Feb 20 - Can Island wine salvage BC's season?

Plus, Salt Spring's first schoolteacher, ferry footage on a billion computers, K-OS in town, and more

Good morning !

We hope you had a good long weekend! Spring is now just a month away or a week away, depending on what you use to mark the start.


When does spring begin?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Today’s approx. read time: 5 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: 🌦️ 9 / 6

Wednesday: 🌧️ 10 / 5

Thursday: ☀️ 12 / 5


After devastating freeze, BC wine industry must rely on Island vines

A Vancouver Island vineyard. Photo: Shutterstock

BC's January cold snap was a blip in an otherwise mild winter. But for the wine industry, its impact could be catastrophic. Yields for grapes and wine are projected to be 97-99% lower than usual this year, losing producers $350M and suppliers and distributors another $100M. This will also cause wine shortages in BC's liquor stores, restaurants, and hotels. 

The losses were concentrated in the Okanagan, BC's main wine region, leaving the Island and Fraser Valley to salvage the season. 

After our briefer and milder cold snap, only a few Island growers reported damage per Wine Islands Growers Association president Zac Brown. Brown spoke to CHEK, saying Island vineyards’ volume and quality are looking good but that they don't want to exploit the situation by cranking grape prices.

As Capital Daily covered last year, there was also a major freeze last winter that derailed many Okanagan wines and dropped yield more than 40%. In that case, too, the South Island was spared. 

A South Okanagan MLA recently called in parliament for federal help for BC wine growers, citing the freeze and annual fire smoke, but so far none is planned. BC is also contending with a ban from Alberta regulators.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

Langford meeting taking public input for new budget resumes today, Feb. 20.

Cowichan Valley man, 19, found alive after Feb. 14 disappearance. [Search group update]

Canada tax season began yesterday. [Info]

Open house on cable replacement between Victoria and Esquimalt. [BC Hydro]

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


BC Black History: Salt Spring's first schoolteacher

John Craven Jones and wife Almira in 1885. Archival image via BCBHAS

He’s been the subject of folk songs, books, and long forgotten murals. For generations of Black British Columbians, he's been a source of inspiration. And for Salt Springers of all backgrounds raised in the 1860s and ’70s, he was the way they became educated

John Craven Jones, born in the US to a father who bought his family out of slavery, came to early BC and spent years walking across Salt Spring to teach. He'd do three days on one end and three on the other, braving attacks along the way from animals and humans alike. 

But though other islanders gave him room and board, there was a problem: the community's only teacher didn't get paid. 

Read the story of Jones, and how Salt Spring advocated for him to get his due, at Capital Daily.


UVic men enter basketball playoffs #1 in Canada

The Vikes men (17-3) were ranked the top university team in the Feb. 13 standings after spending much of the season at #2. They are led by Renoldo Robinson and local Diego Maffia, the top scorer in the country at 26.7 points per game, who once scored 96 in a single Oak Bay high game four years ago

The Vikes were #1 last year too, but were knocked out by Canadian hoops dynasty Carleton. An upset loss in Ontario had dropped the Ravens unusually low, forcing an early match between the two powerhouses. But this year, at 12-8, Carleton may not even make the national tourney that it has won almost every year this century. 

The regional playoffs begin tomorrow, with UVic's men chasing a three-peat as Canada West champs. They have a bye to the quarterfinals in Manitoba on Thursday afternoon. UVic's women (10-10) begin as the 10-seed and must win tomorrow to face UBC on Thursday in the Fraser Valley. 

Island has a shot at college-level crown, too

VIU is ranked #2 in Canada for men and #4 for women in the collegiate rankings. Camosun's men cling to the 15th spot, the final spot in the top teams list, but are second-best in BC.

⭐️ Capital Picks

🦆🦆🦆 A loooooong line of ducks in the water near Nanaimo. [Video]

🍽️ New Floyd's Diner opens in the Gorge area. [Instagram]

🐉 Watch the Lunar New Year highlights: The weekend ceremony featured lion dances in Chinatown. 

🤝 Now hiring: Staff lawyer (Victoria) at TAPS.

🗞️ In Other News

Jubilee patients dealing with broken room TVs
A former nurse, 86, lacks entertainment in her room to pass the time, and so did a terminal patient last summer. The patient's husband says staff told him the contractor, HealthHub Solutions, has been sporadic in repairs after being absent entirely early in the pandemic due to objecting to safety protocols. [Times Colonist]

Ferry footage ends up on a billion-plus computers 
A shot of sunrise on a Nanaimo sailing is used worldwide for the display settings on Windows 10 and 11. It was originally filmed a decade ago for BC band Gob's music video. [CBC]

New bike paths coming to Comox Valley
Plans for a Countenay-Cumberland connector and other multi-use active transportation paths are underway. One new lane will be on the Comox Valley Parkway, where a cyclist was hit and killed this month. [The Discourse]


Can a Walk in the Woods Improve Your Mental Health?

Research shows that simply walking in nature can lead to a lower risk of depression. When you combine a walk in the woods with therapy, you get the ideal conditions for healing, growth, and wellness. Tall Tree’s nature therapy offers a new path to healing for youth, teens, and adults beyond the clinic walls.

🗓️ Things to do

🎤 K-OS: The Toronto-based hip-hop artist will perform at Capital Ballroom. Tonight. Doors 8pm, show 9pm.  

📆 Victoria tech events: See this week's meet-ups and mixers in Victoria Tech Journal.  

🎸 Bands!Bands!Bands!: Rare-Earth Magnet, Arbutus Roots, Charis Tazumi, and Dysaynia will perform at Victoria Event Centre. Today. Doors 7pm, show 7:30pm. 

🎥 Joan Baez: I Am a Noise at Cinecenta: The film about the iconic folk singer and activist will be shown at the UVic theatre. Today. 5pm and 7:15pm. 

Int’l soccer match tomorrow in Langford as Cavalry FC uses Pacific FC's warmer-weather stadium to host Orlando in the CONCACAF tournament. [Tickets]

👀 In Case You Missed It

Monday news: Langford budget update. Formal complaint over police scandal. Pickleball vs. derby resolved. [Feb. 19]

Our stories of Island families: Local relatives reuniting, remembering, and working together. [Capital Daily]

Multiple Hornby ferry cancellations came abruptly on holiday Monday. [CHEK]

Sunday news: Kelp's survival chances. Oak Bay's sewer overhaul. Teen's airplane incident. Rental scammer's sentence. [Feb. 18]

Ruby octopus babies near Nanaimo. [Video]

Spot all the Victoria locations in this music video: Wranglr’s new black and white music video for “Love's Not a Competition (But I'm Winning)”. [Watch]

That’s it!

If you found something useful, consider forwarding this newsletter to a fellow Victorian.

And before you go, let us know:

What did you think of today's newsletter?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.