Sept 9 - Victoria's best books of 2023

Multiple summer arsonists? Inmate dies. Pigs play piano. Housing crisis costing students scholarships. RibFest returns. More Malahat repairs.


Good morning !

The return of schools makes early fall a big time for books, and right on time the shortlist has come out for Victoria’s best book of the past year.

More on that below, plus the latest on student housing struggles, Malahat closures, the fire at Ricky’s, the return of RibFest, and and more.


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Today’s approx read time: 6 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: 🌤️ 21/10

Tomorrow:☀️ 21/12

Day after: ☀️ 20/11

🌫️ Air quality: Low risk today (3/10). Current smoke forecast.

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


5 books battle to win this year’s Victoria Book Prize

Books & sources listed & linked below

With a $5K prize, the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize—which has been awarded for 20 years—is bestowed upon a Greater Victoria author for the best book published in the categories of fiction, non-fiction, or poetry.

The five 2023 finalists, chosen by a jury of local literary arts representatives, are:

The City of Victoria Children’s Book Prize will also award $5K to a local author or illustrator. Its finalists are:

Winners for both categories will be announced Oct. 11.

2022 prizewinner Wendy Proverbs. Photo: Matt Shannon (Submitted)

Last year’s Children’s Book Prize winner was Wendy Proverbs for Aggie and Mudgy, which chronicles a fictional journey based on the real story of how her mother and aunt were taken to Residential School.
Capital Daily profiled her and her book here.

Victoria writer to chair judging for Booker Prize

Last year’s Victoria Book Prize winner Esi Edugyan was just chosen to lead the judging of 2023’s Booker Prize, a notable award for the year’s best English-language novel (as long as it has been published in the UK or Ireland).

Finalists are announced on Sep. 21, and the winner gets £50K ($85K CAD). Edugyan was shortlisted for the Booker Prize herself in 2011 and 2018.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

Next week’s weather projected to be sun with some cloud, and around 20C.

Malahat will be single-lane overnight starting Monday. Repair work through the Tunnel Hill area will reduce traffic flow from 8pm to 6am, 4 or 5 nights per week (incl. some Sundays).


RibFest returns, marking 10 years of BBQ bonanza

📸: @esqribs

Time to spare? How about some spare ribs?

You know we’re officially into the fall portion of fun things to do in this town when the juicy meat starts falling off the bone at Bullen Park.

RibFest is back in Esquimalt for its 10th year.

The Esquimalt Firefighters Charitable Foundation, the Esquimalt RibFest Society, and seven local non-profit groups host the event each year.

On top of raising local meat lovers’ spirits, they’ve managed to raise more than $1M for local charities in the past decade.

Ribfest takes place at Bullen Park from 11am to 10pm tonight, 11am-9pm tomorrow.


Local students are losing scholarships because they can’t find housing

Affordable housing in Victoria is often elusive. James MacDonald / Capital Daily

Local housing has become so expensive, and so scarce, that in recent years it has kept some students out of school.

While some university students who find nowhere to live resort to couch-surfing or even camping in the first month just to be in town for classes, others end up having to give up on the semester entirely.

That was the case with Anna Buck in 2021’s return to in-person class—but in her case, it lost her $10,000 in scholarships when UVic would not allow her to defer her third year. She told Capital Daily she reached out to hundreds of listings but only heard back from four, and that driving down to Victoria from Campbell River every weekend to look in person proved fruitless.

Capital Daily spoke to her as part of this week’s look into rental scams that prey on students, and the desperate housing environment that facilitates them.


For Sale: 2-bed/2-bath split bedroom layout in Harris Green

Discover the ultimate living experience in this stunning condo at Regents Park! With its spacious floorplan, sun-soaked south-facing orientation, and cleverly designed secondary bedroom featuring a built-in murphy bed and work station, this place is truly exceptional for roommates or home office.

This unit has been immaculately cared for with tasteful updates in 2019, including a kitchen boasting custom cabinetry, tile backsplash, corian countertops, a double undermount stainless steel sink, and updated flooring thoroughout. The bathrooms have also been transformed with custom vanities and updated shower, tub, and enclosures.

Includes underground parking, pet friendly, rentals allowed. Well funded strata. Offered at $638,000 by Dustin Miller of 8X Real Estate.

⭐️ Capital Picks

🍱 Cheap eats: From downtown mainstays (such as Green Cuisine) to hidden gems (such as Fujiya near UVic), Tasting Victoria grabbed a few of Victoria’s reliably cheap food options.

🐷🎹 Pigs playing piano: The latest donation to Beacon Hill Children’s Farm has the hungry hogs plinking away on a toy piano—when they’re not busy knocking it over. [Video]

🏠 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!*

📷 The newest local graffiti murals, created at last weekend’s Trackside Paint Jam, are captured here (and elsewhere on his page) by photographer Colin Smith.

😊 Now hiring: Facilities & systems coordinator at theDock – Centre for Social Impact

*Sponsored Listing

🗞️ In Other News

William Head inmate dies in custody
An investigation is underway, Correctional Services Canada says, into the death of ​​Richard Paul Preston on Sept. 2. He had been imprisoned since 1994 for second-degree murder.

Arson suspect not connected to Ricky’s fire: Police
VicPD now says that the man they arrested in connection with summer fires north of downtown, including at a car dealership, is not suspected of also starting the earlier fires that burned Ricky’s Grill and a heritage home nearby. [CHEK]

Even small moves can soothe climate anxiety, VIU profs say
Vancouver Island University experts say that BC’s extreme weather remains top of mind for many people, but argue that deliberate yet doable change—like less driving or meat—can counter the hopelessness. [LJI]
Their new fall speaker series on climate starts this morning on Zoom.

🗓️ Things to do

🎶 Rifflandia Electric Avenue: The first weekend of Riff is underway with big names in hip hop and electronic music. Run the Jewels and Chromeo head tonight’s lineup.

🍺 Great Canadian Beer Festival concludes in Royal Athletic today. Noon to 5pm. More at Tasting Victoria.

🛍️ ReLove Market: Discover vintage treasures in Market Square. 12-6:30pm Sat & Sun.

🌍 African Eloquence: This cultural outreach event at UVic celebrates the vitality of Africa and promotes higher education. 4-7:30pm.

🇯🇲 Reggae Dance Food Drive: Dance the night away to the Caribbean sounds of reggae, ska, and soca.

🍽️ Hungry Hearts: Fundraising for Our Place, Victoria’s top chefs will face off in this culinary competition at the Delta Hotel. 5:45pm-9pm today.

🎨 In Sight Festival: A showcase of different artforms at Fort Rodd Hill. 11am-4pm Sat / 10am-4pm Sun.

🎭 The Last Frontier at the Roxy: An original musical following pioneers in Minnesota.

🎸 The Sutcliffes at Hermann’s: The Beatles tribute act will perform the fab four’s biggest hits.

👵 Cheer on some grandmas on bikes: The Victoria Grandmothers for Africa Race finish their race from Campbell River to Victoria. Tomorrow 3pm at Mile 0.

🎥 Wes Anderson movies at Cinecenta this weekend: Life Aquatic today—a double feature with Mean Girls—then Fantastic Mr. Fox & Royal Tenenbaums on both Sun. & Mon, with the new Asteroid City next week:

👀 In Case You Missed It

Friday’s headlines: Battling messy Canada geese; a man without a hat shares his musical chops; body found near the ferry terminal; and more. [Sept. 8]

150+ local surgeries postponed as Royal Jubilee shuts another operating room for two months. [Capital Daily]

Noticing more wasps? Researchers say they’re especially active right now in BC—but probably more interested in bees than in you. [Glacier]

Canada’s highest academic honour goes to a school-record 10 UVic researchers. [Sept. 7]

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