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News and announcements
- If you know someone who loves local, community-driven news, you can now give the gift of support for The Discourse in their honour. We’ll send you both a special thank you.
- Island Health says it administered the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to staff on Tuesday, Dec. 22. The health authority says it received 1,950 doses of the vaccine in its initial shipment. Immunization clinics will continue for staff and physicians as Island Health receives more doses.
- As of Monday, there were 62 active COVID-19 cases on the Island with 30 in the South Island region, the Island Health COVID-19 dashboard says. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says there is a “levelling in the COVID-19 curve” but that “hundreds of new people each day” are presenting confirmed cases. The provincial health order to suspend all gatherings and events remains until Jan. 8. This means no social gatherings of any size other than with your household or social bubble, if you live alone.
- Grades kindergarten to five students at Sangster Elementary in Colwood spread some holiday cheer in lieu of an annual Christmas concert. This year, the whole school recorded and shared a song over video for the community to hear.
- A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for the children of Master Sailor Duane Earle, who was lost at sea on Dec. 14. HMCS Winnipeg’s efforts to find him were unsuccessful. The ship returned to CFB Esquimalt last week, CBC News reports.
- The City of Colwood is offering up to $5,000 to be split between great project ideas that residents have come up with to enhance places in the community. Project ideas could include decorative lighting displays, community garden enhancement, a mural and more.
- The Juan de Fuca pool at West Shore Parks and Recreation will reopen on Jan. 20. Pool programs will resume in phases and each visit will require a reservation. Lane swimming, AquaFit and leisure swim will begin on a limited basis from Jan. 20 to Jan. 31 with more sessions starting Feb. 1. Read more about the reopening here.
- The District of Metchosin says the Witty’s Beach stairway is closed for the winter season due to instability caused by a slide event.
- The Sooke School District Board of Education voted to approve catchment changes as two new schools are set to open in 2022. To read about some of the notable changes, check out the SD62 news release.
- Ravi Parmar has been re-elected for a third term as SD62 board chair. Bob Beckett will serve as vice-chair, SD62 reports.
- Site preparations for a new Sooke community recreation facility have begun. The District of Sooke and SEAPARC will begin the development of a multi-use sports box at 2430 Phillips Road in Sunriver, the district says.
- The Sooke Firefighter’s Association and IAFF Local 4841 put a call out to raise $15,000 to support 400 families this holiday season but the Sooke community did even more than that. Over $36,735 was raised for the Sooke Christmas Bureau through the Sooke Firefighters Charitable Giving Campaign.
- The Sooke Region Communities Health network, in collaboration with the District of Sooke, is seeking input on food security in the region. Two surveys – one for community members and another for food service providers – will be available until Dec. 31.
- Online applications for the B.C. Recovery Benefit opened last week. About 90 per cent of British Columbians are eligible for up to $1,000 for families and up to $500 for single people.
- Today: ❄️View Royal council wants to recognize some of the best and brightest light displays in the town as part of its Light Up View Royal contest. Residents can nominate home or business addresses (including your own) by sending an email to [email protected] or [email protected]. Today is the last day to nominate a home. Council members will view each nominated address between Christmas and New Year’s Eve and deliver a festive treat to the top five winners.
- Thursday, Dec. 24: 🎅🏻 Langford Fire Rescue will escort Santa through Langford on Christmas Eve for the annual Santa Run. Due to COVID-19, they will not be collecting food donations or handing out candy canes but donations to the Goldstream Food Bank can be made here. For Santa run routes, visit the Langford Fire Rescue Facebook page.
- Friday, Dec. 25: 🎶 Hermann’s Jazz Club is hosting a multi-artist show featuring over 50 musicians. The segment will be live-streamed on Youtube. For more details, visit the Facebook event page.
- Now until Sunday, Jan. 3: 🎭 The annual SD62 Pace Musical Theatre Christmas show has gone digital this year. The theatre company rehearsed in parking lots to learn choreography, learned songs on Zoom, learned to lip-synch on camera and recorded vocals wearing masks to film over 30 numbers for a one-of-a-kind experience. Buy tickets to stream the show ($25 per household) and watch it as many times as you’d like between Dec. 22 and Jan. 3.
- This month: 🌿 Go for a walk in Colwood to find some of the city’s festive light displays which have been set up to lift spirits and spread cheer. There are forest lights at Herm Williams Park, light tunnels at Meadow Park in Royal Bay and signature Colwood starburst lights on city-owned lamp posts.
- This month: 🍅 Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the annual 10,000 Tonight food drive put on by Royal Bay Secondary, Belmont Secondary and Edward Milne Community School has gone virtual. Make donations, to go to local food banks, here.
- Weekends until Jan. 10: 🖼 Check out the Metchosin ArtPod’s Mighty Fine Affordable Art and Craft Show and Sale to see local fine art and handcrafted artisanal pieces! Metchosin ArtPod is open Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- This month: 🚗Victoria Buzz put together three routes in Greater Victoria that take drivers past big, beautiful Christmas light displays. Check out the 2020 Christmas Lights Map and go for a festive drive!
If you’re planning an event that I should consider for an upcoming list, send me an email and let me know.
In your words
Mariah sent an email to my colleague, Jacqueline, thanking us for our coverage in Cowichan:
“I’m so thankful that I can support The Discourse and help ensure that comprehensive, fact-based, accurate reporting continues to be made available to this community.”
Thanks for your support, Mariah. I’m looking forward to producing the same kind of reporting for the West Shore in the new year!