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  • Feb 17 - No snow, but there is a winter festival this long weekend

Feb 17 - No snow, but there is a winter festival this long weekend

Plus, vandals hit a newly painted middle school rainbow crosswalk

Good morning !

I love the story (see In Other News, below) about the woman who lost her wallet in the ocean off Tofino, and eight months later, found it—pretty much intact—washed ashore.

The ocean taketh away and the ocean giveth back.


Have you ever lost something, thought it was gone for good, and then you got it back?

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Today’s approx. read time: 5 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: 🌦️ 8 / 3

Tomorrow: 🌧️ 9 / 4

Monday: 🌧️ 7 / 5


Everything happening for Winter Arts Fest this long weekend

Photo: Winter Arts Fest

Turns out festivals aren’t just for the summertime—Victoria’s Winter Arts Fest (WAF) is taking place this weekend throughout downtown. Hosted by the organizers of Vancouver Mural Fest, this three-day event features public art displays, light installations, cozy winter drinks, and family-friendly activities. The best part? Most of these events are free to take part in.

Go at your own pace to check out the pop-up installations in the city, following these three digital maps. If you’re feeling chilly, warming stations hosted by local cafes and businesses are also flagged on the map. Get an Art Walk Passport to collect stamps at each stop for a chance to win free Evo driving minutes.

All WAF events, which run through Monday, begin after 5pm.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

Long weekend ferries: Check for delays.

Expect traffic delays downtown during a planned demonstration, starting at 1pm.

Anti-Hate Community Support Fund applications still open for community organizations at risk for hate-motivated crimes.

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


Spencer Middle School’s new rainbow crosswalk vandalized

Freshly painted and quickly scuffed crosswalk at Langford school. Photo: City of Langford

Langford is dealing with a bout of discrimination after a newly painted rainbow crosswalk was vandalized the same day it was unveiled. The crosswalk, an initiative brought forward by students in the school’s Sexual Orientation, Gender Identities (SOGI) Club, was painted the colours of the Progress Pride Flag to increase safety, awareness, and inclusivity at school.

However, within hours of its installation the day before Valentine’s Day, somebody purposely scuffed it up with skid marks. City staff swiftly saw to repairs, but despite the quick action, the crosswalk was vandalized again overnight, this time it was defaced with spray paint alongside more skid marks. 

“Vandalism and hate are never appropriate and have no place in our community, said Langford Coun. Kimberley Guiry, who worked closely on the project with the SOGI Club. “As residents and neighbours, we can do so much better than vandalizing a symbol of acceptance.” West Shore RCMP are investigating.


Come reimagine the future of non-profits

Register now to attend a special free screening of the documentary UnCharitable at the McPherson Playhouse on March 7, followed by a live Q&A with the film's writer Dan Pallotta, and Bruce McDonald, the CEO of Imagine Canada.

Through charitable workers’ personal stories, UnCharitable explores how our societal values toward the operating needs of non-profits are preventing them from being as innovative and sustainable as they could be.

The Victoria Foundation is presenting this film in partnership with the Inter-Cultural Association, United Way Southern Vancouver Island, Coast Capital, and the Sue and Carl Stover fund held at the Victoria Foundation.

⭐️ Capital Picks

☕ Hey Happy will have a kiosk at Uptown: The cafe’s new location in the Town Plaza will open this spring and will offer its signature food and drink items.

🥶 Hair ice, a rare icy phenomenon occurring on dead wood, found in Cowichan Valley.

☔ You’re not alone. Tall Tree Health’s clinical counsellors can help you learn new skills to cope with emotions, manage anxiety, and improve your mental health.*

📷 Throwback photo: See the corner of Yates and Douglas in the 1950s.

🤝 Now hiring! Finance Manager at Pacific Opera Victoria.

🗞️ In Other News

More cases in jeopardy over ‘disgraced’ VicPD officer
Charges had been stayed against the alleged “top of the fentanyl trafficking pyramid” in BC due to a former officer himself being under an RCMP anti-corruption investigation. Now lawyers are appealing another Robb Ferris case, arguing that the conviction relied on his testimony about finding the key to a safe with drugs in it in the defendant's bedroom. [CTV]

Campbell River teens missing since Monday, located on Quadra Island 
An RCMP dog found them just after noon yesterday. They had taken food and camping gear to the island without informing their families, who reported them missing. The search for Dommie Malcolmson, 15, and Cora Potoski, 16, had expanded to include search-and-rescue crews and a police helicopter. [Times Colonist]

Feds promise to fast-track the building of 900 Island homes
The cities of Victoria and Campbell River and the Town of Comox have reached a deal with the federal government to expedite construction over the next three years, which they hope will spur the fabrication of 16K+ homes over the decade. [Federal gov’t release]
Back in 2019, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) said Victoria needed at least 580 dwellings built every year to keep pace with demand. We wrote about it in 2022.

Woman loses wallet near Tofino, finds it 8 months later
Marcie Callawaert heard it plop into the ocean while boarding a boat last June. She couldn't find it, even with a diver's help—until a walk this week, when she saw it washed ashore with all her cards and ID still inside. [CHEK]
In another case of Island waters returning possessions: In 2020, a child's lost doll came back after crossing the sea.

🗓️ Things to do

🎭 Afroquatics: A Call and Response Below the Surface: a projected video/interactive, augmented reality installation by Victoria Artist in Residence Kemi Craig. Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s Drury Gallery. Opens today. Runs through May 26. Open House today. Meet the artist. 10am-5pm. [Info]

👗 Fashion Splash: Local fashion designers, models, and beauty professionals come together for this fashion show at the Victoria Scottish Community Centre. Today. Doors 5:30pm. Show 7:15pm.   

🎶 Early Music Society of the Islands presents L’Eterno Ritorno, a concert by Montreal’s Ensemble Mirabilia, dedicated to the chaconne—a piece of music with a short but memorable and repeating bassline. First Church of Christ Scientist (Pandora & Chambers). Tonight. Doors 6:45pm. Show 7:30pm. [Info]

🖼️ Art show at Habit Coffee: Tiny Flwrs is exhibiting a showcase of dried florals from the Saanich Peninsula. Today. 6-9pm. 

🎧 Sips and Sounds: Gene Pool will perform a live set at Tourist Wine Bar. Tonight. 8pm-late. 

🎨 Art Battle: Watch 12 artists compete in 20-minute rounds to create the best masterpiece at Victoria Event Centre. Today. Doors 6pm. Painting 7pm. 

🩰 Ballet by the Sea: Pineapple Poll and other works: This comic ballet set to the music of Gilbert and Sullivan will be performed at Mary Winspear Centre. Today. 2pm and 7pm. Tomorrow 2pm. 

🥁 Kelby MacNayr & the Blue Note Repertory All-Stars: The drummer will lead the band in a performance of the music of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers at Hermann’s Jazz Club. Today. Doors 5:30pm. Show 7pm.

👀 In Case You Missed It

Saanich explores suing Big Oil. [Capital Daily

Friday’s headlines: VicPD drug bust case fizzles; The Zone’s Dylan Willows leaves the airwaves to continue his fight with Stage 4 cancer privately; the cat came back after four years; and Union protests YYJ job cuts. [Feb. 16.]

Found a furry wanderer? ROAM or FLED or Animal Control Services

Valentine’s Day proposal on Kiss Cam at Royals game.

New Vancouver Island Building Industry Awards. [In June]

That’s it!

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