THE WEEK — April 11: Teams, get ready to walk

Walk A Mile In Her Shoes, folk takes on metal, getting crafty with beer tax

High-heeled teams will again walk to end sexual violence.

Teams: get ready to walk

For the seventh year, men, grandparents, children and women are prepping their polishing cloths and getting ready to strut through Victoria in high heels — or any shoes, for that matter — to march together towards the end of sexualized violence.

Registration opened this week for the Victoria Women’s Sexual Assault Centre’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, which asks residents of all genders and ages to throw on their duds and contribute towards this year’s $40,000 goal to support services and prevention education for the centre. But while past years events focused on the footwear, this year is taking a new, action-based approach.

“We are so excited to be able to incorporate more education and awareness into this year’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” says Gagan Leekha, resource development officer for the centre. “It’s grown from a one-day fundraising event to an eight-month awareness campaign with many different ways for people to learn and talk about what we can do as individuals to prevent violence in our community.”

That campaign will include a visit from acclaimed lecturer and former all-star football player Jackson Katz, a pioneer in gender violence prevention education and critical media literacy. Katz will bring his ideas about men’s role in violence prevention to Victoria for three public events on May 2 and 3. Thanks to a grant from the Victoria Foundation, the centre will also be offering free, interactive, community-based workshops on gender-based violence prevention to local businesses, sports teams, Walk a Mile teams and other groups interested. To book a workshop, visit the website or contact Billy Yu at victoria.wsac@gmail.com.

Resources are available to offer fundraising mentoring and tips to help teams reach goals and get their communities involved. As a final perk, every individual who registers to be part of the walk before Fri., April 19, will be entered into a draw for 10 free coffees from Habit.

Last year’s event raised $30,000 to support the centre’s efforts against sexualized violence. This year, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes will be held on Sun., May 26, 2pm-4pm at Centennial Square.

Visit walkamilevictoria.com to register.

Folk takes on metal

Folk music and heavy metal might not seem like a typical blend, but the Cowichan Folk Guild will be turning to metal for the entire month of April.

Not the musical kind, the scrap kind.

As part of the organization’s spring fundraising activities, the guild is holding an Island-wide scrap metal drive in conjunction with Schnitzer recycling. The drive is a great way to sluff off spring cleaning supplies while raising money for Island folk. Sample metal items that can be recycled include old BBQ’s, bikes, lawn mowers, chains, aluminum doors and windows, nails, wheel rims, old fencing, the proverbial kitchen sink, even junk cars.

For those who want a weekend road trip, the guild will host its own bin at Providence Farm in Duncan (1843 Tzouhalem) April 13 to 14, where donors can drop off materials personally. “It’s a good cause in so many ways,” says Donae Capps, guild organizer. “Collecting even the smallest piece of metal can really help our planet and our community. Scrap metal rusts and gets into the ground water and the earth. Its effects can be felt for years.”

To donate items, drop off scrap metal at any Schnitzer location (307 David, 250-381-5865) and state it’s for the Cowichan Folk Guild account throughout the month of April. A complete list of acceptable items can be found at scrapdrive.com.

Getting crafty with beer tax

Just in time for sunny weekends, the government’s new 45 per cent increase to the tax levied on beer dispensed into reusable growlers has Vancouver Island breweries and beer lovers spitting.

Drinkers can expect to spend as much as $1.04 extra on a 1.89-litre growler of beer. The jump has offended consumers who have used the prohibition-era alternative to the “six pack” as one that is both cost-effective and environmentally friendly.

“This unfair tax on small business and a sustainable industry has to go,” says Maurine Karagianis, NDP liquor policy critic. “Without a systematic approach, the growing craft beer industry is forced to operate in a completely unstable environment.”

This month’s transition back to Provincial Sales Tax meant beer and other liquors would again be subject to 10 per cent PST, in addition to the five per cent GST already charged. M

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