$250,000 towards Royal Roads Japanese teahouse

Plus, Langford's first pride, high fire danger, food safe course, and more

Good morning! 

The Royal Roads Japanese garden is a location enjoyed by many in the community, with its peaceful setting and beautiful features attracting guests year round. With a recent donation from an alumni, locals will be able to enjoy a newly constructed teahouse in the fall of 2024. Read all about it, and more, in today’s edition of the Westshore.


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Royal Roads University one step closer to opening teahouse

Teahouse under construction. Photo: couresty of Royal Roads University

Royal Roads University just got one step closer to reaching its fundraising goal to create a teahouse in its 100-year-old Japanese garden, and the campus is hoping to complete the project for fall of this year. 

On July 4, the university announced that alumni Eve Martin, a graduate of the Master of Arts in Leadership and Training program, and her husband Paul donated $250,000 towards the project. Currently under construction, the teahouse will become a place for tea ceremonies and special gatherings to give students and visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in an educational experience of Japanese culture, heritage, and tradition.  

“I have many fond memories of the Japanese garden during my studies,” Martin said. “It was a calm, peaceful place that brought much needed space for reflection in the maelstrom of assignments, presentations and exams.”

Royal Roads’ 100-year-old Japanese garden is a well-known and loved spot to stop, mixing Japanese culture and history with beautiful wildlife and scenery. With the help of Martin’s donation, Royal Roads president and vice-chancellor Philip Steenkamp says that she is helping celebrate the importance of nature, history, and the future of students. 

“We’re very fortunate at Royal Roads that our place of learning is not limited to our classrooms,” said Steenkamp. “Eve and Paul’s generosity helps us to provide a place where visitors can immerse themselves in nature, ceremony and Japanese culture—we are deeply grateful for their support.”

The construction of the tea house is the first of several phases to revitalize the Japanese garden, with the university launching A Vision in Bloom in 2023, a fundraising campaign aiming to renew the garden while still keeping the design as close to the original as possible. Last year, TD bank donated $196,000 toward the food-growing garden at Royal Roads University.

Royal Roads tells the Westshore that “while funding is still required to close the fundraising gap, construction is expected to conclude in fall of 2024, and Royal Roads anticipates that events and programming including tea ceremony demonstrations associated with the teahouse will follow in the year ahead.”

The Teahouse initiative is part of the Vision in Bloom fundraising appeal, which Royal Roads says falls under the umbrella of the Leading with Courage campaign, which launched this year. This donation is one of the first going towards the campaign, which advocates for local and global communities to find solutions and connections that transform lives and the world. 

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Langford’s first Pride parade

Langford Councillors Kimberley Guiry, Mark Morley, Mary Wagner and Mayor Scott Goodmanson. Photo: Sidney Coles / The Westshore

It was hot, it was colourful. It was a first. This year there were 127 floats in the Victoria Pride parade and for the first time, the City of Langford was one of them. Thousands lined the streets to watch participants in the city’s 30th Pride parade and festival. This year was Victoria Pride Society’s best attended parade thus far. Various media estimates put numbers between 40,000 and 70,000 people who came out in the sweltering heat to show their love, support and solidarity for the CRD’s diverse rainbow community.

The Society’s vision is “a city free of marginalization, discrimination, and oppression, where members of Gender, Sex and Relationship Diversity (GSRD) communities are safe to live and love, openly and authentically.”

The Westshore spoke with Langford Mayor Scott Goodmanson and Langford councillors at their marshalling area just before the parade began.

“This is fantastic. Walking up and down the streets, seeing the folks getting together—just one huge community made up of numerous sub-communities whether it’s municipal communities, fire departments, hotels, businesses, school districts all here for one purpose,” said Goodmanson.

“We are so excited to be at Pride this year, Langford’s first pride parade—our community is just so diverse and beautiful, and we are celebrating this year with all the CRD,” said Coun. Kimberley Guiry.

Around the 'Shore

🔥 High fire danger warnings spread across the Island: Officials are warning residents across the Island to stay prepared as the hot and dry conditions persist, increasing the fire danger rating throughout the Island. While only the south part of the Island was rated as a high danger warning on July 6, almost all but the north part of the Island had changed to a high fire warning on July 7. [CHEK]

🏕️ Over 1,700 scouts arrive for jamboree: Scouts from all around the world have made their way to Camp Barnard, northwest of Sooke, on July 7 for Scouts Canada’s Pacific Jamboree. With activities, exploration, and even an overnight trip on the Juan de Fuca trail, there are around 1,700 scouts from the ages of 11 to 14 attending the week-long event. This is the third time Camp Barnard has hosted this jamboree, hosting back in 2015 and 2019. [Times Colonist

🚔 Police looking for suspect in hit and run: West Shore RCMP are looking for any information on a suspect who was involved with a hit and run collision on July 4. The incident happened around 5:30pm near the 1900 block of the Trans Canada Highway in View Royal when a black pickup truck came alongside an Elantra and collided into the driver's side twice; the occupants were unharmed. The suspect is a caucasian male in his 40s with grey collar-length hair. 

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Community Events

🖼️ Community art show: Head to the Arts and Culture Centre in Colwood this Wednesday, July 10 for its Community Art Show. Running until August 2, the show will feature local artists' visual art pieces, including a memorial section of artwork featuring Andrea England, who passed away recently. England was a visual artist well known on the South Island, and her her husband will pay special tribute to her at the event on July 13 and 27 at 1:30pm. The art show hours are from Wednesday through Friday from 10am to 3pm and Saturday from 12 to 4pm. 

⚽️ 2024 Telus Canadian Championship: Watch Pacific FC take on the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Wednesday, July 10 at the 2024 Telus Canadian Championship semifinals. Starting at 7pm at Starlight Stadium, the semifinals will be played in two matches, with the second match coming up on August 27 at BC Place. 

🍽️ Food safe course: Learn more about food borne illnesses and food safety techniques with the EMCS food safe course on July 13. Participants will have the chance to receive a BC recognized certificate from VIHA, valid for five years if they pass the final quiz. Going from 9am to 5pm, make sure to register over the phone at 250-642-6371 or via email to secure your place.

What’s Offshore?

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Westshore Snaps

Canada Day fireworks in Captain Jacobson Park. —Richard Steward, View Royal

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