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A Blue Jay, commonly found in the Central and Eastern United States and the southeastern coast of Canada, was spotted in Sooke on Dec. 27. (Contributed – Robin Robinson)

Blue jay, usually found in southeastern Canada, spotted in Sooke

Around 80 birders counted 118 different species within a single day

A Blue Jay, commonly found in the Central and Eastern United States and the southeastern coast of Canada, was spotted in Sooke on Dec. 27. (Contributed – Robin Robinson)
Mikes (Michal) Patterson has no plans to slow down after recently logging her 3,000th volunteer hour at Sidney’s Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Volunteer at Sidney’s Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea marks major milestone

Mikes (Michal) Patterson completed 3,000 hour of volunteer work at the non-profit aquarium

Mikes (Michal) Patterson has no plans to slow down after recently logging her 3,000th volunteer hour at Sidney’s Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
The 13th annual Cool Aid Coat Drive, on through Jan. 15, 2021, seeks donations of warm clothing items for passing along to people in need. (Courtesy Victoria Cool Aid Society)

Cool Aid coat drive keeps Victoria’s vulnerable residents warmer

Donate your unused coats, jackets, gloves, mittens and sweaters by Jan. 15

The 13th annual Cool Aid Coat Drive, on through Jan. 15, 2021, seeks donations of warm clothing items for passing along to people in need. (Courtesy Victoria Cool Aid Society)
video
Local chill-seekers take personal polar bear plunge to welcome 2021 safely
Saanich Christmas House draws thousands per night as residents seek festivities amid pandemic
Saanich family crafts huge Christmas display to raise spirits amid pandemic
Hand-made paper hearts bring joy to View Royal Starbucks employees after outburst from angry patron
Participants in the Bateman Foundation’s Nature Sketch program work on their art. The Bateman Foundation is offering courses online for juniors, teens and adult watercolour artists beginning in January. (Photo courtesy of the Bateman Foundation)

Bateman sketch classes come alive online

Range of classes begin Jan. 8, 9 and 11

Participants in the Bateman Foundation’s Nature Sketch program work on their art. The Bateman Foundation is offering courses online for juniors, teens and adult watercolour artists beginning in January. (Photo courtesy of the Bateman Foundation)
(Black Press Media file photo)

From arts to environment, nominate your West Shore hero

Nominations for the Goldstream Gazette’s Local Hero awards are open to Jan. 15

  • Jan 4, 2021
(Black Press Media file photo)
Christmas light stands that have seen better days can be recycled at numerous depots and retail locations across Greater Victoria. (Pixabay)

Christmas lights accepted at various depots, recycling programs across Greater Victoria

Cards, wrapping paper without glitter and metallic paint can go in recycling bins

Christmas light stands that have seen better days can be recycled at numerous depots and retail locations across Greater Victoria. (Pixabay)
Jimmy Miller (left) and members of the WestShore Skatepark Coalition were at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre’s parking lot Sunday for a bottle drive to raise funds to build a skatepark on the West Shore. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Jimmy Miller (left) and members of the WestShore Skatepark Coalition were at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre’s parking lot Sunday for a bottle drive to raise funds to build a skatepark on the West Shore. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Volunteers came together to raise funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters during a Langley drive in 2019. (Black Press Media file photo)

Cheers to charity: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria bottle drive coming to Saanich mall

Contactless bottle drive-thru runs Jan. 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at University Heights

Volunteers came together to raise funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters during a Langley drive in 2019. (Black Press Media file photo)
The monolith showed up in the Courtenay yard just before Christmas. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Monolith appears in Vancouver Island yard

Item in Courtenay showed up on Wikipedia list for a little while

The monolith showed up in the Courtenay yard just before Christmas. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Rick Bader took a New Year's Day plunge at Esquimalt’s Lagoon Beach. (Photo submitted by Rick Bader)

VIDEO: Greater Victoria chill-seekers take personal polar plunge to welcome 2021 safely

Annual group polar bear swims cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings

Rick Bader took a New Year's Day plunge at Esquimalt’s Lagoon Beach. (Photo submitted by Rick Bader)
The Juan de Fuca pool opens up again Jan. 20, after being closed since last March due to ongoing public health restrictions due to the pandemic. (West Shore Parks and Recreation)

Juan de Fuca pool to reopen in Colwood after 10-month shutdown for COVID

West Shore Parks and Recreation using federal/provincial restart funding to reopen facility

The Juan de Fuca pool opens up again Jan. 20, after being closed since last March due to ongoing public health restrictions due to the pandemic. (West Shore Parks and Recreation)
A foursome of golfers watches as one of their group tees off at McMicking Point on the Victoria Golf Club course along Beach Drive on New Year’s Eve. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)

GALLERY: Weather makes last day of 2020 one worth going out for

Residents say so long to 2020 with a breath of fresh air

A foursome of golfers watches as one of their group tees off at McMicking Point on the Victoria Golf Club course along Beach Drive on New Year’s Eve. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Heather Leier was in high spirits after having her second child, Reese Campbell Leier, who’s claimed the title of the first baby born on Vancouver Island. (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)

PHOTOS: Sooke remembers 2020

The top news stories of 2020

Heather Leier was in high spirits after having her second child, Reese Campbell Leier, who’s claimed the title of the first baby born on Vancouver Island. (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
The Greater Victoria Public Library has lots of options for readers to check out from traditional books to online and audio sources. (Pexels photo)
The Greater Victoria Public Library has lots of options for readers to check out from traditional books to online and audio sources. (Black Press Media file photo)

Greater Victoria libraries list most popular titles of 2020

Old releases such as Little Women crack Top 10 list as readers turn to digital sources

The Greater Victoria Public Library has lots of options for readers to check out from traditional books to online and audio sources. (Pexels photo)
The Greater Victoria Public Library has lots of options for readers to check out from traditional books to online and audio sources. (Black Press Media file photo)
Participants partake in a previous polar bear swim in Sooke. (Kevin Laird/Black Press Media)

Greater Victoria polar bear swims hibernate for 2020

Black Press Media wants to see your photos and videos, email vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca

  • Dec 31, 2020
Participants partake in a previous polar bear swim in Sooke. (Kevin Laird/Black Press Media)
Christmas trees at Santa’s Forest in Braefoot Park in November 2020 are destined for the chipper to start 2021. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Christmas trees at Santa’s Forest in Braefoot Park in November 2020 are destined for the chipper to start 2021. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
The Salmond family’s Christmas House at 4091 Tuxedo Dr. has drawn thousands as Saanich residents hunt for pandemic-friendly festivities. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
The Salmond family’s Christmas House at 4091 Tuxedo Dr. has drawn thousands as Saanich residents hunt for pandemic-friendly festivities. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
(Left to right) Brennan Chow and Christan Cavanaugh from Tutela Technologies present the tech company’s donation to Abbeyfield House residents Connie Parman and Edna Dickinson. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Victoria tech company makes $2,000 Christmas donation to Saanich seniors’ home

Abbeyfield House residents benefit from smart TV, wireless headphones and more

(Left to right) Brennan Chow and Christan Cavanaugh from Tutela Technologies present the tech company’s donation to Abbeyfield House residents Connie Parman and Edna Dickinson. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Metchosin Museum Society is looking for three vintage doors for the old Metchosin Schoolhouse, located at 4475 Happy Valley Rd. (Bob Burgis photo)
Metchosin Museum Society is looking for three vintage doors for the old Metchosin Schoolhouse, located at 4475 Happy Valley Rd. (Bob Burgis photo)
Fans check out the Space Police sets of Lego at the Sidney Museum in 2019. In 2021, visitors must wear masks, and book an appointment. (Black Press Media file photo)

Sidney Museum kicks off 50th year with Lego display, by appointment

Popular annual event still a go with pandemic protocols in place

Fans check out the Space Police sets of Lego at the Sidney Museum in 2019. In 2021, visitors must wear masks, and book an appointment. (Black Press Media file photo)