The Week: Aug. 23 — Woodwynn Farms still believes

Woodwynn still "believes" in fundraising potential, and job posting pops up for drawer droppers

Think you have what it takes to be a burlesque dancer? The Cheesecakes are recruiting all courageous body types and personalities this month.

Woodwynn still believes

What do cruise ships and homeless people have in common? No, it’s not a bad joke — the answer is their impact on tourism.

That connection is what links groups like Victoria AM to jump ship from their typical role as welcoming ambassadors to the city’s visitors and clamber onto the rescue wagon to help raise awareness for a little farm that’s trying to do it all.

Woodwynn Farms may have been given the veto for “Camp Compassion” months ago (read story here), but that isn’t going to stop the group from hosting one of the biggest family-friendly entertainment events the farm (and Central Saanich) has seen, complete with an inspirational title: “We Believe.”

This Saturday, Aug. 25, over 3,000 people are expected to partake in an event presented by Victoria AM that will send all proceeds to support Woodwynn Farms’ “Homefulness” program.

“The mission of the event is really three-fold,” says Louise Chabros, executive director of Close to Home out of Woodwynn, and past president of Victoria AM. “To grow awareness about the farm and its initiatives in Central Saanich, to demonstrate to everyone how much support is already behind the farm — both from residents and from Victoria businesses — and to raise money for its operating costs.”

The event will offer live entertainment, hosted by MC Charlie Ferris, featuring Daniel Lapp, Ashbury West (a Neil Young tribute band), Tanya Gillespie, a mysterious magician, wandering puppets and more. No outside food or beverages of any kind will be allowed to maintain the alcohol-free and smoke-free environment, but free water will be handed out, and celebrity chefs will be competing with members of the Creating Homefulness Society in a KD Cook-off, which will allow event-goers to sample Kraft Dinner, too.

Camp Compassion appeared in early July on the 78-hectare property in an attempt to develop a “therapeutic farm community” for up to 96 former street people. Bylaws currently permit only four permanent residents to live on the site, however, and the applications to rezone one-hectare of the property to allow housing on the site was turned down by the Agricultural Land Commission.

“We are in need of this therapeutic community to go ahead for the benefit of all of us,” says Chabros. “Victoria AM is aware that there are alternate viewpoints to the question of how the land at Woodwynn Farms should be used …  We believe that the questions about land use should be brought to the attention of the voting public so that the affected people may participate in this important decision.”

Check out the event Saturday, 10am-6pm at the farm (7785 West Saanich). Tickets $10 each, or $20 per family.  More: WoodwynnFarms.com.

Job posting: drawer dropper

Anyone can go on stage and picture the audience naked for courage, but if you’re fantasy has been more along the lines of having the audience picture you naked, your dream is about to come true.

The Victoria Cheesecake Burlesque Revue is seeking a few more flavours to add to their repertoire, and are eyeballing all gutsy gals (and all body types and ages over 19) in Victoria, who can commit to rehearsals and travelling adventures — no prior experience needed.

“We work hard and play hard, but have a ton of fun doing it,” says Cheesecaker Champagne Sparkles, adding that the recruitment comes after some current members made life changes that will take them out of the circuit.

Sure, stripping (almost) naked on stage while hundreds of whistling fans cheer you on could seem a little intimidating, but cheesecakery is about more than just swinging tassels. The award-winning ladies are known for their high-energy acts, comedic timing, seductiveness and girl-next door accessibility, and have shimmied across stages in Paris, Berlin, Las Vegas, New Orleans, San Francisco, Vancouver, Seattle and, of course, Victoria.

Sparkles has a message for people who are considering the gig but are nervous or aren’t sure if they have what it takes.

“No matter where you are starting from, you will find this kind of performance so empowering, and you will be amazed by how good you make other women feel, just by getting up on that stage yourself,” she says.

Learn more about Sparkles and her many costumes here.

To apply, check out cheesecakeburlesque.com/files/Cheesecake_Audition_Application.doc, and prepare to submit a salacious video to show the crew your moves by midnight on Aug. 31. M

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