PO Box 30063, 3989 Quadra St., Victoria BC, V8X 5E1


March, 2009  Newsletter

Dear BVCA members

The BVCA directors met on March 18, 2009. We you find the following items of interest:

BVCA Annual General Meeting (AGM) 7 PM, March 31, 2009

The AGM has been arranged for 7 PM Tues. March 31 at the Cordova Bay Elementary School Gym (5238 Cordova Bay Rd.). Stacie Loutit, a bronze medal winner in sailing at the Beijing Paralympic Games and Blenkinsop Valley resident, will be speaking about and showing pictures from her Beijing experience. The BVCA directors would like to encourage you to attend this meeting and to enjoy the presentation provided by Stacie.

Michael Tymchuck - award winning interview

Michael Tymchuck is a reporter working at the CBC Victoria radio station (FM 90.5) and he resides in the Blenkinsop Valley. Michael gave a presentation to the BVCA directors about interviews he conducted with members of the Ahousaht First Nation last year. For these interviews, Michael received awards from the BC branch of the Radio and Television News Directors Association, the Canadian Bar Association and the Canadian Medical Association.
Ahousaht is an isolated community located about 30 minutes by boat from Tofino and is home to about 900 people. As part of a traditional healing process, the band told over 40 bootleggers and drug dealers to participate in a treatment program or to leave the community. The treatment program was located at a Christian treatment centre located a four hour boat ride further up the coast from Ahousaht. Forty two people left for the treatment and Michael was present when they returned by canoe "clean and sober" to a "hero's welcome".
Michael described the difficult housing and social problems these people are facing. He also described the differences of opinion about the way the healing program was initiated with some people feeling they had been falsely accused and others felt angry about having their rights limited. In the end, however, there were no formal challenges to the process.
Michael returned to Ahousaht about six months later to do a followup interview. At that time only 3 of the 42 people who participated in the program were still "clean and sober". That number later declined to two people and now it is just one person. The community, however, does feel safer as the bootleggers and drug dealers are less brazen about their activites.
The BVCA directors found the story both sad and fascinating. We were particularly impressed with the quality of the interview and feel that Michael won the three awards very deservedly.

Madrona Farm Project

Nathalie and David Chambers who farm but do not own the Blenkinsop Valley's Madrona Farm gave a presentation to the BVCA directors about the initiative they are undertaking to transfer the title of the Madrona Farm to The Land Conservancy. They feel that this will have the advantages of leaving the farm intact, having it used for agriculture in perpetuity, and providing a farm for future generations of farmers and customers. The cost of farm land in this area is making it very difficult for young farmers to purchase the land and to be able to pay the mortgage from farm income. If the goal to raise enough funds to purchase the farm for The Land Conservancy is not reached, then the owners of the farm will likely put it for sale on the open market.

David and Nathalie now have both volunteer and teaching programs on the farm which have been enthusiastically received. Tours of the farm will begin in May.

They are planning many activities this year to try and raise sufficient funds for the farm to be purchased and transferred to The Land Conservancy.

BVCA Membership Renewal

The BVCA directors would like to encourage you to renew your membership in the BVCA for 2009. A membership renewal form has been attached  for your convenience.

Seven Oaks Exercise Equipment

The BVCA and the Broadmead Royal Bank donated exercise equipment to the residents of Seven Oaks. A tour, tea and entertainment by the residents was provided to representative of the BVCA and the Royal Bank. A comment was made that this is the first time that Seven Oaks has felt accepted by the community.

Braefoot Park

A letter has been received from Saanich to state that the installation of artificial turf at Braefoot Park will commence this spring with completion expected in September. The schedule for this work is weather dependent.

With thanks

The BVCA directors


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