Carol Hall

Victoria Foundation

Category : | Posted : Dec 2, 2020

Resilience and collaboration on the road to recovery: A conversation about civil society with Carol Hall

In this episode, we chat with Carol Hall Director of Strategic Initiatives of the Victoria Foundation about the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on both the Victoria Foundation and more broadly on Southern Vancouver Island.

Carol describes the abrupt shift in their mission into a fundraising role — a pivot that resulted in over 15,000 donations totalling over $6 million raised through the Rapid Relief Fund.

Additionally, hosts Paul and Dave discuss with Carol this year’s Vital Signs findings. They draw attention to two primary challenges: housing and getting started in Victoria.

Carol also talks about the increased demand for some not-for-profit services. She highlights how heightened collaboration across different sectors contributes to the overall resilience of civil society and continues to play a major role in our recovery.

A lot of the organizations on the frontlines were seeing an increase in demand for their services, like I think some agencies reported more than 100% increase in demand for food…and at the same time, those organizations were having to adapt their programs to meet health protocols. So funding needed to support things like PPE and getting new programs in place, shifts to get mental health counselling online, just a whole range of things.

Paul Holmes: Strange times we’re living in right now, and Carol Hall, the Director of Strategic Initiatives for Victoria Foundation is with Dave and I. We’re going to have a chat today about the Victoria Foundation, so tell us a little bit Carol about the Victoria Foundation, and what you guys do? 


Carol: Yeah, great. And great to be part of your podcast today, so maybe as a little bit of context, I got to know the Victoria Foundation about seven years ago when I started doing some convening work around food security and end up being hired to lead our grants and initiatives. So it’s been an amazing opportunity really to work with leaders all around our region doing pretty great things. The Victoria Foundation, our vision is a vibrant and caring community for all, and our tagline is we connect people who care with causes that matter. And one of the main ways we really do that is to we receive charitable gifts, and then we manage those as permanent income earning funds, and in turn, we then distribute out funds as grants to support hundreds of charities every year, and the work that they’re doing. So I’m going to be talking about charities quite a bit today, that’s the sector we work with, and I refer to it as civil society. 


Paul: Now Victoria Foundation was actually founded in 1936. Right. Does that sound about right? 


Carol: It was. 


Paul: A long time ago. 


Carol: And it’s interesting because you think about 1936, and we were in a great depression. 


Paul: Great Depression. 


Carol: I’ve been thinking about that and the origins of the Victoria Foundation more during this year. Our founder was named Burges Gadsden and was living here, he was actually volunteering at a place called The Sunshine Inn on Pandora ave, that was a soup kitchen, and it supported people in need in our community. And the first gift to the foundation was from his mom, Fanny, she contributed 20 dollars, and with that, the Victoria Foundation was created to strengthen community well-being. So I think about for Burges Gadsen in the great depression. 


Paul: Wow. 


Carol: And how he really believes that people would choose to support each other if they were given a way to do it, and when you look at what’s happened this year in our community, another really difficult time, I think we’ve seen that with the way communities come together, so…Yeah, that’s 1936. We’ve been around for a while. 


Paul: Let’s just pretend. I was going to ask, how is the Victoria Foundation itself changed and adapted to this pandemic situation? 


Carol: Yes, I think like so many businesses and charities in our community, it’s just everyone’s really had to adapt quickly, and at the same time that we moved from working basically in our office in downtown Victoria to remote work. We also really shifted in a way to be working together around the Rapid Relief Fund and that required us to have new systems and ways of doing things. And so you think about…I guess that was mid-March, and we were really shutting down as a community. I started working from home and the Jawl Family Foundation and the Times Colonist, Dave Obee approached our CEO, Sandra Richardson, and said, “we have to do something. And so overnight, literally, we launched the Rapid Relief Fund, and we are not a fundraising organization, and suddenly we had within just a few months, 15,000 donations come in from people all over our community. And so that required us to adapt in lots of ways in terms of how we work. But I think the thing that’s the same is that the foundation is really a long-term asset for the community, and so we evolve with the community, and that’s what the time really demanded of us. 


Paul: How is that different than say, in the United Way, or is it actually very similar to say what the United Way does. Is just a more Victoria focus approach? 


Carol: Yeah, so that’s a great question. We partner with the United Way. 


Paul: I bet. 


Carol: And the other funders all the time. We are distinctive in working with donors who really are looking to leave a legacy gift and be here for the long-term. So we have endowment funds that then are able to continue to grant out for the long-term, so we’re not a fundraising organization in terms of doing annual campaigning. 


Paul: Okay, right. So most of what you’re managing is, I guess the funds have been donated for the purpose of making Victoria a better place, and the job of the Victoria Foundation is to find a home for those funds, I guess? 


Carol: That’s right. We are broad in scope as well, and we support the arts and environment, education, health and wellness, and a whole range of community services, supporting seniors and youth, and food security. 


Dave: I think lots of people have heard about the Rapid Relief Fund. Can you speak to how it’s been used and who it’s gone to and where it’s at today, and where it’s going over the next year or something, or in future? 


Carol: Yes, so the Rapid Relief Fund we, as mentioned, we were approached by the Jawl Foundation and Times, Colonist, I really want to acknowledge actually the Jawl family and Dave Obee for stepping forward, I think their leadership and vision and generosity, it was pretty incredible what happened as a result. I think the first million dollar goal came in in the first 24 hours, and in the end, it raised 6 million dollars. The funds raised through the Rapid Relief Fund, we went out really quickly to support about 100 organizations in the Capital Region and Cowichan Valley, and it went to frontline organizations to support populations that really are vulnerable populations experiencing heightened impact during the Covid crisis. So it went to support essential services, like access to food, homelessness, mental health counseling, family services, and other supports. And in those early days, a lot of the organizations on the frontlines, were seeing an increase in demand for their services, like I think some agencies reported more than 100% increase in demand for food, that’s been a huge area of need, and at the same time, those organizations were having to adapt their programs to meet health protocolsSo funding needed to support things like PPE and getting new programs in place, shift to get mental health counseling online, just a whole range of things. 


And it was pretty amazing to see how quickly leaders in charities were able to adapt and shift to continue to meet demand. So those funds that went out, I think made a huge difference in our community, and we’ve continued since then to be getting funds out, we’ve had additional granting programs with the foundation’s discretionary funds, as well as government funds, and over 10 million in funding has gone out to support the civil society sector just since the pandemic started. 


It’s interesting right here, we’re just seeing a second wave on the mainland, but we’ve been doing so well on the island. And what we see is continuing really high demand for funds in the community. So we have actually run a few other granting programs since the Rapid Relief Fund, and demand is really highSo you mentioned federal funds and government funds, and we have distributed federal funds through a program called Emergency Community Support Fund, that was announced federally right after Covid. And we partnered locally with the United Way, so here’s a great chance we had to come together to deliver the program. And collectively, we have distributed over 22 million in funds out to support organizations very similar to the Rapid Relief Fund in terms of the purposes of those funds. And then we’re just wrapping up here as well, our Community Recovery Program, and this is that shift from of emergency to recovery of the non-profit sector, or what we call the civil society sector, and through two rounds, we’ve been able to support 128 organizations with close to 24 million going out, and that has actually been at both the Victoria Foundations discretionary so funds that were available through the endowments for area of greatest need, as well as support of donors which has continued and contributions have come into our Community Action Funds around causes to be able to support organizations, organizations in the arts, the environment and some of the groups that aren’t right on the front lines of providing our emergency relief, but are so important to the vitality of our region. 


Paul: And I know Victoria is unique because…I don’t know about unique, but certainly special in so far as our non-profit sector makes up a significant portion of the economy in a regular year, and I’m wondering if there’s sort of your thoughts around that, but also if there’s other sort of unique elements in Victoria that make it a particularly, I guess, not textbook case for a lot of the work that you do… 


Carol: That’s a really good question. I think, yes, Victoria is pretty specialand also faces some of the similar issues that you see across the country. We have about a thousand charities in our region, and that’s Greater Victoria, and then many, many more non-profits, and that’s what I call Civil Society. And in normal times…It’s so important as part of our everyday lives. You think about senior’s care or art classes for kids, we talked about the artsThere’s also beach clean-ups and maintaining our local parks, there’s just so many ways that they touch our society, and it’s hard to imagine Victoria without them. That said there’s…you mentioned the kind of how much they contribute to the economy, and we know that before Covid, the civil society sector generated about 4 billion in local economic activity and about 60,000 full-time equivalent jobs. So really right up there with tourism and the tech sector as important to our region’s economy. 


Paul: I know that was a big concern when everything sort of started shutting down because there was support for business and there was support, obviously the government wasn’t going to shutdown and things like that, but there was a lot of concern initially that the non-profit sector wasn’t going to see the same kind of support from government initiatives that the private sector was saying, did that get addressed? Or is that still a lingering issue? 


Carol: I think that’s still on my mind, particularly as we kind of are in this longtail, as Dave said, of just…I think rapid relief and these other programs that I mentioned, along with other funding that has come out from our funding partners has kind of gotten us through not as well as I’d love, but well enough to make sure that we’re reaching people who are really in need in this time. But I worry about the three, six months ahead, where a lot of the non-profits have used up their cash reserves and we saw back in April, we partnered with Vancouver Foundation Advantage Point to look at what the state of the sector was, and at the time, I think 23% of non-profits and BC said they weren’t sure they’re going to be able to stay open for more than six months under current conditions. And one in five were worried about their space, many had layoffs. So here we are months later, and there’s some, I think, positive signs on the horizon, I’m feeling hopeful, but we still have a way to go, and we’re really looking at where the sector is now, we’re seeing small businesses close and similarly, I think that that’s a real danger for the non-profits as they look. So the government funding has been important, wage subsidies (a number of them were able to take advantage of) but yeah, it’s sort of looking ahead and really important that there be a continuation of government and other supports. 


Paul: Can people still contribute to the Rapid Relief Fund, or are you doing a different fundraising using initiative at this time for that need? 


Carol: Yeah, the Rapid Relief Fund is continuing to receive gifts, and we were able to get those funds out through the Community Recovery Program that I mentioned earlier, and we also have a Vibrant and Caring Community Fund, which allows for gifts to the Foundation to go out and support area of greatest need. So it’s that broad in scope, more of the recovery kind of funding and funding, I think that will really help us move toward and think long term, how do we come out of this more resilient as a community? 


Dave: So that really speaks to the Victoria Foundation, the Jawl familythe community really turning to you as a major source or conduit to the community of this Rapid Relief Fund, so congrats on that. And obviously, it’s an adaption that you guys have taken in stride and done well with, so…Congratulations on that.  


Carol: Yeah, thanks. The demand continues to be high, so I think we’re looking forward. Yeah. 


Paul: I know one of the things that Victoria Foundation does and its leadership role, it produces the Vital Signs report every year. Maybe for those who are listening, who aren’t familiar with that report, when did it start? And what’s it all about? 


Carol: Yeah, we actually just recently came out with our 15th Victoria Vital Signs report, and it’s an annual check-up or snapshot that measures how we’re doing as a region, and it looks at 12 issue areas from arts to belonging and engagement, safety, transportation, the economy, and other issues. The report actually couples citizen survey data, so every year there’s a survey out with secondary data like Stats Canada and other data. And this year we included data around the impacts of the pandemic, and so it’s pretty packed with information and I think really will help inform our strategy in the months ahead. 


Paul: One of the things within that report was each of those key areas, you give them a letter grade, which I think is great because you could compare a year over year and get a good snapshot of whether things are improving or declining or staying the same. Is that letter grade generated primarily from surveys or is that also sort of taking into account to some other data? 


Carol: Those letter grades are from the Citizen Survey. 


Paul: Just from the survey. 


Carol: So it is really the perceptions of how people living here see that we’re doing on all those issues. 


Paul: And not a huge surprise, but housing has been started with a C in 2013, which is where the report goes back and it’s slowly even slipping down to now a D+. We have a real housing issue in Greater Victoria, I think…no surprise to anybody listening to this, I don’t know if…Is there something you can speak to? Are there other initiatives that you’d like to highlight, anything that we can help move that from a D+ back to at least a C and maybe better than that? 


Carol: It’s one of those issues that has shown up as a top concern for a number of years, and I think it speaks in part to cost of living as well, which is another top concern. And so it’s the affordability of housing, childcare, food costs, and all of those together are such important issues in terms of us being able to attract and keep our young families, support our seniors, and really to have a strong workforce. So, yeah, it is one of those big issues. I know in this year’s report, 5% of adults in the province said they might have to move due to affordability issues with Covid. So there is definitely work to be done around around housing. 


Paul: Victoria is such a great place to live in a general sense, I think anybody who’s lived here, I grew up here, I’ve lived elsewhere or is a great place to live, but there’s definitely a disconnect between housing affordability and employment and all the other factors that go to create that balance. And we think about the cost of housing in Vancouver, which is also incredibly high, but then the wages generally are better as well, and maybe it doesn’t correlate exactly, but I feel like there’s an inconsistency between the cost of living here and the types of wages that people earn when they live here as well. Do you see that as a thing, because I know on your report economy is rated generally pretty well even in 2020, which frankly, I was a little surprised by because we’re in middle of a pandemic, and on so many other, standard of living actually had a higher score than last year and a number of other factors had improved. And so is it just my own sort of perception around that, or is there something to the disconnect and is that what’s driving the housing issue, or is it just a simple space? We just don’t really have so much space to build places or….I don’t really understand what the key factors are, and maybe you don’t either, but…I thought I’d try to dig in a little bit. I know you’re not going to have all the answers. 


Carol: I think part of it is it is an incredible place to live and people want to live here, so we are kind of dealing with that migration in and people who grow up here also want to stay here. SI’m from away and I got to the Island and that’s it I wasn’t leaving, so I think there’s certainly that issue. But it also impacts us disproportionately, like within the pandemic, when you talk about employment we saw the pandemic and the job losses that have occurred during this time has disproportionately impacted those with low-paying jobs who are parttime or temporary, who are in precarious jobs, and then within that, who are those who have those jobs? And disproportionately they’re youth, they’re recent immigrants or women. So I think in the Vital Signs Report, recent immigrants were three times more likely to have lost their jobs between February and May of this year than others, and we see that play out in other ways, so…Yeah, there’s the cost of living, and that as an issue I think that we all…So many of us experience, but then it really is unaffordable for many as well. 


Dave: How does all this relate to…On the report, we’ve got the getting started in our community as quite low, suddenly from a B to a D+. Is it related and a sudden drop there, so is there something connected here or is that a separate issue or why the sudden drop? 


Carol: Yeah, I think a lot of these issues are really interconnected and getting started is an area we saw a big drop, and that really speaks to that area speaks to people helping people who are new to our community settle in. So the example I gave with recent immigrants and what their experiences, also young people, and we know that young people experience one of the highest declines in employment. There was a 41% drop in employment for those under 25 who were female and so I think as young people are looking to settle in the community and be here, how do we make it affordable and a good place for them to live, and that’s really part of our future. So I think there is a connection there, Dave. Yeah. 


Dave: Yeah. I’ve got three kids…well, two older ones who are hardly kids anymore. But that’s certainly on my mind. I’d love for them to be nearby as they grow up and have families of their own, but I’m not sure how they’ll do that. And so I will kick them out of my house eventually, so I don’t know how that…the equilibrium doesn’t seem this. It seems something has to change, and so I’m not sure how we accelerate that and make sure we’re going in the right direction versus having more problems as we kick further down the road. 


Carol: Yeah, yeah. No, that’s really good thoughts. And I think about parents and particularly those with young kids during this time, and what an extra challenge that has been in terms of working single parents in particular with the young kids, and then you’re thinking about their future and how to support that. 


Paul: Well, if you’ve been listening in Victoria Vital Signs report is available on your website, It’s just a wealth of information, I definitely recommend anyone who’s listening go and check that out. Some of it you’re going to go “yep” and some of it you’re going to go, “oh, that’s interesting. If you live here, you get a good sense of exactly what’s happening in our community. And it’s so great because I think a lot of people want to give back, but they don’t really know exactly how or in which way they can give back, and this can really help guide decisions when people are looking for the best way to give back to their community, so thank you for that, and you guys as hard work on that. That’s great. Is there anything trend-wise that from that report, Carol, that is a particular concern. I mean some of these things would probably just blips in 2020, but is there things that you really feel need some long-term emphasis to turn around other than what we’ve already talked about, which is the housing issue. 


Carol: I think one of the things that comes out in the report, but isn’t new, is sort of these long-term issues that…So the issues we’re seeing in the pandemic aren’t necessarily new issues, but the time has really kind of put a spotlight on some of them, and one of them is childcare and access to affordable childcare has just been this big challenge for a longtime for so many. There’s been work around it, but in the early days of the pandemic, it really came to the forefront, is one of those issues that we need to get our arms around thereThrough the Rapid Relief Fund, we were able to support free child care to some essential workerseven delivery drivers and grocery store workers who needed to get to work and needed childcare. So that’s one of those issues I think that’s both long-term and continues to really show up.  


I’d say mental health, and I think we’ve heard quite a bit around that, but 51% of people in the survey with Vital Signs said they’d really felt the negative impact on their mental health and I would think as this has continued that that percentage is even higher. So one of the things we saw a lot of requests for funding come in is to support counseling and access to mental health. Really so people who are trying to get in the system, this was already an issue where by the time people were able to get in for affordable mental health care, they were into crisis versus where like early on, and it sometimes just takes a few visits and conversations and you can move on, but people are more and more coming in further down in crisis, and that’s just an enormous issue right now, and it’s a trend, I think, but it’s one that was there, and mental health isn’t integrated into our whole healthcare system, so it’s very hard for people to access, in lots of cases. 


Paul: I know a lot of employers listen to our podcast, and one of the things that they can be thinking about is if they have an existing health plan with their employees, often times that includes a number you can call to arrange counseling. So a lot of people don’t realize their healthcare plan covers that so employers can remind people of that and it helps take some of the strain off of the public system or the charities they’re trying to make up the difference as well.  


Carol: That’s a really important point, Paul. Yeah. 


Paul: So speaking of podcasts, you guys have a podcast, it’s called Vital Victoria, so everyone should check that out as well, don’t stop listening to our podcast, but listen to theirs too. 


Carol: We do. Definitely not and that really focuses on vital signs issue areas. So it’s a great way to kind of do a deeper dive into some of the issues we’ve talked about today. 


Dave: Is there other similar resources, you’ve got the Vital Signs Report, the podcast, obviously, you’re working directly with a lot of charities, anything else just generally available to the public that people should be aware of, obviously, it’s lots of stuff on the website they can see but anything you want to point out? 


Carol: I think there are grant programs that we offer from time to time, so I encourage those who are working with charities and non-profits to keep an eye on our website for that, we’ve had five Grant calls just over the last few months, and right now, we’ll be just wrapping up one around gender equality. And we also have on our website, ways that people who are interested in giving to the community can make gifts. We’ve launched our Community Action Funds, which have the vibrant and caring community fund, which allows the foundation to respond to areas of greatest need, what are the critical needs right now in our community, and then nine cause-based action, Community Action funds that support things from the arts to the environment, food security, and including the rapid relief efforts. 


Paul: We’ve had quite a number of guests. The last episode we recorded was Victoria Chamber of Commerce CEO, lots of business leaders, lots of folks we’ve had other non-profit leaders as well. And one of the things that stands out on every call is just how much this community comes together in a time of crisis and how important that is to the long-term future, and how resilient we are when we act in that way and come together. I wonder if you have any thoughts, particularly when it comes to the non-profit sector around the resiliency of Victoria in a time of crisis. 


Carol: Yeah, I really agree with what others have been sharing, and we’ve really seen that in this time, and I think in a crisis, you often can see the best and worst in society, and I think one of the really cool things that has happened and was under way but that the crisis really accelerated was this way of working across sectors. So just thinking outside of just civil society, working within civil society, but when we saw the crisis hit, there are some real bright spots around businesses and non-profits coming together and to make everyone better off.  


One example, early in the shutdown was with the school districts. And schools are a really important way for children to get food actually. It’s a key piece of our food access, and so suddenly with schools shut, there were kids who weren’t able to bring food home to their families. And at the same time we had restaurants that had shutdown, and so there was this great coming together around some restaurants like, Zambri’s and Jones Barbecue that were able to then employ staff, get meals into the schools and then get the meals out as well through the Food Share Network, which is a network that manages the Food Rescue Project, which recovers fresh food from grocery stores and then re-distributes it out to the 60 or more agencies across the region to reach people who are food insecure. So I think those examples of working differently and across sectors is one of the things that I really saw it, it makes us more resilient in the long-term. 


Dave: Love that. 


Paul: Yeah, and this is so key, and this is sort of…There is this kind of think local movement, and we’ve talked about it with other guests, usually around business right, and it’s so great that you guys were able to partner with local businesses so the local businesses can keep their staff employed and their business running. And it has a charitable component, you can all work together that’s really great. And I think we’re all kind of thinking, you know, maybe not ordering everything on Amazon or Walmart. Can we buy from local suppliers more, and a lot of the local suppliers have responded with curbside pick-up and delivery and all sorts of stuff. It’s hard for them to do that, but there’s definitely that other angle, and most people in Canada, and especially in British Columbia and Victoria in particular, are givers, we tend to give a lot, we’re very charitable as a nation and as individuals, and I think there’s definitely going to be an encouragement to think about giving locally as well. So in a general way, just encouraging, I think everybody to really think locally, what are the local charities that you can support and how can they be supported? And I think Victoria Foundation plays such a vital role in helping to direct people to where the needs are, so very much appreciate all the work that you guys are doing there, and I don’t know if you have any sort of general comment or thought on that, think local and how that ties into what you’re doing exactly. 


Carol: Yeah, there’s such a need to be supporting our businesses locally right now and really trying, when I have a gift for somebody to get a gift card from downtown and make sure we’re supporting our local organizations, and there’s probably a balance in there of local, global where we are in a global pandemic, and one of the frameworks we really use is around the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which set out really ambitious targets around 17 goals on these big intractable issues like inequality and climate change and no hunger. And we always look at how our contributions locally sit within a global context. 


Another example, actually around the local is around our local farms and local food production, and actually really great opportunity during this crisis and the response in our community to be thinking about how do we support local farmers. The South Island Farm Hub, which is led by the Victoria Community Food Hub, was one of our larger grants through the Rapid Relief Fund, and they were able to pull together and purchase food from 21 local small, medium-scale farmers, like NorthStar Organics and Topsoil, which I know has been mentioned on other shows and others, and these were farms that were losing markets due to Covid, and combine that with actually getting that produce out to vulnerable populations. So really an incredible example of pairing support for our local food economy. And at the same time, that vision of no one in our community goes hungry. And so I think that resilience piece that you talked about earlier, really it is part of that because Victoria Foundation has long been involved in food security and worked in partnership with a number of groups like CRFAIR and the Mustard Street Church and the Food Share Network. And I think because of all the work that’s been done when the pandemic hit, instead of us just really being overwhelmed by the demand for food, it was an opportunity to accelerate and really think about how do we make ourselves more resilient. And so anyway, it’s pretty incredible there’s a website around the South Island Farmhub, and I think now that people can actually order and have food delivered individually through that as well. 


Dave: I think part of resiliency is sort of anticipating the future, and in this time, that’s actually… the podcast itself is born out of a business outlook survey we did as a hub in our client’s businesses, and the community generally thought we could reach out to people and sort of get a feel for the business community’s perspective on where we’re going. And so I always try to bring in this crystal ball element of the podcast here, and so I’ll turn that question to you in terms of anticipating in the next year or so, what are the key things that you see? Are we heading for better times, more difficult times, what specifically should we be putting our heads up about coming in 2021? 


Carol: Well, I’m certainly feeling more hopeful than I probably would have a month ago with the news of the vaccine, vaccines, and I think 2021, we’re going to come out of this, and so feel really hopeful around that. In the meantime though, we are still in a global pandemic and so it’s sort of that we’re going into the winter and it’s raining a lot. 


Dave: A lot. 


Carol: People are starting to talk about the flu, and if we can just kind of hang in there, continue to care for each other and give in this generosity of spirit that I think is part of our community. I think we’re going to come out the other end. And my hope is that when we do that, we do it in a way that we’ve addressed some of these issues that we’ve been talking about, like housing and childcare, and that we can come out of this and be stronger as a communitySo I think there are a lot of signs around that we talked about a lot of the data in Vital Signs, that’s negative, but it’s a strengths-based approach, and they’re so much good in our community, and that really comes through in the report as well. 


Dave: Yeah, that’s great. Very, very inspirational. Was there anything along those lines? Or anything else that we haven’t touched on today that you’d like to speak to? Highlights in the report? 


Carol: And so I think we’re such a great size on the island and in our community to actually get our arms around some of these issues, it’s something that I think really… For me, it makes it a great place to work. And how we know each other, we have relationships, and yet we’re big enough that we can have a really strong tech economy and tourism. So I think the civil society as part of that and a really strong part of the economy, that really impacts our everyday living, and we haven’t talked much about the arts, but for the size of our community, we have such a vibrant arts community, and they’ve certainly been hit hard. But on the other hand, you see how creative they’ve been in terms of what’s online now and being able to access performances and theater and music, so I just feel so much that this community has we’ll put us better off going forward. 


Paul: I definitely do miss doing a theater, I can’t wait to get back into that again, hopefully 2021 will be my year. It’ll be my breakout year as the star actor… 


Carol: Which theater are you? 


Paul: Oh, I’ve done productions with Sooke Harbour Players. 


Carol: Oh great. 


Paul: Yeah, I to play Basil Faulty in Faulty Towers, that was probably my biggest scariest roleI had to put an accent on the whole time, but lots of fun.  


Carol: Ofun this is something you’re looking to do more of? 


Paul: I hope so. Yeah. 


Carol: Yeah. I really hope we get back to theatre.   


Paul: Yeah, anyway, but thank you so much for joining us today, and I really appreciate all the work that you do. I think I can speak on behalf of most people in Victoria, we know you know you’re there, and we really appreciate all the hard work you guys do for the community and bringing people together and taking that leadership role on so well. And when people order their next meal online, make sure you check the box for your food share contribution, because there’s some great, great programs like that that are happening and that’s really fantastic. So thanks again for joining us, Carole, and really appreciate all of your insights today. 


Carol: Yeah, thanks so much for having me, and likewise, thanks for all that you’re doing. This is a great podcast for the community. 


Paul: Awesome, and if you haven’t checked it out already then make sure right after this, you hit the Victoria website and check out that Vital Signs report. It’s very interesting. So thanks again. And everybody stay safe and stay healthy all the best. 


Show notes 


Victoria Foundation 


Vital Signs 


Rapid Relief Fund 


Community Action Funds 


Food Share Network 


South Island Farmhub 


Mustard Seed Food Bank 







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