Business & Community Updates: Sooke Summer-Fall 2010
MapleLine Magazine: Aug.25, 2010
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Back to School. SD62 Sooke. About 8,200 students will head back to school on Tuesday, Sept. 7 in the Sooke School District 62 after about nine (elementary), 11 (middle), or 13 (secondary) weeks of summer vacation. School bus fees for 2010-2011: $120/child (discounted for Kindergarten and 3+ children/family).
Fire & rescue. Logger down and calendar up, the Sooke Fire & Rescue Service was busy over the summer. They relocated the iconic but rotting wooden logger from the pole in town centre to Sooke Flats one day in July and the next day held a photo shoot for their 2011 fundraising calendar. They are training new volunteers for firefighting, safety education and emergency support services starting in September. Recruits wanted. Contact Rick McLeod firstname.lastname@example.org or Matt Barney email@example.com .
Summery art. Some local Sooke artists have begun organizing to form a collective, aiming to launch a year-round gallery with shared costs and management hours. MapleLine’s new online arts magazine emerged at artsinsooke.com where artists and groups may post free listings. The Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra’s Summer Fling on July 18 was conducted by Christopher Taber and guest Brenda Parkinson, with Maestro Norman Nelson watching in the wings (under a tent); said Parkinson: “There’s nothing like it - there’s nothing behind your back.” The annual Sooke Fine Arts Show with 375 adjudicated works (58 by Sooke artists) and 300+ volunteers held its 24th event July 24-Aug.2 including a fashion show. The Sooke Program of the Arts committee (District of Sooke) may soon use ArtsWave survey results to apply for grant funding for ‘cultural mapping’. The Sooke Community Arts Council held its Art in the Park at Ed Macgregor Park, Aug.14-15.
We're blooming. Communities in Bloom judges came in July to assess Sooke’s community beautification (a measure of community development), with ‘blooms’ to be awarded by BC Communities in Bloom at their Sept.24-26 conference in Hope. Recognition in the forms of window decals was received by 19 local businesses and organizations at a ceremony at Sooke Harbour House, July 19; Sooke Harbour House won the District’s second-ever Certificate of Merit. www.maplelinemagazine.com/realestate
Chamber business. The Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce executive met for regular ongoing meetings during the summer. The organization’s Strategic Planning Committee has offered some guidelines for building a stronger business network/liaison, membership development, and programs to support business growth. The group’s comprehensive online directory might be complemented with a print version later this year. In June the Chamber awarded $150 scholarships to Gr.12 EMCS grads Nelson Devana and Virginia Spit who intend to pursue post-secondary business studies.
Complex updates. New personnel at SEAPARC Leisure Complex include program services manager Linda Finch (relocated from Panorama Leisure Centre) and David Chung who filled the recreation programmer’s vacancy left open by Dan Ovington’s relocation to Panorama in North Saanich. Elizabeth Olsen continues as Aquatic Programmer. Arena improvements (refrigeration/mechanical system upgrade with waste heat recovery) are to wrap up in August; arena change rooms, program space and staff area upgrades to be completed in March 2011. Admission has increased twice in 12 months, to now: $2.75 (child), $4.10 (youth & 65+), $5.50 (adult), $11 (family of up to 5).
New learning centre. What do restaurant reviews and articles about health have in common? Workshops about how to write both are on the agenda at MapleLine Business Centre’s new learning centre this fall, in addition to the MapleLine Journalism Program’s CP-style training. Other workshops include website development and how to self-publish. Local business, arts and health educators are invited to offer suitable courses: maplelinebusinesscentre.com
Business Bits. Shoppers Drug Mart is constructing their new store this summer across from their present location in Evergreen Centre, 6660 Sooke Road, causing some diminished business in the short term for A&W, The Reading Room Cafe, and other stores in the mall. Movie Gallery (the entire USA-Cdn franchise) went out of business in July; Sooke is now down to two video/DVD outlets –- Hollywood Video and Video to Go. The Farmer’s Daughter funky food market has been up for sale for several months at $79,000 [editor's note September 7/10 - Farmer's Daughter has closed]. Over the summer Posh Paws relocated their pet spa business to 1584 Dufour Road, offering pet grooming, spa and obedience classes. Mariner’s Village used on-site live radio to draw Victoria buyers this summer and by mid-July had presold 80% of their Phase I condos and townhomes. Otter Point Veterinary Hospital opened at 6830 West Coast Road in June. Sooke Harbour House co-owner Frederique Philip says tourism was down this summer despite the push that the Olympics was to have generated for BC. Brookeline Publishing House Inc. participated in a publisher’s panel at the Canadian Authors conference in Victoria in June. Cabin Creations will offer sewing classes again this fall. The All Sooke Arts & Crafts Christmas Fair runs Nov.19-21 with over 70 vendors this year. Prestige Hotel construction continues, on target for opening in February 2011; the District of Sooke has already booked seven conferences to use the 400-delegate facility including Vancouver Island Emergency Preparedness in April 2011. Having reshaped the District of Sooke as financial director, Dave Devana recently moved on to North Cowichan; Sue-Lin Tarnowski is now acting financial director. Smokin’ Tuna restaurant has had steady traffic this summer in East Sooke. Westcoast Panache is a new East Sooke clothing and giftware shop. Village Food Markets hours are extended (7:30 am to 10 pm), reflecting increased retail demand. Residential and commercial electrical contractor Dale Read has launched daleselectric.ca. Developer Larry Champagne has relaunched champagneventures.com. Developer Chris Packard is gearing up 18 Gatewood Village Mews townhomes on Grant Road with Pemberton Holmes Realtor Daniela Novosadova handling sales. The Subaru Sooke International Triathlon ran through town on Aug. 8, the same day that Sooke Food CHI held a 12-farm tour to fundraise for their New Farmer Mentorship Program. Jill Phipps has launched Home Again Seniors Transition Services.