MAYOR’S MESSAGE: Holidays a time to come together in Esquimalt

Barb Desjardins offers Christmastime options from the Township

As I reflect on the past year and look forward to 2018, my mind turns to the importance of family, friends and health during the festive season.

Hold your family and friends close, especially at this time of year, and take the time to create a healthy lifestyle. Joining up with friends and family members for a bit of exercise, or an outing of any kind, is a great way to celebrate the season and to celebrate each other.

As a relatively active person, I don’t think of healthy living as necessarily intensive workouts at the gym or strict adherence to particular diets, although this works for some. Striking a healthy balance in activities, leisure and lifestyle choices seems sensible to me.

Looking for some Christmas inspiration and a short stroll? I can’t think of anything more festive than our Christmas Tree Village, located in the Esquimalt Recreation Centre and Archie Browning Sports Centre until Jan. 4. On those wet or cold days during the holidays, experience the magic of the season indoors.

For those who have created special light displays at their Esquimalt homes, we encourage participation in our Community Holiday Light-up Map. Sign up online and be a part of the festive fun. Taking an exhilarating walk through a local neighbourhood done up in the colours of the season is healthy and truly inspires the Christmas spirit.

Council will again be hosting our New Year’s Day Levee at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre. The levee is a time-honoured tradition in Esquimalt dating back to 1947. In addition to a “meet and greet” with council, enjoy free skating at the Archie Browning Sports Centre and swimming at the recreation centre. Council looks forward to coming together with the community on this special day every year. Please join us and take advantage of the free activities.

If you’re making a determined commitment to increased fitness levels in 2018, watch for our free “Try It” event at the recreation centre from Jan. 8 to 16. Select fitness classes will be available for you to test out at no cost. Testing the waters before taking the plunge is always a good idea!

Moving further into 2018, watch for the Family Day Celebrations at the Recreation Centre on Feb. 12, the Esquimalt 5K Run on April 7, more arts performances co-ordinated by the Township Community Arts Council (including Township Classics at CFB Esquimalt on the last Sunday of January and February), and the ever-popular Esquimalt Farmers Market.

If you’re looking for things to do with family and friends during the festive season and into 2018, Esquimalt is the place to be. Visit our website at esquimalt.ca for information about upcoming events and activities.

On behalf of council and all of our staff at the Township, I wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday, and a prosperous new year.

Barb Desjardins is mayor of Esquimalt.

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