The man behind the mysterious carving

Plus, losing trees in Colwood, rents are extremely high, and more

Good morning!

A carving has popped up along the side of Highway 14, and many locals are curious about the mysterious and unique statue. We chatted with the artist behind the carving in today’s newsletter.


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A mysterious carving pops up along Highway 14

Ryan Cook, an Island local and well-known carver, is the artist behind the new carving residents have been spotting while driving along Highway 14 past Sooke and towards Shirley. Cook was staying in Shirley when he was inspired by this eight-foot stump off Highway 14.

He took a gamble, double-checked with his wife, and then decided to grab his tools out of his trunk and transform the stump into a piece of art.

“It was almost on top of a cliff and very dangerous, my chain broke and everything that could have gone wrong went wrong, but I just kept going because it just felt like it was gonna be something,” says Cook. “There's something that drove me to it and I just think it was very fun, exhilarating and the response has been amazing.”

While Cook loves the artistry in wood-work, it’s the thrill of it all that drives his passion. The carving along Highway 14 was Cook’s second “impulsive-project” with his first in Squamish where he is based.


Dance Victoria presents New York’s world-class Gibney Company

From its home at the heart of Broadway, New York’s virtuosic Gibney Company showcases masterfully executed contemporary dance creations from both world-renowned choreographers and emerging visionaries.

Dance Victoria presents the world class artists Nov 17 and 18 at Royal Theatre. Tickets and info here.


Colwood development raises concerns for loss of trees

Langford and Colwood are losing green space as they grow into larger suburban centres. Photo: Shutterstock

The construction of a 67-unit condo on Sooke Road has some residents in Colwood worried that the development will change their neighbourhood for the worse, not better. Rapid growth and developments like these can lead to noticeable and irrevocable changes in the way neighbourhoods feel, and some people living in Colwood say some of the coming changes are not welcome.

At last week’s Colwood city council meeting, a number of constituents rose to speak to their concerns about potential traffic volume and the loss of cherished neighbourhood trees around the proposed construction of a six-storey, 67-unit condo development by Land Vision Group at the corner of Lynnlark and Sooke Roads. One long-time resident spoke to the coming losses he and his neighbours will be facing.

“All the trees on this property are going to get torn down. Every single one. All the neighbours are upset.” Some of the trees have come off the development site itself, but many others, owing to their extensive root systems, will come off private properties around the site. Another resident who has lived in Colwood for 50 years, pointed out that “over one hundred, 150-foot trees have already come down on the site in the last six months.”

Around the 'Shore

🚔 Suspect wanted for multiple crimes is arrested: Westshore RCMP arrested a 33-year-old male who was witnessed to have committed a series of crimes on Oct. 14 between View Royal and Langford. The suspect was arrested on two counts of theft, assault, and mischief, and was released when sober on an Undertaking and with conditions; the man is scheduled to appear in court later this month.

⚠️ Sooke joining the Great BC Shakeout: On Oct. 19 from 10:19–10:24am, the Sooke community is asking residents to join the BC Shakeout Earthquake drill—a day where millions of people worldwide will practice how to “Drop, Cover and Hold On” in the case of an earthquake. As BC is considered to have the highest risk of earthquakes in Canada, and Vancouver Island experienced shakes from a 4.9 magnitude earthquake just off Port Hardy Sunday evening, over 530,000 people have registered to join the drill.

😬 Feeling stuck? You’re not alone. Learn about coming unstuck at Intertidal Counselling & Wellness. They’re Westshore locals and they’re there to help.*

📈 Greater Victoria two-bedroom rents at extremely high rates: Recently residential reports show that rent on two-bedroom units have increased since the last report. With prices higher than even entire houses, some residents are also reporting that incoming tenants are paying a premium compared to those who moved into buildings earlier. [Vancouver Island Free Daily]

🏥 BC emphasizes background checks for hospitals: The government has warned hospitals across the province that Charrybelle Talaue has been posing as a registered nurse in order to seek employment at a hospital. The BC College of Nurses and Midwives maintains that Talaue, who uses aliases to register at different hospitals, has never been a registered nurse and is not allowed to practice—the government hopes hospitals take this as a reminder to do thorough background checks on all employees. [Times Colonist]

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Community Events

💡 Night Light Walk in Esquimalt: Victoria Buzz’s Nicole Bentham is hosting the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation Night Light Walk this Oct. 19 to raise awareness and fundraising for victims of domestic violence. Starting at 6:30pm at the Esquimalt Gorge Park Pavilion, locals will get the chance to listen to inspiring stories from survivors of abuse; after, a three-kilometre walk through the community will show support for those affected by domestic violence. A Night Light Walk knit hat and LED bracelet will be given out to those who participate.

🚲 GoByBike Week: On Oct. 20, make your way to Colwood's GoByBike Week Celebration Station on from 7-9am. The event will be held on the Galloping Goose Trail near the Colwood Park & Ride. With coffee, snacks, prizes, bike mechanics, and much more, the event is a great opportunity to mingle and even check out the site of the future Galloping Goose pedestrian and cycling overpass.

📚 Bliss Book Club meetup: Looking to meet book-lovers? On Oct. 20 from 6-8pm, Bliss Book Club is hosting a tea and mingle at Flourish BeauTea. Meet new friends, talk about your favourite reads, and have a drink and cookie of your choice; you can reserve a ticket for the event online.

What’s Offshore?

🚢 The Dietrich Oldendorff is a bulk carrier built in 2020 and is sailing under the flag of Liberia. It is sailing from Hong Kong 🇭🇰 ➡ Vancouver 🇨🇦 and was scheduled to arrive Oct. 11.

Westshore Snaps

Windy Day at Fisgard Lighthouse. —Richard Steward, View Royal

📸 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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