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  2. Victoria Choral Society

    Bach’s 'Magnificat'

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    Do not miss The Victoria Choral Society's, presentation of Bach’s Magnificat, Arvo Pärt’s Adam’s Lament, and Knut Nystedt’s Immortal Bach with guest choir Vox Humana. The program features Bach’s Magnificat, which will be performed by over 130 singers, and soloists Emma Hannan (Soprano), Kristen Birley (Soprano), Ciara Gallagher (Mezzo), Benjamin Butterfield (Tenor), and Nathan McDonald (Bass). Adam’s Lament will be performed by Vox Humana Chamber Choir. Both choirs will combine to perform Immortal Bach. The concert will be accompanied by an orchestra of musicians from the Victoria Symphony. Tickets $35 adults, $10 students/unwaged and 10% discount for purchase of 10 tickets or more. Available at University Centre (250-721-8480) or online at the UVic Ticket Centre.
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  4. Marian Hargrove

    The perplexing tendency to ignore reality

    How strange to find "0" comments under this article and I can only assume that some are hidden somewhere. Trudy Mitic has so perfectly caught the feelings of so many I talk with in her article "The perplexing willingness to ignore reality". It feels like some sort of affirmation that we are not mad - perhaps the masses who ignore this elephant are! How do we get their attention? The connection between rampant consumption, unbridled air travel and total disregard for all carbon-saving aspects of lifestyle and climate change must be made by each of us since governments have little but lip service to offer. We can lead the way! Thank you, Trudy, for providing the feeling that we are not alone and as a longstanding grower I appreciated the references to the gardener's world and the climate change effects there.
  5. Were Mayor Helps and Mayor Desjardins defamed by Police Complaint Commissioner Stan Lowe? Or did Lowe pull his punches? POLICE COMPLAINT COMMISSIONER STAN LOWE’S recent report on the 2015 investigation of Victoria Police Chief Frank Elsner made several damning assertions about the conduct of Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins. The mayors conducted an internal investigation under their authority as Co-chairs of the Victoria Police Board. Lowe’s report, issued less than a month before the October 20 civic elections in which both mayors are seeking to keep their jobs, did nothing to help their re-election efforts. Helps told a Times Colonist reporter that Lowe’s report “feels like character assassination.” “I’m going to have someone look at the report carefully and see if it’s defamatory. It feels defamatory,” she complained to the TC’s Louise Dickson. The Times Colonist’s coverage of Lowe’s report has, to date, not included details of Lowe’s allegations against the mayors, but instead has focussed on his general recommendation that BC’s Police Act should be amended to remove mayors as the designated disciplinary authority in cases where allegations are made against a police chief or a deputy police chief. Both Helps and Desjardins have stated publicly that they agree with Lowe’s recommendation, and that has been well-covered by the Times Colonist. But the paper’s focus on the mayors’ acceptance of that one aspect of Lowe’s report has had the effect of obscuring the stinging rebuke Lowe levelled at the mayors for several actions they took, or failed to take, during the investigation. BC Police Complaint Commissioner Stan Lowe Below, I will outline several assertions about the mayors’ handling of the internal investigation that Lowe included in his report. Together, they constitute what Lowe called a “strong arguable case” that the mayors “had predetermined the outcome of the internal discipline process from the outset, and set about navigating a course to allow the former chief to remain in his post.” I will also draw the reader’s attention to what Lowe didn’t include in his report—whether the mayors may have also ignored a potentially criminal obstruction of justice committed by Elsner. In late August 2015, Helps and Desjardins were informed that Twitter messages between Victoria Police Chief Frank Elsner and the wife of a subordinate VicPD officer had been found. The mayors informed the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner. The OPCC agreed to allow an internal investigation of the matter subject to certain preconditions under which the mayors committed to conduct their investigation. Taking the route of an internal investigation meant the mayors would have the authority to decide what disciplinary action, if any, would be taken following an investigation that was conducted by independent lawyer and investigator Patricia Gallivan. The alternative to that course of action would have been a public trust investigation set up and monitored by OPCC. Under that arrangement the mayors would have had no control of the outcome. So let’s go through Lowe’s specific allegations about the mayors’ conduct in the order that they occurred. This timeline begins in September, 2015 and runs through to the release of Lowe’s first report, issued on December 18, 2015, at which time Lowe stripped the mayors of their discipline authority and ordered an external investigation of Elsner’s conduct. The mayor’s internal investigation seemed to go off the tracks at the first curve, in early September. One of Lowe’s preconditions for allowing the mayors to act as the disciplinary authority was that they would personally ensure that the affected VicPD officer (aka “the husband”) knew what had occurred between his wife and Elsner, and that once the officer had been fully informed, he would be asked whether he would prefer an internal or external investigation. But Lowe’s report notes: “In my review of the internal investigation it was evident to the mayors that the affected spouse, the husband, had been materially misinformed by [Elsner] regarding the matter, and they chose not to correct his misapprehension of the circumstance. They then confirmed the husband’s decision to proceed with an internal process, without disclosing that the husband had been misinformed by [Elsner]. Furthermore, the mayors did not expand the investigation to include this apparent misconduct, nor report it to our office as required. This conduct by [Elsner] falls in the most serious range of misconduct and has resulted in his dismissal from policing by Retired Judge Baird Ellan.” Here I need to digress briefly from the timeline to draw your attention to an error made by Lowe in that paragraph. Lowe’s report notes elsewhere that Judge Baird Ellan actually imposed “30 days’ suspension, demotion to the rank of constable and training on ethical standards,” on Elsner for misleading the husband, not “dismissal from policing.” Baird Ellan’s two verdicts of “dismissal from policing” came as a result of two other cases of misconduct by Elsner, both of which took place during Gallivan’s internal investigation. Did Helps and Desjardins sweep that misconduct under the rug, too? I’ll come back to this question later. (In response to questions posed by Focus, OPCC quickly acknowledged the above error in Lowe’s commentary and has since amended the report.) So let’s go back to the timeline. I will include comments the mayors have made as we go along. Mayor Helps has previously provided Focus with her perspective on Lowe’s allegation about the mayors’ conduct as it related to Elsner’s misleading of the husband. She stated that the “false information” provided by Elsner was “completely beyond our control” and that the mayors had been given no mandate by OPCC to investigate this additional misconduct. We might ask ourselves, though, if the mayors were aware that Elner had lied to his subordinate officer about his relationship with the officer’s wife, why wouldn’t the mayors have taken that information to Lowe’s office? Lowe has been adamant that his office instructed the mayors to bring such developments to his attention. Moreover, Lowe highlighted in his report an example—Desjardins had asked Gallivan to determine whether Elsner had retaliated against any other VicPD employee—that showed, according to Lowe, “the mayors were aware of their discretion to expand the scope of the investigation.” So Helps’ claim of “no mandate” seems doubly implausible. How, exactly, did Elsner mislead his subordinate officer? Court records show that Elsner told the officer on September 8, 2015 that “no inappropriate communication or contact of any sort” had taken place between Elsner and the officer’s wife. Elsner met with the officer alone, in an unidentified park, according to court records. As Gallivan’s internal investigation proceeded through that September and October, she became aware of additional allegations against Elsner: bullying and harassment of female VicPD employees. In agreeing to allow the mayors to conduct an investigation into Elsner’s illicit Twitter communications, Lowe says “there was a clear understanding among all concerned that if, during the course of the investigation, any information came to light about conduct by any police officer that may constitute misconduct, our office was to be informed so that I could determine whether the conduct should be addressed as a public trust matter.” The record shows, however, that the mayors withheld from Lowe any hint about the bullying and harassment allegations until well after they had made their decision about how Elsner should be disciplined—a letter of reprimand on his file. Moreover, they apparently tried to hide these allegations from Lowe even after he had asked for all their records. Let me take you through the details of that. In his report, Lowe recalls, “Based on my review of internal communications, notes and evidence summaries, it is apparent that by October 20, 2015, the internal investigator [Gallivan] had reported to the mayors that numerous witnesses had made allegations of bullying and harassment against the former chief. These witnesses included members and civilian staff; the nature of the harassment was characterized as ‘inappropriate comments and behaviour towards women,’ which included inappropriate physical contact. Despite receiving this information, the mayors chose not to expand the investigator’s mandate to include these allegations. On the contrary, the correspondence indicates that they instructed the investigator not to pursue those allegations or consider them in any respect in drafting the investigation report because they were ‘outside the scope of the investigator’s mandate.’” Focus recently asked Mayor Helps’ for comment on a summary of Lowe’s numerous allegations about the mayors’ handling of the investigation. Helps said, “there’s much I’d like to dispute and explain. I’m balancing my desire to fight back with the need for us to move on as a community.” Helps addressed only one of Lowe’s allegations, that the mayors instructed Gallivan not to investigate the allegations of bullying and harassment of women. This allegation is one of the most challenging and potentially damaging to the mayors’ political aspirations, for obvious reasons. Helps told us she and Desjardins asked Gallivan “to document the allegations of bullying and harassment in a cover letter accompanying her final investigation report. This is what we did, with the intention that the cover letter and the final report would be handed to the OPCC for his consideration of the new allegations.” But Gallivan’s cover letter wasn’t sent to Lowe. Lowe’s report notes: “The first time my office learned of any allegations of bullying and workplace harassment was through the Victoria City Police Union, which provided information and materials to my office after the [December 3, 2015] disciplinary decision made by the mayors.” (Emphasis added by Focus.) The implication here is that the mayors tried to hide the harassment and bullying allegations from Lowe’s office by not providing him with the only document that showed such allegations had been made—Gallivan’s cover letter. In her response to our questions, Helps blamed a mistake made by an executive assistant for the circumstances that led to Gallivan’s letter not being included in the information the mayors provided to Lowe. By the way, those allegations against Elsner of bullying and harassment were eventually confirmed by an external investigation and warranted a finding of “Discreditable Conduct” by Judge (retired) Ian Pitfield. Most of Lowe’s allegations about the mayors’ conduct centre on events that occurred just before and just after Helps and Desjardins made their decision on December 3, 2015 on how Elsner would be disciplined. Lowe alleges the mayors rushed to make a decision on December 3 once they were told by their own legal counsel, Marcia McNeil, that rumours about an investigation of Elsner were circulating and that media reporters would soon be asking questions. It appears the mayors wanted to be able to deny that an investigation was underway—by concluding it that very day. Indeed, each of them made statements to reporters within days that first denied an investigation had taken place, and then—when they were forced to acknowledge the investigation—mischaracterized it. On December 4, 2015, Mayor Helps was asked by a Global TV journalist whether Elsner was being investigated. Helps responded: “No. The [Police] Board has full confidence in our chief. He’s the best thing that’s happened to this town and Esquimalt in a long time.” Desjardins made a similarly misleading statement to Vancouver Sun reporter Rob Shaw and, a few days later, while acknowledging that an investigation had taken place, she mischaracterized the investigation to a CFAX reporter by claiming the investigation had found “there was no relationship” between Elsner and the wife of his subordinate officer. The investigation was, instead, Desjardins said, about “an inappropriate use of social media.” In fact, the mayors’ investigator, Gallivan, had previously provided the mayors with a written report that concluded that Elsner’s actions “Do constitute an inappropriate relationship.” Mayor Helps’ December 4, 2015 statement to the Global TV journalist is particularly worthy of attention considering what we now know she knew when she made that statement. Besides the fact that she lied to the journalist about the existence of an investigation, she added, without any prompting, “He’s the best thing that’s happened to this town and Esquimalt in a long time.” Helps made this statement with the full knowledge that Elsner had lied to his subordinate officer and had also been accused of multiple cases of bullying and harassment of female employees of VicPD. The mayors’ missteps weren’t over. Following their denials that an investigation had taken place, Lowe asked them for an explanation of their false claims to media and requested a copy of the investigation report and the letter containing the mayors’ disciplinary decision. In their response to Lowe’s request, the mayors neglected to include Gallivan’s account of the allegations of bullying and harassment against Elsner—as mentioned above—but they also appear to have provided Lowe with “false and misleading” information. According to Lowe, “During the course of litigation in this matter it was revealed that two versions of the internal disciplinary letter existed. One version had been provided to our office by the mayors and the other version provided to the former chief. Both decisions were signed by both mayors, both dated the same date, and both addressed to [Elsner].” Lowe’s report carefully detailed how the two letters differed. The one Elsner received stated, in part: “You will meet with the affected officer within your chain of command with an appropriate third part[y] to speak to your actions and to take steps to address your working relationship with him.” The letter that OPCC received stated, in part: “We understand that you have met several times with the affected officer and have and are taking steps to address your working relationship with him.” Lowe noted,“The version provided to my office suggested that a reconciliation between the affected member and [Elsner] was well underway, with active steps being taken towards normalizing relations. Based on our consultations with the affected member following receipt of the letter, and through evidence provided by the external investigation, this information was false and misleading. During an interview of the former chief in the external investigation, he confirmed he was only aware of the existence of one version of the discipline decision, the one in his possession. Furthermore, he confirmed that this requirement, as stipulated in the discipline letter, was never acted upon nor enforced by the mayors or board.” Lowe, then, claims the mayors’ attempt to provide Elsner with cover went as far as creating different versions of the same letter. Court records show that the mayors have claimed that two versions of the disciplinary letter exist because after presenting Elsner with the first version he assured them that reconciliation with his subordinate officer had already begun and so they reflected that in the second version, the one they sent to Lowe’s office. But Lowe’s report contradicts the mayors’ claim. Mayor Helps’ and Mayor Desjardins’ separate claims to media on December 4, 2015 of “no investigation” make it clear they were trying to protect Elsner and were willing to deceive the public to accomplish that. Lowe’s account of all the things the two mayors did to cover up Elsner’s misconduct needs to be considered in the light of that public deception. Rather than libelling the mayors, as Helps has claimed, Lowe appears to have been overly polite in describing their multi-layered cover-up as “navigating a course to allow the former chief to remain in his post.” The mayors appear to have attempted to deceive Lowe in several ways. All of these apparent deceptions would, in fact, amount to a public perception of an obstruction of justice—not necessarily according to the Canadian Criminal Code definition of “obstruction of justice,” but certainly in the plain meaning of the words. Both Helps and Desjardins have complained about Lowe’s report, but neither has provided any evidence to counter Lowe’s very specific claims. Deputy Police Complaint Commissioner Rollie Woods has encouraged Helps and Desjardins to request a public inquiry. “If they think they’ve been hard done by in any way in this report, we have a considerable body of evidence we would be willing to provide at any public inquiry so the truth would certainly come out,” Woods told The Canadian Press. So far, neither mayor has requested a public inquiry. Considering what was revealed in Lowe’s report, it’s unlikely that either mayor would want, or support, a public inquiry. But what’s missing from Lowe’s report suggests the need for a public inquiry. Lowe’s report reveals that Judge Baird Ellan determined Elsner should be dismissed from policing for each of two specific actions he took: First, Elsner lied to the mayors’ investigator, Patricia Gallivan, during the mayors’ internal investigation in 2015. Secondly, Elsner attempted to procure a false statement from another VicPD employee. This, too, occurred during Gallivan’s investigation. Lowe’s report sheds no light on whether or not Gallivan informed the mayors of this misconduct. Yet these were considered more serious than any of the other allegations against Elsner. Indeed, Baird Ellan’s commentary on Elsner’s misleading of Gallivan, which Lowe included in his report, notes: “There is authority for the proposition that providing a false statement in an administrative investigation can be a criminal obstruction of justice...” Did Gallivan report to the mayors either Elsner’s attempt to mislead her or his attempt to procure a false statement? If she had done either, the mayors would have been in a position to fire Elsner for cause back in the fall of 2015. That would have saved Victoria and Esquimalt taxpayers close to $1M in costs that were incurred after the fall of 2015. As I mentioned above, Lowe’s commentary on the mayors’ conduct didn’t address these two serious allegations against Elsner and whether Gallivan had provided them with substantiating evidence. Focus asked OPCC if Gallivan had provided the mayors with information about Elsner’s attempt to mislead her and his attempt to procure a false statement. Deputy Police Complaint Commissioner Rollie Woods acknowledged that the attempt to procure a false statement had occurred during Gallivan’s investigation, but told Focus “there is no evidence to suggest that the investigator was aware of this conduct.” We ought to assume, then, that the mayors could not have known about this misconduct. What about Elsner’s attempt to mislead Gallivan, which earned him “dismissal from policing” and could be, as pointed out by Judge Baird Ellan, a case of “criminal obstruction of justice”? Did the mayors know about that? Woods says that conduct was identified after OPCC reviewed “the evidence summaries contained in Ms. Gallivan’s November 16, 2015 report to the mayors.” Woods added, “The investigator did not address this conduct as a specific allegation of misconduct in her report, it would be up to the co-chairs to determine based on all of the evidence, what if any misconduct has been proven. This conduct was not addressed in the letter provided by the co-chairs to Frank Elsner.” In other words, the evidence that Elsner had attempted to mislead Gallivan was in her report to the mayors; it was up to the mayors to decide whether that evidence warranted an additional charge of misconduct. Obviously, they decided it didn’t. Later, Judge Baird Ellan determined that Elsner’s deception of Gallivan was the most serious case of misconduct, one that warranted dismissal from policing. Another case of the cover-up being worse than the original crime. In any case, it appears that the mayors could have saved City of Victoria and Esquimalt taxpayers close to $1M if they had sought advice from Lowe on the contents of Gallivan’s evidence summaries. If they had done that, Elsner could have been dismissed for cause. Instead, Helps declared Elsner was “the best thing that’s happened to this town and Esquimalt in a long time.” While Helps has claimed that she has been defamed by Lowe’s report, Commissioner Lowe appears to have, in fact, pulled his most serious punch. A public inquiry would help determine which is the case. Focus has received a copy of a request from a local citizen to BC’s Lieutenant Governor to establish such an inquiry. David Broadland is the publisher of Focus Magazine Commissioner Lowe's September 26, 2018 report 2018-09-26-Elsner-Summary-Informational-Report-FINAL.pdf Related story: Landslide Lisa's record as mayor of Victoria
  6. openspaceartsociety

    Gordon Grdina's The Marrow

    Open Space and The Fifty Fifty Arts Collective present Gordon Grdina's The Marrow Thursday, October 25 at 7:30pm. Gordon Grdina is a Vancouver-based JUNO Award winning oud/guitarist whose career has spanned continents, decades and constant genre exploration throughout avant-garde jazz, free form improvisation, contemporary indie rock and classical Arabic. His singular approach to the instruments have earned him recognition from the highest ranks of the jazz/improv world. The Marrow combines Middle Eastern music with avant-garde jazz. It includes renowned bassist and composer Mark Helias (bass), seasoned improvisational cellist Hank Roberts (cello) and Vancouver-based percussionist Hamin Honari (tombak, daf, frame drum). The music, all original compositions by Grdina mostly based on classical Arabic and Persian modes, provides a context for creative group interplay and solos that often involve extended tonality. The music is intricate, sometimes delicate, other times high-risk exciting. Together, The Marrow promises to enthral and delight. Admission is free / by donation. Doors open at 7:00.
  7. until
    Make way for three of the Island’s finest writers, whose new collections frame love and loss in ways both mythic and intimate. In Minerva's Owl, Nanaimo’s Carol Matthews sets out to discover what bereavement means to her after the loss of her husband. Meanwhile, God of Shadows introduces a whole new host of earthy, wry, and delightful deities from poetry legend Lorna Crozier. And in Amateurs at Love, Patricia Young sidesteps the epic for subtle, closely observed poems set in the space between lovers: that charged, mysterious distance so many of us strain to close. Sip, nibble, and make connections at a thought-provoking triple launch.
  8. Munro's Books

    An Autographing with IAN RANKIN

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    The wait is over! Ian Rankin returns this fall with a thrilling new novel starring everyone’s favourite “dour Presbyterian Edinburgh cop,” John Rebus. Even better? The author has added Victoria as the final stop on his Canadian tour for In a House of Lies. Stop by the store for an exclusive signing with the king of crime fiction. A personalized copy may be the perfect gift for the mystery lover in your life…
  9. Munro's Books

    An Evening with Atticus

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    Trade screen time for face time (well, masked face time) with Instagram poetry sensation Atticus. His new collection, The Dark Between Stars, continues the “soft summer love song” of Love Her Wild with moody and romantic vignettes about wine, sunsets, jazz clubs, and the delicate dance between light and dark that keeps the world in motion. Don’t miss out!
  10. Munro's Books

    An Evening with Patrick DeWitt

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    Patrick DeWitt is one of Canada’s most prominent young novelists. Best-known for his blackly funny western, Sisters Brothers (soon to be a film!), he trades grit for foie gras in French Exit, a “tragedy of manners” that riffs on high society in New York and Paris. With a refreshingly dark take on the world’s most romanticized city, the story of a mother and son mired in scandal, codependency, and metaphysical lore promises to be the most demented novel you’ll read all year. Join us for an evening of conversation with a truly original talent.
  11. Munro's Books

    Book Launch with Monique Gray Smith

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    She’s a celebrated author and mother who brings the wisdom of her Cree, Lakota, and Scottish roots to everything she does. Now, the award-winning Monique Gray Smith returns with the sequel to her semi-autobiographical 2013 novel, Tilly. In Tilly and the Crazy Eights, the title heroine finds herself on the road with eight elders as they journey to Albuquerque for the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow. Sparkling with humour, pain, hope, and resilience, their story will open eyes to the richness of First Peoples culture and the challenges that lie ahead. With an author who doubles as an international speaker, this is sure to be a powerful launch. We can’t wait!
  12. Soile Stratkauskas

    Victoria Baroque: Bach in Recital

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    Soile Stratkauskas, baroque flute Christopher Bagan, harpsichord An intimate recital of sonatas by Bach and his contemporaries. BC’s leading Baroque flutist is joined by one of Toronto’s most sought-after harpsichordists for a celebration of the magnificent imagination of some of Baroque Era’s greatest minds. “haunting flute playing and a keyboard performance of the first order” (Music in Victoria) Programme Bach: Sonata for flute and obligato harpsichord in B minor BWV 1030 Bach: Sonata for flute and obligato harpsichord in G major BWV 530 (transcription) Bach: Toccata for solo harpsichord in D major BWV 912 Vivaldi: Sonata in C major RV 48 Telemann: Concerto for flute and obligato harpsichord in G minor TWV42:g2 Tickets: $28 / $25 senior / $5 student & child
 available at Royal McPherson Box Office (www.rmts.bc.ca) Ivy's Bookshop, Munro's Books, Long & McQuade (Victoria), and at the door Info: 250 590 9770, victoria-baroque@shaw.ca victoria-baroque.com
  13. vic storyteller's guild

    Stories at Fern

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    Adventures unfold as tales are told, In Nonsense Verse or much much worse. Whatsoever you'd prefer to hear, Faerie blessings or a curse, We may deliver to your ear, If you are here to hear. Stories told by members of Victoria Storyteller's Guild and friends Refreshments served. $5 / $3 Please visit www.victoriastorytellers.org
  14. Awareness Film Night

    Film: "Era of Megafires"

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    Awareness Film Night's 24th season premiere will be "Era of Megafires" and post-screening discussion with Jens Wieting, Forest and Climate Campaigner, Sierra Club B.C. Why have wildfires gotten worse and what can we do about it? The rise of highly destructive megafires has become one of today's most pressing and complex problems. This 2018, 60 minute film is a multimedia presentation that combines the research of Dr. Paul Hessberg of Pacific Northwest Research Station, U.S. Forest Service with the visual storytelling of award-winning film company North 40 productions. Facing the reality of this issue can be nothing short of daunting. But like all wicked problems, through education we can change the way fire comes to our forests and communities. Jens Wieting will bring the issue to us north of the border dwellers, examining how Dr. Hessberg's research might suit the forestry practices of B.C. and Vancouver island. By donation. awarenessfilmnight.ca
  15. SharonApsey

    Canadian Club of Victoria October Lunch

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    Canadian Club of Victoria luncheon with Mike Pennock – “Community Health: The Surprising Importance of Happiness” Noted public health epidemiologist Mike Pennock travelled to Bhutan in 2006 and returned with a new approach to measuring community health. Since then he has designed Victoria’s “Happiness Surveys” and has consulted in the US and abroad. His findings are inspiring change – and building happier communities. The luncheon is open to the public. Reservations are required by October 12. Tickets: Members $30, Guests $35 Reservations: Phone (250) 370-1837
  16. Broad Theatrics

    Fall Down Laughing

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    Hilarious stand-up comedy hosted by comedienne Kirsten Van Ritzen starring her Fall Comedy class. Cheer as ordinary funny folks take the stage and make their Stand Up Comedy debuts. An evening of victorious sweat and laughter - featuring guest comics Lenore Lemay and David Bruce. Don’t forget to vote! Then arrive early to order tasty food from the Pub Menu (kitchen open until 9pm) or a beverage from the fully licensed bar. Doors open 7pm. Advance tix $8 + fee Eventbrite.ca or $10 CASH at the door. Warning: adult language/content 19+ Accessible venue. Rec centre entrance/elevator to 2nd floor Sports View Bar & Grill.
  17. UVic School of Music

    UVic Faculty Concert: Lafayette String Quartet

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    UVic’s Quartet-in-Residence performs a string quartet by American composer Amy Beach plus Mozart's String Quintet No.4 in G Minor, K.516 with beloved Victoria violist Yariv Aloni. Since 1986, the members of the Lafayette String Quartet have divided their time between entertaining audiences all over North America and Europe and teaching some of Canada’s finest young string players. Yariv Aloni is one of Victoria's most artistically involved musicians. He has performed in concert halls around the world, including Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Centre in New York, the Louvre in Paris, Tonhalle in Zurich, and numerous stages in North America and Europe. Aloni is the Artistic Director of the Victoria Chamber Orchestra, the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra, principal guest conductor of the West Coast Symphony Orchestra in Vancouver and has recently been appointed Artistic Director of the Sooke Philharmonic. Phillip T. Young Recital Hall, MacLaurin Building, B-Wing, University of Victoria (Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/475100739668114/)
  18. Chris Le Fevre

    Will Victoria's Old Town become a façade?

    Thank you for your well-written and most fair review of this matter. I can assure you there are few, if any, heritage buildings about to fall over or are in particularly poor shape. They can virtually all be redeemed to their earlier glory, and because an individual paid too much for a property does not entitle a new owner to simply up the density and change the overall character of the neighbourhood and city. Chris Le Fevre
  19. Chris Gower

    Will Victoria's Old Town become a façade?

    Heartfelt thanks for your extensive and conscientious review of the complex issues in play for the future of an historic precinct: 'Will Victoria's Old Town become a facade?'—indeed a very worthy topic as our community moves into a Council election. Also a salute to Stuart Stark and Pamela Madoff for continuing to uphold important ideals and objectives for maintaining this unique and invaluable urban area. It is indeed a daunting challenge for these times in downtown Victoria, to come to grips with an array of evolving and interdependent issues: Refurbishment of historic buildings; shifting retail, employment, and housing needs; escalating real estate pressures; seismic precautions; long-term strategies for tourism; and care for that ephemeral component of the soul of a city—community memory. In 1971, as a Victoria High School student I first became involved in the early campaign to recognize, protect, and reuse the historic architectural buildings of downtown Victoria—collectively, the rare asset of an intact, contiguous nineteenth century commercial city centre. Through my subsequent career as a Victoria architect and urban designer, the maintenance of Victoria's Old Town remains a key concern. As a City planner I worked centrally on the preparation of the Downtown Core Area Plan—and know fully that one of its primary intentions was to retain the physical character and the authenticity of downtown's vintage districts. A set of strategies were instituted, to encourage development to expand Victoria's downtown east of Douglas Street—with greater allowances for building height and density in these areas—while tightly constraining increases in height and allowable density west of Douglas Street. Analysis demonstrated that growth of over ten thousand new residents and considerable office and commercial expansion—over a million square meters of new building floor area outside of the historic commercial district—was achievable, without compromise to the retention of older districts. Adaptation and renewal of our ever-struggling, but august downtown is not a simple exercise—some innovations and compromises will be inevitable—but to what degree, and with what safeguards? At what point of change or redevelopment does an historic urban area begin to loose its essential integrity? What precautions are needed so that land speculators and developers do not begin to undermine or demolish delicate older buildings—in expectation of easy up-zonings, and for the convenience of parking lots (as have consumed so many older North American downtowns)? Worthy places such as: Quebec City, Old Montreal, and a multitude of historic European cities, hold to strict and intricate constraints to protect their antique centres—areas integral both to their tourist economies, and to their cultural identity. Without similar disciplined self-defense, in a time of hungry real estate appetite, Victoria runs risks of broiling its own Golden Goose. Chris Gower
  20. ChristChurchCathedral

    Bach Cello Suites

    Baroque cellist, Beiliang Zhu, is a past grand prize winner of the Leipzig International Bach Competition and considered to be one of the finest baroque cellists in North America. She views playing the richly chorded suites with six movements each-a prelude, allemande, courante, sarabande, gigue, and other dances-as an "extraordinary journey". Beiliang is the new principal cellist of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra. For her Victoria solo debut she will play all six suites on two consecutive nights at Christ Church Cathedral. Tickets: General $40 Student, $25 Both concerts: General: $70, Student, $45. Available now at Cathedral Office, Ivy's Munro's Victoria Conservatory, and pacbaroque.com
  21. UVic School of Music

    Trichy Sankaran: South Indian Percussion Master

    Trichy Sankaran (mridangam, kanjira, voice) With Curtis Andrews (percussion) Kaushik Sivaramakrishnan (violin) Expect to be transported to the outer realms of a virtuosic rhythmic imagination with grace, taste, and emotional depth with South Indian percussion master Trichy Sankaran. Focused on the drumming traditions of South Indian classical music/Carnatic music, this concert of solo and ensemble performances will include original compositions by Sankaran. Carnatic violinist Kaushik Sivaramakrishnan will provide melodic support and Sankaran’s long-time student Curtis Andrews will contribute percussive and tala-keeping assistance. Sankaran is the world’s foremost mrdangam player and holds an honorary doctorate from UVic for his academic and musical accomplishments. A renowned percussion virtuoso, Indian music scholar and composer, Sankaran is the founding director of Indian music studies at York University in Toronto. Concert tickets: Regular $20 / Students $15 (At the door. Cash only) Contact Name: UVic School of Music Contact email: concert@uvic.ca Contact phone: 250-721- 8634 Website: https://finearts.uvic.ca/music/calendar/events/guest-concert-trichy-sankaran/
  22. Stephen Andrew

    Landslide Lisa's record as mayor of Victoria

    Thank you David. Appreciate your candor. And yes, I acknowledge 2014 Judith’s interview. My candidacy has nothing to do whether you should have contacted me. For me it was personal and about my integrity as a journalist. 😀
  23. David Broadland

    Landslide Lisa's record as mayor of Victoria

    Stephen, Thank you for your comment. Just to clarify, we learned you were running for a council seat the day this went to press. In any case, I wouldn't have contacted you for comment had I known earlier. Your 2014 interview with Lisa Helps speaks for itself. This story is about Mayor Helps' record, not yours. But I believe your interview of Helps could be useful to voters in terms of comparing what she said in 2014 compared with what she did. I would recommend to voters that they read your interview. That's why you were included. My apologies if there's any implication in my story that you interviewed Helps with the idea in mind that you might run for mayor, too, in 2014. That wasn't my intention. At the time, I knew you as a dedicated journalist and believed that would be your path into the future. When you announced you were running for mayor, I was as surprised as anybody. You fail to mention above that Focus' Judith Lavoie interviewed you and that your story was on an equal footing with our stories about the other mayoralty challengers. I agree with you that you raised questions about Gene Miller's writing following the 2014 election. We listened to you. To the extent that we agreed with you, we have taken a different course this time around. Thanks again for your comments, and I wish you the best at the polls. David Broadland
  24. Stephen Andrew

    Landslide Lisa's record as mayor of Victoria

    So as to correct any misconception or interpretation about me that David Broadland makes about me in his article I want to make a few things clear. 1. Though David Broadland offered the incumbent mayor an opportunity to respond to questions, he offered me no such courtesy. He has my cell phone number, email address and he knows where I live. 2. David introduced me into his story by mentioning my name. I therefore am entitled to clarify my involvement. So here goes... When I interviewed Lisa Helps I did so as a journalist. I interview her at her home and recorded the interview to be assured her quotes were correct. The interview took place months before I announced my candidacy for Mayor. To be clear I had NO idea I would run against her. I didn’t even know for sure she was running. She did, I didn’t. I can tell the exact time I made the decision. And to take that even one step further it would be ethically wrong, as a journalist, to report or interview anyone when you have a conflict. For Broadland to say “he gave no hint” to Focus Magazine that I was considering a run for Mayor is sloppy writing or libellous. I remember clear as day when it entered my mind. It was Saturday September 24, 2014. I was reporting for CHEK News on the Johnson Street Bridge issue. I interviewed Helps, Ida Chong and Dean Fortin. None of them delivered answers that in my mind indicated they were either capable or being open about how they would deal with the ballooning budget from the Johnson Street Bridge Project. But it was Fortin who kept saying it’s a “Fixed price” As the words came out of his mouth I remember having an internal dialogue with myself. “This guy’s lying to me” I remember thinking. “How on earth can do this?! He’s lying to get re-elected”. When I interviewed Ida Chong, another internal dialogue, “You’re going to save this project and manage it when you didn’t bring a penny to the project as a member of Cabinet?” And then there was Helps. In her interview she was saying a lot, but it didn’t instil confidence. I left the interviews bewildered. I put the story to air and days later I found myself talking with my partner about running. He wasn’t keen because he knew how it would affect our personal lives. Because the notion entered my mind I avoided any further reporting - especially civic issues. Days later I was sitting with friends and the issue of the election came up. “I’m thinking of running”, I said. Friends being friends, everyone said they’d support me. But it was only when my partner turned to me and said, “I agree. I think you need to do this and I will support you” that I made my decision. There was no hiding it from anyone. As I say, if David Broadland had called me he would have learned all that. But, if David Broadland is truly concerned about adherence to journalistic standards, he would have not let one of his contributors, Gene Miller, write articles or opinion pieces on the 2014 election campaign without disclosing Miller worked as an architect of the Helps 2014 campaign, supports Helps and continues to do so. Miller took wide-ranging, dismissive swipes at me and other candidates all the time pretending to be some neutral arbiter of political worth while rolling in muck of one specific campaign. It’s ethically wrong, and David Broadland knows that and I told him so when I said I would never write for Focus Magazine again. In this latest article he’s done a reasonable job of highlighting issues about Helps’ credibility issues. He could have done so much better.
  25. Sept-Oct 2018 Focus.pdf 4 WILL VICTORIA’S OLD TOWN BECOME A FAÇADE? Leslie Campbell | Victoria City council will soon be faced with a controversial heritage conversion and demolition project in the heart of Old Town. 18 LANDSLIDE LISA’S RECORD AS MAYOR OF VICTORIA David Broadland | For this reporter, three key moments defined Mayor Lisa Helps’ controversial first term. 24 JUST BELOW THE SURFACE Ross Crockford | Will Crystal Pool become an election issue? Candidates say “Yes.” 26 FISH FARM ACTIVISTS COMPLAIN OF INTIMIDATION Judith Lavoie | The battle of the Broughton continues with surveillance on the seas. 28 A FALSE DICHOTOMY Russ Francis | As LNG Canada’s Final Investment Decision looms, a fatal error sits stubbornly at the heart of the government’s case for LNG. 30 MEDIA AND MEDICAL INDEPENDENCE Alan Cassels & Jim Wright | Can we trust health-related media to deliver clean, clear health advice? 32 TAKING BACK CONTROL OF RESOURCE EXTRACTION ON PUBLIC LAND Briony Penn | Can we undo, or fix, the 17-year-old Professional Reliance Model used to regulate BC’s resource industries? 34 WHAT DOES MY NEIGHBOUR’S CAR MEAN? David Broadland | The distance travelled in autos each day by CRD residents continues to grow, but there is a surge in the uptake of all-electric cars. 36 UNDER THE BIG SKY Kate Cino | Brent Lynch aims to capture fleeting moments of special grace. 50 BRINGING MUSICIANS HOME Mollie Kaye | Performance venues are desperately needed—what about your place? 54 MOVING BEYOND THE (DEAD) WHITE MAN SYNDROME Monica Prendergast | A gender equity and diversity report card for local theatre companies’ 2018-19 productions. 56 UNPRECEDENTED CRIME Amy Reiswig | Authors Elizabeth Woodworth and Dr Peter Carter see climate change in terms of a planetary emergency needing global mobilization. 58 FRESH OUT OF DOMANI Gene Miller | Rome imploded because of a loss of purpose, identity and moral vigour. What are we doing to avoid that? 60 MARION CUMMING’S INDOMITABLE SPIRIT Maleea Acker | One woman’s commitment to de-colonization. 62 THE PERPLEXING WILLINGNESS TO IGNORE REALITY Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | Floods, fires and Summer Limb Drop are good clues as to what needs to be done. Yet…
  26. Goward House

    Red Tree Artists

    THE GOWARD HOUSE SOCIET 2495 Arbutus Road Yutus Road Victoria BC V8N 1V9 (250) 477-4401 gowardhouse@shaw.ca Art Show and Sale By Red Tree Artist Collective Pender Island Artisans Reception: September 30, 2018 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. September 28, 2018 – November 28, 2018 Viewing hours: Mon. – Fri. 9:00am – 4:00pm
  27. Goward House

    Red Tree Artists

    THE GOWARD HOUSE SOCIETY 2495 Arbutus Road Victoria BC V8N 1V9 (250) 477-4401 gowardhouse@shaw.ca Art Show and Sale By Red Tree Artist Collective Pender Island Artisans Reception: September 30, 2018 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. September 28, 2018 – November 28, 2018 Viewing hours: Mon. – Fri. 9:00am – 4:00pm
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