Saanich is looking for a few good artists

With the new Cedar Hill Recreation Centre Arts Centre about to start construction (the centre was to be named for David Foster), Saanich is looking for some public art to fill it. The theme is rather ambiguously described as:

Reflection of the ‘Arts’ and the creative activities happening at the Arts Centre.

With a budget of nearly $30,000, There are three spots suggested, two outside and one inside. Artists get to choose which one they wish to use (or all of the). Check out the map below:

New Cedar Hill Rec Centre Arts CentreA

If you want to try out, come to the open house on October 27th at Cedar Hill Recreation Centre, 3220 Cedar Hill Road between 4:00 & 7:30 p.m. The deadline is Nov 22nd at 4:30pm. Full details in the [download id=”1″] (PDF) and [download id=”2″] (PDF).

Come have your say next week

Two different projects are seeking public input next week, although only one really connects to Oak Bay directly.

The first is the Oak Bay High Project, which is on a crazily-tight timeline to have shovels in the ground by this time next year, so they have scheduled a series of open houses on a potential “neighbourhood learning centre“, a relatively new concept the province is championing for using schools beyond school hours. This is where the space for the full theatre may come from, or a host of other options. What is at stake? The NLC can add 15% to the space of the school — some 1500 sq m in total.

Also seeking input is the latest stage of the BC Transit Victoria Regional Rapid Transit plan, which continues to confuse me with regards to the West Shore. The premier recently announced at the UBCM annual conference that Victoria’s rapid transit project was getting funded (with unknown monies), and the text of his speech says this:

We need to get the rapid bus launched in the capital regional district,

Which leave me confused. Because they have decided to use the E&N rail corridor in Langford and I just don’t see the Island Corridor Foundation and CRD Parks giving up on their dream of an E&N rail trail to allow buses to run beside the rail line (and the rail line is not going away. The ICF owns it outright and only they — meaning the collective municipalities and native bands along the line — can decide otherwise). And their consultations this week include “a showcase of rail and bus options.” So is the premier wrong is the or is something unexpected in the works?

So if you want to attend all of these open houses and workshops, your week would look something like this:

Sun: Oak Bay NLC consultation, 1pm – 3pm, Monterey Rec Centre, 1442 Monterey Ave
Tues: BC Transit Open House, 2pm – 7pm, Ambrosia Event Centre, 638 Fisgard St.
Oak Bay NLC consultation, 7pm – 9pm, Oak Bay Rec Centre, 1975 Bee St.
Thurs: BC Transit, 3pm – 8pm, Langford Legion, 760 Station Road

Long time, no post

Life has a been a little busy for me recently, but I have been taking just a few photos since then:

Off the Grid Art Crawl

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Hiroshima/Nagasaki Memorial

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Johnson St. Festival

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AIBC Art Deco/Moderne Walking Tour

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Franklin Common Block Party

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and photos from the Luminara studio

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Guerrilla gardeners ask for the moon

The lawn diggers of UVic finally released a set of demands (PDF). Do these things or the lawn gets it. Oh, wait…

What exactly do they want? The first and most logical demand is for new community garden space, preferably smack in the middle of campus. They also want a giant educational farm, 15 acres be exact. Their suggested location: Cedar Hill X Rd. lands. Given the lands were once a farm and still have fruit trees, these ideas seem fairly reasonable so far.

Still in the reasonable category is the idea of more fruit trees on campus, to take advantage of Victoria’s Mediterranean-like climate. It is their time-frame and scale I quibble with: 500 trees  in five years. Trees take a decade or more to mature. Simpler would be to change (or subvert, depending on your worldview) UVic’s natural tree replacement and addition programs. The only work needed now revising whatever plan already exists.

And now we get to the insane. A department of agriculture? With 6 full time faculty? Aside from the small matter that UVic seriously lacks office and classroom space for its existing courses — let alone a brand new department — where is the money going to come from? What are they going to teach? And more cynically, what kind of monetization is possible? So I say: get thyself to UBC. They are BC’s agriculture specialists. Have been for a long time. No need to duplicate that.

The rest are a wash. Ten acres of ethnobotanical gardens? A LEED certified building? A food harvest festival? Interesting and not impossible.

Surprisingly, the garden in question is still in existence as of today. Like the rabbit problem, I suspect the university will wait for the summer to deal with it. Less students to chain themselves to bulldozers/live-traps that way.

If all this digging has prompted one good thing, it is that students are talking about community gardens, most of them for the first time. Whether or not that is a good thing is a matter of debate, like I had with a fellow student yesterday. Maybe something will come of this. After all, the reasonable community gardens group can play good cop: “Well, you could be dealing with them…”

Reimagining the Light: Luminara in the future

Ideas from board at Luminara visioning. Image Credit: ICA
Ideas from board at Luminara visioning. Image Credit: ICA

With Luminara 2010 not happening in July, Luminara host organization the Inter-Cultural Association, have organized a series visioning sessions to gather ideas for the future, of which the first was held a few Saturday’s ago. Attended by about twenty people, there was a good mix of volunteers, staff and representatives of various community groups and organizations such a the City of Victoria, the Downtown Victoria Business Association and the James Bay Community Project. Many other organization sent their regrets as they were unable to attend.

Why is the ICA re-imagining Luminara? It simply grew too big, much like the 2008 Illuminares festival in Vancouver or the formerly ICA-run Folk Fest here in Victoria. With the 2009 budget around $160,000 plus five months of time by five staff paid through the federal government’s Job Creation Partnerships program, Luminara was not inexpensive. What prompted the crisis this year was the funding needed either outright disappeared or was pushed back into the fall, making it hard to run a summer festival.

Cube from board at Luminara visioning. Image Credit: ICA
Cube from board at Luminara visioning. Image Credit: ICA

The idea of the day’s activities was to drill down to the core of what makes Luminara and it quickly became clear that creativity and community pervaded nearly every single suggestion or idea that people came up with. Many organizations were suggested as potential partners, from the municipal governments to local community associations to schools to service clubs, some of whom have already expressed interest in being involved.

As Karin Scarth, the Festival Director noted at the beginning, this is merely the first of many sessions and there were a lot of interested parties who couldn’t be there. You can follow the Luminara 2010 visioning page, the conversation on Facebook or email Karin directly to get on the update list. It should be an exciting few months.