-The Mustard Seed
In 2021-2022, The Community Action Project teams worked with local organizations under the theme “Supporting Newcomers to Canada.”
The definition of benevolent is well-meaning and kindly. This team chose this name because they wanted to ensure they focused on doing some good with their project. This team partnered with ICA to design the space for a Youth Lounge on their new site.
Throughout the course of their project, this team provided assistance in planning a creative space; however, their primary deliverable at the conclusion of the CAP project was a 3-page document.
As team members, they brought their skills, experiences, and unique perspectives to the group, and enjoyed the challenge their project brought. This project allowed each of them to step out of their comfort zones to take on new roles.
This project also showcased this team’s desire to support initiatives in diversity, community service, and sustainability.
Team Canal partnered with VIRCS to create a framework and the base information for a promotional booklet. This framework came in the format of a document that VIRCS will own and can take to a graphic designer to create a finalized version of the promotional material.
This team comprises a diverse group of individuals all coming from unique professional backgrounds which ultimately created a foundation of trust between one another.
They created a system that the Mustard Seed could use to offer educational opportunities to newcomers to Canada.
Community partners: VICCIR (Vancouver Island Counselling Centre for Immigrants and Refugees) and The Inclusion Project.
In 2020-2021, the Community Action Project teams worked with local organizations under the theme "Belonging in my Community". Download the final report here.
Team Omada was fortunate to partner with VICCIR, a well-established and respected organization. The Health and Cultural Ambassador project aimed to support VICCIR in attaining their goal to create a diverse team of volunteers to work within their local cultural communities sharing about VICCIR services and working to reduce the stigma of seeking support. Team Omada focused on creating a pilot project for Ambassador recruitment within the Spanish speaking community that VICCIR could expand to other cultural communities in the future as they build their team.
Team Freshpect partnered with The Inclusion Project, an organization that provides a social innovation network and resource hub for organizations, communities and institutions engaged in knowledge development and practice to further racial equity, diversity and inclusion. Team Freshpect's goal was to reach individuals who self identified with the BIPOC community to gain insight on their experience, and gain insights on how to better support Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion with the workplace.
Community Partner: KidsCareCanada Society
The 2019-2020 cohort had the opportunity to partner with KidsCareCanada Society, a Victoria-based organization that seeks to support parents, caregivers, and professionals wanting to deepen their understanding of current research related to early nurturing, healthy brain development and social/emotional development.
Team Justice: Resources in the Criminal Justice System
In order to break the cycle of unhealthy parenting practices being passed onto the next generation, Team Justice explored the challenges and possibilities of connecting with the Criminal Justice System with the resources available that outline the lifelong impact of early childhood adversity.
Team Parents: New and Expectant Parents
The work formed the basis of a new video that will be used by thousands of expectant and new parents, educators and medical professionals. Team Parents gathered and document the visions of expectant parents and the lived experience of new parents from diverse backgrounds.
Team Policy: Leaders in Policy Development
The project improved the outcomes of vulnerable populations by leaders who were development informing responsible (Government community for Officials, Policy Health Authority, Educators, Community Groups). Team Policy hosted an educational panel to inform policy makers of the impact of trauma, addiction, stress, adversity and the value of early nurturing.
Team MASH: Informing Medical Practitioners
Medical Practitioners are now able to improve the outcomes of their expectant and new-parent patients. Team MASH shared two presentations to 72 medical practitioners in our local community.
Community Partner: Our Place Society
Leadership Victoria's 2018-2019 cohorts were engaged with Our Place Society to create possibilities for Greater Victoria's most vulnerable citizens. The cohort conducted an asset survey and mapping of Greater Victoria to identify opportunities for temporary supported modular housing. Each team examined case studies from around the world, sharing successful projects that may be recreated or lessons learned to ensure successful projects. Case studies and stakeholder analysis will assist in creating a model of community readiness to ensure accessibility to needed services and recommendations for supporting a welcoming community.
Community Partners: Quadra Village Community Centre, Victoria Cool Aid Society, Pacifica Housing
Community Connectors: This team set out to define some of the challenges facing the younger and older generations in our community and create connections between the two parties to enrich each other's lives. Individuals were invited to partake in a series of activities that exhibit opportunities for such connection, then encouraged to take these activities forward into their community networks. The event named Generations United was created to engage Juniors (6-12 years) and Elders (65+ years) in an afternoon of intergenerational learning through facilitated group activities, including bingo, interviews, gardening, collaborative art, and more! Intergenerational learning provides social, emotional, and educational benefits to the members of our community while also forging a strong sense of connection and purpose across the ages.
Cool Neighbours: Team Cool neighbours worked with Victoria's Cool Aid Society to hold multiple open houses with the goal of breaking down barriers and the stigma of what supportive housing looks like in the community. The project allowed the public to see what a Supportive Housing unit looks like on the inside and introduced community residents to the people living in the facilities. With a turnout of over 100 people throughout the day, the event showcased several of the Society's properties and services. The purpose was to encourage the general public and neighbourhood to come and understand who and what the society is, what it does, and who the clients are. The open house intention is to act as a catalyst for individual conversations about supportive housing which the team hopes has had a ripple effect through the networks of those who attended.
Dynamic Quarto: The You Matter project was inspired by a campaign that the University of Victoria had recently completed called Kindmail, in which univeristy alumni were called upon to send encouraging messages to students during the exam period. The team took the concept of Kindmail and came up with the You Matter campaign. Through a partnership with Pacifica Housing, cards with a short but encouraging message to four of their supported housing buildings were delivered. One side of the decorated card had 'You Matter' written on it. The other side had an encouraging note to pass on the card when their heart was full. Close to 150 residents received individual handmade cards that brought positivity and encouragement. This was especially meaningful as many of these adults had faced homelessness, or were previously at risk of facing homelessness due to mental health and/or addictions. The team spent one morning delivering the cards to each unit.
Community Partners: Victoria Police Department, Saanich Police Department, Power to Be, The Cridge Centre for the Family
Diversity Awareness: This team created the project called DiverCity Victoria to enhance understanding and inclusivity in our community by exposure to diversity through a video. The video now exists as open user educational material which may be used for diversity training for Victoria and Saanich Police, employees, and the general public. They understand the importance of educating their membership in breaking down their own stereotypes and treating citizens as individuals.
Power to Be Celebrated: This team facilitated a collaboration between the non-profit organization Power to Be, local artist Kay Gallican and the property management company DNL holdings. Inspired by the work at Power to Be, Kay and partners Zu Fortune, Christine White and Nicole Boyce painted a stunning mural on the wall of DNL Holdings properties in downtown Victoria. The team then hosted a celebration to unveil the mural and celebrate the community work that led to its creation. The mural is located at 920 Johnson Street.
Victoria's Rock Your Block: The objective of the Rock Your Block events (24 in all) was to create safe, resilient neighbourhoods by increasing inclusion and reducing isolation through neighbour-to-neighbour connections. The team aimed to enlist neighbourhoods which contain at least one type of supportive housing, including group homes, assisted living for seniors, and licensed facilities. Supportive housing units are communities within their own walls while also being a part of the larger neighbourhood. While residents are often disconnected from one another, connections are imperative to building healthy, safe, resilient communities.
Community Partners: School District 61, South Park Family School, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Victoria/West Shore, Help Fill A Dream Foundation, and Anawim Companion Society
Team Bench Strength: This project was created to foster strength childhood friendship by providing a place to connect. The team worked with local schools in District 61 to develop an in-class discussion activity for kids focusing on what it means to "give a boost" (an anti-bullying message). The "Booster" message was reinforced through the installation of a colourful permanent bench on or near the play areas.
Get your Ship Together: The focus on this project was to provide a one-day workshop to youth transitioning into adulthood. The team organized a variety of local resources people to offer interactive workshops to youth from the West Shore in areas of life skills. Topics included resume-writing and job search; renting and tenancy rights; financial literacy; stress management; and how to cook on a budget.
Happy Half-Birthday Challenge: This project partnered to develop and launch the Happy Half-Birthday Challenge aiming to raise awareness of volunteer opportunities focus on assisting local family of children with life-threatening illnesses. Working with Jeneece Place, a home-away-from-home for families dealing with these challenges, the team coordinated the installation of a Sanctuary Garden - a natural setting for nature therapy.
Shifting Gears: This project identified the need for sale, reliable and cost-effective transportation for community members transitioning out of life circumstances such as poverty and addiction. Through donations of bicycles and safety equipment, the plan empowered 25 identified individuals with a sense of ownership allowing them to move forward with their lives and other goals.
Big Brothers & Big Sisters, BC Emergency Health Services, Saanich Police & Saanich Fire Departments, The Music Heals Charitable Foundation, and Cridge Centre for Families
Team Go Big: This team developed an awareness campaign and event that provided the public with the means to drop off used clothing at various locations on Family Day. The result of these increased donations was to enable their community partners Big Brothers & Big Sisters to fund additional resources to reduce the waiting period for "littles" to be matched to "bigs".
Is Your Number Up?: This team's objective was to increase public safety by raising awareness of address visibility for emergency services, with a focus on rural and suburban communities. Their research of over 500 hours in the Saanich area learned that over 30% of home addresses were not visible during the day and more than 50% were not visible at night. Awareness was addressed through two separately televised public service announcements broadcast on A&E, TLC and AMC during primetime TV.
Listen Up Victoria!: The primary focus of this project was to generate awareness of the therapeutic benefits of music to connect individuals to their emotions, memories and a feeling of belonging. The team collaborated with music therapists and Music Heals Foundation to promote these benefits and collected iPod devices through drop-off sites throughout the Victoria community. These iPods were then distributed to various long-term care facilities for the benefit of residents with various disabilities. Visits Listen Up Victoria's Facebook page to learn more about this initiative and see how this team boosted awareness of music therapy through Listen Up Victoria Month.
Orange your Workplace: Orange Day is a United Nations Campaign to raise awareness and show opposition to violence against women, with the colour orange, on the 25th day of each month. In early March, this team arranged a demonstration/rally at UVic and invited employers, police, and local support agencies to learn about the impact of violence against women in the workplace. Along with their partner, the Cridge Centre for Families, they also provided resources for employers.
Community Partners: Saanich Community Youth Team (COYOTE), Lifecycles Project Society; Reynolds Secondary School; ORAL care for Children & Adolescence (ORCCA)
#LOOKUPBC - This team learned that 35% of youth in Greater Victoria feel lonely and disconnected and identified feelings of low self-esteem, isolation, and difficulty interacting with other members of their community, due to dependence on mobile devices. The team wanted to address the negative impacts on our lives through the use of these devices.
Their project consisted of a challenge to the community to put down their mobile devices, look up at the community around them and express what they see by taking a picture with their smartphone and posting it to the team's social media accounts, including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. A video summarizing the entries was presented at a wrap-up event at which a winning picture was selected and announced.
Community Partners: Threshold Housing Society, Parkland Public School, The Victoria Foundation, Silver Threads Society
Team Awesome- The “Amazing Day” project was an action-packed one-day event designed especially for youth. During this event, 13 at-risk youth participated in a variety of adventurous new activities with their peers and community role models. At the end of the event, each youth received a special care package that included a number of items donated by supporters in the community. Team Awesome designed the day and care packages through consultation with the youth. Media was involved to bring awareness to the project, Threshold Housing Society and the issue of youth homelessness.
Team Harmony- With an astounding household average of $38,837 in non-mortgage-related debt, Team Harmony’s project was directed at offering that apple a day, that ounce of prevention that the grade 10 student’s of Heidi Hackman’s Planning 10 class needed. The 3-day session offered a full suite of Financial Literacy topics, pulled together in a student handbook.
Through theory bursts, activities, and budgeting exercises, the hope is to have left these 30 students in a more aware and ready position. Keeping the sessions interactive and varied in teaching mediums, the handbook for these students will also act as a resource to look back on.
Team Serotonin- This team provided the opportunity for youth in Greater Victoria to express opinions, thoughts, and concerns in a creative and unique way. Large 8”x4” blackboards were placed around the Greater Victoria region, and youth were encouraged to allow their voice to be real, raw, unedited and uncensored. The information collected was presented to the community in an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria where the team encouraged attendees to ‘start the conversation’. A special thank you to The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria for offering their space to reveal the chalkboards.
Team Navigators- This team’s mission was to promote healthy communities by fostering increased knowledge and resiliency. Their project empowered 59 seniors to navigate resources and become informed about scams. Target Theatre set the tone at two events with their fun and informative play “Dot Con.” Afterward, experts from the Better Business Bureau, Oak Bay Police, Silver Threads, Citizen’s Counseling Centre, and Police Victim Services led a lively discussion. Participants reported feeling more informed, connected, and confident after attending.
Community Partners: Burnside Gorge Community Centre, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Bipolar Babes, Capital Regional Housing Corporation
Team Big Bang Mosaics- A unique initiative to help youth learn the sources of food, how to purchase healthy food from grocery stores and how to prepare it by working with local chefs.
Team Tempura- This project was created to promote healthy eating among youth ages 12 – 17. The aim was to teach culinary skills and provide a positive mentoring activity for a group of 20 Bigs and Littles from BBBS’ existing mentorship programs. The program, named ‘Kitchen Connect’ because it provided an opportunity for Bigs and Littles to connect in the kitchen. Kitchen connect lasted six weeks and included five cooking classes hosted by different local “celebrity” chefs and one grocery store tour to teach tips on making healthy choices on a budget. Further advice was provided by volunteer dieticians. Participants received a cookbook, apron and many other ‘goodies’, while BBBS received a tool-kit for future program planning.
Team Eventus- Homelessness, addiction, disability rights and support to youth are issues that exist in our community. Stigma is the underlying theme attached to people who experience these issues and is linked to negative attitudes and negative behavior. Education and awareness are the first steps to stomping out Stigma in our society.
Partnered with Bipolar Babe Team Eventus invited the community to join us on May 11th, 2012 in Centennial Square from 2:00 – 4:00 to Stomp out Stigma. The community came together to enjoy the entertainment, gain knowledge and listen to the speakers. Nothing connects people more than personal stories and connections of the heart. The event left a lasting impression with all, and a legacy for future annual events.
Team Focus Passion Action- The creation of a community tool shed, accessible to all residents at Glasgow Street and Cloverdale Avenue, with an inventory of commonly used tools that can be borrowed to help local low-income families and to encourage neighborhood pride.
Community Partners: Belmont Secondary School, Climate Action West Shore (CAWS), West Shore Chamber of Commerce, Capital Regional District, Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness, South Island Dispute Resolution Centre Society (SIDRCS),
Team Salmon- The purpose of this project was to create a greater awareness of recycling within the school which resulted in “sustainability’ awareness days. These days were themed to address the environmental effects of consumerism, the benefits of supporting local farmers and making sustainable food choices, and to increase awareness of recycling, both within the school and in their community.
Team Fruit Salad- By assisting the Capital Region Good Food Box Society in their goal of becoming a self-sustaining organization by securing one large or several smaller community agencies as long term partners. The project focused on the Gordon Head area on establishing the University of Victoria as a venue for the public to order, pay for and pick up Good Food Boxes. The target market for the project was the University of Victoria community, including students, faculty, staff, married student families and others living in close proximity.
Team Egg Salad- This team created a youth video contest called Youth Action for Homelessness (YAH). Using video as a platform to have their voices heard while challenging the myths of homelessness, the young filmmakers created videos that Team Eggplant’s community partner, The Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness (The Coalition), could use to educate and raise awareness on this topic.
The Showcase Event was held at Cinecenta Theatre (University of Victoria) with presentations by local community members, a special presentation of Street Stories, a short film chronicling the stories of people without homes and the presentation of youth video contestants. The judging panel included Dean Fortin, Mayor of the City of Victoria; Michael Reid, Times Colonist Movies Reviewer; Kathy Kay, Executive Director of the Victoria Film Festival; Colleen Kerry-Grey, an Independent Film Maker and Performer; and Jan Cadieux, George Srankos and George Harris of the Gulf Islands Fil and Television School. After awards were given the event concluded with a panel discussion that created a great dialogue about what we call all do to end homelessness.
Team Four Piece- Driven by a desire to serve young people and focus on harm prevention, Team Four Peace partnered with the South Island Dispute Resolution Centre Society, a not for profit organization offering conflict resolution and management program. The goal of the team was to recommend strategies for delivering a conflict management/resolution program serving newcomer elementary school-aged students experiencing significant language or cultural barriers.
The team developed recommendations by identifying individuals and organizations working in or familiar with conflict resolution designed for young children, then facilitated two events with community stakeholders. At the time of the project was developed, the number of newcomer children in the Victoria School District more than doubled from 700 to over 1650
Community Partners: Ballet Victoria, Belfry Theatre, Intrepid Theatre, The Other Guys Theatre, ProArt Alliance, Power to Be Adventure Therapy Society, Victoria Community Micro Lending Society, CRD Regional Parks
Team W- The Art of Re-Gifting was a cultural event designed around visual arts, performing arts, festivals and the art of giving. Team W created this project to raise awareness of the local arts community, encouraging consumers of the arts to become supporters of the arts, and to publicly acknowledge sponsors and funders of the arts through a gratitude station set up at the event. Team W collaborated with partner organizations and First Nations artists to create a cabaret-style evening of performances followed by an exclusive Indigenous Arts Auction.
Team Green Acres- Working with Woodwynn Farms, a therapeutic community for the homeless, to create a community partnership and grow a garden that is compatible with Woodwynn Farm's philosophy and vision. The team envisioned the creation of a tangible physical asset (raised garden beds, composter, water source/irrigation system, tools etc.) to provide a long-term vision of a large and accessible community garden space.
Team Micro Solution- Team Micro Solution partnered with the Victoria Community Micro Lending Society (CML) creating a mentorship program and trained 15 volunteer mentors. CML helps local people without access to traditional financing to start and grow their business or to obtain training that will lead to employment, by matching them with local lenders and providing ongoing capacity building and support.
Team Trail Mix- This team launched a Trail Day Event on the Galloping Goose trail in order to create public awareness of and support for the Trail Ambassador Program across all municipalities in the regional district that promotes trail use in a safe manner. Outreach activities by Trail Ambassadors provided friendly advice and information, encouraging good trail user behavior and promoted the “Friends of the Trails” pledge program.
Team Trail Mix collaborated with CRD Regional Parks to design the volunteer ambassador role The ambassadors received trailing and orientation sessions by CRD staff to become familiar with the regional trails system and the many types of trail users who regularly used them.
Team Bonsai- The Court Appointed Special Advocate project was designed to help children and youth who are placed in the foster care system and thrust into the court system. The teams’ goad was to develop the structure and foundation for a child advocacy program where a volunteer is appointed by a judge to stay with a child for the duration of their time with protective services. As their advocate, they are authorized to relay the child’s wishes to the judge and court. The project’s primary objective was to hold a forum involving stakeholders that would lead to the formation of a steering committee to pursue the implementation of the CASA program in Victoria.
Team Laser Beam- Under the scope of sustainability, Team Laser Beam assisted the Rainbow Kitchen at St. Saviour’s Anglican Church by enhancing its garden capacity in order to serve local produce to their clients serving hot lunches to those in need. Providing a new micro-irrigation system that reuses rainwater, providing multiple composting units and a recycling area maximized the existing garden’s capacity to grow a diverse crop. Once the gardens were completed a Grand Re-Opening took place.
Team Synergy- The focus of the project was to explore the potential for intergenerational programming in Saanich the objective of bringing youth and seniors together seeking shared learning with a better understanding and tolerance of others in the community. Team Synergy and Saanich programming staff hosted a Coffee House event which included entertainment. In addition, they hosted a focus group of youth and seniors with the goal of assessing the potential for intergenerational programming to clarify a common area of interests for programming considerations.
Team Witty- Team Witty constructed a Teaching Shelter at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. The open-air classroom facilitates the delivery of environmental education programs for children, youth, families and the public at large and has seating for 50 students. The Victoria Natural Society sees the Teaching Shelter project as a perfect opportunity to fulfill its mandate to develop an interest in natural history as well as study and protect the local flora, fauna, and habitat. It also aligns with CRD’s strategy to continue to deliver quality programs and CRD Parks’ interpretive staff to enhance and diversity environmental programming at Witty’s Lagoon.
Team Drawing Bridges: ArtSpeaks! was an innovative one-year pilot project that combined the transformative power of art with the proven benefits of mentorship. With their community partner, they matched interested people ranging from ages 7 – 18 years. These matches help build supportive, mentoring relationships and explored artistic self-expression in monthly creative workshops facilitated by inspirational established artists in the area of visual and performing arts, media, poetry, and writing.
Team Ozsome-The STEPs project aimed to help the women of Harrison Place, a program of Victoria Women’s Transition House secure meaningful employment to improve their lifestyle. The goal of STEPs was to identify how to improve participation in and completion of the programs by the residents of Harrison Place while identifying new support services to improve their ability to find suitable employment. This was achieved by completion of a needs assessment which led the team to develop and facilitate workshops to discover and explore ways of a successful transition to employment.
Team Committed- This project involved the general restoration and natural revitalization on the front school ground of Reynolds School. The courtyard was transformed into a self-sustaining, learning and relaxing common area. Natural species, garden beds with water management, and aesthetic elements were used in the components of the design.
Team Vibrance- With other interested community groups, Team Vibrance facilitated meeting sessions to set goals and define responsibilities for committees in the creation of the Gorge Waterway Discovery Centre which had originally been a canteen. Revitalizing an abandoned hot dog stand to a community center focused on bringing conservation and environmental knowledge and experiences to both children and adults. The learning center connects people with nature highlighting the unique features of life and history of the Gorge Waterway.
Community Partners: Mary Manning Centre for Child Abuse Prevention and Counseling Society of Victoria, Coldstar Freight Systems Inc., Silver Threads, James Bay New Horizons Society, Victoria Cool Aid Society, Victoria West Elementary School
Team Galaxy Girls- The Mary Manning Centre (Victoria Child Abuse Prevention and Counselling Centre) offers support to the child or children who were abused and all family members affected by the abuse. The project for this team involved preparing a thorough report of prevention programs and possible gaps to be used for planning and funding proposals while building connections with other agencies in Greater Victoria.
This was implemented through a re-usable prevention survey tool. The team also refreshed the family room at the center which is used for counseling sessions which were revealed at an open house. Sourcing backpacks with treats were provided for clients (children).
Team Ripple Effect- The team established a network to increase the amount of food available to seniors’ service partner agencies. This was accomplished through the rescue and redirection of food otherwise destined for disposal from corporate and institutional partners. The social service partner agencies involved were free to choose the manner in which they would provide food to their clients through various programs.
Team Street Feet- The team assisted the Victoria Cool Aid Society to receive personal care items at no cost for the homeless. As a result, the team facilitated community partnerships with the Salvation Army Thrift Stores and Mayfair Dental Clinic to resolve the storage challenge at Streetlink and provide ongoing donations of clothing and dental hygiene products. The team also developed plans for school sock donation events in conjunction with Monterey and Colquitz Middle Schools in an expanding program that focuses on student leadership and compassion. Working with the sporting community.
Team Today's Stewards for Tomorrow- A rain garden was built at Victoria West Elementary School which served as an interactive classroom providing students with a way to explore issues of sustainability and discover ways in which their environment could be improved. The garden also provided a community gathering place and a play area for students.
Community Partners: Saanich Neighbourhood Place, Silver Threads, Our Place Society, Federation of BC Youth in Care Networks (FBCIYICN Ministry of Family & Children, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Victoria), The Victoria Foundation
Team Navigator- This project united two agencies, Saanich Neighbourhood Place and Silver Threads to serve as a vehicle of literacy with an intergenerational relationship. The goal was to recruit senior volunteers to read to children. The main outcome for this project included bridging the gap between the ages by setting up a scheduled time for children to find comfort in a story read to them by a “Grandparent” figure. The team connected the partners to the Times Colonist Book Drive where non-profit organizations had the opportunity to receive books that would be used in this project.
Team Tapped In- Through the publication of a 4-page broadsheet published by Black Press, the project team was able to help introduce the services provided by Our Place to the broader community and create greater understanding and acceptance of homelessness and poverty in the area. A “Call to Action” for public support of Our Place was developed with distribution reaching 106,000.
Team Foot Print- After much research, investigation and speaking with professionals in the community, Team Footprint began to understand the importance and need to help youth in the community, Upon speaking to FBCYICN, and learning of the opportunity to compile and distribute "Welcome" and "Independence" kits to local youth either entering into, or leaving government care. The kits contain practical items and community resource information to help youth make successful transitions into new stages in their lives.
Team Vitality- This project focuses on community collaboration and celebrating the work that can be accomplished when our community works together. The Victoria Foundation's legacy of connecting people who care with causes that matter was the perfect match to partner with Team Vitality in this project. Thus, Project Vital City, a community painting project, became part of marking the 70th anniversary of the Victoria's Foundation.
Community Partners: Fernwood NRG & programs (Victoria Best Babies Program, Victoria Native Friendship Centre, Meals on Wheels), Victoria Cool Aid Society, Victoria Native Friendship Center, Burnside Community Association
Team Divercitee- Squeals on Wheels was developed as a community initiative to delivered two weeks worth of hot, nutritious prepared meals and milk to young mothers. Several organizations collaborated to create and sustain the infrastructure for this program.
Team Dream Team- In partnership with Victoria Cool Aid Society, the Dream Team undertook the production of a 16 months calendar and associated outreach activities that were focused on raising awareness of homelessness within the community. Using disposable cameras, homeless individuals took all of the photos used in the calendar. The content in the calendar aims to raise the public’s awareness about what it is like to experience and live with the homeless.
Team Horizon- This team created a play area for an existing housing project run by the Victoria Native Friendship Centre. Four existing paved parking stalls were converted into an environmentally sensitive and child-friendly outdoor play area; a place where moms could also enjoy being outdoors while watching their children play.
Team Sisu- The outcome of the “Unheard voice” project was a comprehensive and professional “Homeless Families Presentation Package” for the Burnside-Gorge Community Association. Team SISU had both developed the Presentation Package for delivery to the Burnside-Gorge Community Association, and also tested the presentation package to a variety of individual and organizational audiences which honed the effectiveness of the package and also increased awareness of the plight of homeless families.
Team #1: In cooperation with other community groups, this team revitalized the women’s Streetlink shelter. The team painted walls, replaced counters and sinks, provided new curtains, replaced all furniture in the lounge area, filled a bookcase with books and cards, hung quilts, created murals and arranged for the donation of a sound system. This made for a comfortable space to improve the quality of life for women seeking shelter and was revealed at an Open House.
Team #2: This project was created to address a major community challenge: the literacy gap in pre-school aged children in Greater Victoria. By working with Macaulay Elementary School, one classroom was encouraged to draw a picture and write a story based on the question, “What would it be like if I lived under the sea?” Their stories were published into a book for other children to read and enjoy. The children’s accomplishments were celebrated at a book launch.
Team #3: This team partnered with the Family Caregivers Network Society of Victoria to increase community awareness of the Society’s work and to enable them to reach a greater range of family caregivers not currently receiving the Society’s support. The team helped connect FCNS with members, while at the same time gathering valuable information regarding the special needs of family caregivers. The team also solicited interest in a new volunteer ambassador program for the FCNS and trained three volunteer ambassadors in presentation techniques. A comprehensive package for the volunteer ambassador program was created for both the volunteers and FCNS. This project was highlighted at the launch of the volunteer ambassador program.
Team #4: The Random Kindness Project offered opportunities and encouragement for individuals to perform acts of generosity and kindness in the Victoria community. People who were “victims” of acts of random kindness were encouraged to “perform” one on someone else with the goal of spreading the philosophy as far into the community within a concentrated time frame. The random acts of kindness performed included the handing out bus tickets, putting money in parking meters, giving away magazines and gift certificates, chocolates and flowers and dog-walking at the SPCA.
Team #1: This project focused on bringing seniors and youth together in a relaxed environment to explore stereotypes and other barriers. Through focus groups, the team identified communication barriers between the two groups. Belmont High School’s improvisational theatre group gave a performance on this topic. Special thanks also to the Juan de Fuca Seniors’ Activity Centre.
Team #2: Reviving the traditional Queen’s Birthday Regatta as the “Historic Gorge Regatta” was organized as a community celebration of Victoria’s harbor town history. A variety of organizations were supported by the Regatta.
Team #3: Through a series of focus groups, this team identified key issues facing youth in Greater Victoria and possible solutions by bringing people together to shape a shared vision to enhance the lives of youth in the community. The team surveyed a cross-section of Greater Victoria’s young people and the people who work with you to get a better understanding of the issues that matter to them most as the region’s strengths and challenges for the perspective of the youth. Supporters included Boys and Girls Club Services of Greater Victoria and Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria.
Team #4: Arts & Culture can be used as a mechanism for increasing awareness, generating funding, and bringing the community together. With this in mind, the Setting the Stage members, utilized local celebrities and media personalities to create a successful production. Ultimately increasing the profile of theatre within the community all whilst supporting community youth outreach initiatives.
Team #1: The EFFECT team recognized a lack of resources on Vancouver Island for women involved with the justice system as an issue. The team believed that a step towards alleviating this problem was to open an Elizabeth Fry Society to serve the women and youth of Victoria. In other cities, Elizabeth Fry societies run shelters for homeless women, lobbying for stable housing, helping women and youth access resources, and run or advocate for programming for women, youth and families at risk. The project initiated to assist the Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver in opening a "sister" society in Victoria.
The EFFECT team acted as the initial Community Advisory Council for the future Elizabeth Fry Society of Victoria, identifying the immediate needs of Victoria by communicating and collaborating with local community groups, institutions, and stakeholders. Interviews were held with a wide variety of individuals representing organizations associated with women and justice issues. From these interviews and research on what programs and facilities were currently offered in town, a plan was developed detailing how an Elizabeth Fry Society could most effectively add to programs and facilities in Victoria without duplicating them.
Team #2: Graffiti, from this team’s research, has contributed to the following; a decline in property values, an increase in anxiety from residents, increase in taxes, along with an increase in crime. Our aim was to address this present concern of the CRD, and involve those who are affected by it, in resolving it. The team connected with youth at Lansdowne School, the business community affected by the graffiti, and the Police department. A one-day cleanup event was organized to undertake a campaign to remove graffiti from public facilities.
Team #3: Although Youth Week has been federally proclaimed each year and celebrated in British Columbia since 1996, it had not been promoted in Victoria. Under the sponsorship of Saanich Recreation, and in partnership with the cities of Victoria, Esquimalt and Oak Bay, promoted Youth Week on May 6th - 12th, 2002. The project outcomes were to promote the value of youth in our communities; celebrate the contributions youth make to our society, and involve and mentor youth in developing activities and events.
Team #4: The addition of a well-being theme to the Chamber Business Directory and Daily Planner was proposed for the Wealth Wizards Community Action Project. This would be accomplished either through the simple addition of personal mottos, tips for productivity, life-balance and other information to the current book format or through more detailed work changing the format of the document to make it more usable and more attractive.
The primary source of the wellness messages would be obtained through discussion with members of the Chamber of Commerce. The goal would be to obtain coping/thriving/ planning techniques and suggestions from members to create a "pool" of quotes and ideas from which the Chamber of Commerce could choose as required for use in the 2003 and future Business Directory and Daily Planners. Other ideas of wellness information could also be obtained from research or other information available from Wealth Wizards members to supplement as required.