Our Community: Podcast takes deep dive into the book business

You can bring a little bit of the library wherever you may roam this summer, thanks to a new podcast from the staff at Vancouver Island Regional Library.

Meet Me in the Stacks is a podcast for bookish people, with topics ranging from interviews with authors, academics and people in the book business, hidden-gem reading recommendations and more.

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“One of the most exciting things about being part of Meet Me in the Stacks is the freedom a podcast affords us to take deep dives into subjects that inform, entertain and enlighten,” said Darby Love, Meet Me in the Stacks co-creator. “You don’t have to be an avid reader to find enjoyment in our show, but of course, if you are, you definitely don’t want to miss an episode.”

The podcast is hosted by three librarians — Darby Love, Casey Stepaniuk and Nathan McKay — with diverse backgrounds and interests.

While there is no set release schedule, the team plans to produce 10 to 12 episodes per season.

Episodes are available to download for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Tune In. They can also be streamed at virl.bc.ca/meet-me-in-the-stacks.

>>> HeroWork finishes big reno

HeroWork has just finished an extensive renovation of the Salvation Army’s Addictions and Rehabilitation Centre.

During the renovation the 39-year-old commercial kitchen was gutted, modernized and enlarged to increase service capacity by 20 per cent, to be able to prepare about 15,000 meals per month.

The facility also required electrical, plumbing and exhaust components to be updated to comply with building codes.

Also included was a remodelling of the 140-bed dormitory wing, adding an additional 12 sleeping spaces to the facility’s emergency shelter.

The centre is a multipurpose facility that houses men struggling with addiction and poverty.

HeroWork is a charity that performs renovations for charities, events akin to a modern-day barn raising or an extreme makeover.

• For more information, go to herowork.com.

>>> $20,000 gift for Raven’s House

Amica Somerset House has donated just over $20,000 to the Victoria Native Friendship Centre’s Raven’s House.

Raven’s House provides Indigenous youth with culturally-based supportive housing as they age out.

In British Columbia, about 5,200 children and youth are in foster care, with 66 per cent identifying as Indigenous.

The Victoria Native Friendship Centre provides 48-units of low-income housing to students, single-parent families and youth aging out of care — with about 100 families on a waiting list.

The donation was made up of proceeds from a draw for an Indigenous print as well as residents who chose to donate outside of the draw.

Amica Somerset House is a seniors residence in James Bay.

>>> Giving back again and again

Brittany Davies has won a $10,000 prize — to be donated to Victoria Native Friendship Centre — for her commitment to giving back to the community.

Davies was selected from about 25,000 entries as one of 10 grand prize winners in the Telus Days of Giving, a national social media contest.

The national Telus #FriendlyFutureDays contest called on Canadians across the country to share how they’ve been making the future friendlier and giving back during the pandemic.

Davies has been volunteering with the Victoria Native Friendship Centre, running their hamper program, which now supports 1,000 individuals and families each with bags of fresh food. The centre serves an estimated 20,000 Indigenous people living in Greater Victoria.

As part of the social-media contest, Telus provided about $100,000 in funding to charities coast-to-coast. The goal of the contest was to inspire Canadians to give back safely and virtually.

>>> Bike journey begins in Victoria

Paul Hayes and his dog Cinder are Arctic-bound, biking from Victoria to Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories (on the shores of the Arctic Ocean) — a five-week journey — as a fundraiser for Broken Promises Rescue.

The pair, who plan to start their journey on July 16, hopes to raise $10,000 for the animal rescue organization.

You can follow their journey @paul.and.cinder on Instagram.

• To donate, go to gofundme.com.

>>> Giving back again and again

Poinsettias in July? The Victoria General Hospital Auxillary is starting to order plants for this holiday season.

The order deadline is Nov. 16, with plant pick-up at the end of November.

For more information, go to shop.vgha.ca.

>>> The City of Victoria is looking for nominations for the city’s Honorary Citizen Award.

The award recognizes those who have performed outstanding service for the betterment of the community and personal achievements.

Nominees must be current or former residents of the local First Nations, the City of Victoria or the capital region.

The person must have demonstrated outstanding contribution(s) in one or more categories: Arts and Culture, Business, Communication, Community/Volunteer, Education, Environment, Heritage, Indigenous, Inspirational Youth (up to and including 24 years of age), Multicultural, Social/Health Issues, and Sports.

Recipients will be notified in September and acknowledged at a virtual or in-person ceremony this fall.

The deadline is 11:59 p.m. July 25. Nominations packages are available at victoria.ca/honorarycitizen.

>>> Fair Start for Kids program

Provide a child with the supplies they need for success by donating $30 to the Mustard Seed’s Fair Start for Kids program.

As summer arrives, the Mustard Seed starts to look ahead to what September brings.

September heralds a return to school, bringing with it an air of excitement around new beginnings.

However, September also places a large amount of financial stress on some families, with parents struggling to provide children with the supplies, clothing, and other gear needed to succeed in the coming school year.

The goal of the Mustard Seed’s Fair Start for Kids program is to help families so that no child has to return to school at a disadvantage due to financial means.

This year the social agency, with the help of Monk Office, plans to distribute more than 500 school supply kits, in excess of 300 pairs of shoes and around 100 backpacks to families across the region.

A donation of $30 will equip one child with a school kit.

Families in need can register to receive a back-to-school kit for students from kindergarten to Grade 12. The kits will be distributed in late August.

For more information, to donate or register, go to mustardseed.ca.

>>> Helping Camp Barnard

Scouts Canada’s recent Camp Barnard fundraisers — the monthly Bottle Drives, their I Care ’Bout Camp appeal and the Charity Bin with The Bottle Depot have been well-received.

That latter collection yielded about $11,000 (almost four times what they received in previous years).

The ads that appeared in the Times Colonist turned out to be perfectly timed to match ICBC’s refund cheque to motorists.

Camp Barnard is currently only open for day use by Scouting groups.

The next monthly bottle drive takes place on Aug. 14 in the parking lot of the View Royal Canadian Tire store, 1519 Admirals Rd. For more information, go to campbarnard.ca.

parrais@timescolonist.com

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