The Week — Jan. 17: The Victoria kiss is back

The Victoria kiss is back, A scrappy outlook on life and Finding Fillipoff

“Alison and Byron” became 2011 award winners for this Victoria-centric smooch in the Kiss in the City contest.

The Victoria kiss is back

Pull out the flavoured lip gloss, Victoria.

The fourth-annual “Kiss in the City” contest is back starting this week, and the Downtown Victoria Business Association is again asking couples young and old, gay and straight, even human and pet to smooch a pose in the downtown core for some impressive Valentine’s Day prizes.

“There is a treasure trove of romantic places in Victoria, and just looking at last years’ competitors can show you that,” says Ken Kelly, general manager of the DVBA. “We’re really trying to pull everyone into that romantic mind set this time of year, and awards are handed out on Valentine’s Day — so have your pyjamas packed!”

To enter the free contest, upload a 2013 photo of you and your Valentine within the downtown core by midnight on Sun., Feb. 3, to the DVBA Facebook page. Entries (non-professional, only) will be judged by a panel of five local “romance experts,” who will choose the top 10 images to open for public voting. The photo with the top votes by noon on Feb. 14 will win this year’s grand prize: a one-night stay in the Fairmont Empress’ Gold Room, including access to the Gold Lounge and dinner for two at the Bengal Lounge, chocolates from Roger’s Chocolates, flowers from Poppies Floral Art, jewelry from Violette Boutique and two passes to the Odeon Cineplex. The second and third-place photos will receive chocolates from Roger’s, tickets to the Odeon Cineplex and dinner for two at Veneto Tapa Lounge.

Kelly says the key is to “be innovative, be fanciful and be passionate” — judges will be looking for location, creativity and, of course, romance.

“When you look at the romantic appeal of downtown, we really have some incredible locations, and we’ve had some lovely entries,” says Kelly. “You have one more year to get that sizzling kiss recognized.”

For contest rules and to upload your kiss, visit facebook.com/DowntownVictoria.

A scrappy outlook on life

It’s almost time to round up the scraps, as Victoria prepares to implement its new waste program.

Starting in mid-January, all households currently on the garbage-only waste program will be delivered a standard 120-litre “Green Bin,” a small kitchen catcher, a sized “Grey Bin” that each household selected this past summer, a “how-to” guide for the new program and a new collection schedule.

To anoint the event, the City of Victoria has received four new trucks that will pick up both kitchen scraps and garbage starting this February. The trucks will run on natural gas and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, all while enabling Victoria to keep kitchen scraps out of Hartland Landfill.

Learn more about what the city is in for through a video about the new Kitchen Scraps and Garbage Program: victoria.ca/greenbin.

Finding Fillipoff

Emma Fillipoff turned 27 a weekend ago, but if or how she celebrated remains a mystery for the hundreds of locals, police and the mother who is still in Victoria looking for her.

More than 20 officers from VicPD have been on the case since Fillipoff went missing on Nov. 28. While both police and mother Shelley Fillipoff have reason to believe she is likely still alive and in hiding, the VicPD diving team began searching the waters of the inner harbour last week. A number of tips and sightings have come in from the Langford and Metchosin areas, and Shelley is asking anyone with a shed or cabin to take a look inside and see if Emma is hiding out. She also asks those who believe they see Emma to go up and ask if it’s her, stating this is the only way they can get a confirmed sighting.

“We are going back to square one and re-interviewing and talking to people again with very different kinds of questions,” she told media.

Fillipoff is expected to return as a cook at Red Fish Blue Fish on Feb. 1. If she does, Shelley says it will be the happiest day of her life. If not, she may consider heading home for a while after that.

“I know it’s going to change the lives of many people [if she appears at work],” she says. “If she doesn’t show up, it just means the search must go on.”

For information and pictures of Emma, visit the ‘Help Find Emma Fillipoff’ page on Facebook, at facebook.com/helpfindemmafillipoff. M

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