Notice: Cycle of Life Tour is coming to Salt Spring Island - July 20-21

The annual Cycle of Life Tour, is happening on July 20-21 and will see 95 riders cycling from Victoria, through the Cowichan Valley, over to Salt Spring Island and back to Victoria. On Saturday, July 20, the cyclists will be on the 2:20 p.m. ferry from Crofton – Vesuvius Bay and will be riding two different routes to their overnight venue on Rainbow Rd., arriving by 4:00 p.m. On Sunday, July 21, cyclists will leave the venue on Rainbow Rd. at 8:00 a.m. and will ride to the Fulford ferry terminal where they will catch the 11:10 a.m. ferry to Swartz Bay. There will also be a few support vehicles on the road with the riders on both days. This fundraising event supports Vancouver Island hospices and Salt Spring Island Hospice. Riders are from up and down the island and are currently at a fundraising total of more than $230,000 in support of compassionate end-of-life care. We are grateful for the continued support of residents and businesses on Salt Spring Island and we thank…
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Exchange Spotlight on SSI Mead Co. : Is Mead as Magical as they say?

Have you ever wondered what the mighty Vikings, the Druids or Oldworld Pagans sipped from their goblets? Or guzzled perhaps! It was likely mead, a fermented honey alcohol that seems to be making a big come-back. There is a belief among many historians that mead is the ancestor of all alcohol, likely over 20,000 years old. The understanding is that mead crossed all classes from pirates to royalty to the peasants that worked the fields. Each sip is filled with thousands of years of lore and history. Some even claim that it’s magical to consume the intoxicating flavors of the fermented honey, and that imbibing mead brings one to a level of intoxication unlike any other alcoholic beverage. Mead is thought to be an aphrodisiac, a medicinal potion, and a fertility aid. Wow, It’s no wonder that in our modern era we are witnessing a resurgence of popularity with this ancient bevie, and luckily for us we have an awesome Meadery right here on Salt Spring! SSI Mead Co. also just …
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SSI Adventure Enthusiast Aims to Break Three Guinness World Records

Adventure Enthusiast Aims to Break Three Guinness World Records with a Thrilling Electric Skateboard Journey Across Canada Salt Spring Island born native; Bradley Smith, an electric skateboard enthusiast with 8 years of experience, is gearing up to embark on an unprecedented adventure to challenge not one, but three Guinness World Records. His daring expedition, set to take place in June 2024, will cover a staggering 3500 km along the Trans Canada Trail, starting in Saskatoon and concluding in Victoria BC. The three Guinness World Records Bradley aims to break are: 1. **Longest Journey by an Electric Skateboard**: Covering 3500 km along the Trans Canada Trail, Bradley seeks to set a new standard for electric skateboard journeys. 2. **Longest Journey in a 24-Hour Period by an Electric Skateboard**: Pushing his limits further, Bradley will attempt to complete the longest journey within a single 24-hour period, showcasing the endurance and capabilities of electric skat…
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Salt Spring Island Women's Institute donate over $12,000 to local, provincial, national and international groups

February is Women’s Institute Month, and in honour of the birthday of our founder, Adelaide Hunter Hoodless, the Salt Spring Island Women’s Institute (also known as the “Pie Ladies”) is pleased to announce our annual 2023/2024 donations. We are a group of only twenty-four members, but with the enthusiastic help of fourteen community women, we were able to make and sell nearly 750 pies at the 2023 Fall Fair and Apple Festival. The wonderful support we get from the community when we sell our pies plus donations from Salt Spring Island gardeners, farmers and grocery stores help keep our costs down so that we can give more money away. This year, we are donating over $12,000 to local, provincial, national and international groups. We have made nearly 12,000 pies since 2001 and have given away over $10,000 in the past ten years, an outstanding amount for a group that has historically had fewer than twenty members. We make all of our pies by hand and from scratch. The Women’s…
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Gulf Islands Secondary School Improv team are heading to Ottawa

Gulf Islands Secondary School (GISS) Improv has won the regional competition of the Canadian Improv Games. They’re now gearing up for the National tournament in Ottawa March 26-30! This will be the eighth time GISS Improv is representing the Southern Gulf Islands at the National tournament. They earned gold in 2019, silver in 2018, and gold in 2017. This is their post-Covid return to the nation’s capital. While the pandemic put a damper on the Games, GISS Improv is back with a new group of students, ready to hit the stage at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. “I’m really looking forward to meeting people from all across the country,” says GISS Improv team member Melody Silva. “And having the chance to compete again and share the stage with some of the best improvisers in the country and learning from them.” In Ottawa, the students will be performing alongside the top 20 teams in Canada. “It's a phenomenal opportunity for these kids,” says coach Jason Donaldson. “Th…
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Salt Spring Pride Festival returns this summer to celebrate diversity, inclusion, and love

Salt Spring Island renowned for its natural beauty and vibrant community, is set to host the return of the Salt Spring Pride Festival from July 25 – 28, 2024. The festival aims to bring together residents and visitors alike to celebrate diversity, promote inclusivity, and spread love throughout the picturesque island. This four-day extravaganza, housed at the Salt Spring Island Farmers’ Institute, will feature a rich tapestry of events, including the Pride Dance featuring Queer As Funk, guest musicians, Pop-Up Open Mic, workshops, offering something for everyone to enjoy and engage with. The festival site is extensive and includes a Dance Hall, Family Zone, Festival Stage, Vendor Village, and lots of space for camping in the Pride Camping Village where festival goers can get to know their queer neighbours. Attendees will also be invited to join in the vibrant and colourful Salt Spring Pride Parade through downtown Ganges showcasing the spirit and pride of Salt Spring…
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2024 Country Grocer Valentine’s Day 'Island of Love' Photo Contest Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered this year's Country Grocer Valentine’s Day 'Island of Love' Photo Contest sponsored by the Salt Spring Exchange. The winners have been randomly chosen. 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, thank you for sharing your entry with your community! Country Grocer generously donated prizes again this year which included one 'Grand Prize' of a Dinner for Two at The Hen & Hound Brasserie ($200 value!), a 'Runner Up' will receive an ‘Island of Love’ Country Grocer Gift basket - Champagne and Chocolate (If over 19!) and a second ‘Runner Up’ will receive a $100 Country Grocer Gift Card. Remember, Country Grocer has flowers, chocolates, gifts, cards and more to spoil your special Valentine! And the winners are......! 3rd Prize - $100 Country G…
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2024 Salt Spring Film Festival Guide & Trailers

The Salt Spring Film Festival takes place from March 1 to 3, 2024, at Gulf Islands Secondary School (GISS), featuring three dozen feature-length documentaries and a dozen short films, many of them presented by the filmmakers and film subjects themselves. Full Festival Passes are $50 and include the Opening Night Gala Film on Friday, March 1, are available for advance purchase via the ArtSpring Box Office. Other options (half-day, one-day and two-day passes) will be sold at GISS during the Festival weekend. Subsidized passes are available by request, thanks to financial support from the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 92. Film Festival Guide Film Descriptions and Trailers AITAMAAKO’TAMISSKAPI NATOSI: BEFORE THE SUN [Dir: Banchi Hanuse, 2023, Canada, 88 min.] Don’t miss Nuxalk filmmaker Banchi Hanuse’s intimate and thrilling profile of Logan Red Crow, a young Siksika woman in the golden plains of Blackfoot Territory, as she prepares for one of the most dangerou…
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2024 Country Grocer Valentine’s Day 'Island of Love' Photo Contest

Join Country Grocer and the Salt Spring Exchange in celebrating Love on Salt Spring Island for Valentine's Day! Enter our ‘Island of Love' photo contest for a chance to win one of three wonderful prizes to help you celebrate your love. To enter the contest, all you have to do is upload a photo of you and your sweetheart(s) using the form below. Show us your love! Check out some of the entries for this year's contest as they are posted below. Whether you’re young and ecstatically in love, or in your 90s 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 Dinner for Two at The Hen & Hound Brasserie ($200 value!) A reservation has already been made for you on Valentine's Day! (Changeable if you can…
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Hundreds attend Transition Salt Spring’s first Slow Down Salt Spring clothing swap event

Over 550 people participated in Transition Salt Spring’s first Slow Down Salt Spring event on Saturday, and over 900 kilos of clothing was saved from the landfills!! By reducing our consumption and changing our lifestyles to reuse, fix or trade many of the daily items we use, our carbon footprints go down, and we can all slow down in bit in our mad race to have more new things. Fashion accounts for between 8 - 10% of global carbon dioxide output, which is greater than international flights and shipping combined (BBC, 2022., Ont. Govt., 2023). Around two-thirds of our clothes are made from synthetic fibres, making fashion responsible for a fifth of the 300 million tons of plastic that’s produced on a global scale, contributing to the release of chemicals that harm our water sources and ecosystems. Canadians dump 500 million kilograms of textiles in landfill every year, or 37 kg per person (BBC 2022., Global News, 2023). Between the chemicals, the large water suppl…
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Indigenous interpretive panels unveiled at SYOWT / Shiya’hwt Ganges

Photo: Jill Harris, Tyee Joseph, Florence Edwards, Florence James, Maiya Modeste, Joe Norris, Darrel Siimaltun, Gerry Edwards, Myrus James On Sunday, September 24th 2023, the Salt Spring Indigenous Signage Project unveiled four Indigenous interpretive panels along the shoreline next to Ganges Alley in downtown Ganges - SYOW̱T / Shiya’hwt in the SENĆOŦEN and Hul'q’umi'num’ languages respectively (pronounced the same, roughly “shi-YAH-hwt”). At the event celebrating the completion of the project, Elders, Knowledge Keepers, artists and youth leaders from the participating First Nation communities from both language groups were honoured and then treated to a meal at the Lions Hall. Afterwards, Penelakut Elder Snumithiya Jill Harris wrote: “Everything turned out so well; it was a wonderful event and thank you all for treating us so well. I thoroughly enjoyed the visit as did other Elders. We were so well fed that we all fell asleep as soon as we got to the ferry landing.” …
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Bridge replacement closes Jarrod’s Grove on Salt Spring Island for one month

Jarrod’s Grove Nature Reserve will be temporarily closed for one month as construction crews work to replace a bridge. The eight-hectare nature reserve, managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), overlaps part of the salmon-bearing Cusheon Creek on the west side of the island and features a network of walking paths. The existing wooden pedestrian bridge that crosses the creek has decayed significantly, posing a potential safety risk to visitors to the nature reserve. From Aug. 15 to Sept. 15, crews will be working to construct a custom steel pedestrian bridge that will have a longer lifespan and will better support streambank structure. Due to the presence of heavy machinery, no visitors will be allowed within the entirety of the reserve during this time. The neighbouring Creekside Rainforest Nature Reserve, managed by the Salt Spring Island Conservancy, can only be accessed through Jarrod's Grove and, therefore, will also be closed for the duration of the brid…
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Photos: Salt Spring Island gets its Pride on once again

Salt Spring Island, renowned for its natural beauty and vibrant community, is hosting its very first Salt Spring Pride Festival this weekend from July 28 to 31, 2023. The festival aims to bring together residents and visitors alike to celebrate diversity, promote inclusivity, and spread love throughout the picturesque island. The Salt Spring Pride Festival is an exciting milestone for the community, reflecting the island’s commitment to fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions. This four-day extravaganza, housed at the Salt Spring Island Farmers’ Institute, will feature a rich tapestry of events, including the Pride Dance, guest musicians, and workshops offering something for everyone to enjoy and engage with. Participants will have the opportunity to offer additional workshops and activities through the Co-Creation Hub. These interactive sessions will explore important issues related to 2SL…
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New conservation area on Reginald Hill protects rare woodland ecosystems

Community support and a family’s commitment to conservation helped realize ambitious conservation project - The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is announcing some good news for nature with the protection of a large Salt Spring Island property. The site supports one of British Columbia’s most rare and imperilled ecosystems: Coastal Douglas-fir forests. The 161-hectare property sits on Reginald Hill at the south end of the island and hosts a thriving diversity of rare and at-risk species. The new conservation area nurtures a maturing Coastal Douglas-fir forest, with mossy outcroppings, Garry oak plant communities, rocky bluffs and multiple wetlands. These woodland ecosystems are amongst the most imperilled in Canada and are vital habitat for many unique threatened or endangered species. The Coastal Douglas-fir zone (CDF), like what is found on Reginald Hill, is the smallest and most at-risk biogeoclimatic zone in BC. Within Canada, it is found only on southeastern Va…
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Salt Spring Island to host Pride Festival in July 2023

Salt Spring Island is set to host its first-ever Pride Festival from July 28 to July 31, 2023, celebrating diversity, inclusion and love. The four-day weekend is housed at the Salt Spring Island Farmers’ Institute with the Pride Camping Village, the Pride Dance, guest musicians, workshops, and more. Participants will have the opportunity to offer additional workshops and activities through the Co-Creation Hub. The festival site is extensive and includes a Dance Hall, Outdoor Stage, Pop-Up Open Mic, Kid Zone, covered booths, and a shaded rest area. There is lots of space for camping where festival goers can get to know their queer neighbours. Attendees will be invited to join in the extravagant return of the Salt Spring Pride Parade through downtown Ganges on Saturday, July 29th. The festival aims to provide a safe and inclusive space for members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and their friends and allies to come together, celebrate their experiences, and raise awareness a…
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Creekside rainforest saved - Rare coastal temperate rainforest permanently protected on Salt Spring Island

The Salt Spring Island Conservancy (SSIC) is thrilled to announce that Creekside Rainforest is now protected in perpetuity as the Conservancy’s ninth nature reserve. The acquisition of the 6.3 hectare (15.5 acre) Creekside Rainforest is part of a long-term vision of Salt Spring Island’s conservation community to protect the fresh water, salmon habitat, rare species, imperiled ecosystems, and archaeological and cultural features of this rare area of coastal temperate rainforest. In 2008, the 7.9 hectare (19.5 acre) property adjoining Creekside Rainforest Nature Reserve was protected thanks to a community fundraising effort. Initially held by TLC The Land Conservancy of BC, this land became the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Jarrod’s Grove Nature Reserve in 2015. Creekside Rainforest Nature Reserve (CRNR), together with Jarrod’s Grove Nature Reserve, represents a unique area of lowland coastal temperate rainforest within the drier forest ecosystems more commonly associated wit…
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2023 Country Grocer 'Me & My Pet' Photo Contest Winners

Thank you to everyone who entered our 2023 Country Grocer 'Me & My Pet' Photo Contest hosted in partnership with the Salt Spring Exchange! We've randomly selected our three winners! Check out all the wonderful entries below and scroll to the bottom to find out if you won! ------------------ Maybe it’s a hamster, a rooster, some donkeys, a dog, a new kitten or even a turtle. Our pets enrich our lives. Country Grocer’s Pet Food Department and the Salt Spring Exchange want to celebrate National Pet Day with a Photo Contest. It’s a great excuse to show Salt Spring the pets we love. We want you in the photo too! Have a look at all the entries received so far below. So please send us a photo of you and your pet using the form below and we’ll put it up on the Salt Spring Exchange for all to see. Check back here regularly to see the approved entries as they are submitted. At noon on Monday, April 10th, 2023, we’ll randomly choose the three winners and announce them here on…
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2023 Country Grocer 'Me & My Pet' Photo Contest

Maybe it’s a hamster, a rooster, some donkeys, a dog, a new kitten or even a turtle. Our pets enrich our lives. Country Grocer’s Pet Food Department and the Salt Spring Exchange want to celebrate National Pet Day with a Photo Contest. It’s a great excuse to show Salt Spring the pets we love. We want you in the photo too! Have a look at all the entries received so far below. So please send us a photo of you and your pet using the form below and we’ll put it up on the Salt Spring Exchange for all to see. Check back here regularly to see the approved entries as they are submitted. At noon on Monday, April 10th, 2023, we’ll randomly choose the three winners and announce them here on the Salt Spring Exchange: Here are this year's prizes donated by Country Grocer: First prize: A gift for your pet and a $150 gift card for you Second prize: A gift for your pet and a $100 gift card for you Third Prize: A gift for your pet and a $50 gift card for you Here are the guidelines…
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Planning underway for Portlock Park Site Master Plan

The Capital Regional District (CRD) Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) is developing a 20-year site master plan for Portlock Park. This project was identified as a priority in the 2019 Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Strategic Plan in response to the community’s desire for increased access to recreation facilities and infrastructure development for additional playing fields on Salt Spring Island. The site master plan will assess current and future capacity needs to identify suitable expansion opportunities. This plan will inform a phased capital planning approach for new facilities and program amenities based on input provided from First Nations, key stakeholders, and the public. The first round of public engagement begins with a public survey open from February 17 – March 6, 2023. The feedback and survey results will then be compiled in a report to be posted online and used as a reference to develop three draft conceptual designs for addit…
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2023 Salt Spring Film Festival Guide & Trailers

The Salt Spring Film Festival takes place from March 3 to 5 at Gulf Islands Secondary School, featuring 30 feature-length documentaries and nearly a dozen short films, many of them presented by the filmmakers themselves. Full Festival Passes, which included the Opening Night Gala Film, are available for advance purchase via the ArtSpring Box Office. Full Festival Passes are $50. Other options (half-day, one-day and two-day passes) will be sold at the door during the Festival weekend. Subsidized passes are available by request, thanks to financial support from the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 92. Read the full film festival guide: Watch all film trailers below: OPENING NIGHT GALA sponsored by Coast Gallery and Gallery 8 STILL WORKING 9 TO 5 [Dir: Camille Hardman & Gary Lane, USA, 2022, 96 min.] Friday, March 3, at 7:00 pm at GISS (doors open at 5:30 pm for the Gala dinner). Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton headline this invigorating doc…
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2023 Country Grocer Valentine’s Day 'Island of Love' Photo Contest Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered this year's Country Grocer Valentine’s Day 'Island of Love' Photo Contest sponsored by the Salt Spring Exchange. More entries were received this year than ever before! 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, thank you for sharing your entry with your community! Country Grocer generously donated prizes again this year which included one 'Grand Prize' of a Dinner for Two with cider pairing at Salt Spring Wild Cider, a first 'Runner Up' prize of an ‘Island of Love’ Country Grocer Gift basket - Champagne and Chocolate (if over 19 years of age!) and a second ‘Runner Up’ prize of a $100 Country Grocer Gift Card. Remember, Country Grocer has flowers, chocolates, gifts, cards and more to spoil your special Valentine!

Here are …

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