Gallery: Earth Day Sooke – April, 2018

Revisiting the Planet Earth Party: A Sooke Region Earth Day Celebration. The majority of these photos are courtesy of Jack Most from Sooke’s The Most In Photography. Thank you Jack and to all our attendees, exhibitors, musicians, food-truck vendors and hard-working volunteers.


Earth Day Sooke – April 22 2018


Screenshot 2018-04-19 08.52.48.pngWith last weekend’s regional clean-up behind them and the main event approaching fast, Sooke’s Planet Earth Party team is pulling together the many colourful threads involved in this Sunday’s Sooke Region Earth Day Celebration at the Sooke Community Hall.

Doors at the Community Hall, 2037 Sheilds Rd. in downtown Sooke, open at 10 a.m. The exhibition, the Repair Cafe, speaker presentations, clothing exchange, EV displays, and tiny home tours will continue until 3 p.m. Musical entertainment (starting at 11 am) and food trucks will continue during a break while the hall is prepared for the upcycled fashion show and sock hop dance from 4:30 to 8 pm.

Admission is by one-time, pay-what-you-can donation at the door. Net proceeds will be dedicated in large part to a legacy program that will provide zero-waste essentials — rainwater collection barrels, high-efficiency composting systems, recycling bin systems — to as many public institutions in the Sooke region as funding allows.

The PEP team is working towards a genuine zero-waste event as evidenced to date by its hand-painted recycled street signage and bare minimum of printed materials. Attendees are invited to bring water bottles and reusable cups, and to walk, ride a bike or carshare to the Community Hall on Sunday.

Organizers still need more helping hands in a variety of capacities before and on event day. Explore the options on the volunteer request form.


Our Exhibitors (upstairs in the Community Hall, 10 am to 3 pm)In alphabetical order: Amber Academy for the Arts, the Artisan’s GardenBurlap Shoe/Zero Waste Emporium, Coastal Crunch Granola, Cordivae Environmental Consulting, Capital Regional District, Creatively United for the Planet, Dakini Tidal Wilds, District of Sooke, Fair Vote Canada, Girl Power/Spirit of the Water Yoga, Go With the Flow Technologies, Greater Victoria Green Team, Harbourside Cohousing, Jora Canada, Jean Gig Clothing, Juan de Fuca Salmon Restoration Society, Living the Dream Farm, Myk Rhodes, Norwex Canada, Brenda Parkinson, Phoebewood, Project HOWL, Pure Elements Spa, Sacred Transitions, Save Our Coast – Sooke, Scrapnaturally Coastal Decorations, SFRS Community Thrift Store, Site C Education Group, Sooke Children’s Garden Club, Sooke Country Market, Sooke Fall Fair Association, Sooke Knitting Group, Sooke Region Multi-Belief Initiative, SunMar Composters, Three Sisters Farm, Touch of Class Wind Chimes, Transition Sooke, Transition Sooke Pesticide Education Group, Victoria EV Club, Viridian Energy Cooperative, Watershed Watch Society Vancouver Island, Weston A. Price Foundation, Wild Wise Sooke, Zero Waste Sooke.

Sooke Repair Cafe (downstairs in the Community Hall, 10 am to 3 pm). The third (first anniversary) Repair Cafe hosted by Zero Waste Sooke. Attendees are welcome to bring personal items that aren’t working and which they can carry in themselves. Anyone who walks away with a successful repair is invited to bang the Repair Cafe gong and drop a donation into the tip jar. The volunteer crew will feature Elgin Ambrose (wood repairs), Cyal Cassette (bike tune-ups), Dan Cotterell (soldering), Pam Fitzgerald (sewing/mending), Paula Johanson (knitted goods), Triston Line (networking demonstration), Jeremy Newell (general repairs), Benoit Renault (electro-mechanical) and Tina Saikaley (appliances).

Planet Earth Party(4:30 to 8 PM upstairs in the Community Hall). An all-ages celebration! DJ Ron Larson will play kid-friendly dance music early on before switching to more adult tunes as the night progresses. An upcycled fashion show and an awards presentation will also be part of the evening.

Clothing Exchange (downstairs in the Community Hall, 10:30 am to 1:30 pm). Stop fast fashion in its tracks! Drop by the Community Hall on Sunday morning between 8 and 10 am with unwanted clothing and accessories suitable for adults and teenagers (limit 10 items per person). “We’re looking for cool, fresh, fun stuff,” says coordinator Lisa Yakimovich. Each item will be tagged and, in return, donors receive tickets for use in the swap between 10:30 am and 1:30 pm.

Outdoors in the Community Hall parking lot (10 am to 4:30 pm). Enjoy fine local music, dine out in style from food trucks, and sit back and enjoy both under our big tents.  Food Trucks: BuddhaBox, Indecent Risotto, Greek on the Street and Mai Mai’s Bistro. Bonus option: Sunday brunch at the Legion. Entertainers: Starting at 11 a.m. in order of appearance ~ Bob Menzies, Ed Fury Band, Eric & Linda James and Gord Phillips. All welcome to bring their voices and guitars for an open mic session starting at 3 pm approx. (Thanks to entertainment coordinator Peter Jonassen from the Sooke Music Festival.)

Outdoors on Eustace Street (section from Otter Point to Sheilds closed to traffic for the day). Victoria EV Club: Get behind the wheel of a (stationary) Tesla Model X and Model S, a Nissan LEAF and a Hyundai IONIQ, and go for a joyride (as a passenger) in a 2014 LEAF. Learn about deluxe Van Isle daytrips offered by Tesla Tours.  Micro Home: Step inside “Cathedral Grove,” a micro-retreat space (125 sq. foot) designed and built in Sooke by Forest Adam. Rather than a fully functional home, it’s intended to be an artist’s studio or Airbnb rental property with its rounded walls, loft, lounge, kitchen prep area and wood stove.

PEP Talk (every half hour, 10:30 am to 2:30 p.m. downstairs in the Community Hall). Featuring in order of appearance: Author Guy Dauncey, Project HOWL’s Finn and Chloe Unger, Wild ARC’s Samantha Webb (presented by Wild Wise Sooke), Homes With Love’s Forest Adam, Viridian Energy‘s Steve Unger, kombucha expert Melanie Fast, T’Sou-ke Nation Solar City‘s Andrew Moore, zero-waste giftwrap expert Wendy O’Connor, and Jenny Ambrose from Victoria’s The Makehouse.

Family Fun. Engaging activities for the young and youth-at-heart! Orca Art Paint-In with Save Our Coast – Sooke’s Deb Wood and friends. Arts and crafts project with the SFRS Community Thrift Store‘s Bev Lewis. Sooke Children’s Garden Club table with Anne Boquist. Introducing a child’s-sized wooden recycling truck built by Mel Hull.

Raffle & Silent Auction. Purchase tickets ($2 each) for a magnificent red cedar bowl created by Sooke’s Phoebe Dunbar (value: $500). And bid on a silent auction that will include gift certificates to Sooke region dining spots and a deluxe roadtrip (value: $300) with Tesla Tours. (All proceeds to PEP Sooke Region Legacy Fund.) 

Hartland Landfill Tour (Sat. April 28, 9 am to 1 pm). Curious to explore the chain-of-life of your trash and recycling at its regional end point? Our team is organizing a bus tour to the Hartland Landfill on Sat. April 28 (departing Sooke at 9 am, returning at 1 pm). On site, the tour will be led by the Capital Regional District’s Elaine Stuart. Meet Elaine on Sunday along with tour organizer Lesley Hering, then sign-up for a trip priced at $10 per adult (no charge for those 18 and under).


Planet Earth Party: A Sooke Region Earth Day Celebration is co-presented by Transition Sooke and its working group Zero Waste Sooke in cooperation with the Sooke Fall Fair Association and Creatively United for the Planet.

Sincere thanks to our sponsors: The District of Sooke (foundational funding), the Capital Regional District, HiWay Productions, Home Hardware Sooke, Interactive Construction, PMD Recycling Solutions, Phoebewood, the Rotary Club of Sooke, Speed Source Fitness, Sooke Disposal Limited, VanCity Credit Union, Viridian Energy Cooperative and Wittich Environmental Services.

And to our supporters: Amber Academy of the Arts, BC Transit, Go with the Flow Technologies, SEAPARC, Sooke News Mirror, Sooke PocketNews and Westshore Voice News.


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.)


Earth Day Poetry Competition – March 2018

Calling poetic word spinners of all ages. In addition to its Sooke Region Communities Clean-Up, the Planet Earth Party team has organized a poetry competition that will be adjudicated by celebrated Sooke region poet Wendy Morton.

Participants are invited to email Wendy their best 10 lines (maximum) by the deadline of Sunday, April 15. Depending on their age, poets can enter either the children/youth (under 16) or adult categories.

Entries must be inspired by one of the competition’s two themes:

i) Any earth and environment-related subject the poet chooses;

ii) A poem based on the international Earth Day 2018 theme of plastic reduction.

There is no cost to participate. Everyone is welcome to be as serious or funny, sober or romantic, idealistic/hopeful or grim/pessimistic as they wish.

Wendy’s best-of-competition picks will be read at the Planet Earth Party on the evening of April 22 at the Sooke Community Hall. Prizes will be awarded in all categories.


Ms. Morton has lived in Otter Point for 45 years. She grows an organic garden that feeds her all year long. She is also a raven watcher and founder of Canada’s Random Acts of Poetry.  She has been honoured with many awards, the latest of which was the Order of British Columbia in 2017.



She has shared one of her works as inspiration to entrants. It is reproduced here with her permission.

I Walk on the Beach with Jenna After Watching This Changes Everything

We find two sandals: a Nike, a Fila;
a Catchit, a green tennis ball, broken nets.
Styrofoam everywhere.
We load up: giant pieces washed in from China
or Japan, or tossed by a tanker crew. Fish food.
Fish death.
We find a broken frisbee,
a log boom raft dog,
a painted stone,
blue as hope

Read more of Wendy’s work at Canadian Poetry Online.

Sooke Region Litter Blitz – April 14, 2018

Local teams are forming in communities across the Sooke region as residents enter into a friendly competition on Saturday, April 14 that will ensure the area is truly spick and span prior to the Planet Earth Party: Sooke Region Earth Day Celebration the following weekend.

Organizers are inviting teams of one or more people to register to clean up sections of where they live — big or small, beach or park, highway or byway, even private garages and backyards, it’s entirely up to the person or people involved. Teams can get busy anytime on April 14 and continue as long as they like.

When their task is complete, participants are asked to take a fun photo of themselves alongside their haul, then submit it with a final registration form. Prizes in a wide variety of categories will be awarded at the Planet Earth Party set for the Sooke Community Hall on Earth Day itself, Sunday, April 22.
The day-long celebration will involve an exhibition, Repair Cafe, vendors, family activities, upcycled fashion show, evening dance, zero-waste food trucks and more. It is presented by Transition Sooke and its working group Zero Waste Sooke in association with the Sooke Fall Fair Society and Creatively United for the Planet.

Ideally, clean-up crews will be in action across the region on April 14 — 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 included.  Teams are already coming together, and there is no limit to the number of teams that can potentially be involved on a neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood basis across the region.

Registration is free of charge. Bins for garbage, recycling and metal will be provided in each community and teams will be supplied with gloves and bags. (A few grabbers are also available, however it’s easy to create one by hammering a large finishing nail into a pole.)  To register or learn more, please contact Zero Waste Sooke’s clean-up coordinator Wendy O’Connor by email or phone (250) 361-6965.

The CRD Community Cleanup Assistance Program is covering disposal fees, while other costs are paid by the District of Sooke, the official sponsor and major funder for the Sooke Region Earth Day Celebration.

“In order to make things fair to all communities, big and small, we are creating a formula to balance the scales,” says Earth Day event coordinator Marlene Barry. “Ratings will be based on a variety of factors: the size of a single team, the number of teams in a community, the distance or area of road, forest or beachfront covered, even the number of kilometers a team drives into the bush to track down an illegal dumpsite, of which there are sadly too many in this region. We haven’t worked out the full details yet, but we’ll have all kinds of fun prizes to distribute at the Community Hall on April 22.”

Adds Barry: “Someone asked me the other day, ‘You don’t want stuff out of people’s yards, do you?’  My response was yes, we would rather have them get rid of it free (to them) than have it laying around decomposing or dumped in the bush. Make it worth our while! Let’s clean up the whole Sooke Region in one go!”

PS Surfrider Foundation Vancouver Island is entirely supportive of our event and, likewise, we’re 100 percent fans and, quite frankly, are in awe of the regularly scheduled monthly Combing the Coast clean-ups its team has been organizing since 2010. Its annual Whiffin Spit clean-up is set for Sunday, April 8 and we urge everyone in the region to get out and participate in this fun and essential effort as well! 

Screenshot 2018-04-13 17.13.08.png


Seeking a Plan B for Site C – March 22, 2018

The Justice for the Peace – Island Tour brings Peace River Valley farmers Ken and Arlene Boon to Sooke on the night of Thurs. March 22 as the pair and their allies push back against the BC government’s decision to green light the Site C hydroelectric dam.

site-c-slide2b.jpgThe Boons will be joined by Jackie Larkin and Steve Gray, moderators of Victoria’s Site C Summit on the Jan. 27 weekend.  That gathering of more than 200 individuals from a broad range of groups — First Nations, environmental, academic, energy consultants, number-crunchers and experts such as Harry Swain, chair of the Federal/Provincial Joint Review Panel on Site C —  concluded that “the NDP’s cabinet action (to proceed with the project) was based on erroneous advice.”

Sooke’s “Mini Site C Summit”  will take place downstairs at the Masonic Lodge, 6544 Throup Road, from 7 to 9 PM. Admission is by donation with all proceeds going to the Peace Valley Environment Association and the Peace Valley Landowner Association. The evening, one of six on the Rolling Justice Bus Vancouver Island Tour, is co-hosted by Awareness Film Night, the Sierra Club of BC and Transition Sooke.

The Boons are third-generation grain and hay farmers whose 400-acre property is being expropriated for a Site C-related highway realignment that goes right through their house.

With their home, livelihoods and the richly fertile Peace Valley at stake, the Boons have campaigned against the project for nearly a decade. They continue to rally against a Dec. 11, 2017 decision that was a shock to BC NDP and Green Party of BC supporters who expected the now nearly $11 billion project to be shelved following the November release of a BC Utilities Commission analysis packed with red flags.

“Mainstream media and half the voters of BC refuse to see the obvious,” says Ken Boon. “But we’re hoping to change that. Overwhelming evidence makes it clear that the dam makes no sense financially, environmentally or ethically.”

The Rolling Justice Bus tour ends in Vancouver on March 27 for the start of a new chapter in a court challenge by the Treaty 8 First Nations alliance from the Peace River region. The group is arguing that the dam is a breach of treaty agreements.



Update – March 2018

AGM, Transition Cafe, PEP Earth Day, Orca Paint-In, TS Book Club, Justice for the Peace info night … and more (apologies for the tightness of this text — best we can manage with this bargain WordPress website. Once we have more disposable cash, we plan to upgrade to a swankier online presence). 

* Our AGM went ahead as planned on Feb. 28. Sincere thanks to those who attended and especially to our newly elected 2018 Board of Directors: Paivi Abernethy, Jeff Bateman, Martin Bissig, Stephen Hindrichs, Bernie Klassen, Wendy O’Connor, Jo Phillips and Michael Tacon. Onwards with this very fine cast and crew! Visit our website Archive to download the AGM minutes and the 2017 financial report along with two other newly posted documents: i) a 2017/18 Year In Review  that summarizes a busy 14 months in the life of TS; and ii) a multi-issue position paper we recently filed with Premier Horgan’s office.
Return of the Transition Cafe: Starting this Sunday morning (March 11) from 10 am to Noon, join our Bernie Klassen at Serious Coffee next to Village Foods downtown for relaxed, mildly caffeinated weekly chin-wags. Everyone’s welcome to drop in and share whatever’s top of mind.  As Bernie notes, “I’ll be sitting there reading as usual, so please stop by, say hello and let’s see where the conversation goes.”
* Planning continues for the Planet Earth Party: A Sooke Region Earth Day Celebration on Sunday, April 22 at the Community Hall. Coordinator Marlene Barry (email) has now enlisted more than three dozen Sooke region volunteers, and yet still more are needed for a variety of pre-event responsibilities (listed in full on the PEP webpage.) She and Jeff Bateman will make a presentation to Sooke council this Monday night in seeking support from the District of Sooke. (see the paperwork in the TS Archive).  PEP-space
* Speaking of Earth Day, the folks at Save Our Coast Sooke are creating a collection of plywood Orca signs and chinook “fish sticks” for a family friendly art project that will be part of the festivities on April 22. The Orcas will represent actual whales in the endangered southern resident population. The organizers intend to create an initial pod of 12 with materials donated by Windsor Plywood. Volunteers are needed for a preliminary work party on Sunday, March 25 in the trades department at Edward Milne Community School from 9 am to 4 pm. If you can help out for as long or short a time as you’re available, contact Deb Wood via email or phone: (250) 642-7934(PS Best wishes to Deb and the sizeable contingent of Sookies who will be in Vancouver tomorrow for the #ProtectOurInlet march organized by the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation to stop the Kinder Morgan TMX pipeline expansion. Thank you on behalf of all who care about our coast!)
Upcoming … 
Tues, March 13, Noon to 2 pm: The fourth of the Reconciliation Group meetings will be held from Noon to 2 pm in the T’Sou-ke First Nation‘s Lazzar Building across Sooke Road from Edward Milne Community School. This month’s speaker will be Linda Lucas, Executive Director of the Indigenous Perspectives Society. As hosts Linda Bristol, Edith Newman and Margaret Critchlow note: “All welcome, whether or not you were able to attend earlier meetings. Admission is by donation. Please plan to arrive in time for everyone to begin introducing themselves promptly at noon. Don’t forget to bring your bag lunch. Tea and coffee will be provided.” Recommended reading for the next two months is the late Art Manuel’s The Reconciliation Manifesto.
* Sat/Sun., March 17/18, 9:30 to 4:30 amWest Wind Harbour Cohousing presents “Is Cohousing For You?” with Harbourside co-founder Margaret Critchlow at the Sooke Child, Youth and Family Centre. Information at Eventbrite.
Wed. March 21, 6:30 to 8 pm: The Transition Sooke Book Club led by Paula Johanson gathers again at the Sooke branch of the Vancouver Island Public Library. The discussion this time will focus on The Wayfinders by west coast anthropologist Wade Davis  (who can be heard reading excerpts from his 2009 Massey Lecture here).
Thurs. March 22, 7 to 9pmRolling Justice Bus presents a Mini Site C Summit in Sooke featuring Peace River Valley farmers Ken & Arlene Boon along with Steve Gray and Jackie Larkin (who moderated the Site C Summit at Victoria’s First Met Church in late January). Sooke Masonic Lodge, 6544 Throup Road. Admission by donation with all funds going to the Peace Valley Landowner Association and the Peace Valley Environmental Association. As Ken Boon says: “Mainstream media and half the voters of BC refuse to see the obvious. But we’re hoping to change that. Overwhelming evidence makes it clear that the dam makes no sense financially, environmentally or ethically.” Hosted by TS in collaboration with Awareness Film Night and Sierra Club BC.
Sun, March 25, 9 to 4 pm: Orca Paint-In at EMCS.
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 will be Oscar-nominated filmmaker Mark Kitchell’s Evolution of Organic. The doors at EMCS will open early for the night’s always popular marketplace featuring Sooke region vendors of seeds, plants, gardening suppiles and locally-made wares. Info tables, teas and treats are also planned before the film gets underway at 7:45 pm.
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 email and we’ll add you to the guest list. No charge, guaranteed fascinating conversation (just as will be the case on Sunday morning with Bernie at Serious Coffee.)
TBA in late April or early May: The return of Starhawk to Sooke during a break in her permaculture fortnight at Our Ecovillage.
Finally, some recent excerpts from our Facebook and Twitter pages … 
* A reminder of the genius of Charles Eisenstein (posted in the wake of last month’s inspiring screening of A New Economy)
* Alain de Button ~ On Love (shared on from NVC trainer Rachelle Lamb following our workshop with her in January)
* Now launched: A Facebook page for the Sooke Region Multi-Belief Initiative, whose Charter For Compassion affirmation campaign is underway.
* TS website presence for our glyphosate education working group. It features a research paper by Paivi Abernethy and a sharp response from Jo Phillips to a recent Tom Fletcher/Black Press editorial
Project HOWL‘s Finn and Chloe Unger write in sharing images of a recent clear-cut at Blueberry Flats west of Sooke: “Conservation promises made along the Juan de Fuca land reserve have been broken; wildlife corridors have been disrupted; human wildlife conflicts will increase; and the solutions to these conflicts NEVER benefit the wildlife. The costs of compromise to our wild spaces and the quality of life in them are TOO high and will have to be paid by the next generations of young people coming along.”
Rethinking the energy pyramid: A long-ish read from Andrew Nikiforuk and The Tyee (thanks for the share to John Boquist)
March issue of the Rural Observer now available online. Includes articles on spring flowers (written by Rosemary Jorna), land stewardship (Susan Nelson), solar panels (Steve Unger), the arrival of the Iraqi family sponsored by Team Sooke Juan de Fuca and, yes, our Earth Day Sooke event.
BC government survey on oil spill regulations (deadline: April 30)
* Tiny House Advocates of Vancouver Island launches a website
* “China, unabashedly, wants to be the Detroit of electric vehicles.” (article)
* City of Victoria’s draft 2018 Climate Leadership Plan
* “12 Emerging Trends that Bring Hope for 2018” (via The Nature Conservancy)

PR Info Night – Feb 15, 2018

TS and the Greater Victoria chapter of Fair Vote Canada present “Let Every Voter Count: A Sooke Information Night on Electoral Reform” featuring FVC’s Gail Armitage and Steven Hurdle ~ Thurs. Feb. 15, 7 pm in the library at Edward Milne Community School. Admission by donation.  (See below poster for links to further information, especially the BC government’s ‘How We Vote’ questionnaire, which closes for public comment on Feb. 28.)

Screenshot 2018-02-01 12.01.13

Further research …

~ Fair Vote Canada’s British Columbia campaign

~ The BC government’s ‘How We Vote’ questionnaire (deadline: Feb. 28):

~ Fair Voting BC’s non-partisan guide to filling out the questionnaire

~ FVC Greater Victoria chapter Facebook group

~ CBC British Columbia report (Jan. 25, 2018): “Voters are turned off and want change, PR advocates say.”

~ Final report of the BC Citizen’s Assembly on Electoral Reform (December, 2004)

~ Wikipedia entries on the 2005 and 2009 electoral reform referendums in British Columbia.


A New Economy: Reinventing Business As Usual – Feb 7, 2018

Awareness Film Night and Transition Sooke present A New EconomyWed. Feb. 7th in the EMCS Community Theatre. Watch the trailer here.

Vancouver-based filmmaker Trevor Meir started with a question: “Can cooperation save the world?” The result is his 2017 documentary A New Economy, a vibrant look at seven mostly Canadian examples of business and organizational models that have successfully broken away from capitalism’s traditional, hierarchical, employer/employee norm. Among them are a cooperative craft brewery, an urban agriculture project, a high-tech scientific collective, and a community group dedicated to bringing new life to its run-down urban neighbourhood.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the pre-film mingle. The film gets underway at 7 p.m. It will be followed by a talk and discussion led by Ana Maria Peredo, PhD, a University of Victoria professor with the School of Environmental Studies and former director of UVic’s Centre for Co-Operative and Community-Based Economy. Special guest will be Steve Unger from Viridian Energy Cooperative, which BCSEA founder Guy Dauncey recently cited as a model example of the burgeoning cooperative economy.

By rewarding human effort fairly and proportionately rather than focusing exclusively on profits, these business and community start-ups are dedicated in their various ways to the triple bottom line (social, environmental, financial) model that serves the common good in fair, equitable, socially responsible fashion while still generating fair-market earnings. No fat-cat CEOs with quarterly performance bonuses here.

With the beautiful music of Vancouver’s Borealis String Quartet as a unifying thread, Meir interweaves the stories of entrepreneurs and citizens who are adding value to their own lives and communities while also, in the case of the businesses, making an honest, buck.

Following the film, Dr. Perado will share her thoughts about community based entrepreneurship and sustainable development. A native of Peru, she worked as an anthropologist and journalist in her homeland before earning a doctorate in Entrepreneurship, Environmental Management and Sustainable Development from the University of Calgary. She has been a member of the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at UVic since 2000.

YKQ4NQpT.jpgAmong the companies profiled in The New Economy:

Sole Food Street Farms: Vancouver chefs rave about the quality of produce grown by this pioneering social enterprise at its four central locations, among them a two-acre parcel of raised beds built of shipping pallets not far from BC Place Stadium, and North America’s largest urban orchard at the corner of Main and Terminal streets. The company’s mission is to provide residents of the Downtown Eastside with “jobs, agricultural training and inclusion in a supportive community of farmers and food lovers,” says co-founder Michael Ableman of Salt Spring Island’s Foxglove Farm.

London Brewing Co-Op: Located in London, Ontario’s East Village, this micro-brewery is organized as a worker’s co-operative and is linked with a web of local businesses that specialize in locally grown and brewed food and drink. “We live where we brew” is one of the company’s mottos that capture a homegrown/brewed ethic seemingly shared by independent craft brewmasters everywhere.

Sensorica: An open-source technology company based in Montreal but with contributors world-wide, Sensorica utilizes crowdfunding to finance what it calls “open ventures.” Teams of freelance tech specialists come together on a per-project basis to design, produce, distribute and service high-end scientific instruments. A brave new approach to online collaboration and proprietary rights.

Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee: This grassroots group comprised mainly of South Asian immigrant families in Toronto’s former East York area lobbied City Hall for support in energizing a neighbourhood park with benches, water fountain, trees, paved paths, splash pool, playground and a vibrant weekly night market.

Also featured is Loomio, the virtual-meeting open-source computer app invented by a group of New Zealand #Occupy activists-turned-software developers; The Red Victorian, a co-living space in San Francisco that also operates as a funky Haight Ashbury hotel with a distinct Summer of Love vibe; and the Borealis String Quartet itself. With its own refreshing approach to business and creative collaboration, the Vancouver ensemble has established itself as one of the most dynamic world-class quartets of its generation. Their playing lights up the film, confirming as a Globe and Mail reviewer wrote, “they are not going to let anyone cling to their sober stereotypes of classical music and chamber quartets.”

Admission, as ever, is by donation to cover rental costs of the theatre and film as well as an honorarium for the evening’s speaker. The film follows in the tradition of our AFN co-presentations that to date have included  This Changes EverythingTransition 2.0A Last Stand for LeluThe Clean Bin Project and The Economics of Happiness.
Jo Philips’ 23rd season of Awareness Film Night continues with films in April (the annual Sooke Food CHI gala) and June. Evenings in March and May are reserved for AFN’s Intermission Film Series, which features non-documentary cinematic gems selected by Susan Nelson and Vivi Crutchet.

Previewing a busy start to 2018 – Jan 2018

New daytimers open? Ready, set, go …

* Monday, January 15, 6 to 9 p.m. at Harbourside Cohousing: An open meeting of the Transition Sooke core team. Everyone on our email list is welcome to attend. We’ll serve vegetarian soup and break bread together, then conduct our regular core team agenda with plenty of time for feedback, discussion and fresh thinking from all involved. Also planned is our annual dotmocracy process (i.e., our way of tapping your opinions on where we should be spending our volunteer energies in the months ahead). Expect a reminder early next month, and please RSVP by email if you plan to attend. Sincere thanks to Harboursiders (and TS team members) Michael, Paivi and David for welcoming us back to their common room with a view.

* The TS Book Club, organized and launched by our Paula and Bernie, debuts on Wed. Jan. 24 with Naomi Klein’s No Is Not Enough: Resisting the New Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need. 6:30 pm at the Sooke library, all welcome, no charge.  The one-night discussion will be followed with sessions dedicated to The Wayfinders by Wade Davis (March 21) and On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy D. Snyder (May 23). Email Paula for more details. PS Copies of the Klein and Synder titles are available as on-demand e-books from the Vancouver Island Regional Library. If buying your own copies, we urge you to shop local at Sooke’s Well Read Books(where Shannon Babbage can help you track each down) or at one of Victoria’s indie bookstore landmarks.

* Saturday, January 27, 10 am to 4 pm at Harbourside Cohousing. Compassion In Action: A Nonviolent Communications Workshop with Rachelle Lamb. Learn the late Marshall Rosenberg‘s vital life skill from Rachelle, a veteran certified trainer of a relational communications approach involving observations, feelings, needs and requests.   As she says, “NVC techniques give us the tools to resolve differences with others peacefully. It teaches one how to make clear requests, not demands, while creating space so that everyone else will also have their needs acknowledged and valued.”  Rosenberg took the work into war zones with remarkable impact, and his teachings have touched hundreds of thousands.

Maximum 30 participants. Sliding scale of $20 to $50. Please register ASAP with Susan Nelson via email or call her at 778-528-2299.  (In honouring our commitment to making community learning experiences accessible to everyone, we’re offering this workshop on a sliding scale. The normal charge for one-day trainings with Rachelle is $140 per person.  Our expenses will be approx. $1500, so we are grateful for any extra $$ that our registrants can contribute if they can afford more than $50).   

 * Grid-Tie Solar Info Night with Viridian Energy Cooperative. Tuesday, Jan. 30, 7 pm, in the EMCS library. Viridian’s Steve Unger will raise awareness, dispel myths and share information. Free admission.

* TBA in the works is a Sooke info night on electoral reform presented with Fair Vote Canada’s Greater Victoria chapter. With a referendum slated for late next year, the BC government has set a deadline of Feb. 28 for submissions to its “How We Vote” survey. (Read this non-partisan Fair Vote Canada guide to filling out the survey before you start.)

* TS Annual General Meeting: Wednesday, Feb. 28, 7 p.m. at Harbourside Cohousing.

* Our Sooke Region Multi-Belief Initiative (SRMBI) has now produced a “Quest” document that defines our working group’s aims, principles and strategic objects. It’s the foundation for the SRMBI’s activities going ahead, notably the launch of a local Charter for Compassion awareness effort next year. This initiative is intended to be inclusive of all beliefs (or non-beliefs for that matter) with the golden rule as the common tread tying us all together.  Download a copy of the Quest document from our website archive.

* Finally, a new TS working group has formed to build greater local awareness about the impacts of glyphosates in the environment. 075c871e18b6c47026f1d6a8dcf97924--save-the-bees-gas-masks.jpgThe team plans to seek out allies in the region with the ultimate goal of convincing the District of Sooke to join the 40 or so other BC municipalities (a quarter of them on Van Isle) which have banned the use of cosmetic pesticides within their respective borders. If the Province of BC won’t follow the lead of most other provinces in restricting non-essential pesticides, then it’s up to us locally to take the step.