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Our Community: Grandmothers pedal for their counterparts in Africa

Victoria Grandmothers for Africa have wrapped up their virtual “tour” of sub-Saharan Africa, collectively pedalling almost 28,000 kilometres and raising more than $132,000 for their counterparts in Africa.
Members of Victoria Grandmothers for Africa get together to celebrate the end of their four-week, 28,000 kilometre Cycle Tour 2020, a virtual tour of sub-Saharan Africa. This was the 14th year of their fundraising drive, which saw the group raise more than $132,000 to help their counterparts in Africa. A total of 67 local grandmothers, with an average age of 73, took part in the event. Photo submitted by Victoria Grandmothers for Africa.

Victoria Grandmothers for Africa have wrapped up their virtual “tour” of sub-Saharan Africa, collectively pedalling almost 28,000 kilometres and raising more than $132,000 for their counterparts in Africa.

A total of 67 local grandmothers, with an average age of 73, participated in Cycle Tour 2020.

The four-week tour ended with a Zoom Gratitude for Grandmas celebration, with expressions of gratitude from the recipients of the funds: the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, which helps grandmothers who are raising grandchildren orphaned by AIDS.

This was the 14th year of the annual fundraising and awareness event, with participants limited to women age 55 or over.

For more information, go to

Daniel Lapp and friends celebrate Thanksgiving

Join in a nationwide Thanksgiving celebration of Canadian folk music at Daniel Lapp’s Joy of Life Cross Canada Celebration, online tonight on the Victoria Conservatory of Music’s YouTube Channel.

The renowned fiddler and folk artist will combine the Joy of Song and the Joy of Fiddle in one show.

Special guests include Shari Ulrich, Lennie Gallant, Tania Elizabeth and almost 150 students from the B.C. Fiddle Orchestra, Folkestra! and Joy of Life Choir.

The event, presented by the Victoria Conservatory of Music, includes tips on how to create an amazing Thanksgiving dinner, with chef Peter Zambri, co-owner of Zambri restaurant and listed in the B.C. Restaurant Hall of Fame.

In lieu of tickets, a donation to the Victoria Conservatory of Music is requested. The event starts at 4 p.m. tonight on the Victoria Conservatory of Music’s YouTube Channel. To make a donation or for more information, go to

Sooke Philharmonic launches first streaming concert

The Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra has just released its first streaming concert, a performance by Voces Intimae, a new string quartet based in Greater Victoria.

The video of the quartet’s first concert is a performance of Edvard Grieg’s String Quartet in G minor and selections from one of Grieg’s most well-known pieces, the Peer Gynt suite.

“Throughout COVID, our audiences have missed our performances and our players have missed playing together,” said Kathleen Campbell, president of the board. “We have developed safety protocols allowing us to rehearse and make music together in small groups of around 12 players.”

The quartet includes conductor Yariv Aloni on viola; Pamela Highbaugh-Aloni on cello; and David Stewart and Paule Préfontaine on violin.

The concert was recorded live in front of a small, socially distanced audience at Sooke’s Holy Trinity Church.

The performance is part of the Nelson Chamber Series, named for the orchestra’s founding conductor, Norman Nelson. It marks the first time the orchestra has released videos of its concerts to the public.

They plan to release a second video, featuring three small ensembles playing music by Elgar and Vaughan Williams, in November.

Audiences watching the videos are encouraged to make a donation to the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra. A tax receipt will be issued for contributions over $25. For more information and to see the video, go to

PISE opens training zone for safe workouts during pandemic

The Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence has opened a new outdoor-accessible training zone as a safe training space during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The new Front Training Zone helps promote active lifestyles, good health and community growth in a time when we need safe spaces for training and recreation more than ever,” said Robert Bettauer, CEO of PISE. “We are very grateful to the Government of Canada and Tire Stewardship B.C. who support active living in our community. This accessible area will help British Columbians of all abilities in our community reach their health and fitness goals.”

The new space increases the amount of accessible outdoor training space available to all members of the community.

The new training space in located at the entrance to its facilities on the Camosun College Interurban Campus, 4371 Interurban Rd.

The project is funded in part by the federal government’s Enabling Accessibility Fund and Tire Stewardship B.C. For more information, go to

TP the Town drive collects toilet paper for those in need

TP the Town is a community initiative that looks to collect toilet paper for Greater Victoria families in need.

Last year, the initiative collected 105,000 rolls of toilet paper and 147 kilograms of feminine hygiene products.

The goal is to ensure no one has to choose between purchasing food and buying toilet paper.

The toilet paper will be collected by the Mustard Seed Street Church, which will distribute it throughout the year to those in need.

The TP the Town campaign runs Oct. 12 to 25. For more information, or to donate, go to

Palliative care group issues declaration of family rights

The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association has released a Declaration of Family Caregiver Rights and Responsibilities, affirming that family caregivers are more than just visitors.

The declaration is in response to restrictions on end-of-life visits in facilities across Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was drawn up by Caregivers4Change in collaboration with Plan Well Guide and a number of provincial and national organizations.

The association is inviting Canadians to sign a petition on supporting the declaration and to use the hashtag #NotJustAVisitor on social media to advocate for the adoption of the rights policy. For more information, go to

Victoria seeks nominations for 2021 Youth Poet Laureate

The City of Victoria is seeking nominations for next year’s Youth Poet Laureate.

The role of the Youth Poet Laureate is to reach out to vulnerable youth populations, develop a community youth poetry event and encourage peer-to-peer education through new works.

Applicants must be between 14 and 24 and reside in the capital region, including the Gulf Islands.

Candidates must demonstrate an ability to engage the community, have clear and innovative ideas for the vision of their role and be able to present and perform their written or spoken work to the public.

The Youth Poet Laureate is an honorary one-year position from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2021. The person appointed to the position will receive a $1,750 honorarium and $2,000 in project funding, with an opportunity to participate in a year-long mentorship with the Poet Laureate.

Created in 2013 by the Victoria Youth Council, the position is funded by the City of Victoria and the Greater Victoria Public Library.

Applications are accepted until 4 p.m., Nov. 3. For submission guidelines and more information, go to

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