April 2012
Newsletter

Hi DRA Member,

HEADLINE NEWS: Our new website has been launched! Find our totally revamped and newly designed website at www.victoriadra.ca
 
AND YOU CAN STILL….
Follow us on Twitter at @VictoriaDRA

Our new website is just one other way to keep in touch with what’s happening downtown, find out about things that affects you and your community. As always, if you see anything you'd like more information on, or would like to get involved in any of the activities, events or committees mentioned, please get in touch.
 

DRA BOARD MEETINGS

Throughout 2012, monthly Board Meetings will be held on the 4th Wednesday of every month. Meetings start at 7:00 pm and once the meetings commence, the front doors are locked (for security reasons). 
 
Meetings may be rescheduled from time to time, in consideration of holidays and other commitments. The date for each meeting is confirmed the month prior at the Board Meeting. 

DRA Members and those who are interested in joining the DRA are welcome to attend.
 
Our next regularly scheduled board meeting is on Wednesday 23rd May.
 
Please note that our meeting in May will be held at the Downtown Community Centre located at 755 Pandora Avenue.



A big “THANKS” to Cindy and Deanna at Ingredients Health Food & Apple Café! They hosted a small group of DRA members to tasty, organic, raw treats and cups of mellow chicory tea. We learned about how they got started in the health food business, the work that went into refurbishing their current location, the vision and ethics they bring to their business and their commitment to the community and health. It was a real pleasure to meet you and we will continue to shop local and shop wise! If you weren’t able to make it on the night of the event, pay them a visit at 2031 Store Street.
 
The next Roving Refinery event is being planned, so stay tuned for details.
 
The Roving Refinery is a DRA members' social event where you will get a chance to meet other downtown residents and merchants in your neighbourhood.

HISTORIC TOUR

We have so much history right at our doorsteps!
In June, local historian, tour guide and author, John Adams will be giving DRA members a tour along one of his many routes (Wharf Street, Chinatown, Humboldt Valley, and many more). Which one would you choose? The route with the most votes is the one we’ll do!  Visit our website to cast your vote.  Voting closes 20TH MAY 5:00 PM
 
For more information on John Adams, see:
http://www.islandnet.com/~sric/Adams_John.pdf

GARDENS & GREEN SPACES

We're having two Garden & Green Spaces Workshops this May.  Registration for these events will be on our website.

1. Composting Basics Workshop May 5th

Join us for our second Composting Basics Workshop hosted by the Compost Education Centre. 
 
This exciting workshop is an exploration of the basics of small scale home composting.
 
 When: Saturday, 5th May 10 AM-12 PM
 Where: Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre 1216 North Park
 Cost per person: FREE 
 
Space is limited so register early to avoid disappointment.

2. Container Gardening Workshop May 30th

Join us for our second workshop of 2012 on container gardening. As the summer approaches, we will be planting warmer plants such as basil, tomatoes and beans. Come and get your hands dirty!
 
 When: Wednesday, 30th May 6-8 PM
 Where: Silver Threads 1728 Douglas St 
 Cost per person: $15

All materials for the class (soil, seeds, seedlings, fertilizer, containers) will be provided, including trowels, buckets, watering cans, and printed handouts. There will also be a selection of other plants for sale; salad blend, nasturtiums, beans, things that do well in containers. 

LAND USE COMMITTEE

1. Projects & Proposals

The following properties have projects or proposals under review:
  • 840 Fort Street – Sawyer Residences | Reapplication with City for same proposal.
  • 777 Douglas St – Executive House Hotel | Permanent change to liquor license. Deadline 10th May.
  • 510 Pandora Ave - Swan’s Hotel | Structural change to liquor primary license. Deadline 18th May.

2. Official Community Plan (OCP)

Representatives from the City will be meeting with the Land Use Committee in May or early June. City reps will be giving a presentation, the purpose of which will be to provide information in preparation for the OCP Public Hearing including an overview of key changes to the plan since last year's draft and ways to provide feedback on this version in advance of the Official Community Plan. 
 
The OCP Public Hearing will be held Wednesday, June 27 at 7:30 at City Hall.
 
How to provide feedback to Council:
Attend the public hearing
Send an email to publichearings@victoria.ca

Mail written correspondence to:
Mayor and Council
City of Victoria
1 Centennial Square
Victoria BC, V8W 1P6
 
The proposed Official Community Plan is available on the project website www.ShapeYourFutureVictoria.ca

3. Johnson Street Bridge – Bridge Approaches

In advance of the Public Workshops planned for the end of May, City staff will be meeting with the Land Use Committee on 8th May. The agenda will include a review the project timeline, an overview of Council-approved design principles for public realm, a discussion about public realm elements requiring input, an overview of the City-hosted workshop, and next steps.

Art Display will Showcase Work of the Formerly Homeless

A wide variety of artwork done by tenants living in Pacifica Housing's four supported complexes will be on display at Island Blue Art Store during the month of May.
 
"There are some truly talented artists flying under the radar in our community," said supported housing coordinator Angela McNulty Buell "We wanted to encourage participation in the art program and provide a public opportunity for those [tenants] interested to showcase their work".
 
A special after hours exhibition and art sale will take place at Island Blue on May 10th from 5:30pm - 7:30pm. Tickets are $10 and 100 % of ticket proceeds will support Pacifica Housing's art program.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please contact Kristy Colpron at 250-385-2131 ext 103 or email kristyc@pacificahousing.ca. Tickets are limited and will not be sold at the door.

VICTORIA TOGETHER AGAINST GRAFFITI (VTAG)

The VTAG program is a volunteer program formed by residents who wish to improve the appearance of their neighbourhoods by painting out graffiti on power poles along their streets.  The program is facilitated by the City of Victoria in cooperation with Victoria Police Department’s Block Watch program.  BC Hydro supports the program and has consented to their poles being painted in a prescribed manner.
 
Those wanting to participate in the VTAG program should contact the Program Coordinator through vtag.paintover@gmail.com or the City’s Graffiti Outreach Coordinator at vtag@victoria.ca
 
The paint and supplies you require will be provided.  This includes paint, rollers, trays, brushes, litterbags and masking tape.  


JOHNSON STREET BRIDGE (JSB) UPDATE

INDEPENDENT FAIRNESS MONITOR TO OVERSEE JOHNSON STREET BRIDGE BID PROCESS

The April 17, 2012 press release issued by the City is linked below.
 

The City is planning to host a couple of workshops in May (dates and locations still to be confirmed) to discuss elements of the public realm - landscaping, trees, benches, public gathering spaces etc - that will come with the redevelopment of public spaces on both the east and west sides of the new Johnson Street Bridge. 

These workshops will be open to all residents, businesses, and anyone who uses the bridge etc. The goal of the workshop will be to gather input from the public about what their preferences are - ie more trees, more traffic calming elements, more benches etc, so the City can use this feedback as they move towards final design of the public areas.
 
Final details of workshop dates, times and location will be posted on our website when they are confirmed.

Thanks for your time!  

We look forward to meeting you and seeing you at events and in the community throughout 2012!

Cheers,
Wendy Bowkett
Chair & Treasurer
Victoria Downtown Residents Association
Copyright © 2012 Victoria Downtown Residents Association, All rights reserved.

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