Salt Spring Foundation Community Needs Survey

What do you think are our community’s most critical needs? On March 15, the Salt Spring Island Foundation is launching an online survey that will give islanders an opportunity to identify the most important issues facing our community. The survey will be available until April 15 and is intended to provide island charitable organizations and the Salt Spring community at large with information that will assist in planning programs and services. The survey results, which will be published in June, will enable the Foundation and other funding organizations to make granting decisions that consider the priorities set forth by members of the community. Since the Foundation distributes over $100,000 in grants annually, it is crucial that it effectively supports organizations that respond to our most pressing community needs. The survey also invites responses from members of Salt Spring’s not-for-profit organizations about the challenges they face in delivering services to the com…
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Five Thousand+ Fans of Salt Spring on Facebook

Whew! Salt Spring Island is popular. This past week we hit a new milestone on Facebook. We now have over 5,000+ fans of our little emerald isle in the Salish Sea. This isn't a surprise to those of us that live here or have visited of course, Salt Spring Island is a special place with fans all over the world. Our community uses Facebook to share local stories, photos, news, events, classifieds and more and works together with the over 15,000+ people who use the Salt Spring Exchange site each month to stay engaged with our vibrant island community. Consider becoming a fan if you aren't already. More importantly, we just simply want to thank you. We've worked hard to build up this page to promote and share all that is Salt Spring and we thank all those you that follow on Facebook for staying with us as we work to share the beauty of the island. We thought you might be interested in knowing what 5,000+ fans of Salt Spring looks like and where everyone is coming from. You c…
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Ballet Victoria's Four Seasons and Chopin's Preludes Returns to Salt Spring

Ballet Victoria returns to ArtSpring Sunday, March 25 with an afternoon of dance that includes visual art, poetry, and choreography. First there will be Paul Destrooper’s new work The Four Seasons which combines Vivaldi’s music with West Coast native legends as we follow two ravens through the seasons of a mystical relationship. The dance is accompanied by art from four first nations artists and haikus written by Victoria poet Linda Rogers and read by the Nonourable Steven Point, Lieutenant Governor of BC. Both music and spoken word for this work are recorded. Then pianist Sarah Hagen performs several Chopin Preludes live on our Steinway to accompany Sandrine Cassini’s choreographed exploration of Chopin’s life and artistic achievement. As Ballet BC puts it, this is “a unique show celebrating the West Coast and its multi-cultural, multi artistic community showcasing local international stars.” The performance starts at 2:30pm on Sunday, March 25. Tickets are availab…
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One of Canada's Greatest Pianists

One of the greatest pianists Canada has ever known visits ArtSpring on Tuesday, March 20 for a 7:00pm concert. Quebec pianist André Laplante has been honoured in almost every major competition over the years, from the International Tchaikovsky Competition to the Sydney and Long-Thibaud Compeitions. He has won several Juno awards for his recordings and has performed around the world from Carnegie Hall to China. In 2005 he was awarded the Order of Canada in recognition of his contributions to classical music. He is known widely as a specialist in the music of Franz Liszt and Maurice Ravel. At his ArtSpring concert M. Laplante will play Liszt’s monumental Les Annees de Pelerinage, as well as works by Bach, Mozart and Ravel. “In recent times,” says ArtSpring Executive Director George Sipos, “we have presented some amazing young pianists near the beginning of their careers – Joyce Yang, Di Wu, Mariangella Vacatello. This time we get to hear from one of the world’s seasoned …
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Response to Beddis Road Open Letter

This is in response to the open letter to myself from three Beddis water subscribers that was published in the March 14th Driftwood. For the benefit of all water commissions on SSI and the community as a whole, I felt it useful to outline some of the actions taken in the last three months to address long-standing Salt Spring water management issues. The issues around quality, delivery, quantity and cost of water on SS are indeed complex and have existed for many years and many are understandably frustrated with the apparent lack of progress. It would be nice, but not realistic to suggest that there is a quick and easy fix. From my brief time in office, with a steep learning curve on water issues, I have a perspective that it is critical to work together to take steps to not repeat the mistakes of the past and deal with the issues on many levels. The past three months have been a time of intense personal education. I have attended almost all water commission meeting, all …
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BC Ferries Raising Fees

BC Ferries announced today that it is reminding customers of increases in passenger and vehicle fares effective April 1, 2012. Prices will rise by 4.15 per cent on average on all routes across the fleet. This increase was approved last spring in Bill 14, an amendment to the Coastal Ferry Act. Subsequent price caps will be determined following the Province’s response to the BC Ferry Commissioner’s report. Fare increases are required due to the rising cost of operating and capital expenditures coupled with lower than anticipated traffic levels.

See chart of fares below:
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Community Meetings on Secondary Suites

All community members are invited to join the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee in a public discussion on how to permit secondary suites. Saturday, March 31 2012 (2:00 pm – 4:30 pm) at the GISS Multi-purpose Room (Gulf Islands Secondary School, 232 Rainbow Road, Salt Spring Island) or Wednesday, April 4 2012 (6:00 pm – 8:30 pm) at the Fulford Community Hall Senior’s Centre(2591 Fulford Ganges Road, Salt Spring Island). *PLEASE RSVP* We have heard from the community that Secondary Suites are part of the solution for helping resolve the affordable housing dilemma on Salt Spring Island: 85.2% of homeowners surveyed agree the Salt Spring Island community would benefit from legalized suites; 50.7% of renters surveyed live in secondary suites. We have also heard that water and septic concerns are among the key issues to resolve. The Salt Spring Official Community Plan says to legalize suites incrementally and to limit the overall number of suites in order to monitor…
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All that Jazz – Karl Schwonik Quartet

One of the greatest pianists Canada has ever known visits ArtSpring on Tuesday, March 20 for a 7:00pm concert. Quebec pianist André Laplante has been honoured in almost every major competition over the years, from the International Tchaikovsky Competition to the Sydney and Long-Thibaud Compeitions. He has won several Juno awards for his recordings and has performed around the world from Carnegie Hall to China. In 2005 he was awarded the Order of Canada in recognition of his contributions to classical music. He is known widely as a specialist in the music of Franz Liszt and Maurice Ravel. At his ArtSpring concert M. Laplante will play Liszt’s monumental Les Annees de Pelerinage, as well as works by Bach, Mozart and Ravel. “In recent times,” says ArtSpring Executive Director George Sipos, “we have presented some amazing young pianists near the beginning of their careers – Joyce Yang, Di Wu, Mariangella Vacatello. This time we get to hear from one of the world’s seaso…
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Power Outages on Salt Spring

UPDATE: Less than 100 homes now without power. Most of the island has had hydro service restored.     Big wind storm last night and this morning on Salt Spring. BC Hydro and local residents are reporting numerous outages. Call 1-888 POWERON (1 888 769-3766) to report an outage.
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An open letter to Regional Director Wayne McIntyre

Dear Wayne McIntyre, Regional Director, Saltspring Island: The past few weeks have been hard for all concerned. Handled wisely the fiasco and the complete elimination of the Beddis electors' right to approve borrowing to complete the next part of the water system could have been avoided. Beddis electors have expressed concern over the potentially dangerous leaking tank at Lautman Road and have done nothing to delay necessary work. We are told temporary repairs are in place but the work has not started although this tank became an emergency back in October, 2011. In retrospect we understand some of what's happened and some of the reasons CRD and the commission decided to borrow on an emergency basis. It is clear that decision ought not have been made without informing the electors - particularly when that decision resulted in the revoking of the electors' legislated right to approve borrowing for the next part of our water project. We understand staff needs freedom t…
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Robocalls - Feedback Requested on Possible Fraudulent Calls on Election Day

Feedback Requested on Possible Fraudulent Calls on Election Day On election day for the 2011 Federal Election in Saanich - Gulf Islands, there were reports of some confused voters who had received calls directing them to the wrong polling stations. At the time, the reports coming into the campaign office were that the problem was scattered and that most of our supporters were able to make it to their polling stations. But there were enough reports that Elizabeth did send a letter to Elections Canada requesting an investigation. Now we find that this was not an isolated incident, but appears to have affected a number of ridings across the country. We would like to investigate in more depth how many calls were made to voters in Saanich - Gulf Islands. We would like to know if you: Received either a misleading recorded or live call telling you that the location of your polling station had changed. Worked as an election day scrutineer and heard complaints from voters…
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Ganges Fire Hall Farmers' Market Poll

The Salt Spring Island Farmers’ Institute has proposed that the current Ganges Fire Hall be turned into a year-round covered farmers' market once a new location for the current hall is secured. Is this something you would support? Share your response in our poll.   Should the Ganges Fire Hall be turned into a year round Farmers Market?
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Men for a natural culture, finding your true place in life

The important work, this workshop for men of ages proposes to facilitate is at the root of what needs to happen to create a regenerative culture. Boys in our society lost the opportunity to be initiated by wild earth under the tending care of the elders for at least the last 3000 years. This fact, I believe, is at the core of why our society has been so destructive toward wild nature and indigenous cultures all through history and is reaching today a point of unprecedented global crises. There are no new places and people to colonize and consequently there is to transfer the grief of our loss to somebody or somewhere else. To be able to recover the important cultural container that will nurture young boys into mature adult developing a self who deeply care for the well being of people and nature, men today, need to experience themselves the level of connection to the wild, their community and self that only initiatory events are able to provide. The genetic imperative …
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Sh*t Salt Springers Say Campaign for Version 2

Okay, we'll there isn't a version two yet, but you know you want one. We, like so many of you, loved the "Sh*t Salt Springers Say' video made this past week by the local island Lemon Grease Productions starring Thomas Messer, Rebecca Nygard, Michelle Duncan, Billie Woods, David Alex Eveno with guest appearances by Jada-lee Watson, Ross Duncan and Mike Nelson. We want them to make another one! If you want them to make another one vote yes by leaving a suggestion, Liking this post, or leaving a comment. To help encourage them, we want your help. Let's gather up some perfectly Salt Spring expressions for them to work with and hope we can get them to make another one. If you have a suggestion for an expression you'd like to include, like "Where's the yeast?" submit it in the form below and we'll pass them all along to the video producers. Take Our Survey! polldaddy.add( { type: 'iframe', auto: true, domain: 'opendirections.polldaddy.com/s/', id: 'sal…
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Salt Spring's Official Population Increases 6.2%

Population on Salt Spring Island Trust Area A has officially increased to 10,234 according to official Census Canada figures released today. This is a 6.2% increase since the 2006 census. The number of private dwelling is at 5,643 with 4,662 of those occupied by full-time residents. See the full details below:

Additional details can be found directly at Census Canada.

Victoria Population Changes

Vancouver Population Changes

Population Changes by Province

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4-Way Stop at Central

Our friends at MainRoads have informed us that they will be installing a 4-way stop at the Central intersection (Vesuvius Bay Rd/Upper Ganges Rd/North End Rd/Lower Ganges Rd) today. As a reminder, the rules of the road are whomever arrives at the intersection first, has the right of way. If you arrive at the same time as another driver, the rule is yield to the right. Please use caution & drive slowly in this area.
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Shit Salt Springers Say

Video guide to speaking Salt Spring. Want to reassure someone you're a local? Just ask them "How's the water here?" as soon as you get to their home. Do you say these things? https://youtu.be/HTDkqxaWH80
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Video: Emergency Air Ambulance Transfer

We're fortunate to live in a community that has an outstanding local hospital, but when one of us is hurt and we need specialized medical attention, and we need it fast, this is how it happens. We captured some footage today of the BC Air Ambulance and our own local paramedics, led by James Cowan, getting a patient transferred to Vancouver via helicopter. https://youtu.be/uyzuXxsSrYQ This isn't the only helicopter that frequents the skies around Salt Spring. Here's a flash back to some footage of local resident Don Arney flying us back and forth to Vancouver in his own privately owned whirly bird. https://youtu.be/AkxBfELOS1w
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