickets are $25. The event runs 8:30 to 11 a.m. at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, 900 Johnson St. Hosts of the event include Telus, Victoria Conservatory of Music and Volunteer Victoria, along with sponsors Fairway Market and Freeman Audio Visual.

Registration through Volunteer Victoria Eventbrite: volunteervictoria.eventbrite.ca or call 250-388-8150.

Lower Island students meet for poetry slam

Forty high school students from eight Lower Island teams will compete for the city championship poetry title at the Victorious Voices Youth Arts Festival, Monday to Wednesday.

The central part of the festival is the Victoria High School Poetry Slam Championships — a competition where poets are judged by audience members on a scale of 0-10. This is the sixth year of the competition. Last year’s winners, Reynolds Secondary, will be attempting to retain their championship title.

Poets have three minutes to perform original work, without costumes, props or music. Victorious Voices is a team competition, with teams performing individual as well as group pieces.

“These young poets speak their truth powerfully,” said Victoria city Coun. Jeremy Loveday, Victorious Voices founder and director. “Victoria is known nationally for our talented youth poets. This is a chance to celebrate the youth voice and the youth experience.”

Events include:

• Victorious Voices — High School Slam Championships

• Semi-finals (eight teams compete in two bouts)

Event starts at 7 p.m. Monday at the Victoria Event Centre, 1415 Broad St.

• Still Victorious Volume 3 — Vic Voices Alumni Showcase

Featuring two-time Winnipeg Slam Champion and Victoria Indie Slam Champ Aaron Simm. Event starts at 7 p.m. April 14 at Lacey Lou’s Tapas, 1320 Broad St.

• Vic Voices Finals (top four teams compete plus performances by alumnae of honour, a showcase of top semi-finalists).

Admission $10 adults, $5 students. Event starts at 7 p.m. April 15 at Victoria Event Centre, 1415 Broad St.

Tickets are available at the door. For more information, go to facebook.com/events/ 1611466725753828.