What is a Transition Initiative?
“It’s a place where there’s a community-led process that helps a particular town/village/city/neighbourhood become stronger and happier. It’s happening in well over a thousand highly diverse communities across the world – from towns in Australia to neighbourhoods in Portugal, from cities in Brazil to rural communities in Slovenia, from urban locations in Britain to islands off the coast of Canada.” Learn more here from the Transition Network.
The Guardian‘s guide to Transition Towns: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/transition-towns
Wikipedia entry: Transition Town
Transition Initiatives around the world: https://www.transitionnetwork.org/initiatives
First two chapters of The Transition Companion, written by the movement’s founder Rob Hopkins.
Who are we? The Sooke Transition Town Society is a citizen’s initiative working towards a resilient and sustainable community by relying on Sooke’s people, strengths and traditions. In 2011, Sooke became the 346th community to be recognized by the Transition Network, founded six years earlier in Totnes, England. Transition initiatives worldwide are dedicated to practical, common-sense steps to regain control of the future of our communities by reducing:
- Dependence on fossil fuels
- The impacts of climate change
- Our vulnerability to global economic instability
How does this work? Transition groups encourage individuals to follow their passions by developing local solutions to community needs. We’re dedicated to working collaboratively with existing organizations in Sooke to build local capacity and resilience in the following areas:
- Community development and a stronger social fabric
- Local jobs and the local economy
- Food security
- Energy and housing.
The Sooke Transition Towns Society (Transition Sooke) was incorporated under the Society Act of BC on Aug. 18, 2011 following two years of preparatory work by John Boquist, Margaret Critchlow, Andrew Moore and Michael Tacon.
The name of the Society is Sooke Transition Town Society.
The purposes of the Society are:
- To raise awareness of sustainable living opportunities in the Sooke Region
- To build local resilience in anticipation of climate change, peak oil and economic uncertainty and inequity
- To begin the transition from a carbon intensive lifestyle to a powered down way of living using less non renewable resources
- To offer educational programming to inform the community
- To contribute to community cohesion and resilience by working in cooperation and collaboration with existing groups and organizations
- To provide similar and related services as determined by the membership
At the moment, Transition Sooke is using the model bylaws provided by the Societies Branch of the Provincial Government (1996 version). We are working on revising the bylaws to create a set of streamlined bylaws that are consistent with the Act (minimum requirement) and truly represent the kind of organization we are.
In the interim, we have developed some policies to guide us until we have created the new bylaws:
- Membership policy (passed at May 6, 2020 General Meeting)
- Decision-Making Policy (passed at May 6, 2020 General Meeting)
- To build on local knowledge, skills and resources to make Sooke a more resilient community.
- To promote the local economy, food security and alternative energy sources for present and future generations.
- To create a vibrant community where we can work, live and play, where we can feel secure and at home.
Original statement of intent from 2011: The Sooke Transition Town Society, aka Transition Sooke, is a local group of concerned volunteer residents committed to working together with existing groups to make Sooke a more resilient and sustainable community. We do so in order to respond more effectively to the challenges of climate change, peak oil, and global economic instability and inequity.
Sooke already has a remarkably strong community spirit that’s given focus by a range of solidly established working groups and organizations. Transition Sooke is uniquely positioned to explore the creative possibilities of local collaborative action with these groups and others to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, offshore food supplies, imported goods and the increasingly unstable global financial system.
What have we done? Transition Sooke has focused its start-up efforts on awareness raising, education and community engagement under its own name and via its working groups Zero Waste Sooke, Permaculture Sooke, Bike Sooke, our multi-belief initiative and Wild Wise Sooke (for whom we serve as fiscal host).
How to get involved? Write us and ask! All welcome as we build teams & slowly, steadily, patiently develop still more community connectivity in the Sooke region.
- Inquire about volunteer opportunities with our working groups
- Attend a meeting and share your ideas and passions.
- Join a working group, or we can help you start and manage one.
Our beautiful, striking and wonderfully apt (for Sooke by the Sea) “hills to harbour” logo was designed by the late East Sooke artist Kay Lovett.
Our Story So Far
More to come . . .
* Speaker presentations (2011-17) featuring One Planet Region’s Trevor Hancock, Greater Victoria Transit Alliance’s Eric Doherty, Andrew Nikiforuk, Starhawk, Guy Dauncey, Fair Vote Canada’s David Merner, Sooke foodshed specialists Mary Coll and Mark Ziegler, climate change authority Parvez Kumar, author Kem Luthor, Sierra Club BC’s Larissa Stendie, City Green’s Glenys Verhulst and GMO whistleblower Thierry Vrain.
* Sooke Ecohome Tour (2016, 2017)
* Zero Waste Sooke: Sooke Repair Cafe (May and October, 2017); five street clean-ups by volunteers; regular appearances at the Sooke Country Market; plastic-reduction and BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag) initiative; workshops for adults and kids at the Sooke library; Talk Trash Community Open Space meeting (April, 2016)
* Permaculture Sooke: Two permablitz gatherings; regular meet-ups at Cast Iron Farm (2015/16); workshops at Sunriver Garden; GE-Free Van Isle rally at the Association of Vancouver Island & Coastal Communities Convention (April, 2013).
* Bike Sooke: Two editions of the Sooke Slow Food Cycle (2011/2012); installation of bike storage lockers at the Park’n’Ride; bike tune-ups and demos at the Sooke Country Market.
* Wild Wise Sooke: Fiscal host for this bear-aware education campaign led by coordinator Deb Read (2015-present)
* Events & Education: Co-sponsorship of provincial (2016) and federal (2015) all-candidates’ debates; annual Awareness Film Night presentations; Fair Vote Canada session on electoral reform (2016);
* Summer picnic/reskilling fairs (2014-17)
* Lobbying efforts through delegations to District of Sooke council by TS, Zero Waste Sooke and Wild Wise Sooke + TS representation on the now dormant Climate Change Action Committee and the Community Centre Advisory Committee (2012-16)
* Transition Sooke’s Open Space Community Think Tank (Oct. 2014)
* Campaign for Sooke’s successful “No More Tankers” plebiscite + Let BC Vote public forum with David Anderson, Councillor Maja Tait, Andrew Moore representing the T’Sou-ke Nation and Kai Nagata from Dogwood BC (summer/fall, 2014)
* Local Forum on the Economy (Nov. 2012)
* Sooke Mayor’s Candidate Forum (Nov. 2011)
* Our first public gathering was held at the T’Sou-ke Nation’s solar facility (June 23, 2010)