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Our Community: Society offers your chance to sing

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Photograph By Submitted Add your voice by joining the Victoria Choral Society, which is welcoming auditions for singers to be part of their exciting 2019-2020 season. The choral society, directed by Brian Wismath, is an auditioned, mixed-voice symphonic chorus, singing choral music from Baroque to contemporary. Founded in 1934, […]

Photograph By Submitted

Add your voice by joining the Victoria Choral Society, which is welcoming auditions for singers to be part of their exciting 2019-2020 season.

The choral society, directed by Brian Wismath, is an auditioned, mixed-voice symphonic chorus, singing choral music from Baroque to contemporary.

Founded in 1934, the group has performed with every Victoria Symphony conductor since the orchestra’s inception. In addition to performing as guests of the symphony, the society presents its own concerts and performances.

Join and you can perform with world-renowned soloists and conductors and sing with a repertoire that spans centuries.

For more information, go to victoriachoralsociety.ca/join-us.

Women in Need seeks volunteers

With five shops in Victoria and Langford, Women in Need stores is always looking for volunteers. They are hosting their first volunteer fair today.

You can learn more about the organization, the volunteer roles they offer and benefits of volunteering.

They are looking for people to help in appraisal of collectible books, a jewelry processor and appraiser, art appraiser, clothing processor and others.

Revenue from the shops, along with financial donations, covers the entire cost of running the non-profit co-operative and helps fund five empowerment programs for women.

Women in Need has been supporting women in the community for more than 28 years.

The volunteer fair runs 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at the Donation Centre, 555 Ardersier Rd.

For more information, go to womeninneed.ca/volunteer.

WIN receives community award

The Victoria Women In Need Community Co-operative was recently honoured with the Royal Roads University’s Chancellor’s Community Recognition Award.

The university recognized the co-operative’s 28 years of service in the community at its convocation ceremony on Tuesday.

“We are honoured to be the recipients of the Chancellor’s Community Recognition Award, presented by Royal Roads University,” said Clare Yazganoglu, WIN’s executive director. “The university’s motto of ‘living our learning’ has always been an integral part of WIN as a co-operative, and, I believe, our success as an organization in providing our programs, being self sustaining, and being an integral part of our community in giving new life to the incredible donations that we receive.”

For more information, go to womeninneed.ca/blog/royalroads.

Free menstrual products in Victoria

Free menstrual products such as tampons and pads will be available in various City of Victoria civic facilities, thanks to the Period Promise campaign, a partnership between the city and United Way Greater Victoria.

Menstrual products will be available for free at Victoria City Hall, Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre and at downtown public washrooms.

“The City of Victoria is proud to be the first municipality in B.C. to make the United Way Period Promise,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps. “We know that not having access to menstrual products when you need them can be a risk to people’s health and socially isolating. Providing free menstrual products in city facilities is a small, practical thing we can do that will make a big difference in the lives of many people in our community.”

Period Promise has garnered support from a growing number of organizations across the province that offer free and accessible products in their workplace or office.

In April, the B.C. government declared that all B.C. public schools will be required to provide free menstrual products for students in school washrooms by the end of the year.

You can help by donating financially or by organizing a Period Promise campaign to collect donated products such as tampons, pads, cups or menstrual underwear. For more information, visit periodpromise.ca.

Swimmers seek support for open-water challenge

The Spirit Orcas are hoping to receive support for an open-water swim they plan to take in July through Gunboat Pass to Bella Bella.

Spirit Orcas Ben, Dixon, Drew, Cheyenne, Aly and Maria will put their swimming skills to the test by taking part in a 25-kilometre relay swim.

The swimmers, who have developmental disorders, are seeking financial support to help with the cost of travel, including ferries, lodging and a safety boat.

Bella Bella, also known as Waglisla, is the home of the Heiltsuk First Nation. It is located on the east coast of Campbell Island, 900 kilometres north of Victoria and 144 km west of Bella Coola. The community is on Lama Passage, part of the Inside Passage.

Follow the team on Facebook at facebook.com/The-Great-Bear-Swim-520634591457437 or on the Great Bear Swim website at greatbearswim.com. Contributions can be made in the form of cash or online. Contact info@susansimmons.ca or visit their GoFundMe page at gofundme.com/spirit-orcas.

Canada Council award for social sciences

John Borrows has won the Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prize in social sciences for 2019.

There are two prizes — one in the arts and the other in the social sciences and humanities. The recipients are individuals who have distinguished themselves for contributions to Canada’s cultural and intellectual heritage.

Borrows is a professor and the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law at the University of Victoria Law School. He is also the 2017 Killam Prize winner in Social Sciences.

He is Anishinaabe/Ojibway and a member of the Chippewa of the Nawash First Nation in Ontario. For more information, go to canadacouncil.ca/funding/ prizes/molson-prizes.

Indigenous awards to be presented tonight

Winners of the Indspire Awards will be revealed in a ceremony tonight.

The awards will be presented to Indigenous people who have made significant contributions to Indigenous education, arts, culture, business, health, law, sports and public service in Canada.

Three youth awards will also be awarded to First Nations, Inuit and Métis role models.

“The 2019 Indspire Awards celebrates the accomplishments of 12 extraordinary First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals who continue to motivate and inspire the next generation of Indigenous leaders,” said Roberta Jamieson, president and CEO of Indspire. “We hope the recipients’ stories and performances by Indigenous performers will infuse the reconciliation journey of all Canadians with renewed energy.”

The Indspire Awards will also feature performances by Indigenous talent from across the country.

Indspire is an Indigenous national charity that invests in the education of Indigenous people. In 2018-19, Indspire awarded $16.3 million through almost 5,553 scholarships and bursaries to Indigenous students across Canada.

The ceremony will be broadcast on APTN and CBC television, CBC Radio and the free CBC Gem streaming service at 5 p.m.. For more information, go to indspire.ca.

Opiod crisis the focus of public presentations

Learn more about the opioid crisis at Reality and Hope: Opioid Overdose Prevention and Intervention, two talks and a powerful art display at Christ Church Cathedral.

National statistics show there were more than 11,000 opioid-related deaths in Canada between 2016 and 2018.

On Wednesday, join a discussion with Leslie McBain, co-founder of Moms Stop the Harm and facilitated by Dr. David Mensink. The program runs 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

On July 3, take part in a forum with Dr. Richard Stanwick, Chief Medical Health Officer for Island Health and Nancy Ford, the cathedral’s deacon to the city. The forum will run 1 to 3 p.m. on July 3.

Visit the cathedral to view a 30-metre-long memorial tapestry, a visual representation of the human impact of the opioid crisis, now until July 8.

The memorial was created by Judith Conway of Comox in response to her son Matthew’s overdose death in 2017.

The tapestry can be found along the south wall of the cathedral. It will be open for viewing from 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. daily.

For more information, go to christchurchcathedral.bc.ca.

Documentary focuses on finding inner beauty

Learn about positive body-image, self-esteem, inner beauty, diversity and self-empowerment at Still Beautiful, a documentary on a Canadian burn survivor’s journey from being the self-described ugly girl to successful international speaker on real beauty, at the Dave Dunnet Theatre July 2.

The documentary chronicling the life of Canadian burn survivor, Kelly Falardeau and her inspiring message of inner beauty has ignited a worldwide movement. Her Goalcast video promoting the film has been seen and shared by more than 7.8 million people.

“This documentary gives people permission to feel beautiful, even though they aren’t perfect,” said Falardeau. “There are too many people that look in the mirror and say: ‘Yuck, who is going to love that? It’s time to change the dialogue.”

The event is sponsored by Van Isle Windows.

You can also stay after the screening and join in a question-and-answer session.

Tickets are $15. The film runs 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Dave Dunnet Theatre, Oak Bay Secondary School, 2121 Cadboro Bay Rd. Tickets are available online at StillBeautifulDoc.com or Eventbrite. A trailer can be seen at: vimeo.com/259016343.

Music student headed to nationals

A Victoria Conservatory of Music student will be representing B.C. at the 2019 national festival.

Post-secondary student Adam Schmidt will represent B.C. at the national festival, held in August in Saskatoon, after finishing first in classical vocals at the B.C. Festival held in Chilliwack last month.

Schmidt was joined by fellow conservatory students and alumni, who also won their categories at the B.C. Festival. Winners included: Evan Overman, winner Intermediate Brass; Ben Parker, winner National Brass; Humphreys String Quartet (Seung Choi, Lexie Krakowski, Boris Li, Rebecca Reader-Lee), winner Intermediate Chamber Group and Adrian Chen, winner Junior Guitar.

A complete list of award winners can be found at bcprovincials.com/winners.aspx.

Time to vote on community projects

Victoria residents are invited to cast their vote on which community projects should receive funding in this year’s City of Victoria Participatory Budgeting. Voting runs now until July 19.

The focus is on projects that improve the lives of youth in Victoria. There are 16 projects vying for up to $50,000 in funding.

Projects include a series of workshops to learn about upcycling and altering unwanted clothes, an art and recreation program for underprivileged youth and a perfect-parenting program for young parents.

Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process that gives the entire community the opportunity to decide how to invest a portion of the city’s budget.

Winning projects will be announced in August and projects will get underway in the fall.

The projects that garner the most votes from the community will receive funding. To vote and view all 16 projects go to cvyc.ca/pb or in person at City Hall through July 19.

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