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  • Tues. April 18 - Local MLA's Leafs obsession has a Victoria connection

Tues. April 18 - Local MLA's Leafs obsession has a Victoria connection

Plus: Keating overpass set to begin. Local's web platform helps Indigenous youth

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Good morning !

The Toronto Maple Leafs start their playoff run against the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight. Now that’s not local news here in Victoria, but it is incredibly important to Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands.

Today, our contributor Keith Norbury finds out how this BC politician became such a die hard Leafs fan, and how it all really connects back to the old Victoria Maple Leafs of the ’60s.

The Capital Daily Team

Leafs fan in the BC legislature

Victoria Maple Leafs memorabilia. Photo: UsedVictoria.com.

It might seem very odd for a prominent BC politician to cheer on the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Stanley Cup playoffs. But Adam Olsen, the Green Party MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, just can’t help it.

His dad, Carl Olsen, is a Maple Leafs fan, as are his uncles and other members of the Olsen family.

“There’s basically a problem with the rest of the family if you don’t end up a Maple Leafs fan,” Adam quipped as the National Hockey League regular season was winding down.

The Olsens have been part of Leafs Nation dating back to when the National Hockey League had just six teams and only two in Canada. Hockey fans in the rest of the country typically aligned with either Toronto or Montreal. In the mid 1960s, when Carl was a youngster, it wasn’t unusual for fans on southern Vancouver Island to cheer for the Leafs—in no small part because the Western Hockey League’s Victoria Maple Leafs were Toronto’s farm team.

Over the years, Adam and his dad would make a point of catching a Leafs game in Vancouver whenever possible. “This was one of those pivotal moments with me and my dad, the relationship that I had with him,” he said.

This March, Adam’s 15-year-old son, Silas, accompanied the elder Olsens on the pilgrimage, further forging the intergenerational bond. Despite the frustration of watching the Leafs lose 4-1 to the lowly Canucks, Adam remains as optimistic as always about his team’s chances this spring.

Do the Leafs finally have a shot this year at breaking the long Cup drought?

“The answer obviously is yes,” Adam said. “It always is yes.”

Capital Bulletin

🌦️ Today’s weather: Sun and cloud with a 60% chance of showers and risk of thunderstorms in the afternoon. High 9C / low 5C.

📢 Central Saanich seeking input from seniors: The municipality is developing an Age-Friendly Plan and is asking for public feedback until April 28. Take the survey here.


Local wins major award for web platform helping Indigenous youth learn arts and tech

The home page of Waniskâw for users without an account. Photo: Nodin Cutfeet.

Nodin Cutfeet grew up fiddling with circuitry during his childhood in Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, his reserve in northwestern Ontario; coding with Python throughout high school in Victoria; and eventually studied interaction design at Emily Carr. But Cutfeet, who has since returned to Victoria, didn't anticipate that these experiences would lead to awards.

His project Waniskâw won the 2023 Vancouver UX Awards’ top award of Best UX (user experience), and won Best UX in the non-profit category. Waniskâw is an artistic tech platform for Indigenous youth, with a name that translates to "awakening" or "rising" in Cree—or to “get out of bed.”

"I was thinking about the experiences of these youth who grow up in remote communities,” Cutfeet told Victoria Tech Journal. “What do they have to look forward to, to get out of bed?"

In remote Indigenous communities, youth may not have many amenities to entertain themselves with: perhaps just a gas station, a grocery store, and an airport, said Cutfeet. Online platforms are often inaccessible—largely due to the bandwidth intensity and even the cost of a subscription for use.

“[Those] don't work when you live in a fly-in community—where you can barely watch YouTube because the internet is so slow,” he said.

Cutfeet consulted with Indigenous youth to co-create Waniskâw, a platform in its pre-development stage that will provide online software and learning resources to write code and create digital art assets. While typical tech education focuses on career paths, he wants more to empower Indigenous youth to express themselves and their communities.

The open-source nature of Waniskâw would allow users to spend time developing the skills that they genuinely want, said Cutfeet. If a user wants to create a game but isn’t interested in coding, they can instead focus on creating asset packs—a personalized folder of images, audio, and animation—on top of an existing game someone else has created on the platform. Those assets can then become available to the original game creator in a sort of asynchronous collaboration.


$77M Keating “flyover” overpass of Pat Bay Highway set to begin

The Highway 17 Keating Cross overpass project.

A $54.5M contract has now been awarded to FlatIron Constructors Canada Limited, the province announced on Monday. The overpass will replace the northbound left turn onto Keating Cross in an effort to reduce congestion and prevent collisions, especially with high commercial traffic to the nearby Keating business park.

The project will also widen Keating Cross, add new sidewalks, cut off highway access to Martindale and East Saanich Road, and widen Highway 17 in anticipation of RapidBus facilities being added to the highway for a future Victoria-to-ferry express bus. Construction will begin within weeks and last two years. Central Saanich is contributing $2.5M while BC will provide $57.6M and Canada $16.7M. [More details]



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Capital Picks

🔄 Levidrome: Which two words spell each other backwards and are described by this clue: Junk mail directions
Answer on Facebook or Twitter and tag #levidrome and #capitaldaily. Last time: French golden Stewart - dor / Rod

🎭 Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival: The festival runs from April 18 to May 13 and kicks off with a choral performance at 7pm at St. Patrick’s Parish. [Details]

📣 This survey is for all residents of Greater Victoria! Take Victoria’s 2023 Vital Signs survey today for a chance to win prizes.*

🥸 Final night of Così fan tutte at the Royal: Pacific Opera Victoria’s presentation of Mozart’s Così fan tutte will have its final performance on April 18 at the Royal Theatre. [Tickets]

🌱 Reimagine care for your family. Designed for growing families, Sprout nurtures great health for moms, dads, and kids with a focus on prevention and longevity.*

❤️‍ Old Stock starts today at the Belfry: Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story is a musical by Ben Caplan, Christian Barry, and Hannah Moscovitch. The award-winning musical is inspired by the true story of Moscovitch’s great-grandparents. The musical will run until May 14. [Tickets]

🤝 Now hiring: Comfort Advisor (Outside Sales) at Sasquatch Heat Pumps.

*Sponsored Listing

In Other News

🚒 Fire at Queens Ave. supportive housing displaces 10 people
The Cool Aid Society told CHEK that it has found rooms for the 10 displaced residents and believes most will be able to return home soon. There were no injuries, and crews contained damage to the room where the fire started despite facing challenging, windy conditions. [CHEK] ​​

🦖 BC dinosaur exhibit has now opened at RBCM
The exhibit includes a reconstruction of BC’s first unique non-avian dinosaur, the small parrot-beaked herbivore Ferrisaurus sustutensis. The specimen, nicknamed Buster, was first unearthed in 1971 in northern BC but not named as a species until 2021. Vancouver Island has several major fossil deposits, but they tend to include animals other than dinosaurs. Those include invertebrates and ancient turtles at the Courtenay-area Puntledge River and ancient whales at Sooke-area Muir Creek—which may be key to better understanding whale evolution.

In Case You Missed It

🚗 Esquimalt looking to reduce street speeds: The Township is seeking public input on its plan to drop main roads to 40km/h and local roads to 30km/h, as well as on the cost and pacing of the rollout it plans for new road signs. More details in Monday’s newsletter.

🏡 Condo for sale: 2-bed split bedroom layout is perfect for room-mates or a home office. Downtown Harris Green location. View photos.*

⛴️ Washington ferry runs aground: The weekend incident with the MV Walla Walla ferry underscored one of the reasons the state decided earlier this year to not restore trips to Sidney this decade. The MV Chelan, the state’s only ferry credentialed to make the trip to Canada, is needed when other ferries in the aging 21-vessel fleet have problems or need repairs.

⛺ Decampments: While Vancouver’s mass decampments have drawn most of the recent spotlight, Victoria bylaw’s handling of unhoused people’s possessions has been the subject of a recent lawsuit and harassment allegations. [Capital Daily]

🪶 Blue Bridge Theatre presents Goodnight Desdemona, (Good Morning Juliet) by Ann-Marie McDonald. Apr. 25-May 7, 2023 | The Roxy Theatre | 250-382-3370*

*Sponsored Listing

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