Questions for Mayoralty Forum – Oct 3, 2018

Our 2018 Mayors’ Candidate Forum is set for the EMCS Community Theatre on Wed. Oct. 3 from 7 to 9 p.m. It will follow the same format as a session hosted by Transition Sooke in 2011. Each of the three candidates has been sent a set of questions prepared by Transition’s board of directors that reflect the organization’s own concerns and those of the community at large. Candidates will appear on stage together. In a rotation to be determined by a draw made by MC Michael Tacon at the start evening, they will answer these same questions as posed in person by two of our former board members, Yvonne Court and Mark Ziegler. They’ll have two minutes each for answers. Following a break at approximately 8:30 p.m., time will be allowed for questions from the audience. All welcome, no admission charge. 

For the record, here are our 15 questions:

1. How can we effectively control growth and ensure that the values enshrined in our Official Community Plan (OCP) are respected and maintained?

2. The principal of “Smart Growth” is integral to the OCP. What does Smart Growth mean to you? Do you see smart growth revitalizing downtown Sooke? What else, if anything, is needed to “fix” the downtown core?

3. What have you already done personally to reduce your carbon footprint?

4. A mayor is in an excellent position to lead by example. What would you personally do as mayor to encourage others to use less energy? To recycle, reduce, re-use? Screenshot 2018-10-01 16.35.47.png

5. The Transition Town movement recognizes that individuals and communities want to be authors of their own stories — hopeful, active, and connected rather than despairing, passive and cynical. What would you do to encourage hope, civic participation, and a sense of belonging in Sooke?

6. How might you promote growth in quality of life rather than in dollars and cents

7. Localization: We are hearing more and more about the importance of local economies. i) How do you plan to kickstart local business and ensure more people who live here also work here; and ii) Should the District take a position on encouraging independent, locally-owned businesses and discouraging the arrival of more chain businesses?

8. Local and sustainable procurement policy.  A sound municipal procurement policy should include a variety of criteria for evaluating bids. One might be “locality” (that is, a consideration of whether the bidder is a local enterprise). Another is “sustainability” – for example whether the bidder uses recyled products. Would you agree to review Sooke’s procurement policies with a view to including locality and/or sustainability as considerations in evaluating bids and purchasing materials?

9. The Official Community Plan includes a commitment to “thriveability.” What does that mean to you, and how would you encourage thriveability in Sooke?

10. A safe, walkable community is essential in encouraging people to get out of their cars. Walkability is also important as we build a more densely populated downtown in Sooke. What steps will you take to improve walkability in the town core?

11. On a similar note to question #10, what would you do to encourage cycling and improve cycling safety in Sooke?

12. Cosmetic pesticide ban: BC municipalities have the right to ban the use of “cosmetic” or non-essential pesticides (i.e., the use of pesticides to enhance the appearance of lawns and gardens) within their borders. Would you support such a bylaw in Sooke? (It is Transition Sooke’s view, shared with the Canadian Cancer Society and many reputable, peer-reviewed scientific studies, that pesticides pollute our streams and harbours and endanger the health of people, pets and wildlife).

13. Food Security: One measure of a community’s resilience is its ability to feed itself.  Our local nonprofits Sooke Region Food CHI and the Sooke Farmland Trust promote farmland protection, regional food security and a vibrant, locally grown food economy. What might the District of Sooke do to promote and support these critical objectives? What new initiatives are possible?

14. Please share your knowledge of how the District of Sooke is working towards carbon neutrality, developing a clean, renewable-energy economy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

15. Traffic Congestion: Polls indicated that this is the number one issue for Sooke residents. What steps are being taken — and might be taken — by the District to deal with congestion on our main roads and in residential developments? How would you encourage the mode shift from cars to other forms of transportation?






Transitions Open House – Sept 5, 2018

Transition Sooke is going through a transition of its own. Jeff Bateman, our president these last nearly five years, is stepping down to focus on his bid for a seat on Sooke council in the October election. Best wishes to Jeff in the months ahead, and our warm thanks for his dedicated service since he first joined our board in 2011.

Past-president Michael Tacon and fellow board member Bernie Klassen will be taking over the reins until our next Annual General Meeting early in 2019. They’ll be leading our current team of Paivi Abernathy, Martin Bissig, David Hannis, Stephen Hindrichs, Paula Johanson, Wynne LeComte, Wendy O’Connor and Jo Phillips.

As we move into this new chapter, we’re seeking fresh energy, interest and engagement from our supporters. To that end, we’re pleased to invite you to a TS open house on Wednesday, September 5 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Harbourside Cohousing, 6684 Horne Rd. 

We sincerely would appreciate getting to know you better in a social context in Harbourside’s lovely common room. Bring your ideas and enthusiasm. Coffee, tea and treats will be served. Promise: No obligations! You won’t be press-ganged into volunteer service.  Screenshot 2018-08-29 19.10.38.png

(image: alternative logo designed for us in 2014 by the late East Sooke artist Kay Lovett)


Transition Sooke is dedicated to a spectrum of what we believe are critical local concerns. These include:

* Smart Growth civic planning

* Local jobs and the local economy

* Waste reduction, recycling and reuse

* Green energy

* Transportation and public transit

* Reskilling education

* Permaculture and food security

* Social issues

* Compassionate communications

* Ecohomes and alternative housing

* Much else!

We’re a relaxed, friendly, consensus-based group operating as a big-tent society that welcomes, supports and facilitates individual and working group initiatives that align with our values and those of the international Transition Town movement.

TS was officially recognized by the Transition Network in 2010 after foundational work by residents John Boquist, Margaret Critchlow, Andrew Moore and Michael Tacon. Our first public gathering was held at the T’Sou-ke Nation solar facility on June 23, 2010, and we’ve been busy on a wide variety of fronts ever since.

Learn more about our working groups and history online at  If you’ve questions or wish to confirm that you’ll be attending , please email us at

Dazzle and Delight: Caravan Stage Company – July 12 – 14

Nearly five decades after it’s birth at a Kemp Lake Road farmstead, the Caravan Stage Company is returning to Sooke’s Government Wharf for a three-night run of its urgent and spectacular “climatopian” rock opera Nomadic Tempest.

Moored at the foot of Maple Ave. South, the company’s troupe of actors, musicians, aerial artists and sound/visual technicians will perform aboard the tall ship Amara Zee. They’ll mount one show per night at 10 p.m. on Thurs., Fri., Sat. July 12, 13 and 14.

Nightly attendance is limited to 250 people. The site will open each night at 9 pm and it’s recommended you arrive no later than 9:30 to ensure a prime view. Dress warmly for this outdoor show. Please bring your own low-slung chair or blanket. 

Thanks to a community grant from the District of Sooke, tickets are by donation. Reserve and print-out tickets online at Eventbrite

A limited number of tickets may be available at the gate each night. Please consider purchasing your tickets in advance to guarantee admission.

Volunteers are needed for a variety of positions in return for a free ticket. If you’re interested, contact tour coordinator Miranda Feldtman at with the subject line “Sooke volunteer”, cc

Nomadic Tempest envisions a world devastated by climate change. The Vancouver Sun described it as “an outdoor Cirque du Soleil and IMAX hybrid with a smattering of J.R.R. Tolkien and David Suzuki.” The production continues a long Caravan tradition of presenting accessible agitprop theatre that delivers impactful wake-up-calls about the planet and modern culture.

Paul Kirby and his life partner Adriana Kelder (ne Zigay) rolled out of Sooke in 1970 with their one-wagon, horse-drawn puppet show to perform in communities across Vancouver Island. In time, the company grew to feature six wagons drawn by teams of Clydesdale horses that toured every corner of North America from its base in Armstrong, BC, racking up more than 20,000 horse-drawn miles.

After a hiatus in the mid-1990s, the Caravan switched from dry land to open water aboard the custom-built Amara Zee, a 30-meter long ship modelled after a traditional Thames River sailing barge. A shallow draft of 1.2 meters has allowed it to access hundreds of waterfront communities large and small around the world.

Audiences gather on the shore and experience original music, soaring vocals, aerial artistry and large scenic elements backed by spectacular lighting and sound effects. The production is a continuous cinematic panorama of originally designed video graphics, animations and images. Within the upper trusses and the lower decks, as the Aerialists cavort, a palette of surprises, colors, and mechanical transformations unfold.

After performing Nomadic Tempest along America’s gulf coastline last summer, the ship was transported through the Panama Canal for dates on the BC coast in the fall and a local moorage over the winter. Performances in Nanaimo and Courtenay will have preceded the Sooke dates, following which the tour will sail to Port Townsend, Bellingham and Seattle.

Solstice Celebration at InishOge Farm – June, 2018

Our TS working group, the Sooke Region Multi-Belief Initiative, is hosting a summer solstice celebration this Saturday in the apple orchard at InishOge Organic Farm, 6698 Helgeson Road just east of Otter Point Rd.  All welcome, no charge. Bring a picnic lunch, whatever you need to be comfortable and your playful spirit. It promises to be a fun, communal and meaningful afternoon in the heart of the idyllic Sooke farmbelt.

Get to the farm at 11 am to participate in an hour-long work party involving lightweight chores as we offer some helping hands to our hosts, Steve, Mary, Finn and Chloe. Or arrive at Noon for the lighting of the fire pit (via Finn’s bow drill skills) and the start of festivities.

On the afternoon’s relaxed schedule will be a circle dance led by Vivi Curutchet; a witness circle led by Hum (Eric Anderson); a multi-faith singalong with Phil Rossner; and, if we’re all so moved, a drum circle (bring your own drums, rhythm instruments and noisemakers).

Everyone is free to participate as much or little as you like. Along with your own lunch, you’re invited to bring finger-food contributions (cookies, squares, etc.) for the potluck dessert table.

As InishOge’s Mary Coll will tell us, the longest days of the year signal the start of mid-summer and the time when, metaphorically and literally, the fruit of another growing season is ripening and ready to be picked. What might that bounty be in your own life? How can whatever it is be of service to yourself, your circles and the community at large? Thoughts to ponder and perhaps share during Hum’s witness circle.

By the way, the summer solstice is exact at 3:07 am Pacific Time on Thursday.

Solstice Rising: June 2018

Our TS working group, the Sooke Region Multi-Belief Initiative, is hosting a summer solstice celebration on Sat. June 23 in the apple orchard at InishOge Organic Farm, 6698 Helgeson Road just east of Otter Point Rd. All welcome, no charge. Bring a picnic lunch, whatever you need to be comfortable and your playful spirit. It promises to be a fun, communal and meaningful afternoon in the heart of the idyllic Sooke farmbelt.

Get to the farm at 11 am to participate in an hour-long work party involving lightweight chores as we offer some help to our hosts, Steve, Mary, Finn and Chloe.

Or arrive at Noon for the lighting of the fire pit and the start of festivities. On the afternoon’s relaxed schedule will be a circle dance led by Vivi Curutchet; a witness circle led by Hum (Eric Anderson); a multi-faith singalong with Phil Rossner; and, if we’re all so moved, a drum circle (bring your own drums, rhythm instruments and noisemakers).

As InishOge’s Mary Coll will tell us, the longest days of the year signal the start of mid-summer and the time when, metaphorically and literally, the fruit of another growing season is ripening and ready to be picked. What might that bounty be in your own life? How can whatever it is be of service to yourself, your circles and the community at large? Thoughts to ponder and perhaps share during Hum’s witness circle.

By the way, the summer solstice is exact at 3:07 am Pacific Time on Thursday.

Also upcoming: 

Tues. June 19: Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure Open House, 4 to 8 pm, in the lobby at Edward Milne Community School. Drop-in anytime to talk to Ministry officials and share your ideas and frustrations about the winding road home as MOTI planning proceeds for phase two improvements to Highway 14. Slow-car pullovers and signage? Passing lanes? Roundabouts? Stop lights? Speed enforcement? More crosswalks? Now’s your chance to weigh in. If you can’t make it in person, feedback can be offered via email. More info on the current improvement program here.

Wed., June 20Zero Waste Sooke‘s regular third-Wednesday monthly meeting at the Sooke Library on Anna Maria Rd. Everyone welcome. 6:30 to 8 pm. Topics to be discussed include the next ZWS delegation to council (July 9), the Earth Day legacy fund, and early planning for the next Sooke Repair Cafe in October.

* Thurs., June 21National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada. Local events are scheduled for the Victoria Native Friendship Centre (10 am to 3 pm), Royal Roads University (10 to 3 pm), the Royal BC Museum (starting at 10:30 am) and West Shore Parks & Recreation(11 to 3 pm). (shared on from the T’Sou-ke/Sooke Reconciliation Group.)

Sat., June 23: Drop by and visit with Zero Waste’s Jo Phillips at the Sooke Country Market from 10 am to 2 pm. Corner of Eustace and Otter Pt.

* Sun., July 1:  Sooke Canada Day at the flats

* Sat. July 7: Afternoon Tea in a Metchosin Country Garden.  Rolling Justice Bus presents a fundraiser for Site C dam legal challenges.  Featuring Sarah Cox, author of “Breaching the Peace”, hand-crafted eats and live music. 4856 Jelkinek Place. Recommended: $50/person, otherwise pay-what-you-can. To reserve a ticket:

*Thurs/Fri/Sat, July 12, 13, 14: TS presents  Caravan Stage Company at the Sooke Government Wharf.  A world-travelling troubador group that originated in Sooke in 1970 performs from the deck and rigging of their ship the Amara Zee. Presenting “Nomadic Tempest” a Cirque de Soleil type production that is a cautionary tale about climate change. 9:00 p.m.  Tickets by donation.

* Sat., July 28: Compost Education Centre will be at the Sooke Saturday Market as guests of Zero Waste Sooke.  They will bring some demo composters and answer questions about the art of making compost no matter what your circumstances. 10-2

Closing with a few links from our social media streams: 

* Sooke residents are wanted for a new District of Sooke Affordable Housing committee led by Councillor Ebony Logins. Apply here. Deadline: June 29.

* High five to Sooke council for unanimously affirming the Charter for Compassion  following the June 11 presentation by the Sooke Region Multi-Belief Initiative’s Mark Ziegler. The SRMBI emerged from Mayor Tait’s 2016 Health Summit as one among other ways Sooke can evolve into even more of a caring community than is already the case. We’re planning a workshop in the fall as the local campaign continues. If you’ve not done so yet, please affirm the Charter online.

Download the District of Sooke’s 2017 Annual Report. Offer feedback in person at the Mon. June 25 Committee of the Whole meeting at the Municipal Hall starting at 6 pm.

* BC’s new Wild Salmon Advisory Council: x-month of public process vs this short-cut to solutions (aka the Cohen Commission) and action on its recommendations regarding fish farms.

Years of Living Dangerously: David Letterman investigates India’s solar revolution and SNL’s Cecily Strong learns how US utility companies are blocking renewables in many states.  Sound somewhat familiar?

* The CRD seeks public input regarding its new EV and E-bike Infrastructure Planning Project. Deadline for survey submissions is July 8.

* Become a Witness for the Peace and support the Treaty 8 legal challenge to the Site C dam.

* Andrew Coyne takes five minutes to explain why Canada’s electoral system is broken (recorded before Doug Ford’s victory in Ontario, where 17 percent of eligible votes delivered 100 percent of the power). Click here for a PDF of BC Attorney General David Eby’s How We Vote electoral-reform referendum report.

* Next on our speaker wish list: Dr. Peter Carter, founder of the Climate Emergency Institute and co-author of Unprecedented Crime: Climate Science Denial and Game Changers for Survival. The Pender Island resident delivered a fascinating talk in Metchosin last month and we’d like to bring him here for a Sooke audience in the fall. A few (among many) reasons we need to hear from Dr. Carter: Exhibits A … B … … D … E … F.

A proposal for tiny home villages from Practical Utopian Guy Dauncey

* A wonderfully close encounter with a pair of Sooke’s wild things captured by a Project HOWL trailcam last month. Fast forward to 3:50 for a sniff and muzzle of the camera.

A fab and timely closing song … and one Phil might play by request on June 23 at InishOge Farm. Please join us 🙂

Spring 2018 Update

11209362_1501760913478367_1129323400528765396_n.jpg* Tues., May 15, 7 pm, Sooke Region Museum, 2070 Phillips Rd. With bear season heating up, Wild Wise Sooke‘s Debbie Read and her new sidekick Samantha Webb from the Wild ARC will host an information/volunteer recruitment night. No charge. On a related Wild Wise note, please complete this online survey on local bear-habituation issues being conducted by Royal Roads University students.

* Wed. May 16, 5:30 to 8 pm, downstairs in the Community Hall. Library 2018 preview! Drop-in to see the blueprints, meet the architect and say hello to current library staff as we all rub hands gleefully in anticipation of the new Sooke branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Public Library system. (Check the Sooke PocketNews story, which includes links to earlier episodes in this happy saga.)

* Wed. May 16, 4 to 7 pm, SEAPARC. District of Sooke open house and opportunity to offer feedback re: the proposed Demamiel Creek Pedestrian Crossing.

* Wed. May 16, 6:30 pm, Sooke Library. Regular meeting of Zero Waste Sooke. All welcome to drop-in and join the discussion as this TS working group led by Bernie Klassen continues to shape Sooke’s future as a model zero-waste community. Time for a plastic bag ban and drinking water fountains in Sooke? Can we expand and promote the BYOB campaign? Your ideas and energy are essential.

* Fri., May 18, 8:30 to 4 pm, Prestige Hotel. The Sooke Region Communities Health Network‘s Age Friendly Committee presents “Aging With Grace,” a day-long summit focused on health, housing, transportation, seniors activities, lifelong learning and more, all with a Sooke twist. Speakers lined up by SRCHN’s coordinator Christine Bossi will include Mary Dunn, Andrew Moore, Carol Pinalski, Janet Raynor-Thorn, Doni Eve and Rick Robinson. Free admission, lunch included. Limited seating. Register ASAP by calling SEAPARC at (250) 642-8000. (This is the latest in a series of follow-ups to the 2016 Community Health Summit, from which our Sooke Region Multi-Belief Initiative arose).

* Wed., May 23, 6:30 pm, Sooke Library. Timothy Snyder‘s On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century will be discussed by the Transition Sooke Book Club. All welcome to join Paula Johanson, the regulars and new faces for what’s guaranteed to be a lively, far-ranging discussion about a slim book that started life as a Facebook post and has rapidly evolved into an essential guide for those alarmed by the rising tide of nationalism, closed borders and authoritarian governments.

* Wed. June 13, 7 pm, EMCS Community Theatre. Awareness Film Night‘s 2017/18 season finale will be the rousing short documentary Water Warriors. It details how indigenous and non-native locals in a small New Brunswick town dared to challenge the oil and gas industry. AFN’s Jo Phillips is working on further plans for the night, which will include either another film, a panel discussion or both. Thank you once more, Jo, for delivering timely, thought-provoking alternatives to mainstream media.

Recently featured on our Facebook page and Twitter feed … 

~ Starhawk interviewed by Transition Network founder Rob Hopkins.

Globe & Mail infographic tracks the projected impact of increased west coast oil tanker traffic + Naomi Klein weighs in + this Paul McKay article from the Energy Mix. <clip> “Despite new ultimatums from Ottawa, Alberta and Kinder Morgan, take a deep breath, Premier John Horgan. Hold your ground. Follow the molecules, not the money. When the bitumen bubble inevitably bursts, it will be obvious that your most abrasive opponents were full of sound and fury, signifying nothing in the way of scientific honesty, international ethics or even viable exports.”

~ Author Sarah Cox on what’s wrong with Site C (from The Tyee). (PS Want to get involved with Sooke Citizens for the Peace? Send us an email and we’ll put you in the loop with this group arising from our March Justice for the Peace night with Ken Boon and friends.)

~ Updated: Our Pesticide Education Group’s webpage, including a recent response from a Monsanto Canada spokesman that reads in part: “As a retired landscaper who used these products (Roundup) for over 25 years at levels the table cosumer will never experience, and now as an employee of Monsanto Canada, I sleep well at night knowing glyphosate is still ranked as less toxic than coffee, red meat or wood dust.”

~ Kudos to Dogwood Sooke’s Roland Alcock for winning Sooke council approval on a proposal that the District of Sooke join the climate accountability movement by seeking reparations for the costs of climate-change mitigation from 20 of the world’s largest fossil fuel companies + hat tip to council for sending an SOS (Save Our Salmon) resolution re: fish farms to the Association of Vancouver Island & Coastal Communities convention last month, where it passed and will now be voted on by UBCM delegates in the fall before being forwarded to the BC government. In the meantime, however …  😦

“Death knell for net metering” BC Hydro sets new guidelines for surplus solar

CBC Radio Ideas episode featuring On Tyranny author Timothy Snyder

~ “Researchers discover trees have a ‘heartbeat,’ it’s just so slow we’ve never noticed before” + “The secret life of plants, no really” (Macleans) + encourage government action in the campaign to preserve Muir Creek.

Anticipation 🙂

Starhawk’s Return – May 10

Author, activist, permaculture designer and teacher Starhawk is returning to Sooke on Thurs. May 10 for a TS-presented encore talk and Q&A session at the Sooke Legion. Her address will be titled “Vision, Hope and Strategy”and it will explore how all three of these factors are critical in working towards a better tomorrow.

As with Starhawk’s local debut at the Legion a year ago, doors open at 6:30 for an evening that will run from 7 to 9 pm. Tickets at $15 each will be available at the door or in advance via Eventbrite (search term: ‘Sooke Starhawk’). The evening’s MC will again be TS board alumnus Lee Hindrichs.

“My own feeling is that the business-as-usual forces, the centralized power Oilasaurus, is like a dying dinosaur, wounded and thrashing about,” says Starhawk. “The question is how do we limit the damage it does on the way out? And also hold to a vision of what comes after?”

Starhawk brings social justice, care of the earth and spirituality to a vision of how our societies can function for the benefit of all. She is cited as one of 2018’s  “100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People” by Mind, Body & Spirit magazine.

She is the author of thirteen books on earth-based spirituality, group dynamics and social permaculture. Her bibliography includes The Spiral Dance, The Earth Path, The Pagan Book of Living and Dying, The Empowerment Manual, and the novels The Fifth Sacred Thing and its follow-up City of Refuge.

Through her organization Earth Activist Training, Starhawk directs courses in permaculture and regenerative design grounded in earth-based spirituality and with a focus on organizing and activism. She is travelling to Sooke during a break a course she is teaching at O.U.R. Ecovillage in the Cowichan Valley.

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.)