January 2017: Bowker project comes to council

HeeHaw bows out of Dragon’s Den deal

Oak Bay got a glimpse of the preliminary review primed a proposal for Cadboro Bay Road and Bowker Avenue prior to its pitch to the Advisory Planning Commission in January. The proposed development consolidates five lots for a four-storey mixed-use building.

The Bowker will house ground-floor commercial space would front Cadboro Bay Road, with residential uses fronting Bowker Avenue and the westernmost end of the building at Cadboro Bay Road.

Later in the month, council put forward questions about the proposal and tasked staff to go back into conversation with the proponent and come back in February. Floor area ratio, lot coverage, frontage and massing appearance continued to be concerns.

Oak Bay-based HeeHaw Horseradish shared news of its handshake deal with a Dragon, made in May and televised in December.

The Oak Bay family behind HeeHaw, Graham Bavington, wife Pam and children Sara and Matthew, pitched the family business to the CBC show Dragons’ Den in August, made the show in May and their episode aired in December.

The

Bavington family sought $75,000 for 15 per cent of the business and Dragons Joe Mimran, John Treliving and Manjit Minhas made matching offers.

The did a hand shake deal on the show with Minhas. They kept the secret for months during negotiations, a workout that Graham says only benefits the business. In the end, they plan to maintain the family business.

Graham instigated the business that now involves a variety of family members in 2014. In a Central Saanich commercial kitchen, family members hand-peel horseradish – that’s the first ingredient, as opposed to the parsnips that populate many commercial brands – and grind it with tears streaming. They quickly developed the Damn Hot and Double Damn Hot popular at street markets around the region, and in the past year on many store shelves. They recently launched the SeaHorseradish, a seafood sauce, and branched out to more than 400 stores.

The former Oak Bay orca Tilikum, famous for his showmanship and infamous for trainer deaths, died.

He was surrounded by the trainers, care staff and veterinarians who provided him care, SeaWorld said in a statement announcing the death.

“Like all older animals, Tilikum had faced some very serious health issues. While the official cause of death will not be determined until the necropsy is completed, the SeaWorld veterinarians were treating a persistent and complicated bacterial lung infection. The suspected bacteria is part of a group of bacteria that is found in water and soil both in wild habitats and zoological settings,” the statement said.

The male orca moved from Oak Bay’s Sealand of the Pacific to SeaWorld Orlando, Florida in January 1992.

“This is sad in a way, but I also feel a huge sense of relief, Tilikum is finally free,” said Tim Johnston of C-Tow Marine, who watched the whales at SeaLand from the age of 12. “My family had a boat at Oak Bay Marina, right next to Sealand. From the upper bridge of our boat the Loki, we could watch Tilikum, Haida and Nootka perform their jumps and tricks. After a while I could recite the entire show. I always recognized they didn’t belong there, but I learned to respect their intelligence and power.”

Sealand of the Pacific closed in the wake of the first trainer death attributed to Tilikum – the drowning of 21-year-old Keltie Byrne.

The late Bob Wright, who built Sealand in Oak Bay in 1980, told the Oak Bay News in 2011 he remembered Byrne as “a beautiful young lady.”

Tilikum was responsible for two more deaths at SeaWorld – in 1999 a guest evaded security and stayed in the orca enclosure overnight and was found dead in the morning, and SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010.

The Canadian College of Performing Arts announced upgrades to its space. The Oak Bay school scored a $40,000 grant to upgrade its performance hall on Elgin Road, from new draperies to better access as it entered its 19th season. It culminates in a roughly 110-seat hall, offering flexibility for users when school is out of session.

Former conservation officer Bryce Casavant announced he would provincial NDP nomination in Oak Bay-Gordon Head.

Oak Bay scored a $2,500 Union of BC Municipalities grant toward continuing conversations with the Songhees and Esquimalt nations.

The district received a letter from the UBCM approving community to community forum funding. The announcement came the same night Oak Bay added a historical link to its meeting documents. The new segment of agenda headers reads: “We acknowledge that the land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Coast and Straits Salish peoples. Specifically we recognize the Lekwungen speaking people, known today as the Songhees and Esquimalt nations, and that their historical connections to these lands continue today.”

A group motivated to keep waterways clear started 2017 with a code of conduct to guide its goals.

Catalyzed by too many irresponsible owners, Oak Bay Maritime Community Association members specifically hope to deal with derelict boats.

The group includes about 40 area residents, mostly boat owners, and is dedicated to working together for the preservation and enhancement of the local maritime community.

Three Victoria Hospice volunteers were recognized with the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, presented by Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon.

Victoria Hospice Society Board vice-president Deedrie Ballard, former Victoria Hospice and Palliative Care Foundation Board president Peter Malcolm and Graham Robertson, founder of the Cycle of Life Tour fundraiser for Island hospice care, received the medal recognizing exceptional volunteers from across Canada for “significant, sustained and unpaid contributions to their community.”

Oak Bay’s Robertson and his partner, Beth, founded the two-day, nearly 200km group cycling event in 2011.

Since its inception, the Cycle of Life Tour has raised more than $365,000 for hospice care on Vancouver Island

A fabric square representing Oak Bay was hung in the CRD boardroom as part of a regional quilt created by a team of volunteers as part of the CRD’s 50th anniversary. Each municipality and electoral area that makes up the CRD is represented by a block of the quilt; a duplicate framed block will be gifted to municipalities and electoral areas.

First responder skills kicked in when Lt. Jason Joynson, an Oak Bay firefighter, came across a man trying to offer CPR. Joynson was driving home recently and spotted a man performing CPR roadside. He deflected special recognition, pointing to the community that came together.

A woman driving saw the man lying on the ground and drove around the block to stop and call 9-1-1, despite having her two young children in the car. A man walking nearby stopped to do compressions, which Joynson took over. A nurse came by, taking over compressions while he gave breaths using his pocket mask. Saanich firefighters and paramedics followed. The patient was unconscious but alive upon arrival at hospital.

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