Victoria board tour full of art and technology

CLBC Board members Michael Prince (Chair) and Nelson Chan visit sisters Skye and Haley in their staffed home in Victoria.

Skye and Haley entertained and delighted CLBC Board Chair Michael Prince, and Board members Patti Sullivan and Nelson Chan on June 17 when they visited their staffed home in Victoria.  The two sisters showed their paintings, had Board members tour their garden and sold Nelson two original paintings and a jar of their homemade salsa made with the produce they grow.

“Skye and Haley are so creative, and we appreciated their openness in sharing their home, their garden and their art with us,” said Nelson. “And I am really looking forward to trying their salsa – it looks delicious.”

After visiting Skye and Haley, Board members traveled across town to visit Wellspring, a community inclusion program, which recently moved into a new space.  Nicole Funk, Wellspring’s executive director, and Kim, a self advocate, showed Michael, Patti and Nelson their new music and art rooms. Board members also viewed a video recently completed by participants as part of Wellspring’s partnership with the Victoria Conservatory of Music.

“The song on the video was the group’s own composition. The Conservatory found a way to enable everyone to contribute – it was very inspiring,” said Patti. “Wellspring’s new space is welcoming, and Nicole and her team have given a lot of thought about how to best use the space.”

During a lunch with South Island CLBC staff, Board members enjoyed presentations from Mike Engle, coordinator of the Community Response Team, and Amy Schactman, clinical coordinator at Foundry. The Community Response Team and Foundry are unique community programs that work collaboratively with CLBC and other partners, like Island Health, to provide supports to some of Victoria’s most vulnerable people. Staff shared many stories with Michael, Patti and Nelson about the benefits of these partnerships and their appreciation for Mike and Amy’s work.

The last stop was at CanAssist at the University of Victoria to meet Robin Syme, executive director, and her staff.  CanAssist develops technologies that enable people with physical or other challenges to live as independently as possible. Board members were treated to demonstrations of a variety of hardware and software CanAssist has developed to meet needs of specific people or generalized needs (e.g. software that helps support people at work). The demonstration included a wheelchair lift that CanAssist developed to be installed on cars that have a tow bar within 20 minutes and for little cost, as seen in the video clip on the right.

“I quite enjoyed the tour of CanAssist. I gained a deeper understanding of their work and was impressed by the breadth of options and technology they’ve created in their short history,” said Michael. “In speaking with Robin and her team, it’s clear they are a group of dedicated, creative and caring people.”

CLBC’s Board members provide overarching direction to guide the work of CLBC. Board members visit different communities in B.C. at least four times a year to learn about CLBC-funded and community services, and to talk directly with individuals, families and service providers.

For more information

Interested in learning more about CLBC’s Board?  Click here to read about the board’s members and the work they do.

CanAssist provides support to people of all ages and needs. You can find out more about their organization and the technologies they have developed here.

Wellspring started as a grassroots organization with strong linkages to community that continue to grow. You can find out more about them by visiting the Wellspring website here.

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