Re-entry: Denise Dunn; IdeaWave

I bade farewell to Saskatchewan on Friday afternoon: a blizzard was in the forecast for the following day, but as we lifted off, it was clear enough for an atmospheric sunset, and at the other end of the journey, the rain paused so I was able to enjoy the freshly rinsed walk from the plane and the aromas of salt and cedar that greet arrivals to Victoria’s airport.


Saturday was too fraught for me to make it to the first day of IdeaWave, so I missed hearing some great speakers, as was reported to me later. I did manage to go to the memorial service for Denise Dunn, whose sudden death leaves a mighty vacuum in the many spheres of her involvement, not least her generous and welcoming presence in Transition Victoria, where she was active in the Reskilling group, and led the Meet, Mend & Make evenings and the Linen Project. There were around 200 people gathered to remember her, so she got a good send-off.

After that I returned home to continue fretting over my talk on CSAs at IdeaWave this morning. It went reasonably well, although there was a total failure of technology when the lovely pages of my Powerpoint presentation galloped off on their own, so I cut the cord and went imageless and belowtech with my index cards. However. The technology worked well enough to animate quite a number of 10-minute presentations and I learned diverse and interesting stuff from some interesting speakers.

Some of us lunched at Ingredients, where my spicy quinoa chili was good and most welcome, particularly as we’d walked through a Victoria snowstorm – the kind that doesn’t stick – to get there. We stopped at a Chinese bakery on the way back to pick up a bit of sweet fortification (a warm sesame ball with a sweet red bean centre) for the last series of speakers. The afternoon was further fortified by the generous offerings of Lighthouse Brewery, and the final presenters met warmer and warmer applause, so it seemed.

Among the things I heard about over the course of the day were Makerspace (and the Maker Faires – of which there will be one in Victoria in July); the possibilities opened up by iPads to help people with developmental disabilities communicate; the food possibilities of marine plants; the possibilities of diamagnetics in space travel (and the amazing levitating ability of pyrolytic carbon); and a moving presentation by photographer Rob Jirucha about his project to try to photograph 34 elders who are seeking to transfer the language and culture of BC’s 34 distinct first nations languages while they still exist. Here’s a video he made of the project so far:

SENĆOŦEN Language Champion from Language Champions on Vimeo.



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