Aftermath: Earth Day 2018

Coming up for air 72 hours later! We’re delighted with how Sunday unfolded on many fronts as our unofficial coalition of earth-firsters gathered to honour and celebrate this blue dot we call home. Thanks to every last one of you who participated: attendees, exhibitors, dearly beloved volunteers, Repair Cafe fixers, musicians, upcycling fashionistas, EV trailblazers, PEP talkers, food-truck vendors, sponsors and supporters. Oh, and not forgetting Marjory the Trash Heap (from this weekend’s Amber Academy Fraggle Rock-A-Thon), a surprise guest and literal show-stopper who joined us in the late morning shortly after all of us in the Sooke Community Hall paused for a minute of precious contemplative silence in honour of the 48th annual Earth Day.

Bonus: Beautiful weather, too, hooray! We were delighted so many folks opted to join us for an hour or two while also taking time to do what comes so naturally year-round in this beautiful region, i.e. getting outdoors for quality time by the water, deep in the forest or up a mountainside on two wheels or feet. That’s right: Every day is a fresh Earth Day in the Sooke region.

It took a village! (part one of several). 💚💚💚 to our dedicated, creative and hard-working organizing team (in alpha order by first name): Bernie Klassen, Carol Mallett, David Mallett, Ellen Lewers, Jeff Bateman (aka me), Jo Phillips, Keli Dunn, Leslie Hering, Marlene Barry(coordinator extraordinaire), Mary Dunn, Paula Johanson, Shawna Knight, Tracy Waters and Wendy O’Connor. Without them — Marlene especially — this year’s Earth Day wouldn’t have had much PEP at all! Also raising a coffee mug to Kelly and Yvonne at Kelz Sweet & Savory Bake Shop for hosting our Friday morning planning meetings.

It took a (really pretty big) village! (part two). A deep, respectful bow to our VIP collaborators (and apologies to those we’ve inevitably missed): Christa Rossner (for suggesting in the first place that Sooke needed an Earth Day event); Donna Patterson, Edith Newman and Jean Moncur for the delightful upcycled fashion show; DJ Ron Larson; music coordinator Peter Jonassen and musicians Bob Menzies, The Ed Fury Band, Eric & Linda James and Gord Phillips; PhoebeWood‘s Phoebe Dunbar for the inspiration and the beautiful raffle prize, the hard-working teenagers from the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps Admiral RC Waller; our poetry competition judge Wendy Morton; Rosanne Day, Sifu Koshin Moonfist, Frederique Philip, Glyse Clarkston, Carolyn Bateman, Ron Barry, Richard Sharman and George McFetridge for above-and-beyond volunteerism; ALL our volunteers (too many to mention, but we 💚 you too); Repair Cafe fixers Elgin Ambrose, Cyal Cassette, Dan Cottrell, Pam FitzGerald, Triston Line, Jeremy Newell and Tina Saikaley; the Victoria Electric Vehicle Club and their sparkling array of wheels; our line-up of PEP Talkers (Guy Dauncey, Project HOWL‘s Finn Unger, Wild Wise Sooke‘s Debbie Read & Sam Webb, Forest Adam, Steve Unger, Melanie Fast, Andrew Moore, Jenny Ambrose); the kids from Amber Academy Youth Fine Arts Society – Sooke; Sooke Mayor Maja Tait for joining us with Ewan for the opening ceremony; Councillor Brenda Parkinson for making the motion and the District Of Sooke council as a whole for its unanimous and generous foundational funding of our fledgling event; and all our other valued major sponsors, namely Capital Regional District, Interactive Construction, Sooke Home Hardware, Building Centre & Furniture Stores, Speedsource Fitness 24hr Access, Tesla Tours, Vancity, Viridian Energy Co-Operative and Wittich Environmental Svc. Again, without all of the above … 

It took a village (part 3): Extending thanks to our many supporters who contributed prize packages, gift certificates, silent auction items, forethought, and all round cheerleading. Hat tips all around to (in alpha order) 17 Mile House Pub, Academy of Excellence Hair Design & Aesthetics Ltd., Amber Academy Youth Fine Arts Society – Sooke, The Artisan’s Garden, BC Transit, Bits of Bliss Confectionery, Spirit Bay Developments Cafe, Cathy’s Corner Cafe, Dakini Tidal Wilds, upcycler Edith Newman, Glenrosa Farm Restaurant, Go With the Flow Technologies, Great Canadian Dollar Store Sooke, Guy Dauncey, Hara Sushi Japanese Restaurant, Project HOWL, Jenny’s Country Pantry & Tea Shoppe, Kelz Sweet & Savory Bake Shop, Little Vienna Bakery, Livin’ the Dream Farm, Mai Mai’s Bistro, Mom’s Cafe, @Nyoka, Pacific Mobile Depots, Pizzability Glen Lake and Sooke, Route 14 Sooke, SEAPARC, Serious Coffee – Sooke, SFRS Community Thrift Store, Sheila Wallace‘s Coastal Crunch, Shirley Delicious Cafe, Sooke buy & sell – The store, Sooke Family Resource Society, Sooke Montessori Jr Kindergarten, Sooke Mountain Cycle LTD, Sooke News Mirror, Sooke PocketNews, Sooke Region Museum, Saint Vincent De Paul Thrift Store, Stick In The Mud Coffee House, Stoked Wood Fired Pizzeria, Tomi’s Home Cookin, @Touch of Class Chimes, Village Food Markets, Vivienne Gibson Green, West Coast Refill, West Coast Grill at the Prestige Ocean Front Resort Sooke BC, Westcoast Natural Foods, Western Foods, Weston A. Price Foundation, Victoria BC Chapter, West Shore Voice News, Wild Mountain, Windsor Plywood and the Zero Waste Emporium.

Thank you #Sooke. 


Third (First Anniversary) Repair Cafe

Once again, we’re issuing the call to everyone in Sooke to bring their out-of-sorts gizmos, gadgets, chain saws and whatevers to the  Sooke Repair Cafe #3 (First Anniversary) on Sunday, April 22. It’s one big, critical (to the 5Rs worldview) aspect of our town’s Planet Earth Party: A Sooke Region Earth Day Celebration.  Our coordinator Bernie Klassen has again rounded up an ace crew to assess, troubleshoot and hopefully return to working order whatever you carry in through the door. Hearty hat tip to (in alphabetical order) Elgin Ambrose (wood repairs), Cyal Cassette (bike tune-ups), Dan Cotterell (soldering), Pam FitzGerald (sewing/mending), Paula Johanson (knitted goods), Triston Line (networking demonstration), Jeremy Newell (general repairs), Benoit Renault (electro-mechanical) and Tina Saikaley (appliances). Doors will be open from 10 am to 3 pm, and you’re again invited to bang a gong and drop a donation in the tip jar for any successful repairs.

Cleaning Up for Earth Day 2018

Beecher Bay, East Sooke, District of Sooke, Otter Point, Shirley … and with the promise of more clean-up action to come throughout the Sooke region. The total haul: Five dumpsters packed to the brim (with recycling and metal duly sorted out, of course).  Thank you AGAIN Sooke Region residents! 🙂



Sooke Region Clean-Up on April 14: The Fine Print

Here’s how to participate in the definitive good, clean fun that will be part of the Sooke Region Communities Clean Up, set for Saturday, April 14.

Download the registration form here. Once you’ve filled it out, please email coordinator Wendy O’Connor (  If you have any questions, please call Wendy at 250-361-6569.

Fine print about the clean-up:  Teams can get busy anytime on April 14 and continue as long as they like. Metal, garbage and plastic recycling bins will be set up in strategics spots in each community. Select an area to clean up that is near and dear to you (neighbourhood, favourite spot, an area that has you concerned, even your own backyard or garage). Then check in with Wendy to see whether or not another team has already chosen that area. Feel free to come up with a team theme, crazy team names, wear costumes (while still staying safe), and challenge others to compete against your team! 

 Team Captains can pick up their team kits (high visibility safety vests, gloves and bags) and attend a very short safety briefing with Moonfist, Sooke’s own litter buster hero, at the Stick in the Mud Coffeehouse on Thursday and Friday afternoons, April 12 and 13, between 3 and 5 pm. 


The duties of a team captain are: 1) setting a time frame for your clean-up; 2)  picking up the team kit and listening to the aforementioned  safety briefing with Wendy and Moonfist; 3)  distributing the kits to team members; 4) ensuring team members sign a waiver (if you’re working within District of Sooke boundaries); and finally, when the job’s complete, 5) submitting a team snap of you and your haul + a copy of your registration form and any waivers.

Prizes in a wide variety of categories will be awarded at the Planet Earth Party set for the Sooke Community Hall on Earth Day itself a week later. We’re hoping clean-up crews will be in action across the region on April 14 — Scia’new First Nation, East Sooke, District of Sooke, T’Sou-ke First Nation, Otter Point, Shirley, Jordan River, Port Renfrew and the Pacheedaht First Nation included.

Okay, now let’s team-up to clean-up the Sooke region!  Once more with feeling: Thanks to our sponsors & supporters ~  District of Sooke (foundational funding), Capital Regional District, PMD Recycling Solutions and Sooke Disposal Limited.