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Our Community: Marathon lines up charity partners

The GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon recently announced the 20 charities taking part in this year’s CHEK Charity Pledge Program.
This yearÕs GoodLife Marathon, which includes a marathon, half-marathon, eight-kilometre road race and the Thrifty Foods Kids Run, takes place Oct. 13.

The GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon recently announced the 20 charities taking part in this year’s CHEK Charity Pledge Program.

The charities raise awareness and funds by encouraging individuals to run or walk for their individual causes and collecting pledges.

The 20 charities are: Autism Speaks Canada, B.C. Cancer Foundation, Broadmead Care, Bridges for Women Society, Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Cerebral Palsy Association of B.C., Esquimalt Military Family Resource Centre, GoodLife Kids Foundation, Greater Victoria Lifetime Networks, HeroWork Program Society, KidSport Greater Victoria, MOVE Adapted Fitness and Rehabilitation Society of B.C., NEED2 Suicide Prevention, Education and Support, Pacific Autism Family Network, Special Olympics B.C. — Victoria, the Kidney Foundation of Canada, B.C. & Yukon, Island Prostate Centre, Threshold Housing Society, United Way Greater Victoria and the Victoria Hospitals Foundation.

The GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon also has three official charities: KidSport Greater Victoria, Pacific Autism Family Network and the GoodLife Kids Foundation.

This is the 40th year of the annual event, which includes a marathon, half-marathon, eight-kilometre road race and the Thrifty Foods Kids Run. The event takes place Oct. 13.

For more information, go to

Dance Victoria supports emerging artists

Dance Victoria is accepting applications for the 2019 Chrystal Dance Prize for Emerging Dance Artists, Canada’s richest dance prize for international collaboration.

Dance Victoria will award up to $6,000 for emerging artists in full-time studies. This is a scholarship program for dancers/ dance artists wanting to continue or complete their training and/or studies at a recognized institution outside Canada.

Past awards have been provided for students attending the Juilliard School, the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of Ballet, Butler University and more.

Applicants must be residents of western Canada, with preference given to Victoria residents.

Intensives and summer programs are not eligible. If artists are entering a second or third year of study, and are living in a foreign country, their permanent address or place of origin must be in Western Canada.

The prize is generated from a bequest made by Dance Victoria patron Dr. Betty “Chrystal” Kleiman, to the Victoria Foundation.

The deadline for applications is May 13.

For more information, go to or

Ecological steward receives community award

On May 1, Margaret Lidkea will be recognized for her contributions to ecological restoration and education in Victoria with a B.C. Achievement Community Award.

She is one of 25 recipients from across the province — and the only one from Victoria — to receive the annual award.

“Our communities are made stronger by British Columbians who go above and beyond,” said Premier John Horgan. “Thanks to the 2019 recipients for helping build a better province for everyone.”

This is the 16th year of the awards, presented by the B.C. Achievement Foundation.

Lidkea has been active in her community for more than two decades. One of her most visible roles is in the protection and stewardship of Uplands Park in Oak Bay.

She has also worked with local school boards to develop and deliver outdoor programs to ensure that children grow up with an appreciation and respect for the natural world in which they live.

The formal presentation ceremony takes place May 1 at Government House. At that time, Lidkea will receive a certificate and a medallion designed by B.C. artist Robert Davidson.

For more information, go to

Students learn about low-carbon future

This month, students from the Middle Years Shared Ecological Education Centre class from Salt Spring Island Middle School travelled to Galiano Island to participate in a unique Renewable Energy in Action school program.

On April 3 and 4, 17 students, their teacher, Sarah Bateman, and a parent travelled to the Galiano Conservancy’s Millard Learning Centre to learn about renewable energy and preparing for a low-carbon society in the near future.

Both days were packed with insightful activities and experiments into how renewable energy can be produced, measured and used to power all of the electronic items in our daily lives.

The group slept in tents and prepared food in a comfortable classroom/kitchen facility powered by solar panels with a battery backup.

Renewable energy, sustainable gardening and nature-based living are the theme of the Millard Education Centre.

Some of the activities had a practical and personal appeal — such as building a solar oven to cook the classic outdoor snack: s’mores.

Another activity had the students pedalling a stationary bicycle to create power for a light bulb, and better yet, another bicycle powered a blender for making fruit smoothies.

The sun provided power for a pop-can solar heater, and energy from the wind was captured by student-built windmill generators.

More information can be found here.

Bike to Work Week is coming soon

The countdown has just begun for the 2019 Greater Victoria Bike to Work Week.

Last Wednesday marked the beginning of a six-week countdown to the annual event — and its 25th anniversary.

Online registration is open. Cyclists can look toward team-building, enrolment and growing the number of participants by reaching more people in more workplaces throughout the region.

The event is hosted by the Greater Victoria Bike to Work Society. It will prepare people to start commuting by bike by hosting several Bike Skills courses and workplace workshops starting in April.

This year’s Bike to Work Week takes place from May 27 to June 2, with Celebration Stations throughout Greater Victoria.

For more information, go to

Thoughtful gifts aimed at new mothers

Mary Lou Newbold is once again collecting shoe boxes filled with thoughtful items for young mothers in our community, just in time for Mother’s Day.

Last year, Newbold filled and wrapped boxes containing thoughtful items for young mothers. These would be items the mom might be going without — or not splurging on herself — because most of her resources are going to her little one.

The boxes have gone to needy recipients identified by Artemis House, YWCA, Boys and Girls Club and the Cridge Centre.

Thoughtful boxes can be dropped off Monday through Saturday until April 25 at Mayfair Optometric Clinic, 3196 Douglas St. This is a local grassroots initiative and not associated with the Toronto-based Shoebox Project for Shelters.

For more information, contact Newbold at 250-361-4444.

ALS champion gets posthumous award

Lisa Ruffolo, who famously penned a blog titled ALS Can Kiss my A$$, was recognized posthumously by the ALS Society of British Columbia.

Ruffolo, who was born — and died — on Vancouver Island, was recognized for her efforts to increase public awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at the society’s recent awards celebration.

It was soon after Ruffolo received the diagnosis of ALS that she started to blog about her journey.

In her words: “ALS picked the wrong person. Join me as I adapt and embrace the changes my body is forced to comply with.”

She fought hard, but eventually succumbed to the disease in August last year.

In her final post, she answered a series of 39 questions on the meaning of life, titled: Lisa’s Life Lessons. She wanted 39 questions for this piece to reflect her 39 years on this Earth.

“Lisa’s courage to be public about her disease inspired everyone who met her. She made it her mission to raise awareness about ALS to benefit others affected by the disease,” said Wendy Toyer, executive director of the ALS Society of B.C. “Her family and friends continue her legacy to honour her memory.”

Accepting the award, on behalf of Lisa’s family, was her brother, Sean Houlihan.

For more information, go to or

Saanich is looking for outstanding youth

Saanich Parks and Recreation, Youth Services, is accepting nominations for the 2019 Saanich Youth Awards.

The awards recognize youth who have demonstrated inspirational personal accomplishments in school, community, sports, art and life or who have made significant strides in personal development, have gone above and beyond to assist a friend, the Earth and/or their community.

Youth groups and youth workers who have made a big difference in the lives of others will also be recognized.

The award categories are: Big Change Award, Community Enhancement Award, Trailblazer Award, Eco-Citizen Award, Friendship Award, Youth Group Award and Youth Worker Award.

Individual Youth Award recipients will receive a free annual recreation pass good at any Saanich recreation centre.

Nominees should be between 12 and 19 years of age. Completed nominations can be sent to: [email protected]. Deadline for nominations is April 30. For more information, go to the Saanich website.

Adapted-fitness centre has a new home

MOVE Adapted Fitness will move into a new, expanded facility in the Neuromotion Centre for Rehabilitation, a centre with integrated services for people with neurological challenges, on Monday.

The public is invited to see the spacious new gym and the improved array of adapted equipment.

The registered non-profit organization also allows students studying physiotherapy, athletic therapy, kinesiology and other disciplines to gather volunteer experience.

Membership is $50 per month, but grants are available to assist those in need to get the exercise they need. The new facility is at 100-775 Topaz Ave.

For more information, go to

Victoria seeking artist in residence

You could be Victoria’s next artist in residence, as the City of Victoria opens a request for expressions of interest from artists who are British Columbia residents.

The city is looking for a professional artist working in visual media and performance art. The successful applicant will work collaboratively with city staff to identify and develop a creative artwork for one or more public art projects annually over a two-year term.

The artist will work as an independent contractor and produce a creative proposal and engagement strategy to develop and complete a minimum of one permanent artwork in Victoria by May 2021.

The successful candidate will work 20 hours per week during the two-year term for a fee of $42,000 per year. The program is funded by the City’s Art in Public Places Reserve Fund.

In addition, the artist will have access to a $30,000 project budget to develop projects in collaboration with city departments.

An Indigenous artist-in-residence program will be announced this year, after consultation with local Indigenous groups.

Interested candidates can attend an information session, 5:30 to 7 p.m., April 17 at Victoria City Hall.

The deadline for submissions is April 26. The selected artist will be notified in May.

For more information, go to