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…
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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…
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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…
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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.
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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…
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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 …
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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.
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Photos: 2017 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.
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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…
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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…
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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
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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 …
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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…
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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…
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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…
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Pharmasave: Helping to Keep the Flu at Bay

Oh, the achy muscles, the nasal drip, headache, sore throat, fever, and fatigue. And the children who suffer from earaches, nausea, and vomiting. Most of us are familiar with the flu blues. Despite our best efforts to keep our families healthy, the flu still gets into our schools, workplaces, and homes. Each year, many flu viruses go around, and they are constantly changing. Lynn Vanderwekken, a pharmacy manager at Pharmasave, commented that the 2016‒2017 flu vaccine has been updated to better match the viruses. Virus strains are predicted based on viruses that circulated in the Southern Hemisphere’s 2016 winter. The2016‒2017 Northern Hemisphere’s vaccine protects against three different viruses as was recommended by the World Health Organization: Influenza A/California (H1N1); Influenza A/Hong Kong (H3N2); and Influenza B/Brisbane. Although the statistics are different in Canada due to a less dense population, stats show that in the United States, every year 300,000 p…
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Photos: Terry Fox 2016 Thank You

A big THANK YOU to the over 125 participants and 70 reliable and generous volunteers who brought forth this year’s Terry Fox Run. The run raised over $2500.00 for cancer research. We appreciate the generosity of Embe Bakery, Country Grocer, TJ Beans and Tom Watson from Recreation Excellence for nourishing our tired and hot participants. The entertainment was perfect for the occasion and we want to acknowledge the SS Concert Band, Nicky Mackenzie and Samba du Soleil for giving of their musical talents. We also want to recognize the contributions of the following groups: Salt Spring Film Festival Parks and Recreation Recreation Excellence Rainbow Road Pool Salt Spring Exchange Gulf Islands Driftwood Shaw Cable Island Savings The Salt Spring Sneakers MainRoad Taoist Tai Chi on Salt Spring Island Tom Vergalen, TNT Signs Slegg Lumber Fraser Auto Repairs SD #64 Early Learning for Families (ELF) program Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue Finally, thank…
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Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope Inspires the Island

Hundreds of thousands of people across Canada are expected to participate in the Annual Terry Fox Run on Sunday, September 18th, a fundraising event taking place in over 800 communities nation-wide that continue to embody the indomitable spirit of Terry Fox. Salt Spring Island will live up to doing things a bit differently by holding its event on Sunday September 25, 2016. Terry’s Marathon of Hope in 1980 heralded a new age in fundraising. Terry was an innovator, raising funds for a disease that was still referred to in whispers while attempting to run across Canada, an athletic feat few able-bodied athletes would even consider. He ran with his artificial leg exposed, he talked about his experience with cancer; he gave hope to those suffering from the disease. Terry’s grassroots approach was a direct reflection of who he was – and Canadians embraced him with an intensity rarely seen before. There is no doubt that Terry’s example of courage and perseverance lives on to…
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Family Fun at Salt Spring’s Newest Nature Reserve

This summer, Blackburn Lake Nature Reserve was the place for families to get their “Vitamin N”! Family Days are geared toward families who want to participate in games, open activities, and self-directed discovery in a natural setting. A number of themes and learning topics have been covered so far this summer. From bats, the Great Blue Heron, and the Northern Red-Legged Frog―which are all species at risk―to the plants and animals at Blackburn Lake. The Western Painted Turtle inhabits numerous lakes on Salt Spring Island, including Cusheon Lake. It’s hoped that eventually they’ll move into the protected habitat at Blackburn Lake Nature Reserve. If you spot cages on lake shores, these cages are for protecting turtle nesting sites throughout the summer and winter and into the spring. Coordinators Cathy Lenihan and Charlotte Bowman are excited to be offering one final Family Day this summer. Youngsters are encouraged to bring their adult(s) on Sunday, August 28, to learn …
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Water: Where Does It Go? Where Will It Come From?

On the evening of Thursday, August 18, about 130 islanders gathered at the end of a sweltering hot day to discuss Salt Spring Island’s water supplies. A panel of experts was invited to attend the event, Tackling Drought, by the Salt Spring Island Water Preservation Society who presented the event to start a community discussion about options. Panelists addressed topics related to their expertise, answered questions that had been presented to them weeks before, and fielded questions from the audience. Moderator Jean Brouard brought a healthy dose of humour. Don Hodgins, Co-chair of Salt Spring Island Watershed Protection Authority Technical Working Group, presented first. His presentation was scientific and technical with one shocking statistic: of the amount of water that can be withdrawn from St. Mary Lake, 65% is lost to evaporation. Human use is less than one third, and the remainder is used for maintenance of Duck Creek’s ecology. Ron Stepaniuk, the Manager of Nort…
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