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June 24, 2020

Zumba & Gentle Yogafit summer classes

With new health protocols in place the FGCA is happy to be offering summer sessions of Zumba, Zumba Toning, Zumba 15-15-15 and Gental Yogafit (with somatic movements). Registration will begin Monday July 6th.

Community Inspiration Project ~ tell us what inspires you in Fairfield & Gonzales!

The FGCA is currently working on the Community Inspiration Project (CIP), an asset-mapping project for the Fairfield Gonzales neighbourhood. Our goal is to collect, from residents and visitors, a list of the various assets we have in our community (which we call sources of inspiration) & hear why they are valued.  Following this, we will share these sources of inspiration with the community so you know about these wonderful resources that exist, right here in Fairfield and Gonzales! We would love to know: What are your sources of inspiration in Fairfield and Gonzales? Click here to fill in our quick survey

FGCA Community Dinner ~ Friday, June 26th

Our meal is Veggie Lasagna (frozen) & Salad. All for free, delivered to your door Friday evening. Click here to fill out our Community Dinner Request form. Thank you to the Rapid Relief Fund for helping us expand our food security programs. Email us if you have questions. If you would like to donate to our food security programs, click here.

Community Association Land Use Committee (CALUC)

June 25: 3 preliminary meetings
  • proposed 6 unit townhouse project at 1116 McClure
  • rezoning application for small family home to be able to create a small lot-subdivision off the backyard of their L-shaped property at 1840 Crescent Rd.
  • 1734 Hollywood Cres. The intent is to maintain the existing architectural features while adding an addition to the rear of the property in order to accommodate 4 units within the structure.
To join the meeting in person, sign up on Eventbrite as capacity is limited. The meeting will take place at Fairfield Community Place, 1330 Fairfield Rd. To join the meeting online, click this link:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84461686471?pwd=TVRLOFdkSTV6V3JZbVNLdjhTaWo2Zz09
To join by phone, call: +1 778 907 2071 Canada
Meeting ID: 844 6168 6471 please email planandzone@fairfieldcommunity.ca in advance for the password.

FGCA Summer Camps

Are filling up fast, but a few weeks still have space. For more information and online sign-up, click here.

FGCA Book Club

Next meeting is Monday, June 29th online, at 7:15pm. Email us to receive the ZOOM link shortly before the meeting. We will be discussing: Ellen in pieces, by Caroline Adderson.

Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition – GVCC

Fairfield/Rockland now has their very own Bike Scavenger Hunt! The GVCC has prizes for those who share a photo of their ride using #yyjbike, and tell a little story using the form on their website. Solve the clues by July 3rd to win prizes! Check out all the clues and maps you need to get started below: https://gvcc.bc.ca/theme-rides/scavenger-hunts/

City of Victoria updates

Victoria’s Canada Day, will feature an impressive line-up of diverse, multicultural performances broadcast on CHEK, and streamed on the City’s website and a range of online platforms on July 1 at 7 p.m. For more information on celebration plans, visit: canadadayvictoria.ca.
Crystal Pool Summer Camps
City of Victoria outdoor summer camps have been designed to safely accommodate kids. View the online flyer to learn more, and click here to register.
Outdoor Recreation & Fitness Programs
The City is offering a range of health and wellness opportunities this summer at Royal Athletic Park, including yoga, boot camps, personal training and more. All classes offered entirely outdoors with enhanced COVID-19 policies and procedures. View the online flyer and click here to register. Options will be available to register in advance or on a drop-in basis.
Outdoor Health and Wellness Programs Survey
The City of Victoria is planning a gradual return to adult health and wellness programs and wants to understand your interests as they plan which programs to offer this summer and fall. COVID-19 guidelines mean some programs require significant modification, while other programs may be able to be modified in simple ways, such as moving them outside. Please complete this survey to help the City understand and prioritize the adult health and wellness programs you’re most interested in.

June 10, 2020

Fairfield Gonzales Observer ~ your community newspaper

In the next issue of the Observer we want to share neighbourhood stories, images and snapshots from all the ups, downs and changes that have happened in this whirlwind of a Spring. We are looking for local contributions from you, your kids – whoever feels inspired to share.
Send us some words….
  • a story of neighbours coming together, something that inspired you
  • a poem you wrote
  • a thank you to someone, a stranger, a shout out of appreciation
Send us a picture….
  • of your business & your new COVID set up. Your plexiglass, take out window, line up spot – we wanna see it. We want to showcase as many Fairfield Gonzales businesses as we can & let neighbours know you are open & ready to greet customers safely.
  • something that kept you busy & happy, that you are proud of & want to share. Knitting, baking, art, chopping that whole wood pile – show us your doing & making. Your garden, your project – we want to see it!
You have another idea? Give us a shout...
Email questions, ideas or to reserve your spot: office@fairfieldcommunity.ca
Issue will be for mid August to mid December, with content due end of July.

FGCA reception desk is open

Our reception desk is now open 10am – 2pm Monday to Friday, 250-382-4604.
Closed Saturday & Sunday. Many of our programs & services remain closed – check our website for up to date information.

FGCA Community Dinner ~ Friday, June 12th

This time we will be making Veggie Lasagna and a side salad. All for free, delivered to your door Friday evening. Click here to fill out our Community Dinner Request form, we will have 50 servings available. Thank you to the Rapid Relief Fund for helping us expand our food security programs. Email us if you have questions. If you would like to donate to our food security programs, click here.

FGCA Summer Camps

We are offering week long Summer Camps for school age children ages 6-12. For more information and online sign-up, click here.

FGCA Book Club

Next meeting is Monday, June 29th online, at 7:15pm. Email us to receive the ZOOM link shortly before the meeting. We will be discussing: Ellen in pieces, by Caroline Adderson: Three-time CBC Literary Prize finalist Caroline Adderson challenged herself to write a novel that looks like a novel, and reads like one, but is actually a series of standalone short stories, nesting together like Russian dolls. Adderson gives us a midlife portrait of Ellen McGinty, a divorced former publicist who sells the Vancouver home where she raised her two daughters to bankroll a second career as an artist. In this witty, compelling and genre-bending novel, a single mother navigates the loves, lusts and losses of middle age to arrive at a bittersweet contentment. Ellen McGinty is sexy, impulsive, loud-mouthed, chock full of regrets—who recovers from regret.

Workshops to help parents foster emotionally healthy children during COVID-19 ~ from Saanich Neighbourhood Place

Saanich Neighbourhood Place and Child & Youth Mental Health Services are offering free, ‘webinar’ style workshops, registration is required.
Building Emotionally Healthy Kids during the Pandemic and Beyond
June 16 at 2:30pm ~A child’s brain is directly shaped by the daily interactions they have with their parents. Emotional well-being, self-regulation, social skills, and the ability to learn are all influenced by the everyday give and take that occurs between parents and children. During uncertain times such as COVID-19, caregivers’ interactions become more important than ever in fostering their children’s healthy development and resilience for buffering stress. Please join the discussion of Child & Youth Mental Health Clinicians (Dr. Jackie Bush, Dr. Marei Perrin & Heather Vale) in sharing parenting strategies that support children’s emotional and social development.
Register: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/building-emotionally-healthy-kids-during-the-pandemic-and-beyond-tickets-106813259334
The Powers of Play: Empowering Parents to Help their Children Cope during the Pandemic & Beyond June 30 at 2:30pm COVID-19 has turned children’s and family life upside-down nearly overnight. Many children are experiencing heightened stress and anxiety due to COVID-19 related uncertainties and adjustments. Parents are in the best position to support their child during these unusual times by facilitating therapeutic play with their child. Please join the discussion of Child and Youth Mental Health Clinicians (Dr. Jackie Bush, Dr. Marei Perrin, & Heather Vale) in describing the power of special play time with parents in supporting their child’s emotions, processing of experiences, and further strengthening the parent-child connection. This talk is specifically geared towards parents of children under the age of ten. Parents will be provided with specific tools of how to implement this therapeutic special play time with their children to ease stress and to enhance coping. Register: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/the-powers-of-play-tickets-106979233768

YMCA -Youth Mindfulness Group

Now online, is now opening up a summer cycle. If you know of any young adults (18-30) who might benefit from this free anxiety psychoeducation and support group that uses ACT and Mindfulness and are able to connect online for all 7 weekly sessions, please share. The next program dates are Wednesdays from 5-7:30pm, July 8th-August 19th. Online Information & intake Sessions are being held the weeks of June 8th & 15th – to register for one of these please click on this link. Registrations are confirmed once interested participants attend a 30 minute information sessions and complete an intake by phone or video call with one of the facilitators.
For more information about the program, click here.

Growing Together

A collaborative initiative of over twenty organizations across the region that are helping people build skills and confidence to grow food at home. Learn to grow, find supplies, discover resources. In a time of uncertainty it can be empowering and grounding to grow food to feed ourselves and our community. Email growingtogether@crfair.ca

City of Victoria updates

My Great Neighbourhood Grants In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City has modified its My Great Neighbourhood Grant program to accommodate an ongoing enrollment from June 1 until the end of the year and include a new category that is focused on COVID-19 Community Recovery and Resiliency. In addition to the great ideas for a physically-distanced project or activity that can connect neighbours safely or help create inviting, vibrant spaces, the My Great Neighbourhood Grants can also be used to help the community in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.The City provides up to $5,000 for placemaking projects and the new category of Recovery and Resiliency, and up to $1,000 for activities, matching equivalent contributions (including volunteer time and in-kind donations) from applicants. Grants are open to individuals and community groups in the City of Victoria. Any not-for-profit organization, school or ad hoc groups of residents can apply, although a sponsor must be found for those without not-for-profit status. City staff are available to help residents through this process. For more information and to apply, visit: victoria.ca/neighbourhoodgrants
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, public access to City Hall continues to not be permitted. However, starting June 11, Public Hearings will now be held electronically providing virtual access to Council meetings which can be viewed on the City’s live stream webcast. For more information on how members of your communities may participate in public hearings at the City of Victoria, please follow the link below:
https://www.victoria.ca/EN/meta/news/public-notices/virtual-public-hearings.html

May 27, 2020

When you tell your dad “I’m bored” one too many times!

FGCA Community Dinner ~ Friday, May 29th

This time we will be making Vegetable Stew with rice. All for free, delivered to your door Friday evening. Click here to fill out our Community Dinner Request form, we will have 50 servings available. Thank you to the Rapid Relief Fund for helping us expand our food security programs. Email us if you have questions.

FGCA Emergency Childcare

The FGCA has a limited number of childcare spaces. If you need childcare, email us:
Preschool age, 3-5 years ~ eyc@fairfieldcommunity.ca
School age children ~ childcare@fairfieldcommunity.ca

Get Growing, Victoria!

The City of Victoria is collaborating with community partners and non-profit organizations to provide a selection of the top 15 vegetable and herb starts.
Wednesday, June 10th from 10:30-3pm, the FGGA will be distributing plants.
This will take place either at the Food Forest (in Porter Park) or at the Garry Oak Room (1335 Thurlow Rd) depending on school plans and weather, TBA.
The day will be structured as follows:
  • 10:15 – 11:00am ~ seniors and immunocompromised folks
  • 11:00 -1:00pm ~ registered participants (email fairfieldcommunitygardens@gmail.com to register)
  • 1:00 – 3:00pm ~ free for public distribution
The project supports communities in need first. Priority is being given to people who are financially or physically impacted by the pandemic and that have a desire to grow food but may have limited access to plants and garden materials, or are facing barriers to access fresh, locally grown food. Eligibility criteria includes, but is not limited to, those who have experienced loss of work, are immunocompromised, are on disability, are seniors, and/or self-identify as food insecure.

Community Land Use Meeting ~ 933 & 935 Convent Pl. and preliminary meeting for 1160 Oxford St.

Thursday May 28, 7pm Due to COVID-19, this meeting will be held both virtually and in-person. Please note that the City did not distribute notices for this meeting due to the current situation.
ATTENDING IN PERSON: you must sign up on Eventbrite, space is limited to 12 attendees.The meeting will be held in the Garry Oak Room.
ATTENDING VIRTUALLY: You can join the meeting by phone, computer, tablet, or smartphone.
To join via the web click: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82828969784?pwd=TGRmS2ExbU9tS0lDeFh1NmRKS3QyZz09
To call in by phone, dial: +1 778 907 2071. You will need the meeting ID: 828 2896 9784 and will need to email planandzone@fairfieldcommunity.ca for the password

Cook St Village Activity Centre ~ opening May 25th

Staff at the Cook St Activity Centre (1 – 380 Cook Street) have been cleaning and preparing for re-opening on Monday May 25th. Please note that the building will be open for a limited number of hours each day and there won’t be a full compliment of activities. For an updated schedule and new regulations click here.

Cook St Village ~ Facebook Page

“Like” this Facebook page & keep up with Cook St Village news. Businesses along Cook Street are starting to open up again! Some shops have been open all along for essentials but others are reopening their doors for the first time in a while. Please check your favourite shops’ Facebook page, website or Instagram page for possible new hours..rules..etc.

Good Food Box ~ Rapid Relief

In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Fernwood NRG is launching a new program called Good Food Box Rapid Relief to provide fresh food to anyone experiencing heightened food insecurity at this time. This program is launching on Tuesday, May 26th. Anyone experiencing food insecurity can apply to receive a Large Good Food Box every two weeks for the next four months free of charge. Recipients will pick-up their Good Food Box at the Fernwood Community Centre (1240 Gladstone Avenue) between 2pm and 4:30pm on Tuesdays. In the near future, we hope to have delivery options for those who qualify. A huge thank you to the Rapid Relief Fund and the Victoria Foundation for making this program possible.
If you or anyone you know would benefit from this program, please apply here or pass along this information. Application for Good Food Box Rapid Relief

Moss St Market

Open every Saturday 10-2 with COVID-19 measures in place to keep everyone safe, see details here. View the Temporary COVID-19 Measures Grounds Map.
The International Women’s Catering Coop will be back selling their meals again this Saturday, after taking a break for Ramadan.

City of Victoria updates

Re-Opening and Recovery Business Toolkit – Getting Back to Work Safely. The City has been collaborating with the Downtown Victoria Business Association, Think Local Victoria, Community Micro-Lending and other business leaders to create a toolkit to support businesses re-open safely. The toolkit helps highlight businesses that are practising physical distancing, taking hygienic measures, and exercising the necessary precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The toolkit includes:
  • occupancy signage to communicate the number of customers businesses are allowing inside at one time
  • a checklist of COVID-related measures expected of customers and being followed by employees
  • design files that can be taken to many local printers for easy production and use for poster or floor stickers for businesses to mark places for people to stand with appropriate social distancing.
For more information on the City’s response to the pandemic, visit: victoria.ca/covid19response.

May 21, 2020

Get Growing, Victoria!

The City of Victoria is collaborating with community partners and non-profit organizations to provide vegetable and herb seedlings to those who need help most. This program will provide a selection of the top 15 vegetable and herb starts for easy growing by the novice gardener, and suitable for a variety of locations, such as garden beds in yards or container gardening on decks and balconies. The project supports communities in need first. Priority is being given to people who are financially or physically impacted by the pandemic and that have a desire to grow food but may have limited access to plants and garden materials, or are facing barriers to access fresh, locally grown food. Eligibility criteria includes, but is not limited to, those who have experienced loss of work, are immunocompromised, are on disability, are seniors, and/or self-identify as food insecure.
The FGCA will be a seedling distribution point, likely mid-June, but we have yet to receive details form that City. As soon at we know more, we will let you know!

FGCA Emergency Childcare

The FGCA has a limited number of childcare spaces. If you need childcare, email us:
Preschool age, 3-5 years ~ eyc@fairfieldcommunity.ca
School age children ~ childcare@fairfieldcommunity.ca

FGCA Book Club

Monday May 25th, via Zoom. 7:15-9ish pm (to allow for pot banging @7 pm)
Meeting up via Zoom video conferencing. Free & easy to use with your home computer, laptop, ipad or smart phone. Email event@fairfieldcommunity for the link to join.
The book of the month, The Uninhabitable Earth, is both a powerful meditating book and a call for Climate change action.We have one copy to circulate, which remains under quarantine for a 2 days between readers. The current book is also available online at the library: https://ebook.yourcloudlibrary.com/library/gvpl/Search/THE%20uninhabitable

B.C. COVID-19 survey

The province of British Columbia has launched a population health survey. The BC COVID-19 survey: Your story, our future asks how COVID-19 has affected your life, your family and your future. This survey will help guide the B.C. Government and Provincial Health Officer in the weeks and months to come. Take 10-15 minutes to participate in the survey at the following link: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/covid-19-survey
Those who can’t complete the survey online or need assistance in another language can call 1-833-707-1900, seven days a week, between 8:30a.m. and 4:30p.m., to take the survey over the phone. Questions can also be sent to: covid19.speak@bccdc.ca.

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Will be reopening on May 19. To offer the public an opportunity to enjoy time spent with art and to celebrate the re-opening, the AGGV will offer free admission to all visitors until July 5, 2020. The AGGV is putting in place policies and procedures to be reviewed by WorksafeBC, and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to ensure the safety of all visitors and staff. During the closure, the AGGV has offered a wide-range of virtual programming to engage the public. Many of these virtual programs, including the nationwide on-line program FieldTrip.art will remain in place to offer art to those who would prefer to stay at home.

BC Council for Families – blog

During these difficult times, families and providers can access a variety of virtual resources helping them address the challenges arising during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a link to a one that we find particularly relevant to us – BC Council for Families – blog

City of Victoria updates

Re-opening tennis and pickleball courts, sports fields, and skate and bike parks: Starting May 14, as part of a phased return to outdoor recreation facilities. Although these facilities will be open for recreational use, there will still be no lessons or league play, and people will be expected to continue following public health guidelines, including physical distancing.Closure signage and fencing will be removed in the coming days and replaced with new signage to communicate guidelines for use. At this time, close contact recreation facilities remain closed, including playgrounds, basketball courts, outdoor gyms and the Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre.
Youth Poet Laureate Neko Smart is looking for artists to participate in Youth Verses. The free, virtual workshop series invites youth aged 14 to 19 who identify as visual and performance artists, to take part in conversations about harnessing creativity while navigating mental illness. Facilitated by Smart, the workshops will take place in a collaborative and safe space, where youth feel supported and inspired to create their art without judgement. At the end of the series, participants’ artwork will be displayed in a virtual showcase. The deadline to apply is May 25 at 4 p.m. For more information, visit: victoria.ca.
Youth Transit Pass – Youth, 18 and under, living in the municipality of Victoria can apply online to receive their free monthly transit pass. The new online option allows youth or their parents to provide their information without having to visit City Hall and have passes for June, July and August mailed to their home. Victoria youth, their parents and/or guardians will be required to provide documentation and confirm their eligibility to participate in the City of Victoria’s free monthly transit pass program. Youth that cannot apply online can contact the City’s Public Service Centre emailing upass@victoria.ca or calling 250.385.5711. To apply for the youth transit pass online visit: upass.victoria.ca
Mayor’s Facebook Live COVID-19 – The updates will take place on Tuesdays and Fridays at 2:30 p.m. on the City of Victoria Facebook page. For more information on the City’s response to the pandemic, visit: victoria.ca/covid19response.

Neighbourhood Small Grants

The Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grants (R-NSG) is a new grant stream created to support small scale community projects that adhere to the new social/physical distancing guidelines. Anyone from across the province is eligible to apply for R-NSG of up to $500, to carry out a project close to home. Examples include boulevard gardening and/or beautifying of public space, easing social isolation of vulnerable people with physical distancing in mind, projects access to online platforms such as ZOOM, FaceTime, Skype for Arts and culture workshops, cooking demonstrations, storytelling or yoga and meditation sessions. See their FAQ page for more info and how to apply

May 13, 2020

Having fun with one of our Activity Kits

FGCA Family Programs, facebook page & activity kits

Check out our Fairfield Community Family Programs Facebook Page which is intended to support families and children with a variety of resources and fun posts to help us stay connected and informed. A big thank you to all the businesses that donated to our Activity Kits for Families Programs: Home Depot, Thrifty Foods, Chintz and Company & Art Safari. Families were happy to receive a hands-on bag of mixed materials to explore and create. If you would like to sign up to receive an activity kit, please email eyc@fairfield community.ca (while quantities last).

FGCA Community Dinner ~ Friday, May 15th

This time we will be making “Carrot Lentil Quinoa Bowls”. All for for free, delivered to your door Friday evening. Click here to fill out our Community Dinner Request form, we will have 40 servings available. Email us for more info. Thank you to the Rapid Relief Fund for helping us expand our food security programs.

FGCA Emergency Childcare

The FGCA has a limited number of childcare spaces. If you need childcare, email us:
Preschool age, 3-5 years ~ eyc@fairfieldcommunity.ca
School age children ~ childcare@fairfieldcommunity.ca

Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition

The Neighbourhood Rides program consists of three parts: Scavenger Hunts, Discovery Rides, and a Ride-the-Distance challenge. The Scavenger Hunt has up to 15 riddles to solve per neighbourhood (one for Fernwood & One for Cordova Bay); the Discovery Ride takes you on a guided ride that reveals the neighbourhood’s remarkable, and often, hidden features. Ride-the-Distance are 1-to-4-hour rides curated by expert cyclists to show you the very best of Greater Victoria. You can WIN prizes for participating in the two neighbourhood scavenger hunts!

City of Victoria updates

Garden Waste Drop off – With more people at home gardening, there has been increased demand for the City’s garden waste drop-off service. A temporary yard waste drop-off service will be offered for the next two weeks. Victoria residents can drop off their yard waste Tuesdays to Fridays from May 12 to 22 from 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Royal Athletic Park parking lot. This temporary service is in addition to the City’s Saturday Garden Waste Drop-off service at the Public Works Yard. For more information, visit: victoria.ca.
St Charles Street – Fairfield Road to Earle Place: Temporary On-Street Parking Removal – St. Charles Street is an important walking route to and from the Fairfield Village shopping centre. In an effort to support physical distancing, the City will be
temporarily removing segments of on-street parking from St. Charles commencing
May 13, 2020. See details here.
Mayor’s Facebook Live COVID-19 – The updates will take place on Tuesdays and Fridays at 2:30 p.m. on the City of Victoria Facebook page. For more information on the City’s response to the pandemic, visit: victoria.ca/covid19response.

Neighbourhood Small Grants

The Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grants (R-NSG) is a new grant stream created to support small scale community projects that adhere to the new social/physical distancing guidelines. Anyone from across the province is eligible to apply for R-NSG of up to $500, to carry out a project close to home. Examples include boulevard gardening and/or beautifying of public space, easing social isolation of vulnerable people with physical distancing in mind, projects access to online platforms such as ZOOM, FaceTime, Skype for Arts and culture workshops, cooking demonstrations, storytelling or yoga and meditation sessions. See their FAQ page for more info and how to apply

Seniors’ Entitlement Services

Provides trained volunteer advocates to support seniors, 55 and up, living in Victoria,
Saanich, Oak Bay, Esquimalt and View Royal to identify the avenues clients can pursue to solve their problems. These may include housing matters, legal entanglements, pension matters, loss of drivers licence, BBB matters, abuse of any kind, police entanglements, government issues, and health & social services. This service is run out of Quadra Village Community Centre and operaterated under the Umbrella of Greater Victoria Seniors. Call 250-388-7696 or email ses@quadravillagecc.com

Soundings Choir

Soundings Choir who normally rehearse at our centre, have found a new way to come together. Take a pause & enjoy them signing “Rain” by Lennon/McCartney here.

May 5, 2020

City of Victoria ~ free leaf mulch and compost

Get your home garden off to a healthy start with free leaf mulch and compost from the City. Leaf mulch and compost produced at the Parks yard in Beacon Hill Park will be dropped off at four community locations for pick-up from May 8-14, 2020. This program is open to all Victoria residents. Please bring your own container and shovel. Please see further information about the free leaf mulch and compost program here. In order to abide by COVID-19 safety standards of physical distancing, registration to pick-up garden materials is required. If you are unwell or experiencing symptoms, please stay home. Residents are advised to register with the location closest to their home, listed below:
William Stevenson Park in Fernwood: Register here.
May 8, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
May 9, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Banfield Park in Vic West: Register here.
May 10, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
May 11, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Porter Park in Fairfield: Register here.
May 12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
May 13, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
PICK UP ACCESS WILL BE IN THE SCHOOL PARKING LOT. PLEASE READ INSTRUCTIONS WHEN YOU SIGN UP ONLINE
Cecelia Ravine Park in Burnside Gorge: Register here.
May 13, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
May 14, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
We are looking for volunteers, May 12 & 13, at our Porter Park Mulch station!
The FGCA team is looking for volunteers to help sign-in folks & oversee pick up of the leaf mulch & compost on May 12 & 13 in Porter Park. If this is food security initiative interests you, please email fairfieldcommunitygardens@gmail.com , or you can sign up directly online.

Red Cedar Cafe ~ free meals to folks in need

Is a not-for-profit food delivery and take-out service, run on a 100% volunteer basis to provide healthy meals free of charge to seniors, people in self-isolation and other people in need in Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ territory (Victoria, BC). Order free, healthy meals, delivered frozen to your home or available for pick up during specified hours at the kitchen / take-out window. Email red.cedar.cafe.yyj@gmail.com

Community Voice Project

Folks from the Climate Action Group have launched The Community Voice Project, sharing stories about how our community is thriving during these changing times and paving the way for a brighter future post pandemic. They are interviewing community members and asking questions about their challenges, learnings, and positive changes in relation to themselves, the environment and the community. These interviews will be posted on a region wide community response website. Check it out here. Are you open to sharing your experiences? If so, they would love to interview you! Contact fairfieldclimategroup@gmail.com.

“Community Is”.… a local podcast

With interviews of “awesome people from a variety of places in life doing really rad things for the communities to which they belong! Together, we will unlock the ingredients that contribute to these people’s passions for service, and reveal to all the transformative power of community!” The latest episode chats with Lisa Wallace, mother & author of the book Embrace, about her book and experiences raising her daughter named Maddy, a person with ‘diverse abilities’. Listen to the podcast here, or check it out on Spotify.

FGCA Emergency Childcare

The FGCA has a limited number of childcare spaces. If you need childcare, email us:
Preschool age, 3-5 years ~ eyc@fairfieldcommunity.ca
School age children ~ childcare@fairfieldcommunity.ca

April 29, 2020

Fairfield Food Forest is full of flowers, so many future berries!
Updates to our offerings will be posted on our website & our facebook page. To get in touch email us at place@fairfieldcommunity.ca or from 9am – 3pm call 250-661-8011.

FGCA Community Dinner ~ Friday, May 1st

This time we will be making falafel, pita & greek salad. All for for free, delivered to your door Friday evening. Click here to fill out our Community Dinner Request form, we will have 50 servings available. Email us for more info. Thank you to the Rapid Relief Fund for helping us expand our food security programs.

FGCA Emergency Childcare

The FGCA has a limited number of childcare spaces.
If you need childcare, email our managers:
Preschool age, 3-5 years ~ eyc@fairfieldcommunity.ca
School age children ~ childcare@fairfieldcommunity.ca

African Hand Drumming Workshop

Our African Hand Drumming instructor Jordan Hanson, has a free online workshop coming up. Friday, May 1st6:30pm through Zoom video conferencing. Energize yourself through this fun introduction to hand drumming and percussion. Learn how to connect with yourself and others through rhythm. A powerful and inspirational workshop that will leave you feeling invigorated. All types of drums and instruments can be used. Total beginners are welcome! Details & free registration here. For any questions, please contact Jordan at drummingworkshop@canadadaydrumming.com

Rainforest QiGong

Our QiGong instructor Nancy Crites, is holding an online session. If you’re looking for Healing, Calm, and a Sense of Well-Being, try her Rain Forest Qigong, Five Element Flow. It’s a medical qigong moving meditation, simple, powerful & tangible. All classes will be held though Zoom video conferencing. Wednesdays, May 12 – June 30, 10:45 am or 6:00 pm, 8 sessions, $60.00. Everyone is welcome, no experience needed. Click here for details & registration.

Good Food Box – looking for volunteers

Good Food Box is a non-profit alternative fruit and vegetable distribution system meeting the goals of sustainability, food access, social justice and health. The program has become very busy in recent weeks! Every Good Food Box is lovingly packed by dedicated community volunteers. Interested in joining the incredible Good Food Box Volunteer Team? Email info@fernwoodnrg.ca

YMCA -Youth Mindfulness Group

Now online, is now opening up a second spring cycle. If you know of any young adults (18-30) who might benefit from this free anxiety psychoeducation and support group that uses ACT and Mindfulness and are able to connect online for all 7 weekly sessions, please share. The next program dates are Wednesdays from 5-7:30pm, May 13th to June 24th. Online Information & intake Sessions are being held this week and next – to register for one of these please click on this link. For more information about the program, click here.

WIN (Women In Need) – online shopping!

Check out the new online shop enabling WIN to continue running essential programs for women and their families, including Crisis and Referral which provides assistance navigating available resources including emergency food, essential clothing and household goods.

Neighbour Day in Victoria ~ Sun May 3

Now more than ever we need our neighbours. From delivering groceries to helping in the garden, share your story of either giving or receiving of a kindness using the hashtag #yyjNeighbourDay and take a moment to appreciate your neighbours!

Raising spirits ~ just over on Chamberlain Street!

Every night, after the 7 p.m. cheer for frontline workers, neighbours come out of their homes for a joyful song, coming together while practicing social distancing. See the sing along!

City of Victoria updates

Fun for Life GO combines ideas from the City’s experts in fitness, programming for children and older adults, and outdoor recreation, with links to other helpful resources. Staff from the Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre are creating videos from home to stay connected with residents while recreation facilities remain closed.
Get Growing, Victoria! The City of Victoria is collaborating with community partners and non-profit organizations to provide vegetable and herb seedlings to those who need help most. The project supports communities in need first. Priority is being given to people who are financially or physically impacted by the pandemic and that have a desire to grow food but may have limited access to plants and garden materials, or are facing barriers to access fresh, locally grown food. More information will be available in May on how and where to acquire seedlings.
Trees in Cities Challenge Trees in Cities Challenge is a global campaign launched by the United Nations to promote climate action in cities. The City of Victoria has pledged to plant 5,000 trees on public and private property in 2020. Residents and groups can join in the Trees in Cities Challenge in four easy steps: pledge to plant a tree, learn about tree health, plant and record your trees, and become a tree champion. To learn more and take the pledge, visit: victoria.ca/treesincities.
Worldliness of Poetry To celebrate National Poetry Month, City of Victoria Poet Laureate John Barton has brought together local poets Terry Ann Carter, Christine Walde and Derk Wynand for a virtual poetry reading titled the Worldliness of Poetry. The featured readings will connect viewers to Germany, Portugal, France and Japan, transcending physical distancing and self-isolation.
Business Hub The City has created a one-stop resource page for local businesses which includes access to federal, provincial and local programs and ways to support our local economy and businesses, including www.supportlocalyyj.com where you can purchase gift certificates for future use to show your love for Greater Victoria’s local, independent businesses.

Provincial Government updates

Applications for B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers to open May 1 The BCEBW is a one-time, tax-free $1,000 payment for British Columbians whose ability to work has been affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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April 23, 2020

FGCA Community Dinner – delicious & delivered by volunteers. Thanks everyone!
Updates to our offerings will be posted on our website & our facebook page. To get in touch email us at place@fairfieldcommunity.ca or from 9am – 3pm call 250-661-8011.

FGCA Emergency Childcare

The FGCA has opened a limited number of childcare spaces. We received funding from the Rapid Relief Fund in order to provide this service. If you need full time childcare Monday-Friday, email our managers:
Preschool age, 3-5 years ~ eyc@fairfieldcommunity.ca
School age children ~ childcare@fairfieldcommunity.ca

FGCA Book Club ~ video chat

Monday, April 27th at 6:30 PM. This time, the group will have a slightly different focus. Because the library has been closed, it will be more an opportunity to check-in with a question related to the book previously chosen for this month: “The Inhabitable Earth”. The suggestion is to discuss: What has been making your world habitable, in a good and healthy way, this spring, during this global pandemic? Email event@fairfieldcommunity.ca to get on the bookclub email list & receive instruction on how to join the Zoom online discussion.

More Food Resources

See all the Food Security resources we’ve come across listed on our website.
Moss St Market – moved over to the park!
To facilitate physical distancing Moss St Market has hopped over to adjacent Porter Park and Brooke Street Park. Farmer spring harvests are ready for you to pick up safely every Saturday 10am-1pm. Or visit their online store, at localline.ca/moss-street-market, with delivery and pick up options available.
Topsoil – bringing food production to your patio, inviting the community get your very own edible micro-garden. For a fee, Topsoil gets your micro-garden growing and delivers the containers to your door & you get to harvest fresh vegetables.
Local restaurants providing take-out options Many dine-in restaurants are providing take-out option during this time. Support your favourite local eats! View the list

More Mental Health Resources

See all the Mental Health resources we’ve come across listed on our website.
Wellness Together Canada Accessed through a web browser or a mobile app, thez platform is a source of credible information and provides opportunities for self-assessment, as well as connecting confidentially through phone or chat with various professionals. This effort is a partnership between Stepped Care Solutions, Kids Help Phone, Homewood Health, Greenspace Health, the Mental Health Commission of Canada, and the Canadian Psychological Association. https://ca.portal.gs/
Here2Talk A new, free mental-health counselling and referral service for post-secondary students.
WE Well-being Governments collaboration with WEschools has made available new, free virtual programs for students, parents and educators to empower youth, educators and families with tools and resources to promote their own well-being and the well-being of their community.
Psychological First Aid B.C.’s registered psychologists are offering free “Psychological First Aid” during coronavirus pandemic
ShelterSafe An online resource to help women and their children seeking safety from violence and abuse. The clickable map will serve as a fast resource to connect women with the nearest shelter that can offer safety, hope and support. This resource is for women directly impacted by violence as well as for their concerned friends, family, colleagues and employers.

Navigating COVID-19 – Small Business Ask an Expert Sessions

To help navigate the financial challenges of the pandemic, Community Micro Lending, with the Downtown Victoria Business Association, is holding two, free online Small Business Ask an Expert Sessions – Navigating COVID-19 to access helpful advice with lawyers, accountants and human resource professionals. The sessions will be held on April 27 from 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. and April 29 from 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. For event details & more information on local, provincial & federal supports, visit victoria.ca/bizresources.

Showcase BC

Bringing B.C. music to people while we stay safe at home. The Provincial government is partnering with Creative BC to launch Showcase BC, an online hub of live performances and entertainment so that British Columbians can enjoy live music at home. Upcoming events can be found here.

Thank you Thrifty Foods!

We would like to thank Thrifty Foods for donating paper bags for our food security programs.
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April 16th, 2020

Keeping neighborhood spirits up. Thank you artists!
Updates to our offerings will be posted on our website & our facebook page. To get in touch email us at place@fairfieldcommunity.ca or from 9am – 3pm call 250-661-8011.

FGCA Emergency Childcare

The FGCA has opened a limited number of childcare spaces for essential service workers. We received funding from the Rapid Relief Fund in order to provide this service. If you are an essential service worker and need full time childcare Monday-Friday, email our managers:
Preschool age, 3-5 years ~ eyc@fairfieldcommunity.ca
School age children ~ childcare@fairfieldcommunity.ca

FGCA Community Dinner ~ home delivery & for free!

Safia, from the International Women’s Catering Co-op, will be cooking her famous Lentil Dhal & rice. Food will be ready Saturday April 18th, delivered to your home by volunteers. All for free! Register your order here

African Hand Drumming lessons ~ free online lessons

Our hand drumming instructor, Jordan Hanson, shared this resource. The mini course will guide you step-by-step in learning to play the popular West African rhythm “Dansa” (also known as “Djansa” or “Jansa”). Check it out here: https://worldbeat101.com/

Food Forest updates

Please get in touch if you’d like to pull weeds! Currently, the Food Forest has a few extra yards of leaf mulch generously provided by the City of Victoria. If you would like to bring a wheelbarrow and load it up for your garden, we would like to welcome you to a load or two until the end of April. Please bring your own tools and practice physical distancing. It is located in Porter Park just off Thurlow Road. (If you’re looking for more than a wheelbarrow or two, check with the City of Victoria as they may have material at the Beacon Hill Yard.)

Food ~ security & resources

Take a look at the list of local food resources on our website. If you have a local link you think would be good for this list, please email office@fairfieldcommunity.ca

Mental Health & Well-being

Canadian Mental Health Association- New online resources, including counselling, have become available, while other programs are in the works and due to be launched soon. Check out what is available here
Bounce Back Online- a self-directed course from the Canadian Mental Health Association to help people manage low mood, stress, and anxiety. The online version is available for free.
Metaphysical Ministers and Graduates of the Metaphysical Academy -offer complimentary phone services for emotional support and spiritual guidance. 250-472-0909 or anneli@metaphysicalacademy.com for more information go to: www.metaphysicalacademy.com
Online Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Practice Every Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Community drop-in sessions, with with local therapists and trained teachers.
In Crisis? If you require urgent emotional support, including having thoughts of suicide and other mental health issues, please call Vancouver Island Crisis Line: 1-888-494-3888.
Youth (under 25 years of age) may access youthspace.ca Online crisis & emotional support chat without judgement. Confidential & anonymous. Starting April 20th the Foundry will offer virtual drop-in counselling sessions through chat, voice only, or video calls to young people ages 12-24 and their families/caregivers! foundrybc.ca

Our Place Society ~ donate a meal

The need has never been greater. Our Place is switching to take out meals to continue supporting our community’s hungry & hurting, serving 1,400 meals a day. Our Place usually receives meal sponsorships from various groups and businesses, but since things have shut down, meal support has been reduced. $600 will provide a hot meal for 400 people. $1,000 will provide a full day of meals. Donate online here.

City of Victoria updates

Resources for businesses, a comprehensive list of local, provincial & federal supports at victoria.ca/bizresources.
Gift cards for local businesses can be purchased online at Support Local Greater Victoria at supportlocalyyj.com.
YYJLocalsForLocals is a group of community-minded tech and marketing professionals offering pro-bono assistance to local small businesses, restaurants, and bars. Learn more at yyjlocalsforlocals.com.
Boxes of Hope. Every $10 donated provides a warm, healthy meal to someone in need and supports the local restaurant community by keeping staff employed. For more information, visit: victoriahomelessness.ca/boxesofhope.
City Council amended its 2020 Budget to deliver a financial relief package to help residents and businesses who may be experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic. These initiatives include a zero-property tax increase, extending the deadline to pay property taxes to August 4 with a reduced penalty for late payment, and extending the deadline to pay utility bills to 90 days.
Information on projects the City is engaging on is available at engage.victoria.ca.
The public is invited to tune into the Mayor’s Facebook Live weekday updates at 2:30 p.m. To learn more about the City’s response to COVID-19, visit victoria.ca/covid19response.

BC Government Supports

Statement on safe spaces for people fleeing domestic violence. Here
Emergency funding for children with special needs. Here
Enhancing infection prevention, control in seniors’ care homes. Here
More funding to emergency supports for Indigenous students. Here
Applications are now open to access the temporary rental supplement. To learn about eligibility and apply, visit www.bchousing.org/bctrs
New grants for local musicians, visit showcasebc.ca
BC Hydro bill relief information Here
BC Emergency Benefit funding information Here

Neighbourhood walks

Now with a dedicated YouTube channel! A collection of local neighbourhood walk videos, with no narration or music to bring some comfort to those in isolation.

April 9th, 2020

Good Food boxes ready for pick up!
The centre is closed, but we want to continue keeping folks connected. To get in touch email us at place@fairfieldcommunity.ca or from 9am – 3pm you can call 250-661-8011. Updates to our offerings will be posted on our website. Visit our facebook page to keep up with the latest post on activities and fun videos for families.

Finding information & getting help

Coming Together Victoria Mutual Aid Facebook group where people connect to share resources, support each other, show solidarity for healthcare workers and the vulnerable, build community, and amplify social movements fighting for critical access to healthcare, housing and workers’ rights.
Community Connect has a list of resources compiled by local people & organizations to help people in the CRD connect with the resources and support they need.

Food ~ security, resources & delivery

Share the Goods https://www.sharethegoods.ca/ The program allows volunteers who want to “purchase online groceries or gift cards at grocery stores” on a one time basis for people who are isolated and /or experiencing financial difficulties.
Good Food Box
Fairfield Community Place will continue to be a pick-up point. There will be safe distance protocols in effect. Good Food Box is a non-profit alternative fruit and vegetable distribution system available for pick-up or delivery every Wednesday. Place an order online.
My FED Farm
Being the start of the growing season, My FED Farm supports families and laid off workers by providing home-based start up food gardens using simple and affordable supplies. Garden Intake form
Moss Street Market
Outdoor Market is still open Saturdays 10am to 1pm. For folks staying home, check out the Moss Street Market Online Store offering both delivery and pick up options.
Samosa King delivery
Have Al-Rahman Samosa King deliver samosas right to your door! Contactless deliveries, call/text 250-896-4038, see the menu.
Victoria Pedicab ~ delivery option
If you need someone to do a grocery run, pick up a prescription from the pharmacy etc, Victoria Pedicab can help! Their electric assist pedicabs will shop and deliver groceries, pharmaceuticals and other essentials to your home. A suggested donation of $10 to $20 is appreciated, however, if you cannot provide a donation simply pay it forward another time. Email: vpc.deliveries@gmail.com or phone 778 746-1248

Donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or Medical Supplies

Island Health is currently focused on caring for COVID-19 patients in our region. Providing the best and safest care requires proper, medical grade personal protective equipment (PPE) for our healthcare workers including gloves, masks, gowns, and sanitizer. If you have any PPE available to donate to support care in our community, please complete this form https://redcap.viha.ca/redcap/surveys/?s=7F3ART7PDW

Tent Donation Update

“Wow, what a wonderful community! 600 tents have been donated to people living in the streets. Thank you so much to all Fairfield Gonzales residents who have helped!” See the story here.

City of Victoria updates

Information on projects the City is engaging on is available at engage.victoria.ca.
The public is invited to tune into the Mayor’s Facebook Live weekday updates at 2:30 p.m. To learn more about the City’s response to COVID-19, visit victoria.ca/covid19response.
By simply scaling the already existing Growing in the City program, City parks staff will grow between 50,000 and 75,000 food plant starts and work with partners such as the Urban Food Table to distribute them in the community. This is one small thing the City can do to help people in our community with food security during the COVID-19 crisis, without adding any additional costs to our current operations.

Government Supports

(List compiled by the office of Rob Fleming, MLA – thanks!)
Here are some of the supports our government announced this week:
Free bus transit and hospital parking: All BC Transit and Translink bus services are currently free, and parking at all health authority sites is also free.
Student loan freeze and funding support: Both Canada and BC student loan payments will be paused for six months, with no interest charged on the federal portion during this period. The B.C. portion is already interest-free. This will happen automatically; there is no need to apply. Additionally, the provincial government is providing a $3.5 million supplement for existing emergency financial assistance for students at 25 public post-secondary institutions.
Hydro bill relief: BC Hydro residential customers affected by COVID-19 can apply for a credit equalling three-times their average monthly bill, to help cover their hydro costs during this crisis. The credit does not need to be repaid.
Relief is also available for small business and industrial customers. In addition this new targeted relief, as of April 1, BC Hydro rates will be reduced by 1% for all customers – the first rate reduction in decades. More details here.
Eviction ban and rent freeze: During the pandemic, nobody can be evicted (except for extreme non-COVID19 related cases where there are safety concerns or to prevent undue property damage). No rent increases are allowed during the state of emergency. More details here.
Temporary rent supplement: To support renters and owners/proprietors, up to $500/month will be available to low- and moderate-income renters who are facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. This will be paid directly to owners. Applications will be open soon. More details here.
BC Emergency Benefit: A one-time payment of $1000 to people who are unable to work due to COVID-19. B.C. residents who are also receiving Employment Insurance or the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit are eligible. Applications will be open soon. More details here.
Job-protected leave: Workers can take unlimited unpaid leave if they are unable to work for reasons related to COVID-19, without the risk of losing their job. More details here.
Helping seniors stay safe: Funding to expand bc211, a province-wide information and referral service, so seniors whose support network has been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak can be matched with volunteers. If you can help, please get in touch with bc211. More details here.
Help for people on income or disability assistance and low-income seniors: To ensure B.C.’s most vulnerable do not encounter additional barriers during the COVID-19 crisis, the Province is implementing a series of temporary supports and supplements. More details here.
Continuation of learning for B.C. students: New guidelines for school leaders and a new website are being introduced to support B.C.’s K-12 students while in-class education is suspended to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Neighbourhood walks

A community member made some videos of neighbourhood walks, with no narration or music, in hopes of bringing some comfort to those in isolation.
Moss Street Part 1 https://youtu.be/NX8M2Us5dzs
Moss Street Part 2 https://youtu.be/OZOQKZCnU44
Moss Street Part 3 https://youtu.be/0dmhBVPfIX0
Dallas Rd/Wellington/May/Linden https://youtu.be/Oqkju-WF0z0
Linden/Hilda/Chester https://youtu.be/JaVbPxjX0GQ

Creatively United for the Planet Society

For inspiration, ideas, resources, events and community connection, visit and share on the free community solutions hub at www.creativelyunited.org

The Big List of Children’s Book Writers Doing Virtual Author Activities

With kids at home and parents looking for educational activities, many of our favorite authors are offering online read-alouds and activities on social media. We’ve rounded up over 50 of the best virtual author activities, click the link above!