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  • March 31 - A deep-sea explorer, a wildfire fighter, & a burlesque star walk into a theatre

March 31 - A deep-sea explorer, a wildfire fighter, & a burlesque star walk into a theatre

Good morning !

Yesterday we asked if you were travelling for the long weekend, and more than 80% of respondents said they were staying put. But on a warm spring weekend like this one, there is still plenty to do here at home.


What are you up to this weekend?

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Today’s approx. read time: 5 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: ☀️ 14 / 5

Tomorrow: ☀️ 15 / 5

Day after: ⛅ 15 / 5


Successes and setbacks for Indigenous language revitalization on the Island

File photo of Elliott family: Emily Fagan

Today is national Indigenous Languages Day. Languages of the Island region have in recent years seen concerted revival and preservation efforts.

These have come through funding, community programming, and valiant individual work. Education in the traditional W̱SÁNEĆ language of SENĆOŦEN has grown partly due to the work of the Elliot family. Dave Elliott created a written version of the language to help teach his daughter, and his kids have spent the past half-century expanding that teaching to others.

There are also now new digital tools such as the First Peoples’ Map, which overlays regional maps with the local nations and their languages. Points of cultural significance are marked, such as PKOLS (which Saanich officially recognized in 2022 as the name for what it had called Mount Douglas Park). 

Despite teaching efforts, loss of Elders still threatens languages

The number of people who reported speaking an Indigenous language as their first language fell by 7% between 2016 and 2021.

There is also a distinct challenge to doing language revitalization for urban First Nations members, who are often separated from the primary community of speakers on their traditional territories.

To address this, centres such as the Victoria Native Friendship Centre (VNFC) have expanded language renewal programs in recent years. The VNFC’s Urban Indigenous Language Hub brought in fluent speakers to offer immersive classes in seven languages.

But this year the hub lost its main federal source of funding—at a critical point, the VNFC says, when new learners were just starting to gain proficiency.

Last month Capital Daily reported on that program, the loss of funding, and the challenges ahead.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

Mostly sun & cloud expected this week.

Expect ferry waits this long weekend if you didn’t book ahead, BC Ferries says.

Watch: Saanich firefighters battle car fire. [CHEK]

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


Victoria named #3 food city in Canada

In a recent study by Chef’s Plate, Victoria ranked behind only Vancouver and Toronto with a score of 86.9/100. The four categories used by the popular home meal kit company were:

  • Number of restaurants per capita

  • Percentage of restaurants rated at least 4/5 stars

  • Average cost of a meal for two

  • Average monthly Google searches for “food in [city/town]”

Victoria did particularly well in eateries per capita, though it’s good to always add a grain of salt to season any per capita numbers our region serves up. If a study uses Victoria city numbers rather than Greater Victoria, per capita results are often dramatic because so much of the city proper is the downtown core.

But that isn't to say Victoria stole this spot through statistical quirks. Several other publications have recently recognized Vic as a bona fide destination for some “bon appetit.”


TedxVictoria unveils speakers for its return after 9 years

TedxVictoria graphic

After 9 years absent from the city, the ideas festival TedxVictoria is returning in May for one day at the McPherson Theatre. This year's theme, “it’s up to us,” aims to challenge inaction and bring locals together to foster personal, local, and global change.

Some of those locals will be the 12 just announced for the initial speaker list. It includes, in addition to a teenage author, a chief councillor, and several entrepreneurs:

  • Moronke Harris, an award-winning deep-sea explorer

  • TJ Watt, a rainforest conservation photographer

  • Luke Mari, an urban planner and developer

  • Rosie Bitts, an author and burlesque performer 

  • Jonathan Reimer, who has led hundreds of emergency responses across the country, including last year's record fires, and now studies these incidents as a researcher.


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⭐️ Capital Picks

 🌅 Mist rises with the sunlight at Dougan Lake in Cowichan Valley. [Photos]

🎉 Party with the creative community at Design Victoria's launch on 9 May featuring custom bars, installations, and free cocktails. Early-bird tickets available until April 2!*

👒 Sea urchins “wearing hats” for sun shade on Saturday. [Photos]

🥬 Seasonal veggies done right: Catch the last of the late-winter harvest at these restaurants.

🤝 Now hiring: Director of Finance at Belfry Theatre.

🗞️ In Other News

Royals return to Victoria down 0-2 in playoffs
The Royals’ playoff return is proving as difficult as expected after a late-season slide matched them up with the powerful Portland Winterhawks. On Friday Victoria gained but lost a lead, with Portland scoring 3 goals in the third, but yesterday Portland went up early and cruised to a 5-1 win. 

Opera star joins UVic music department
UVic alum and CBC Radio host Marion Newman / Nege’ga will join as an assistant professor as of July 1. She recently performed in Pacific Opera Victoria’s Missing, told the stories of the missing and murdered in English and Gitksan. [UVic]

Nanaimo dragon boat festival moved to Victoria over costs
Its organizers, the Fairway Gorge Paddling Club, will save money this July by running the races out of their own facilities. The race director said the loss of post-COVID grants made 2024's event too costly, but that they hope to return to Nanaimo for 2025. [Nanaimo News Now]

🗓️ Things to do

🎉 Easter Fiesta: Celebrate Easter with live music from Orquesta Obatala and DJ Moses “El Pachanguero” at Sticky Wicket. Today. 9pm-2am.

🎥 Jesus Christ Superstar: Sing-along to the classic rock opera film at The Vic Theatre. Today. 7:30pm.

🛍️ Adele's Vintage Variety Spring Sale: Shop vintage clothes and accessories at 4 Corners Community Collective. Today, 12-6pm. Tomorrow, 10am-5pm.

🎸 A night of metal music: Wake, Great Falls, Egregore, and Altered Dead will perform at Victoria Event Centre. Today. Doors 7pm, show 7:30pm. 

📽️ Last day for IMAX film fest: Learn about Everest, Egypt, the deep sea, and polar exploration. [Schedule]

👀 In Case You Missed It

See how pilots guide ships through the Inner Harbour, and train to avoid disaster. [Capital Daily]

South Islanders win Juno. Bikefest returns. Orca calf rescue update. [Friday newsletter]

New Nanaimo banners & logo marking 150 years since incorporation. [Info / photos]

Victoria's “pink snow” of fallen blossoms. [Colin Smith photo]

That’s it!

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