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  • Aug 21 - Locals win Canada a spot at Paris Olympics

Aug 21 - Locals win Canada a spot at Paris Olympics

Travel plans disrupted. Willows Beach unsafe. Fake Taylor tickets trick Islanders. See sand sculptures. Dip company dips.

Good morning !

We asked you if your travel plans were affected by the recent fires, and today we have the results. But first, an update on the rugby tourney held here in Greater Victoria this past weekend.


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Today’s approx. read time: 6 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: ☀️ 22 / 13

Tomorrow: 🌦️ 19 / 13

Wednesday:🌦️ 22 / 12

🌫️ Air quality: Low to moderate risk today (3/10 to 4/10); smoky skies bulletin continues. The smoke forecast has smoke continuing today but blown away by wind for at least part of tomorrow.

🚘️ Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


Canada’s rugby women win Olympic spot in Langford tourney, but men fall to USA

The Sevens women won their international tourney under hazy local skies on Sunday. Photo from Rugby Canada (Kevin Light)

A blowout 53-0 win over Mexico has sent the women of the national Sevens program, which is based here in the Westshore, to the Paris 2024 Olympics. By winning the 2023 Rugby Americas North Sevens tourney, which they hosted this past weekend, they became Canada’s first team-sport athletes to lock in a Paris 2024 berth.

They got to that gold-medal match [watch it here] with an undefeated Saturday, then a 41-7 semifinal win vs. St. Lucia. Those points were the only opponent scoring that the women conceded all weekend, beating opponents 288-7 combined. Between the two Sunday games, the women had three different players score three tries each: Krissy Scurfield, Fancy Bermudez, and Asia Hogan-Rochester.

Silver—and a chance to still make Paris—for men
The men also advanced after a dominant Saturday and easy semifinal win (54-5 over Mexico), but faced a stronger opponent in fellow undefeated team USA [rewatch the game here]. Canada went up 7-5 in the first, but a last-minute US try ended the half and the Americans kept it up in the second, going on to win 24-14.

The men will now have to get to the Olympics via next year’s Final Olympic Repechage Tournament, which they have qualified for.

The men won a similar do-or-die tournament this May, finishing atop the pack in London, to keep the final spot in the world’s top Sevens league as it shrinks from 16 to 12 teams. The women finished the World Series season in 9th, the same position they took at the Tokyo Olympics—a step back after winning bronze at Rio 2016. The men finished Tokyo in 8th.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

This week’s weather: 40% chance of rain on Tuesday night and Wednesday day, then sunny and mid-20s for rest of week.

Willows Beach not safe for swimming after testing showed high bacteria levels, District of Oak Bay says.

Mill Hill park’s parking lot closed to public today and Tuesday for prep and paving.


Fires and travel limits changing some locals’ late-summer plans

Cameron Bluffs wildfire earlier this summer. Photo: James MacDonald / Capital Daily

We asked yesterday if you were affected by BC’s new restrictions on staying in the Okanagan, and about 28% of the 1,000+ responses said yes. Slightly over half of that group’s respondents were affected currently, with the rest anticipating having to alter plans later in the month.

A fair number of you did say that you aren’t travelling, whether due to your usual summer approach; your response to problems this year such as cost of living or fires and highway shutdowns.

Some, though, have gotten stuck mid-journey while in the Okanagan. A respondent who drove to Calgary wonders if they’ll have to drive back through the US, while another intended to fly from the Kelowna airport but has been grounded so far by the airspace limits imposed.

Others are keeping an eye on what develops, with plans to visit areas such as Nelson now in limbo until it’s established what exactly the end-of-month travel situation will be.

Island fires continue, but well below mainland level
The Island has been relatively clear of fires since the Cameron Bluffs blaze, though fires in Strathcona park have been ongoing and the South Island remains one of the most at-risk zones in BC.

In Strathcona Park the Mount Con Reid fire grew and merged with the neighbouring Wolf River fire this weekend, reaching 1,577 hectares. The fire is being allowed to burn, the Wildfire Service told CHEK, because it was naturally lightning-caused and is not threatening safety or structures. A minor fire also sprung up near River Jordan on Sunday.

In the Interior on Sunday, the Kelowna fire crisis lessened slightly and some evacuations were rescinded. Military aid was also confirmed for BC yesterday.


“No regrets” as local plant-based business calls it quits

Justo’s / Instagram

When four co-founders started Justo’s plant-based dip company in 2019, they did so with the goal of paying things forward. For four years they’ve been donating a serving of hummus to local organizations for every 10 jars they sell. But the company’s high profile receded this year, with noticeably fewer summer farmers market appearances.

CEO, co-founder, and namesake Justin Kopetzki confirmed this month that the company is done, saying that he and the others wanted to move on and that problems with the production process had been costly as they tried to scale up to make it into big stores such as Thrifty Foods.

“We don't want anyone to feel bummed for us, or sorry,” Kopetzki said. “It was an incredible ride.”

More at Tasting Victoria on some of the community-minded initiatives the company had done, and on why Kopetzki and co. are comfortable moving on.

⭐️ Capital Picks

🏖️ The Parksville Beach Festival has ended, but you can see the the impressive sand sculptures, lit up at night, in these photos from photographer Angie Ooms.

🏋️ Adult health and fitness: Register for martial arts courses, fitness classes, personal training, and more.

🏠 Want to age in place? Next Day Access delivers and installs mobility and accessibility products right to your home. Schedule your free in-home assessment today!*

🐬 Dolphins leaping from the water off the Discovery Islands were captured by a photographer earlier this month.

🚗 Sometimes in life, you’re driving down the road and a wheel comes off, or two… When that happens, the counsellors at Intertidal Wellness want to help.*

🧋 Try some refreshing drinks to help deal with hot and smoky summer days. Tasting Victoria rounded up the best local non-alcoholic drinks you can grab on the go.

🤝 Now hiring: Lighting & Scenic Technician at the Butchart Gardens.

*Sponsored Listing

🗞️ In Other News

Nanaimo hammer thrower wins world gold: The rugby women weren’t the only Islanders advancing toward Olympic glory this weekend. Ethan Katzberg, 21, defeated the Tokyo Olympic hammer throw champion, and set a new Canadian record with 81.25m, at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest. Victoria thrower Adam Keenan was 11th. [CBC]

Local travel software company that just merged merges again: Victoria’s Checkfront has now merged with both the similar Australian company Rezdy and a European counterpart, Regiondo. [Vic Tech Journal]

Fake Taylor tickets prompt Facebook fraud warning: RCMP says that last week a Quadra Islander tagged her cousin in a post offering a link to coveted Taylor Swift tickets. The trusted friend who posted the link turned out to have been hacked by unknown scammers who stole the cousin’s money.

🗓️ Things to do

🧺 Esquimalt Farmers Market continues in Gorge Park for three more Mondays. Vendors, musicians, and, today, button-making at the Esquimalt Community Arts Hub tent. 4:30-7:30pm.

🏮Salish Sea Lantern Festival: You can build or display your own lantern this week, or take a tour of others’ light-ups, in the lead-up to the Aug. 26 community lantern parade. [Info]

Enjoy Night Illuminations Wednesday through Sunday until Sept. 15 at The Butchart Gardens, showcasing an artistic display of light and shadow. Viewing until 11pm.*

🎶 Bran Van 3000: You’ll be “Astounded” that it’s been 25+ years since the eclectic Canadian band broke out with “Drinking in LA.” Catch the crew today at 7:30pm at the Mary Winspear. [Info]

🪩 Disco tomorrow as Tight Hair plays in Rudd Park as part of Saanich’s Music in the Park series.

📽️ Passages at the Vic Theatre: In this acclaimed new dramedy, a cavalier man’s antics strain the patience of both his husband and his mistress. Showings today & Wednesday.

*Sponsored Listing

👀 In Case You Missed It

Homes for gnomes: A View Royal couple’s stump project has spread the local trend around their neighbourhood. [The Westshore]

Where to find bioluminescence: Islanders recommend locations, from the Gorge to Hornby Island, where they’ve been able to see luminous waters on recent nights. [Facebook thread]

50th anniversary celebrated on ferry as a couple marked their special day while on a Port Hardy route.

Saturday headlines. Smoke reaches Island. Iconic corner building, unused for 20 years, could be redeveloped under new plan. Victoria’s baseball coach named league’s best. [Aug. 19]

Victoria’s 1980s “Satanic Panic” is the subject of Satan Wants You, a new doc on how a local woman’s stories sparked an international paranoia. Capital Daily spoke with the directors.

That’s it!

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Cam Welch

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