People Profile: Marialyn and Tom Boekbinder from El Loco Taco

Community People Profiles on the Salt Spring Exchange feature local personalities on our island home. These profiles are short interviews that share with us a little about what each of these folks are thinking about as they go about their lives and work on Salt Spring Island. This profile features Marialyn and Tom Boekbinder from El Loco Taco Marialyn and Tom arrived on Salt Spring Island 5 years ago. Tom is a retired Veterinarian ad after some time got bored. Tom loves to cook and feed people and Marialyn loves working with people and serving them. They purchased the El Loco Taco Mexican food shop last November and have been working hard to learn the business, new for both of them. Making improvements in the menu ingredients, such as fresh meats, smoked on premises and other fresh ingredients. With the addition of the full restaurant, licensed, they hope to make this a place for local to come and eat great food, have a drink and socialize. What brought you to Salt Spr…
Read more about People Profile: Marialyn and Tom Boekbinder from El Loco Taco

Changes in Ruckle Provincial Park Active Farm Management and Operations

Ruckle Park Active Farm has been in transition since 2018 June when dear Helen Ruckle died - last signatory on a life tenancy agreement between BC Parks and the Ruckle family that allowed them to live in the homes and continue to manage and operate the family farm. The loss is immeasurable, in so many ways, but the farm goes on, its management now falls entirely to BC Parks, which has kept Mike Lane as operator during this interim time. BC Parks must undertake an RFP process to select a proponent to manage and operate the active farm with a long term-agreement. ~ Brenda Guiled General parameters for proposals and contacts are given in this information sheet:

Ruckle Park RFP Info…

Read more about Changes in Ruckle Provincial Park Active Farm Management and Operations

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…
Read more about Small Is Powerful: Neighbourhood Small Grants Come to Salt Spring

Alert: Have you seen 60-year-old Michael Zortea?

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance in locating 60 year old Michael Christian Zortea. Mr. Zortea was reported missing on Feb 19th, 2019, but hasn’t been seen since the end of November, 2018. He is described as 6’3 tall, with grey/brown hair and brown eyes. He has a snake tattoo on his upper left arm and a Celtic cross on his right upper arm. Mr. Zortea is known to have ties to Salt Spring Island as well as the Duncan area. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Michael Zortea is asked to contact the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 250-748-5522 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. (8477)
Read more about Alert: Have you seen 60-year-old Michael Zortea?

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…
Read more about Gulf Islands School District 64 Receives Award for Their Commitment to Training Youth Apprentices

Black History Month: Sylvia Estes Stark, Matron of Salt Spring

During Black History Month we celebrate pioneers who were a key part of BC and Canada's history. Sylvia Estes Stark immigrated to Canada in 1858, settling on Salt Spring Island in 1860. Having been born into slavery in the United States, Sylvia Stark embraced the pastoral life on the island, and was a true homesteader and pioneer. Living to an old age of 106, Sylvia was an island legend, and her stories of life in slavery - which she relayed to locals - are archived in the Provincial Museum in Victoria. She had seven children, including a daughter named Emma, who earned her teaching certificate and became the first female black teacher on Vancouver Island. Stark's Road on Salt Spring Island, just North of Ganges is original Stark's family homestead. The original family home is still on the road and in the care of one of Syliva Stark's descendants.
Read more about Black History Month: Sylvia Estes Stark, Matron of Salt Spring

2019 Country Grocer Valentine's Photo Contest Winners!

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's Country Grocer Valentine's 'Show Us Your Love' photo contest. The winning participants receives a $150 dinner at Auntie Pestos, two runners up get a $50 Country Grocer gift card and each participating couple receives a one-time Country Grocer voucher for 15% off which expires on March 14/2019! 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!   And the Randomly Drawn Winners Are! Thank you fo…
Read more about 2019 Country Grocer Valentine's Photo Contest Winners!

Video: Local Love - Conversations Collected by Billie Woods

I have wanted to do this project for a few years now. I am so curious about relationships. What makes them work and what keeps them good. I had the chance to sit down with 4 Island couples to ask them just about that. This is a very small portion of the question + answer's but a good overview of each couple.       .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%; }
Read more about Video: Local Love - Conversations Collected by Billie Woods

2019 Country Grocer Show Us Your Love! Valentine’s Day Photo Contest

Every season is the season for love. Let’s face it: Love is trending 365 days a year. But Valentine’s Day adds a dash of spice and invokes romance. It reminds some of us to do something different and extra special, perhaps with a bit more flair or creativity, to say, “Thank you for being so amazing.” If you’re the kind of couple who loves to do that with fine food and wine then you may want to try to win our dinner for two at Auntie Pesto’s (gift card valued at $150)! To earn a chance to win this dinner, all you have to do is upload a photo with you and your sweetheart. Show us your love! (Your “clothed” love, of course!) 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, we want to see your love. Here are the guidelines for the Valentine’s photo draw: Please submit only one photo per coup…
Read more about 2019 Country Grocer Show Us Your Love! Valentine’s Day Photo Contest

Salt Spring Island Businesses Recognized in the Fan Choice Awards

Island Savings, a division of First West Credit Union, has announced the winners of the 2018 Fan Choice Awards. Among them are three buzzing Salt Spring Island businesses: home décor and gift store Twang & Pearl, popular bistro Auntie Pestos, and fitness hub North End Fitness. “We are so honoured to be recognized as a ‘fan favourite' this year,” says Teile McDonald, Store Manager & Assistant Buyer with Twang & Pearl. “We truly love what we do and every product we sell, and we're humbled and thrilled to know that our excitement is contagious as the customers walk through our door.” Nestled in a heritage home in the heart of Ganges, Twang & Pearl offers stylish and unusual home décor and fashion items: clothing, artisan jewelry, handbags, candles, soaps, stationary and more. A retail experience that combines boutique shopping with warm country hospitality, Twang & Pearl is a go-to for gift-givers and delights both locals and visitors. These Salt Spring Island busines…
Read more about Salt Spring Island Businesses Recognized in the Fan Choice Awards

Let's Try and Win the $60,000,000 Lotto Together Salt Spring

December 7th, 2018 Draw! - If this ticket wins the full amount of the big draw of the LOTTO MAX on Friday this week, with an estimated $60,000,000 jackpot, we’ll share a portion of the winnings with everyone from Salt Spring Island, BC that has subscribed to our Salt Spring Exchange email newsletter, liked and shared this post on Facebook. Open only to voting age, full-time residents of Salt Spring Island! In the event of winning the full amount of lotto draw, you would need to show proof that on the day of the draw you were eligible to vote as a full-time resident of Salt Spring Island, BC for a share in the earnings. You must subscribe to our newsletter by filling out the form below to be entered. If your email is already on our newsletter list, you will NOT get duplicate emails. Only one entry per person permitted! Entry cut off time is 7:30 PM Pacific Salt Spring Island local time on the day of the draw. Draw closed. No win on this one!
Read more about Let's Try and Win the $60,000,000 Lotto Together Salt Spring

Buy Local, Including Your Local Media

The BC Buy Local campaign celebrates local business to promote the contributions that BC businesses make to our local economy and our communities. The goal of the campaign is to illuminate the local market, making BC-based businesses, products, food and wines more visible to consumers. Think about this too when you spend time online, where you read your news, who you buy your advertising from, where you post your classifieds. Are you using only global social media platforms that have no connection to our local community petitioning people to support your local business? Local media matters. We're incredibly proud to have some great local media and news organizations in this community in the Driftwood, the Fishbowl and the Islands Marketplace. These organizations and Exchange re-circulate almost all of their revenue back into the community unlike all other global media properties. Make sure you support them too! Local businesses enhance our community, connect and support us s…
Read more about Buy Local, Including Your Local Media

Hands On - Video Series Features Salt Spring Artists and Makers

In this digital age there has been a shift in how we relate to our physical things. It is more common to buy things than make them. It is more common to stream music than to learn an instrument. There is great satisfaction in working with your hands. If you are baking bread you know it is a success or failure by the finished loaf. The act of creating something is energizing and empowers us to see what we are really capable of. Also a quick reminder of what our weaknesses are. This series will follow Women who are empowering themselves by working hands on with an art form or discipline that gives them feedback as they develop their skills. These women are of different levels. Some are students. Some are masters. They work directly with their hands to create, build, nurture and play. 'Hands On' was filmed on Salt Spring Island. It was created by Director Deanna Milligan and DOP Julia Hutchings with illustrations Claire Robertson popped over and did all the beautiful illustrati…
Read more about Hands On - Video Series Features Salt Spring Artists and Makers

A Surprise Proposal; Facilitated by Strangers and the Salt Spring Exchange

This past July a mystery person using a pseudonym posted an ad on the Salt Spring Exchange, three people sent it to me, I had to know more… The first person who sent me the mystery classified ad requesting, “a photographer for a surprise proposal,” was my Mom. And like all things your Mom sends you, I smiled and thought ‘nahhh.’ But within seconds of confining this thought to the recycle bin, my Aunt emailed it to me too. Things were getting serious. I decided to read the ad and reach out to the mysterious person (all the while wondering if I’d become the publics ‘go-to’ photographer for weird requests after the last surprise wedding I’d accidentally been a part of… [Being the impromptu photographer at a strangers wedding]). Given that the ad was under a fake name, I was forgoing the fun part of being able to look up who the request was coming from before saying ‘yes or no….’ A few days later I found myself standing out in our yard on the only patch of grass with cell rec…
Read more about A Surprise Proposal; Facilitated by Strangers and the Salt Spring Exchange

Salt Spring’s First Neighbourhood Small Grants Announced

The Salt Spring Island Foundation, in partnership with Salt Spring Island Community Services, is pleased to announce the recipients of our first Neighbourhood Small Grants. The Neighbourhood Small Grants program offers grants of $50 to $500 to local projects and events run by people who are passionate about giving back to the community and who have seen a need to encourage social connections in order to make Salt Spring a better place. Unlike regular Foundation grants, which can only be awarded to registered charities, Neighbourhood Small Grants are awarded to individuals with great ideas to bring people together, share skills and knowledge, build a sense of community belonging and responsibility, and respect and celebrate diversity. Glitter Queens Gathering The Glitter Queens Gathering will bring together girls in grades 6–8 to create community, share skills and song circles, and expose them to diverse opportunities and interests. At each Glitter Queens circle, a woma…
Read more about Salt Spring’s First Neighbourhood Small Grants Announced

Seniors Services Society Receives Windfall

On the evening of Thursday, November 8,  Boodie Arnott gave a 5-minute presentation to the membership of 100 Women Who Care Salt Spring Island. Boodie explained that, as someone who benefits from the programs at the Salt Spring Seniors Services Society, she would like to see the society receive the funds that were being raised that evening. She was speaking to 127 women who gathered at ArtSpring. It was the inaugural meeting for 100 Women Who Care SSI. Each woman in the room was a member, committed to donating $100 at each of the three meetings that will be held in the coming year. As you can see, the donations add up quickly. By the time the meeting started, 127 women had made that commitment. That's $12,700 raised on one hour! Thirteen local charities had been nominated by members, and three were drawn randomly during the meeting: Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust, the Salt Spring branch of BC SPCA, and the Salt Spring Seniors Services Society. For each o…
Read more about Seniors Services Society Receives Windfall

2018 Salt Spring Chamber Salty Award Winners and Photos

The Salt Spring community came out last night for a beautiful evening to celebrate local businesses, people, places and the many charms of Salt Spring Island. After numerous years of experimenting with the format for honouring local businesses and people, the Salt Spring Chamber really seems to have struck a nice rhythm of creating a recognition approach as fun and special and unique as Salt Spring itself. It was just the right amount of appreciative and fun and a great way to honour many of the organizations, businesses, people and places that make this island so special. The evening was hosted at the newly remodelled Harbour House Hotel and attendees enjoyed a delicious meal, wines and desserts provided by the hotel along with music from local band Sky Valley. The event was made possible by the generous sponsorship of Windsor Plywood, Island Savings, our favourite local media choice the Driftwood, the Salt Spring Chamber with additional sponsorship from PCS Pest Control, C…
Read more about 2018 Salt Spring Chamber Salty Award Winners and Photos

Vote: Make Someone You Know a Salty Award Winner!

Presenting the  Salt Spring Community & Business Awards!  Winners will receive a Salty Award and 30 awards will be given out two areas – Business and Community.  You can also vote in new the “Fun and Games” category.  Salt Spring residents, visitors and fans are nominating and voting for the winners online. You can now vote for 1 business or community service per category.  There will be a limit the number of times IP addresses can be used. Voting will be open until midnight October 21.  The awards will be presented on November 8th at a Gala Awards Dinner.  Tickets available soon. Congratulations to all the nominees and good luck!! PS: If you love the Salt Spring Exchange, consider voting for us in the Community Awards for favourite 'Local Media Choice'!
Read more about Vote: Make Someone You Know a Salty Award Winner!

Xwaaqw’um Snuhwulh Canoe Launch

After almost 6 months of work, the Xwaaqw'um Snuhwulh (canoe) was launched today to the delight of all the relations who joined to celebrate the launch. Dancing, songs and ceremony were led by local elder Tousilum (Ron George). The new Snuhwulh (Canoe) was named Xwaaqw'um and given to elder Tousilum as a gift for years of dedication to his people and culture. The Snuhwulh was carved from a single cedar tree led by Tla-o-qui-aht / Nuu-chah-nulth Master Carver Joe Martin, project lead assistant carver Joe Akerman, assistant carver Christopher Roy, and dozens of Quw’utsun (Cowichan) and Salt Spring locals. The Snuhwulh will be used for local youth programs, Tribal Journey and local community gatherings. As part of the making of the Snuhwulh, the canoe was steamed to widen the beam and to rocker the bottom to enable the Snuhwulh to carry more people and gear, as well to help it turn more easily when in the water. This timelapse video shows what the work looked like on that day. …
Read more about Xwaaqw’um Snuhwulh Canoe Launch

Young Man Charged in Shooting Death

A young man has now been arrested and charged in the shooting death of a teenager on Salt Spring Island last September. In in the early hours of Sept 24, 2017, police responded to a residence on Salt Spring Island for a report of a shooting. When police arrived they found 6 youths present, a 17-year-old was suffering from what appeared to a gun shot wound. He was transported to hospital with life threatening injuries, where he later died. The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit (VIIMCU) were called to investigate the incident. The man, who cannot be identified because he was a youth at the time of the offence, has now been charged with one count of Manslaughter. He appeared in court earlier today. We understand that this investigation has greatly impacted all involved. These events always have a profound impact on families and communities, states Inspector Dave Hall, Officer in Charge of VIIMCU. Our thoughts are with them, as we work to prepare for future cour…
Read more about Young Man Charged in Shooting Death