The Week — Nov. 10

A poppyular time to remember, turning another page, time to grow that Mo and your vote is only an app away

The city’s hot-and-cold treatment of the occupiers at Centennial Square won't win any election favours.

A poppyular time to remember

While Nov. 11 marks a day at the cenotaph for many — events kick off downtown at the legislature at 10:30 a.m. sharp and in Saanich at 11 a.m. in front of Saanich Municipal Hall — it also marks remembrance moments around the city.

One block away from the legislature, some will gather at the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion of the 15th International Brigade memorial on Menzies to pay homage to veterans of the Spanish Civil War, 1936 to 1939.

The memorial was put in place in 2000 and nods to the “Mac-Paps,” a group of often-forgotten veterans. White poppies will be on hand, and citizens are invited to the open mic to share stories, poems and remembrances of war and the work for peace. Simon Sobolewski of the Mackenzie-Papineau Living History Section will be on hand to recruit for a scheduled July celebration that honours 2012 as the 75th anniversary of the battalion.

For those who have yet to decide how to honour the veterans who served us, pick up a poppy and pin it on your left breast until end of day, Nov. 11. And, don’t forget to say thank you.

Turning another page

If you’re looking for remembrance of another fashion, Saturday, Nov. 12, will deliver the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to one of Victoria’s most famous poets with the “P.K. Page Trust Fund Reading” at 7:30 p.m. at Open Space (510 Fort).

Page, who spent the last years of her life in Victoria, was known for her poignant and sharply visual poems and her 30-plus published books of poetry, fiction, travel diaries, essays, children’s books and autobiographies. Now, local fans have joined together to celebrate her life and help Canadian poets establish an in-perpetuity endowment in Page’s name: all donations will go toward the $10,000 buy-in price for a TD Waterhouse Private Giving Foundation. “Everyone reading has a connection with P.K. and will tell a story about her,” says Dennis Reid, who helped organize the event.

Local poets reading include Marilyn Bowering, Robert Bringhurst, Patrick Friesen, Eve Joseph, Tim Lilburn and others. A special chapbook will be available for purchase. Admission $5.

Time to grow that Mo

Everyone with facial hair knows this season marks the start of a month of scratchy upper lips: Movember. Joining the forces this year is the only male left on Monday’s editorial team: Editor-in-Chief Grant McKenzie.

Grant has donated his face to raise money for prostate cancer awareness as part of the Black Press Victoria MoBro team, and things are starting to get hairy. “I’m hoping that the ’stache is still ginger and hasn’t turned completely white in its hibernation,” he says. To help support the cause, visit mobro.co/GrantMcKenzieMonday to donate. Every little snippet helps.

And, for the entire month of November, Victoria watch retailer Watch It! is on the hunt for the ultimate moustache. While we think Grant has the red-beard trophy in the bank, the individual they declare has the best ’stache will be awarded a Vestal watch. The company is also donating $5 from each sale to help fund research towards a cure for prostate cancer. Learn more at watchit.ca.

Your vote, only an app away

Don’t think we’ve forgotten — with the municipal countdown only a week away (but advance voting on Wednesday, Nov. 9, and Monday, Nov. 14, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at City Hall) there’s no time to lose in deciding who earns your trust.

Granted, the city’s moves this week to oust the Occupy movement from Centennial Square has horrified many and pleased others, but political confusion aside, this year’s election promises to step up to 2011 standards. The city has harnessed a new app to help with all your voting needs — “Victoria Votes,” which provides voting location information, lists of candidates, election and accessibility information and city-generated election buzz.

“Victoria’s largest demographic is between the ages of 25 and 39, a group that is also very active in communicating through social media,” says city communications head Katie Josephson. “The app is intended to be an additional way to reach Victorians and make election information easier to access.”

The app was initiated in 2010 for the byelection, and is available for download on iTunes for all Apple products. Plenty of you will already be familiar with the non-partisan website VictoriaVotes.ca, but the app — under the same name — has no relation to the news group. Stay tuned next week for our own election feature with all your council candidate’s confessions, and be sure to vote on Nov. 19. M

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