THE WEEK — June 20: Keep up the Pride, Victoria

Keep up the Pride, Victoria, no need to just "brew" at home, calling all unwanted fruit and more...

Pride is about more than just fun and games, but this year’s event week promises plenty of those as well.

It’s one colour swatch too early for Pride in Victoria just yet, but as we wave the traditional flag goodbye at Monday, now is the brightest time to get everyone rallied for this year’s rainbow event.

The crown jewel may be the Pride parade and festival, starting noon at Government and Pandora on July 7 this year, but there are plenty of events to entertain you before then.

On June 23, you could be “Opening The Blinds with Aysia Law,” a self-explorative writing workshop for Lesbian, Bi, Gay, Trans, Queer, Intersexed, two-spirited and allied friends, ages 14-24. Preregister: registration@southislandpridecentre.ca.

That same day also celebrates Mr & Miss Gay Vancouver Island as well as Mr & Miss Paparazzi at Paparazzi Nightclub starting at 8pm.

June 28 to 30 will see the first ever “Reel Queer Film Festival,” a joint venture by the Victoria Film Festival, the Victoria Pride Society, Out In Schools, and the Camosun Pride collective. More: victoriafilmfestival.com. Don’t miss the second-annual CabarGay! on June 29, the best way to kick off Pride Week, complete with feather boas and over-the-top fun: facebook.com/cabargay.

This year, on June 30, First Unitarian Church, (5575 West Saanich) is holding a special GLBTQ Pride Service, which you can hit up before taking your pooch on the Big Gay Dog Walk along Dallas.

Play a game of Drag Ball on July 1 at Victoria West Park, with boys in high heels, girls in mustaches and a true battle of the sexes that will encourage everyone to come out for fun.

On July 2, take yourself “Pink Whale Watching,” with the Prince of Whales, then start “Celebrating Imperfection” with the Pride Comedy Show on July 4. And, on July 5 for one night, Celebrities Night Club in Vancouver will take over Sugar Nightclub and turn it into one huge party, featuring their own Go Go Boys and DJ Mattilda Ho.

Pop by the Pride Week Breakfast at Santiago’s Cafe on July 6, then become enchanted by Pride In the Word later that day — a showcase of local word artisans and their abilities to tease, tantalize and evoke tears with their written prowess.

Yet another pre-parade buffet breakfast is planned for you on July 7 at the Reef, followed by the beloved parade, and finally the Pride Week Wrap-up Party, 2pm-2am at Paparazzi Nightclub.

Check out the Victoria Pride Society for full times and details, and keep your Pride up this week: victoriapridesociety.org.

No need to just “brew” at home

Great news for everyone who loves the environment enough to make your own fuel — yes, that’s a thing — now you don’t have to.

Vancouver Island’s first and only bio-diesel blending station has opened in North Cowichan, thanks to the efforts of Cowichan Energy Alternatives, the Cowichan Bio-Diesel Co-op and the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD). The station, which is a local collection, processing and distribution center, provides bio-fuel from waste cooking oils and is embarking on phase one of its plan by offering services as a pilot project to the CVRD. In a few months, the station will then move into phase two and be open to the public.

“We’re really excited about this opening and being able to help the CVRD reach its goal of becoming 100 per cent carbon neutral for its entire fleet, a goal that the City of Duncan has already reached,” says Hassaan Rahim of Cowichan Energy Alternatives. “Our next goal will be to get a station in Victoria in the coming year.”

Biodiesel in its pure form (B100) can entirely replace the usage of fossil fuels, or can be blended with regular diesel to whatever percentage blend is required. The CVRD will be using a step process to take the fuel from B20 — which any diesel vehicle can use — to B100.

As Monday reported in our 2012 Earth Day issue, bio-diesel an important renewable energy solution that has seen a “home-brewing” resurgence in the last few years to deal with greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful pollutants. Pure B100 costs about $1.71 per litre with taxes, and stays consistent in price since it does not rely on oil reserves. However, Rahim says the station will have to pay a carbon tax to the government, even though the product is carbon neutral.

Calling all unwanted fruit

LifeCycles Society is looking to adopt the fruit from all unwanted or unused fruit trees this year, as well as all unwanted money from any pocket able, to go towards its community support programs. The group hopes to raise $50,000 to pick 50,000 pounds of fruit this year. Help them here: lifecyclesproject.ca. M

Monday’s Danielle Pope will be moving into the Oak Bay News (vicnews.com), starting June 21. Find her there, occasionally in the new Monday Magazine and at DaniellePope.com. She can still be reached via news@mondaymag.com.

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