Ceramic bells spread sounds of kindness

Fired Up! makes 100 bells to spread joy across Greater Victoria

Janna Gisler and her 18-month old son Garon check out some Kindness Bells set to go out into Oak Bay parks at the start of August. The Fired Up! initiative to spread joy with random acts of music runs through to fall.

Janna Gisler and her 18-month old son Garon check out some Kindness Bells set to go out into Oak Bay parks at the start of August. The Fired Up! initiative to spread joy with random acts of music runs through to fall.

Colourful music jingles through Oak Bay parks this week as a crew of volunteers sets about hanging little freebies in local parks.

Inspired by the American campaign Ben’s Bells, Janna Gisler tagged friend Melissa Madison to build the chime-like bells to inspire happiness in public spaces.

“Victoria is totally the place to do that,” Gisler said. “Giving back to the community is extremely important to me. This community supports me so much in business and personally that I just want to give back.”

Madison, a local elementary school teacher, advocates for building social-emotional skills early on in life and is well known for her Kind Kids Club where students practice random act of kindness on a regular basis. The long-time friends hope to inspire, encourage and connect community members in the intentional practice of kindness with the Fired Up! For Kindness Bells Project.

Gisler, owner of the paint-your-own-ceramics studio, and Madison crafted the clay bell components at the Fort Street studio.

“For us to start from scratch is a big thing,” Gisler said. Pieces that clients paint on a drop-in basis usually come in preformed. This time they crafted the individual clay pieces – one large and two smaller “beads” – that staff assemble and volunteers hang in community parks.

“It’s just promoting mental health in our community,” said Gisler, a UVic psychology graduate. “Random Acts of Kindness has been shown to increase mood.”

Volunteers have planted the seeds of music and kindness in paths and parks from Tillicum to Fernwood. They plan to hit Oak Bay parks the first week of August.

“We have a whole batch that is going to go out in Oak Bay,” Gisler said.

The components are $6. Staff assemble the bells and volunteers disseminate them in random places.

“Anyone can drop in at any time and paint a bell,” she said. “There are kids as young as four just putting beautiful colours on them and that looks amazing too.”

The bells will ring throughout parks and public spaces, creating not only an audible lure, but a visual one as well.

Finders are encouraged to detach the bell from its hanging place and keep it as a gentle reminder to practice daily kindness or continue the cycle and gift the bell to someone else.

Kindness can jumpstart a cascade of social consequences and Gisler and Madison hope to spark this feel-good movement locally by producing and dispersing more than 100 Kindness Bells over the summer.

While Fired Up! lies just outside Oak Bay borders, Gisler has strong ties to the community. A director with the Rotary Club of Oak Bay, she serves as chair of the youth services committee. “Being a Rotarian is really important to me and to my family,” she said.

She and 18-month-old son Garon enjoy the Rotary-funded waterpark adjacent to Carnarvon Park. Gisler loves that a short walk away she can meet with young people at the Rotary funded youth centre at Oak Bay High.

Learn more about the Fired Up! For Kindness Bells Project online at firedupceramics.ca or call 250-818-4543.


Just Posted

Co-creatorsAdrianna Hatton and Malcolm McKenzie stand next to the little free library revealed Sunday at 9710 First St. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Literary crowd helps opens little free library in Sidney

Located at 9710 First St., the book sharing box features original art and reclaimed wood

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

The barred owl is the most likely to be spotted in the south Island. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Barred owls dominate Greater Victoria owl-scape

Western screech owl population decimated, partly due to barred owls

Between June 1 and 7, 168 net unconditional sales were made for properties in the VREB region. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria home sales slightly behind last June’s pace

Benchmark value of single-family home in Greater Victoria tops $1 million

A new report pegs the annual cost of hiring a third party to monitor use of pickleball courts in North Saanich at $12,000. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich could end up hiring third party to monitor pickleball courts

Other options up for consideration include use of cameras and timed locks

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read