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Spencer Middle School unveils a symbol of community and inclusivity

Plus, Langford's Tacofino debut, Colwood construction, Family Day, and more

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Good morning! 

It’s been a busy week with Lunar New Year festivities, Valentine’s Day, and now we are heading into Family Day weekend. If you’re looking for something to do with your loved ones this weekend, check out our events section. Now onto the newsletter!


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Spencer Middle School debuts new rainbow crosswalk

Spencer Middle School is paving the way for a more inclusive school environment after the City of Langford began installation of a rainbow crosswalk on Feb. 13. Hoping to bring safety, awareness, and more inclusivity, the project was started by members of the school’s Sexual Orientation, Gender Identities (SOGI) Club as a way to make all students, no matter their identity, feel supported.

“Adding a Progress Pride Flag crosswalk to our community will communicate the importance of diversity and hopefully unite the underrepresented 2SLGBTQIA+ youth, adults, seniors, and families in Langford,” the SOGI Group wrote in a letter to the City of Langford Mayor and Council.

SOGI requested that the crosswalk be painted with the colours of the Progress Pride Flag, which combines the Rainbow Pride Flag with the Transgender Flag, and includes colours to represent Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC).

The Progress Pride Flag was developed in 2018 by non-binary American artist and designer Daniel Quasar to celebrate the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community and call for a more inclusive society. The variety of differently designed pride flags is important because it helps highlight the different identities that fall under the umbrella; by creating the Progress Pride Flag, the redesign helps show that some subgroups are more visible than others and that it is important to increase the representation of discriminated minority identities within the community.

“I am so proud and impressed with the students in the SOGI Club. It takes courage to stand up for human rights and it takes grit to persevere on the journey of creating an inclusive, diverse, and respectful community,” said Jen Nixon, principal of Spencer Middle School.

Nixon said the students worked with leaders at the school including teacher Kelly McCarthy, student engagement facilitator Su Castle, and education assistant Rachelle Wadham. “These students have exemplified their commitment to being engaged citizens working to make society more welcoming for everyone,” said Nixon, adding, “we are grateful to the City of Langford for their support, enabling Spencer students to evolve into engaged, global citizens.”

Spencer Middle School’s goal is to cultivate a school culture and community where diversity, inclusion, and equity are acknowledged, respected, and honoured, and Nixon said the backing from the city on this project aligns with that goal.

The crosswalk will come as a refresh to the existing one at 1026 Goldstream Ave., and is the second pride crosswalk in SD62 after Royal Bay Secondary School completed theirs in 2021.

Mayor Scott Goodmanson also commented on the project saying it’s important to embrace the diversity of Langford and celebrate the community.

“It’s great to see such inclusive and thoughtful leadership from Langford youth,” said Goodmanson. “The addition of a rainbow crosswalk at Spencer Middle School represents the city’s support and commitment to ensuring a safe and welcome environment for all residents to feel seen and represented in their community.”


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Tacofino’s Langford opening brings in loyal customers

Tacofino lovers rejoice! The Westshore’s very own location just opened in Langford, and had a successful first week of service after many customers asked for a more local shop.

“It's been going super well, it's been pretty busy which is awesome,” said Freyja Rimmer, the front of house manager at the Langford location. “It's nice to see that people are excited for us to be here, we're excited to be here as well.”

The Tacofino franchise is a well-renowned business with loyal customers who love the local business that's been selling tacos out of a memorable orange truck in the Live to Surf parking lot in Tofino since 2009. With a number of different locations on the mainland in Vancouver, Islanders voiced the need for more shops in between Victoria and Tofino.

“A lot of people at the downtown location are coming from Langford and doing the drive up. So it was really important to open a new location,” said Rimmer. “Especially with it being an Island-based company which started in Tofino, and it being big on the mainland, it’s nice to have a few more Island locations kind of keeping it a little bit more to the roots that we started.”

Located at 112-800 Kelly Rd. at the Westshore Town Centre, the Tacofino Burrito Bar gives the option to eat in or take out, and is a less formal dining option like the original truck. Meant to bring people together through good food and community, the truck’s legacy of eating delicious food in a warm atmosphere while supporting local ingredients still remains.

“This one is definitely a little bit more of like a take-out scenario, which I feel is good for the people in Langford,” said Rimmer. “It's a good hub-spot for people who want to come hang out and sit in and have a beer, but it’s a nice quick service—nothing too fancy, which I feel like kind of fits the Langford vibe.”

Rimmer hopes that customers will continue to enjoy the much-loved Mexican food in the coming months, offering a similar menu to the downtown location. With continuous community support, she said she is looking forward to seeing what the future holds in store for Tacofino.

“The menu is pretty much exactly the same as the one that's in Victoria, which I feel is good; a lot of the people that have come in so far are saying that it's really nice that they don't have to make the drive downtown,” said Rimmer. “I think for the time being the menus are going to stay the same and it's gonna be pretty basic, but our kitchen here is a lot bigger and it gives us a little bit more of an opportunity to do some more fun stuff, so hopefully there's going to be some cool new features and special menu items that'll be coming in the future.”

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Around the 'Shore

🚧 Construction begins for redevelopment in Colwood: Colwood’s Beachland neighbourhood redevelopment began on Monday, and is expected to significantly increase the population of the city which currently has about 19,000 residents. The development will be built on a 134-acre brownfield site, which features a shoreline length of 1.4 kilometres; the first phase, which is currently underway, will bring 181 new homes into the area. [Daily Hive]

🏟️ Langford still deliberating on Starlight Stadium expansion: The city of Langford is still deliberating the proper way to expand Starlight Stadium, with difficulty matching the $4 million budget to the needed upgrades. Mayor Scoot Goodmanson stated that careful consideration needed to be taken when looking at expanding not just seats, but amenities and additional services as a whole; due to the expansion still being in the planning stages, there is no timeline for the completion of the project, but the plans will go to a referendum once planning is complete. [Vancouver Island Free Daily]

🚨 Murder trial brings video into evidence: A Langford first-degree murder trial continued on Tuesday with testimony from the prosecution's star witness, which exposed important evidence of a video the witness recorded from the passenger seat of the car. The video, which was played to the court room appears to show the accused 28-year-old Damian Medwedrich admitting to shooting the victim while also appearing to try and shift blame to the witness. The video was submitted under voir dire to the judge-alone trial, meaning the judge will decide later if it’s admissible as evidence. [CHEK]

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Community Events

🌳 Family Day in Langford: Enjoy a weekend of activities with Langford’s Family Day celebrations this Feb. 16 to 19. With a variety of activities going on around the city at a number of different locations, choose from options like a Storybook Walk, a movie screening, free kids swimming, and more. Make sure to check out the complete list of activities and choose the best options for you and your family.

🎤 Live Coffee House: Looking to test out your performing skills? The Sooke Folk Music Society’s coffee house season is open to performers every third Saturday of the month, with each show going from 7 to 9pm. This Feb. 17, doors open at 6:30pm, open stage starts at 7pm followed by feature performer Michael Jantzen at 8:15pm. Tickets are $10 for adults, and free for open stage performers.

👑 Game of Thrones takes on FanCon: FanCon just announced a special guest for the April 13 to 14 event, that is from the Game of Thrones cast. Best known for his role as Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane on the beloved fantasy series, Hafþór Júlíus Bjornsson is attending both days of Langford’s FanCon at City Centre Park for panels, autographs, and photos. Tickets are on sale now and look out for future announcements for activities and other guests.

What’s Offshore?

🚢 The Lavender is a bulk carrier built in 2010, sailing under the flag of Panama. It is coming from 🇨🇦 North Vancouver ➡ 🇨🇦 Roberts Bank and was scheduled to arrive Feb. 5, 2024.

⛴️ The Los Angeles is a bulk carrier built in 2012, sailing under the flag of Marshall Islands. It is coming from 🇨🇳 Qingdao, China ➡ 🇨🇦 Victoria and was scheduled to arrive Feb. 14, 2024.

Westshore Snaps

Border fence at Macaulay Point Park on Feb. 12. — Richard Steward, View Royal

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