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Our Community: Support the Scouts; GVPL looking for authors; Christ Church offers Lessons and Carols

A good-news roundup from around Vancouver Island.
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Members of the 6th Juan de Fuca Scout Group — Hayden McIntosh, 15, left, and Hugh Van Elsakker, 11 — with Christmas trees for sale at the 1st Cedar Hill Scout Hall. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

The Scouts have a Christmas tree for you

If you want an Island-grown, fresh-cut Christmas tree — and want to support local Scout groups — you can get one at 1st Cedar Hill Scout Hall.

The Scouts have been selling trees at View Royal Canadian Tire since 2008. This year, the facility is undergoing construction, so they are moving the trees to the 1st Cedar Hill Scout Hall, 3680 Cottonwood St. (near the corner of Shelbourne Street and Cedar Hill Cross Road).

All proceeds will go toward Camp Barnard, a ­favourite campground for all Scouting groups and site of the upcoming 2024 Pacific Jamboree.

The tree lot will be open 4 to 8 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends until they sell out.

Nourish Cowichan needs your help this season

Help Cowichan Valley low-income families struggling with food insecurity during the holidays by making a donation to Nourish Cowichan’s winter holiday campaign: Nourish Your Community, at six grocery stores in the region.

The goal of the campaign is to raise $50,000 to support as many as 500 local families with grocery gift cards this festive season.

“We’ve seen an alarming increase this year in the number of children accessing our school food programs, and it’s deeply worrying to think that without our help, those children and their families might end up going without over the holidays” said Fatima Da Silva, executive director of Nourish Cowichan.

Until the end of December, shoppers can visit Save On Foods Duncan, Thrifty Foods Duncan and Country Grocer stores in Duncan, Cobble Hill, Chemainus and Lake Cowichan to donate $5, $10 or $20 at the till.

Nourish supports more than 1,700 local children and about 400 families every week.

• For more information, or to donate online, go to nourishcowichan.ca.

Victoria library looking for emerging authors

Applications to be part of the Greater Victoria Public Library’s 2024 Emerging Local Authors Collection closes soon.

The collection is a repository of self-published, independent and small-press books by local authors and illustrators. It features 1,300 unique titles by more than 900 authors, ranging in age from six to 90-plus.

“We are excited to provide a platform for the tremendous literary talent in our community. The Emerging Local Authors Collection is a testament to our local authors’ creativity and storytelling abilities,” said Cheryl Landry, public services librarian. “Ultimately, this is about connecting readers and writers. It’s an opportunity for authors to boost their book’s visibility and reach a broader audience. It’s also an opportunity for our community to discover new voices and stories.”

The collection covers all genres and types of books, from poetry to picture books, fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels and more. Print books from the 2023 collection are currently on display at the Central Branch of the library.

The deadline for submission is Jan. 15, 2024.

• For more information and to complete an application form, go to gvpl.ca.

Poll says most respondents think life is good in Victoria

A new poll commissioned by the City of Victoria shows most respondents rate their overall quality of life as good.

The poll, conducted by national research firm Ipsos, was to inform decision making for the city’s 2024 budget.

“We know we live, work and play in a wonderful city and it’s reassuring to see the majority of residents agree,” said Mayor Marianne Alto. “We still have work to do to make sure Victoria is a more welcoming, inclusive community with opportunities for everyone and I’m listening carefully to what matters most to residents as we plan a 2024 budget.”

The poll found that 84 per cent of residents rate their overall quality of life as good. The rating increased to 86 per cent for residents aged 35 to 54 and 87 per cent for residents aged 55 and older. For residents aged 18 to 34, 79 per cent said they had a good quality of life. Fifteen per cent reported a low quality of life.

The top concern (75 per cent) was social issues such as housing/affordable housing, poverty and homelessness, with transportation issues, such as cycling infrastructure, public transportation and traffic congestion, at 20 per cent as second on the list. Public safety and crime was the third highest concern, at 14 per cent.

Polling was conducted between July 31 and Aug. 17, with the final data weighted to ensure that the gender/age and neighbourhood distribution reflected the actual population in Victoria based on most recent census data. Overall results based on a sample size of 700 are accurate to within 3.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Cathedral rings with songs and lessons for Christmas

Christ Church Cathedral is once again opening its doors for Lessons and Carols for Christmas, a seasonal staple that has been celebrated at Anglican churches and cathedrals for well over 100 years, Dec. 17.

The service consists of a reading of scripture lessons, followed by the singing of traditional carols led by the cathedral’s choir and accompanied by the cathedral’s massive pipe organ.

“Christmas is a time for all people to come together, for relationships to be strengthened, for new bonds to be made, and for joy to be shared,” said the Reverend Canon Jeannine Friesen. “It is my hope that people up and down this island will find joy in our Christmas programming, and that Christ Church Cathedral will be a gathering place for your festive celebrations.”

This year, the service includes a new carol by B.C. composer Tobin Stokes.

The event runs 4 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17 at Christ Church Cathedral, 930 Burdett Ave.

• For more information, go to christchurchcathedral.bc.ca.

Come downtown for free craft-making

Enjoy free holiday craft making, sing alongside festive carollers and explore treasures and seasonal treats made by local artisans at Sleigh the Day: Sing, Shop, Create, dow

ntown on Sunday, Dec. 17.

The event is a City of Victoria’s OUR DWTN initiative, in partnership with the Victoria Beer Society.

Craft making starts at 1 p.m. and will be available while supplies last.

Stay cozy with a cup of holiday cheer, with spiced apple cider, hot chocolate and seasonal craft beers available for purchase.

The event runs 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 14 on Government Street, between Humboldt and Courtney streets.

As the event is outdoors, people are advised to dress for the weather.

• For more information, go to victoria.ca/OurDWTN.

parrais@timescolonist.com