Posted by: pointsevensnowball | December 18, 2008

Final pop of the P7S campaign balloon? Not quite.

While I have been to Vancouver Island several times in my life, I have no real memories of Victoria. So,  I was really looking forward to visitng the city that received much acclaim from people all over Canada.

BC Parliament Buildings at night over the harbour! Ooohhh...

BC Parliament Buildings at night over the harbour! Ooohhh...

Aside from furthering our campaign goals in our western-most destination with some really awesome opportunities — from amazing schools to great volunteer gigs — Brielle had a small list of must-dos that we had to accomplish in Victoria. The list included shopping, eating at a delicious cafe and visitng Butchart Gardens. I was open to anything, so happily joined her in completing these tasks. The two things on my list were seeing the Parliament buildings (which we did at night) and being on CBC’s All Points West (hosted by Joanne Roberts who is a favourite host on CBC) which we also ticked off the list on Wednesday afternoon.

The following day, in between planning for our weekend carnival (I will get

Just one of the many buildings that make up SMUS

Just one of the many buildings that make up SMUS

to that later),  Brielle and I headed to one of the prettiest and most dignified schools in Canada. St. Michaels’ University School is a beautiful old, brick private school in Victoria. I knew to expect great things from there, as one of my friends attended the school.

While we had a small crowd for our presentation, we were really inspired by the amount of volunteering and humanitarian work the group of students had already completed at such a young age (they had even met Archbishop Desmond Tutu to talk about humanitarian work)! Anna, a particularly outstanding and brilliant student, had travelled to Africa to do some volunteering and told us she would be contacting us in the future to consult with us about ways of starting her own campaign.  Becky Anderson, a teacher, also asked if we could do some consulting for her! We were so flattered.

pic does the actual view no justice, just the best I could get).

The beautiful Butchart Gardens at night (note: pic does the actual view no justice, just the best I could get).

That night much to Brielle’s excitement, we indulged in free passes to Butchart Gardens, who were huge supporters of Point Seven Snowball. Thanks Butchart! Brielle and I spent a couple of hours (which I joked were VERY romantic) walking the path of the 12 Days of Christmas while sipping on hot apple cider. It was really magical and got both of us in the Christmas spirit.

Four pipers piping!

Four pipers piping!

The next morning,  still feeling all Christmassy and sprity, Brielle and I headed to Glenlyon Norfolk, another private school. This was our BIGGEST presentation to date. We presentated 300 students in a gym and I have to say it went really well. The students really listened and applauded and even cheered loudly at our presentation! Brielle and I both left feeling pumped. You see, prior to this presentation, we had sort of avoided doing assemblies. Not because we are shy or anything (quite the contrary, we both talk so loud we didn’t even need a microphone) but because we liked keeping our presentation interactive so as to ensure the students are getting  “it” which isn’t as possible with a large group. But, we both agreed that the students did seem to understand our material and responded really well. We even had some kids stop us in the hallway on the way out to tell us they really liked our presentation.Win front window features!

Our front window feature!

Our front window feature!

We left the school and headed downtown Victoria to spend the day doing something we both really enjoy —  shopping, well sort of!  We were volunteering at the  Victoria Women in Need thrift store. It was so much fun. Brielle and I were given the tasks of re-dressing all of the mannequins in the store. While Brielle and I tend to have fairly different styles (me more conservative and Brielle more Bohemian) we managed to combine our styles to create some pretty awesome outfits — if I must say so myself. It was a great way to spend a day in Victoria and was followed by a little bit of a self-indulgent shopping blitz in the store.

After finding some really great treasure, we were exhausted and could have just called it a day right then and there. But our day was far from over. We spent the remainder of the night prepping for the aforementioned carnival and then setting up for it until 1 a.m. (Am I just getting old or does 1 a.m. feel insanely late to anyone else? … You’re right, I’m just getting old). 

What is this carnival, you may ask? While let me tell you. It was a fantastic way to wrap up our campaign (even though it wasn’t exactly the end). 

Let me just back up a minute. Prior to attending Vic, Brielle and I had emailed and called various organizations, non-profits etc, about volunteering in the city. Winterfest, a winter carnival and artisans expo was the subject of one such call. After about an hour long conversation with the amazing Dory Thuot, Brielle told me we had been invited to partake in the Winterfest Giving Carnival Dec. 6-7.

The carnival allowed non-profit organizations to host a midway style game or two for kids at a free booth for both days of the festival. All of the proceeds of the 50-cent tickets youth would use to play the games would be given to the various organizations. So, after much deliberation Brielle and I organized two games: Pop the Snowballs and Guess the Number of Snowballs in the Jar. Pop the Snowballs allowed kids to throw darts at balloons for a chance to win prizes (which were generously donated by several Victoria businesses, including Boston Pizza, Rogers Video and a couple of dollar stores).

The Guess the Snowballs game allowed players to guess the number of mints in a large jar with the closest guess winning four passes to Butchart Gardens (thanks again Butchart).  I may be biased but I have to say I think that our booth was the busiest in the giving carnival. We had a non-stop flow of kids visiting our booth. It was a lot of fun for us too! We had a lot of laughs over the two days of the event and our shoe-box, in which players put their tickets, was pretty packed by the end of the weekend. We have since heard from event organizer Dory that we were really successful and a cheque for Millennium Promise is already in the mail!! Hurray!!

We give two thumbs up to our P7S submissions! Thanks Victoria!

We give two thumbs up to our P7S submissions! Thanks Victoria!

Another great benefit of the carnival was that we were partnered with an artisan, in this case a really sweet woman who had just started her own tea company.  Not only did P7S receive a joint spot on A Channel with our artisan partner, she also gave a portion of the proceeds from her sales over the weekend to MP as well!  Finally, the event offered us another opporunity to collect .7% submissions, which we pinned all over a huge snowball. What an amazing event and worth every minute!

Sunday, after tearing down our booth, popping the rest of the balloons and counting 624 mints three times,  Brielle and I packed up our stuff and headed to the ferry for our final ride to the mainland. While we had initially not planned on campaigning Vancouver, we couldn’t help ourselves. More on that in my final blog!

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