Hosted by Lucky Budd, the Vital Victoria Podcast is meant to highlight people in our region that are working to create a vibrant, caring community for all. We have amazing people in our community, and we want to hear their stories. During the podcast we will be pulling in stats from the Vital Signs program, and we will take a bit of a deeper dive into the meaning of the statistics.
Changing lives by providing hope and dignity through hygiene
Anne McIntyre says while there are services that provide food and shelter to those in need, hygiene products can often be more of an afterthought. Tune in as Anne joins host Lucky Budd on the Vital Victoria Podcast to share the story of her journey building Soap for Hope Canada – one of the country’s only nonprofits dedicated solely to personal hygiene.
Soap for Hope collects gently used and unused hygiene products, linens, and lost and found items from hotels, and redistributes them to the community. The organization now works with over 450 community facilities in B.C. and Alberta to make sure soap gets into the hands of people who need it most. Anne talks about what inspired her to start the organization and how it’s grown over the last 7 years, and how the non-profit is helping both people and the environment at the same time.
How Victoria’s Filipino community centre connects generations through arts, food, and passion
Laila Pires joins host Lucky Budd on the Vital Victoria Podcast to tell the story of one of Canada’s first Filipino-owned community centres, and how it continues to create space for Victorians of all backgrounds to celebrate Filipino arts, food and culture.
Laila, the treasurer and a founding member of the Bayanihan Cultural and Housing Society, has won numerous awards for community involvement, including the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012. She discusses her involvement in the region’s Filipino community after her immigration to Canada over 50 years ago. She traces the society’s early roots, how it opened its official community centre in 2001 and paid off the building’s mortgage in just 5 years, and how since then it continues to enrich Greater Victoria through events, food, and arts, in order to break down barriers and create an equitable community for everyone.
Boosting literacy skills for a more confident and democratic Victoria
This month on the Vital Victoria Podcast, host Lucky Budd joins Janine Hannis, the Head of the Greater Victoria Alliance for Literacy (GVAL), and Christine Bossi, the Executive Director of the Victoria Literacy Connection, to talk about the community’s work to boost literacy skills in people of all ages. They discuss the community’s most pressing literacy needs today, how to tackle the stigma around low adult literacy, and how bolstering reading and digital literacy skills makes for a more confident and democratic society. They also talk about the GVAL’s recent Council of the Federation Literacy award, from the Premiers of Canada.
Destigmatizing addiction and fostering mental wellness in the construction industry
This month on the Vital Victoria Podcast, Rory Kulmala, the CEO of the Vancouver Island
Construction Association (VICA), joins host Lucky Budd to talk about mental health and
addiction issues that many are facing in the construction industry. They talk about how
VICA has been educating workers about harm reduction, connecting them with local
resources to help, and reducing the stigma around mental health and substance issues.
They talk about how Rory’s time in the navy inspired him and his team to take action on
mental health issues, and how, day by day, that action is helping save lives.
A voice of Victoria and why local journalism matters
Host Lucky Budd welcomes Jack Knox to the Vital Victoria Podcast. Recently retired from the Times Colonist in Victoria, B.C., Jack shares his story on how he got his start in journalism and the first story he ever wrote covering a dead cow on the road in Kamloops. He talks about his start at the Times Colonist, from copy editor to columnist, and how his column started with a piece on men at craft fairs. They talk about the importance of local journalism and how it can help create a sense of belonging and healthy engagement in our community, and more.
From Vancouver Island to the Olympics, talking sport and culture
Host Lucky Budd welcomes Micah Zandee Hart, a member of the Canadian Women’s National Hockey Team. Growing up on the Saanich Peninsula, Micah talks about her journey from playing minor hockey with the boys on the Peninsula to becoming the second sophomore to wear the ‘C’ when she played at Cornell University. She talks about the culture and work ethic playing for Team Canada, how the Women's gold medal game in 2002 inspired her to pursue her dream, how we can foster inclusive leadership and culture at all levels of hockey for youth, and more.