5 Things You Can Do to Celebrate Earth Day in Greater Victoria

April 22nd marks Earth Day – an annual reminder for everyday citizens to be cognizant of how their actions impact the environment.  

Though this holiday is recognized across the world, the celebration of Earth Day is especially important for us in Greater Victoria. According to a climate change risk assessment focusing on the City of Victoria, we are on track to continue to experience extreme weather events. For example, heat waves have become an all to often recurrence that pose a threat to vulnerable members of our community. With rising sea levels, flooding is another danger for our region that could have a catastrophic impact on our infrastructure, local businesses, and the lives of so many. As the weather continues to be unpredictable and intense, we will all feel the adverse affects brought on by climate change. That's why celebrating Earth Day is not just about being a good global citizen – it is about showing solidarity with fellow community members, acknowledging climate change, and commiting to the fight to stop it.

With this in mind, we'd like to highlight a few local Earth Day events that you could take part it in. Here are 5 activities that you can do to celebrate Earth Day this Saturday, April 22nd, in the Greater Victoria.

1. Earth Day Clothing Donation Drive – Max Furniture, 9am-TBD 

Address: 3460 Quadra St., Victoria, BC 

Cost: Free 

Max Furniture, a family-owned business in Victoria, is running a clothing donation drive at their storefront on Quadra Street with the goal of filling the Max Furniture truck full of clothes! Donations of clothing, textiles, and shoes will all be accepted, and the clothing drive will begin at 9am. This is a great event for those who have recently done some spring cleaning and are looking to give back to members of the community!

2. Earth Day Festival – Saanich City Hall, 11am-3pm 

Address: Saanich City Hall (770 Vernon Ave., Victoria, BC) 

Cost: Free 

The municipality of Saanich will be hosting an Earth Day festival at Saanich City Hall with live music, food trucks, and fun, eco-conscious activities for the kids! The Quadra Cedar Hill Community Association’s Climate Action group will also be in attendance to discuss local solutions to climate change. Arrival via transit, cycling, or on-foot is strongly advised, as there is limited parking and it is Earth Day, after all!

3. Meet the Bees – Earth Day Workshop Uptown, 2pm-3pm 

Address: Uptown Mall (3440 Saanich Rd., Victoria, BC) 

Cost: Free 

Uptown Mall is hosting an up-close-and-personal workshop on bees and urban beekeeping, specifically learning about the important part bees play in environmental preservation whilst interacting with a real beehive and engaging in team-building activities! Free General Admission tickets are available through Eventbrite, and you may even get a sweet surprise to take home with you after the workshop is over!

4. Earth Day Celebration Event – Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park, 11am-2pm 

Address: Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park (5267 Patricia Bay Hwy, Victoria, BC) 

Cost: Free 

Want to spend some time in the great outdoors this Earth Day? The CRD Regional Parks naturalists will be conducting guided nature walks beginning at the Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park Nature Centre (at Beaver Beach) starting in the early afternoon! These nature walks are suitable for all ages, and they will provide you with an opportunity to learn more about the flora and fauna which grace our local parks. Take in some fresh, island air!

5. Earth Day Silent Disco Beach Dance – Silent DJ Victoria, 11am-12:30pm 

Address: South end of Willows Beach, off Bowker Place (Esplanade, Oak Bay, BC) 

Cost: $20-30 sliding scale donation, but no one will be turned away due to financial barriers 

Do you want to spend Earth Day in a unique way? Look no further than Silent DJ Victoria’s Earth Day Beach Dance happening at Willows Beach in the early afternoon! Come prepared with a piece of ID as a security deposit in exchange for a headset, as this is an outdoor silent disco, and feel free to dress up in an earthly outfit! More information can be found on Eventbrite, and have fun moving and grooving by the ocean! 

We at the Community Social Planning Council hope that you have an informative, joyful, and unplugged Earth Day, as a climate-conscious community can lead to climate-oriented change. Have a happy Earth Day! 

Published: April 21, 2023


Jenna Inch, Researcher

Jenna (3)

Executive Director Update

The critical role of social planning in creating sustainable and vibrant communities cannot be overstated. As such, I am pleased to share important updates from the Community Social Planning Council (CSPC) regarding our efforts towards achieving more just and equitable communities in Greater Victoria. Our recent activities include addressing issues related to homelessness, gender equity, and housing affordability across the region. 

We recently conducted a bi-annual Point-in-Time Homeless Count and Survey in partnership with the Capital Regional District (CRD) and the Alliance to End Homelessness in the Capital Region. We'd like to say a special thank you to the participants who came forward to share their stories and for their patience with the surveyors. We are thrilled to have had over 200 volunteers working in the HQ and on route throughout the region. Thank you to all of those who sponsored and funded this years count and survey, your dedication to the community is admirable! The survey findings in July will inform plans for both short and long-term solutions to homelessness. 

On International Women's Day, we reflected on the ongoing gender pay gap in the CRD, which is not only important for gender equity (SDG 5), but also for promoting economic growth and reducing inequality (SDG 8). To raise awareness and encourage action, CSPC shared a fact sheet on the gender pay gap in the CRD that highlights key strategies and policies that can help achieve gender equity in the workplace. 

On March 6, 2023, the CSPC and City of Colwood hosted Councillor Learning Session: Municipal Levers for Housing Affordability with Brent Toderian as a keynote speaker to emphasize the importance of building complete neighborhoods that support affordability. The event is part of the Regional Housing Affordability Project which supported the creation of a community of practice to share local learning and best practices, compiling local policies and practices, and engaging with municipal, business, and community partners. In phase two, the City of Colwood plans to expand the project's toolkit, update housing needs reports, and continue offering regional workshops. The Regional Housing Affordability Project aims to create more just and equitable communities, contributing to larger efforts to create a better city for everyone across municipal boundaries. 

Although these are positive steps, there is still much to do. Looking ahead, we have several upcoming events that focus on important issues related to social planning and equity.  On April 18, we are hosting a webinar titled "Revitalizing Downtown Spaces in a Hybrid Work Environment." This event will bring together experts, community members, and decision-makers to discuss the future of downtown spaces in light of changing work patterns.  

On April 25, we are hosting a workshop titled "Family By Design: Designing Cities for Families". The workshop will focus on strategies for building better family environments throughout the region. 

Finally, on May 2, we are hosting a lunch and learn titled "Homelessness, Housing, and Human Rights: A look at Housing First Approach”. We will highlight data from cities such as Helsinki where they have utilized a housing first approach to effectively reduce homelessness and build thriving communities for their residents. 

It is important to align our efforts towards creating more just and equitable communities with the global goals for sustainable development. Proper social planning is crucial in achieving our community goals and ensuring a better future for everyone. As we work towards these goals locally, we must remember that they are interconnected with larger provincial, federal, and global efforts to create a better world for all. Let's continue to promote social inclusion, advocate for fair pay practices, and support affordable housing to create sustainable and vibrant communities that contribute to a larger global effort. Stay updated on our efforts and upcoming events by following the CSPC's social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Join us in spreading awareness about the importance of these issues by sharing this with your friends and family.

Published: March 10, 2023


Diana Gibson, Executive Director


They Paved Paradise: Transforming Minimum Parking Requirements Event

Did you know it’s estimated that creating one required parking spot can add an additional 10 to 15 percent to overall development costs?

As our housing unaffordability and cost of living crisis continue to put communities under pressure, policy makers and advocates are looking at a new solution: transforming our minimum parking requirements (MPRs). This shift could not only get us closer to our poverty reduction goals, but also address climate change and help create a more livable region.

Joined by guest speakers with experience transforming parking minimums in cities across North America, we’ll discuss key questions such as:

How do you envision communities changing with a shift away from MPRs?

What were some of the challenges faced by city council, staff, and the public when transforming MPRs in your community?

What are the potential or experienced impacts of MPR removal?


The CSPC acknowledges the Songhees, Esquimalt, Tsartlip/W̱JOȽEȽP, Tseycum/WSIḴEM, Tsawout/SȾÁUTW, Pauquachin/BOḰEĆEN, T’Sou-ke, Scia’new and Pacheedaht Nations who have a historical and ongoing relationship to the land where our offices and work are based.

We also respect the wide diversity of nations and languages across the province. British Columbia is home to over 200 First Nations communities and approximately 50% of the First Peoples’ languages of Canada. For more information visit: https://maps.fpcc.ca/

The intersection of climate transitions and equity

On September 20th, 2022, Climate Equity team members Lorenzo Magzul and Chelsea Power had the opportunity to speak to the BC Poverty Reduction Community of Practice. The CoP meets monthly to learn from each other, to enable professional self-development, and to build capacities of their local poverty reduction initiatives.

You can view the presentation as recorded by Zoom at the link below.

You will need the passcode: rWdtH4b. (include the period).