Salt Spring Comes Together in Solidarity with Black, Indigenous and People of Colour

Over 250 Salt Spring Island community members gathered this afternoon in a call to action confronting racism in our community and within each of us individually. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) Community Collective Organizers shared stories of violence and discrimination experienced both personally, across the United States and here in Canada asking that we all actively stand with BIPOC people to create a more equitable and just society. In a gathering that was graceful, fierce, somber and celebratory, organizers called for education, awareness and actions of support in honour of the countless Black, Indigenous and People of Colour who have been murdered, killed or harmed in racially motivated acts of violence. Speakers called for community members to take responsibility for BIPOC equality and to be active participants in anti-racism action. The event was an opportunity to come together to show support and love for fellow BIPOC community on these Coast S…
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Islanders Working to Create a Community Space for Horse Activities

When I arrived on Salt Spring as a super awkward 12 year old I was homesick and lonely. Luckily, I had been promised more horse time and even my own horse one day to help sooth the sting of immigrating. I immediately began riding lessons with Jacky Cooper and joined the local Pony Club. At that time there was a booming community of “horsey” kids and we were a very active club. When we went to regional and provincial competitions, the SSI Pony Club was known for its outstanding horsemanship and we almost always won the horsemanship award! We were asked by other clubs how we managed to create such a cohesive and co-operative group and I believe our biggest asset was having a central barn where we all had our horses together. As a club we moved several times to different facilities until we most recently lost our beloved stables on St Mary’s lake, a blow we have not been able to recover from. Since the loss of our last home, the equine community has scattered and many have…
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The Pandemic Postcard Project - Salt Spring Edition - New Contributions Photo Gallery

The Pandemic Postcard Project, Salt Spring Edition, is a literacy and/or art-promoting project, started by Literacy Alberni, that fosters community connection and legacy-keeping through storytelling and sharing. There have been some remarkable contributions that have been submitted so far. See some of the contributions below. The project is ongoing and more contributions are welcomed. We’re inviting everyone in our community (as individuals or as families, partners, roommates, work teams, etc.) to share their stories, thoughts, struggles, successes, lessons learned, blessings given or received, and resolutions made during this moment in history… on postcards. Why? We’re connected primarily through technology these days through our own profiles and pages. The goal of this project is to celebrate that, while also creating a lasting, physical record of our resilience. Throughout the project, as submissions come in, we will share some of the Pandemic Postcards on the Sa…
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Country Grocer Community Kudos - This Week's Winner Is Charles Gosset

Each week Country Grocer will give a Community Kudos $50 Gift Card to a nominee submitted to the Salt Spring Exchange. Our first Kudos goes to Charles Gosset. Amidst  busy construction days in response to COVID prepping, Charlie donated his time to source free giant boulders, transport them and bring machines to construct a boulder meeting circle at Salt Spring Elementary in April. This stone circle is proving perfect for outdoor, social distance learning for students as they begin to return to school. For years, Charlie's Excavating employees have been super generous with time, materials, and machines to create outdoor learning spaces at Salt Spring Elementary. Congratulations Charlie! Next Thursday May 28th We’ll be announcing next week’s Community Kudos winner, please get your nominations in. If you’ve already sent in a nomination, it’s still in the running. Kudos to you! Together we’ll get through this.
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Gallery: Ramona Lam The Front Step Photography Project

Local photographer Ramona Lam shares her charming photo series with the community taken during her Salt Spring 'The Front Step Project. She joined several photographers across the country in the #TheFrontStepsProject, a project started by Needham, Massachusetts, photographer Cara Soulia. This is not a typical get-dressed-up-and-pose-for-the-photographer kind of session. Participants met outside, sometimes in their pyjamas and slippers with whatever they felt most comfortable from around their home. Some even included their pets and kids, all at an appropriately safe distance with their photographer. In exchange, the participants were asked to make a donation to the Salt Spring Island Food Bank, SPCA or any local small businesses who are struggling, and reference #TheFrontStepsProject. Ramona continues her series until the end of the month and will share additional photos with us as the series continues. Be in touch with her if you wish to participate in the project.…
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Salt Spring's Kyle Topping Signs Pro Hockey Deal

The San Jose Barracuda, proud American Hockey League affiliate of the San Jose Sharks, and General Manager Joe Will announced that the club has signed forward Kyle Topping. Per club policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed. "Kyle is playmaking two-way centerman with a high hockey IQ and we're excited for him to join the organization," said Will. In a shortened 2019-20 season, Topping, 20, finished with 33 points (12 goals, 21 assists), 14 penalty minutes and a plus-six rating in 33 games with the Kelowna Rockets. Over a four-year career in the WHL, all with Kelowna, Topping finished with 196 points (71 goals, 125 assists), 177 penalty minutes and plus-41 rating in 226 games. The six-foot, 191-pound, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, native attended the Sharks Development Camp in 2019.
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The Pandemic Postcard Project - Salt Spring Edition

The Pandemic Postcard Project, Salt Spring Edition, is a literacy and/or art-promoting project, started by Literacy Alberni, that fosters community connection and legacy-keeping through storytelling and sharing. We’re inviting everyone in our community (as individuals or as families, partners, roommates, work teams, etc.) to share their stories, thoughts, struggles, successes, lessons learned, blessings given or received, and resolutions made during this moment in history… on postcards. Why? We’re connected primarily through technology these days through our own profiles and pages. The goal of this project is to celebrate that, while also creating a lasting, physical record of our resilience. Throughout the project, as submissions come in, we will share some of the Pandemic Postcards on the Salt Spring Exchange and on social media. When this is over, we will curate the cards and make them public in a display at the Salt Spring Library. Then all local Pandemic Postcards…
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Salt Spring Celebrates the 60th Anniversary of the Salt Spring Library

Salt Spring Island Library celebrated 60 years in the community with a 60's themed gala last night with local community members. Staff, board members and CRD staff along with community supports gathered to enjoy music by Doug and the Thugs and to hear about the library history and in particular some of the history and stories of all the work that went into creating the library in its current form McPhillips Avenue. The new library has become a significant community hub as well as library resource space. The library is also home to the Salt Spring Archives. History of the Salt Spring Library In the early 1930s, an actress named Mrs. A. J. Smith opened a pay lending library upstairs in Mouat’s Store. This little library was open several days a week and provided its services at minimal cost. Later, a group of islanders organised a book-lending facility that circulated a collection of books among its members. One of the first books from this collection is in the Salt Spring A…
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Find Out Who Won the 2020 Country Grocer Valentine's Photo Contest!

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's Country Grocer Valentine's 'Show Us Your Love' photo contest! Country Grocer has generously donated prizes again this year and select winners will receive: One 'Grand Prize' of a $175 Dinner for Two at House Piccolo Restaurant; Two 'Runners Up' $50 Country Grocer Gift Cards Prizes and all Entrants Win a 10% Discount Voucher at Country Grocer Salt Spring Island (Voucher is redeemable in store until March 4th, 2020) Winners were selected by random draw live at Country Grocer Salt Spring Island. Congratulations and thanks to everyone who sent in amazing photos of their love. Check out all the photos and scroll to the bottom to find out if you won! …
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2020 Country Grocer Show Us Your Love! Valentine’s Day Photo Contest

Join Country Grocer in celebrating love on Salt Spring Island for Valentine's Day! Enter our 'Show Us Your Love!' photo contest for a chance to win wonderful prizes to help you celebrate your love. Everyone has a chance to win! To enter the contest, all you have to do is upload a photo with you and your sweetheart. Show us your love! All entrants receive a 10% discount voucher and a chance to win the grand and runners up prizes. Check out last year's entries for inspiration! 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, share it with your community! Country Grocer has generously donated prizes again this year and you now have a chance to win: One 'Grand Prize' of a $175 Dinner for Two at House Piccolo Restaurant Reservation has already been made for you on Valentine's Day! (Ch…
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Photos and Video: Winter Waterfall Wonderland Hike

We live in a remarkable part of the world blessed with incredible natural beauty. We also get to enjoy a relatively mild winter compared to other parts of Canada. One of the great Sunday traditions on Salt Spring is getting out to enjoy the wonderful network of trails around the island. And this time of year, after many days of heavy rains, small seasonal streams sometimes turn into wildly beautiful waterfalls. Here are some photos and a video of an outing this past weekend. Salt Spring Island is where where locals and visitors alike get outdoors all year around no matter the weather. .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%; } Photos and videos © Christopher Roy
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Kids and Families Ring In New Year at New Centennial Playground

Salt Spring Island kids and families had a new way to celebrate New Years this year. A free event generously hosted by Windsor Plywood and the Salt Spring Lions welcomed all in the community to enjoy the new nature based playground. While the playground won't be completed and officially opened until this spring, there was still much to enjoy this evening for the kids who ventured out in the early evening rain. Many enjoyed the free hot dogs and hot chocolate offered by the Lions and Windsor while also enjoying a wonderful fireworks display out in the harbour to celebrate the park and the new year.
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Salt Spring Island Foundation Announces Fall 2019 Grants

The Salt Spring Island Foundation is pleased to announce over $108,000 in fall Foundation grants for island charities. The 2019 fall grants support many essential programs and services, with a particular focus on children and youth, health and wellness, and capacity building for local non-profit organizations. The Foundation thanks the many generous donors who make these grants possible.   BC SPCA, Salt Spring Island $5,000 for the “Snip for Dogs” program, to provide spaying and neutering for dogs owned by low-income households and individuals without housing. Big Brothers Big Sisters $1,500 to provide supplies for 15 students for one year for the In-School Mentoring program. This grant is supported by funds from the Unger Family Fund for Children and their Mothers and Senior Women in Need. Capital Regional District (CRD) Salt Spring Island Electoral Area Emergency Program: $6,000 for an on-island, two-day Justice Institute of BC-certified course, on the …
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Artists from the Fringe: Steve's Story

In this series, we share stories from Art Jam participants. Art Jam - a volunteer-run program of the Salt Spring Arts Council supported by the Social Justice Committee of the SSI United Church - provides a safe, welcoming space for members of our marginalized community, where they can be defined as creators and artists, rather than by the challenges they regularly face. By celebrating their unique creative accomplishments and reinforcing the value of their work through public exhibitions we promote positive self-identities and help build self-esteem. The Artists from the Fringe Winter Exhibit runs Nov 29 - Dec 22, at Mahon Hall. I’m Steve, I’m 60, and I’ve done a lot of things in my lifetime. I’m kind of a private person. I have 5 kids, 7 grandkids between the ages of 7 and 21 and one great grandson named Jasper. I grew up in a very poor household. My Dad, my father, well he wasn’t a dad. Being the oldest child in the family when he wasn’t there everything fell on me. We …
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Artists from the Fringe: Jessy's Story

In this series, we share stories from Art Jam participants. Art Jam - a volunteer-run program of the Salt Spring Arts Council supported by the Social Justice Committee of the SSI United Church - provides a safe, welcoming space for members of our marginalized community, where they can be defined as creators and artists, rather than by the challenges they regularly face. By celebrating their unique creative accomplishments and reinforcing the value of their work through public exhibitions we promote positive self-identities and help build self-esteem. My story starts off well enough, although at a young age my father started drinking heavily and got quite angry with his life and started abusing me, my sister and my mom. When I was nine my mom, sister and I ran away from that toxic scenario. I was raised by my mom and sister for the next nine years. Although it was hard for me as a young man with no father, it worked well for the most part. Shortly after my 18th birthday, m…
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Watch: Some of Salt Spring Island's First Settlers Were Former Slaves

In this episode of BC Was Awesome host Bob Kronbauer travels to Salt Spring Island and visits with Naidine Sims, a descendent of some of the first African-Americans to settle in British Columbia after escaping slavery down south. Naidine tells the Starks' harrowing tale, reflecting on her family's past and offering hope for the future. https://youtu.be/FMoiEWQ929U BC Was Awesome is a multiple Leo Award-nominated series documenting the sometimes offbeat stories of the history of British Columbia. It's a co-production of Vancouver Is Awesome and Artaban Productions. Sylvia Stark was born into slavery in Clay County, Missouri, in about 1839. She was the youngest of three children of Hannah and Howard Estes. As was the custom for those who were slaves, Howard took the name of his owner, Tom Estes. He lived apart from his wife and children who resided with another family, the Leopolds. Howard Estes bought himself and his family out of slavery at a cost of over $4000, an …
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The Link Between Student Success & Well-being… and the Role Assessment Plays

Student wellbeing provides an important foundation for student success, and student success provides an important foundation for student wellbeing. Wellbeing is about good nutrition, having friends, and connecting with adults and mentors.  For our students, it’s also about experiencing success at school.  Students that feel they are experiencing success at school are more likely to have a sense of positive wellbeing. For thirty years, BC schools have been guided by the idea of The Educated Citizen as described by the Sullivan Royal Commission on Education (1988).  “A quality education system assists in the development of human potential and improves the well-being of each individual person in British Columbia society.”  The development of the whole child incorporates academic, social and emotional aspects, and reflects the core competencies of BC’s transformed curriculum:  skills in communications and thinking, and personal and social responsibility. In the 2017-18 sch…
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Salt Spring Filmmakers Screen 'Raven People Rising' to Sold Out VIFF Crowd

A film by a Salt Spring Island trio that had its world premiere at the Salt Spring Film Festival last spring was just screened at a sold-out, gala red-carpet screening at the Vancouver International Film Festival. Directed by Andrea Palframan, shot and edited by Gary McNutt and Alex Harris, the film chronicles the Heiltsuk Nation as they fought to push Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline off of B.C.’s coast. Just a few weeks after that victory, the Nation suffered a devastating loss: the Nathan E. Stewart ran aground and spilled diesel and lubricants into one of the maritime community’s most important fishing grounds. The Salt Spring filmmakers travelled to Bella Bella in the aftermath of the spill. They found that, though the community was reeling from the fallout of a mis-managed spill response, they were also working to revitalize Indigenous legal frameworks, engaging youth in deep cultural and language immersion programs, and honing a vision of the future grounded …
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2019 Salty Awards: The Nominations Are In, Let the Voting Begin!

The Salt Spring Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that voting for the 2019 Salty Awards is open now until October 25, 2019. Nominations were held at saltspringchamber.com between September 12 and October 2, 2019, yielding a record-breaking number of nominations. Over 475 entries were received for 20 Business award categories, with a total of 1055 unique nominations received. For the 9 Community awards, we received 213 entries for a total of 339 unique nominations. It appears that excellence is abundant on Salt Spring, with 58 nominations for young entrepreneurs, and over 60 nominations for our new category for entrepreneurs over 40 ! Ninety‐eight businesses were nominated for excellent customer service and 109 nominations were received for Greatest Tradesperson. 45 restaurants and food trucks were nominated, along with almost one hundred favourite menu items. There are over 60 businesses to choose from for Greatest Business overall. For the third year in a row…
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Artists from the Fringe: Luke's Story

In this series, we share stories from Art Jam participants. Art Jam - a volunteer-run program of the Salt Spring Arts Council - provides a safe, welcoming space for members of our marginalized community, where they can be defined as creators and artists, rather than by the challenges they regularly face. By celebrating their unique creative accomplishments and reinforcing the value of their work through public exhibitions we promote positive self-identities and help build self-esteem. I’m Luke Thorpe and I’m 26 years old. I have lived on Salt Spring Island for almost 3 years now. I came here to visit a friend who unfortunately passed away. I came for a week and then just stayed. Right now I am homeless, mainly camping. There is a shelter to go to in the winter, but this year I hope to find a place to sleep outside where I can just stay. There is a bunch of us where I am camping right now. We usually pool our money together and buy food. We have a really nice cooking set-up; …
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Artists from the Fringe: Lesley's Story

In this series, we share stories from Art Jam participants. Art Jam - a volunteer-run program of the Salt Spring Arts Council - provides a safe, welcoming space for members of our marginalized community, where they can be defined as creators and artists, rather than by the challenges they regularly face. By celebrating their unique creative accomplishments and reinforcing the value of their work through public exhibitions we promote positive self-identities and help build self-esteem. My name is Lesley and I’m over 50 years old. Right now I live in my parents’ home, an old pan abode, in the north end of the island. I had my own place at Murakami Gardens but moved out when I went to take care of my parents. My mom had lived with me for 5 months when I lived at Murakami Gardens, which was difficult because I only had a bachelor apartment. My mom went into extended care and then she died. My parents’ house is falling apart around me. My older sisters thought about selling the p…
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