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Latest News | Victoria

Let's Get Creative, Victoria | July 02 2020
Victoria will have new opportunities to engage in Everyday Creativity this year. The City of Victoria is offering six new ways to participate in the arts all year long. Everyday Creativity Grant  Through the new Everyday Creativity Grant, non-profit organizations can submit creative ideas for engaging citizens to participate in the arts. This is a new, one-time grant, with $500 - $5,000 available to organizations. Creating a solution where more people can experience more art, more often is an essential objective of this new grant program. Equitable access to participate is a key component, and projects with an emphasis on learning, creative expression and broad public participation will be encouraged. Learn more. Creative Spotlight – Locals Supporting Locals Victoria is home to renowned local shops and haunts. In a 12-week Instagram series, we’ve invited local artists to tell us their favourite local places and spaces they love around the city. See where these artists love to go for takeout, what their favourite art activities are, and where to find great local products. All posts are by locals and support locals. Learn more. Creative Spotlight – Live Performances This summer, keep your ears and eyes open for live, local music. Bands will ‘pop up’ for surprise concerts at different parks, plazas, streetscapes and squares. You'll be serenaded (from a distance) over lunch, or as you go about your day over the weekend. These performances replace what the City would traditionally do at the Cameron Bandshell and Centennial Square. Learn more. Eventide Music Series  Artists have been deeply affected by the pandemic and Eventide presents an opportunity to support local artists and hear new music they have been creating during the lockdown. This year, Eventide will be streamed free on the Twitch platform. The series features an eclectic lineup of artists from BC and will begin the week of July 8. Weekly shows will be 30 – 60 minutes long and will continue for at least eight weeks in the summer.  Details, including an artist line up and how to access the streams, will be released in the coming weeks. Call to Artists: Signage Kiosk Animation Artists in the Capital Region, including the Gulf Islands, are invited to submit up to two artworks to be displayed on 10 Signage Kiosks in Victoria. Artists working in different types of media can apply – from poetry, photography, sculpture, textile, painting, digital media and more, all are welcome. All works must be original to the artist. This project embodies Create Victoria’s vision “to thrive as a place for everyday artistic encounters.” Learn more. Call to Artists: Storefronts Victoria Designers and Illustrators in the Capital Region, including the Gulf Islands, are invited to submit artwork for display in vacant storefront windows in Victoria. This opportunity will showcase the talent in the local design community and provide temporary beautification to vacant commercial spaces. The artworks will be presented as vinyl wraps on the vacant storefront windows. Learn more. The deadline for submissions for the two Calls to Artists is Tuesday, July 21 at 4 p.m. PST. Artists will also have an opportunity to meet with City of Victoria staff to review the Calls to Artists at an online information session on July 7, 2020. Proposals must be submitted by email. Hard copies will not be accepted. For submission guidelines and more information, visit our Public Art Opportunities.
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Congratulations to Cool It! Climate Leaders | June 29 2020
Students across the region are being recognized for their participation in this year’s Cool It! Climate Leadership Training program. From January to June, 844 students, representing 39 classes across the region, participated in the BC Sustainable Energy Association’s (BCSEA) program to empower youth to be environmental stewards. The workshops build students’ climate change knowledge, followed by a four-week call-to-action challenge to reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint at home with their families. “Although this spring presented some obstacles for delivery and participation, students and their families, teachers and BCSEA staff quickly adapted to a new way of learning and delivering the sustainability program,” said Capital Regional District Board Chair Colin Plant. “Congratulations to the participants on their commitment to taking climate action and encouraging others to do the same.” “Climate change is the challenge of our time,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps. “And I believe that the generation after us will not only be faced with the lasting impacts, but they’re also going to be the leaders we need to power future solutions.” This year’s winning classes are grade 4 at Margaret Jenkins Elementary (Victoria), grade 4/5 at Cordova Bay Elementary (Saanich) and grade 4/5 at Dunsmuir Elementary (regional) schools. "Our congratulations and thanks to this year’s winners, and all those students and teachers who participated. It’s fantastic to see the many climate actions taken and know the important climate conversations being started by these students as part of this wonderful program. When we act on climate together, we all win,” said Mayor Haynes, District of Saanich. This year, the CRD sponsored 19 workshops through winter and spring, with an additional 10 workshops each sponsored by the District of Saanich and the City of Victoria in their communities for a total of 39 workshops region-wide. During the challenge, students committed to 9,369 actions that reduce energy and carbon emissions at home, which will result in a projected savings of 472 tonnes of CO2e annually, if continued for one year. Since its launch in 2017, more than 130 classes in the region have participated in the program, with support from the CRD and member municipalities. In that time, participating students have reported taking more than 43,085 actions. In February 2019, the CRD Board declared a climate emergency and aims to lead and support accelerated climate action across the region. For more information, visit www.bcsea.org/Cool-It.
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Public Service Centre at City Hall Re-Opens July 2 | June 29 2020
We’re increasing in-person services at City Hall.  Starting Thursday, July 2, you can visit the Public Service Centre in person to pay your property taxes and make other financial transactions. You are no longer required to make an appointment, however, to avoid line-ups we encourage you pay your property taxes online, use the drop box outside City Hall or pay by mail. Located on the ground floor, the Public Service Centre from July 2 onward, will be open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. excluding statutory holidays. Upon arrival, please line up outside the Pandora Avenue entrance of City Hall. Ambassadors will be there to greet you. You will exit the building into Centennial Square. Please Note: The Development Services and Permits counter on the second floor will continue to provide service by appointment only. Planning is underway for re-opening at a later date. Ways to Pay Your Property Taxes To ease the financial burden faced by taxpayers during the pandemic, the City has extended this year’s property tax deadline to Tuesday, August 4, 2020. Learn about the many payment options.  Safety Measures at City Hall If you need to come into City Hall, we’ve made some changes for your safety and the safety of our staff: Directional markers outside and inside City Hall will keep you two metres apart from others. Ambassadors at entrances will direct you and answer questions. The number of people inside the building will be limited. Plexiglass screens at service counters will provide a physical barrier. We are frequently cleaning high-touch services. There are also some things you can do when coming to City Hall: Sanitize your hands before and after your visit. Practice physical distancing. And if you are feeling ill, please stay home. Together, we can continue to do our part to stay safe. Learn more about the City’s response to COVID-19.  
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Join Us for Victoria’s Canada Day Virtual Celebration | June 29 2020
The City of Victoria is excited to present Victoria’s Canada Day, a virtual celebration. Join us on July 1 at 7 p.m. on CHEK for an impressive line-up of diverse, multicultural performances and community content. The one-hour, commercial free broadcast will also be streamed on canadadayvictoria.ca and the City of Victoria’s You Tube channel. Hosted by CHEK’s Joe Perkins and Stacy Ross, Victoria’s Canada Day will feature musical performances from an exciting local line-up, with a special performance by the Lekwungen Traditional Dancers. “With everything we have experienced locally and as a country due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, this is a Canada Day we won’t soon forget,” said Mayor Lisa Helps. “Even though we can’t physically be together on the Legislature Lawn, we can still come together virtually to celebrate Canada’s diversity and its strengths. What it means to live in Canada very much depends on personal experience, whether you’re Indigenous, a newcomer, or have lived here for much or all of your life. Our virtual program aims to reflect the diversity of experiences in our country and in our city.” Crowd-sourced content will be interspersed throughout the show, with members of the community demonstrating “What it means to Me to be Canadian” and singing “O Canada”. An eclectic mix of local music will be showcased including Victoria’s acoustic duo Ocie Elliott, comprised of Jon Middleton and Sierra Lundy; the soulful world sounds of Caleb Hart who grew up in Trinidad and Tobago; and the collective talent of The Phatfunks – a multi-member band that combines old-school funk, R&B, Hiphop, and Jazz Fusion.  The one-hour special will also feature Paint The Town Red, a rap group forged from the Tsartlip Nation in the Wsanec territory comprised of Brian Sampson a.k.a YellowWolf, Thomas Paul a.k.a Barndawg, and Addie Elliott. Viewers will also enjoy the genre-bending pop/R&B sounds of Fake Fake, featuring Victoria-based artists Charlotte Hynds and Justin Campbell.  Victoria’s Artist in Residence Kathryn Calder, a solo artist and a vocalist and keyboardist with indie rock group The New Pornographers, and Latin Grammy award winner Kuba Oms will also perform.  The musical extravaganza will round out with performances by the internationally-recognized violinist Sari Alesh, the vocal talents of singer/composer and founding member of The Canadian Tenors Ken Lavigne, and Chris Donison, a Canadian composer, librettist, conductor, pianist and founder/Artistic Director of Music by the Sea.  The virtual celebration will also feature members of Pacific Opera Victoria performing Pop Up Opera, featuring a soloist or duet accompanied by recorded tracks created by pianist Robert Holliston. And there will be fireworks – footage from a past Symphony Splash. “I would like to thank event partners Canadian Heritage, CHEK and Do250 for helping us bring the community together virtually to celebrate our country’s diversity and strength, the many talented performers for taking part, and all those who contributed a video to our Victoria’s Canada Day showcase,” said City Councillor and Canada Day Organizer Charlayne Thornton-Joe. This year’s Victoria’s Canada Day is made possible by the Canadian Heritage Celebrate Canada program, which is providing $50,000 in funding for the virtual event. For performer bios and more information, visit: canadadayvictoria.ca.
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COVID-19 City of Victoria Response and Recovery | June 26 2020
The City of Victoria is taking COVID-19 seriously and is in communication with provincial health officials regarding standards and protocols. City Council is continuously exploring ways to support the community during the pandemic. For helpful information on City programs and services, resources for residents and local businesses, federal and provincial government support available, and updates on the City's response to COVID-19 and recovery, click here.
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