Thursday, December 17, 2009


There is a conversation coming with my daughter...and its going to be even more awkward than the one that followed my realization that she was singing, "round yon URCHIN, mother and child" mere hours before the school choir performance.

She wants to know if I believe.

Doubt is starting to flicker in her eyes. I saw it when we met a skinny, fake-bearded Santa at the Mall. I saw it when we unpacked the Christmas decorations and she lined up the photos to see the changes in Santa's visage. I saw it when we picked out food for the foodbank and she questioned why Santa didn't bring some kids as many toys as other kids.

This might be Santa's last visit to our home. The little guy's belief is likely dependant on his sister. If she stops believing, I'm sure he will too...but I'm just not ready.

I would like to believe that when the night is dark and cold, a total stranger
would be willing to fly around the world - for no other reason than to make people smile.

I would like to believe that when my bones ache with worry and I am weary from a
night without sleep, that there are good things coming - for no other reason
than that I have tried to be good all year.

I would like to believe that there are people who devote their lives to
generosity - for no other reason than that it is kind.

I would like to believe...because what I most want her to know in this world is beyond what I know how to teach her. Beyond science. Beyond reason. Beyond something that she can hold in her hands. So for at least one more Christmas, I will give her wonder and magic and a jolly red suit.

Happy Holidays to each of you. Whatever you believe, and however you celebrate, I hope that this season finds you with a feeling of certainty that joy is on its way.

Hold it close.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Esquimalt Village Project Open House Tonight!

Hope to see you tonight at the Open House!

The public is invited to attend an Open House on November 24, 2009 to learn more about the Esquimalt Village Project. The purpose of the Open House is to present revitalization concepts for the old Municipal Hall and Public Works site, and to gather input on Phase 1 Option Plans.

Where: Council Chambers, Esquimalt Municipal Hall (1229 Esquimalt Road)

When: Tuesday November 24, 2009, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Remembrance Day Services

Each year, I struggle to find the right words to share with my children about Remembrance Day. I tell them our personal family history and involvement and try to answer their questions as best I can. The Royal Canadian Legion has some excellent information that is appropriate for children here:

I have been fortunate to attend the last few Remembrance Day assemblies at Macaulay Elementary. The teachers and staff are outstanding. They are able to bring children and families together with Veterans to talk about Remembrance Day in a way that is deeply moving. I am always reminded that my children are blessed with health, education and freedom.

Tomorrow, we will have several opportunities to attend Remembrance Day services. In Esquimalt, there is a service at the Veteran's Cemetery at 9:30am. At 10:30 a.m. there is a Remembrance Day parade from the Esquimalt Legion to the Memorial Park cenotaph across from municipal hall, 1229 Esquimalt Rd. A ceremony follows at 10:55 a.m.

Thank You!

A very late, but very sincere thanks to the incredible volunteers that make Esquimalt a great place to raise children. Hosting the Olympic Torch Run and the Hallowe'en Bonfire back to back was an incredible undertaking for our township. Thank you to everyone who volunteered their time to make it all happen so smoothly!

Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit CFB Esquimalt

DiManno: Prince Charles gets comfortable -
Yesterday, CFB Esquimalt was visited by Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall. I have heard many happy stories from friends who had the opportunity to wave and even exchange a word with our visitors.

I found this story from the Toronto Star quite interesting as it gives a little taste of the rich history of our area. As many long time Esquimalt residents know, Esquimalt was once the home to the Royal Navy's Pacific Squadron. Yesterday was exactly 99 years to the day that the Royal Navy transferred CFB Esquimalt to the Royal Canadian Navy. It was quite significant to have a royal visit on this occasion. It was also marked by raising the flag for the Naval Centennial which will be celebrated next year.

For more on our history please visit our Esquimalt Archives. They are tucked away between the McDonalds and the Archie Browning Sports Centre. The archives are open in the mornings Monday - Thursday and they are well worth the visit!

In addition to that, we have an extraordinary Naval Museum. Details can be found here:

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Victoria News - Church gives from ground up

So great to read this good news story on a rainy rainy day!

Victoria News - Church gives from ground up

Volunteer Positions Available for Esquimalt Committees, Commission and Board

Every Fall Esquimalt seeks volunteers for its Committees, Commission and Board. This is a great way to get involved and provide Council with valuable input and insight into issues affecting our community. I served on the township's Environmental Advisory Committee before running for Council and really learned a lot from the experience! We also encourage youth to apply as youth liaisons to our Parks and Rec Advisory Committee. This perspective is really valuable and we hope to see lots of applicants! Please consider applying for one of the openings in the press release below:

Municipal Appointments to Advisory Committees, Commission and Board
October 27, 2009

Each year the municipality accepts applications from individuals interested in serving the community as a member of an Advisory Committee, Commission or Board. Esquimalt Council will be considering applications for appointments in the following areas:

Advisory Planning Commission (up to 3 vacancies)
Access Awareness Advisory Committee (up to 4 vacancies)
Arts, Culture and Special Events Advisory Committee (up to 2 vacancies)
Environmental Advisory Committee (up to 3 vacancies)
Heritage Advisory Committee (up to 2 vacancies)
Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (up to 3 vacancies)
*Youth are encouraged to apply as non-voting liaisons for a semester at a time on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee

The Advisory Planning Commission Bylaw and Advisory Committee Terms of Reference are available on our website. Anyone interested in being considered for appointment to any Committee or Commission, is invited to submit an application form (available online or at the Municipal Hall) and a résumé listing professional and volunteer experience and interests, to Carollyne Evans, Manager of Corporate Services by 4:30 p.m. Friday, November 6, 2009. Applicants will be notified of interview date and time.

For more information, please contact:
Carollyne Evans, Manager of Corporate Services
Tel: 250-414-7135

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Busy Weekend in Esquimalt!

There is so much to do in Esquimalt this weekend! I've copied all these events from the website:

Open House at Macaulay Point Park

When: October 24th, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Where: Buxton Green at Macaulay Point Park, 1111 Munro Street

The Township of Esquimalt is hosting an open house event at Macaulay Point Park to gather input from Esquimalt residents and other park users on future management direction in the park. Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins, as well as representatives from the Capital Regional District and the Department of National Defence, will be on hand to answer questions.

The land at Macaulay Point is owned by the Department of National Defence and is managed by the Township of Esquimalt through a renewable five-year licence agreement. The lease agreement requires that the Township take adequate measures to protect the natural areas and federally protected native plant species that exist in the park.

A recent environmental assessment report—commissioned by Esquimalt Parks and Recreation—proposed specific management strategies to maintain and enhance these native plant species. This report, along with public input and other planning activities, will help Esquimalt Parks & Recreation develop a sustainable management plan that will minimize degradation of the areas where these plants exist. It is the parks department’s goal to maintain public access while ensuring that management strategies are consistent with its legal obligation to protect the park’s environment.

Japanese Garden Re-opening in Esquimalt Gorge Park

Please join Esquimalt’s Mayor and Council for the grand re-opening ceremony of the Japanese Garden in Esquimalt Gorge Park. Also in attendance will be Mr. Nozomi Nakamura, Consul of Cultural Affairs for the Japanese Consulate in Vancouver.

The event will feature performances by the Japanese drum group Uminari Taiko and the Furusato Dancers.

Where: Esquimalt Gorge Park
When: Sunday, October 25th at 1 p.m.

The garden is the oldest Japanese Garden in all of North America and was created by Isaburo Kishida, who designed the Japanese Gardens at Royal Roads and Butchart Gardens. The Takata family operated a very successful tea house in the gardens for many years.

Come and celebrate the return of this very special place.

Esquimalt's Harvest of the Arts
Artists, artisans, and art lovers are invited to celebrate Esquimalt’s first “Harvest of the Arts.”

This event, hosted by Esquimalt’s Arts, Culture and Special Events Committee, will feature demonstrations by artists in a variety of media, musical performances, and an exhibition of local artists’ work.

When: Sunday, October 25th, 2009 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Where: In the Esquimalt Recreation Centre (527 Fraser Street)

Building on the successes of the 2008 Spring Awakening, the Committee is continuing to support arts and culture in Esquimalt. This event will provide an opportunity for local artists to promote their work, and to connect with each other and the community.

Admission to this event is free.

Pumpkin Swim
It’s back! Our annual pumpkin swim! Bring your whole family to this fun filled Halloween event. Brave the spooky Halloween games of the pool deck, and take home a pumpkin to carve for Halloween!
Regular Admission Sunday October 25 1:30 – 4:30pm

Pumpkin Carving for the United Way

Saturday October 24
Annual fun day of carving pumpkins and crafts. Fundraiser put on by Country Grocer and Esquimalt Neighbourhood House at the Plaza. Hot dogs by donation and all proceeds go to United Way.

If you're still looking for some can check out a Cougars game at Archie Browning tonight, Storytime at Beans and Greens on Sunday morning, The Japanese Cultural Festival at the rec centre on Saturday or simply go for a walk at Saxe Point and enjoy the beauty of Fall.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Esquimalt Sunset

Spectacular October evening. Taken yesterday at Fleming Beach in Esquimalt.

Monday, October 12, 2009

25 Things I Am Grateful For

1. Writing what we are grateful for on coloured paper leaves and hanging them on the "gratitude tree"
2. Knowing children who believe in "the force". Their conviction that good should always win fuels my optimism.
3. Sleeping in.
4. Living in good health.
5. Enjoying warm meals surrounded by loved ones.
6. Having so many loved ones that we need to rent a room at the Archie Browning Sports Centre for Thanksgiving dinner.
7. Receiving a grant for the Archie Browning Sports Centre....and knowing that many more family celebrations will take place there.
8. Moving ahead on many projects in Esquimalt. While traffic may be backed up now, we'll be enjoying new sidewalks, bike lanes, roads and improved bus service next year.
9. Healing my children's wounds with a Sponge Bob bandaid and a kiss.
10. Witnessing my friends have the courage to set goals and the dedication to achieve them. 26.2 miles non-stop - thank you for inspiring me.
11. Meeting new teachers and coaches that have come into our lives since September. Thank you for sharing your talents with us.
12. Knowing teachers and coaches from the past who continue to show us kindness and caring. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do.
13. Having teachers who take the time to write notes that say, "Your kid had a great day today!"
14. Living in a community rich with volunteers who make events like the Esquimalt Lantern Festival, Buccaneer Days and the Hallowe'en Bonfire happen. You build the scenes of my children's fondest memories. I hope it inspires them to pass these traditions on to their own children.
15. Seeing my old dog find the energy to get up from his nap and greet me at the door.
16. Knowing that my children can walk 5 minutes in any direction of our home and find someone who cares about them.
17. Losing track of time in a good book.
18. Drinking good coffee at Beans and Greens while I type on my new laptop.
19. Feeling friendship and love that have passed the tests of distance, grief, joy, and change.
20. Surrendering to the giggles in public.
21. Being a small part of something amazing. The colleagues I have at QA are all truly the best of professionals. They make it easy to come to work because it feels like we are doing something meaningful.
22. Discussing Esquimalt with all the interesting people I have met in the last year. I have learned so much and I am so grateful and honoured to work with each of you.
23. Receiving gifts of construction paper turkeys - made with the outlines of little hands.
24. Holding hands and sharing popcorn on family movie night.
25. Evrieheng

Sewage Treatment Forum in Esquimalt

So what could get me off the couch on this beautiful long weekend? Delivering flyers door to door for the upcoming Sewage Treatment Forum in Esquimalt. Details are here: This Thursday night is your chance to meet with our Mayor, the Sewage Treatment Action Group and other concerned residents to find out the latest developments.

Please come find out more about how current plans impact Esquimalt. Decisions will be made at the CRD by the end of the year - make your voice heard!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Children's Story Festival

A big belated Thank You to everyone who made the 7th Annual Children's Story Festival happen last weekend. In between birthday parties, skating lessons and Beaver Apple Day we happened to catch a few fabulous storytellers. This annual tradition has been a part of our lives in Esquimalt since my oldest was just a baby. It is a always a treat to see favourite librarians, amazing storytellers and all of our friends at the town square! Thank you to GVPl, Country Grocer, Kiwanis and staff at the township of Esquimalt!

Afghanistan 360 exhibit

In the Atrium of the Esquimalt Rec Centre is a very moving multimedia exhibit about Canada's role in Afghanistan. Last night, I attended a presentation where two people spoke of their experiences in Afghanistan. One civilian from CIDA and one Lieutenant Colonel from the Canadian Forces. It was interesting. It was powerful. It was thought provoking. The discussion carried on long into the evening in the rec centre and outside on the streets.

The exhibit is up from Oct 5 - Oct 14 and I think its worth a trip to the Esquimalt to check it out. My thanks to Councillor Garrison for encouraging this to come to Esquimalt.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

OCP Review - Height and Density

We want to know what YOU think about development in Esquimalt! Hope to see you at one of these workshops!

Review of Esquimalt Official Community Plan Regarding Maximum Heights and Densities for Multi-Unit and Mixed-Use Developments

Esquimalt’s 2007 Official Community Plan (OCP) divides the municipality into ten broad land use designations. The designations of Multi-Unit, High-Rise Residential and Commercial Mixed-Use allow for buildings up to and including ten storeys in height with a maximum floor area ratio (FAR) of 2.0.

The OCP also allows Council to consider greater heights and/or higher densities than 2.0, provided the project will enhance the community through the provision of affordable or special needs housing or other amenities.

Since the adoption of the OCP, several development proposals have been presented to Council which have heights in excess of 10 storeys and floor area ratios or densities much higher than 2.0. Developers have told the municipality that building to the numbers set in the OCP would not be economically viable. On March 24th, a panel of speakers with extensive experience in urban planning, architecture and development discussed this at a Community Forum held at the Municipal Hall.

Now we want to hear from you, the residents of Esquimalt. The municipality has scheduled two workshops - Saturday, October 3rd, 2009 and Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 to explore what heights and densities you feel would be suitable for those areas of Esquimalt designated for Multi-Unit, High-Rise Residential and Commercial Mixed-Use.

We are requesting that residents register in advance so that we can ensure there is a large enough meeting space and enough printed information packages. If the October 3rd and 6th workshops become filled, additional sessions will be scheduled.

Workshop Dates and Times:
Saturday, October 3, 2009
9:30 a.m. until 12:00 noon

Tuesday, October 6, 2009
7:00 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.

To register, please call Karen Hay at 250-414-7179

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Curling Classic on move to Esquimalt

Hot on the heels of our grant announcement is this great news for Esquimalt and the Archie Browning Sports Centre!

Curling Classic on move to Esquimalt

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Archie Browning Sports Centre Gets Infrastructure Grant!

This is easily the most exciting news that I have to report...We have received an Infrastructure Grant to upgrade the Archie Browning Sports Centre! More news on this soon...right now I've got some phone calls to make!

Many many thanks to everyone who has done so much to make this happen!!!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Victoria News - Country Grocer rings in new Esquimalt store

Some great news from Country Grocer in Esquimalt! Thank you so much for supporting our community! This store comes through for Macaulay all year long...the announcement about the playgrounds is a huge boost!

Victoria News - Country Grocer rings in new Esquimalt store

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Town Hall on Policing

We are hosting another Town Hall on Policing! The last one was very popular and we received a great deal of valuable insight and feedback from our residents and business owners. Please join us for another evening!

Tuesday, Sept 22nd
7pm in Council Chambers

Hope to see you there!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Victoria News - Weekend Workshop For Esquimalt Lantern Festival

The Esquimalt Lantern Festival is back...and its going to be fantastic! Sept 19th from 6-11pm in Captain Jacobson Park in Esquimalt. Check out this link:
Victoria News - Weekend Workshop For Esquimalt Lantern Festival

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Victoria News - Archivist brings history to present

Visit our archives and discover our fascinating history! The Esquimalt Archive are located on Esquimalt Rd (behind the McDonalds...attached to the Archie Browning Sports Centre.)

Victoria News - Archivist brings history to present

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Late Summer Fun!

There are still a few great events in these last days of summer. Hope to see you at all of them!

The Victoria Fringe Festival I just picked up my program guide and noticed that this festival is 23 years old. That makes 23 anymore. In fact, I believe I was 15 at my first ever Fringe performance. It was a 3 Dead Trolls In a Baggie show. It took place downtown after midnight so it was a challenge to convince my Mother that attending this show was a good idea. Eventually she was swayed by the fact that my friend and I had earned the tickets volunteering...and she even agreed to pick us up at 2am. If you had the good fortune to see the Trolls you'll probably understand why I fell in love with the Fringe right then and there. I don't think I've missed a year since.

The Free B Film Festival I love outdoor movies. Outdoor B movies are a particular favourite of mine...and there are still a couple of opportunites to catch one at Beacon Hill Park this summer.

and finally:

A free outdoor movie night in Esquimalt! Pirates of the Carribean is playing at Bullen Park at 8pm on Saturday, August 29th. I am really excited about this event and hope it will become a new tradition in Esquimalt. I'm packing up my lawn chair, a blanket and some snacks to watch this movie and relax under the stars with my neighbours. Please join us!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Triton Hockey Day

A belated thank you to Victoria Minor Hockey Association and the Triton Women's hockey team. They put on a great one day session for girls to try out hockey. My daughter got to hang up her figure skates for a day and shoot the puck with some great coaches and kids. It was a wonderful afternoon - Thank you!

I also got to learn a bit about a very neat program called H.E.L.P (Hockey Equipment Lending Program) This program, through the City of Victoria, helps kids access hockey equipment so that they can play. Unfortunately, the high cost of gear and ice time keeps some kids away from sport. H.E.L.P makes it possible for some families to get their kids out on the ice. What an amazing program. To find out more:


Thursday, July 9, 2009

My Esquimalt (dot com)

Esquimalt has launched a new website. Please check it out! It is:

There are some gorgeous photos of Esquimalt to enjoy. In addition to that, you can download some fantastic walking tours. If you ever get the chance, please treat yourself to a guided walking tour with Sheri Robinson. She has an incredible knowledge of our history! In the meantime, enjoy the great tours she has created!

Beetle Research at Saxe Point Park

Here is an interesting news release I took from our website. If you check out the website you'll see a photo of the bug that we're looking for!

Beetle Research at Saxe Point Park
June 19, 2009

The Ministry of Environment will be conducting research at Saxe Point Park this summer. The purpose of the research is to look for a large, black, predatory ground beetle called the Audouin's Night-Stalking Tiger Beetle (scientific name: Omus audouini). It inhabits forest floor leaf litter, and comes out into open plains and coastal bluffs (such as those at Saxe Point) at night to look for prey.

The Audouin's Night-Stalking Tiger Beetle is quite rare, and has not been documented on Vancouver Island since the 1920's. It is thought to be an important part of the invertebrate predator/prey system, and the goal of the research is to verify its continued presence in Garry Oak and associated ecosystems in the greater Victoria area.

The research will include collecting the beetles using 'pitfall' traps, which are essentially cups dug into the ground with the top rim level with the ground, so that beetles fall into them while they are walking. These traps will be left in the ground for the whole summer and will be checked once a week. There will be signs up at the survey site indicating the purpose of research and what the traps are for to the public.

Victoria News - Craigflower Road sidewalks set in stone

Victoria News - Craigflower Road sidewalks set in stone

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Esquimalt Community Market

This year, the Esquimalt Community Market will run every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. from July 11th until September 12th. There is also a new location - "under the arches" at the Archie Browning Sports Centre at 1151 Esquimalt Road.

The Community Market has something for everybody and new vendors are welcome!

For further information, please contact Muriel Dunn at 250-383-7436.

See you at the Market!

Canada Day Rugby

July 1st was a picture perfect day in Esquimalt! Gorgeous sunshine and a great rugby game on Bullen Park field (pesticide free for almost 10 years now!)

Many thanks to all our Parks and Recreation staff, the James Bay Athletic Association, the Esquimalt Firefighters, Victoria Eagles Jr. B Lacrosse and Tom's tireless crew of volunteers. This was a great event!

FCM Whistler

In June, I was able to attend the Federation of Canadian Municipalities AGM and conference in Whistler. Some of the most memorable moments for me were touring the Wastewater Treatment Facilities. As the Mayor's Alternate at the CRD, I need to keep up on the discussions around our future sewage treatment. Seeing Whistler's operation gave me great perspective. They are doing some pretty neat things - making compost and recovering heat for residents! It helped to put things in perspective. I really appreciated the chance to see some of the technology being discussed in action.

We also got to visit some of the Olympic venues. I attended the Winter Olympic Games in Calgary '88, so I was particularly interested in seeing some of the work that has been done.

In all, there were valuable speakers and workshops and I was very honoured to go and represent Esquimalt!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Finding Charlotte Photography Website

My friend John, of Finding Charlotte Photography has finally launched a website. He is an incredible artist and his photo gallery is spectacular! I think you'll enjoy seeing local places and faces from John's unique perspective. Monday and Focus magazines have both been clever enough to publish some of his photos recently...and you'll immediately see why.

If I ever live out the dream of putting together an all girl rock band, I will beg John to photograph our first album cover. Unfortunately, I haven't even learned how to play a guitar I asked him to do my campaign photos. Many of them are still on my website (which his super talented wife created.) Work that both of them did for the ridiculously low cost of free because they are both uncommonly kind people. Take a look at my website and then send me an email asking me why I look so pretty in the photos and so not pretty in real life. Several people already have!

Seriously though, please take a few moments to check out and view some of John's work...and if you are looking for a photographer consider giving him a call. He is someone I am so much happier for knowing - you will be too!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Canada Day Rugby!

Did you know where the first Rugby Game was played on the West Coast of North America?


In 1876, the Roayl Navy played the land based troops down at Canteen Road field. Since then, Esquimalt has had many reasons to be proud of its Rugby history.

The Esquimalt High AA rugby program has been extremely sucessful in recent years.

Bullen Park has hosted incredible Rugby events for all ages and skill levels.

Last year, the French Barbs came and raved about our pitch in the Canada Rugby Challenge!

This past spring more than 100 kids signed up for the 1st annual James Bay Athletic Association/Esquimalt Parks and Recreation Blitz and spent time learning the game for six weeks.

The tradition continues with another incredible international match:
JBAA(Canadian Club Champions) vs. Ballymena RFC (Northern Ireland)
July 1, 20009
Bullen Park Field (behind the Rec. Centre)
6pm kick-off!
All kids 12 and under are free!
$5 per student
$10 per adult

Don't miss the mini-ruggers doing a demonstration at the halftime or the beer garden and concession run by the Lions!

A portion of the proceeds will support the Esquimalt Jr. B Lacrosse (who are hosting the Jr. B Provincials in August at Archie Browning Sports Centre)

Victoria Harbour Ferries

This Tuesday, I had a meeting at the CRD building downtown. A very quick hop on the #6 bus takes me right downtown so this is my usual mode of travel to these meetings. However, there is a new option for Esquimalt commuters (and any other locals)...the Victoria Harbour Ferry!

After the meeting I went for a walk and found the Victoria Harbour Ferries office at 1234 Wharf. It is right on the water (and you can see the ferries parked there when you cross the blue bridge). For just $65 dollars I purchased an Ambassador Pass which allows me to travel for the season. There are a few exceptions to note:

The pass is valid for harbour hops to and from all stops excluding Bamfield Park and Tillicum Landing. Ambassadors can hop on any day of the week in April, May, June, September and October. In July and August travel is limited Monday through Thursday .

It also offers some discounts at local businesses. For more info check out their website:

See you on the ferry!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sun smiled on Buccaneer Days

The Times Colonist published this great photo gallery today of Buccaneer Days. What a weekend! My thanks to the many many volunteers who went without sleep or rest to make this fabulous event happen! Sun smiled on Buccaneer Days

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wakey Wakey! Its Buccaneer Days!

I'm back from FCM (more about that later - complete with photos) but right now, the big excitement is BUCCANEER DAYS! The midway is busy setting up at the Archie Browning Parking Lot and the kids can hardly wait. Since we have to walk by the site every day on the way to school the excitement is almost unbearable!

We intend to squeeze every last drop of fun out of the upcoming weekend - hope to see you there! Here are some highlights from the schedule:

FRIDAY June 12
LOCATION: Archie Browning Sport Centre
HOSTS: Esquimalt Seniors Group
TICKETS: Purchase in advance 250-412-8500 or 250-412-8510

The midway opens! The midway opens! The midway opens!

LOCATION: Throughout Esquimalt
Municipality and Parade
HOST: Buccaneer Days Committee/
Esquimalt Fire Department
*a little side note...when I first moved to Esquimalt my husband told me (warned me actually since I'd just worked a night shift) about "the wakey wakey guy". I thought that he was kidding. Andy is a practical joker with a weird sense of humour and it seemed like just the kind of the thing he'd make up. But sure enough, the very next morning I was woken up by a guy with a megaphone on the back of a fire truck yelling, "Wakey Wakey its Buccaneer Days!" My husband said, "told ya" and I could only say, "I love this place"

LOCATION: Front of Arena
HOST: Esquimalt Lions Club
8:00 am - 9:30 am

LOCATION: Esquimalt Road from
Dunsmuir to Constance
HOST: Esquimalt Buccaneer
10:30 am – 11:30 am

LOCATION Bullen Park
HOSTS: Esquimalt Parks and
Childrens games, activites and fun (Saturday only)

Noon – 4:00 pm (Saturday only)
HOST: Buccaneer Days Committee
LOCATION: Small Park behind
Curling Rink

Midway, food booths, Lacrosse Tournament, arts and crafts, model trains and more on Saturday and Sunday!!!

LOCATION: Esquimalt’s Archie
Browning Sport Centre – Arena
HOSTS: Esquimalt Fire Rescue
TWO LIVE BANDS: Flat Line, &
Ususal Suspects COST: $10:00
7:00 pm – 2:00 am


9:30 pm
LOCATION: Bullen Park
HOST:Venturers • Just bring something to
sit on and enjoy the movies.

Sunday Extras (midway, arts and crafts, food booths etc continue...)

LOCATION: Esquimalt’s Archie
Browning Sport Centre Curling Rink
HOST: Esquimalt Buccaneer Days Committee
LOCATION: Esquimalt’s Archie
Browning Sport Centre – Curling
Rink 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

LOCATION: Bullen Park
Buy a pie plate and if a skydiver lands on yours you win a prize!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

On the Road...

I'll be on the road for a little bit and away from the computer...actually I'll be in the air! Tomorrow I take 2 float planes on my way to the FCM conference. More about FCM can be found here: I'm pretty excited because this will be a great opportunity to learn more about municipal governments in Canada. However,I'm a really nervous flyer so my excitement is mixed with just a titch of terror. I've also never been away from my kids before. I have never gone an entire day of their lives without seeing them. Truth be told, I'm a bit of a wreck...but I'm sure they'll be having a great time here. Grandma has already promised them a trip to the Toy Store and Dad will make sure that they get to eat all the goodies Mom frowns upon.

In any case, I'm going to be away from the computer for a bit as I don't have one of those Blackberry things. While I'm gone you can check out this blog: Its written by somebody pretty terrific!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Storytime at Beans and Greens on Sunday

Date: Sunday May 31st
Time: 10am - 11am.
Cost: Free!
Coffee: Delicious!

I'll be telling stories, singing songs and hosting some fun for you and your teddy bear!

This week the theme will be Hospitals/X-rays and Casts. If you bring a stuffed animal or doll (one that you don't mind getting dirty) I will put a cast on it for you and give it a little "check up"

Before politics, before my new wonderful job, before having children actually....I was a Child Life Specialist. It is always with joy that I get a chance to play with kids again and talk about going to the hospital. Child Life is an incredible career and you can find out more about it here:

See you at Beans and Greens! Don't forget your dolly!
Admirals rd, across from the Tudor House, in beautiful sunny Esquimalt!

Secondary Suite Review

I hope to see many of you out at the Open House tonight on Secondary Suites! The Advisory Planning Commission discussed issue in depth and there was great info and feedback collected on Tuesday night. I crept in the gallery and watched from the back for a bit. It is absolutely fantastic to see such passion and intelligence! Thanks for volunteering and contributing to Esquimalt with your time and energy!

Below is the press release for info about tonight:

Secondary Suites Open House

On Thursday, May 28, 2009 an Open House is scheduled from 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm which will allow further opportunity for public input into the proposed new regulations. The meeting will be held in Council Chambers, Municipal Hall (1229 Esquimalt Road).

If you are unable to attend either of these meetings, information will be posted on the municipal website at

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Town Hall Meeting on Policing in Esquimalt

The Township will be holding a Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, June 2, in Council Chambers, from 7-9 pm. Police Chief Jamie Graham will be in attendance. It is an opportunity for the community to voice concerns!

Secondary Suites Open House

Secondary Suites are an important issue that this Council is examining in the coming weeks. Please take the time to give us your thoughts and feedback!

On Tuesday, May 26, 2009 the Advisory Planning Commission will be considering proposed amendments to the Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw that would legalize Secondary Suites in Single Family Residential Zoned properties at their meeting being held from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm in Council Chambers, Municipal Hall (1229 Esquimalt Road). The public is welcome to attend and add their comments to the discussion.

On Thursday, May 28, 2009 an Open House is scheduled from 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm which will allow further opportunity for public input into the proposed new regulations. The meeting will be held in Council Chambers, Municipal Hall (1229 Esquimalt Road).

If you are unable to attend either of these meetings, information will be posted on the municipal website at

Strategic Plan and Budget

We've been busy at the Council table....and a little bit of that work is available online. Both the Strategic Plan and 2009 Budget are avaialable at Please don't hesitate to send me your comments!

Bike To Work Week

Bike To Work Week was May 11-17th and Esquimalt really got "cranked up" for this event. I have yet to see the numbers...but I know that our staff and community really got behind this initiative! My thanks for the great celebration station complete with free coffee and bagels!

25 Random Things about Me

I admit to having been totally slack about updating this blog lately. I've also received some feedback about it becoming too "impersonal". is a note I put on my Facebook account a while back when this was making the rounds. After reading it you may be sending me emails requesting that I go back to the "info only" format! :)

25 Random Things About Me

1. I think that my children are the most beautiful, incredible people on the planet (and that every other parent in the world is just kidding themselves for thinking the same thing)

2. I have always wished that real life came with a soundtrack. I fell in love with my husband when he made us one.

3. I can do the "We're all in this together" dance from High School Musical thanks to the special remix edition DVD.

4. I can wiggle my pinkie toe independently of all my other toes. I have very unattractive feet.

5. I have wanted to climb Mt. Everest ever since I read "Into Thin Air".

6. As a preteen I made my own perfume with a "Fresh 'N Fancy" beauty/chemistry kit. It may be the reason I repelled all boys until the age of at least 16. The braces, the general awkwardness and the excessive blushing probably contributed to my undateable status as well.

7. I have kissed the Stanley Cup on 3 separate occasions.

8. I still know most of the steps to every highland dance I did as a kid. I dream about it in detail. Every once in a while I bust out an Irish Jig and a Sailor's Hornpipe just to amuse my children.

9. The only place I am really comfortable wearing a skirt is on the field hockey pitch. I would much rather wear shin guards than pantyhose.

10. The Princess Bride is my favourite movie.

11. I sang at my own wedding...and kept it a secret from almost everyone before I did it.

12. Esquimalt is my home and I love it beyond reason. I think that Buccaneer Days should be declared a national holiday.

13. Valentine's Day is my least favourite holiday.

14. I consume unhealthy amounts of coffee....but fear that if I ever stopped the entire coffee bean industry would be plunged into ruin. I latte because I care about the economy.

15. I have owned 4 dogs, 1 cat and 1 hamster. The only one I chose was the hamster. The rest just kind of found me.

16. I allow people to assume that my house is messy and disorganized because I have children. The truth is that I just don't like cleaning. I would rather waste time on Facebook than waste time washing dishes.

17. When I was a child I wanted to be a star of the Roller Derby. I settled for teaching roller skating beneath the disco ball at the Oak Bay Rec Centre.

18. It is probably good that digital cameras, reality TV and myspace were not available when I was 21 and thought I could sing.

19. I strive to be an authentic person but I can't accurately recall what my natural hair colour is.

20. I am my most true self when I'm wearing a silly hat and telling stories with a group of children.

21. My resume is filled with unusual job titles that require explanation.

22. I worry. Too much.

23. Some say I laugh too long, too loud and too often. I disagree.

24. Knitting relaxes me.

25. I refuse to own a Blackberry. I rarely use my cell phone. The only technology that I have genuinely embraced is Call Display.

Breastfeeding Friendly Business Awards!

I am much delayed in posting this....but I am absolutely thrilled that two businesses in Esquimalt have received Awards for being the Best Places to Breastfeed in Victoria. Both Serious Coffee in the Esquimalt Plaza and Beans and Greens on Admirals rd. have been recognized in this important way! These businesses were nominated by parents and should be very proud of what they add to our community. Details on this and other businesses can be found here:

I have often said to Peg at Beans and Greens that I wish her business had been around when my kids were little and still nursing. It would have been such a treat to relax on her comfy couch and sip a nice warm cup of tea in the company of people who were accepting and understanding!


My favourite Poem about Spring

Such Singing in the Wild Branches
by Mary Oliver

It was spring
and finally I heard him
among the first leaves -
then I saw him clutching the limb
in an island of shade
with his red-brown feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.
First, I stood still
and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness -
and that's when it happened,
when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree -
and I began to understand
what the bird was saying,
and the sands in the glass
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward
like rain, rising,
and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing -
it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed
not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers,
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds
in the perfectly blue sky - all, all of them
were singing.
And, of course, yes, so it seemed,
so was I.
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn't last
for more than a few moments.
It's one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,
is that, once you've been there,
you're there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?
Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then - open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sewage Treatment Community Consultation

Mon. April 20, 5-6 & 7-8pm: Esquimalt Archie Browning Sports Centre - Crowsnest Rm, 1151 Esquimalt Rd

This is your opportunity to be heard regarding Sewage Treatment in Esquimalt.

For more info and dates in other communities please check out:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Free Fruit Trees!

Here is a press release from the Township of Esquimalt website. Don't forget to sign up for your email updates!

Fruit Trees Available for Esquimalt Residents
April 1, 2009

Esquimalt Eats for Health is a municipal nutrition strategy and food security project with a mission to change the current food environment in the community. Limited quantities of apple, cherry and pear trees will be made available at no cost for Esquimalt residents through a fruit tree distribution initiative funded by the Union of BC Municipalities. Residents interested in a tree must submit an application. Application forms are available online at or at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre. Local not-for-profit agencies are also invited to submit applications.

Mayor Barbra Desjardins hopes that this initiative further develops the sense of community in the Township and increases access to nutritional foods such as fresh fruit for many residents. “It would be great if those with trees bearing extra fruit share with other residents.” Desjardins noted. Recipients of trees will be chosen on a first come, first served basis – providing all pre-requisites (on the application) are met. Applications will be accepted until Sunday, April 12.

Esquimalt Eats for Health is being coordinated by the Esquimalt Parks and Recreation Department. Other project initiatives include introducing healthier options through food services, free nutrition workshops and special events celebrating local, sustainable foods.

For more information please contact:
Christina Moog, Aquatic and Fitness Coordinator
Project Leader, Esquimalt Eats for Health
Tel: 250-412-8501

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sewage Treatment Open Houses

The CRD is hosting several open houses regarding the Waste Water Treatment Plans. Please try and attend! Your input is extremely important!

Lookout Lounge, West Shore Recreation Centre,
1767 Island Highway
Monday March 30, 2009, 2-7pm

Crowsnest Room, Archie Browning Sports Centre,
527 Fraser St.
Tuesday March 31, 2009, 2-7pm

Fairfield Activity Centre
380 Cook St.
Wednesday April 1, 2009, 4-9pm

Michelle Pujol Room, Student Union Building
University of Victoria, 3800 Finnerty Rd.
Thursday April 2, 2009, 2-7pm

Burnside Gorge Community Centre,
471 Cecelia St.
Monday April 6, 2009, 2-7pm

Oak Bay
Windsor Pavillion,
2451 Windsor Rd.
Tuesday april 7, 2009, 2-7pm

Upstairs Meeting Rm, Station House Pub,
737 Goldstream Avenue
Wednesday April 8, 2009, 2-7pm

Height and Density Forum

Last week Esquimalt held a forum on Height and Density that was very well attended. I enjoyed all the speakers and found the discussion very valuable.

Questionnaires were avaialble at the forum, but they are also online at the Esquimalt website. The link is:

Please send us your input on this important subject!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Food and Society Tour

The Esquimalt Residents Association is hosting this really interesting new event. What a great way to learn more about what happens in our Industrial area!

The Food and Society Tour

Saturday April 4, 2009 (Rain or Shine)

12pm until 3 pm.

The participating businesses which have graciously offered to open their doors for us are: SPUD!, Bedford Brewing, Manu French Paté s, Feys + Hobbs Catered Arts, PEERS and Victoria Operatic Society. General information regarding these Esquimalt-based businesses may be obtained at:

The walking group will be visiting each of these establishments for approximately 20 minutes to learn more about their activities.

The premises for these businesses cannot accommodate more than 30 individuals at a time, hence there is a limit to our group size. Registration is required using the contact information provided below. There will be a $2 admission fee. All participants must be a minimum of 18 years of age.

Community Forum on Height and Density For Future Development in Esquimalt

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

6:00 pm until 9:30 pm
Council Chamber,

Esquimalt Municipal Hall,

1229 Esquimalt Rd.

The Township of Esquimalt is holding a Community Forum the evening of Tuesday, March 24th to discuss Esquimalt’s development potential and determine whether the policies contained in our 2007 Official Community Plan [OCP] are appropriate to encourage development or if they need revision.

The evening’s format will be a panel presentation by architects, planners, and representatives of the development industry to familiarize the audience with
• the economics of land use,
• the effect OCP and zoning regulations can have on the built form of the community, and
• how regulations can encourage or discourage new development.

The second half of the evening will be an opportunity for the audience to provide comments and ask questions of the panellists.

The panellists for the evening are:

Norm Hoston-Architect and Planner

Jay Wollenberg-Planner

Gene Miller- UDI Representative

Information gathered during this Forum will assist Council in determining whether the maximum building heights and densities set out in the Official Community Plan need to be reconsidered.

This is your opportunity to make your voice heard with regards to future development in Esquimalt.

This is an open meeting; no registration is required.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Go Cougars!

The Cougars are having another incredible season! Come see these cats in action in the final best of seven playoff series!

Oceanside Generals @ Victoria Cougars
Thursday, March 19
Archie Browning Sports Centre in Esquimalt
7:15 p.m.

Victoria Cougars @ Oceanside Generals
Saturday, March 21
Oceanside Place
7:30 p.m.

Oceanside Generals @ Victoria Cougars
Sunday, March 22
Archie Browning Sports Centre in Esquimalt
7:15 p.m.

Victoria Cougars @ Oceanside Generals
Tuesday, March 24
Oceanside Place
7:30 p.m.

GAME 5 (if necessary):
Oceanside Generals @ Victoria Cougars
Thursday, March 26
Archie Browning Sports Centre in Esquimalt
7:15 p.m.

GAME 6 (if necessary):
Victoria Cougars @ Oceanside Generals
Saturday, March 28
Oceanside Place
7:30 p.m.

GAME 7 (if necessary):
Oceanside Generals @ Victoria Cougars
Sunday, March 29
Archie Browning Sports Centre in Esquimalt
7:15 p.m.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Archie Browning Sports Centre Grant Application

On Monday night, I had the happiest moment I've had so far in my brief political career. It was better than the campaign launch party. It was better than winning the election. It was better than the inaugural meeting. On Monday night, Esquimalt Council voted unanimously to pursue a 2 million dollar grant for the Archie Browning Sports Centre.

We're moving forward!

If we are successful, this grant could substantially extend the life of ABSC without increasing municipal taxes. Staff have identified that there are enough funds in our capital reserve to contribute our portion if we are fortunate enough to receive the grant. My sincere thanks to our staff and to all that are helping to take positive steps towards ensuring our community keeps our ice facility. Esquimalt residents have been asking for us to be proactive and consider all avenues of upgrading ABSC. I'm so happy to say that we're moving forward and trying to make the most of opportunities!

The upgrades that we are hoping to receive will enhance energy efficiency and further reduce the subsidy. We are planning improvements for users such as female dressing rooms for hockey players and better accessibility for people with disabilities. In short, we are hoping to take our well loved facility and make sure it can continue to be well loved - well into the future.

If a potential upgrade of ABSC wasn't enough to make me smile...we also voted to apply for a grant to upgrade and install some sidewalks! We have a sidewalk replacement master plan now and we're hoping to start making Esquimalt even more pedestrian friendly.

I am thrilled that we are able to work together and start exploring options for enhancing our beloved community without putting more of a tax burden on our residents! Whether we are successful with this grant or not - we have taken a positive step!

For more information check out All of our Agendas and minutes are being posted online. Our website is really improving. There is a lot of new info and it is being updated regularly!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Integrated Resource Management Presentation

I also hope to see a great turnout for this event:

Presentation: Integrated Resource Management (IRM) & Sewage Treatment in the CRD
On Wednesday, March 11th Esquimalt will host a public presentation on Integrated Resource Management (IRM) and Sewage Treatment in the CRD. Fidelis Resources Group, whom have been contracted by the provincial government, will present a financial and non-financial comparison of IRM to traditional sewage treatment. The public is invited to attend.

Date: Wednesday, March 11th, 2009
Time: 6 pm to 9 pm
Location: Council Chambers, Esquimalt Municipal Hall - 1229 Esquimalt Road

This session is going to be very educational and will give each of us greater understanding about what IRM is and how it compares with the options currently being discussed at the CRD. While the CRD is considering options that include resource recovere there is not yet an option that is truly IRM. Please come and see the possibilities!

Landmark Public Art Series

This looks like a really neat event that will showcase some innovative art in public places like Sewage Treatment plant, bridges, highways etc... It is part of the Landmark leture series on public art and it is totally free! Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009 • 7 pm
Esquimalt Municipal Hall -1229 Esquimalt Road
FREE ADMISSION – Everyone Welcome
For further information call (250) 361-0358

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

FASD: Finding Hope

Please check out this documentary on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder on the Knowledge Network "FASD: Finding Hope". It was on last night at 10pm and it repeats tonight at 2am and Thursday at 11pm.

It follows the lives of 4 families living with FASD and gives an honest glimpse into what they face each day. It's an hour well spent.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mega-Yacht Marina

There is a lot of talk about the proposed Mega-Yacht Marina in Vic West. The potential impact on Esquimalt is quite large. If this interests or impacts YOU make sure you get to this meeting next Tuesday. Unfortunately,I won't be able to attend as I have a different meeting at the same time. If you want to let me know your thoughts please send me an email at! Meeting details below:

Denise Savoie MP
& the
Victoria West Community
invite you to attend a
to review and comment on a
proposed for
Victoria Harbour
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009
7:00 p.m.
Victoria City Hall
information (250) 382-3378

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Volunteer Opportunities in Esquimalt!

Appointments to Advisory Committees, Commissions and Board
February 10, 2009

Until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, February 20, 2009, the municipality is accepting applications from people interested in serving the community as a member of an Advisory Committee, Commission or Board. Esquimalt Council will be considering applications for appointments in the following areas:

Advisory Planning Commission (up to 5 vacancies)
Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (up to 2 vacancies)
*Youth are encouraged to apply as non-voting liaisons for a semester at a time on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee
Heritage Advisory Committee (up to 5 vacancies)
Arts, Culture and Special Events Advisory Committee (up to 5 vacancies)
Environmental Advisory Committee (up to 4 vacancies)
Access Awareness Advisory Committee (up to 5 vacancies)
Board of Variance (1 vacancy)
Centennial Committee
Terms of Reference for the Committees (except the Centennial Committee) are available here. Anyone interested in being considered for appointment to any Committee, Commission or Board, is invited to submit an application form (available here or at municipal hall) and a résumé listing professional and volunteer experience and interests, to Larry Randle, Manager of Corporate Services by 4:30 p.m. Friday, February 20, 2009. Interviews will be held the evenings of Tuesday, February 24th and Thursday, February 26th.

Please contact Larry Randle at 250-414-7135 or by e-mail for further information.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bus Route Proposal

BC Transit is planning a bus route from the Royal Jubilee Hospital area into Vic West or Esquimalt. One option under consideration is that the bus will service Esquimalt and come to dockyard. The other option has it going only through Vic West.

Residents can give feedback at one of the upcoming information sessions

Monday, February 16, 2-6pm, VicWest YMCA (521 Craigflower Rd)
Thursday, February 19, 3-7pm, Belfry Theatre, 1291 Gladstone Avenue (at Fernwood Avenue)

AND fill out a short survey online here:

Please fill out the online form! I personally feel really strongly that having more bus service to Esquimalt would be a huge benefit to us!

Councillor Randall Garrison is also passionate about this issue and he has added a direct link button to the survey from his website. If you're having trouble with the link I provided just google Randall Garrison and you'll find him easily. Thank you Randall for all your work on this and keeping me in the loop!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Shiver Shaker!

Yesterday my family attended the Shiver Shaker at Archie Browning Sports Centre. This event is just the kind of quirky good time that makes me fall in love with Esquimalt all over again. There were KinderEgg and Spoon games, bowling and a real live band playing right on the ice! There was an incredible face painting artist, the usual super friendly staff and the Lions were out there too! These dedicated volunteers were giving away hot dogs, hot chocolate and sno-cones.

Thanks everyone for making this trip to the Arena extra special! I hope it becomes an annual party!

Friday, January 16, 2009

More great events in Esquimalt!

This Saturday, Jan 17th, Esquimalt hosts two great events for families!

The first is: Ready, Set, Learn. From 9:30am - 12:00pm the Esquimalt family of schools is putting on an event geared towards getting 3 & 4 year old children interested in school. This family event is FREE and includes displays by our local schools, kindergym, face painting and lunch! The fun happens at the Esquimalt Rec Centre

That afternoon from 3:30-4:50pm is the township's first - Shiver Shaker
The ice at Archie Browning is going to hold all sorts of extra fun. Crazy games, prizes and music will make this a really special event. As usual, our amazing community volunteers will be out in full force cooking up hotdogs and hot chocolate for the kids! Admission is just the regular price for a public skating session!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

January in Esquimalt

There are lots of great things happening in Esquimalt to start the New Year off right.

WATERSLIDES!!! The pool has re-opened with two waterslides. We tried them out and the kids definitely approve!

RECYLING!!!! Pacific Mobile Recycling is back in Esquimalt on the 2nd Saturday of every month. The new location is the parking lot behind the Archie Browning Sports Centre. Opening day is Saturday, Jan 10th from 10am-1pm.

KIDS ART!!! Beans and Greens is hosting a childrens' art show. Submissions are being accepted throughout the first week of January. Come down after that and enjoy the show!

PARKS AND REC SAMPLER!!! On Saturday, Jan 10th from 9am- 1:30pm there are sample classes and demos of many programs at the Esquimalt Rec Centre. Stop by and check out some of the great things for 2009!