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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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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Artists from the Fringe: Nick'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 Nick and I have lived on Salt Spring Island for 5 years now. I’m originally from Barrie, a small town in Ontario. Well it started small but it is the fastest growing city in Canada. I got sick of Barrie, but more importantly I was making bad decisions. I could either leave or continue screwing up, spiraling down. I consider myself a hobo but I’ll find home eventually. I am still looking. Right now I sleep in a tent; nothing British Columbia throws at me weather wise is scary. H…
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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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Artists from the Fringe: Danene'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 Danene and I just turned 50. When I first arrived on Salt Spring I was parking in front of the Local and some woman yelled, "your kind of people can't park here.” I asked her what kind of people she thought I was and she simply replied with "you know." Back then I was driving a 1986 Toyota van that had stickers all over it. I told her that “you can't make that assumption because you know nothing about me.” At that time the homeless people mostly hung out in Centennial Park. They were…
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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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