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Victoria Votes 2022: What You Need to Know | September 28 2022
General Voting Day for the City of Victoria’s 2022 Local Government Election is Saturday, October 15 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eligible voters in the City of Victoria will vote to elect for a four-year term: 1 Mayor 8 Councillors 9 School Trustees (School District 61) 3 CRD Directors (of the 18 councillor candidates who have chosen to run) Helpful Resources The following resources provide information on when and where to vote on advance and general voting days, candidates running for Mayor and Council, how to check to see if you're on the Voters List, ID to bring to vote, accessible voting and the opportunity to request a mail ballot.  Connect Newsletter - Special Election Edition Translated Connect newsletter in six languages  Online Candidate Profile Guide Victoria Votes 2022 video Victoria Votes app - coming soon to the App Store and Google Play All of these resources and more are available at victoria.ca/election.
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New Local Art Popping Up Downtown | September 28 2022
Head downtown to enjoy the art of five local artists this fall. The Art in Kiosks program enhances everyday artistic encounters and celebrates the creativity of local visual artists with temporary exhibitions downtown.  The 2022 program was open to applications from designers and illustrators creating original works. Please see below for a map of current locations, and information on the selected artists and their artworks. Art in Kiosks Map (September 2022 - January 2023) Learn more about the artists and their work here.
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Xe Xe Smun' Eem-Victoria Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters Ceremony is September 30 | September 27 2022
Wear orange and join us for the Xe Xe Smun' Eem-Victoria Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters Ceremony on Friday, September 30 from 10am  – 12:30pm in Centennial Square.  Orange Shirt Day, also the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, acknowledges the harm that Canada’s residential school system has had on generations of Indigenous families and their communities. Every year on September 30, people are asked to wear orange as a sign of support. Xe Xe Smun' Eem means "Sacred Children" in the Cowichan or Quw utsun language. All are welcome to this free event. Rain or shine.   Victoria Orange Shirt Day T-shirts and hoodies will be available for purchase starting at 9 a.m.    Live Streaming The ceremony will also be live streamed on the City's Facebook page and on CHEK+.     Eddy Charlie and Kristin Spray share what led them to create Victoria Orange Shirt Day and what they hope their work in the community helps people understand about the effects of residential schools. (Video courtesy of the District of Saanich.)   About the Ceremony The ceremony will open with a blessing and welcome by Tsartlip Nation Elder May Sam and a land acknowledgement by Songhees Nation member Brianna Bear.    The annual raising of the Victoria Orange Shirt Day flag will be followed by 15 drum beats and a minute of silence to honour and remember those who did not survive residential schools. The flag will be lowered to half-mast after the ceremony.   The event will be emceed by Indigenous Perspectives Society Executive Director Rachelle Dallaire who is from the Montagnais people in lower Quebec and is an intergenerational survivor.   Event organizers Eddy Charlie and Kristin Spray will speak to the importance of raising awareness about residential schools to honour the more than 6,000 children who died and the sacrifices that were made by 150,000 residential school survivors and their families across Canada.   Joining us will be Westwind Intertribal Drum, singers Nicole Mandryk and Adam Gauthier accompanied by students from the Tree of Life Playschool, and spoken word poet Shantelle Dick-Charleson. Indigenous guest speakers will include Tsartlip Nation Elder Tom Sampson; Ry Moran, Canada’s inaugural Associate University Librarian - Reconciliation at the University of Victoria; and residential school intergenerational survivor Holly Charlie. Each will share their personal experiences with residential schools and reconciliation. Mayor Lisa Helps will be joined by other special guests, including the Honourable Laurel Collins, Member of Parliament for the NDP; the Honourable Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation and Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing; and Capital Regional District Chair Colin Plant. Biographies Emcee Rachelle Dallaire Rachelle Dallaire is from the Montagnais people in lower Quebec. She brings more than 18 years of management and leadership experience to the community and her work as Indigenous Perspectives Society’s Executive Director. Rachelle has extensive front line service experience that informs her leadership from her early work with marginalized communities including women in the sex trade, corrections and homeless communities. As an intergenerational trauma survivor, she has worked extensively to educate on and support reconciliatory efforts. Indigenous Performers Westwind Intertribal Drum "Westwind Intertribal Drum is a family drum. Our family comes from a long lineage of pow wow people. Our late grandfather, Ernie Bertrum, was from the Pullalup and Yakama Nations. He brought the drum and teachings to this territory and to keep his culture alive he would sing with his children, our mothers and uncle. Many of of us began pow wow with our late Uncle Joe Henry as the Thunderbird Singers and Dancers. Later we formed Westwind Intertribal with lead singer, the late Ernie Alphonse. On September 30, we sing and dance to honour residential school survivors and those who did not make it home. We also honour all those who have, for generations, kept culture alive and vibrant." Nicole Mandryk  Nicole Mandryk is Anishinaabe, Irish and Ukrainian and her traditional name is Niibinobinesiik. She is a visual artist who is dedicated to Anishinaabe art practices. Mandryk is inspired by Anishinaabe stories, art, land, language, and songs. She has been engaged in performative arts through Indigenous showcases and has been asked by community to compose and share songs. These songs have been sung by “The Wildflowers”, “ ANSWER” and the Lafayette String Quartet for the project“ B.K Weigel/Lafayette String Quartet Legacy Project”. Mandryk is also an emerging beader. (Photo Credit: Amanda Laliberte, 2020) Adam Gauthier "ʔaǰɛčxwʊt & Tansi (Hello/greetings). My name is Adam Gauthier. On my maternal side, I am Coast Salish from Tla’amin Nation. On my paternal side, I am Cree from Saulteau First Nation (Moberly Lake) in Treaty 8 and Métis from Lac Ste. Anne, Alberta. I am grateful to be a guest on lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ territories doing various types of community work since 2014." Shauntelle Dick-Charleson Shauntelle / Huupquestaah / TSAYŁE (She / Her) is a 20-year-old who got into poetry five years ago. She comes from Hesquiaht and Songhees. She plays soccer, basketball and enjoys poetry. Shauntelle went to CFWS with the Vic Slam Team and placed 8th in nationals. She has also had two poems featured in the Aboriginal Voices 2 book. Indigenous Guest Speakers  Tsartlip First Nation Elder Tom Sampson Tsartlip First Nation Elder Tom Sampson is of Coast Salish and Nez Perce ancestry who has dedicated his life to fighting for Indigenous rights, through equality and inclusion. Elder Sampson is a trailblazer advocating for self-government and reconciliation before it was fashionable, advocating for Indigenous inherent rights through the revitalization of Indigenous languages, community health, sports, and the protection of natural resources. Elder Sampson has taken a leadership role for most of his adult life being involved in Indigenous politics at the local, regional, and national levels, serving as Chief of Tsartlip for 24 years, chairperson of the South Island Tribal Council for 22 years, vice-chief of the BC Assembly of First Nations, chair of the Assembly’s Constitutional Working Group for Status Indians, chair of the Douglas Treaty Council, and chair for the Native Participation Committee for the 1994 XV Commonwealth Games and serving on the Board of Directors. Elder Sampson is one of twelve children. He is an Indian Day School survivor; half of his siblings went to residential schools and half went to the Tsartlip Indian Day School.  Ry Moran Ry Moran is Canada’s inaugural Associate University Librarian – Reconciliation at the University of Victoria. His role within UVic Libraries’ focuses on building and sustaining relationships to introduce Indigenous approaches and knowledge into the daily work of the Libraries and more broadly across the campus community. Ry came to this position from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation hosted by the University of Manitoba. Prior to the NCTR, he served with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Ry is a distinguished alumnus of the University of Victoria and was awarded a Meritorious Service Cross by the Governor General. Ry is a proud member of the Red River Métis. Hollie Charlie Hollie Charlie is from the Cowichan Nation in Duncan, BC. She is a graduate, a social worker and a parent who believes her children should have access to culture and language. As the child of a residential school survivor, trauma has played a role in the family model that Hollie grew up in. Through sharing her story, Hollie is determined to educate her family and community about the impact of trauma to help end the cycle. About Orange Shirt Day The Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters initiative grew out of Phyllis Webstad’s account of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of St. Joseph Mission residential school, during a commemoration in Williams Lake, BC in 2013. Since then, Orange Shirt Day has become an opportunity to keep the discussion happening about all aspects of residential schools. Residential school survivor Eddy Charlie and friend Kristin Spray are organizing the Xe xe Smun' eem-Victoria Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters Ceremony, which they developed in 2015 while attending the Indigenous Studies program at Camosun College. This is the sixth consecutive year that the City of Victoria is supporting the event to mark the City’s commitment to reconciliation.  Where to Buy Orange Shirts?  Victoria Orange Shirt Day T-shirts ($25) and/or hoodies ($65) featuring the artwork of Bear Horne are available for purchase at local venues. Victoria Orange Shirt Day shirts, hoodies, blankets and books will be available for purchase at the ceremony on September 30. All proceeds go towards supporting this initiative. Learn more about Victoria Orange Shirt Day and where to get orange shirts.  Community Partners Victoria Orange Shirt Day event organizers would like to thank the following community partners for their support: City of Victoria, Capital Regional District, CHEK, Big Wheel Burger, Caffé Fantastico, Discovery Coffee, Goldstream Gazette, Imagine Studio Cafe, Red Barn, Royal BC Museum, Saanich Parks, Recreation and Community Services, and Victory Barbers & Brand.   Special Thanks To Victoria Orange Shirt Day would like to extend a special thanks to Annex Fitness, Barb's Bakery & Bistro, Camosun College, Fairfield Community Fair, Fernwood Community Centre, Gordon Neighbourhood House, Kitsilano Neighbourhood House, MĀ Yoga, Migration Boutique, Moss Street Market, Oak Bay Pharmasave, One Yoga, Politano Café, Ratio Coffee & Pastry, Rifflandia, Shampoo Hair Bar, Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea, The Artisan's Garden Plants, Gift and Treasures, Tourism Cares and the University of Victoria.   
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National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Hours and Parking | September 27 2022
City of Victoria facilities will be observing the holiday schedule below for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Police, fire and those who provide emergency streets and utility services are available 24/7. Closed Friday, September 30, 2022 City Hall Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre Beacon Hill Park Maintenance Yard Public Works Yard Victoria Conference Centre and Administration Office Kitchen Scraps and Garbage Collection Kitchen Scraps and Garbage collection will not occur on Friday, September 30. View your Kitchen Scraps and Garbage collection schedule here. Saturday Garden Waste Drop-Off On Saturday, October 1, the Garden Waste Drop-Off at the Public Works Yard will be open from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Learn more about this residential service. Emergency Streets and Utilities Services Emergency streets and utility services are not affected by the holiday and can be contacted day or night at 250.361.0400. Parking Parking will be FREE at City Parkades and at on-street meters on Friday, September 30, for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. At City parkades, there is free evening parking and free parking on Sundays and holidays. Consider taking BC Transit downtown or cycle to the City’s Downtown Bike Valet located at Victoria City Hall, operating from 9:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. on Friday, September 30. Learn more about parking downtown and bike parking options. National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Victoria Orange Shirt Day Wear orange and join us downtown for Xe Xe Smun’ Eem-Victoria Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters Ceremonyon Friday, September 30 from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in Centennial Square. Every Child Matters orange shirts and hoodies will be available to purchase starting at 9 a.m. Also taking place on Friday, September 30 is the Songhees Nation’s South Island Powwow at Royal Athletic Park.
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Yvonne Blomer Legacy Poet Laureate Project Unveiled | September 26 2022
A Legacy Poetry Project has been installed near the water at Little Ross Bay Green, to recognize Yvonne Blomer’s term as the City’s fourth Poet Laureate from 2015-2018. Her poem entitled “Our One Blue Bowl”, has been carved into a piece of Vancouver Island granite and will sit overlooking the water for community members to enjoy.  Much of Yvonne’s poetry is related to  environmental causes and many focus on celebrating the ocean.  Little Ross Bay Green is located on the east side of Ross Bay, at Dallas Road and St. Charles Street.   Our One Blue Bowl Praise this broken world, the blue within it. Praise water, orca, otter, seaweed, and wrack, the crow and gull, chip bag and butt, the boat debris.   Praise the quick dip in and the skipped stone. Praise beer cans, corks, broken buoys and rope. Nod to fisherfolk and trade for tugs, tankers and smoke.   This tidal, arched, foaming blue bowl. This salted, sculpted, cracked blue bowl.   Savour what’s moored by rope and net and hunger; what’s tied by hunger, heat and death. We taste this grief                             our marbled blue world    by Yvonne Blomer – City of Victoria Poet Laureate 2015-2018 published in The Last Show on Earth, Caitlin Press, 2022. Learn more about Victoria's Poet Laureate program.
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