Community

Neil Salmond and his wife Michelle decided to bring back their infamous Tuxedo Drive Christmas display for one more year to bring joy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Famous Saanich ‘Christmas House’ returns with encore display amid pandemic

Tuxedo Drive Christmas display lit up nightly from 5-11 p.m. until Jan. 1

Neil Salmond and his wife Michelle decided to bring back their infamous Tuxedo Drive Christmas display for one more year to bring joy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
The Grade 5 John Muir Elementary class in Sooke has prepared gift bags for the Sooke homeless shelter, which the residents will open on Christmas Day. (Annette Jacobsen photo)

Grade 5 class in Sooke create gift bags for homeless

Bags stuffed with hand warmers, personal hygiene kits and a handwritten note

The Grade 5 John Muir Elementary class in Sooke has prepared gift bags for the Sooke homeless shelter, which the residents will open on Christmas Day. (Annette Jacobsen photo)
Santa flying with BC EHS to visit hospitals around B.C. on Dec. 22, 2020. (BC EHS/Twitter)

Nothing stops Santa from bringing joy to sick children – even with pandemic protocols

Santa sent gifts to Victoria General, Surrey Memorial, Royal Columbian and Nanaimo Regional General Hospital

  • Dec 22, 2020
Santa flying with BC EHS to visit hospitals around B.C. on Dec. 22, 2020. (BC EHS/Twitter)
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Members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 91 were out in the snow and ice to thank the West Shore community for its continued support. (Goldstream Gazette/Facebook)
Members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 91 were out in the snow and ice to thank the West Shore community for its continued support. (Goldstream Gazette/Facebook)
Helgesen Road

PHOTOS: Where to see Christmas lights in Sooke

You’re going to find plenty of lights out there

Helgesen Road
Jennifer Isaac, external relations supervisor for WorkLink Employment Society Westshore, is all smiles with some of the socks staff donated through a Let’s Rock The Socks fundraiser to help the homeless. (Courtesy WorkLink Employment Society)

A warm and fuzzy Christmas gift from WorkLink on the West Shore

Dandelion Society and Sooke Shelter receive timely sock donation

Jennifer Isaac, external relations supervisor for WorkLink Employment Society Westshore, is all smiles with some of the socks staff donated through a Let’s Rock The Socks fundraiser to help the homeless. (Courtesy WorkLink Employment Society)
Monterey middle school principal Ken Andrews in his woolly mammoth onesie and camped out the night of Dec. 9 on the roof of Monterey alone in his tent. The next morning he enjoyed a coffee while students in the library took pictures through the window. (Courtesy Ken Andrews)
Monterey middle school principal Ken Andrews in his wooly mammoth onesie and camped out the night of Dec. 9 on the roof of Monterey alone in his tent. The next morning he enjoyed a coffee while students in the library took pictures through the window. (Courtesy Ken Andrews)

Someone’s on the Monterey rooftop again

Principal’s rooftop campout helps push fundraiser to $8,500

Monterey middle school principal Ken Andrews in his woolly mammoth onesie and camped out the night of Dec. 9 on the roof of Monterey alone in his tent. The next morning he enjoyed a coffee while students in the library took pictures through the window. (Courtesy Ken Andrews)
Monterey middle school principal Ken Andrews in his wooly mammoth onesie and camped out the night of Dec. 9 on the roof of Monterey alone in his tent. The next morning he enjoyed a coffee while students in the library took pictures through the window. (Courtesy Ken Andrews)
Santa Claus stopped by Colwood City Hall to help ring in the holidays with members of the Colwood Volunteer Firefighters’ Association. Members collected donations for the Goldstream Food Bank while spreading some holiday cheer. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

PHOTOS: Santa helps Colwood firefighters collect donations for food bank

City Hall gets drive-thru style event to spread holiday spirit

Santa Claus stopped by Colwood City Hall to help ring in the holidays with members of the Colwood Volunteer Firefighters’ Association. Members collected donations for the Goldstream Food Bank while spreading some holiday cheer. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Volunteers with the Peninsula Streams Society Saturday collected some 10 cubic metres of debris from the Pat Bay shoreline. (Newton Hockey/Submitted)

Santa lends a hand during beach cleanup in North Saanich

Volunteers collected 10 cubic metres of debris from Pat Bay shoreline

Volunteers with the Peninsula Streams Society Saturday collected some 10 cubic metres of debris from the Pat Bay shoreline. (Newton Hockey/Submitted)
Graeme Macaloney, whisky maker and owner of Macaloney’s Caledonian Distillery, explains how the distilled spirits flow through the pot stills before being transferred into barrels to age. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich distillery’s whiskies ready for tasting after three years aging

Macaloney’s Caledonian Distillery spirits officially considered ‘whisky’

Graeme Macaloney, whisky maker and owner of Macaloney’s Caledonian Distillery, explains how the distilled spirits flow through the pot stills before being transferred into barrels to age. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Victoria’s Christmas Bird Count, in which birders spot as many bird species within a single day, is set for Saturday, Dec. 19. The area extends from south of Island View Beach Road in Central Saanich to Witty’s Lagoon in Metchosin. (Ann Nightingale photo)

Greater Victoria birders tasked with specific areas for annual count

Christmas Bird Count takes place in Greater Victoria on Dec. 19

Victoria’s Christmas Bird Count, in which birders spot as many bird species within a single day, is set for Saturday, Dec. 19. The area extends from south of Island View Beach Road in Central Saanich to Witty’s Lagoon in Metchosin. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Ron Nicolaye and the pole on the Island Highway at the Campbell River bridge that a drunk driver crashed into in 1983, changing his life forever. Photo by Marc Kitteringham – Campbell River Mirror

Impaired driving survivor implores people to not drink and drive this holiday season

Campbell River man looks back on 37th anniversary of life-changing incident

Ron Nicolaye and the pole on the Island Highway at the Campbell River bridge that a drunk driver crashed into in 1983, changing his life forever. Photo by Marc Kitteringham – Campbell River Mirror
The team at Rather Be Plumbing will work for free on Dec. 18, 19 and 20 to give back to the community. (Photo courtesy Jarod Hughes)

Saanich plumbing company offers free services for those in need ahead of Christmas

Rather Be Plumbing to help those in need for free, pandemic protocols in place

The team at Rather Be Plumbing will work for free on Dec. 18, 19 and 20 to give back to the community. (Photo courtesy Jarod Hughes)
The Town of View Royal is looking for the best Christmas light displays until Dec. 23. Then, five winners will receive a prize from a local chocolate shop. (Black Press Media file photo)

View Royal offers prize for best Christmas light displays

Nominate a home, business or yourself until Dec. 23

The Town of View Royal is looking for the best Christmas light displays until Dec. 23. Then, five winners will receive a prize from a local chocolate shop. (Black Press Media file photo)
Fourth-year Camosun College automotive students Xin Chen from Forward Automotive (left) and Kevin Ishizaki from Glen Oak Ford (right) show off two of the 12 new tool kits donated to the program by the Ed Coates Memorial Foundation. (Photo courtesy Camosun College)

Foundation donates $25K worth of tools to Camosun automotive program

Ed Coates Memorial Foundation purchases 12 new kits to reduce tool sharing amid pandemic

Fourth-year Camosun College automotive students Xin Chen from Forward Automotive (left) and Kevin Ishizaki from Glen Oak Ford (right) show off two of the 12 new tool kits donated to the program by the Ed Coates Memorial Foundation. (Photo courtesy Camosun College)
Sangster Elementary Grade 4 students Ryker de Ruiter (right), Temperance Walker, Lyla Wiltse and Ella Baxter-Mohrmann show the artwork that their class created to spread positivity in Colwood. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Sangster Elementary Grade 4 students Ryker de Ruiter (right), Temperance Walker, Lyla Wiltse and Ella Baxter-Mohrmann show the artwork that their class created to spread positivity in Colwood. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
In 2021, Saanich will resume management of the building in Braefoot Park which housed the Braefoot Community Association for many years. (Google Streetview)

UPDATED: Community group stunned as Saanich takes over Braefoot building

Braefoot Community Association to transition to new location, sports programs to continue in park

In 2021, Saanich will resume management of the building in Braefoot Park which housed the Braefoot Community Association for many years. (Google Streetview)
Goldsmith Lainey Rae won News Business of the Year at the annual Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards on Tuesday night. (Contributed photo)

Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce honours top businesses

Castle Beer and Wine Store named Business of the Year

Goldsmith Lainey Rae won News Business of the Year at the annual Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards on Tuesday night. (Contributed photo)
Cathy Gouk, at Cathy’s Corner Cafe, expects to hand out 400 free Christmas dinners this week. The meals are available at her Sooke restaurant for takeout only from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)

Sooke restaurant handing out free Christmas meals this week

Cathy’s Corner Cafe offers turkey dinner from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 15 and 16

Cathy Gouk, at Cathy’s Corner Cafe, expects to hand out 400 free Christmas dinners this week. The meals are available at her Sooke restaurant for takeout only from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
Grade 8 students Ava Piasta and Luke Housden won the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund annual Fire Prevention Week art contest. Piasta, first, gets a new iPad and Housden, second, a $75 gift certificate. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Two Saanich students nab top prizes in province-wide fire safety poster contest

Glanford Middle School, Saanich Fire Department help mark students’ big win

Grade 8 students Ava Piasta and Luke Housden won the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund annual Fire Prevention Week art contest. Piasta, first, gets a new iPad and Housden, second, a $75 gift certificate. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)