March 2014 DRA Newsletter
Victoria Downtown Resident's Association logo


In this month's issue:
Nicholas Harrington, acting editor, March 4, 2014
Contact us at
Below is the March 2014 Mystery Photo. The first correct identification (what it is and where it is) wins a $10 gift certificate to Bon Macaron Patisserie. Please contact the editor at Good luck! 

Any more tricky pictures out there? Take a mystery photo and send it as a .jpg attachment please (with the location specified) to the editor of the DRA Newsletter to be considered for publication. Please contact the editor at

                                                                                                Image by Andy Wachtel

                                                                                               Image by Andy Wachtel

We had three correct answers this month. Congratulations to E.L., who won a gift certificate to Habit Coffee with the first correct answer. 

This is the sign at the entrance to Big Bad John's, Victoria's hillbilly bar, located on Douglas Street in the Strathcona Hotel. Big Bad John's opened in 1962 to lure tourists who came up to Victoria while visiting the Seattle World's Fair.

It was such a success that they never closed it. When you go, and everyone has to go at least once, you will be impressed by the bras on the walls and the shells on the floor.  Take care, will contain nuts.

The Roving Refinery is the DRA's longest running Community Development Committee initiative. It is a recurring series of fun social events. Each Roving Refinery event is an opportunity for all of us to get to know each other better, and partake in the hospitality of the local business hosting the event. Roving Refinery events are free for DRA members, and for non-members who register for DRA membership at the event.
Upcoming Roving Refinery at Peacock Billiards

Peacock Billiards logo
Our next Roving Refinery will be held at Peacock Billiards, on Thursday, March 20th, 2014, between 6 pm and 8 pm.

"Peacock Billiards has been a staple in Victoria's entertainment for over 25 years. Voted Billiards Digest's Best New Pool Room in 2007, this licensed, non-smoking, all ages establishment covers all the bases for either an afternoon of family fun, or a night out for some pool, nachos and drinks". Peacock Billiards is located at 1175-C Douglas Street (corner of Douglas and View), in the lower concourse level of the CIBC building.

Our host for the evening, David Peacock, has graciously offered to provide DRA members with complimentary food and pool for this event. For this event, please bring a pair of warm socks, gloves or mittens for donation. For those who forget, cash donations are always gratefully accepted. All donations go to Our Place Society. As usual, there will be a draw for several gift certificates to Peacock Billiards.

Watch for the email invitation to the Roving Refinery at Peacock Billiards, which will be sent out in the coming days.

Kaela Schramm reporting:
Our most recent Roving Refinery was held on January 17, 2014 at the Interactivity Board Game Cafe, at 723 Yates Street, which is owned by Jack Pinder and Bill Heaton. Jack was our host for the evening and he gave us the background on the business. Formerly located on Fort Street, the Interactivity Board Game Cafe has actually been around since the 90s. While there are games to buy, there is a huge stock of games available to play, which, in fact are part of Jack’s personal collection, which he has generously decided to share with Victoria.

While the Interactivity Board Game Cafe was initially denied a liquor license, they have found this to be a positive for the business. Patrons of the Interactivity Board Game Cafe come to enjoy an alcohol free atmosphere, and their homemade milkshakes are totally worth it! 

Even though Monday, January 17th was a blustery, rainy day, the atmosphere upon arriving at the Interactivity Board Game Cafe was warm and inviting. Walking into the Cafe, we were greeted the sounds of group cheers and the clattering of game pieces from the back. There were 7 in our party: Don, Kaela, Susan, Hannah, Cathy, Ian and Wendy. We chose a seat at Carcassonne, one of the aptly named tables for larger parties, and tried our hands at Apples to Apples. The object of the game is to win the most rounds by playing a red apple card (which generally features a noun) in one’s hand to best match the communal green apple card of the round (which contains an adjective) as voted by that round’s judging player. Hannah, a frequent visitor of the Cafe, ran away with the game, winning by 3 cards!

                                                                The second game we played was Urban Myth

Next, we attempted to play Urban Myth, but ended up making our own rules. The challenge of Urban Myth is to differentiate between fact and fiction, and had all of us fooled more than once. Cathy was no fool though, and won this game handily.

We collected 2 pairs of socks, a pair of Olympic mittens and $20 to be donated to Our Place.

The Gamers (from left to right): Don, Kaela, Susan, Hannah, Cathy, Ian (and Wendy who is
behind the camera)

Victoria Matters: Sewage Treatment

The topic of the DRA's upcoming Victoria Matters event is sewage treatment, more specifically the controversial Seaterra Program, an initiative of the Capital Regional District (CRD). Our Community Development Committee has lined up a great panel of speakers who are sure to stir up a healthy, if not heated discussion on this timely topic.

This event is scheduled for April 2nd, 2014 - so please save this date!

Given the huge success of our last Victoria Matters event, and the passionate public sentiment on this topic, this event is guaranteed to be filled to capacity! Please visit our website's News page, our Facebook page, and watch our Twitter feed for updates and details on this not-to-be-missed event!


Dine Around & Stay in Town

One of Victoria's most anticipated dining events of the year, Dine Around & Stay in Town 2014 is on now until March 9th.

Presented by Tourism Victoria and the BC Restaurant & Food Services Association (BCRFA), Victoria Branch, Dine Around & Stay In Town brings together participating Victoria restaurants offering select three-course menus for $20, $30, $40 or $50 per person. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are also available.

The Community Action Plan on Poverty in partnership with Christ Church Cathedral and Social Justice Studies at UVIC, are planning an all-day event on Saturday, March 29th, 2014, from 9 am to 4 pm.

The event focus is on child poverty. Given that BC has the highest child poverty rate in Canada, organizers felt it was time to focus our attention on child poverty in our community. Please save the date, as event details will be released in the coming weeks. 

The City Talks, is a lecture series sponsored by the University of Victoria’s Committee for Urban Studies. Billed as "A Public Dialogue about the Prospects and Challenges of Cities", the series features "distinguished urbanists drawn from our own university as well as from outside Victoria". Each presentation begins at 7:30pm at the Legacy Art Gallery (630 Yates Street). Admission is free of charge and open to the public.

At the next The City Talks Lecture (Wednesday, March 5, 2014) UBC history professor Tina Loo "...will explore Canada's tumultuous relationship with urban planners and planning. Focusing on the controversies in 1960s Vancouver and Halifax, Loo demonstrates that debates about cities are rooted in contests over citizenship and the state."

The Land of Heart's Delight

Maritime Museum of BC logo
The Maritime Museum of BC will host a lecture titled, "The Land of Heart’s Delight: Early Maps and Charts of Vancouver Island" on March 6th, 2014, from 7 pm to 8:30 pm.

This lecture is by Michael Layland, author of the newly released “Land of Heart’s Delight,” will explore the history of the cartography of Vancouver Island and its surrounding waters. "Michael Layland’s presentation will discuss the motives, constraints, agendas, and intrigues that underpin the maps of this area, placing special focus on Southern Vancouver Island. Former president of the Friends of the BC Archives and the Victoria Historical Society, Michael Layland is acknowledged as one of Vancouver Island’s foremost map historians."

Deadline: Shape Your Future Grant 2014

March 31st is the annual deadline to apply to the City of Victoria for a "Shape Your Future Matching Grant". The program "provides opportunities for groups of neighbours and residents to start innovative and creative community projects to improve their neighbourhoods. The projects must provide an overall benefit to the neighbourhood, and involve a broad base of people to promote community development and build neighbourhood connections. The neighbourhood matches the City’s contribution with donated materials, cash, or volunteer labour. 

The intention of the Shape Your Future Victoria Grant program is to encourage citizens to select specific Official Community Plan policy direction to work on, and to implement these through activities that are undertaken with their fellow neighbours. Some examples of the types of initiatives that may be undertaken could include: tool lending libraries, shared backyard gardens, communal chicken coops, neighbourhood book boxes, community kitchens and community mapping projects."

A guide to the application process can be found here, or visit for more information.

Changing Gears 2014

Changing Gears 2014 logo
Not exactly downtown, but of interest to all of us who want to get around with reduced impact on our environment, the Changing Gears 2014: Sustainable Transportation Expo promises to help you do just that.

Organized and sponsored by the Victoria Chapter of the BCSEA, Changing Gears is all about, "understanding the impacts of fossil-fuel transportation on our environment; re-designing streets  and urban space to encourage “people places”, interaction, health and vibrancy in our communities; developing infrastructures to support “active transportation” (pedestrian and bicycle) lifestyles throughout the Capital Region; extending the reach, frequency, comfort and diversity of transit options; and seeing electric vehicles as a realistic and affordable option for those who require cars"

Changing Gears 2014 takes place on March 22, 2014, 10 am - 5 pm, at the Pearkes Recreation Centre in Saanich.  Admission is free, but donations are gladly accepted.

Next DRA Board Meeting

DRA Board meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of every month, and are open to all members. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday March 25th, 2014, 5:30 pm, at the Silver Threads Centre, 1728 Douglas Street.

At this board meeting, we are expecting two guests from the Victoria Cool Aid Society. 
Kathy Stinson, Executive Director, and Alan Rycroft, Community Relations, have been invited to provide us with a briefing on Cool Aid's New Housing Plan.
Follow on Twitter    Friend on Facebook    Forward to Friend 
Copyright © 2014 Victoria Downtown Residents Association, All rights reserved.
unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp