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Our Community: New mural in Saanich; dementia facility fundraises to pave 'forest' path for wheelchairs

Sarah Jim, a young artist with W̱SÁNEĆ roots, has painted a mural in Beckwith Park as part of the District of Saanich’s Community Canvas Mural Project.

It’s the second in a series of murals by local artists that’s intended to enhance Saanich neighbourhoods and public spaces. The first can be found at the entrance to Cedar Hill Recreation and Arts Centre, while the third and final mural, to be completed in mid-October, is set to be painted adjacent to the turf ­soccer field at Layritz Park.

“Being part of this program means having the opportunity to showcase W̱SÁNEĆ art in the traditional territory of my people,” said Jim, an artist with Coast Salish, Mexican and Russian-Jewish ancestry and a member of the W̱SÁNEĆ from Tseycum village. “

The mural ­encapsulates the nearby wetlands and camas meadows.”

For this mural, she says, she was inspired by the land, visually exploring the connections between native plant food systems and coastal medicines in relation to the ecosystem and W̱SÁNEĆ culture.

“Expression motivates me to create art — I feel as though it’s my ­responsibility to tell stories in a visual way,” said Jim, 26. “This not only helps the viewer to understand certain concepts, but it helps me in my own well-being as art is ­medicine.”

The mural can be seen at the park, 857 Beckwith Ave.

• For more information, go to saanich.ca.

Silent auction items to buy outreach van

Peers Victoria Resources Society is ­planning to hold a silent auction as it raises funds for a new night outreach van to help people on the streets.

While the van primarily serves sex workers, it also helps other people on the street who do not feel safe in shelters or who cannot access services anywhere else.

The van helps to deliver messages about housing and health, supplies ­harm-reduction equipment, provides food, beverages and clothing, and ensures that people are safe.

The society is looking for items, large and small, for the auction, which will launch in the third week of October.

For an item to be picked up, call 250-888-7175 or gillie.easdon@gmail.com.

• For more information on the society, go to safersexwork.ca

Going the distance to battle melanoma

Nigel Deacon, an ocular melanoma ­survivor and advocate living in Victoria, will be running a marathon distance this weekend to fundraise for Save Your Skin Foundation’s fourth annual Move For Melanoma.

He has already raised more than $9,800 for fellow patients who need financial assistance to reach treatment for ocular melanoma, a rare and difficult-to-treat cancer.

Save Your Skin Foundation is the only organization in Canada that supports skin cancer patients financially, with funds raised through the event going towards helping patients reach treatment, in the form of flights, gas, accommodation and uncovered drug costs.

This year, the campaign aims to raise $75,000.

The event takes place Sept. 23 to 25 in cities across Canada.

• For more information, or to donate, go to saveyourskin.akaraisin.com/ui/­moveformelanoma2022.

Dementia facility raises funds to pave ‘forest’ path for wheelchairs

A long-term-care home in Nanaimo housing residents living with dementia is hoping to raise $25,000 to pave a gravel pathway so it can be used by those confined to a wheelchair.

Eden Gardens is home to 130 residents with an average age of 85 years and requiring complex dementia care. Up to 60 per cent of them are confined to wheelchairs.

Last year, on a summer evening, a resident who loves to walk asked Bianca van der Stoel, the home’s horticulture therapist, for a stroll through a nearby forest instead.

Inspired by the request, Van der Stoel, with the help of volunteers, a local construction company and several skilled craftsmen, created Memory Lane, a 37-metre winding trail filled with native plants, garden objects and hand-crafted wooden benches for the inhabitants.

The care home has now launched a Pave the Path campaign to enable those in wheelchairs to share the forest experience with the rest of the residents.

One of the families has pledged to match, dollar for dollar, all funds raised from the campaign. The paving is expected to be completed by next spring or summer.

The home has released a short promotional video at facebook.com/watch/?v=391495586448661

Go to canadahelps.org/en/dn/10309 to donate to the campaign.

Donation drop for gently used building materials 

The Cowichan Valley Regional District has partnered with Habitat for Humanity Mid-Vancouver Island on another Pop-Up Donation Drop for new or gently used building materials and home décor at Bings Creek Recycling Centre on Oct. 7.

“Transforming waste into a resource is an important step that we need to take to move towards our zero waste as a region,” said Doug Stevens, manager of solid waste operations at the Cowichan Valley Regional District. “We want to maximize reuse opportunities to prevent otherwise usable materials from entering the landfill. Working with Habitat for Humanity is a great way to offer free disposal options that support affordable housing and Cowichan Valley waste diversion goals.”

The program will be run by Habitat for Humanity volunteers who will be on hand to ensure that items can be used in building projects or resold at their ReStore in Duncan.

“Habitat for Humanity accepts any good working condition items such as furniture, electronics and light fixtures, to windows, flooring and other building materials,” said Jeff Krafta, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Mid-Vancouver Island. “Not only does this decrease the amount of waste that is generated, but it also reduces our homes’ ecological footprints while offering much-needed affordable housing.”

The Pop-Up Donation Drop will be in operation from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 7 at Bings Creek Recycling Centre, 3900 Drinkwater Rd., Duncan. For more information, call the Duncan ReStore at 778-455-1888 or go to habitatmvi.org/donating-household-goods.

Funding for film project

A Victoria screenwriter is one of 30 emerging Indigenous content creators selected for the second Storyhive Indigenous Storyteller edition.

Eva Louise Grant is the creative mind and screenwriter behind the short film Emotionless Girl, a dark comedy about love and loss. She will receive $20,000 in production funding to create a film project, along with training, mentorship and distribution on Telus Optik TV. The Indigenous Screen Office and Creative B.C. will also provide top-up funding of $3,000 toward the project.

The Indigenous Storyteller Edition was designed to empower and support Indigenous storytellers in Alberta and B.C. It helps tell diverse stories from communities that have a history of being underrepresented and excluded from the film industry.

For more information, go to storyhive.com.

parrais@timescolonist.com

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