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September 2012

Issue No. 1 | October 2013


We haven't been sitting back cooling our heals.  The Sooke Region Volunteer Centre and Sooke Region Community Health Initiative (CHI) have been working dilligently to support and increate the health and wellness of the communities and residents of the Sooke Region.

Whether you’re publicizing a local event, seeking a service, or wondering what’s happening in our area, the Sooke Region Resource Inventory (RI) can help.  This electronic resource was launched in 2010 by the Sooke Region Community Health Initiative (CHI) in partnership, and funded by the District of Sooke and Island Health, and may be viewed at www.sookeregionresources.com

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Barney Bentall in blue

Barney Bentall & The Grand Cariboo Opry

Fundraiser Presented by The Sooke Harbour Players, Sooke Regional Resources Centre, Edward Milne Community School and Mel Dobres

Sooke, BC - The Sooke Harbour Players, Sooke Regional Resources Services, the Edward Milne Community School Society and Mel Dobres are proud to present Barney Bentall & The Grand Cariboo Opry, at the Edward Milne Community Theatre on November 17th, 2013. A treasured tradition in British Columbia, this fundraiser and one-of-a-kind variety show brings concertgoers together to support the Sooke Food Bank Society on Vancouver Island.

2013 marks the first year the popular show has hit the community of Sooke, though it's been raising money on Vancouver Island in Victoria/Saanichton for the last seven years, totaling over $50,000 in raised funds for food banks. In addition, this year also marks the first year the Opry will expand all the way east to Winnipeg, playing shows between in Victoria, Saanichton, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Bragg Creek. Each Opry show benefits a different charitable organization, and to date the multi-artist event has raised over $150,000 towards charitable organizations such as the Potluck Cafe Society in Vancouver and the Mustard Seen Food Bank and Sidney Lions Club Food Bank on Vancouver Island.

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Sooke - A Volunteer Capital of Canada?

A brief history of our claim to ‘Volunteer Capital of Canada' - Historian, Elida Peers, April 15, 2010

1.   Many years ago (around 1980 I think) the Toronto Star weekly publication did a feature story on Sooke holding it up as an example of perhaps the most outstanding example of volunteerism in the country. I can’t remember the exact words off the top of my head, but I did remember that the story had happened. More than anything, it featured the Sooke Community Association and how its tremendous volunteer effort made so much possible within this community.

2.   In 2008, when Liz Johnson and I attended (as volunteers and at our own expense) the provincial Communities in Bloom conference and awards dinner in Castlegar, one  of the judges made a point of saying that because of the high marks given to Sooke’s volunteer effort by the judges who visited Sooke to adjudicate that year, that we should consider styling ourselves as the “Volunteer Capital of BC”  That went  over big with us of course, so when we did our report to Council that year, we told them these stories, and proposed that at our welcome to Sooke signage, we follow through with the idea, and suggested that we go a step further, that we upgrade the term from BC to Canada. Our comments were that it was a fun type suggestion, that we didn’t know whether other communities in Canada may have also given themselves that name, but if they had, it was not intended to make claims to cause a war, but perhaps even have a fun time getting to know, greet, etc any other communities that were similarly known.

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