Obituary: Willem Adriaan Blom (Wim Blom)

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dearest friend Wim Blom (Willem Adriaan Blom). Wim passed peacefully on the 18th of January 2021 at the age of 93. His work is represented in public collections, such as the National Gallery of Canada and the South African National Gallery, in numerous corporate collections and in private collections in Canada, France, Great Britain, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and the U.S.A. In Duvah Park, Witbank, South Africa, a street was named in honor of Wim. (Wim Blom straat) EDUCATION: B.A. Hons., M.A., University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom; University of Perugia, Italy; Studied painting, Florence, Italy; Studied graphic techniques, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Calgary, Canada; Studied lithography, Instituto Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. APPOINTMENTS: …
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COVID-19: Vaccination Availability on Salt Spring Island

As you will have heard on the news, vaccinations against COVID-19 are now underway in BC, and that includes Salt Spring Island. Residents of our care facilities have received vaccinations and front line health care workers are currently being vaccinated. This offers us a ray of hope that we are starting to see the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. The provincial government has laid out a strategy and timeline for vaccinations based on priority populations and risk groups with the dual aim of reducing the risk of community spread of the virus and ultimately providing immunity to all individuals who want to be vaccinated. Information on the provincial strategy for vaccine rollout, of which Island Health is a participant, can be found online. Please be advised that the COVID-19 vaccine is not available for everyone at this time. The first doses are being provided to those most at risk, starting with elderly residents in long-term care facilities and staff who care for them, as well…
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Salt Spring RCMP Contact Explosive Disposal Unit for Suspicious Device Found in Local Park

UPDATE: January 20, 2021 at 5:28PM - Salt Spring RCMP have confirmed that the device has been destroyed. It was determined not to be explosive. The area is now clear. On January 20, 2021 the Salt Spring RCMP were contacted by a concerned citizen about an item left in Drummond Park. The cylindrical shaped device raised the suspicion of the passerby, and they immediately reported it to the police. Salt Spring RCMP frontline members arrived on scene and could not determine the nature of the device, and contacted the BC RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit (EDU) for their expertise. Through their consultation and reviewing photos of the item, it was determined that the area be made safe by removing anyone nearby while the EDU members make their way to Salt Spring Island to examine and if necessary make it safe. A local resident saw this suspicious device at the north end of Drummond Park, and did the right thing by calling the RCMP immediately said Salt Spring RCMP Detachment C…
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MLA Adam Olsen Supports Acquisition of Mt. Erskine Connector Trail

Salt Spring's Trail and Nature Club is working with BC Parks to acquire a piece of land on Mt. Erskine to protect a very popular 6 kilometre trail from Collins Road to Toynbee Road. I am pleased to support this acquisition as part of the development and expansion of our province’s beautiful park system. In addition to securing the trail corridor, incorporating this land into the provincial park will provide access to several beautiful viewpoints and potential picnic sites. The trail winds through forest that includes many pine trees, stands of Coastal Douglas Fir, and arbutus. As a trail already exists on this piece of land, no new trail construction will be required. BC Parks had the land professionally appraised, contracted with the landowner to buy it, and will cover most of the related survey and legal costs. Although the BC Parks Foundation is collecting donations and issuing tax receipts, the Salt Spring Island community is responsible for raising the funds to pu…
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ASK Salt Spring: Francis Bread Trying To Remain Operational During Rezoning Application

We were lucky enough to have both Islands Trustees as special guests at this ASK Salt Spring Zoom gathering, with Peter Grove joining fifteen of us for the entire time, and Laura Patrick joining us at about 12:30. While Francis Bread took the spotlight for much of the gathering, we also learned about Islands Trust challenges, logging, and housing restrictions and opportunities. After a heartfelt territorial acknowledgement, Peter began by sharing some of his thoughts and concerns. He expressed his horror with the events rocking our neighbor to the south and his deep, on-going concerns about COVID. These terrible dramas have forced us to recognize what is really important in our lives. He had read the ASK Salt Spring report from Gary Holman’s visit last week and asked us to recognize how hard Gary is working on so many fronts to address our local needs. And, to recognize how much he is accomplishing. Peter then briefly addressed some Local Trust Committee issues, primar…
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Obituary: Hans Plambeck

Passed on January 15th,2021 at Lady Minto Hospital on Salt Spring Island. Hans was born October 13the, 1946 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Hans and his family officially moved to Canada in 1957. He spent time in Calgary, Salt Spring Island, New Brunswick, Victoria, and Chetwynd, BC. Hans was an accomplished carpenter and artist. Hans has left behind his children Kristian (Tamara), Stephanie (Robert) Jennifer (Colton), grandchildren Ethan, Maddison, Alexis, Elizabeth, Alexander, Cash, Nicolas and Carter Lynn. Pre-deceased by son Ryan. In lieu of flowers have a danish and remember Hans as the man he was.
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Salt Spring RCMP Community Report - 2020 4th Quarter Statistics

As of December 31, 2020, Salt Spring RCMP responded to 2,978 calls this year, averaging 8-9 calls per day. There were 745 calls for service between October 1 2020 and December 31 2020; in addition to these 700+ calls for service, Salt Spring RCMP conducted 127 vehicle stops (violation tickets and warnings), 114 licenced premises checks (bar walks) and 362 foot patrols through Centennial Park and other areas. Statistically, this means that of the 92 days in this 4th quarter period, Salt Spring RCMP conducted 1 bar walk per day, 4 foot patrols per day, 1+ traffic stop per day, and 8-9 calls for service per day. Amongst the 745 calls on Salt Spring in this 4th quarter, there were four (4) sexual assaults, 11 firearms calls and 25 COVID-related calls for police response. There were three (3) separate investigations into child pornography/distribution here on Salt Spring Island. There were 113 mental health calls, accounting for 15% of the total call volume in the 4th quarter.…
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Obituary: Reid Collins

Franklin Reid Collins (known to all as Reid) died peacefully in the company of his daughters on Thursday, December 17th at the Lady Minto Hospital. He is survived by his two children, Georgia and Laurel, by two grandchildren, Summer and Seth, and by his siblings, Russ, Billie, Tim and Laurel (predeceased by brother David). Reid was raised in Streetsville, ON and was known for his remarkably sharp mind, quick wit and generosity of spirit. After attending Teacher's College, Reid put his talent for inspiring youth to good use as the principal of a remote school in Pikangikum, in The Alternative Program at Salt Spring Elementary and later taught at The Little Red Schoolhouse. It was 1974 when Reid made his journey west and sailed around the Gulf Islands with his beloved Aunt Mary. He knew then that Salt Spring Island would be his home. With an exceptional pioneering spirit, Reid devoted himself to the Fulford community, built a home on Reynolds Road and set to work at keeping us al…
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Burgoyne Bay Provincial Park Multi-Use Trails Under Threat

One of the best-loved parks on the island is becoming much less user friendly. Hikers, mountain bikers, birders, equestrians, and dog walkers have all happily used the trail network in Burgoyne Bay Provincial Park since it was first established in 2004. The heart of that network was a multi-use loop trail now partially decommissioned. In addition, a metal grid bridge has been removed and a new, narrow, pedestrian-only bridge with steps has been constructed over a creek by the bay. This eliminates access to equestrians and poses an obstacle for some walkers and bikers. Then there are the swales, a series of deep ditches, constructed on another portion of trail, which make safe passage difficult and probably impossible in the rainy season. These changes, all undertaken without consultation with those most likely to be affected, are a consequence of remediation work in the park. No one disputes that the plan to restore wetlands and control watercourses is a worthy park manageme…
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King Tides Turn Vesuvius Beach Into a Field of Flotsam

Last night's wind storm together with 3.6m King tides brought havoc to Vesuvius Beach. Every major log was moved along with all of the kayaks, row boats, dinghies and other watercraft. Two of the row boats drifted into the bay, one of which we managed to rescue today. The area near the steps down to the beach which in summer is the gathering place of the Vesuvius Beach Indolent Society is covered with flotsam and debris and the chairs buried underneath. Next high tide is 0700hrs tomorrow but this time there should be less wind.
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Laura Patrick Trustee Report – Getting Down to Work in the New Year

One day, in the not-too-distant future COVID-19 will be an unhappy memory. It was a problem contained, certainly on these islands so far, by a coordinated and cooperative spirit. We wear our masks, keep our distance and get on with our lives. Now I believe we should apply that same cooperative spirit to solving the critical problems facing this precious little island we call home. There are substantial challenges that can only be properly addressed jointly and NOT in the singular and piecemeal way that they are being dealt with in the past. If Salt Spring is to flourish it is imperative that we plan for the future, seeking integrated solutions that are both urgent and eminently feasible. Posted proudly on the wall by my home office desk are the words “Healthy People, Healthy Society, and Healthy Environment”.  In almost every meeting, I point to them saying that one of these cannot exist without the other. I want to kick off the New Year by telling you a little abou…
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ASK Salt Spring with CRD Director Gary Holman

Eleven participants welcomed CRD’s Gary Holman to an ASK Salt Spring Zoom gathering - the first in 2021. Gary began by confirming that the Salt Spring Island Transportation Commission is committed to getting a pedestrian pathway on the west (uphill) side of the Ganges Hill roadway. Hopes are that the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) will repave and add bike lanes to the Ganges Hill portion of Fulford Ganges Road (from Seaview to Beddis) this summer. While we may not be ready to construct this pathway at the same time, plans are to proceed as quickly as possible. Funding is a top consideration, with a strong preference for securing as much grant funding as possible before using Transportation Commission reserves or Community Works (gas tax) funding. Asking voters to approve additional funding through counter petition or referendum would be a last resort. Despite CRD staff efforts, it appears that getting MoTI’s design work for repaving in time to devel…
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What Do Islanders Do in A Pandemic?

It’s no secret that we are living in strange times. Much of the economy has been stumbling because of the pandemic, and, sadly, many community members are either unemployed or working from home. What these people almost invariably have in common is more time to spend as they wish, often with their families. And what a great number of islanders are opting to do is to go for walks/hikes on Salt Spring’s wonderful trails. Most of us try to focus on the positive, and I think we would all agree that the most positive thing about living on Salt Spring is the natural beauty all around us. In the past few months we’re seeing more people on our trails than ever before. There isn’t a park or nature reserve on the island that isn’t being visited by all kinds of people eager to enjoy what nature has to offer. And on Salt Spring, nature has a lot to offer—lovely shoreline and beaches, varied forest, beautiful views, clean air, more birds than we’ve seen for years—and all of this can be e…
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COVID-19: Vaccination Clinics Expand to Central and North Vancouver Island

Island Health is administering COVID-19 immunizations to health care workers in long-term care in the central and north Vancouver Island regions beginning today. This week, Island Health received an additional 3,900 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, allowing us to expand our immunization clinics outside of the greater Victoria area. Clinics will be held in Nanaimo and Campbell River, with care, support, and medical staff who work or volunteer in long-term care being eligible to receive the vaccine. Eligible individuals will receive direct communication from Island Health on how to book an appointment. “Our number one goal throughout this pandemic has been to protect our residents,” said Sharron Traub, Manager of Dufferin Place long-term care home in Nanaimo. “Providing the vaccine to frontline health care workers in long-term care is a critical line of defence to keep this virus out, and an important show of support for those caring for and protecting some of the most vulnerab…
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Opinion: How Our Bylaws Undermine Rural Life and Livelihoods

Our complaint-driven bylaw system, and many of the laws themselves, are undermining rural people’s lives and livelihoods here on Salt Spring Island. By prohibiting the traditional economic stepping stones and ways of life of homesteaders, artisans, and the rural working class, as well as increasingly curtailing the ways land holders may participate in the tourist economy, our LUB (Land Use Bylaw) exacerbates already economically and socially polarizing housing, real estate and construction industries. It favours affluent estate owners whose livelihoods are not dependent on being able to use their land. The ‘preserve and protect’ mandate driving the Trust’s LUB ossifies select aspects of Salt Spring’s settler past. The present is shackled by it. Creativity is stifled. Forcing the non-elite into untenable moulds, the LUB effectively outlaws both “non- nuclear family structures” and the forms of social capital which homesteaders, artisans, and the rural working class rely on. A…
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Seedy Topics, Happy New Year!

I meant to send out a note on Dec. 21 celebrating the start of lengthening days—but a snowstorm took out the cable in my neighbourhood that afternoon so I had no internet for a few days. Anyway, here we are at the beginning of what everyone is hoping will be a brighter and better year. And now that the days really are getting longer, gardeners are looking forward to growing their best garden yet. So Happy New Year to you all! If you haven’t thought about what you want to grow this year, it is time to do that as seed suppliers are already shipping madly to keep up with early demand. While ordering, look ahead to what you will need for mid- and late summer sowing. For those who might not have it, there is a planting chart on my home page that you can print out showing suggested planting dates for winter harvests. Those late summer plantings would mostly be of frost-hardy varieties that can stay in the garden over the winter. For such plantings, make sure you are ordering…
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Remembrance: Michael Jarvis

It is with great sadness that Bach on the Rock announces the passing of our dear friend and Artistic Director, Michael Jarvis. All of us at Bach on the Rock are devastated by this sudden and tragic loss. Michael became our Director in 2016, and he took our ensemble to new heights with his talent, musicianship, enthusiasm and dedication. Our rehearsals were full of laughs, and we will fondly remember his wit, sense of humour and smile. He will be sorely missed by all of the Bach on the Rock musicians, our audiences, and Michael's many Salt Spring friends. As his wife Carolyn put it “Michael has unexpectedly moved on to a heavenly gig – perhaps with Handel or Giordani, or whomever else is available to play”. Michael, also known as “Captain Continuo”, was acclaimed as one of Canada’s finest harpsichordists, fortepianists, organists, and continuo players, and was in high demand as a collaborative artist and performance practice coach. He had performed with most of Canada’s le…
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COVID-19: First U.K. Variant Case in B.C. Lands in Island Health Region

Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer (PHO), and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, have issued the following joint statement announcing the first confirmed case of a person in British Columbia infected with the COVID-19 variant first identified in the United Kingdom: “B.C. has identified the first case of a person in B.C. infected with the COVID-19 U.K. variant. The individual, who resides in the Island Health region, returned to B.C. from the U.K. on flight AC855 on Dec. 15, 2020, developed symptoms while in quarantine and was immediately tested. Testing confirmed the positive diagnosis on Dec. 19, 2020; a small number of close contacts have been isolated and public health is following up with them daily. “The variant strain was detected by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) Public Health Laboratory in its review of all isolates from people who had recently returned from travel to the U.K. Whole genome sequencing at the BCCDC identified this as the same…
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Black Settlers: Their Influence on the Vision of Canada and Salt Spring Island

New online exhibit is a creation by the B.C. Black History Awareness Society with support from Digital Museums Canada. With more than 500 exhibits Digital Museums Canada (DMC) is the largest source of online content and experiences shared by large and small Canadian museums and heritage organizations. These online exhibits explore history, culture, science and the arts, and feature fascinating stories and treasures from communities across the country. The exhibit 'British Columbia’s Black Pioneers: Their Industry and Character influenced the Vision of Canada' features 20 stories, 9 videos, and 86 gallery items that include images, photographs, maps, and archival documents; all are bilingual. Their story is unlike any other story in Canada. As the Fraser Gold Rush was heightening, the British desperately needed settlers and they needed them quickly, settlers who could help to cement Victoria, the capital of the Colony of Vancouver Island, as a British administrative, bu…
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COVID-19: Island Health Administers First COVID-19 Vaccine

Island Health administered the first COVID-19 immunizations to health care workers in the Greater Victoria area today. Island Health received 1,950 doses in its initial shipment and immunization clinics will continue throughout the week. Immunization clinics for staff and physicians will expand across Island Health in the coming weeks, as they receive more doses. “In my 25-year career as a Medical Health Officer on the island, I have been privileged to be part of many significant firsts that improve the health of the population,” said Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health’s Chief Medical Health Officer. “The launch of our immunization program against COVID-19 this morning will be the most memorable.” The vaccine is an important step in our journey to protect people from the COVID-19 virus, and today is a significant step taken on the island to protect health care workers who work on the frontlines of COVID-19. Dena Scriven, a nursing assistant in long-term care, was t…
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Farm Stand Tour and Piping Piper

One of the many charms of Salt Spring Island is our network of local farm stands. Most are trust based stands openly offering their goods to visitors and locals alike. In a 'normal' year, these farm stands dot the island and are an experience that many visitors to the island often recount as part of their stories of time spent here. While many cater to visitors, some are also full-time, year-round farm stands for treats, veggies, meat and eggs that also have many of the staples needed for delicious, local meals. This year, in response to the pandemic, farm stand operators banded together to organize a holiday tour to encourage locals to get out for a fun, pandemic friendly shopping experience. Numerous stand operators took the extra initiative to light up their stands offering even more moments of beauty and charm. Our little family bubble hit the road today to visit some of the stands. We came home filled with treats and handfuls of gifts for friends and family. We also …
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