Vital Signs Report Coming Soon!

The votes have been counted, the referendum arguments finally won or lost, and Salt Spring will go on going on. But how much do you really know about the place you call home? For the past six months, the Salt Spring Island Foundation has, with professional help, been compiling VitalSigns®, a compelling report that looks under the covers of our little island. There are 10,557 of us (at last count) and, truth be told, we’re toward the grey end of the scale. Our average age is 50.3 years old, but more than 40% of us are over 60. And we’re a responsible lot—76% of us turned out to vote in the provincial elections compared to a feeble 61% for the rest of the province. Salt Spring’s Vital Signs report isn’t just a simple survey. It is part of a national program led by local foundations and coordinated by Community Foundations of Canada. It uses local knowledge to measure the vitality of the community and will support action toward improving our quality of life. The 24-page re…
Read more about Vital Signs Report Coming Soon!

Fall Classes with the Seven Stars Tai Chi Club

The Seven Stars Tai Chi Club operates out of a studio located in a cozy grove of cedars here on Salt Spring Island. In fact, it’s in my neighbourhood. After 12 years of yoga and yoga therapy, 3 years of sitting meditation, 4 years hunched over a computer, and 1 year of karate, I was looking for a fluid meditative practice that involved not sitting and that had a martial arts aspect. I felt incredibly fortunate to discover the Tai Chi Club literally right down the road. Not only has the teacher Osman Phillips been practicing and teaching for over 35 years, he also has students who have been practicing with him since he started teaching in Canada over 20 years ago. This will be my second year learning at Seven Stars, but things are slightly changing there. Rumi Kanesaka and Tim Hayes, two of Osman’s long-time students, who have developed their own expertise, are teaching classes. Thursdays Rumi, who has studied tai chi and qigong in China and elsewhere, teaches the Th…
Read more about Fall Classes with the Seven Stars Tai Chi Club

CRD Land Purchase Connects Trincomali Heights with Dunbabin Park

The Capital Regional District (CRD) has purchased three lots totaling three acres (1.21 hectares) for park purposes off of Stark's Road on Salt Spring Island. The lots have been purchased through the Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) Park Land Acquisition Fund for $34,500. “The acquisition not only connects two trail networks but also expands Dunbabin Park to include large cedars and firs, making it a beautiful addition to our parks and trail system,” said Wayne McIntyre, CRD Electoral Area Director. Connecting Trincomali Heights with Dunbabin Park has been attempted multiple times since 2003, with staff and volunteers attempting to connect the Trincomali Heights trail to Starks Road through statutory right of ways. The lot purchase takes advantage of an opportunity to join two trail networks that were separated by private properties. With the land acquisition complete, PARC will work with surrounding residents and trail enthusiasts to develop a…
Read more about CRD Land Purchase Connects Trincomali Heights with Dunbabin Park

Latest Deployment News from Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue

British Columbia is facing historic fire conditions and extremely hot dry weather. The fires burning in the Cariboo and other regions are still very active and concerning to all. For the past four weeks members of Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue have been helping in the fight against these raging fires. Members are working a minimum of eight days under the direction of the Office of the Fire Commissioner then are rotated out. Today August 4th at 06:00 we sent up our fourth replacement crew to relieve Firefighters Jason Gaffney and Dustin Bean. Lieutenant Cody Hunsberger and Firefighter Ben Westlake are en route today to lend aide in the wildfire suppression efforts. We are already planning our 5th deployment team for next week as we see that fire conditions are not improving. Since our first deployment July 12th 2017 our crews have been operating out of Williams Lake, Soda Creek, and Springfield. Our SSIFR crews have been working alongside numerous other BC Fire Department…
Read more about Latest Deployment News from Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue

Swimmer Aims to Swim Around Salt Spring to Protect the Salish Sea

Against all odds, Rama DelaRosa takes the plunge to fundraise for Indigenous legal challenges to the Kinder Morgan pipeline ~ A Salt Spring woman is committed to stretch the limits of human capacity in the hope to improve the health of our ocean waters. Athlete and activist Rama DelaRosa is fiercely determined to protect this coast and uphold Indigenous rights. During the week of August 1st, Delarosa plans to swim around the entire perimeter of Salt Spring Island to raise money for the Pull Together campaign. Says Delarosa: "I am in love with the Salish Sea! This swim is all about putting that love into action to create lasting change, real change, so that one day when future generations are showing their grandchildren a pod of orcas breaching they can think of me and all the people who came together at a critical time in history and saved our oceans from calamity.” Funds raised will go to the legal challenges of the Tsleil Wautuh, Coldwater, and Squamish First Nations, …
Read more about Swimmer Aims to Swim Around Salt Spring to Protect the Salish Sea

Tiny Homes, Big Dreams: Transition Salt Spring Eco-Living & Home Tour

Nestled in the trees, a miniature home sits on wheels like a modern-day gypsy caravan. But this is no camper: it’s a tiny home, fitted with fine West Coast craftsmanship, to scale. Built by Salt Spring Eco Homes, the home is one of a dozen innovative ‘properties’ being showcased this Sunday, July 30th on the biennial Salt Spring Eco Living and Home Tour. Visitors will discover homeowners with a passion for conservation. See water storage solutions, composting toilets, induction cooktops and clever uses of recycled and unusual building materials. Who knew you could make cabinets out of pressed sunflower hulls? The featured homes, while whimsical, have both style and substance. See how passive solar design is being used to reduce heating costs, and check out the ingenious use of living rooftops for beauty and insulative function. The tour, sponsored by Windsor Plywood and Motorize Auto Direct, includes two sites dedicated to innovation in greenhouse agriculture. Loopi…
Read more about Tiny Homes, Big Dreams: Transition Salt Spring Eco-Living & Home Tour

An Oasis from Modern Living?

Many of us live on Salt Spring in hopes of experiencing a bit of an oasis from the intensity of modern living. That can happen. And, pain and stressful challenges also happen-- in our private lives and throughout our community. In addition, we may carry a heavy awareness of the precarious condition of our planet. Our land, ocean, climate, politics, social issues, economics-- the whole jumble can leave us feeling subtly or severely hopeless about the present and the future. When we feel that way, we are not able to pro-actively do things that may contribute to positive change on any level: Hopelessness and action don't “wire and fire” together. So what can help us mobilize? We have to start somewhere. That somewhere begins with ourselves. Julie Andrews was on to something when she sang: “I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so bad…” Julie is referring to personal resources: things that evoke a feeling of safety and promote a sense of well-being. I am g…
Read more about An Oasis from Modern Living?

Salt Spring Island Foundation Launches Vital Signs® Survey

What do you love about living on Salt Spring? What would make your life better? The Salt Spring Island Foundation is inviting all local residents to complete Salt Spring’s Vital Signs® 2017 survey. A crucial part of the Vital Signs community consultation process, the survey seeks local opinion on quality-of-life areas to be included in Salt Spring’s first-ever Vital Signs report, such as community belonging, health and wellness, housing, arts and culture, learning, seniors, the environment, work and employment, and sports and recreation. Vital Signs will combine statistical analysis with valuable local insights into community strengths and challenges in a comprehensive and highly readable report, to be published in October 2017. The report will present a unique snapshot of the island and the people who live here. Experience in other communities across Canada has shown that the Vital Signs report is an important discussion piece, providing much-needed clarity around curren…
Read more about Salt Spring Island Foundation Launches Vital Signs® Survey

Bike Club's Preliminary Family Bike Park Proposal

The Salt Spring Bike Club is seeking support from PARC, community members, agencies and businesses to envision, plan and built a family bike park on Salt Spring Island. Their club has spent considerable time listening to local residents to better understand the needs and hopes of young bike riders and their families. The club has also looked beyond Salt Spring Island to learn from the experiences of other small communities. They are wholly impressed with the benefits of a family bike park offers and are motivated to bring these positive impacts to Salt Spring Island. They are currently in the early planning stage and are looking for logistical and financial assistance to secure land, and develop an approach to design, build and maintain the park. Read the full proposal.
Read more about Bike Club's Preliminary Family Bike Park Proposal

Salt Spring Island Foundation Invites Community to Vital Signs® Open House

What do you love about living on Salt Spring? What challenges do you face? What local issues would you like to see highlighted in Salt Spring’s first Vital Signs report? On March 2, the Salt Spring Island Foundation is hosting a Vital Signs Open House at the library program room from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Vital Signs is an important initiative that will present a unique snapshot of the island and the people who live here. As an important part of the Vital Signs community consultation process, the Open House will give islanders a chance to have their say on issue areas to be included in Salt Spring’s Vital Signs report, such as health and wellness, housing, arts and culture, learning, seniors, the environment, work and employment, sports and recreation, and other areas identified as relevant to our community. Through a combination of data review and comparative analysis, Salt Spring’s Vital Signs will offer valuable insights into community strengths and challenges in a com…
Read more about Salt Spring Island Foundation Invites Community to Vital Signs® Open House

2017 Country Grocer Valentines Photo Contest Winners!

It's almost Valentines Day! Thank you to everyone who participated in our photo contest sponsored with prizes from Country Grocer. First prize was for a $150 gift certificate for dinner at Auntie Pestos along with two concession winners who will each receive a $50 Country Grocer gift cards. There is also an unexpected special prize for an unexpected special entry. Winners were selected by random draw. Congratulations and thanks to all the couples who sent in amazing photos of their love. Scroll to the bottom of the photos to find out if you won! Concession Winners - Lorcan Pitcher and William Curtin Concession …
Read more about 2017 Country Grocer Valentines Photo Contest Winners!

Salt Spring Fire and Resuce Gets New Pumper/Tanker

Salt Spring Island Fire Department in Salt Spring, BC, Canada has taken delivery of a Midwest Fire side control tanker-pumper built on a Freightliner M2 106 chassis with a Cummins ISL-350 Engine and an Allison 3000 EVS Transmission. Unit has a 3,000-gallon APR Polypropylene tank and aHale MBP 1,000 PTO pump. It is also equipped with Newton 10-inch dump valves, a Zico electric portable tank carrier, and Whelen warning and scene lights.
Read more about Salt Spring Fire and Resuce Gets New Pumper/Tanker

Video + Photos: Women's March on Salt Spring Island

Just one day after Donald Trump’s inauguration as President of the United States, Women’s March was held in Washington, DC and all over the world in solidarity against the divisive campaign and policies of the new leader and incoming cabinet. Women and community members on Salt Spring joined in to support the movement with an estimated 500-600 people participating in the march and silent walk. The purpose of this non-violent, inclusive and intersectional protest organized by Nomi Lyonns, Kim Tebbutt and Sharyn Carroll was to take a stand for and support women’s rights with women from all races, all religious communities, all political affiliations, cis or transgender and all sexual orientations. Watch the live video to hear the speakers and see the photos of community members who stood together during the event.
Read more about Video + Photos: Women's March on Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring’s SPCA and Country Grocer Team Up!

Today, I was in Country Grocer speaking with Cindy, who works in the Nutrition Department. She also advises pet owners about holistic external and internal products for their pets. With her knowledge, I found what I needed for my sweet old dog with gum disease. At the same time, a stack of 15% off discount vouchers for Country Grocer’s Paws & Whiskers Pet Pantry were on their way to Salt Spring’s SPCA. How are these two events related? The answer is good news for people who are considering pet adoption from the island’s SPCA. Salt Spring’s Country Grocer and the SPCA have joined forces. If you go to the SPCA and adopt a pet, you will receive 15% off your first purchase at the Paws & Whiskers Pet Pantry. So not only do you get to go home with a furry bundle of love, but you also receive a great deal on now much needed food and/or supplies. If you’re not yet a pet owner, then you probably haven’t peered into the Pet Pantry. It has a lot of options! From dog bo…
Read more about Salt Spring’s SPCA and Country Grocer Team Up!

Salt Spring’s Vital Statistics

Island charity launches ambitious survey of our community and its challenges - Think you know Salt Spring? Ever wondered what makes this island of 10,000 very different souls tick? What it’s got—and what it needs? Have you thought about the issues that most concern islanders? Are we happy? Miserable? Or are we just muddling along? Over the coming months the Salt Spring Island Foundation, the charity that helps local charities, will endeavour to answer many of these questions through an ambitious project called Vital Signs®, an initiative that has been undertaken by many community foundations across Canada. Launched to coincide with Canada’s 150th anniversary, Salt Spring’s Vital Signs report will be published in October 2017 and will present a unique snapshot of the island and the people who live here. Managed and produced professionally, but guided by a steering committee of Foundation and other community volunteers, Vital Signs will gather data from government and local…
Read more about Salt Spring’s Vital Statistics

Video and Photos: Salt Spring Rallys to Protest Kinder Morgan Pipeline

Community members and groups opposed to the recently approved Kinder Morgan pipeline gathered this afternoon on Salt Spring Island to protest the project's high environmental risks. Organized by Transition Salt Spring guest speakers included Briony Penn and Adam Olsen, candidate for Saanich North and the Islands in the upcoming election. Organizers, musicians, speakers and participants promised high opposition to the project and have only just begun organizing to prevent implementation of the project. Learn more about the project from Dogwood and RAVEN Trust.

Live: Kinder Morgan pipeline protest #saltspring #saltspringisland

Posted by Salt Spring Island on Saturday, December 10, 2016
Read more about Video and Photos: Salt Spring Rallys to Protest Kinder Morgan Pipeline

Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Launches New Registration Software

The Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) will launch a new recreation software platform that will streamline services and provide more flexibility on December 7. PARC, along with multiple Recreation Centres in the region, have signed on with PerfectMind, an innovative registration software platform that will provide PARC users access to online registration 24/7. Submitting park use permits, registering for programs and booking facilities at the PARC office is currently limited to regular business hours of Mon-Fri 8:30am-4:30pm. The new platform will allow residents to register for all PARC programs, swimming lessons, submit park use permits, book facilities and even renew pool passes online. “This new software will allow us to increase access to recreation opportunities while keeping costs down,” said CRD Director Wayne McIntyre. “The PARC office is only open during regular business hours creating barriers for those with busy schedules. We hope to …
Read more about Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Launches New Registration Software

Canucks Calendars for Children in Hospice

One minute on the Facebook page for Canuck Place Children’s Hospice is a bitter-sweet experience. The page reveals stories and photos of families who have a child struggling with life-limiting conditions. And in any given moment, about 1,400 children in British Columbia are doing just that. It’s a truth that motivates many, from private donors to corporate sponsors. One of these sponsors is the Canucks for Kids Fund. That’s right―the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks answered the call for support shortly after the vision was born for North America’s first children’s hospice. And one of the ways that the team raises money for the fund is through the sales of Canucks Calendars, which are available at any BC Pharmasave. The calendar includes the official game schedule, a selection of great team photos, and some valuable coupons. Partial proceeds from the calendar sales are donated to the Canucks For Kids Fund. Moreover, each one includes an exclusive code that enters you and yo…
Read more about Canucks Calendars for Children in Hospice

Pass It On - Engaging Boys & Young Men Project Looking for Input from Boys/Young Men 13-19 Years

What are the needs of boys & young men (cis- trans- & non-binary inclusive) in our community and the ways to ensure these needs are addressed? This is the question being looked at by the Pass It On - Engaging Boys & Young Men Council comprised of men, young men & boys (cis- trans- & non-binary inclusive). We are looking for input from boys & young men 13-19 years in a 5-minute online survey regarding issues and needs relevant to them. Our community can help by encouraging boys and young men they know to fill this out. The survey can be found here. The project is being coordinated by David Norget through a contract with SWOVA Development & Research Society with grants from the Salt Spring Foundation and the Ministry of Justice (BC Civil Forfeiture) with additional generous sponsorship from Salt Spring Island Country Grocer. The Council is made up of various men, young men & boys from different parts of the community to advise on the project. “There is a great role for…
Read more about Pass It On - Engaging Boys & Young Men Project Looking for Input from Boys/Young Men 13-19 Years

Centennial Park Master Plan Draft Design Released

The Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) will review a draft design for Centennial Park’s updated Master Plan following an extensive community consultation process. The updated Master Plan will inform Capital Regional District (CRD) decisions for the next twenty years about long range capital projects as well as design and management decisions related to day-to-day and short term activities within Centennial Park. Community consultations highlighted that Centennial Park has a fantastic location, hosts great events and boasts a few well-loved features including the tree canopy. The consultations also helped identify where Centennial Park can be improved to fulfill its potential as a well-utilized and welcoming space, particularly on days without planned events. Areas for improvement include design limitations, safety issues and limited connection to the waterfront and surrounding village. Most of the trees in Centennial Park were planted a few years af…
Read more about Centennial Park Master Plan Draft Design Released