One year ago this month, the Victoria Foundation celebrated its 80th birthday by offering free admission to dozens of attractions across Greater Victoria. Known as the Victoria Foundation Community Day, it was so successful that it’s happening again this year.
“There’s probably a place that you’ve always wanted to go and explore. Here’s your opportunity to go out and do that, for free,” Sandra Richardson, Victoria Foundation CEO, said.
Thirty-eight non-profit organizations will open their doors on Sept. 16, including the University of Victoria’s Peninsula Co-op Climbing Centre.
“We saw a huge success from it last year,” say Sebastian Powell, climbing co-ordinator for the centre. “We put a lot of people through in a short amount of time, so when [the Victoria Foundation] approached us again this year, saying they want to do it again, and would we be involved? Of course, right?”
The Climbing Centre is housed within CARSA, UVic’s Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities. And it’s a popular spot.
“It’s probably one of the fastest growing sports in Canada right now,” says Powell. “Over the last few years, we’ve seen a huge increase in how many students are coming in to use this facility.”
The Victoria Foundation Community Day is Saturday, Sept. 17. The 38 venues include Abkhazi Garden, the Craigflower Manor, Ross Bay Villa, and the Robert Bateman Centre.
“I think the neat thing is for people to understand the work of non-profits,” says Richardson. “The work of running a gallery like [the Robert Bateman Centre.] What it takes, how many volunteers. And just for [the public] to understand what a giving community we have, and how they can help us build community as well.”
Back at the climbing centre, Powell stresses that even if you’ve never climbed before “beginners are very welcome! We encourage it actually!
“Anything we can do to help promote climbing, active living, anything like that to the community. It’s a no brainer for us to be part of something like that.”
Click here a complete list of attractions you can visit on Sept. 16 to celebrate the Victoria Foundation’s Community Day.