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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Elizabeth May - Listening is the Primary Ingredient

As we open the menu for Canada’s election, how will Canadians choose the healthiest possibilities? Who looks most appetizing? We really must investigate the ingredients, starting with the one we know best, here in Saanich/Gulf Islands. Elizabeth May lifted a glass to us when she said, “It is the community spirit of our area that inspires and encourages me to be the best MP I can be. For the last eight years, it has been an honour to work for you.” Maintaining top attendance in that wine cellar known as Ottawa’s House of Commons, she refuses the acidity of heckling – instead, sprinkling other MPs with kindness even when strongly disagreeing with their policies. The savory in her more than 80 townhall meetings since 2011 is her respectful, 1 1⁄2-hour recipe: 25 minutes summarizing parliamentary activities, followed by an hour listening to questions and providing answers. Elizabeth understands that listening is the primary ingredient, as it is the only way that meanin…
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2019 Pride Parade Photos and Video

Another beautiful celebration of Pride on Salt Spring Island today. Thousands of locals and visitors lined the street to celebrate the 15th annual Pride and the 12th celebration of the Pride Parade all through the streets of Ganges. Few communities the size of Salt Spring can boast of the energy and excitement and pride of Pride in their community quite like the locals of our island. What a beautiful day. Thank you to all the organizers and participants and all the organizations who took part in participating and celebrating. Pride festivities continue throughout the day, evening and this weekend. Pride parades (also known as pride marches, pride events, and pride festivals) are outdoor events celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) social and self-acceptance, achievements, legal rights, and pride. The events also at times serve as demonstrations for legal rights such as same-sex marriage. Most pride events occur annually, and many take place aroun…
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Salt Spring Island Foundation Marks 35 Years of Giving

We all know that great trees grow from tiny seeds, which makes the tree logo of the Salt Spring Island Foundation particularly appropriate. Thirty-five years ago, John C. Lees planted a $10,000 seed that has grown to a $7.5 million endowment fund solely for the benefit of Salt Spring Island charities. Since then the Foundation has granted the amazing sum of $3.3 million, with over 550 grants awarded to over 60 local charities since its inception. In 1984, Lees first conceived of establishing a community endowment fund, and his bequest was the first donation to the fund. Lees died on March 1, 1984, just five days before the Salt Spring Island Foundation was registered as a Public Foundation with Revenue Canada in Ottawa. Alan Pierce, Colin Mouat and Richard Toynbee were the first three trustees. The Foundation has benefitted from exceptional leadership over its 35 years. Between 1991 and 2006, under the chairmanship of Bob Rush, the community endowment fund swelled from $2…
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Podcast: An Environmental Organization that's Changing Our Future Outcome

Have you ever wondered who was behind the Electric Vehicle Recharge Stations, Car Stops, Eco Home Tours, solar panels on the high school’s roof, Rainbow Road Gardens on Salt Spring Island on the island? In this episode, I’m talking with an organization that is helping communities with reducing their dependence on fossil fuels & increasing local resilience to the effects of climate change. They’re making it really easy for people to launch their projects. Have you guessed yet? It is The Transition Salt Spring Society (which by the way is different from the Transitions House & second-hand shop on the island). They’re apart of a global organization that is helping communities bring their dreams of a new resilient culture to the forefront. In this show we’re talking about: When surrounding ourselves with people who are inspired about the future, it opens our future potentials back up. How shifting from hopelessness (about environmental issues) and changing …
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Podcast: The Tiny Home on Wheel's Revolution

I’m on the Salt Spring Gulf Island Community Radio interviewing people near and far who are making good news on the planet by helping to shift the outcome of our future. These people and companies have created solutions to local and global issues we’re facing at the moment. Sharing the good news that’s happening on the planet is key at this time as there are people out there who are making big changes and we need to see the turning tides. One of those local issues is, of course, having affordable housing on our island. In this 7th episode I’m interviewing Colin Crystal about who is a Tiny House on Wheels Builder about: * Why people choose to design mobile tiny homes to live in * The unexpected benefits that come along with it, feeling more integrated in community and nature * How the relative low cost of tiny homes makes it possible for people to ground into spaces they love * How tiny houses could be a viable solution to our Salt Spring Island housing crisis …
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Survey: Should British Columbia Adopt Year Round Daylight Saving Time?

British Columbians are invited to share their views on how we should observe time in our province. Most areas of B.C. currently “spring forward” into Daylight Saving Time during summer months and “fall back” to Standard Time in the winter. The following choices are being considered: 1) B.C. continues the practice of changing our clocks bi-annually; or 2) B.C. adopts year-round observance of Daylight Saving Time. Legislators in California, Oregon and Washington have proposed bills to end the bi-annual time change and observe Daylight Saving Time year-round. Premier John Horgan has reached out to the Governors of these states as well as to the Premier of Yukon, to hear their opinions and help inform the discussion in B.C. The public engagement period will run from June 24, 2019 to July 19, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. During this time, interested individuals and organizations will be invited to share their opinions in the following ways: Individuals may complete the online sur…
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Podcast: Adam Olsen speaks with Raffi – Singer, Songwriter, Salt Springer, Children’s Champion

When I first thought of transitioning my weekly Public Circle LIVE! broadcasts from Facebook to a weekly podcast, I had it in my mind to invite Raffi as a guest. We have run into each other a few times now at the Salt Spring Island Saturday Market and I appreciate his forthright political commentary on Twitter. It all came together at Elizabeth May's wedding. We were standing in line next to each other - I asked, he agreed and we made it happen! I'm a "Beluga Grad" and so it's an absolute thrill to have the opportunity to start a friendship with someone whose work is so influential on my life. He is an inspiration for many of my peers, and our children. In this episode of The Public Circle Podcast, we discuss what inspires him as a singer and songwriter, his second career and legacy work in child honouring, and his deep connection to Mother Earth. Over five decades Raffi's voice has connected generations of children and their parents to nature. Most recently the foc…
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Salt Spring Foundation Announces 2019 Neighbourhood Small Grants

The Salt Spring Island Foundation, in partnership with Salt Spring Island Community Services, is pleased to announce the recipients of our 2019 Neighbourhood Small Grants. The Neighbourhood Small Grants program offers grants of $50 to $500 to support projects that bring people together, share skills and knowledge, build a sense of community belonging and responsibility, and respect and celebrate diversity. First offered in the fall of 2018, the grants have supported many fun and creative events that have proved to be extremely popular. Bard on the Ridge This Eagle Ridge event brings neighbours of all ages together to perform a shortened version of one of Shakespeare’s plays through a staged reading with music. A dessert potluck follows the family event. Canvasback Neighbours Barbecue To be held in August, this event for the Canvasback Place neighbourhood will provide an opportunity for residents to meet, socialize and participate in discussions about emergency plann…
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Salt Spring Island Foundation Announces Spring 2019 Grants

The Salt Spring Island Foundation is pleased to announce over $148,000 in spring grants for local charities, including $30,000 targeted to youth recreation programs. The Foundation thanks the many generous donors who make these grants possible.  BC Parks/Friends of Ruckle Park Heritage To create and install six new interpretive signs for Ruckle Provincial Park to increase the appreciation of Ruckle heritage farm, the oldest operating family farm in BC and a living link to Salt Spring Island history. Graffiti Theatre Company For a secure and permanent storage container for the theatre company’s technical equipment, props and costumes. Towards a feasibility study for a multi-use performing arts education and recreation centre. Gulf Islands Seniors Residence Association For updated computers and a new phone system to increase the organization’s capacity and communications efficiency. IWAV For new computers in order to securely and effectively carry ou…
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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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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…
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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…

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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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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)
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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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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.
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Winners! - 2019 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. 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…
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