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Amazing Places

Amazing Places

By Michele Sealey

Celebrating the amazing people, places, and spaces in our communities with community advocate Michele Sealey.
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S2 #35 What's The Word? w/ Erika Palmer

Amazing PlacesDec 31, 2022

S2 #35 What's The Word? w/ Erika Palmer

S2 #35 What's The Word? w/ Erika Palmer

Welcome to the final podcast of 2022. We had originally intended this episode to be an upbeat look ahead, talking about the One Word “resolution” you can use that might help in planning and inspiring you, our dear listeners.

It still is, but we’re also going to share true confessions and deep thoughts on a year of podcasting for Michele. Some people make it look easy. For some people, it is easy. Sometimes tech works smoothly. Sometimes tech fails disastrously. Sometimes equipment fails. Sometimes equipment breaks. Some glitches can be edited out. Sometimes no amount of (amateur) editing will take out the distracting noises. Sometimes you don’t realise - until editing - how much wind there is until you find it has drowned out the conversation.

It really helps to have wonderful people in your life, both as guests, and as support people, to assist when stuff happens. Google is a big help in figuring out workarounds.

This final episode of the year has been a case in point. Zoom failed us 3 different times. Tried some workarounds, but couldn’t get it to work. Our lovely guest, Erica Palmer, patiently waited each time, and then kindly agreed to meet in person to record.Great!

We picked our outdoor location, but when we walked over to where the “best” spot was, a group of boys were playing basketball. No problem. We moved to Plan B and the second-best spot, but then Erika pointed out the passing traffic. Our super-awesome mics are also super-sensitive, and tend to pick up all those noises, so we moved to Plan C. We sat down and got set up. Then it started to rain. Ever-flexible, we went and stood in a covered area that seemed to be mostly out of the wind (spoiler alert: listening afterwards proved otherwise). As we were micing up, Erika’s mic clip broke. We improvised a repair, and started recording. We finished recording, and as she picked up the equipment, Michele found that one end of an audio connector had broken off, and the other end was barely hanging on. That is likely why Michele’s audio is so low, and combined with the improvised repair on Erika’s mic not being perfect, we’ve got a great podcast episode, with sub-par audio. On the positive side, it must have been a good, focused conversation, as at the time, we didn’t realise that there was a dog barking loudly at one point! lol However, the wind also blew in at the same time, so that part of our conversation was completely unintelligible and later had to be edited out.

However, as we packed up and were leaving, a rainbow appeared in the sky to the north, and as we watched, a second rainbow appeared! Even when technology and equipment fail us, Mother Nature comes through for us, showing some love.

So with our rose-coloured glasses firmly in place, and despite the technical challenges, we hope you’ll listen as Erika explains the fun of choosing a word to guide you for the coming year. Since she is the one who first inspired Michele to try it, it seemed only fitting that we have her on to talk about it! And she shares how she puts her chosen word into practice each year. It’s a process that can be as fun or serious as you choose. For Erika, she gives a lot of thought into how she will use her One Word, and how she can apply it across most facets of her life. For Michele, it’s a contemplative and reflective process. The One Word idea is to find the word that will give you motivation for 365 days, or, since there are no rules, it can be whatever you need it to be. Let Erika guide you, as she drops some ideas to get started.

As for the One Word for this podcast for the coming year, we still don’t know what it will be. Perhaps it should be perseverance?!  LOL  Stay tuned!

Finally, all our best from the Amazing Places Podcast team for an absolutely amazing year ahead for all of you. Thank you for listening.

Dec 31, 202220:42
S2 #34 The Tao of Kevin w/ Kevin Munn

S2 #34 The Tao of Kevin w/ Kevin Munn

According to Wikipedia, Tao is “the natural order of the universe, whose character one's intuition must discern to realise the potential for individual wisdom… Its name…came from Chinese, where it signifies the way, path, route, road, or sometimes more loosely doctrine, principle, or holistic belief’.

Sometimes we choose the path, and sometimes our path is chosen for us. For those with a disability, one’s path can veer drastically from what we had planned.

Listen along as Michele talks to Kevin Munn, Peer Support Coordinator, at the Victoria Disability Resource Centre.

He touches on the Peer Support Groups offered at VDRC, and the LEAD (Lived Experiences Around Disability) programme which is starting soon and looking for volunteers! Kevin also gives shout-outs to local non-profits, the Rainbow Kitchen and the Military Family Resource Centre

We also chat about his personal path that led him to the Centre, and how he went from accessing the services, to now working there and helping others. He has forged a path of kindness that we’d all do well to follow.

Dec 16, 202224:26
S2 #33 One Year Later - The Anniversary Show w/ Dean Murdock

S2 #33 One Year Later - The Anniversary Show w/ Dean Murdock

One year ago this week, on November 15th 2021, Dean Murdock recorded an episode with Michele Sealey, introducing her as the new (temporary) Host of the Amazing Places Podcast. As Dean had decided to run for Mayor of Saanich he wanted to step back, and asked Michele to fill in for the coming year.

Well, it has been quite a year since that day! The main event has, of course, been Dean's successful bid for the Mayoralty.

So on the anniversary of that podcast, they sat down once again to chat. This true passing-of-the-torch episode looks at what has been amazing in his first 10 days as Saanich Mayor Dean Murdock.

For the record, the traditional 1 year anniversary gift is paper, as Dean said. However, that's slightly difficult for an audio format, but as a compromise, have a piece of cake or a slice of pie to celebrate with us!

Thanks for listening!

Nov 18, 202217:03
S2 #32 Creating Legacy w/ Alix Link

S2 #32 Creating Legacy w/ Alix Link

In this episode we’re having a quick chat with Alix Link, at Mahon Brook in Saanich. Alix is the Manager of Urban Forestry, Natural Areas, and Community Stewardship for the District of Saanich.

We’re here for Saanich’s annual Tree Appreciation Day. The first Saanich Tree Appreciation Day was held in November of 1995. In 2019, the Municipality committed to increasing the number of trees in the District, through a number of different tree planting initiatives. Nowadays, these initiatives also deliver on the strategic goals of urban forest enhancement, climate action, and environmental leadership.

We're here planting to restore and enhance a former Garry Oak Restoration Project (GORP) site. At this year’s event, 40 trees were planted, including: Garry oaks, Big Leaf maples, Trembling aspens, Black Hawthorne, and Serviceberry. Earlier during the week, 45 trees were planted by local school children for Tree Appreciation Week. Also included this year were 100 native shrubs.

The main goals for Tree Appreciation Day are to:

Promote community well-being and engage citizens in the protection and stewardship of our urban forest Encourage not just physical health, but also mental health and connection with with each other and with the land To enhance the biodiversity and promote pollinating species within parks Showcase the valuable work that Saanich Parks staff do every day with regard to stewardship, along with community volunteers who assist in parks stewardship

Thanks to staff and volunteers alike for the work done to enhance our natural spaces, as well as increase/improve our Natural Intelligence.

Nov 07, 202206:22
S2 #31 The Quadra Racetrack w/ Philip Marciniak

S2 #31 The Quadra Racetrack w/ Philip Marciniak

Our episode this week comes to you from Quadra at Rock in Saanich, at a road safety rally organised by Sustainawave owner and local road safety advocate, Philip Marciniak. This rally was arranged after a vehicle ran a red light and struck a woman crossing in the crosswalk here - the second pedestrian-struck-in-a-crosswalk incident in the past week.

The group gathered was conducting an exercise in civic critical mass, constantly cycling the walk button, escorting pedestrians and cyclists across the street.

Philip is part of a group of road safety advocates that held a rally last year after the death of a 16 year old boy, hit in a marked crosswalk on Cedar Hill Cross Rd. At that time, the group called on Saanich to make some quick-build improvements at problem locations. After a cyclist was struck and injured at almost the same spot some months later, the Municipality installed some temporary traffic calming infrastructure.

“There is support for improvement on road safety, it just feels like in Saanich it kind of falls short on actual action and budgeting and implementation … We’re hoping to see action now.”

It’s amazing to see what grassroots community groups can accomplish. As Margaret Mead said, “Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.”

If you find it difficult/distracting to hear parts of this episode, that is unfortunately indicative of just how noisy traffic is in our communities, outside of a vehicle. Thanks for joining us in our roadside experience.

Oct 30, 202211:35
S2 #30 Dear Candidate - What's Amazing?

S2 #30 Dear Candidate - What's Amazing?

In this episode, we asked local government candidates what is amazing in their respective municipalities.  

For background, we did an open call - some candidates chose to post their amazing nominations, whilst others agreed to come on the podcast. The idea was to have some fun, while encouraging elements of harmony and positivity to the election.  

We thought it would be easy to find time to record, but candidates are in heavy demand, and we couldn't connect with everyone. However, we hope you enjoy what these candidates have to offer, as there are secrets shared here!

Oct 15, 202220:47
S2 #29 Honouring the Fallen w/ Sgt Noelle Wilson

S2 #29 Honouring the Fallen w/ Sgt Noelle Wilson

"An emotional day, but also a day of hope."

Every year on the last Sunday of September, police and peace officers from agencies across the province, gather to honour the 129 peace officers who have died in the line of duty in the province of British Columbia.

Sgt Noelle Wilson, from Vancouver Police Dept, is the Chair of the
BC Law Enforcement Memorial Organising Committee, and joins us to explain the background of this annual event.  

This Sunday the 25th of September, the Memorial starts with a static display of vehicles from various agencies, lined up in front of the Empress on Government St. At 1240pm, a procession of pipe bands and marchers will parade under BC and Canadian flags, held up by firetrucks. The marchers, who hail from BC, across Canada, and even the US, will continue to "The Bastion" for the formal ceremony. 

The Bastion is a provincial monument, dedicated to those officers who lost their lives in active service to the citizens of BC. It sits in the Garden of Honour at the BC Legislature, and bears the names of all 129 fallen. Click here to learn more about its history.

At 1pm/1300hrs, there is a small service for the families of the fallen, at The Bastion, which the public is welcome to attend.

Sep 23, 202206:55
S2 #28 How To Train Your Voice w/ Jess Gibbard

S2 #28 How To Train Your Voice w/ Jess Gibbard

Jess Gibbard is changing the world around her, by helping others. As a trans woman, she's taking the lessons she's learned about her voice, and turning them into lessons for others facing a similar situation. Jess launched to help others change/train their voice to better suit their new selves.

She gives us a peek into the science behind our voices, and a training demonstration. She's going back to school for additional speech training, and hopes to one day build her business to the point that she can help anyone dissatisfied with how they sound, to change their voice.

The day before we spoke, Jess was busy launching both a TikTok channel, and a GoFundMe. She's got a lot going on, in addition to her multi-faceted YouTube channel, being a student, building guitar pedals, and her music. Oh yes, and there's her Instagram and Facebook.

We try to keep up with the amazing whirlwind that is Jess, and we invite you to listen along. 

Please note, Michele is still getting the hang of podcasting recording, so the tail end of the show is clipped, but it still all makes sense. We hope. ;)

Aug 05, 202228:05
An Amazing New Day w/ Solomon
Jul 22, 202216:10
S2 #26 Amazing Grants for Community w/ Ryan Painter
Jul 15, 202224:00
S2 #25 An Amazing Summer w/ Laurel Collins
Jul 08, 202215:12
S2 #24 Unpacking The Salt Legacy w/ Meaghan McDonald

S2 #24 Unpacking The Salt Legacy w/ Meaghan McDonald

What did you do for your summer holiday last year? Meaghan McDonald of Salt Legacy, spent 8 weeks with a team, working to clean 300kms of remote and "pristine" beaches on the West Coast of BC. Cleaning up 210 tons of garbage and waste to be exact. Almost half of the 210 tons was fishing ropes and nets. Approximately 60% of the total items recovered were able to be recycled.

That's what Salt Legacy is all about - recycling as upcycling. Meaghan had a goal of building strong connections between individuals and the ocean, in order to raise awareness and educate on alternative practices towards upcycling. Her vision started with re-using discarded boat sails, to turn them into backpacks. The upcycled sailcloth vision has now expanded to include fanny packs (yes, they're in fashion again), duffel bags, and coming soon - surfboard/paddleboard packs! Oh wait, then there's the additional pillars of outreach and education that she's added to her ocean vision. Not too bad at all for a girl from the landlocked province of Alberta.

If you know anything about her, it wouldn't surprise you that on that life-changing "holiday", Meaghan spent 2 hours cutting out a fishing net from logs, because it was in good shape and she wanted to incorporate it into her products. So along with 80' of usable rope, she packed it all in her luggage and paid overweight to the airline, to bring it home for upcycling at Salt Legacy.

She not only employs local artisans to handmake each piece, but also has a unique way to inform buyers of the legacy of each unique item. It seems Salt Legacy is building quite an amazing legacy - Meaghan is an amazing person, with an amazing product, so we hope you'll give this a listen.

Jun 24, 202227:20
S2 #23 Taking A Deep Dive w/ Larry Wedgewood

S2 #23 Taking A Deep Dive w/ Larry Wedgewood

Taking a deep dive - or a beginner’s dive if you prefer - into local scuba diving sites, is PADI Master Instructor and Course Director, Larry Wedgewood. Born and raised in Greater Victoria, little did he know that his first class years ago, at Frank White’s in downtown Victoria, would change the course of his life.

He has traveled and dived all over the world, owned his own dive business in Thailand, and now splits his time between Saanich and Edmonton. Larry describes the highlights of a few local dive sites, as well as answering the question, where is Graham’s Wall? His passion and affinity for the sport shine through, as he describes the feelings and experiences way below the ocean surface. Oh yes, and the PG-rated sharks.

When he talked of always returning to Vancouver Island, due to the cold-water diving being “amazing”, we knew he was the right guest for a podcast named Amazing Places. Did you know that there are underwater “beaches”? As to where Larry is going to dive next, you’ll have to listen for his answer. Hint: you’re welcome Mayor Gaby Wickstrom! ;)

Larry has photos, blog articles, and a link to his YouTube channel on his website. Also, Pacific Water Sports is the local-adjacent (Duncan) dive shop that we discuss.

While he hasn’t got me in scuba gear yet, my curiosity was definitely piqued, so stay tuned for what happens later this year.

Once again, apologies if you find the background noise distracting - can you tell we were on the patio of a local cafe? It really was quiet when we started. *sigh*

Jun 19, 202230:01
S2 #22 Spilling The (Scarlet Runner) Beans w/ Lana Popham

S2 #22 Spilling The (Scarlet Runner) Beans w/ Lana Popham

We’re very happy to welcome the Honourable Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture and Food, to this week’s episode!

If you’ve learned anything by now, you’ll know that since Michele became the Podcast Lead on Amazing Places, she doesn’t really “do” politics, even with a government minister on the show. Instead, she wants to talk about what is growing in Lana’s garden this Spring!

Lana’s roots (pun fully intended) stretch back to growing up on Quadra Island, where growing food, raising animals, and harvesting from the sea was a way of life. She continued this closeness to the land when she co-founded and operated Barking Dog Vineyard, the first certified organic vineyard on Vancouver Island.

She has been an amazing advocate for food producers and food security for many years. So we were curious about her own garden and what her gardening secrets and tips might be; and Lana generously shared her trowel and errors with us. Good news - the horseradish is surviving!

So grab a piece of paper and pen for taking notes, and listen along as we talk green thumbs and clean fingernails.

Jun 10, 202222:05
S2 #21 Quiet(er) Places are Amazing Places w/ Teale Phelps Bondaroff

S2 #21 Quiet(er) Places are Amazing Places w/ Teale Phelps Bondaroff

There's been a lot of talk in the news lately regarding noise, and specifically about gas-powered garden and landscaping equipment. The District of Oak Bay Council recently voted to phase out the residential use of all gas-powered gardening tools, over the next 3 years. The whir of lawnmowers, leaf blowers, and grass trimmers are just one type of noise pollution that we face. This episode we have Dr Teale Phelps Bondaroff to talk about how noise affects people and the environment, how it impacts our ability to form community, as well as show the detrimental effects on our communities.

The connections that we form from having conversations in a quiet area, are the bedrock of community building, as these quieter opportunities foster engagement with each other. Teale shares examples of how quieter communities are more connected, healthier, and smarter (!) communities. 

He also answers the question, "Are boomboxes legal in the CRD?".

This is Meegan Read's closet set-up that I reference - and think of - when contemplating how to record a quieter podcast!

Jun 03, 202234:17
S2 #20 - From Dogpatch to Desirable w/ Stew Young

S2 #20 - From Dogpatch to Desirable w/ Stew Young

A few weeks back, Langford’s Mayor, Stew Young, sat down with us to talk about a specific park. As these podcasts do, the discussion wound around to other subjects.

This episode brings you all the rest of the conversation - some reminiscing about the Langford of old, and the actions and visions shaping Langford of the future.

The City has bold plans for housing, education - secondary and post, environment, traffic, jobs, and economy, which the Mayor describes as a full-service, sustainable, and self-sustained community and full-circle lifestyle.

May 20, 202213:07
S2 #19 One Planet Student Challenge w/ Cora Hallsworth

S2 #19 One Planet Student Challenge w/ Cora Hallsworth

This week we welcome Cora Hallsworth, Senior Associate with One Earth, and Lead on One Planet Saanich. She joins us to talk about the One Planet Student Challenge

One Planet BC helps communities across the province understand sustainability priorities – and take action. Speaking of action, you need to take action too, to get in on this Challenge, as it ends May 20th!

The Student Challenge is an invitation to any Middle or Secondary School student in the Capital Region area, to submit in video or illustration format, showing ways to bring One Planet Living ideas into our communities and personal lives.

One Planet Living is about creating a world where everyone, everywhere lives happy, healthy lives within the limits of the planet, while also leaving space for nature. Sounds like a wonderful way to live, and something we would all want to ascribe to!

Cora shares some jaw-dropping stats on our local situation with regard to sustainability, waste, and the potential we have to change at our household level. She gives you some ideas of how creative you can be in your Challenge submissions.

Listen to learn more about the challenge, how to enter, what the judges will be looking for in the entries, and lots more info on this amazing organisation!

Remember: May 20th deadline. 

May 13, 202219:23
S2 #18 Parks and Recreation w/ Stew Young

S2 #18 Parks and Recreation w/ Stew Young

This week’s episode started as a conversation at the memorial service for the late Langford Fire Chief Al LeQuesne (Ret’d). Langford Mayor Stew Young mentioned a new park being named in the Chief’s honour, in consideration of his 44 years of service to the community.

As someone who worked next to the Chief for a few of those years, I was happy to hear about the park, and wanted to learn more, and even happier to learn that what makes the park unique will be the fully-accessible features and equipment.

It will be a revamp of the former Cressida Park, which has seen better days. The City will update it to a modern park, with more amenities than before, and it will become the standard for all new and revamped parks in Langford.

The Mayor proudly notes that on southern Vancouver Island, Langford creates more parks than other jurisdictions - and has been doing that for over 15 years. With 21% of the city in parks and green spaces, they boast 2300 acres in 300 parks!

In addition to the Fire Chief Al LeQuesne Memorial Park (opening in September), the 130 acre Jordie Lunn Bike Park will celebrate the Grand Opening on May 10th. It will also be the host site in July for the Red Bull World Championship Qualifier for the Red Bull UCI Pump Track World Championship in Chile - the only Canadian stop on the Qualifier circuit! Coming up, there will also be a dedication ceremony for the new Flying Firemen Park on Skirt Mountain, in honour of the 2 waterbomber pilots who died in a crash there in 1967. 

Our full conversation illustrated that Langford has bold plans not just for their Parks and Recreation opportunities, but also housing, education - secondary and post, environment, traffic, jobs, and economy. Too much for this episode, so stay tuned for a future episode where the rest of the conversation will show the full-service, self-sustained community and full-circle lifestyle that Langford aims for. The term “From Dogpatch to Desirable” is the teaser that we’ll leave you with.

May 07, 202217:42
Week on Wednesday

Week on Wednesday

Introducing Week on Wednesday with Amazing Places.

Sometimes there’s interesting events happening in the region that we’re interested in, but aren’t able to turn into a podcast, or a representative isn’t available. So we thought we’d round up a few each week and let you know some highlights.

Emergency Preparedness Week   until May 7th

Federal, provincial, regional, and many municipal governments have information and activities for Emergency Preparedness Week. You can find preparedness tips, YouTube videos, prizes, classes/info sessions, etc. Some are through your local fire department or Emergency Programme. For individual municipalities, contact your local government.

Hills To Shore Artists Tour   May 7th & 8th

The Hills to Shore Artists Tour has been happening for over 15 years. Open to artists in the Gordon Head, Cadboro Bay, and Mt Tolmie areas, they’re very excited to be back for 2022! Featuring artists: Janet Anderson, Clare Attwell, Andrea England, Sheryl Fisher, Kari Frazer, Ginny Glover, Judi Macleod, Jenny Miller, Carol Sherwood, Sandhu Singh, and Marcela Strasdas.


Mother's Day Concert   May 8th 2-4pm

If you’ve never attended the Mother’s Day concert at Playfair Park in Saanich, this year would be a great time to do so! Featuring the renowned Reynolds High School Orchestra, playing against a backdrop of beautiful rhododendrons. It’s a Spring tradition for many. Bring your lawn chair and enjoy the free open air concert.

Jordie Lunn Bike Park Grand Opening   May 10th

Straight from Langford Mayor Stew Young himself, he let us know about the Grand Opening for the Jordie Lunn Bike Park. The Park is a free, one-of-a-kind recreational cycling space that caters to cyclists of all ages and abilities. Located off Irwin Rd in Langford.

Curb Appeal   until May 14th

A community art event in the Gorge/Tillicum/Burnside neighbourhood, the Gorge Tillicum Community Association are inviting area residents to display something creative in your yard or window, on the theme “Spring Fantasy”

One Planet Student Challenge   Deadline for submissions: May 20th

The City of Victoria and the Municipality of Saanich have teamed up with OneEarth, to host One Planet Student Challenge. Students in Grades 6-12 in Greater Victoria are invited to enter submissions - either video or illustration -  to explore the question: How can we bring One Planet Living ideas into our communities and personal lives? Stay tuned for details on next week’s podcast on Friday!

May 05, 202203:47
S2 #17 Museums and More! w/ Sonia Nicholson

S2 #17 Museums and More! w/ Sonia Nicholson

Museums are not dusty relics of the past - they are us;  reflecting our history, showcasing what we value, helping us understand and appreciate the past. They give us a sense of our place in the world, and help us learn lessons of those who have gone before.

International Museum Day is coming up on May 18th, so this episode we have archivist Sonia Nicholson from the Saanich Pioneer Society & Log Cabin Museum.

The Society has been around since the late 1860s, with the Saanich Pioneer Museum built in 1933. Although located in what is now Central Saanich, the Municipality was actually Ward 6 of Saanich. So while Ward 6 seceded from Saanich in 1950, the Society name continued, as that was their history.

Listen as Sonia talks about some of the challenges that small museums and archives face, especially when they are stand-alone not-for-profits. We also discuss what is coming up with the Saanich Pioneer Society as they prepare to re-open from the pandemic, the power of museums, what you can do to get involved (it's also National Volunteer Week!), and we touch on how the spark was lit for Sonia to write a book involving local history! 

Links for what we discuss:

Saanich Pioneer Society 

Twitter: @SaanichPioneerS

Instagram: @saanichpioneersociety

Facebook: Saanich Pioneer Society @SaanichPioneerSoc

International Council of Museums 

Twitter: @IcomOfficiel

Instagram: @icomofficiel

Facebook: International Council of Museums - ICOM @IcomOfficiel

International Council of Museums - Canada 

Twitter: @ICOMCanada

Facebook: ICOM Canada @ICOMCanada

#IMD2022 #InternationalMuseumsDay #InternationalMuseumDay

Apr 29, 202223:58
S2 #16 Earth Day

S2 #16 Earth Day

This week we’re trying something different. As you might have noticed, we sometimes like to try new things. We like to stretch our wings a little. But we get it, change might not be your thing. That’s okay. Sometimes we need time to adjust. So if you aren’t into this week’s style of podcast, that’s okay. Come back next week, when we promise, we’ll return to our usual broadcasting format. ;)

Today is Earth Day. Instead of talking about whatever, we decided to let the earth, and nature, do the talking. By collecting audio clips over the last week or two, we’ve compiled a little listening journey through some local nature spots.

If you notice, though, even when deep in the woods, or in the middle of a park or beach, the sounds of humans crash through the reverie. Someone is jackhammering next to a park, someone is building something, and then there’s often the constant drone of vehicles. This isn’t a rant against any of those. It is cause, however, for wondering how can we escape the noise and hustle and bustle, when it’s all around us? We have Dark Sky parks (not enough of them!), is there a way to have Quiet parks? Just some thoughts to consider.

So sit back and relax, and take a listen to some sounds of earth and nature. WARNING: the first 3 clips are loud, so we suggest that you turn down your volume initially and adjust accordingly.

Wednesday’s windstorm blowing through the trees on the top of Mt Tolmie

During this week’s storm, the wind was louder than the waves at Island View Beach

Little birds in trees and hedges in a Saanich neighbourhood

Crows taking a bath in Bowker Creek in Oak Bay! That’s the splashing and flapping sounds you hear

In the forest next to a quiet part of Graham Creek in Centennial Park in Saanichton, and some quiet birds

A bubbling section of the Bowker Creek tributary, in Cedar Hill Park

A burbling section of the same creek with a variety of birds in the background

A woodpecker and other birds in the copse in Cedar Hill Park, off Ocean View Rd

Waves and birds on the beach at Cadboro Bay

Birds in a forest at Saanichton

Birds in a tree in Gyro Park

Ducks in a pond and birds in the hedgerow, next to Gyro Park

Waves and birds and a jackhammer at Caddy Bay Beach

Rain falling on a shed, and on a window frame leaning nearby, Saanich

Birds and creek at Cedar Hill Park, next to the ball diamond

Finally, what could be more appropriate than making sounds on the EARTH DRUMS? Located at Cedar Hill Park, the 3 large “box drums”, by artist and carver Carey Newman, are intended to be played with the hand, and create reverberations below human hearing that resonate into the ground, making music of, and for, the earth.

Happy Earth Day.

Apr 22, 202228:31
S2 #15 Be Scottish For A Weekend w/ Carl Jensen

S2 #15 Be Scottish For A Weekend w/ Carl Jensen

For 159 years, neither wars nor pandemics have stopped the venerable Victoria Highland Games from happening each year. We’re fortunate to have Carl Jensen, the former Athletic Director of the Games, and current Central Saanich Councillor, give us an overview of what to expect next month.

The Victoria Highland Games and Celtic Festival is a premier event that takes place Saturday May 21st and Sunday May 22nd at Topaz Park in Victoria. There are so many events that weekend - and a special parade and preview event the weekend before - so you’ll want to take a listen and block out those dates on your calendar! In true Scottish fashion, the Games and Festival will take place rain or shine.

A born storyteller, let Carl entertain you with his personal story of serendipity - thanks Peninsula News Review - and an overview of the Scottish athletic events taking place that holiday weekend. As he mentions, you can participate as well: click here for general details, and click here for how you can participate as an athlete.

You don’t have to be Scottish to attend, to participate, or to enjoy - as Carl says, everybody can be Scottish for the weekend!

Apr 15, 202230:13
S2 #14 The Accessible Peninsula w/ Heather Gartshore

S2 #14 The Accessible Peninsula w/ Heather Gartshore

This week we sat down with Heather Gartshore, Councillor with the District of North Saanich to talk about accessibility on the Saanich Peninsula, and what sparked the new Saanich Peninsula Accessibility Advisory Committee.

Previous to the pandemic, there had been an annual Access Awareness Day held in Sidney. Last year, Councillor Terri O'Keeffe from the Town of Sidney, reached out to others on ways to move forward.

The group that formed, Councillor O’Keeffe, Councillor Gartshore, Councillor Gord Newton from the Municipality of Central Saanich, North Saanich resident Charlene Froom, Central Saanich resident Dave Willows, and Jennifer Van Es from Beacon Community Services, met informally. Recognising that people with disabilities experience barriers that limit their participation in our communities, and that their needs are not always understood by local governments, the group hammered out a framework on how to work together to improve conditions for people on the Peninsula.

In October of last year, the three Councillors involved, took a Notice of Motion forward to their respective Councils. All three Councils supported the initiative, staff reports were prepared, Terms of Reference were written, and staff reported back in March of this year, with applications now open for this tri-municipal advisory committee.

The focus for SPAAC will be on improving livability, accessibility, and inclusion; with the purpose of providing comments and recommendations on policies, infrastructure, programmes, services, built environments, and outdoor spaces.

As Heather points out, it’s about ongoing awareness of people with disabilities in our communities, and “changing the culture”.

The provincial Accessible BC Act was brought in, June 2021. This new Act establishes a legal framework to identify, remove, and prevent barriers for people with disabilities. (plain language version)

Heather notes that although the regulatory piece of legislation is not yet in place, it appears the regulations will require municipalities to do this work, so then the 3 Peninsula local governments are actually ahead of the curve. This, combined with the co-operation between 3 government bodies, is pretty amazing in itself!

The Advisory Committee citizen representative positions are open to those living with a disability or supporting someone with a disability. The deadline is April 9th, at 4pm. Applications can be found on the individual municipal websites.

We met on a gloriously sunny day, on a gravel patio at a busy local cafe in North Saanich near the airport - hence the background noise from happy customers, birds, planes, crunchy footfalls on gravel, etc. It didn't seem noisy to us at the time, but apparently our super-mics picked up everything. We hope it doesn't distract you too much, but you can check out Fickle Fig for yourself! Thanks for listening.

Apr 08, 202217:54
S2 #13 Books On Bowker w/ Sidney Hurst

S2 #13 Books On Bowker w/ Sidney Hurst

Our lucky 13th episode of Season 2 takes us to Oak Bay.

At the confluence of school district land and municipal land, lies a section of daylighted and restored Bowker Creek. It’s here that we met Sidney Hurst, proud builder of the 600th Little Free Library in the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network.

While talking about the 600th little library - named "Bowker Creek Books" - was our initial reason for reaching out to her, it was refreshing to sit down with a such a knowledgeable, eager, and community-minded young person.

To say that Sidney is passionate about books and literacy is a bit of an understatement - she’s been writing a book review blog since she was 10yrs old! We haven’t heard of many 10 year old bloggers, and especially about books. She also has a goodreads page.

By the time she reached 15, she apparently didn’t have enough of books, so she made her first little library in her front yard. She has diverse tastes in reading, so while her favourites may change, her go-to book is "The Lie Tree" by Frances Hardinge.

As part of the BC Grade 12 curriculum, students are required to have a Capstone Project. It's an opportunity for students to demonstrate their cumulative learning in a particular topic they're interested in, and Sidney wanted something that reflected literacy and sustainability. She followed those interests and decided on a little library close to her school, Oak Bay High. After researching and learning the process involved, she worked with her school principal to install one in a tranquil spot next to Bowker Creek, between Oak Bay High, Oak Bay Recreation, and Oak Bay Public Works Yard. Tranquil yet busy, with connecting pathways and nearby sports: playing fields, tennis bubble, basketball court, skate park, running track, and rec centre!

A Grade 12 student at Oak Bay High, Sidney is also taking UVIC classes, and volunteering in the community, with additional interests in literacy, sustainability, PoliSci, and law. Despite her interest in politics, she’s not interested in running for political office herself at this time; “Never say never”. She is however, involved federally by volunteering, and encouraging young people to get involved in politics and the political system.

What else is ahead for this bright young teen? She’s looking forward to more placemaking that engages the community and the school.

If you can’t get enough of books, we highly recommend you check out Sidney's Instagram for books beautifully presented and descriptively reviewed.

(Apologies for the uneven audio in a couple of places - we’re still working on perfecting the lavalier mic.)

Apr 01, 202219:40
S2 #12 Spring Wander - Centennial Park

S2 #12 Spring Wander - Centennial Park

We’ve changed it up this week! Haven’t we all spent enough time inside? We sure have, so we decided to go outside and explore an amazing place.

Come along as we wander through Centennial Park in Saanichton. Established in 1958, this park covers 18.42 hectares/45.5 acres is a green jewel in the heart of Central Saanich. An accessible park with something for everyone, it has everything from sports to forest to picnics to hiking to relaxing and contemplating life.

Speculate with us as to what lies in the deep tree root hole. Hmmm…? Meet the cute Bernadoodle, Kipper, who even has his own Instagram account (@kipperthebernedoodle). Pick up some Alpaca wool from Sea Dog Farm, go for a swing, or relax to the sounds of Graham Creek. We spent almost 2 hours just wandering, and hope that you'll be inspired to get outside in any weather and go wander. 

Please let us know what you think - do you have a special wander that you’d like to share? Would you like us to come on a wander with you, and you can tell us what makes your wander an amazing place?

Check out our social media accounts for photos and videos.

Mar 25, 202215:24
S2 #11 Community Hubs and Coral Reefs w/ Teale Phelps Bondaroff

S2 #11 Community Hubs and Coral Reefs w/ Teale Phelps Bondaroff

LFLs: Community Hubs and Coral Reefs

When is a Little Free Library like a coral reef? When Teale Phelps Bondaroff explains the role that libraries play in our local neighbourhoods, as they form hubs that attract the community. 

Teale is on the Board of the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network, is a Principal with The Idea Tree Consulting, and the current Lead on the Pocket Places Project. Started in 2017, the Project has overseen the mapping, building, promoting, and stocking of little libraries in our area.

He sees LFLs as a form of placemaking and “placemaking is softening the hard edges of a city”. So much more than books, these pocket places of community have expanded to include puzzles, games, toys, seeds, poetry centres, bulletin boards, art supplies, mini art galleries, and plants!

Factoid: To date, the Project has stocked 57,059 books to little libraries throughout the Capital Region, with 30,000 of those being delivered by bike trailer! 

Did you know that there’s even a Bingo Card  that you can play as you visit these creative and whimsical book boxes? Join us as we talk about that and no-risk blind dating, learn where the “Swiss Army knife” of little libraries is located, and which streets have 5 - count ‘em FIVE -  libraries on them!

If you’re inspired to know more, or want to get involved in a little library in your neighbourhood, find info here.  

To further explore Happy City, the book that Teale references, check out @HappyCitiesTeam on Twitter and @happy.cities on Instagram. To pick up a copy, please consider supporting our local booksellers: Munro’s Books, Bolen Books, Russell Books, and if you’re listening in the Lower Mainland: Massy Books.

Thanks for listening!

Mar 18, 202234:16
S2 #10 What’s New In North Quadra w/ Trevor Barry
Mar 12, 202236:36
S2 #09 Better Mobility Saanich w/ Dean Murdock

S2 #09 Better Mobility Saanich w/ Dean Murdock

So we're turning the tables and we're flipping the script on the original Amazing Places Podcast host this week.

After a few months of shows on her own, Michele has invited Dean Murdock back to the podcast. This time he's here as the spokesperson for Better Mobility Saanich. This community-based group advocates for improving mobility in Saanich, to have it a more mobility-friendly place for all - from children to seniors, and through all modes of travel.

We touch on CBC comedy, and the possibility of doing a parenting humour podcast.

Plus, Dean has a surprise announcement up his sleeve, so stay tuned as we get the scoop on what he's up to!

Mar 04, 202230:32
S2 #08 Trees, Traffic, and more w/ Basil Langevin
Feb 25, 202225:54
S2 #07 Ubuntu and Social Changemaking w/ Moussa Magassa

S2 #07 Ubuntu and Social Changemaking w/ Moussa Magassa

An educator and facilitator at the University of Victoria, an online instructor at the University of BC, an associate faculty at Royal Roads University, a changemaker in the community, and a human rights and equity advocate in Canada, Dr Moussa Magassa brings his quiet wisdom to Amazing Places.

He shares with us the concept of Ubuntu, and how it shapes his personal belief system. Humans and humanity are also at the core of how Moussa interacts with the world: ‘Celebration is because we have people to celebrate with’.

In this month of February, designated as Black History Month, Moussa reminds us that Black history, recognition, and excellence is not only one month. Bringing light and enlightenment, his work as a change-maker includes all of us in our communities.

We talk about going to space and making space; and for the 2nd week in a row, Mahatma Gandhi gets a shout-out!

Feb 18, 202229:32
S2 #06 A Safe Place is an Amazing Place w/ Eric Misener

S2 #06 A Safe Place is an Amazing Place w/ Eric Misener

What could be a more amazing place than an inclusive safe place? There will be safe places for more people locally, thanks to Eric Misener, a constable with the Saanich Police Dept.

Police-initiated, but with fulsome community input, Eric spearheaded the Saanich Police Safe Place programme, which originated with Seattle Police Dept.

The Saanich PD Safe Place programme aims to increase safety for marginalised members of our community, including the IBPOC, LGBTQ2S, and unhoused communities. Along with SPD colleagues, the group consulted with the Greater Victoria Police Diversity Advisory Committee, Victoria Pride Society and the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria. 

SPD Safe Place designations have already been made at most Saanich Municipality facilities, along with Saanich Fire, Saanich Recreation, and Saanich Emergency Programme. 

Listen in as Eric explains the programme, why it’s important, and how your business or employer can get involved. He also shares some mental health insights and tells us about his “fish room”!

Feb 11, 202234:23
S2 #05 Amazing is right HERE! w/ Fiona Bramble

S2 #05 Amazing is right HERE! w/ Fiona Bramble

Amazing is right HERE!

As the Founder, CEO, & Managing Editor of HERE Magazine, and the parent organisation, REP Here In Canada, Fiona Bramble is constantly in motion. Fortunately, we were able to have her sit down long enough to have a chat.

While Fiona and HERE are based in Victoria, she connects people and communities across Canada. Both funny and touching, she shares stories about newcomers, immigrants, and refugees along the way. She has gathered a wide array of people and organisations around her to collaborate on some amazing events and programmes. From arts to job skills to health to literacy to technology, listen to how the HERE team employs an innovative approach in their outreach.

We’ll also reminisce about why we both get verklempt on the significance of a photo with BC Premier John Horgan.

We hope that you’ll enjoy learning more about this inclusive and diverse community, within our community.

Feb 04, 202234:28
S2 #04 Cowper's Caper - A Saanich Scandal! w/ Kimberly Head
Jan 28, 202235:35
Colwood Is Calling w/ Gordie Logan

Colwood Is Calling w/ Gordie Logan

Colwood is calling. Here at Amazing Places, we heard the call, so we invited Colwood Councillor Gordie Logan to join us this week. We’ve got parks and politics on the table, and especially the jewel - Latoria Creek Park.

Give us a listen; you’ll learn how extensive the Colwood park network really is, what’s planned for this summer, his personal apple fritter recommendation, park accessibility, and even the location of a hidden gem. That’s right - he spills the tea on a Colwood secret!

In true gremlin style, it appears one snuck in and snipped the last few minutes of this week’s podcast. While we’re missing Councillor Logan extolling the virtues of living in Colwood, and his welcome message to businesses to invest in Colwood, you can be sure we’ll ask him back in the future. Oh, and there’s the subject of a safe Galloping Goose crossing still to be discussed!

Jan 21, 202234:50
S2 #02 What Lies Beneath Us w/ John Cassidy

S2 #02 What Lies Beneath Us w/ John Cassidy

While we could have talked to seismologist John Cassidy for hours, we managed to pack a whole lot of information into 30 minutes. Join us as he takes us on a learning journey, covering the 3 types of local earthquakes, which municipality in the CRD is the geological newcomer, how to know that a tsunami has been generated, revealing just how close the Devil's Mountain Fault is to Victoria, giving us a whole lot of resources, and telling us the fascinating story behind an upcoming 322nd anniversary!

Jan 14, 202231:21
S2 #01 Community Options and Options for Community w/ Kathleen Burton

S2 #01 Community Options and Options for Community w/ Kathleen Burton

A small organisation with a big heart, Community Options for Children and Families works rather quietly in our region, supporting children, adults, and families. 

In true, "It takes a village" style, COCF Executive Director Kathleen Burton explains who supports them in supporting community. Learn about opportunities on how you can join in this village, as well as a wonderful fundraiser that local business Heirloom Linens is doing to support COCF.

Please join us for our Season 2 opener, as we talk about volunteering, tie-dyeing, community, government, planting flowers, not-for-profits, and barbeques and picnics! 

Jan 07, 202220:51
#66 What are you doing for YOU this coming year? w/ Colin Plant

#66 What are you doing for YOU this coming year? w/ Colin Plant

Are you making a resolution that you want, or that you're "supposed" to want? Teacher, Saanich Councillor, and CRD Chair Colin Plant, joins us this week to talk about parks, hiking, favourite local brunch spot, physical fitness, mental wellness, and New Year's resolutions. 

At this time last year, Colin and his wife Catherine went for a hike, and agreed to make time for health and each other, every week. They have managed to keep that resolution all year long in 2021. Listen along for his insight into how he managed to do that, and how you might too in 2022!

Dec 31, 202115:44
#65 'Twas A Snufflewort Christmas (reading) w/ Jean Paetkau

#65 'Twas A Snufflewort Christmas (reading) w/ Jean Paetkau

As Christmas Eve falls on a Friday this year, we decided to change it up this week. We're publishing a day early, and this is not your usual Amazing Places podcast!
Author and award-winning journalist Jean Paetkau has returned to bring us all a special treat: she's reading her holiday poem, "Twas A Snufflewort Christmas".
We've positioned it as a bedtime story for children, but use it however you wish, whether before your afternoon nap, or to settle the little ones for a long winter's nap.

Kerchiefs and caps optional. ;)

Dec 23, 202106:25
#64 What's that on the school roof? w/ Ed Wiebe

#64 What's that on the school roof? w/ Ed Wiebe

Did you know that your local school might be part of the School-Based Weather Station Network, Schools up and down Vancouver Island, as well as a few other buildings, have compact weather stations on their rooves! 

Ed Wiebe, from UVIC's School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, joins us on this episode, to give us the history of the project, the challenges during a pandemic, and fascinating weather info from cold fronts to a meteotsunami!

While I've used the website for years to check weather in my neighbourhood, Ed provides much more context as to all the ways the collected data can be used. If you're a weather buff, you'll enjoy listening.

Dec 18, 202126:12
#63 The World of Snuffleworts w/ Jean Paetkau

#63 The World of Snuffleworts w/ Jean Paetkau

How did you spend the height of the pandemic? Step in to the world of the Snuffleworts, with award-winning journalist Jean Paetkau, who along with her 2 children, wrote a wonderful tale that adults and children can enjoy.

Dec 03, 202117:45
#62 Are you prepared? w/ Ian Foss

#62 Are you prepared? w/ Ian Foss

Episode 62 of Amazing Places! Are you prepared for natural and climate disasters? This week we're talking to local emergency preparedness expert, Ian Foss. Originally intended this episode to highlight his baking exploits during the pandemic, recent emergencies in BC have us focusing on how we can prepare for such emergencies. (And we still managed to fit in some baking!)

Nov 26, 202120:52
#61 Stay Amazing! w/ Michele Sealey

#61 Stay Amazing! w/ Michele Sealey

Episode 61 of Amazing Places! This week Michele Sealey, local writer and communications specialist, steps in front of the microphone for a special episode that's all about Amazing Places!
Nov 19, 202123:22
#60 What's a Woonerf? w/ John O'Brien & Robin Drader

#60 What's a Woonerf? w/ John O'Brien & Robin Drader

Episode 60 of Amazing Places! What even is a Woonerf?? You may have seen it at Oaklands Rise. Or maybe you've been impressed by them in European cities. John O'Brien & Robin Drader drop by the podcast to tell us about the sidewalk-free walking experience that is the Oaklands Rise Woonerf.
Sep 24, 202129:49
#59 Supporting our community's most vulnerable w/ Adam Richards & Joanne Linka
Sep 17, 202133:14
#58 Election 2021: Housing w/ Leo Spalteholz
Sep 10, 202133:49
#57 Diverse & inclusive housing in Saanich w/ Zac de Vries
Sep 03, 202120:18
#56 "The perfect highway alternative" - Rapid Transit w/ Eric Doherty
Aug 27, 202135:11
#55 Sustainable transportation w/ Neil Arason
Aug 20, 202132:34
#54 Painting the streets w/ Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff

#54 Painting the streets w/ Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff

Episode 54 of Amazing Places! Creating places for people is a passion for my returning guest this week. Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff has his third turn on the podcast to talk about the growing number of Little Free Libraries and why we should put art on the roads.
Aug 13, 202132:09
#53 A life changed w/ Sher Wilson
Aug 06, 202136:43
#52 "Homelessness is definitely a solvable problem" w/ Nicole Chaland

#52 "Homelessness is definitely a solvable problem" w/ Nicole Chaland

Episode 52 of Amazing Places! Nicole Chaland is the author of a recent report on solving homelessness in the Capital Region. We discuss the major findings and recommendations of the report and if it might really make a meaningful difference.
Jul 30, 202133:24
#51 Places for people w/ Lorne Daniel and Ray Straatsma
Jul 23, 202137:00
#50 Tilting toward affordability w/ Lisa Helps

#50 Tilting toward affordability w/ Lisa Helps

Episode 50 of Amazing Places! This week we’re celebrating 1 year of the podcast with our 50th episode. Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps returns to the podcast this week to talk about tilting toward affordability in Victoria. We discuss her recent blog post and ideas about the zoning process and ways to shorten the protracted approval process with the intent of creating more housing for people in Victoria.
Jul 17, 202134:39
#49 The future is mobile w/ Todd Litman
Jul 09, 202137:30
#48 Reclamation & Indigenous Resurgence w/ Dr. Jeff Corntassel

#48 Reclamation & Indigenous Resurgence w/ Dr. Jeff Corntassel

Episode 48 of Amazing Places! Reclaiming the Indigenous names of significant places is a small but meaningful step of Reconciliation. This week, Dr. Jeff Corntassel joins the podcast to talk about the importance of the land and the names it’s given. We also discuss July 1 as a day of reflection and mourning.

Dr. Jeff Corntassel is a citizen of Cherokee Nation, Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies and Associate Director of UVic’s Centre for Indigenous Research and Community-led Engagement
Jun 30, 202129:55
#47 Challenging Victoria's Community Associations w/ Dr. Jeremy Caradonna & Alieda Blandford
Jun 25, 202136:60
#46 Regional transportation solutions w/ Rebecca Mersereau

#46 Regional transportation solutions w/ Rebecca Mersereau

Episode 46 of Amazing Places! Does the South Island need a TransLink? This week, Rebecca Mersereau, Saanich Councillor & CRD Board Vice Chair is my guest. We discuss the region's transportation priorities. Is this our chance to solve the the South Island's transportation challenges? Is a new transportation authority in the cards?

Jun 18, 202133:47
#45 Housing crisis solutions w/ Leo Spalteholz

#45 Housing crisis solutions w/ Leo Spalteholz

Episode 45 of Amazing Places! How can we change this housing crisis we're in? My guest this week is Leo Spalteholz, analyst at House Hunt Victoria and contributor to Homes for Living. We discuss solutions to Greater Victoria's housing crisis.

Check out Leo's blog, House Hunt Victoria:

Leo's housing advocacy group, Homes for Living:

Jun 11, 202134:37
#44 Reinventing our streets w/ Kevin Krizek & David King

#44 Reinventing our streets w/ Kevin Krizek & David King

Episode 44 of Amazing Places! What is the future of our streets? How about a little variety? Cars have been the dominant use of the roads for a century. As we enter an era of experimenting with different ways of using our streets, we realize their untapped potential for community benefit. This week, I'm joined by Kevin Krizek, Professor of Environmental Design at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and David King, Urban Planning faculty at Arizona State University. Kevin and David share their vision for prioritizing multi-modal transport systems that promote access.

Check out some of Kevin and David's research and ideas:

Advanced Introduction to Urban Transport Planning:

The Future of Streets:

How the COVID-19 pandemic can reshape our streets and relationship to cars:

This Is Our Chance to Reclaim Cities from Cars:

The power of reforming streets to boost access for human-scaled vehicles:

VIEWPOINT: Accelerating reform to govern streets in support of human-scaled accessibility:

Viewpoint: Visioning transport futures through windows of opportunity: changing streets and human-scaled networks:

Streets Are Arable Lands Lying Fallow:

Can street-focused emergency response measures trigger a transition to new transport systems?

Jun 04, 202136:29
#43 Who leashed the dogs up? w/ Judy Brownoff

#43 Who leashed the dogs up? w/ Judy Brownoff

Episode 43 of Amazing Places! There's been a lot of barking in the District of Saanich recently. As Council considers changes to off-leash rules for dogs in parks, there's concern it's happening without consultation. This week Saanich Councillor Judy Brownoff joins the podcast to discuss a temporary off-leash pilot, a motion to leash-up dogs in three Saanich parks, and we even talk about food trucks!
May 28, 202133:07
#42 Creating equitable and inclusive housing w/ Tamara Krawchenko

#42 Creating equitable and inclusive housing w/ Tamara Krawchenko

Episode 42 of Amazing Places! How do we create more equitable and inclusive housing in our communities? This week, Tamara Krawchenko, Assistant Professor at UVic's School of Public Administration, joins the podcast. We discuss the history of exclusionary land use practices and how all level of governments have responsibility to create more equitable and inclusive housing in our communities.

May 21, 202131:36
#41 Family Cycling w/ Robert Kemp & Edward Pullman
May 14, 202139:33
#40 Know when to fold 'em - No casino for Saanich w/ Fred Haynes

#40 Know when to fold 'em - No casino for Saanich w/ Fred Haynes

Episode 40 of Amazing Places! This week Saanich Council voted unanimously to reject a casino in the community. Mayor Fred Haynes had been describing the benefits of a potential casino. On Monday night he joined his Council colleagues in rejecting the idea. He joins the podcast this week to discuss what motivated Council's choice and what other opportunities exist for economic development in Saanich.

This episode was edited after it was originally published.

May 14, 202135:39
#39 Future of Transit w/ Susan Brice

#39 Future of Transit w/ Susan Brice

Episode 39 of Amazing Places! What’s the pandemic’s impact on transit? What does the future of transit look like in our region? This week Susan Brice, Victoria Regional Transit Commissioner Chair and Saanich Councillor, joins us to discuss our transit future.
Apr 30, 202132:35
#38 Capital Bike w/ Meredith James & Corey Burger

#38 Capital Bike w/ Meredith James & Corey Burger

Episode 38 of Amazing Places! There's a new cycling advocacy group in town! Capital Bike is the new name for the merger of the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition and Bike to Work Victoria. This week, Meredith James, Co-Chair of Capital Bike, and Corey Burger, Policy and Infrastructure Chair of Capital Bike, join me to discuss the new group and what it means for cycling in our region.

Find out more:

Watch the Capital Bike announcement event:

Apr 23, 202152:12
#37 - “If not here, then where?” - A panel discussion on Missing Middle housing

#37 - “If not here, then where?” - A panel discussion on Missing Middle housing

Episode 37 of Amazing Places is a special live episode! This week we held a live discussion via zoom with a panel of guests, talking about housing in the Capital Region. Panelist are Rebecca Mersereau, Saanich Councillor & CRD Director; Julian West, Urban Thrive Developments; Christine Lintott, Christine Lintott Architects; and Matt Dell, President, South Jubilee Neighbourhood Association. Panelists take questions that were submitted in advance and through the zoom chat.
Apr 16, 202101:25:57
#36 Supporting our local businesses w/ Katrina Dwulit and Jeff Bray

#36 Supporting our local businesses w/ Katrina Dwulit and Jeff Bray

Episode 36 of Amazing Places! We're in Wave Three of the pandemic. This week's provincial health orders are meant to keep us safe but are making it hard for our favourite local businesses to stay open. What can we do to support local businesses? Katrina Dwulit, founder and ED of the Esquimalt Farmers Market and Jeff Bray, ED of the Downtown Victoria Business Association are my guests this week.

Apr 09, 202134:40
#35 Better Mobility Saanich w/ Elise Cote & Sarah Frumento
Mar 26, 202143:47
#34 Eliminating racial discrimination w/ Sharmarke Dubow

#34 Eliminating racial discrimination w/ Sharmarke Dubow

Episode 34 of Amazing Places! This week we recognize the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21. My guest is first-term Victoria City Councillor Sharmarke Dubow. Sharmarke shares his own experience as a refugee and the racial discrimination he's encountered as an elected official. We discuss the power of empathy and the work for us all to call out discrimination and raise up the voices of the vulnerable and underrepresented.
Mar 19, 202144:50
#33 Saanich’s Housing Strategy w/ Zac de Vries

#33 Saanich’s Housing Strategy w/ Zac de Vries

Episode 33 of Amazing Places! This week Saanich Councillor and Housing Task Force Chair Zac de Vries joins us to discuss Saanich’s forthcoming Housing Strategy
Mar 12, 202132:09
#32 Creating access to nature w/ Tim Cormode
Mar 06, 202130:24
#31 Farm or wetland preserve? Can Panama Flats be both? w/ Linda Geggie and Hollis Hodson

#31 Farm or wetland preserve? Can Panama Flats be both? w/ Linda Geggie and Hollis Hodson

Episode 31 of Amazing Places! This week we talk about the future of Saanich's Panama Flats. Neighbours want to see the land turned into a wetland preserve. Others want to see the land used for food production. Is there a chance that Panama Flats can be both? My guests this week are Linda Geggie of the Capital Region Food and Agricultural Initiatives Roundtable and Hollis Hodson, President of the Residents Association of Strawberry Vale, Marigold and Glanford.

Feb 26, 202149:10
#30 Is building height a big deal? w/ Matt Dell and Thomas Guerrero

#30 Is building height a big deal? w/ Matt Dell and Thomas Guerrero

Episode 30 of Amazing Places! What's the big deal about building height? This week Matt Dell and Thomas Guerrero join the podcast to discuss development downtown Victoria and in our residential neighbourhoods. Matt Dell is the host of Best Coast Political Podcast. Thomas Guerrero is the author of Sidewalking Victoria.

Feb 19, 202140:06
#29 Livable roads for Rural Saanich w/ Pam Harrison and Sarah Frumento

#29 Livable roads for Rural Saanich w/ Pam Harrison and Sarah Frumento

Episode 29 of Amazing Places! The rural parts of our community offer a quiet charm that's so unlike the busy urban core. But for area residents, more needs to be done to address the speed and volume of traffic that detracts from their quality of life. This week, Pam Harrison and Sarah Frumento from the group Livable Roads for Rural Saanich join the podcast to discuss the traffic calming interventions they want to see for their neighbourhood.
Feb 12, 202137:46
#28 Healthy planet, Healthy people w/ Dr. Trevor Hancock
Feb 05, 202132:48
#27 Connecting with nature w/ Suzanne Samborski and Eva Riccius

#27 Connecting with nature w/ Suzanne Samborski and Eva Riccius

Episode 27 of Amazing Places! This week, we're talking about finding happiness in our natural environments. Suzanne Samborski, Director of Saanich's Parks, Recreation and Community Services, and Eva Riccius, Saanich's Parks Manager join the podcast to talk about the benefits to our health and well-being that Saanich's 170 special spaces have to offer.
Jan 29, 202130:20
#26 Victoria's tiny homes & slow streets w/ Jeremy Loveday

#26 Victoria's tiny homes & slow streets w/ Jeremy Loveday

Episode 26 of Amazing Places! This week Victoria City Councillor and CRD Director Jeremy Loveday joins the podcast. 2021 is off to a busy start in the City of Victoria. We discuss creating transition housing for some of Victoria's homeless population and a 30km/h speed limit pilot for Victoria's neighbourhood streets.

Jan 22, 202131:04
#25 Pulling together for the Pandemic recovery w/ Maja Tait

#25 Pulling together for the Pandemic recovery w/ Maja Tait

Episode 25 of Amazing Places! This week Sooke Mayor and Union of BC Municipalities Past President Maja Tait joins the podcast. How do communities prepare for the year ahead? We discuss working with senior governments and communities across the province to shore up municipal programs and services during the challenging year ahead, and what do residents expect from their governments in a post-pandemic world?

Jan 15, 202134:52
#24 What the New Year brings w/ Judy Brownoff

#24 What the New Year brings w/ Judy Brownoff

Episode 24 of Amazing Places! This week Saanich Councillor Judy Brownoff joins the podcast to talk about what 2021 could bring. We cover the gamut with discussions about active transportation, climate change, age-friendly communities, parking requirements and meeting the growing need for housing in Saanich.

Jan 09, 202134:58
#23 Creating connections w/ Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff

#23 Creating connections w/ Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff

Episode 23 of Amazing Places! This week Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff returns to the podcast to discuss loneliness. This holiday season is going to be different than years past. For those who live alone, it could feel very lonely. Teale and I discuss the effects of loneliness and isolation and things that communities, governments and NGOs can do to help rebuild networks to connect us.

Dec 13, 202036:24
#22 Speaking with a Collective Voice w/ Colin Plant

#22 Speaking with a Collective Voice w/ Colin Plant

Episode 22 of Amazing Places! This week, CRD Board Chair and 2-term Saanich Councillor, Colin Plant joins the podcast. We discuss the region’s approach to climate change, transportation and pandemic response and recovery.
Dec 04, 202030:33
#21 Unleashing the City’s potential w/ Lisa Helps

#21 Unleashing the City’s potential w/ Lisa Helps

Episode 21 of Amazing Places! City of Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps joins us this week. Mayor Helps says it’s the job of city governments to create places where people feel like they belong. We talk about active transportation, creating well-being, pandemic patios, downtown holiday shopping and becoming a 21st Century city.
Nov 27, 202036:48
#20 Building compact, mixed-use communities w/ Luke Mari, Julian West and Ryan Jabs

#20 Building compact, mixed-use communities w/ Luke Mari, Julian West and Ryan Jabs

Episode 20 of Amazing Places! This week, we talk to the builders in our communities. Community leaders espouse car-free, transit and active transporation-oriented development. What are the barriers to making it happen in our urban and suburban centres? Luke Mari, Aryze Developments; Julian West, Urban Thrive; and Ryan Jabs, Lapis Homes join the podcast to talk about building compact, mixed-used communities that's geared toward sustainable mobility options like transit and active transportation.
Nov 20, 202039:54
#19 Buying local this holiday season w/ Jeff Bray, Caitlynn Neal & Katrina Dwulit
Nov 13, 202032:01
#18 Cycling in our cities w/ Ray Straatsma and Corey Burger

#18 Cycling in our cities w/ Ray Straatsma and Corey Burger

Episode 18 of Amazing Places! This week, Ray Straatsma and Corey Burger, two prominent local cycling advocates, join us to discuss Greater Victoria's growing cycling network and why creating safe spaces for cyclists to ride is crucial to our commuting future. Ray Straatsma is a Board Director of the BC Cycling Coalition. Corey Burger is Policy and Infrastructure Chair of the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition.

Intro theme: That's me on guitar. Thanks for putting up with it!

Nov 07, 202038:55
#17 High cost of free parking w/ Todd Litman

#17 High cost of free parking w/ Todd Litman

Episode 17 of Amazing Places! This week, Todd Litman, Executive Director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute joins the podcast to talk about the hidden costs of free parking. There's no such thing as free parking. Whether it's the added construction costs of underground parking or the spot outside your house, parking costs add up.

Check out Todd's work at the Victoria Transport Policy Institute

Cities for Everyone is a community organization that supports more affordable housing and transportation in order to provide security, mobility and opportunity for people with all incomes and abilities.

Intro Theme: Yep, that's me playing guitar. Thought I'd try something new. Hope you enjoy it.

Oct 30, 202043:19
#16 Slower speeds for Saanich streets w/ Rebecca Mersereau
Oct 25, 202032:51
#15 South Island Transportation w/ David Screech

#15 South Island Transportation w/ David Screech

Episode 15 of Amazing Places! How do we solve the region's transportation challenges?  This week my guest is View Royal Mayor David Screech. We discuss  improving transportation in the South Island, including better transit service, E&N and Light Rail, and regional trails. Check out Mayor Screech's bio: Intro theme courtesy of
Oct 25, 202024:37
#14 BC Election on the South Island w/ Dan Reeve and Travis Paterson
Oct 25, 202046:55
#13 Right of Way w/ Angie Schmitt
Oct 25, 202025:27
#12 Creating a diversity of housing options w/ Andrew Appleton
Oct 25, 202026:41
#11 Creating Happiness w/ Mitchell Reardon
Oct 25, 202033:08
#10 Ahead of its time - Colwood's Ocean Blvd experiment w/ Gordie Logan
Oct 25, 202022:55
#9 We're in the driver's seat! How can we eliminate injury and death on our roads? w/ Neil Arason
Oct 25, 202028:39
#8 Be bold! Re-leveling our streets as public space w/ Patrick Johnstone
Oct 24, 202023:57
#7 Cheers! Celebrating Greater Victoria's Craft Beer Culture w/ Cora Barber, Gary Lindsay, Ryan Orr and Dave Dickson
Oct 24, 202031:38
#6 A little bit quirky! Placemaking in our communities w/ Michelle Mulder
Oct 24, 202032:25
#5 The future is local w/ Thomas Guerrero
Oct 24, 202022:32
#4 Walkable communities w/ Alix Tier
Oct 24, 202026:36
#3 Urban green spaces w/ Ned Taylor

#3 Urban green spaces w/ Ned Taylor

Episode 3 of the Amazing Places podcast! We know about the importance of parks and green spaces for our health and well-being, and as places for people to get together or seek refuge and solitude. Should that include food trucks and alcohol? In this episode, Saanich Councillor Ned Taylor joins the podcast to discuss changes to Saanich's parks to make them more dynamic places. We also touch on creating new, "pocket parks" in places where green spaces are lacking.

Intro theme courtesy of

Oct 24, 202027:02
#2 Just try it! Will pilot projects define the new normal? w/ Travis Paterson

#2 Just try it! Will pilot projects define the new normal? w/ Travis Paterson

Episode 2 of Amazing Places! Will the loss of 4 parking spots put Oak Bay shops out of business? Patios replace parking in Fernwood. Will pilot projects define the new normal? Black Press Report Travis Paterson joins the podcast this week to share his perspective on what's going on for shop owners and patrons in Oak Bay and Fernwood.

Check out Travis's article here:

Intro theme courtesy of

Oct 24, 202028:41
#1 Re-imagining our public spaces w/ Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff
Oct 24, 202027:23