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Next Step for 2021 Draft Budget | January 12 2021
  Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on the 2021 Draft Budget. Your input will be presented in a budget package to Council for consideration on Monday, January 18 at 9 a.m. Learn more and plan to watch the live webcast.  Background Over a five-week period (December 7, 2020 to January 13, 2021), the community was invited to provide feedback on the 2021 Draft Budget in the following ways: Virtual Budget Town Hall on January 13 at 6:30 p.m. (Watch the archived webcast.) Online Survey until January 10 Emailing engage@victoria.ca until January 10 Youth Speak: Budget 2021, a virtual event aligned with the Town Hall Virtual Budget Town Hall This interactive event provided residents and businesses the opportunity to ask questions and give input on the 2021 Draft Budget. You could: Submit your question or comment in our online formthen tune in to the webcast for the answers Tweet your question with the hashtag #victownhall Watch the live event for an opportunity to call in and speak for up to three minutes about the 2021 Draft Budget Submit a video up to three minutes in length to be played during the live event. The deadline to submit your video was 2 p.m. on Monday, January 11.  Pre-register to speak live via phone for up to three minutes during the Virtual Budget Town Hall. The deadline to pre-register was 2 p.m. on Tuesday, January 12.   About  The proposed budget allocates $255.9 million to operate the City’s more than 200 programs and services and invests $52.9 million in capital infrastructure projects. Council has provided direction to add an additional $3 million back into the capital budget, although specific projects are still to be determined. The 2021 Draft Budget proposes to maintain current service levels and keep the tax increase to one per cent plus inflation. This investment will enable Council to continue to enhance the well-being of the community, invest in infrastructure upgrades and achieve the City’s Strategic Plan. See what's proposed by reading the 2021 Draft Financial Plan, or for a quick read, view the Budget Summary.  Learn more and join the conversation
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Sign up for Vic-Alert to Receive Emergency Notifications | January 11 2021
Are you and your family prepared for an emergency such as a power outage, winter storm, earthquake, or tsunami? Make emergency preparedness your family’s New Year’s Resolution. Your family needs to have enough food, water, and supplies to cope for at least seven days without outside assistance, depending on the emergency. Check out our virtual Emergency Preparedness Workshop and sign up for Vic-Alert to receive emergency notifications.  The City of Victoria is now using Alertable to send Vic-Alert emergency notifications. Simply resubscribe to enjoy the additional features and continue receiving emergency notifications through Vic-Alert. Alertable is free and easy to use and offers some additional new features. You can receive emergency notifications directly through a mobile app on your phone, by text or email, on your home phone, home smart speaker, and more. You can personalize notifications by type and severity, and you can choose notifications for more than one location such as your home or office. If you are currently subscribed to Vic-Alert, you will receive an email or phone call, depending on how you registered, with information on how to move to the new system. However, you can subscribe or resubscribe at any time at Victoria.ca/VicAlert. As of February 1, 2021, the City will be exclusively using Alertable to send emergency notifications. VictoriaReady is the City of Victoria’s resource for helping our community prepare for emergencies. Head to VictoriaReady.ca to learn about hazards that can affect Victoria, what to include in your emergency kits, how to reunite with your loved ones following a disaster, and to sign up for Vic-Alert. 
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NOW RECRUITING: External Grant Review Committee | January 07 2021
We’re looking for members of the public to fill four positions on our External Grant Review Committee: two, two-year term positions two, one-year term positions Your role will be to review and recommend to City Council the Strategic Plan Grant applications to receive funding each year. You should have interest or expertise in: Good Governance and Civic Engagement Reconciliation and Indigenous Relations Affordable Housing Prosperity and Economic Inclusion Health, Well-Being and a Welcoming City Climate Leadership and Environmental Stewardship Sustainable Transportation Strong, Liveable Neighbourhoods The committee’s recommendations will be guided by the City’s Strategic Plan, and in particular, the evaluation matrix specifically established for Strategic Plan Grants. Potential candidates should not be affiliated with any organizations that apply for the City's annual Strategic Plan Grant. Those appointed to the committee by Council will be contacted by the end of February and will have the opportunity to review and make recommendations on this year's Strategic Plan Grant applications.  Learn more and apply by Friday, January 29.  
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Now Accepting Applications for Strategic Plan Grants | January 07 2021
Have a great idea for a project or program that supports the actions and outcomes of the City of Victoria’s Strategic Plan and builds community resilience?  Non-profit and community organizations are invited to submit applications for the City’s annual Strategic Plan Grant by January 31, 2021. In 2020, Strategic Plan Grants ranged from $1,500 to $32,000 with the average grant awarded of just under $10,000. The total funding available for 2021 is $500,000. The 2019 - 2022 Strategic Plan has eight objectives that guide the City’s work: Good Governance and Civic Engagement Reconciliation and Indigenous Relations Affordable Housing Prosperity and Economic Inclusion Health, Well-Being and a Welcoming City Climate Leadership and Environmental Stewardship Sustainable Transportation Strong, Liveable Neighbourhoods Previously funded projects have included programs to help prevent youth homelessness, support Indigenous healing, educate renters about their legal rights and responsibilities, create a neighbourhood Tool Share program, and advise newcomers on educational and financial assistance opportunities.   The City’s annual Strategic Plan Grant has funded 286 projects, investing $3.1 million in the community since the program began in 2015. Virtual Workshops To assist potential candidates with their application, a free virtual workshop will be held on: Wednesday, January 13 from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Wednesday, January 20 from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. The workshop will provide a detailed overview of the grant application process and an opportunity to ask questions. To sign up to participate, email grants@victoria.ca. Learn more and apply.     
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Artist in Residence Launches 1-877-2BE-CALM Phone Line | January 07 2021
Artist in Residence, Kathryn Calder is inviting those in need of calm and joy in their day to call the new 1-877-2BE-CALM toll-free hotline to hear soothing sounds, songs and meditations.  “This was a challenging year for many, especially for older adults who have been greatly impacted by the pandemic,” said Kathryn Calder. “My goal was to create an interactive phone line to help bring comforting sounds and joy to those who are feeling isolated and may have challenges accessing an online platform. My hope is the phone line will help connect our communities until we can all be together again. A big thanks to TELUS and my collaborator, Emily Hamel, for their support in creating this project.” Individuals can experience the toll-free phone line by dialing 1-877-2BE-CALM (1-877-223-2256) and choosing from a rotating selection of soothing auditory experiences, including music from Canadian artists, nature, poetry, children’s laughter, meditations and Indigenous stories and songs. Callers can choose to listen to featured audio selections from local artists and storytellers including a story of the Salish wool dog by Dylan Thomas, the Indigenous Artist in Residence, and Kathryn Calder’s song, “Song in Cm” from her self-titled album. Sounds of children’s laughter are also a featured audio selection and Kathryn is inviting parents who would like to have their child’s laughter be included in future phone line audio to send recordings along with the release form to her by February 7, 2021. Auditory content will change periodically, and people are encouraged to check back to hear a variety of new sounds from local artists until the project ends in July 2021. Services for the phone line have been provided by TELUS at no charge. Learn more about the 1-877-2BE-CALM project and how to submit a recording of your child’s laughter at victoria.ca/becalm.  
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