West Shore This Week – The sun will rise

Welcome to West Shore This Week, your source for the latest local news and events. Sign up to get this in your inbox every Wednesday.

News and announcements

  • The first reading of a zoning bylaw amendment to allow a contentious Langford development has been postponed to next month’s council meeting, The Discourse reports. The proposal, which has been amended twice due to resident concerns, is for two six-storey residential buildings, to be located at 647 Goldstream Avenue and on Fairway Avenue. Neighbouring residents say they are opposed to the height of the buildings and are also concerned about pedestrian safety and traffic in the area.
  • The Sooke School District says there has been a COVID-19 exposure at Royal Bay Secondary. The possible exposure date is Friday, Jan. 15 and SD62 says Island Health is completing contact tracing. The school district says it will not be sharing any more information about the exposure.
  • Police are looking for a minivan and its driver after receiving a report of a minivan that crashed into a parked car and the front steps of a home near the 200-block of Island Highway in View Royal. The driver then reportedly backed up the vehicle and took off. West Shore RCMP says the hit-and-run took place on Jan. 18 at approximately 10:15 p.m. Police say the suspect vehicle is described as a silver or grey minivan with a licence plate possibly beginning with “JT9.” The van has heavy front-end damage and possible broken windows. Anyone with information regarding the vehicle or the driver’s identity is asked to call West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
  • The Canadian Premier League, which includes the Langford-based Pacific FC, is planning to start this year’s 28-game soccer season on the Victoria Day long weekend in May. In an open letter, CPL commissioner David Clanachan says these plans are dependent on Canada’s progress against the COVID-19 pandemic. He says the CPL will “remain flexible but also adaptable” in its planning.
  • Colwood Serenity House, an organization that provides supported recovery housing for women, closed permanently as of Dec. 31, 2020. In a Facebook post, the organization said it was unable to maintain COVID-19 safety while providing adequate recovery supports as COVID-19 case numbers increased in the fall. The organization is referring those in need of women’s supportive recovery housing to the Umbrella Society and Together We Can.
  • Cowichan Tribes’ Costa Canna cannabis store officially opened its Colwood location over the weekend, the Goldstream News Gazette reports. It is Colwood’s first retail cannabis store.
  • Family members of people who died by suicide at the Goldstream trestle in Goldstream Provincial Park are calling for barriers to be installed along the trestle, CHEK News reports. The trestle is privately owned by the Island Corridor Foundation.
  • Sequoia Coastal Coffee’s Royal Bay location has closed temporarily until Jan. 30. The new coffee shop posted an announcement on Facebook saying one of its team members at the Royal Bay location tested positive for COVID-19. Extensive cleaning will take place at the shop and staff will be tested for COVID-19 and return to work only after receiving a negative result.
  • The Malahat Skywalk is expected to be complete by the summer, the Cowichan Valley Citizen reports. The wooden skywalk will take visitors to a 40-metre-high sightseeing lookout with views of Finlayson Arm from the Malahat.
  • The Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness, Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and Aryze Developments are crowdfunding $500,000 to build 30 transitional housing units using repurposed shipping containers for a project called Hey Neighbour. 
  • Metchosin Mayor John Ranns and other residents are unhappy about a proposed subdivision that would be built on the Boys and Girls Club’s property in Metchosin, the Goldstream News Gazette reports.
  • The Capital Regional District Board has approved bylaw changes that would allow the inclusion of First Nations elected representatives on CRD standing committees. This means First Nations representatives can formally participate and vote on items of interest at those committee meetings.
  • The Colwood Arts and Culture Committee is looking for more team members. The committee says it is hoping to include performing artists and arts administrative members. If interested in joining, contact artsandculturecolwood@gmail.com.

Community events

  • Wednesday, Jan. 20: 📱 Participate in an online session on social media awareness and cyberbullying for parents of school-aged children, hosted by the Sooke School District. The session runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Reserve a ticket online.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 20 to Saturday, Jan. 23: 🎭 The Belfry Theatre’s 2021 Spark Festival features online theatre performances for different tastes. Some of the performances are free to watch on Zoom.
  • Saturday, Jan. 23: 🍾 Drop off your bottles and cans at View Royal Elementary for a contactless drive-through bottle drive. Money raised will go towards replacing the school’s playground. 
  • Weekends until Feb. 28: 🎨 Visit Metchosin ArtPod for its new exhibition, About Face: A Portrait Show. The show’s feature artist and guest juror is Noah Layne, who will be exhibiting several of his pieces and will do two online drawing workshops. More information can be found on the Facebook event page.
  • Weekends until Feb. 5: 🖼 Visit the Esquimalt Community Arts Hub for Island, a third exhibit in a three-part series called Relations. You can also view the digital exhibit online.
  • Now until Feb. 5: 📸  A call for entries for Re-Vision, a photo-based art show at Metchosin ArtPod, has been extended until Feb. 5. There is a $10 entry fee per submission and a maximum of three submissions per person.
  • Thursday, Jan. 28: 👩‍💻 Vancouver Island Regional Library is hosting a free online event with Indigenous relations expert and author Bob Joseph. The event will feature a Q&A on the Indian Act.

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

Julian sent me a lovely email last week saying “thanks for giving a new viewpoint on the news.”

I’m so glad we can add to the narrative and fill gaps in reporting on the West Shore. I’m looking forward to producing more work for the community this year. [end]

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