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Our Community: Standing Tall Education awards, Jewish Film Festival

A Victoria teen with an interest in anthropology is among 61 young adults who have received a Standing Tall Education Award from Coast Capital Savings.
Peter MacBeth, an Oak Bay High graduate, is one of 61 young adults who received a Standing Tall Education Award from Coast Capital Savings. He plans to attend the University of Victoria to obtain a degree in anthropology. Coast Capital Savings

A Victoria teen with an interest in anthropology is among 61 young adults who have received a Standing Tall Education Award from Coast Capital Savings. The annual program recognizes resilient youth who have overcome adversity and demonstrated a commitment to continuing their education.

Peter MacBeth, who will receive a $2,500 grant for post-secondary education, says he had a challenging and traumatic upbringing that tested his resilience, but the experience taught him to trust his instincts and focus on his education. He plans to attend the University of Victoria to study anthropology.

“Winning this award will allow me to focus on my studies full time and not have to worry about finances to make ends meet,” said MacBeth. “Knowing that I have the support of Coast Capital behind me means so much to me and validates the path I have chosen.”

The program has disbursed more than $2.5 million since 2004, supporting almost 1,000 students with their post-secondary studies.

“I am truly inspired and heartened by this year’s 61 award winners, each of whom have faced significant challenges and shown incredibly resiliency,” said Maureen Young, Coast Capital’s director of community leadership. “The Coast Capital Education Awards program is unique in that it looks beyond a student’s academic standing and takes into account an all-encompassing picture of these students. Each of them has demonstrated an incredible ability to accomplish their goals, despite life challenges.”

The annual awards are one program within the larger Coast Capital community investment strategy that supports youth with a focus on financial wellbeing.

For more information, go to

Jewish Film Festival begins with series of free movies online

The second phase of the Victoria International Jewish Film Festival has just begun, with a free Virtual Film Series streaming movies weekends until Nov. 3.

Until Tuesdcay, watch Leona, a 2018 Mexican drama, and Holy Silence, a 2020 American documentary that highlights the debate over the Vatican’s role during the Holocaust.

From Oct. 31 to Nov. 3, catch Those Who Remained, a film portraying the healing effect of love between two traumatized Holocaust survivors in postwar Budapest, and Douze Point, a 2020 French-Israeli comedy about a gay Muslim singer fulfilling his dream to represent France in Europe’s biggest song contest, Eurovision.

The films, as well as two live panel discussions, can be accessed without charge through the VIJFF Virtual Cinema at

Chew on this: e-cookies, a new way to buy from Girl Guides

Girl Guides of Canada has created an e-cookies portal to give chocolatey-mint cookie fans a new way to buy them.

The portal opening coincides with the annual fall cookie campaign. For the first time ever, cookie lovers can purchase chocolatey-mint cookies online from Girl Guide groups across Canada.

Proceeds support activities for girls ages 5-17 across Canada, providing girl-driven programs that empower them to create a better world.

The spring cookie campaign was derailed when the classic chocolate and vanilla sandwich cookies were delivered to Guide groups right before COVID-19 struck. Many of the cookies ended up being sold through grocery stores.

Visit to order cookies.

Gabriola Island shows flower power for food bank

Sonja Zupanec, Jeanette Martin, Sue Dunn and Megan Dunn from Gabriola Island put their heads together to come up with Gabriola Flower Heads: A Portrait Fundraiser for the Food Bank.

The four women (also known as the Gabriola Flower Heads) are passionate about art, flowers and food security and wanted to create a fundraiser to help the local food bank just ahead of their busy winter season.

They asked locals to take self-portraits with flowers on their heads. The result is a collection of portraits that celebrate the people and floral bounty of their island home.

Word got around quickly and they have already exceeded their $2,020 fundraising goal in just over 48 hours, with donations still being accepted until the end of November.

Some of the photos can be found at To donate, go to

Tea’s up in honour of five Canadian women, and all ‘persons’

The Tea and Herbal Association of Canada is paying homage this month to a group of five women, including Nellie McClung, responsible for ensuring that all Canadian women were recognized as “persons” — all over a cup of tea.

At a time when women were often forbidden by their husbands to attend meetings, the five — McClung, Emily Murphy, Louise McKinney, Henrietta Muir Edwards and Irene Parlby — would hold Pink Teas.

These social events were decked out with extra frills to distract from what was actually happening — planning to expand women’s rights to vote and hold office.

The five women, called the Famous Five, asked the Supreme Court of Canada to rule on whether women were considered “persons” and thus eligible to be appointed to the Senate. After the court ruled that women were not persons under the British North America Act of 1867, they appealed to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in England — Canada’s highest court of appeal — and, on Oct. 18, 1929, they won.

Tea and Herbal Association of Canada suggests people celebrate the anniversary with, of course, a cup of tea.

For more information, go to