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Our Community: New community gardens in Victoria, Sunday art lectures

The City of Victoria has approved the creation of two new community ­gardens — one in Vic West and one in South Jubilee — in recognition of Year of the Garden.
Kathleen Laird, left, and Erin Renwick at the site of the future Redfern Community Garden. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Community gardens approved in Vic West, South Jubilee

The City of Victoria has approved the creation of two new community ­gardens — one in Vic West and one in South Jubilee — in recognition of Year of the Garden.

The gardens will allow residents to grow their own vegetables, fruit and flowers while fostering social ­connections and interactions in the community.

In Vic West, the garden will be in Alston Green, near Bay Street. With the help of local residents, the Orca Rescue Society will build and maintain ­allotment beds, food trees and commons areas planted with native and ­pollinator plants. It aims to promote local food security through access to plots and ­demonstration gardens, while also ­raising awareness about resident orcas.

South Jubilee Neighbourhood ­Association volunteers will create and maintain a community garden in ­Redfern Park, on Redfern Street between Bourchier Street and Leighton Road.

The design includes curved demonstration beds, food trees and common gardens planted with edible perennials and native and pollinator plants. Other features include an accessible ­pathway and seating areas, wayfinding and ­educational signage, a picnic table, and a pergola with a living roof and an arbour.

Year of the Garden, proclaimed by the Canadian Garden Council, is a ­celebration of everything garden-related across Canada that officially kicks off March 20, the first day of spring. The City of Victoria has designated June 18 as Garden Day.

“We are delighted to join other ­municipalities across Canada in ­proclaiming 2022 as the Year of the ­Garden,” said Mayor Lisa Helps in a statement.

“Victoria is proud to be a ­garden-friendly city and is known for its amazing plant and flower displays, ­progressive urban food initiatives and innovative horticultural practices that help our community adapt to a ­changing climate. Gardens and gardening ­contribute to quality of life, increase local food security, clean the air and water, and create welcoming places where people can come together.”

The city plans to host a variety of gardening education programs, starting with Growing in the City workshops.

The next one is a Seedling Starting webinar on March 17, with information on which seeds need to be started indoors, how to start seeds, how to care for baby plants, and how and when to harden them off and transplant for maximum harvest.

That’s followed by Fruit Tree Pruning 101 on March 26. An 11-part ­MeadowMakers program on making your yard and boulevard a ­thriving ­ecosystem, alive with birds, pollinators and other wildlife, is also planned.

For more information, go to ­ Register online or call 250-361-0732.

Silver Threads launches indoor walking program

Silver Threads Service has launched a weekly, indoor walking program for older adults at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.

The year-round program, run in partnership with RG Properties Ltd., will allow adults 55 years and up to walk around the building’s concourse, keeping them out of the heat in the summer and cold and wet in the winter.

The program is ideal for those who use a mobility device or walking poles, with no worries about cracks in the sidewalks or where the nearest washroom is. There will be leaders on hand to provide support, with blood-pressure testing available monthly.

The cost is$2 for Silver Threads members and $5 for non-members. The program runs 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesdays. Paid parking is available off Caledonia Street behind the Victoria Police Station or street parking. The entrance is through Gate 3. Call 250-388-4268 for more information and to book a space.

How a dozen roses could lift charities, projects

Give someone a bouquet of roses and help Harbourside Rotary raise $15,000 for local charities and international projects during the Roses from Rotary campaign, taking place now.

The campaign was moved to the spring from its traditional delivery in late fall.

For $40, you can order a dozen roses and have them delivered by a volunteer Rotarian to someone from Sooke to Sidney on March 19 or 26. The fundraiser is limited to 700 dozen roses, with a choice of six colours. Bouquets can include a personal message from you.

Order online at

Four lectures on the canvas at Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Learn more about Impressionism and Post-Impressionism at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s Sunday Art Lecture Series, featuring Cosmopolitan Impressionisms: Modern Art in the Making.

This is the eighth year of the illustrated lecture series, presented by the gallery’s associates. Proceeds from the series go toward supporting exhibitions and programs.

The Sunday Art Lecture Series takes place on Zoom over four Sunday afternoons: March 6, 13, 21 and 27 and includes four illustrated talks.

• March 6: Impressionists and Japonisme: Early International Influences, by Dr. Melissa Berry, adjunct assistant professor, Department of Art History and Visual Studies, University of Victoria.

• March 13: Breaking Boundaries: Canadian Women Impressionists Abroad and at Home, by Katerina Atanassova, senior curator, Canadian Collections, National Gallery of Canada.

• March 20: American Impressionism: What is It?, by Dr. Rachel Boate, visiting assistant professor, Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, University of British Columbia.

• March 27: African and Oceanic Traditional Arts: Contributions to Post-Impressionism, by Dr. Daniel Mato, professor emeritus of Art History, University of Calgary.

Tickets for individual lectures are $25 for art gallery members and students or $30 for non-members. The series costs $75 for art gallery members and students or $90 for non-members. Each lecture runs from 2 to 4 p.m. via Zoom. Tickets available through Eventbrite.

Maritime Museum launching Float the Boat campaign

The Maritime Museum of B.C. is hoping the public will join in the fun at its Float the Boat fundraising campaign.

The campaign’s concept is simple: a boat is placed at the bottom of an empty glass tank. As the museum receives donations, it will put water in the tank. As the tank fills up, the museum will post updates of the boat floating higher and higher.

This campaign has a goal of $25,000 and will run until April 30.

Proceeds will go toward the museum’s collection, public programming and engagement initiatives.

“We’re so excited about the plans for this year, including a diverse roster of evening speakers, new community-based exhibits, and expanded in-person programming,” said Brittany Vis, executive director at the museum. “As COVID restrictions lift, we look forward to welcoming more people to take part in these activities.”