September Lineup at Laszlo Tamarisk Dance Academy


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Calling Artists in Vancouver Island and Coast Region: Arts Integration Learning Lab

Calling Artists in Vancouver Island and Coast Region: Arts Integration Learning Lab

Are you a professional artist interested in working with young people and educators in schools? Or do you already have some experience and want to enhance your skills?

The Arts Integration Learning Lab is a professional development experience for artists of all disciplines, designed to build their capacity and position them to work alongside educators in schools. This event offers a series of five practical, experiential learning workshops taking place in Nanaimo, from November 14 to 18, 2016. Professional artists living throughout BC’s Vancouver Island and Coast region are invited to apply by September 30, 2016 at

The cost for artists selected to participate in the Arts Integration Learning Lab will be subsidized and covers tuition, program materials and lunch. A subsidy for accommodation is also available. This opportunity is made possible through funding support from BC Arts Council and the Government of British Columbia’s Creative Futures program.

The Arts Integration Learning Lab is presented by ArtStarts in Schools, a not-for-profit organization that provides innovative arts programs for young people, practical resources for teachers and artists, and leadership in advocacy for arts in education. ArtStarts regularly offers Infusion professional development opportunities for artists and teachers interested in bringing the arts and arts integration into schools across BC.

The deadline to apply is September 30, 2016
Learn more and apply online at

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Strong international visitor numbers for first half of 2016

BCThe number of overnight international visitors to British Columbia surpassed the two-million mark for the first six months of 2016.

According to Statistics Canada, 2,307,624 visitors came to B.C. from January to June, a 12.4% increase (254,935 additional visitors) over the same period last year.

During the same time frame, other highlights include visits from the United States, which were up 12.4%, visits from Mexico up 38.6% and visits from China up 22%.

In addition, 656,676 international visitors came to B.C. in June alone – an 8.6% increase compared to June 2015. There were increases in visitors from a number of markets in June over the same month in 2015, including:

  • China, up 48.8%
  • Mexico, up 40.2%
  • Japan, up 22.6%
  • South Korea, up 21.8%
  • India, up 20.9%
  • Australia, up 19.7%
  • Europe, up 3.9%
  • United States, up 4.4%

A number of factors are contributing to the growth in visitor numbers, including increased air access and capacity to Vancouver, a low Canadian dollar and Destination BC’s new international marketing strategy.

The Canada Transportation Agency just announced a sixth mainland China based air carrier, Capital Airlines, will start servicing Vancouver International Airport in December. Each new daily international flight to Vancouver International Airport (YVR) creates between 150 and 200 new jobs at the airport, plus more jobs in B.C.’s hotels, tourism attractions and businesses. The new flights are thanks in part to government’s elimination of a 2012 international jet-fuel tax to reduce costs for airlines and give travellers more choices.

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Minister’s statement on president and CEO of BC Ferries

BCTransportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone has issued the following statement on the news that the president and CEO of BC Ferries Mike Corrigan is stepping down as of March 31, 2017:

“BC Ferries has announced today that Mike Corrigan is stepping down as the president and CEO of BC Ferries when his term is up on March 31, 2017. Mike has been with BC Ferries for the last 13 years and has led the organization as the CEO since 2012.

“Since 2013, Mike and I have worked together toward a common goal – to put BC Ferries on a sustainable path. After a number of difficult decisions and a significant amount of hard work, we reached this goal – with the BC Ferries commissioner capping ferry fare increases at 1.9% a year, between 2016 and 2020.

“As president and CEO of BC Ferries, Mike has been willing to embrace innovation and new technology in order to reduce operating costs and improve the company’s environmental footprint. He’s overseen the launch of BC Ferries’ first cable ferry, the Baynes Sound Connector, a vessel that consumes half of the fuel of its predecessor – equivalent to taking 100 cars off the road every year.

“He has been at the helm of the organization during the procurement and construction of three new Salish Class vessels, which will be fueled by the more efficient, affordable and ‘greener’ LNG fuel. And under his watch, BC Ferries’ two largest vessels, which use 15% of all the fuel consumed by the ferry fleet, will be converted to LNG during their mid-life upgrade – saving BC Ferries money and again, reducing the organization’s environmental footprint.

“Mike has led BC Ferries during a time of considerable growth. In the last year, ferry traffic has increased by nearly 5%, as more people explore B.C.’s beautiful coast.

“He has also led BC Ferries in its commitment to workplace safety and has been instrumental in improving employee engagement in the organization. Since its inception, SailSafe, a joint initiative between BC Ferries and its union, has improved workplace safety. The program, which focuses on injury prevention and employee wellness, has landed the company WorkSafeBC’s Certificate of Recognition.

“Leading one of the largest coastal ferry services in the world is not an easy job, but Mike seized the opportunity and has led admirably in this important role.

“I have appreciated Mike’s leadership and have developed a tremendous amount of respect for him as we have worked together on behalf of all British Columbians to build one of the best ferry systems in the world. On behalf of the Province of B.C., I want to thank Mike for his years of service and wish him all the best wherever his career next takes him.

“BC Ferries will begin the search for his replacement in the coming weeks. I look forward to continuing to work with Mike over the next seven months and with his successor once they are named.”

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BC Ferries President Stepping Down

bc ferries logoAt today’s Annual Public Meeting, BC Ferries’ Board Chair Donald Hayes announced that President and CEO Mike Corrigan would be stepping down from his role effective March 31, 2017, at the completion of his current contract. Hayes said that Corrigan’s decision to step down comes at a time when the company is being recognized externally for its strong culture of safety and performance, ridership and revenues are approaching an all time high, and there is a solid capital plan in place to replace an aging fleet of vessels.

An executive search has already commenced to identify Corrigan’s successor, with the Board considering both internal and external candidates.

“We want to thank Mike Corrigan for his ongoing dedication and determination to ensure BC Ferries delivers the safest and best service possible to BC residents and visitors,” said Hayes. “Mike has been with BC Ferries for the past 13 years and has had a distinguished career throughout that time. Mike is leaving the company in a very good place and has done an outstanding job as our President and CEO for the past almost five years.”

“I want to thank the Board, the Executive Management Committee, and the employees at BC Ferries for the support they have shown me, and for their ongoing dedication to delivering the highest quality service to coastal British Columbia,” said Mike Corrigan, President and CEO of BC Ferries. “I also want to thank BC residents, and our visitors from outside our province, for the trust they’ve placed in BC Ferries to safely deliver them to the people and places that are important in their lives.”

Corrigan said the decision to leave BC Ferries wasn’t an easy one to make.

“It is never easy to step down and let someone else take the helm. So I’m stepping down with mixed emotions, because my time at BC Ferries has been tremendously rewarding and satisfying, and I’ve had the opportunity to work with an outstanding group of people – and a very supportive Board. But I am at a stage in my career that I feel it is time to pursue new opportunities.”

Hayes said that the Board appreciates the lengthy notice Corrigan provided, and has a plan in place to ensure the transition to a new CEO is a smooth one. In the interim, Corrigan will continue as President and CEO with the Board’s full support.

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Residents of seven British Columbia communities to benefit from $39 million in federal Gas Tax Funds

Federal, Provincial and Local Government officials joined together to announce the approval of seven new community projects that will improve drinking water, better protect the environment and provide new recreational opportunities for residents across the province.

The Member of Parliament for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, Pam Goldsmith-Jones was in Nanaimo today to make the announcement on behalf of federal Minister Amarjeet Sohi, as well as to celebrate funding for a Regional District of Nanaimo project. MP Goldsmith-Jones was accompanied by the MLA for Parksville-Qualicum, Michelle Stilwell; UBCM President Al Richmond; as well as the Chair of the Regional District of Nanaimo, Bill Veenhof.

Seven new capital projects in various British Columbia communities were selected for funding, which will support the construction of a range of community infrastructure projects. The projects relate to wastewater (3), recreational infrastructure (2), drinking water (1), and brownfield redevelopment (1).The projects will better protect the marine ecosystems that British Columbians and tourists rely upon, and build new places to meet and enjoy family recreational activities.

Among the projects is a wastewater outfall project for the Regional District of Nanaimo. Details of that project as well as a listing of the other six approved projects are available through the backgrounders (see associated links section).

Overall, the total federal contribution towards the seven projects is $39 million and comes through the application based Strategic Priorities Fund of the federal Gas Tax Fund.

“Through the federal Gas Tax Fund, the Government of Canada is allowing communities in British Columbia, and across Canada, to prioritize their infrastructure investments and decide how best to spend federal dollars,” said Member of Parliament, West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country Pam Goldsmith-Jones on behalf of Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi.  “Whether it’s about protecting local waters, modernizing community centres or just turning on the tap to drink clean fresh water, these seven community projects will contribute to building the strong, inclusive and sustainable communities Canadians desire to live in.”

The Government of Canada provides close to $266 million in indexed annual funding for municipal infrastructure in British Columbia through the federal Gas Tax Fund. The majority of this funding is allocated to municipalities who decide which projects will address their local priorities. They can spend, pool, bank or use their annual allocation to finance loans related to eligible infrastructure or capacity building projects. The Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) administers the Gas Tax Fund in BC, in partnership with Canada and British Columbia.

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Possible Abduction Attempt In Powell River

RCMP_logoOn July 6th, 2016 at approximately 5:30 pm two young males approached a police officer who was conducting a traffic stop at the Old Townsite, Powell River, BC.  The young males, ages 12 and 8 advised the officer that the 8 year old boy was riding his bike on Ash Road and Marine Avenue when a male in a pick up approached him and asked him to get into his vehicle.  The 8 year old refused to get into the pick up and the male suspect left the area, last seen south bound along Marine Avenue.  According to the young males, they spoke with a another male walking his dog on Ash Street, who told them that police were close by.

The pick up is described as an older model Toyota 4×4 dark grey in color with a matching canopy.   The pick up may have been an extra cab with large tread on its tires.

The male suspect is described as being Caucasian, approximately 60 years of age, with light or grey hair.  He had tattoos on his arms, and was wearing a blue t-shirt with a Superman logo on it, light blue jeans, black running shoes and sunglasses.  The male was also wearing a blue baseball cap.

In order to further the investigation, Police are requesting that the male who was walking his dog on Ash Street that spoke with the young males please contact the Powell River RCMP at (604)485-6255.

In addition, anyone that may have seen a male or vehicle matching this description is asked to contact the Powell River RCMP or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).  Callers to Crimestoppers will remain anonymous.

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