COVID-19: Temporary Closure of Black Sheep Books Due to COVID-19 Exposure

Black Sheep Books has been closed temporarily. One of our staff has tested positive for COVID-19. The Ministry of Health has been in contact with and advised all our staff and those directly affected. We have been, and are following all their suggested protocol. After asking the numerous health officials I’ve spoken with over the last 2 days, they were of the opinion that anyone who was in the store from Thursday, March 18th, 2021 onward, (the infectious period prior to symptoms), are not considered at risk if they wore masks, maintained a 6 foot separation and did not have more than 15 minutes of open face to face contact with staff. If you were in the store during those times, and have questions or concerns, please contact your health care provider as to how you need to proceed. Despite the Ministry advising me that we did not have to do anything else above quarantine, do a deep cleanse to the store, and close for a couple days, we will remain closed until we feel it i…
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2021 Saturday Market in the Park Opening Plan Now Includes Non-food Vendors

Our "Make It, Bake It, Grow It" Saturday Market in the Park begins on April 3rd, 2021 from 9AM - 4PM with limited capacity. Operating with safety protocols in place, the market will offer farm produce, prepared foods and non-food items that meet safety standards set by the Provincial Health Officer. Artisan vendors are now permitted under the March 18, 2021 Provincial Health Orders. The market will follow the provincial health guidelines for vendors concerning food prep and selling of high risk and low risk foods. "This is really big news! It is with so much excitement and my absolute pleasure to inform you that as of March 18, 2021 updated Public Health Orders have confirmed that all Vendors are being welcomed back to this season's market. This is a great way to kick off a new market season!" - Dawn Larden, Salt Spring Market in the Park Coordinator The Capital Regional District SSI Market in the Park website will be updated later this morning to reflect the change. …
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2021 Saturday Market in the Park Opening Planned with Limited Capacity

Our "Make It, Bake It, Grow It" Saturday Market Salt Spring will be back this year with limited capacity while we still navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Saturday Market in the Park this year begins on April 3rd, from 9am - 4pm. Operating as an essential service with safety protocols in place, the market will offer farm produce and prepared foods. The market will be operating as an essential service market offering farm produce and prepared foods with modified protocols in place to meet safety standards set by the Provincial Health Officer. Artisan vendors will be permitted once Provincial Health Orders allow for non-essential vending. Our market follows the provincial health guidelines for vendors concerning food prep and selling of high risk and low risk foods. Following the Provincial Health Order, masks are required for all vendors and patrons. Market shoppers are encouraged to 'shop and go' in order to maintain social distancing. The Salt Spring …
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Island Coastal Economic Trust Launches Program to Strengthen Rural Communities and Businesses

Provincially funded initiative supports creation of temporary employment in rural areas - A new Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) economic recovery program addressing capacity challenges in rural, remote and Indigenous communities has launched, with funding from the Province of British Columbia. The new Rural Business and Community Recovery Program (RBCRP) will provide full funding support for the creation of new, temporary, term positions that strengthen business and community economic recovery and resilience. Projects must be located in eligible rural areas, which include Vancouver Island north of the Malahat, Capital Regional District Juan de Fuca, Salt Spring Island and Southern Gulf Islands electoral areas, the Sunshine Coast, Powell River, as well as Bowen Island. “This is a timely initiative supporting nimble, community-based and regional economic recovery,” says ICET Board Chair Aaron Stone. “We are grateful to the Province of BC for the opportunity to leverage…
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ASK Salt Spring with Capital Regional District Director Gary Holman

Fourteen gathered via Zoom to ask Capital Regional District's (CRD) Gary Holman questions about the issues that matter most to them. After a heartfelt territorial acknowledgment, Gary was asked if he wanted to begin by sharing what was on his mind. While he preferred to spend our time together answering participants’ questions, he did express his concerns about the Lower Ganges Road pathway from Booth Canal to Baker Road that is currently under construction. Gary agrees that the tree cutting was probably excessive and sees this as part of a larger issue - a pathway that appears to have been over-designed to meet urban standards. Gary repeated his public commitment, one shared by the SSI Engineer, to develop rural standards for pathways that are more appropriate for Salt Spring. Despite this concern, Gary did ask us to appreciate the fact that this pathway, which received almost $500,000 in provincial funding, will allow pedestrians to walk safely all the way from Ganges to t…
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Critical Islands Funding Advocacy Proves Successful

The Salt Spring Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) is thrilled to announce that local advocacy efforts have finally paid off. The Province has issued an Order in Council qualifying Salt Spring Island and the Southern Gulf Islands for access to the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET). Founded in 2006, ICET provides grant funding to rural coastal communities along with resources designed specifically to assist with pandemic recovery. For years Salt Spring Island and the Southern Gulf Islands of Galiano, Mayne, Pender, and Saturna have been unfairly left out due to being within the classification of the mostly urban Capital Regional District (CRD). CEDC Chair, Francine Carlin says being part of ICET is a huge milestone for our community, “We now have the ability to take full advantage in applying for government grants that up till now we were excluded from. The inequality has kept us from receiving supports for projects like a regional food hub, village …
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Salt Spring Chamber Announces 2020 Salty Award Winners

On Wednesday February 10th and Thursday February 11th, 2021, The Salt Spring Island Chamber of Commerce delivered the much awaited Salty Awards to their respective winners. Salt Spring Island Chamber of Commerce executive director, Jesse Brown, board president Darryl Martin, and photographer Ramona Lam presented 11 Awards throughout Ganges Village. The event was supported by title sponsor Windsor Plywood. “We are so pleased to be presenting the Salty Awards to their well-deserved winners – congratulations!” Jesse Brown https://youtu.be/SufwF7SfX_k “Now more than ever, we need to support our small and medium sized businesses on Salt Spring Island. It was a pleasure to deliver these awards” Darryl Martin Here are the full list of winners!

Salty Awards 2020 Brought to you by Windsor Plywood

Resilient Small Business of the year award – presented by Country Grocer Francis Bread

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2021 Country Grocer Valentine’s Day 'Love In A Bubble' Photo Contest Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered this year's Country Grocer Valentine’s Day 'Love In A Bubble' Photo Contest! Over 160+ people entered the contest this year! Whether you’re young and ecstatically in love, or in your 90's with a twinkle in your eye whenever you see each other, whether you’ve taken your “flirt” down a few notches over the years or you’ve taken your flirt up a few notches, we appreciate your sharing it with you community! Our prizes this year were, one 'Grand Prize' of a $200 dinner for two at Auntie Pestos, two 'Runners Up' will receive a ‘Love in a Bubble’ Gift Basket from Country Grocer which will include several bubbly things and remember Country Grocer has flowers, chocolates, gifts, cards and more to spoil your special Valentine! Here are all the entries received! Scroll down to the bottom to find out if you won! The winners are... 1st Place: Valentine's Dinner for two at Auntie Pestos. ($200 value) plus a beautiful Valentines Bouq…
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Photos: Ganges Lights Up

While many of the events our community has come to enjoy over the holidays have been postponed, or cancelled outright, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, at least one trusted source of cheer has now reliably lit up Ganges. Holiday lights, installed by the CRD PARC team now grace Centennial Park, along with lights installed by many local community minded businesses. Those of us that are venturing outside in the evenings these days can enjoy the lights and a little reminder of the holiday spirit that we might all yet again enjoy this season. And you can always also enjoy the lights courtesy of our Ganges Fire Hall live cam as well.
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Support Local This Holiday

It’s one of the most exciting times of year again but of course, everything is different. Winter is upon us as we lead up to the holiday season and I want to encourage islanders to make this holiday as local as it can be, especially with… Black Friday quickly approaching! Every year, this season is the make it or break it for local small businesses, especially for artisans, retailers, food and hospitality. Most businesses are not going into this season with their typical summer savings to make it through until spring and they need local help, especially with travel restrictions coming into place this week. I want to remind you of the positive impacts supporting local has - it puts food on hard working people’s plates, it employs locals, it has an economic multiplier effect in our community, you receive personalized service, you choose with your dollars who to support, it reduces the impact on the environment and it keeps our community culture and identity. This year, t…
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Salt Spring 2020 Cheer Challenge Photo Contest - Let's Keep the Cheer Here!

Support, buy, visit, explore, entertain and celebrate local for the holidays right here on Salt Spring Island! Take a new photo of you (or your friends, dog, partner, etc.) doing any one of the 100 activities in our cheer challenge (listed below) and submit your photos each week (using the form below) to win weekly local prizes and one of our three amazing grand prizes! Watch: How do to the cheer challenge! https://youtu.be/PvUgwEi07tE How it works! Take a new photo of you (or your friends, dog, partner, etc.) doing any of the 100 cheer challenges listed below between November 16th and December 18th, 2020 Submit your photo entries each week here on the Salt Spring Exchange using the form below for your chance to win weekly prizes Agree to the Salt Spring Cheer Challenge Rules when submitting your entry Then share the love! Then also share your photos on social media with #saltspringcheer to help families in need For every photo shared with #saltsp…
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Salt Spring Chamber Welcomes New President

It is with much anticipation that we welcome Darryl Martin as the new Salt Spring Island Chamber of Commerce President. Darryl began his time on the Chamber Board as an individual member in June 2019. Darryl was previously the Chair and a Commissioner on the Salt Spring Community Economic Development Commission, as well as alternate to CRD Director Wayne Macintyre before becoming a board member of the Salt Spring Island Chamber of Commerce in 2019. With this change comes recognition of Li Read, the Chamber’s President from June 2013. Li took over the presidency role after spending two years on the Board of Directors. She guided the Chamber of Commerce through difficult and successful times, and remained in the role until November 4, 2020. A special thank you to Li for all her time and dedication to the Chamber. Darryl is looking forward to accelerating the Chamber’s efforts to help businesses during the pandemic and prepare to do business in the changed economy. He also a…
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2020 Salt Spring Chamber Salty Award Nominees

Congratulations to all of this year's Salty Award Nominees. We encourage community members to read the comments written by those who nominated these outstanding businesses and individuals, it is truly humbling. We’re excited to celebrate all nominated businesses, non-profits, charities, and individuals. We have asked nominees to make a short video or written response to tell us why they should win a Salty Award. Be sure to keep an eye out! Voting begins November 3rd! See the nominees in each of the award categories below. Resilient Small Business of The Year Award: Presented to a business with 20 employees or less who demonstrated perseverance and the ability to adapt to the challenges presented by 2020. Al's Gourmet Falafel & Fries Altar Ink Amber Wood Health Apple Photo Aroma Crystal Therapy ArtSpring Barb’s Bakery and Bistro Bean Drinkin Cafe Bite Me! Treats Buzzys Luncheonette Co-op Gas Diggin’it excava…
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Salt Spring Island Natural Cemetery Opens on Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring Island is known in many parts of the world as a unique and progressive community. Its reputation for local farming, food, arts, music, culture, politics, EV transportation, and environmentalism belies its small size. And now once again, Salt Spring Island is at the fore of a growing movement. This time in the world of green, natural burials. (Watch the video tour and see the photo tour below.) Over the last 50 years there has been an incredible transformation in burial practices in North America. Burial and cemetery services, which were at one time a more modest affair and often carried out by locally owned services providers, has been transformed under capital market consolidation. While Indigenous cultures the world over have always practiced 'natural' burial, the dominant colonial culture of the West saw local funeral and burial business services transformed into highly specialized, profit driven industries controlled by a small handful of publicly traded c…
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Nominations Now Open for the Salt Spring Chamber's 2020 Salty Awards

The Salt Spring Island Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Windsor Plywood, with support from the Salt Spring Exchange, is excited to announce that the 2020 Salty Award nominations are open! This year’s awards will look different than previous years, focusing on businesses and organizations that have demonstrated resilience and ability to adapt in this year’s challenging business environment. There will be 10 business awards centered around resilience, community, service and innovation and one community award in honour of Matt Steffich, a long time Chamber board member and the MC of the annual Salty Awards Gala, highlighting his commitment to the Salt Spring Island community. The selection system will also be different this year. Nominations and voting will still take place online, followed by the top of each category being judged by a panel. We’re introducing the popular vote / judging panel combination to ensure that deserving businesses and individuals are consid…
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Time-Lapse: Salt Spring Marina Demolition and Reconstruction

After 30 years of keeping boats safe and secure, the old Salt Spring Marina on Salt Spring Island was showing its age. In October of 2018, Island Marine Construction began demolition of the cherished marina. It was with a mix of emotion that the team who manages the marina watched the docks, pilings and the memories taken apart in Ganges Harbour. With a few issues and delays along the way, the harbour dredging was completed and Island Marine began construction. Along with the new ramp, pilings, docks and break water, the refurbished marina now includes new a Wi-Fi system for guests, online booking form and new surveillance security tools. The new marina is engineered to withstand immense wind conditions and waves, while also being eco-certified by Clean Marine BC. Sea-Flex anchors, cleated fingers and double pilings are designed to help ensure guests sleep safe & sound in their berths. While the reopening of the marina was delayed, and continues to be impacted by the COVI…
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COVID-19: Tree House Cafe Set to Re-Open

We want to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful staff and community for helping us navigate the crazy summer of 2020. And thank you to all of the musicians who graced our stage. Although the season was shorter than usual, the nights of music under the plum tree let us all to feel a bit closer to normal and once again we felt the healing power of music. We may not have been hugging but connection was still there. And thank you to all of the local farmers and businesses who shared their bounty and talents with us to bring another season of wonderful food. The Tree House will be re-opening this Friday September 18th, 2020. New hours will be 8am-4pm seven days a week. COVID-19 UPDATE: Sept 14 On Sept 3 we were informed that one of our back of house staff members had tested positive for covid-19. We decided to close the restaurant to allow staff to self-isolate and get tested. We are happy to report that no other staff members have tested positive and it has been…
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Spreading Poo All Over BEACHSiDE Doors

To the vandals who are responsible for this....wow, just wow. This was literally a “shitty morning.” This happened last night Sep 4, 2020. Three entryways affected, but cameras were in the wrong positions, we have moved them all this morning. Anyone who has more information, please call us at BEACHSiDE 250-537-2553 or call Constable Ian Hastie at 250-537-5555 Case # ss20-2028.
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COVID-19: Tree House Cafe Temporarily Closed After Staff Member Tests Positive

We would like to notify everyone that we have been informed that one member of our staff has tested positive for COVID-19. It is important to note this staff member did not have direct contact with customers while symptomatic. Since the case was confirmed, we have been working closely with Island Health’s Public Health team. Island Health has informed us that they have completed their contact tracing related to this case. Anyone deemed a potential contact has already been informed or will be informed as soon as possible and advised to self-isolate. Island Health has confirmed that the risk of exposure to customers or those not identified as a potential contact is extremely low. However, out of an abundance of caution, people should continue to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. If they feel sick, stay home and reach out for advice or testing. Although we have not been ordered to do so, we have made the decision to close for the time being, to allow some of our staff to self…
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