May 14 - New festivals for Greater Vic

Saanich adopts new OCP, Buccaneer Days attacks, The Last of Us lands in Nanaimo

Good morning !

The weather has been heating up this week, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that campfire bans will soon be coming into effect. Category 2 and 3 open fires will be banned on the Island starting Friday.

Does the campfire ban affect your May long weekend camping plans?

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Today’s approx. read time: 4 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: ☀️ 18 / 9

Tomorrow: ☀️ 19 / 10

Thursday: ☀️ 21 / 10


Add 2 more festivals to your events calendar

Poster: Greater Victoria Festival Society

We’re headed into the summer festival and fun season with springtime events—the Victoria Day Parade is next weekend—and you can make more room in your festival calendar for two more on the way. 

Looking to bring more to the peninsula, two groups, Collective Catering, and Kaemac Services Inc., have teamed up to originate festivals with a local twist.

“It’s the start of, I guess, more of like a family-friendly festival whereby everybody can come and enjoy themselves and spend the afternoon and shop locally and support locals for locals,” organizer Kelly Kurta tells Capital Daily.

The Sips and Sounds Festival on Sat. June 8 at the Saanich Fairgrounds, will feature music, food, and crafts with an emphasis on all things local—at just 10 bucks to get in.

“We thought, why not create something on the peninsula that everybody can go to? So, we're gonna have local makers, we're gonna have performances all afternoon that's free by local performers,” Kurta said.

“The way they do it a lot in Europe is they charge a nominal fee, they have a massive venue that can hold thousands of people, which is actually to our benefit.” Tickets are priced at $10, Kurta said.

The second nascent event, slated for Dec. 14, is a Christmas winter carnival with as many as 100 vendors. 

“We wanted to put something together that incorporates everything like an entire Christmas show all afternoon,” she said.

“The fairgrounds are going to be lit up. We're gonna decorate. I mean, it's gonna be like a really, really big decorated house.”

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

Campfire bans will be in effect on the Island Fri. Category 2 and 3 open fires will be banned throughout the Coastal Fire Centre. [Info]

Federal/provincial expanded heat pump rebate plan: [Income-dependent]

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


Taller buildings, 15-minute communities part of Saanich’s updated Official Community Plan

Saanich Municipal Hall. Photo: District of Saanich

The district has updated its Official Community Plan (OCP) for the first time in 16 years. The process of updating the plan took two years, and last Tue., after giving it a third and fourth reading, the council adopted the plan in a 7-2 vote. 

Two councillors opposed, voicing concerns about the urban containment boundary (UCB). The UCB was introduced in 1968 to distinguish between urban and rural Saanich to prevent urban sprawl. The wording in the updated plan allows for some changes to this boundary if needed for the district’s regional growth strategy. However, the current council says it’s committed to maintaining the boundary.

The plan will bring taller buildings to the area, with 18-storey residential towers now allowed along major streets such as Quadra and McKenzie. Building height limits increased in Royal Oak to 12 storeys from eight and in Broadmead Village, they’ll increase to six storeys from four.

The plan now aligns with provincial legislation that requires minimum building heights near three major transit exchanges—Uptown, UVic, and Royal Oak exchange—with a minimum of 10 storeys within 200 metres and six storeys within 201-400 metres.

With expansion focused on key areas, Saanich aims to create “15-minute communities” where all amenities, like grocery stores, are a 15-minute walk away.

Saanich, the Island’s largest municipality, is one of the 10 municipalities selected by the province to hit housing targets. The district is aiming to build 4,160 new homes by 2028. So far, it has built nearly 200 net new units, a figure which takes into account the number of homes demolished.

⭐️ Capital Picks

🐌 Moon snails out and about to breed on a beach near Nanoose. Head to the comments to see the sand formations they create for laying eggs. [Photos]

 Experience Hololabs Glowshrooms Interactive Pop-up at the Bay Centre - Showcasing experiential & technology driven artwork created within Victoria's tech industry with OUR DWTN, a City of Victoria initiative. Learn more.*

🎓 Westshore’s post-secondary campus construction coming along. [Photos]

🤝 Now hiring: Director of Operations (Nanaimo) at Together Against Poverty Society.

*Sponsored Listing

🗞️ In Other News

BC returns land to Island First Nations
The 312-ha land near Skutz Falls was returned to Cowichan Tribes and Lyackson Nation, with an agreement signed on Sat. Both nations will hold the land in partnership until it can be divided between them. This move is especially significant for Lyackson Nation—their only reserve land is on Valdes Island, where there is little infrastructure. The nation historically had a village at the mouth of the Cowichan River and has fought for reservation land on Vancouver Island for generations. [Times Colonist]

Performing arts managing artistic director takes a bow 
Caleb Marshall is stepping down after six years as head of the Canadian College of Performing Arts (CCPA) to become managing director of Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre and Theatre Antigonish. Under Marshall’s guidance, the CCPA received the prestigious Lieutenant Governor’s Arts and Music Award in 2022 and was named one of Canada’s Top Acting Schools by Casting Workbook in 2021, successfully rebounding from the pandemic. [Release]

Buccaneer Days marred by reports of swarming, bear spraying Sat. night
A group of young people was seen fighting and four said they had been bear sprayed near the fair on Esquimalt. A half-hour later, a man—who uses a cane—and a woman said they were attacked near Lampson. Both showed visible bruising. That was followed by a report that a woman had been bear sprayed near Head. Earlier, a cash box containing $1K from a fundraising tent was reported stolen. [VicPD]

Nanaimo transformed into post-apocalyptic zone for ‘The Last of Us
The film production crew of Naughty Dog’s 2013 video game is shooting season 2 in Nanaimo and Vancouver to hit HBO viewers next year. The Harbour City’s downtown has been turned into a destruction zone with grass and moss growing everywhere to fit the script’s call for a 20-year pandemic sprouting from a fungal infection. Check out CHEK’s cool, mossy photos. [CHEK]

🗓️ Things to do

⛸️ Stars on Ice: See some of the world’s best figure skaters show off their skills at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre. Thursday, 7pm. [Info]

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Highland Games: The games return for the 161st year at Topaz Park, Sat.-Sun. [Info]

🏮Awakening Chinatown Festival: Celebrate the 22nd Asian Heritage Month in Chinatown with a day of live performances, art, and culture on Fisgard. May 26, 12-5:30pm. [Info]

Looking for something to do this weekend? Subscribe to This Week In Vic to get the full list of what’s on this week.

👀 In Case You Missed It

Monday’s headlines: Vic mom gives son a Mother’s Day truck treat; Victoria Borealis: Local Northern Lights pics. [May 13]

Turning their yards into meadows. [Capital Daily

Printable handguns found in Westshore. [The Westshore]

Spring COVID boosters available until June 30. [BC]

Short-term rental rules vs. housing crisis. [Times Colonist]

Mother goats get their day at Beacon Hill Children’s Park. [So cute]

That’s it!

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