What should Saanich include in the time capsule that it plans to seal as part of Canada 150 celebrations? That is one of several questions that currently confronts the Canada 150 ambassadors as the clock counts towards Canada’s sesquicentennial.
Coun. Vicki Sanders said ambassadors would be sending out letters to schools, community groups, community associations, council members, sports organizations, faith communities, local MLAs and MPs to solicit input. Potential items include coins, stamps, newspapers, photographs, old letters from residents and students’ drawings among other items, she said.
“It’s only so much that can go into these and there needs to be vetting process,” said Sanders, adding that the Canada 150 ambassadors would be in charge of the selection process, but call in other voices when necessary.
Notably, Sanders suggested that the capsule should honour the late Coun. Vic Derman. “It would be timely to have the articles about Coun. Derman [in the capsule],” she said.
Local history offers some guidance, as workers in 2015 unearthed a time capsule underneath the original cornerstone of St. George’s Anglican Church in Cadboro Bay during construction of an addition. While the 64-year-old glass bottle had suffered damage, its contents survived. They included a cover of the Victoria Daily Times from April 21, 1951, two days before the cornerstone was put in place. The bottle also had a handful of Canadian coins embossed with the head of King George, bulletins from Sunday services – one from April 22, 1951 and one from the current church’s sod-turning ceremony earlier that year.
Ultimately, items will fall into three categories, said Sanders. “There will be things from the past, things that will be from the present and things for the future.”
Sanders is especially excited about seeing youth involved, for it means that those contributing to the current project will still be around to talk about their times and their experience in putting together the capsule when it opens in 2067. “People can talk about what they did [in 2017],” she said.
First things first though. Sanders and her fellow Canada 150 ambassadors are still working out some of the logistics, including the location of the capsule.
Previous considerations focused on the plaque near Municipal Hall acknowledging the 50th anniversary of its opening in 2016, and the site remains in the running, for it would fit the historical theme of the site.
“It would be a nice place to have the time capsule as well,” said Sanders.
Other outstanding issues that are nonetheless quickly coming together include the size and source of the stainless-steel device, which a local company will manufacture, Sanders said.
The total project will cost about $5,000 with a third of that budget going towards the capsule itself. The remaining funds will cover the capsule’s installation, an accompanying plaque and a celebration to mark the occasion, she said. It will be a public event, she said, celebratory cake inclusive.
This said, the project has sparked people’s interest and imagination. “We’ve been getting a real positive response from the community,” she said.
As for Sanders, she knows that time is working against her. If so, her words nonetheless sparkle with curiosity.
“I would like to be a fly on the wall and look down to see what’s happening with the opening in 2067,” she said.