Early Spring Update – April 2018

Checking in with our early spring update of upcoming happenings — the most notable of which (for us) are this month’s Sooke Region Earth Day Celebrations (co-presented with Creatively United, the Sooke Fall Fair Association and Zero Waste Sooke) as well as a Guy Dauncey focus group at Harbourside Cohousing (April 21) and Starhawk‘s return to the Sooke Legion (May 10). Hope you can make it out to these and the other local events of note listed here (in chronological order) for you, the Transition-minded.

* Sat. April 7. Drop-in chats with Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke MP Randall Garrison at Shirley Delicious (10-11 am) and the Stick in the Mud Coffee House (Noon to 1 pm).

Tues, April 10, Noon to 3 pmThe Sooke/T’Sou-ke Reconciliation Group presents a KAIROS Blanket Exercise at the Lazzar Building across Sooke Road from Edward Milne Community School. As co-organizer Margaret Critchlow notes: “This is an interactive learning experience that teaches the Indigenous rights history most Canadians never learned in school. Developed by KAIROS with assistance from Indigenous elders, it has been offered thousands of times across Canada. The exercise uses blankets to represent the lands of what is now called Canada and the distinct cultures and nations which live on this land to this day. Participants become the First Peoples of Turtle Island and, when they move onto the blankets, are taken back in time to the arrival of the Europeans. Reading from a script, the narrator(s) and Europeans guide the participants through the history of treaty-making, colonization and resistance. We are allowing a total of three hours as the exercise itself takes about one hour and the debrief circle takes at least one hour, sometimes more. It is important to be present for both parts. T’Sou-ke spiritual leader, Shirley Alphonse, has agreed to offer smudging at the end of the event for those who wish to receive it.” All welcome (even if you’ve not attended earlier meetings). 

Wed. April 11, 6:30 to 9 pmAwareness Film Night and Sooke Region Food CHI present their 8th annual Farm & Film Gala. The night’s feature film will be Mark Kitchell’s Evolution of Organic. The doors at EMCS will open early for a social mixer and marketplace featuring Sooke region vendors of seeds, plants, gardening supplies and locally-made wares. Info tables, teas and treats are also planned before the film gets underway at 7:45 pm.  “Kitchell is known for documenting social change movements,” says AFN’s Jo Phillips. “In this film he skillfully takes his audience from those rebellious pioneer beginnings — including lessons in compost-making, soil microbiology and non-toxic pest control — through the eventual creation of the organic food movement and the ‘foodie’ culture, then onwards to some of the more exciting future innovations in the organic movement, such as no-till farming and urban farms.”

Sat. April 14, 9 to 5 pmSooke Region Communities Clean-Up. Create your own team, join an existing one or go solo while cleaning up a section of where you live — big or small, beach, park or dumpsite, highway or byway, even your own garage or backyard. Bins for garbage, metal and plastic recycling will be provided in each community and teams will be supplied with gloves and bags. It’s hoped that crews of one or more people will be busy across the region — Scia’new First Nation, East Sooke, District of Sooke, T’Sou-ke First Nation, Otter Point, Shirley, Jordan River, Port Renfrew and the Pacheedaht First Nation. Free registration with our Wendy via email or phone (250) 361-6965. When complete, participants are asked to take a fun photo of themselves alongside their haul. Prizes in a variety of categories — best dressed, best name, largest team and, most important, amount of garbage and recycling collected relative to a community’s population/land ratio — will be awarded by Sifu Moonfist (aka ‘Broomfist’) at the Planet Earth Party on April 22 at the Community Hall.

Sun. April 15: Deadline for entries to the Planet Earth Party Poetry CompetitionEmail judge Wendy Morton your best 10 lines (in either the under 16 or over 16 age categories) on one of the competition’s two themes: i) Any earth and environment-related subject; or ii) Plastic reduction (the overall theme for Earth Day 2018). Free entry, submit as many poems as you like. Winning poems will be read and prizes awarded at the Community Hall PEP Party on April 22.

* Sun. April 15, 2 to 3:30 pm: Annual General Meeting of the Otter Point, Shirley and Jordan River Ratepayers Association (OPSRRA), JDF Area Services Building, #3-7450 Butler Rd. in Otter Point. Guest speakers: RCMP Staff Sgt. Jeff McArthur (on community policing), MOTI’s Ryan Evanoff (Hwy #14 review), JDF Regional Director Mike Hicks (JDF update) and Arnie Campbell (with an interactive history of Otter Point).

Sat. April 21, 3 to 5 pmPractical Utopian Guy Dauncey will be at Harbourside Cohousing in Sooke to host a focus group as he gathers material for his next book, The Economics of Kindness: The Birth of a New Cooperative Economy. Would you like to participate in the discussion? Please let us know via return email and we’ll add you to the guest list. No charge. (Get acquainted with Guy’s thinking on the subject via recent posts on his blog.)

PEP-spaceSun. April 22, 10 am to 8 pmSooke Region Earth Day Celebration at the Sooke Community Hall. Exhibitors, non-profit groups, earth-friendly vendors, speakers, workshops, youth activities, music, Orca art-making project, zero-waste food trucks, clothing exchange and electric vehicle displays. Also in the mix is Zero Waste Sooke‘s third (first anniversary) Repair Cafe during the day and, starting at 4:30 pm, a Planet Earth Party featuring an upcycled fashion show (organized by Frederique Philip and friends), circle dance (led by Susan Nelson and Vivi Curutchet) and a sockhop with DJ Ron Larson. Admission to everything is by small, pay-what-you-can donation. Questions? Want to volunteer? Contact event coordinator Marlene Barry via email or phone (250) 884-9955(Sincere thanks for major event funding to the District of Sooke.) 

Thurs. May 10, 7 to 9 pmStarhawk returns to Sooke during a break in her (fingers crossed!) now-annual permaculture fortnight at Our Ecovillage. Like last year, she’ll offer a sure-to-be-rousing talk and Q&A session upstairs at the Sooke Legion. Her address this time is titled Vision, Hope and Strategy. “My own feeling is that the business-as-usual forces, the centralized power Oilasaurus, is like a dying dinosaur, wounded and thrashing about. The question is how do we limit the damage it does on the way out?  And hold to a vision of what comes after?,” she remarked in a recent email before concluding: “I’m really looking forward to coming back to Sooke!” Likewise, indeed!

Ongoing & recent TS events … 

* Join the conversational circle led by TS board member Bernie Klassen on Sunday mornings from 10 am to Noon at Serious Coffee in the Village Foods plaza up Sooke.

* The Justice for the Peace info night with Peace River Valley farmer Ken Boon drew a full house to the Masonic Lodge on March 22. Jackie Larkin and Steve Gray reviewed key points raised at January’s Site C Summit, while Boon noted that the saga is far from over given First Nations legal challenges, geotechnical problems at the work site, mounting cost overruns, and ongoing political action by those opposed to the NDP cabinet’s December, 2017 decision to proceed with the project. Stay current by subscribing to Ken Boon’s email list. Our thanks to Elaine Hooper, Jo Phillips and Sierra Club BC‘s Britton Jacob-Schram for joining us in organizing the evening.

* Another fascinating night of TS Book Club conversation as Wade Davis’ The Wayfinders was discussed at the Sooke library. Read this vital book! And do so in combination with related gems like Charles Mann’s 1491, Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel, and Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens. Next up on May 23 at the library is Timothy Snyder‘s short but potent (and hugely timely given the surge of right-wing nationalism) On Tyranny. Good news: Organizer/moderator Paula Johanson is planning another book-club series for the fall. 🙂  Email her with any titles you believe merit the book-club treatment.

A few highlights from our social media streams …  

* This Thursday is Golden Rule Day. Read the interpretations from various belief systems now posted on our Sooke Region Multi-Belief Initiative page, then be sure to affirm the Charter For Compassion (and let us know you’ve done so by sending us an email with the subject line “I’ve signed.”)

* Follow the robust and inspiring Zero Waste discussion at the CBC’s Reduce, Reuse, Rethink Facebook page.

Sooke PocketNews: “Province launches LNG strategy, Greens (and others) are less than impressed.” 

* Video throwback: Earth Day debuts on April 22, 1970 

Dead River Flowing: New campaign just launched to salvage the toxic Jordan River watershed

* A tragically silent spring in France (and another strong reason why we need pesticide education and/or bans in Sooke and/or BC as advocated by the TS Pesticide Education Group)

Stirring footage of last month’s march in Burnaby in opposition to the proposed Kinder Morgan TMX pipeline expansion.

* Hwy #1 bus lanes! A prelude to accelerated transportation mode shift in the Capital Region.

Video archive of talks from the Dalai Llama’s Mind and Life Dialogue conference in Dharamsala last month. (Day two features a presentation to the “social and emotional core competencies” in the BC Ministry of Education’s new curriculum which are designed to “educate the heart.” These competencies are: i) positive and personal & cultural identity; ii) personal awareness & responsibility; iii) social responsibility; iv) creative and critical thinking; and v) communication.)


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