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Our Community: Raising funds for Easter Seals, hiking for hospice

Paddle for kids; dog calendar contest; bursaries for arts students

Canoeing adventure gets kids to summer camp

Members of the Victoria Canoe and Kayak Club will embark on their 42nd annual Paddle for the Kids, a fundraiser for Easter Seals B.C., on Saturday.

Up to 60 members, ages 20 to 90, will form a relay to paddle 80 kilometres around Saanich Peninsula, launching their big canoes at the Tsartlip Band boat ramp in Brentwood Bay at ­sunrise.

They will traverse Saanich Inlet and paddle along the coast and through Victoria Harbour, finishing at sunset at their clubhouse on Gorge Road West.

The goal is to raise $20,000 for Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan.

“My big canoe adventure trip, with majestic mountains, pristine water and the breathtaking coastline of southern Vancouver Island, is a gob-smacking experience,” said Pam Carroll, a club member and past participant. “Raising funds so everyone can go to camp is a privilege.”

The 10-hour relay will be supported by the Saanich and Oak Bay stations of the Marine Rescue Society.

All funds raised will go toward Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan, a summer camp for youngsters with disabilities. Since the first Paddle for the Kids event in 1982, the club has raised $380,000 for the camp.

For more information, or to donate, go to

Get your dog onto an Island calendar

Submit a picture of your dog for a chance for Fido to be featured in the Vancouver Island Dogs Calendar Contest. Winners will be determined by the number of votes dogs receive.

Proceeds from the contest and calendar sales will benefit Operation Freedom Paws Canada’s Service Dog Program, which matches rescue dogs with people who have a disability.

The charity, based in Fanny Bay, provides dog-handler teams with the training and support to certify them as service dog teams under the B.C. Guide Dog and Service Dog Act. They have 32 teams in training from all over Vancouver Island.

Businesses from Vancouver Island and beyond have donated products and services for prizes. The 12 top-placed dogs will be featured in the Vancouver Island Dogs 2024 Calendar.

To enter, submit a photo of your dog with a $10 donation, then get your friends and family to vote for your favourite entrant.

For more information and to enter the contest, go to gogo The contest runs until April 30.

Challenges of dementia explored

Explore the sensory challenges of dementia — how sensory changes affect a person’s ability to interact with the surrounding environment and perform routine tasks — at a webinar hosted by the Alzheimer Society of B.C. on Wednesday.

When people think about dementia, they usually think about its impact on a person’s memory, ability to communicate or unusual behaviour they may show. Sensory changes include changes to movement or hearing. People may also experience changes with their gait or report trouble differentiating conversation from background sounds such as wind or traffic. In some cases, they may see objects or people that are not there.

During the webinar, participants can get useful information on how to live a positive life while coping with the changes. Regular check-ups and thinking creatively about using aids and equipment can ease some sensory challenges.

“Taking the time to observe someone’s abilities can help us better understand the support they need,” said Lori Kelly, provincial co-ordinator of program operations at the Alzheimer Society of B.C. “If you notice someone having difficulty maintaining their balance due to changes in gait, for example, one interim solution could be hiking poles, which might be more acceptable than a cane or walker.”

The webinar, presented in a lecture format, runs from 2-3 p.m. Pre-registration is recommended. You can join by computer or by telephone at 1-833-231-5854 (call 15 minutes before scheduled start time). The phone conference ID is 521 952 51#.

To register online, go to The society uses Microsoft Teams for its webinars. Instructions on how to download the app is on its registration page.

Bursaries for arts students

The Victoria Visual Arts Legacy Society will present seven $1,000 bursaries to promising post-secondary visual arts students at its Inspiration! event at Norway House on April 5.

The keynote speaker is Order of Canada appointee Vicky Husband, a longtime supporter.

“Over the years, we’ve named our Legacy Awards after more than 20 artists who have made an indelible impression on the city,” said board member John Threlfall.

Since 2011, the society has given more than $50,000 to 50 emerging artists attending accredited post-secondary programs from six local arts institutions, including the University of Victoria, Camosun College, the Vancouver Island School of Art, and Pacific Design Academy.

Admission with a $100 donation. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the event running from 7 to 9 p.m. at Norway House, 1110 Hillside Ave.

For more information, go to To donate, go to

Get rid of empties for good causes

You can clear out your returnables and contribute to two good causes at the same time at the Oak Bay Alumni Association and Oak Bay Rotary’s monthly no-sort bottle drive, at Oak Bay High, on Saturday.

The bottle drives are held in part to raise money to resurface the school’s Jack Wallace Memorial Track. The community endeavour has raised almost $8,500 since the start of the drives more than a year ago. The goal is $421,000.

Proceeds will be spilt, with the other half benefiting the Threshold Housing for Youth, a Rotary Club of Oak Bay-supported group that hosts a home in the municipality.

The bottle drive will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cranmore Road entrance of Oak Bay High School, 2121 Cadboro Rd.

Take a scenic walk on Hike For Hospice

Registration is open for Hike for Hospice, an in-person walking fundraiser to help support end-of-life care offered by Victoria Hospice.

Gather a team of friends and family or bring along your four-legged friend for a chance to win the “Best Dressed Dog” award.

The scenic 3.5-kilometre loop starts at Fisherman’s Wharf Park and along the harbour to the ocean and back again. The route is accessible for all ages and abilities.

Check-in and entertainment for the May 7 event starts at 9 a.m., with the walk beginning at 10.

For more information, go to Information on Hike for Hospice can be found under the Events tab in the menu.