Monthly Archives: June 2013

Patrick Stewart Gives Eloquent Response to a Fan’s Question

What does Star Trek’s Captain Jean-Luc Picard have to say about Domestic Violence?  At Comic Palooza 2013 (an annual comic book, science fiction, and pop culture convention), a brave fan asks Sir Patrick Stewart a question about domestic violence.  His response is passionate and moving.  He eloquently describes his experience of domestic violence, growing up, and the tragic consequences to women, children and men who are caught in the spiral of violence. Watch his response at the link below:

Watch the video here

 

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Youth Take the Lead in Needs Assessment for SWOVA’s Salish Sea Girls’ Leadership Project – by Andria Scanlan, Project Coordinator

Youth Advisory Council with coordinator, Andria Scanlan

Youth Advisory Council with coordinator, Andria Scanlan

The eleven young women who make up the Youth Advisory Council for the Salish Sea Girls’ Leadership Project (SSGLP) will be joining the ranks of off island commuters over the next few weeks.  In order to explore what their peers from Galiano, Mayne, Pender and Saturna Islands believe might be standing in the way of them fully participating in their communities and reaching their full potential.  They will be riding the daily water taxis that bring students to GISS from the Outer Islands to carry out a needs assessment with girls and young women.

Canada’s Girls Action Foundation (March 2013) recently published reports identifying plenty of excellent data showing that girls and young women living in rural communities face significant barriers compared to their urban peers and same aged male counterparts.

Participants of SWOVA’s Salish Sea Girls Leadership Project (SSGLP) are between the ages of 15 – 24 years.  The team has been working towards finalizing the methodology details for the five-island needs assessment in conjunction with the Project Coordinator and UBC based research experts.  We will ask girls and young women to identify and explore issues and barriers that they experience living in our communities.  Once the issues are identified and prioritized, root causes can be identified and plans for change can begin.

Working on the needs assessment

Working on the needs assessment

The task at hand is extremely important.  SSGLP Youth Advisory Council members will survey girls and young women aged 15 – 24 years who have primarily grown up in the Southern Gulf Islands.  According to Statistics Canada  (2012) there are 615 females between the ages of 15 – 24 years living in our five island grouping, which coincides with School District # 64 (Salt Spring, Saturna, Galiano, Mayne and Pender Islands).

“We plan to survey 25 percent of the total eligible population living amongst the islands this summer which will result in a statistically powerful representation of our young female population”,  Andria Scanlan,  Project Coordinator.  Lisa Halstead, SD# 64 Superintendent and project supporter has given the go ahead for SSGL members to ride the school water taxis in order to access the Outer Islands population.

“It’s exciting to be able to connect with other youth from smaller islands.  Physically travelling to the Outer Islands is the best way to start taking change into our own hands.”  Nikky Varlis Love, Youth Advisory Council member.

Plans to collect data from the SSI population are also being finalized and will include posting SSGL members in different places throughout the community this spring and summer to collect the information.  According to Sarah Kyle, also from the Youth Advisory Council “I am looking forward to hearing what young women in our community have to say and seeing people’s reaction to the survey”.  Data Analysis will take place later this summer.  Stay tuned!

A truly inspiring evening – by Megan Manning

Kinnie Starr gets the crowd moving at Sparkfest 2013

Kinnie Starr gets the crowd moving at Sparkfest 2013

 

A clear vision, a number of passionate and engaged youth, inspiring performers, and many generous community donations, make up the Sparkfest recipe for success.

The vision comes from Kate Maurice – Mentor/Supervisor of SWOVA’s Pass It On program – and from amazing organizer, James Cowan.  The passionate and engaged youth are the participants in SWOVA’s Pass It On program.  The inspiration flows through the incredible performers.

The other ingredient in the Sparkfest recipe which made it such a success this year was the audience!  Over 100 members of our wonderful community came out to show support for youth on Salt Spring Island.

On the bill for this year’s event were music from Kinnie Starr, T.Nile, and Julia Beattie, dance from Naomi Jason & Advanced Dancers, poetry from Cat Paquette, and yoga from Shannon Cowan. The performers honoured the mentors in their lives and shared stories about their journeys.

Sparkfest raised funds which will make a big difference to youth in the Pass It On program. This year, 15 young women from the high school mentored 15 grade 8 girls, helping them to make the transition to high school.  The concept of Pass it On is to pass on wisdom, information, inspiration, understanding, and support from adults to young women, and young women to girls, thus strengthening our community ties and connecting youth – who often feel isolated from their community.  Sparkfest was a perfect example of passing on creativity, inspiration and generosity of spirit.

The list of people to thank is long and we value the incredible support from our community.  Businesses gave prizes for the silent auction, Harbour House donated the Orchard room and accommodation for off island performers, Rawsome Living Foods fed them while they were here, and all the performers donated their time and creativity. In addition, to all the businesses and parents who donated time goods, services and support – a huge THANK YOU!

In gratitude…

 

SWOVA

 

Julia Beattie at Sparkfest 2013

Julia Beattie at Sparkfest 2013

T. Nile at Sparkfest 2013

T. Nile at Sparkfest 2013

Kinnie Starr at Sparkfest 2013
Kinnie Starr at Sparkfest 2013