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  • March 8 - Director calls cut on decision to cancel play

March 8 - Director calls cut on decision to cancel play

Plus: BC Transit loses two years on 2040 e-bus timetable

Good morning !

The transportation gods giveth and they taketh away. While the city anticipates more electronic vehicles using its bike lanes, it’s back to the drawing board in BC Transit’s quest for e-buses.


If BC Transit acquired a bunch of electric buses would you be more likely to take public transportation?

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Today’s approx. read time: 5 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: 🌧️ 9 / 5 

Tomorrow: 🌧️ 10 / 5

Sunday: 🌧️ 10 / 5


Director says board blundered by calling off play

Graphic: Theatre Inconnu

The Fernwood Community Association Board of Directors says it cancelled a play in a building it rents to the acting troupe Theatre Inconnu because it had a duty “to act quickly and decisively.” The play’s director isn’t buying it.

Slated to run into the weekend at Paul Phillips Hall on Fernwood, Sisters tells the fictional story of three nuns in a residential school. It abruptly closed Wed., after an online backlash pegged the play “offensive” and “racist.”

“This decision was made to make space for listening and ensure the safety of everyone in our building and community,” the board said in a written statement. 

The troupe’s GM, Clayton Jevne says protesters told him, “‘Well, you're a white person, you're doing a story that concerns First Nations, and you shouldn’t be doing that.’”

Director Kevin McKendrick contends the play “is about white culture, not Indigenous culture,” and blames the board for making a “knee-jerk” reaction without doing its homework. “If anybody should feel offended, it would be members of the religious orders,” McKendrick tells Capital Daily. “If any board member had seen the play, this would have been abundantly obvious.”

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

Accessibility & You Survey: Have your say on how Colwood, Esquimalt, Highlands, Langford, Metchosin, Sooke, and View Royal interact.  

Rough-Skinned Newt: City of Langford warns this amphibian, spotted in Westhills Park, contains harmful toxins.

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


Esquimalt offers efficient business improvement program to bring curb appeal

Photo: GMC Projects

Esquimalt is putting money into a revised storefront program to entice business owners and attract consumers to do more business there. “It's an investment in the overall success and the vibrancy of our community,” said Holly Courtright, president of the Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce. “This has a major impact on economic growth and fosters a sense of pride for all.”

In its second year, Esquimalt’s Business Facade Improvement Program (BFIP) has been streamlined to make it more accessible and attractive to shop owners. The township has partnered with the Chamber to offer businesses grants covering 50% of renovation costs—up to $5K for single-face improvements and $10K for two-face improvements on corner lots.  

The program has been updated to offer free architectural and design support, and the township says a new application process works on a reimbursement model, tailored to meet evolving business needs. 
Rolling applications are open until October, with projects due by year-end for owners to be reimbursed.


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⭐️ Capital Picks

🍲 Is your favourite restaurant nominated? Voting is now open for the 2024 Tasting Victoria Best Restaurant Awards. Vote here!

🍜 Dry ramen bar opens: Otaki, the new ramen bar and geekware shop, is a venture by Oni-Oni and is now open at 551 Johnson.

🌸 Greater Victoria Flower Count: Until Mar 13. [Petal power]

🤝 Now hiring: Director of Finance at Belfry Theatre.

🗞️ In Other News

BC Transit’s $20M electric bus agreement gets zapped
The transit authority struck a deal for 10 buses to be delivered two years ago but Proterra, its partnering company, went bankrupt. A US court has ruled the firm that bought Proterra’s assets is not legally obligated to honour the contract, forcing BC Transit to find a new manufacturer. The transit authority says it is not on the hook for any money and still wants to go fully electric by 2040. [CTV]

Investigation reopened into 18-year-old’s date-rape drug overdose
The BC Coroners Service (BCCS) will review the 2021 death of Victoria’s Samantha Krysia Sims-Somerville after she and her friend consumed a fatal dose of GHB (her friend narrowly survived the overdose). Sims-Somerville’s mother advocated for years to appeal the BCCS’s decision that her death was accidental, believing her drinks were spiked. [Times Colonist]

More lawsuits against buyers in Victoria’s Vivid building
The province filed nine more in the last two weeks—for a total of 22 civil suits since 2022—against buyers who took part in the affordable housing program. Each suit claims the individual buyers were not using their new unit on Johnson as a primary residence, a requirement to buy at below-market value. [Victoria News]

E-scooters legal in bike lanes as of next month: Vic council
Riders will need a helmet and a willingness to go no faster than the posted speed limit—to a maximum of 50km/hr—stay off sidewalks, and equip the scooter with lights. Council yesterday unanimously agreed to join a provincial pilot project to test the vehicles on city streets for the next four years. [City of Victoria]
On Tue., Capital Daily wrote about the city’s goal to explore more modes of transportation using the bike-lane network.


Photo: Michelle Proctor

Design Victoria returns May 9-12

Design Victoria is a four-day festival celebrating community and creativity in Victoria. Now in its second year, Design Victoria features exhibitions, talks, workshops, tours, film screenings, and fashion shows. 

Sign up for the newsletter to get exclusive offers and early access to the mostly free, ticketed events.

🗓️ Things to do

🎺 Russ Macklem West Coast Quintet. The Detroit trumpeter player/composer performs music from his Juno-nominated album The South Detroit Connection. Opening set by the U-Jam young all-stars. The Mint. Sunday. 7-10 pm. [Info]

🍻 Victoria Beer Week: Check out brewery tours, beer launches, and more during the craft beer festival. Until tomorrow. 

😂 Chelsea Handler: The comedian brings her LBB special to the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. Tonight. 8pm.

🏀 UVic (20-3, #1) opens men’s national hoops tournament vs. host Laval (6-11, #8). Today. 3pm. [CBC]

🎤 Art d'Ecco: The Canadian indie rock singer will perform at Capital Ballroom. Today. Doors 8pm. Show 9pm.

💃 Nrityagram Dance Ensemble: The Odissi dance company will perform the North American premiere of KHANKANĀ: The Sound of Dancing Feet at the Royal Theatre. Tonight and tomorrow night. 7:30pm. 

😂 Pinky Patel: The Illinois-based comedian will perform at McPherson Playhouse. Tonight. 7:30pm. 

🎻 Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4: Deanna Tham will conduct a performance featuring William Grant Still and Stravinsky at Royal Road’s Dogwood Auditorium in Sooke. Tonight. 7:30pm.

👀 In Case You Missed It

Fernwood play cancelled: Sisters stopped before the end of its run due to public protests. [Capital Daily

International Women’s Day: Celebrate and support local women with events happening this weekend. [Capital Daily

Thursday’s headlines: Downtown Salvation Army Thrift Store closing; Woman sues Vic Golf Club; MLA Selina Robinson leaves NDP; And more. [Mar. 7

Vancouver Island’s Got Talent: 4 groups make the TV show. [Times Colonist]

IMAX Victoria Film Festival starts today. [Mar. 8-31]

Spring break program registration. [City of Victoria]

Bird’s eye view of Gonzales Beach by Doug Clement. [Photo]

That’s it!

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