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Canada’s rugby women win Olympic spot in Langford tourney, but men fall to USA

Plus, smoke leaves the Westshore, a Cyclone in Esquimalt, and more

Good morning!

The Canadian rugby teams brought out incredible performances in Langford this weekend, as the women’s team went on to take gold and a spot in the Paris 2024 Olympic games. The men’s team came home with silver, and despite their loss against the US, they will have another chance to take their place in the 2024 Olympics.


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Canada’s rugby women win Olympic spot in Langford tourney, but men fall to USA

The Sevens women won their international tourney under hazy local skies on Sunday. Photo from Rugby Canada (Kevin Light)

A blowout 53-0 win over Mexico has sent the women of the national Sevens program, which is based here in the Westshore, to the Paris 2024 Olympics. By winning the 2023 Rugby Americas North Sevens tournament, which they hosted this past weekend, they became Canada’s first team-sport athletes to lock in a Paris 2024 berth.

They got to that gold-medal match [watch it here] with an undefeated Saturday, then a 41-7 semifinal win vs. St. Lucia. Those points were the only opponent scoring that the women conceded all weekend, beating opponents 288-7 combined. Between the two Sunday games, the women had three different players score three tries each: Krissy Scurfield, Fancy Bermudez, and Asia Hogan-Rochester.

Silver—and a chance to still make Paris—for men

The men also advanced after a dominant Saturday and easy semifinal win (54-5 over Mexico), but faced a stronger opponent in fellow undefeated team USA [rewatch the game here]. Canada went up 7-5 in the first, but a last-minute US try ended the half and the Americans kept it up in the second, going on to win 24-14.

The men will now have to get to the Olympics via next year’s Final Olympic Repechage Tournament, which they have qualified for.

The men won a similar do-or-die tournament this May, finishing atop the pack in London, to keep the final spot in the world’s top Sevens league as it shrinks from 16 to 12 teams. The women finished the World Series season in 9th, the same position they took at the Tokyo Olympics—a step back after winning bronze at Rio 2016. The men finished Tokyo in 8th.


Photo: Marc J. Chalifoux

Early bird Nutcracker tickets; Ukrainian Shumka Dancers and Victoria Symphony

The Westshore readers save up to 20% off regular priced adult tickets to Ukrainian Shumka Dancers’ Nutcracker. Promo code: Nut-Westshore.

Dec. 1-3, 2023
Tickets at Royal and McPherson Theatres or call the box office at 250-386-6121.


Smoke leaves the Westshore as Kelowna continues to burn

Cameron Bluffs wildfire earlier this summer. Photo: James MacDonald / Capital Daily

BC is on alert after the province declared a state of emergency on Aug. 18 after 30,000 people evacuated Kelowna to escape the ongoing McDougall Creek wildfire. 

Residents and visitors are trying to find shelter in a number of ways, with many looking to other provinces or the US as a safe space. Despite the evacuation order, a large number of people have gotten stuck on their journey as roads close and flights out of Kelowna are grounded.

Westshore safe for now

Many locals across the Westshore experienced terrible smokey conditions over the weekend, as the wildfire’s effects traveled as far as other provinces. While the air quality is considered a low risk in the area, the province is asking people to take precautions and stay safe.

Temperatures are lower than last week, with wildfire dangers dropping across the Island. Despite this, the Greater Victoria area is still in High to Extreme wildfire danger, and the entire Island is at a level 5 drought.

Communities can take precautions by conserving water, safely storing cigarette butts and educating themselves on fire danger, as this summer continues to be Canada’s worst wildfire season yet.

Around the 'Shore

🔥 Residents still upset over lack of communication three months after Sooke fire: Four buildings under construction were destroyed after a fire took place at 6700 Steeple Chase in Sooke on May 2, and residents are still confused with the lack of information provided by the district. While construction has proceeded, many are still upset and traumatized while waiting for property owners to give a proper explanation. [Vancouver Island Free Daily]

🚁 A CH-148 Cyclone helicopter landed in Esquimalt for a demonstration: On Aug. 18, a landing demonstration of a Cyclone helicopter took place at CFB Esquimalt’s Work Point property as part of the Royal Canadian Navy’s Raven Program for Indigenous youth. This national program was designed to create bridges with Indigenous communities, along with part or full-time employment with the Canadian Armed Forces after completion. [Victoria Buzz]

⛔️ Protesters continue a blockade on T’Sou-ke Nation with no plans to stop: Sooke protesters have halted work on sewage and wastewater infrastructure for a planned subdivision at the end of McMillan Road, as protesters led by Charlene George (kQwa’st’not) and her daughter, Kati George-Jim, wis-waa-cha stand strong. The community feels there was no input on their part, and hopes the protest will get people’s attention and support. [Goldstream Gazette]

📅 Sept 14, 11am-2pm: Experience United Way's Campaign Kick-off at Centennial Square. Music, food, and surprises await. You are invited to this captivating free event!*

*Sponsored Listing

Want to sponsor The Westshore newsletter? Get in touch.

Community Events

🚔 RCMP Career Information Session: Looking for a job? The Westshore Mounties are hiring, and hosting an information session Aug. 25 from 4 to 5:30pm at the West Shore detachment. With presentations from recruiters with experience, and an open house from 1 to 4pm beforehand, this is a good opportunity to get to know more about the local police and their service.

🪡 Haze: Summer markets are a community favourite, so locals should get excited for the Haze market coming to Langford Station this Aug. 26. Enjoy the last Made. Market of the summer from 10am to 3pm, with over 30 vendors, delicious food trucks, and even a gin tasting.

🏈 Westshore Rebels Game: Support the home team and purchase tickets for the Aug. 26 Rebels football game against the Okanagan Sun. If you miss this game, you can purchase tickets for upcoming games until the season ends in November.

What’s Offshore?

No ships today!

Westshore Snaps

Heron in the sun. –Paul Young, Langford

📸 Snapped a photo you’d like to share? Send it with a caption and don’t forget to add where you live.

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