Community Economic Development Commission Calls for Comprehensive Strategic Planning for the Villages of Ganges & Fulford

The Salt Spring Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) is seeking an updated framework and strategy for development and revitalization for both Ganges and Fulford Villages. At the Island Local Trust Committee meeting on May 28, commissioners made a formal presentation calling for trustees to re-initiate the Villages Area Plan, commenced in 2013, and produce a comprehensive plan that presents an integrated sustainable vision and framework for strategic directions to guide a thriving future for the Villages. CEDC Chair Francine Carlin says both Villages require an updated framework and strategy for development and revitalization. “We are aware of innovative projects that have considerable public benefit that are facing frustration and delay due to the lack of a coherent and comprehensive strategic plan for these Villages – vital to the economic well-being of Salt Spring.” According to the CEDC, a comprehensive village plan for Fulford and Ganges will provide a be…
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Lyse Doucet: Reporting from a Troubled World

Lyse Doucet, one of the most important journalists working in the world today, visits the Salt Spring Forum on Saturday, June 1. As Chief International Correspondent for the BBC, Lyse Doucet has for more than two decades reported on the ground from Jerusalem, Amman, Islamabad, Tehran and Kabul about some of the world’s most intense conflicts. She has also been eye-witness to such natural disasters as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Our Forum audience will have the opportunity to hear about her experiences in a turbulent world, to discuss the current threat of war between the US and Iran, and to touch on another current war: that being waged against journalism itself by political movements that mistrust objective reporting of facts. A particular point of pride for us in her visit is that Lyse Doucet happens to be Canadian, celebrated last year with the Order of Canada, and in Britain with an OBE in the Queen’s Honours list in 2014. The Forum event starts at 7:30 at Ar…
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Shared Business Services Model Gains Momentum for Salt Spring Island

The Capital Regional District (CRD) and the Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) have received a Rural Dividend grant to further develop a shared business services model for Salt Spring Island. The grant in the amount of $90,750 will go toward development of a shared services organization that helps local business increase their economies of scale through better coordination around common needs. “This grant is a welcome step forward in establishing a sustainable model for delivering shared business services,” said Gary Holman, Electoral Area Director for Salt Spring Island. “It will help to grow and broaden our economy and recruit and retain business investment on the island. I would also like to extend my congratulations to the CEDC and former Director Wayne McIntyre who were instrumental in securing Salt Spring’s eligibility for the Rural Dividend Program.” Salt Spring Island businesses are challenged by limited access to markets, elevated costs for many cor…
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Island Pathways Receives $18,500

Last Wednesday evening, 100+ Women Who Care Salt Spring Island gathered in the ArtSpring theatre for its third meeting. And something interesting happened... One of the three charities randomly drawn during the meeting, from the 18 that had been nominated, had been drawn before but hadn't been voted to receive the funds. Back into the charity basket it went! This time, Anna Pugh had the opportunity to speak about the organization. She ended her presentation with these words (paraphrased): Everyone on the island, regardless of whether they use the paths, benefits because, as a result, the roads are safer for everyone. At the end of the meeting, 100+ Women Who Care voted for Island Pathways to receive more than $18,500! Island Pathways will be able to use 100% of these funds in ways that it needs most, as long as its efforts benefit the community. Members will hear from an Island Pathways spokesperson at the fall meeting to find out how the funds were used. After…
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Tofino Mayor Josie Osborne visits Salt Spring Forum

If you’ve been to Tofino in the last couple of years you will know that it’s a cool place. Not only are the beaches and the surfing and the mountains excellent, but the community looks to be thriving. Local government clearly has done well, not only in fostering a strong economy, but also at preserving important ecological and social values. How have they done this, and is there a darker side that we do not see on our short visits? Josie Osborne has been mayor of Tofino for a number of years and her leadership, informed by her background both as a marine biologist and as a businesswoman, have been key to the development of the town. Josie Osborne will be the Salt Spring Forum’s guest on Saturday, May 25 starting at 7:30 at ArtSpring. The Forum conversation will focus on the similarities and differences between Tofino and Salt Spring Island and on what lessons we can draw as a community from her experiences. Questions like: What are the opportunities and dangers o…
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History of the Salt Spring Island Golf Club

March 23, 1928, saw a public meeting at Mahon Hall. Thirty-three people attended with the intention of forming a golf club. With W.E. Scott in the chair, K. Butterfield undertook secretarial duties. It was announced that a committee which had been appointed by the Salt Spring Island Development Association had been exceedingly busy. ‘Barnsbury’, the estate on which our present course is situated, was chosen as a golf course site since arrangements could be made to utilize some of the land. Mr. Norman Wilson, who farmed the land, was also available to work on the proposed course and to allow partial use of his dwelling by members, Action accelerated quickly. Money was allocated for seed and labour, fees struck. These were set at twenty dollars for a man, twenty-five for man & wife. One must remember that male chauvinism was still in vogue. The organizational committee comprised W.E. Scott, J. Watson, G.C. Mouat, F.C. Turner, T.F. Speed, K. Butterfield, Dr. E.H. Lawson …
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Extensive Vandalism to Local CRD Office and Businesses

In the morning of May 12, 2019 the Salt Spring RCMP were notified that a number of the street-front windows in Ganges, including the CRD office on McPhillips Ave had been smashed.  Police attended and their investigation is ongoing.  No entry was gained to the office, and efforts are underway to repair the damage prior to the opening of our office on Monday morning.  At this point, the cost to repair the damage remains unknown. Anyone with information on this crime to contact the Salt Spring RCMP at 250-537-5555, or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.      
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Test of the Alert Ready Alerting System

Heads up Salt Spring! The Alert Ready emergency alerting system will be tested in most provinces and territories on May 8, 2019, on TV, radio and compatible wireless devices. Not all mobile devices can receive alerts. Device compatibility, software version, phone settings and connection to an LTE network can impact whether the alert is received. If you have received an SMS text message notifying you of the test, it does not guarantee that you can receive these emergency alerts. For more information, about compatible devices, please visit the website of your wireless carrier.
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Photos: BC Forest March Action

On Saturday April 6, 2019 Salt Spring joined 18 communities across BC taking action in support of better protection for our local and provincial forests. About 150 Island residents participated, first gathering at the Library and then marching through Ganges. Joe Akerman opened the event and spoke about the long tradition of stewardship by Coast Salish people, and the cultural importance of maintaining old-growth forests. Briony Penn outlined the critical role forests play in safeguarding biodiversity and providing carbon sinks that mitigate climate change. Despite decades-long efforts to press for reforms, BC legislation fails to adequately reduce the negative impacts of current forestry practices. The message needs to be made clear to the current government – Change is needed now to save our forests! Alex Smith, who helps build trails in the Walbran ancient forest, encouraged the crowd to visit these spectacular old-growth areas and speak up for their protection…
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Video and Photos: New Centennial Park / Salt Spring Market Washrooms Now Open

The new washroom at Centennial Park has been completed ahead of schedule and is now open. The washroom has a number of features making it unique to other cinderblock washrooms that the community may appreciate. There are four sinks located on the back of the washroom for vendor use and the porta potties have been removed. Note, the interior lights are temporary as there was an issue with the lights that were delivered. The proper lights will be installed next week but you will notice the washroom features an abundance of natural light. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } The Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) has approved a 20 year Master Plan to prioritize infrastructure investments for Centennial Park. The Master Plan is broken into fi…
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Small Is Powerful: Neighbourhood Small Grants Come to Salt Spring

On a recent sunny morning, the Salt Spring library’s program room was filled with conversation, laughter and the occasional squeal from a happy baby. Groups of women were gathered around several wooden coat stands and ladders, busily knotting macramé plant hangers as they chatted. The macramé workshop was the final one in the Creative Collective series of arts and craft skill- share workshops, one of 11 projects supported by Neighbourhood Small Grants. Over the past memorable winter, this small but powerful grants program has been forging connections between islanders. The program is based on a simple idea—that everyone is a valuable member of the community and that we all have something to share that will make Salt Spring Island a better place to live. Last fall, the Salt Spring Island Foundation, in partnership with Salt Spring Island Community Services, launched the island’s first Neighbourhood Small Grants program, offering grants of $50 to $500 to projects and even…
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Pipeline Activism: Thoughts On My Trial, Part 2

I’m back from the rabbit hole of court – the B.C. Supreme Court, in downtown Vancouver. Last fall, I spent five days there, self-representing my not guilty plea, after arrest for protesting on March 23rd in front of Texas oil-giant Kinder Morgan’s tank farm in Burnaby, now Trans Mountain Canada, owned by all Canadians. Three others are being tried with me, arrested on different days, represented by lawyers. We didn’t finish last fall, so resumed on March 12th, taking another day and a half to close my case. On May 1st, the judge will phone me to give his verdict. If guilty, as he’s found to date for nearly all arrestees, nearly 240 total, I’ll return to court for sentencing. I entered this strange world with such naiveté. The Alice in Wonderland feeling starts with remembering how professionally I thought the RCMP behaved throughout the protest, as if their respectful treatment of protesters would be matched by legal competency. Failing that, I thought they’d bear the con…
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100+ Women Who Care Raise $17,000 in Under an Hour for Local Charities

On the evening of Tuesday, March 5, 100+ Women Who Care Salt Spring held its second meeting. Prior to this meeting, members had nominated 18 local charities. Members randomly drew three of the nominees during this meeting: Greenwoods Eldercare Society, Salt Spring Therapeutic Riding Association, and Island Pathways. Members heard a compelling presentation for each of the three charities, but it is one presentation that attracted the most votes at the end of the evening. Gail Muise presented for the Salt Spring Therapeutic Riding Association (SSTRA), an organization that serves a wide age range of people who have differing abilities and needs. Her words and message convinced enough members to cast their secret ballot for the SSTRA, and this organization became the second recipient of the collected donations — $17,000 total! Since its inaugural meeting in November, the group has grown from 129 to 170 women. With each woman donating $100 per meeting, the sum totalled an impr…
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Citizen Science Project on Salt Spring: Good for People and Butterflies!

This month, participants are flocking to a free training in butterfly citizen science led by entomologist Linda Gilkeson, PhD, and hosted by the Salt Spring Island Conservancy. Trainees will learn how to identify and count butterflies from Linda and how to take photos of butterflies from Simon Henson, as a way to aid in identification. There is still space for trainees. This project seeks to increase the number of citizen scientists trained to identify butterflies on Salt Spring Island and to collect records that can be used to show long-term trends in butterfly numbers. Records of butterfly counts are a way to measure the health of local ecosystems, and for the last 2 years, the Conservancy has been establishing a group of volunteers to identify and record butterfly sightings. The data collected by citizen scientists during the monthly counts will contribute to a growing body of data that could supplement (or stimulate) research by scientists. Citizen science is good fo…
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2019 Home & Garden Show

Introducing the Salt Spring Island Home & Garden Show presented by Mouat’s Trading! March 16th and 17th – what a great weekend to be on Salt Spring Island as we host the Salt Spring Home & Garden Show., This great community focused event showcases local designers, landscapers, construction and trades professionals, along with service and recreation providers. Admission to the event is FREE and attendees could win some great prizes. All events are at the Salt Spring Farmers Institute. Friday Evening, March 15th from 5pm-8pm – You are invited to a Salt Spring Home & Garden Show Welcome Reception and cash bar pre-show gathering. There will be a fun, festive atmosphere with music and free food. Meet with the local trades, construction, home services, landscape companies and home décor vendors and mingle with fellow attendees. The Welcome Reception is sponsored by Windsor Plywood. Saturday, March 16th from 9am-4pm and Sunday, March 17th from 10am-3pm – Join us at the Salt Spri…
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Salt Spring Island Artisanal 'Windstorm' Firewood

In all the years I've lived on Salt Spring, few issues have held the attention of locals and visitors alike than firewood. Now, if you asked someone what the ongoing, burning issues of the day are on the island, firewood probably wouldn't come to mind first and though, think about this for just a minute. How many conversations have you had about firewood recently? Yesterday, for me, unprompted, the number was 6. Six times yesterday different people at different places, across different walks of island life talked to me about or wondered about firewood. At least 2 of those people don't even have woodstoves or heat with firewood. They just appeared all caught up in the wondering about it with most everyone else. "There are so many trees down! Look at all that firewood!" The big burning question since the windstorm? Will firewood prices come down? I've had at least a couple of dozen people since the storm wonder about the possibility of this. And for good reason. Good quality, …
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Gulf Islands School District 64 Receives Award for Their Commitment to Training Youth Apprentices

The Industry Training Authority (ITA), along with 48 employers, apprentices, educators and ITA representatives, gathered yesterday on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish people to award Gulf Islands School District 64 with the Youth Work in Trades Performance Award for having the highest number of Youth Work in Trades program registrants in the region. The award includes $5,000 in additional funding to assist the district to further develop their Youth Work in Trades program. Youth Work in Trades is a dual credit program that allows youth to begin a paid work-based training component of a skilled trades apprenticeship while still in secondary school. As 80 per cent of trades training takes place on the work site and 20 per cent takes place in the classroom, it is important that school districts provide students with the opportunity to gain awareness of what a career in trades looks like and get a head start on the crucial hands-on experience required for their trades t…
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Salt Spring Bike Club Announces Merger with Island Pathways

With great enthusiasm and anticipation, the Salt Spring Bike Club announces its merger with Island Pathways and the creation of the new Island Pathway committee: Cycling Salt Spring Island! The Salt Spring Bike Club formed five years ago to: promote cycling as a healthy, sustainable and fun mode of transportation and recreation; foster a stronger cycling culture on Salt Spring Island and create and advocate for safer cycling opportunities for riders of all ages. Its first project led to creation of the Bike Park in Ganges, with generous funding from the SSI Lions’ Club and SSI Parks & Recreation inputs and maintenance. In the summer of 2018, it opened, a network of technical trails nestled into a treed area in the SE corner of Mouat Park. Since opening last August, the Bike Park has been well used by cyclists as young as two and as old as 70. In the fall, up to 20 riders could be spotted in the park at a given time. Spring will be busy again, guaranteed. The Bik…
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Concerned About Snow Load on Your Roof?

What are signs of heavy snow load on my roof? If you’re concerned about the weight of snowfall on a roof, look and listen for signs of stress. These signs can include unusual sounds from the roof or supporting walls, visible movement of walls or sagging of ceiling and cracking of drywall or plaster. Other signs may include doors that jam or water leaks that show up after a big snow fall. The configuration of your roof could be a factor. Pay special attention to areas on your roof where local snow accumulation occurs on a portion of a roof; for example, near dormers, valleys or on shed roofs. Roofs with a low slope or roofs covered with rough roofing material tend to accumulate more snow than steeper pitches or slippery roof finishes. What can I do myself? You should never clear a roof yourself. Instead, opt for a qualified and insured snow removal company. Where the roof is accessible from the ground, you can reduce some load by using a snow rake to safely pull the …
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Salt Spring Doula Collective: Community in the Birthing Year

Pregnant people and new parents and infants on Salt Spring Island have access to state of the art midwifery care for medical support in the childbearing year. Para-medical, social, counseling, and educational support is available through Island Health Public Health, nurse practitioners and second birth attendants, SSI Community Services and the Family Place specialized programming for parents and the early years. In addition to this institutional support, there are lactation consultants, La Leche League groups, alternative health practitioners who have specialized skills and services, and there is a Doula Collective dedicated to serving the needs of those in the childbearing years. Together since 2009, the Doula Collective is a group of up to 12 active women practising on Salt Spring Island. This event was created from conversations between the Doulas, midwives and other health professionals involved with people in the birthing years, as a collaborative offering in response …
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Towards Sustainable Community Economic Health

Salt Spring’s Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) embraced new directions in 2018.  We focused on initiatives that facilitated collaboration, coordination and advocacy on behalf of our island’s economic health and well-being. Here’s an overview of the areas we expanded into and the progress we’ve achieved in 2018. Championing Entrepreneurship Across All Economic Sectors Much of Salt Spring’s economic culture is shaped by resilience and a do-it-yourself ingenuity. We are a community comprised of smaller businesses and many micro-businesses, with the vast majority being sole proprietors. Many of these entrepreneurs create and produce a variety of products that are becoming known near and far as unique to Salt Spring. Being an entrepreneur is hard work and can be isolating. Through our experience with the Rural Business Accelerator Program, we know that most local small business operators are busy working “in” their business, and don’t have a lot of time t…
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