Spirit of Play: Come Play With Us

In celebration of Child Care month this May, The Cridge Centre for the Family and The Cridge Childcare Services have been having fun exploring the importance of play in child development.

Paula West-Patrick, Manager of The Cridge Children’s Services, participated with James Vitti and Gillian Petrini in a special radio program on CFUV called Radio Child: Press Play. You can listen to Paula’s portion of the program here:

(The play button is on the left edge of the black bar)
The Cridge Early Childhood Programs invite you to attend “The Spirit of Play” open house on Saturday May 31st from 10:30 am-3:00pm. Programs at  1309 Hillside Avenue will be open to the community for a fun time of exploration through play.


For further information you can contact Paula at 250-995-6416 or pwestpatrick@cridge.org



Congratulations, Dr. Chris!

Today one of our very cherished former team member, Chris Heyd, will become Dr. Chris Heyd as he graduates alongside his classmates in the University of Victoria Island Medical Program.


Children from School Age Care send Chris off with well-wishes!

It seems just yesterday, though it was really almost four years ago, that Chris resigned his post as School Age Care Coordinator to return to school. Chris was cherished by the staff he managed, the children he cared for, and by his supervisor Paula West-Patrick, Manager of Children’s Services.

Paula has nothing but kind  words and fond memories of Chris. In fact, she had trouble picking from among her favourite attributes of Chris’:

  • a very caring nature
  • a real knack for listening to people and empathising with concerns
  • interest in the environment and nature,
  • a great sense of adventure,

Paula thinks that Chris’ well-rounded nature provided the school age care children with a positive, caring, role-models, and she’s certain that as a doctor Chris’ patients will have the pleasure of a very caring bedside manner. Today, Chris is not only crossing the stage with his classmates; he has also earned the honour of giving the valedictory address.

As part of his training, Chris spent four weeks as a health care volunteer in rural India. Of that experience Chris says, “I will continue to be involved in international health in the future.  . . .  I believe it should be part of an ethical life in the first world, as we could not enjoy our lifestyle without dependence on the developing world.  We have a responsibility to give back.”

Giving back is, it seems, a program ethic as well as a personal one for Chris. Also graduating today are two classmates of Christ who volunteered at The Cridge Transition House for Women during their training. As well, CTHW is the recipient of a class donation at today’s commencement celebration.

Congratulations to all the graduates as they begin their professional lives of service. And our best wishes to our Dr. Heyd, who will always be a part of the Cridge Centre family no matter where he goes.

Fun, Family, Food and New Friends

As we mentioned earlier this week, we had the distinct and unusual pleasure on Sunday of celebrating the birthday of Kendrick Sampson, along with his co-workers who are in town filming the TV series “Gracepoint”  (note: this link is to an excellent fan page, not the official website).

Kendrick, Candace and Gyneth get to know one another.

Kendrick, Candace and Gyneth get to know one another.

The afternoon was, in short, wonderful. Respitality client families, cast and crew members, and Cridge leadership mingled in the penthouse City Club Lounge at the Parkside Hotel and Spa. A delicious array of snacks from Crumsby’s and great beverages kept adults and children alike smiling, while party-goers swayed, and occasionally danced, to the jazzy music of Maureen Washington and Karel Roessingh. A dress-up photo booth, face-painting and activities on the rooftop patio helped to keep the children entertained.

Thank you to our sponsors, without whom the party would not have happened!

Thank you to Kendrick for sharing his birthday with us!

And Thank you to everyone who came out for the afternoon to celebrate with us!

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Wasn’t That a Party!

Sometimes someone comes along in life who seems to live to put a smile on other people’s faces. In our recent experience, Kendrick Sampson is one such person. A charming, handsome actor working in Victoria for a few months, Kendrick could easily skate through life on his good looks and rising celebrity, but that’s simply not who he is. Kendrick is humble, compassionate, a lover of Jesus and people, and a committed community supporter, – whatever community he is in.


It’s not often that we get phone calls from actors who want to dedicate their birthday party to supporting our programs, so when Kendrick called, we took on making it his birthday a special occasion. Kendrick invited his local friends – the cast and crew of the production he is working on – and we invited several client families with children, some of whom have special needs. It’s safe to say a good time was had by all!

The party was, in the words of one attendee, “heart-warming, stylish and seamless.” We can’t take all the credit for that, however, as our amazing community partners really stepped up to make the event spectacular, including

  • The Parkside Hotel and Spa, who hosted the party in their beautiful City Club Lounge
  • Kevin Wensley of MacDonald Realty, who sponsored most of the food
  • Crumsby’s Cupcake Food whose amazing snacks & service with a smile
  • Vertical Wine Consulting and their contribution of a case of Joie Farm’s ‘A Noble Blend’
  • Mike Hartshorne* of DFH Realty (*Personal Real Estate Corporation) who sponsored the champagne toast
  • Decorate Victoria with Huff n Puff, whose wall of Cridge balloons cheerily greeted guests as they exited the elevator

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We’ll have another post soon with pictures of the fun, but for now we want to thank our generous partners who made the party the success it was.

Celebrate #Cridge140 and win your way to Twestival!

PrintTwestival Victoria, a fundraiser organized by the social media community, has this year selected The Cridge Centre for the Family to be the recipient charity for an evening of glamour and fun Tuesday September 24 at the Bengal Lounge beginning at 7 pm.

The event has had amazing community-wide support, and promises to be a fabulous evening out including live music, a silent auction, and great door prizes. All of the details are available at http://victoria.twestival.com/.

The Cridge Centre also happens to be celebrating its 140th Annual General Meeting on Monday, September 23 – celebrating 140 years of service to Greater Victoria and The Cridge’s position as Western Canada’s oldest continuously serving charity. The back-to-back events are a fun combination of honouring our past and celebrating our future, and you can be a part of it.

Thanks to the generosity of a regular Cridge donor, we have two free Twestival tickets to give away, complete with Twag bags of donated gifts. Since Twestival is the brain-child of the social media community, we’re going to give the tickets to someone who helps celebrate #Cridge140 on Facebook or Twitter.

All you have to do to be entered into the random draw is:

Share a memory you have of The Cridge Centre or our predecessor The BC Protestant Orphans’ Home, commend someone you know who works or volunteers with us (now or in the past), or even ask a questin to learn about us. As long as your status is relevant and includes the hashtag #Cridge140, it’ll be counted in the draw.

We’ll make a draw from all selections on Monday, September 23 at 10:00 pm and let the winners know then, so keep your Tuesday evening open just in case you’re the lucky winner.

This contest is open to everyone in the online community, including board and society members, supporters, suppliers, clients, volunteers, staff,  and their families.

More than a Garden Shed: Service and Home and Abroad

If you ask them, Tony and Jan Zanon will tell you they’re just ordinary people. That may be true, if ordinary people travel to Mexico for mission-based building projects, or organize donations and a crew to make a difference here at home.

Tony and Jan are society members here at The Cridge Centre, who happened to read about The Cridge Brain Injury food programs in a recent edition of The Messenger. Seeing that the community garden needed a shed, they started making connections.

In Jan’s words, “We are from Colwood Pentecostal Church. The church paid for the materials for the shed. The labour was provided by members of the Mexico Mission Trip team heading out Nov/13 to build a house in Mexico for a needy family . . . we have been building sheds as a fundraiser for the trip. We wanted to give to our community as well when we heard of the garden program you have.”

Their team includes builders, carpenters, contractors, and just a few “ordinary” good people who are willing to do hard work. Over the course of a weekend, they built a firm foundation for the shed (no easy task on our uneven land), then made the shed tall, strong and secure.

Once the building was complete, Greg Goldberg, co-ordinator of The Cridge Brain Injury Services’ ‘Blue Sheet Club’ – a supportive environment where survivors of brain injuries learn, grow, and share with each other – and two club members finished the shed with a good coat of paint. As Greg reported afterwards, “The shed was completed today with great and inspirational help from Garratte and Mark. My assistants and I went out for some popsicles to celebrate. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to be productive-such an important gift during rehabilitation.”

Thanks to Jan and Tony Zanon for their leadership of this project. Thanks to everyone who showed up and pounded nails, cut wood, secured shingles, and got the job done. The difference you all made is a contribution far beyond the garden shed. God bless you as you bless the people around you.

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Community Cooking 2013

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Dates: Thursday September 12, to Friday December 20, 20113
Time:  9:00am to 3:00pm

Location: Oaklands Chapel (2736 Fernwood Road – one block south of Hillside Avenue)

Program: A community kitchen is an arrangement where people get together to cook, have fun and support each other. This program is focused on growing people’s capacity to connect and contribute. Participants will be supported to start their own community kitchen and will learn new skills along the way.

community kitchen

Participants: This program is for people living in the community recovering from a brain injury. Participants must be independent with transportation and must be ready to contribute and learn:

  • Cooking Skills
  • Organizational Skills
  • Budgeting
  • Teamwork
  • Nutrition
  • Healthy Lifestyle
  • Relationships

Please Contact:
Mark Fournier
250 479-5299

PDF version of this flyer to print and share: Community Cooking Start Info.

Buskers 2013

For the third year in a row we are welcoming the International Buskers Festival community performance program to The Cridge Centre for the Family. This year we will have three performance, all of which are open to the public.

Charlie Caper – Monday, July 22 at 1 pm

Charlie Caper is an international magician and winner of Sweden’s Got Talent. He’s also an experienced variety entertainer with a swing beat in his heart and a love for the good life.

Kif Kif – Wednesday, July 24 at 1 pm

“Kif-Kif” in French means “same-same.” This young duo of identical twins share their creativity in Quebec City and around the world. Humor, circus and twinship are at the heart of their original and interactive performances. Check out their energetic, family-friendly performance on their website.

Funny Bones – Friday, July 26 at 1 pm

Funny Bones were winners of the 2012 world buskers fest in New Zealand. Their act features rock ‘n’ roll lions, hat juggling, voice percussion, break-dancing, comedy mime, magic and slightly frightening yet hilarious giant puppets.

NICHE Inspiration Ball

The NICHE Inspiration Charity Ball was a generous gift bestowed on The Cridge Transition House for Women by Tracey and Steve Drake, the editor and publisher, respectively, of NICHE Magazine. Tracey met the Cridge CEO Shelley Morris at the Evening to Remember Lindsay Buziak in February, and Tracey decided in the course of that conversation that The Cridge Transition House for Women was a good candidate to be a NICHE charity of choice. A lunch at ‘the house,’ and a couple conversations later, and the NICHE Inspiration Ball was announced, bringing a sparkle to an otherwise ordinary spring.

NICHE Magazine is committed to supporting women in meeting their dreams and potential. This commitment is true in the hiring, staff training, magazine content, and in the charities they support. Having worked with Women for Women International for several years, the Drakes wanted to find a local charity they could also support. The Cridge Transition House for Women couldn’t be more blessed to be that choice.

On Saturday June 8, ball attendees arrived in style, walking under sunny skies up the red carpet to the Empress Hotel. An impressive silent auction, fashion show, and cocktail lounge greeted the guests even before they entered the Crystal Ballroom. Inside, a three-course dinner, fabulous music by local jazz singer Maureen Washington, a live auction, and dancing into the wee hours awaited.

While the evening was one of style and splendor, the realities of the women we support at The Cridge Transition House for Women was never far away. These women, with their intelligence, bravery, and resourcefulness, are our inspiration.

To read Shannon Whissell’s speech from the evening, NICHE Notes.

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The Cridge Nature Preschool

Victoria’s first all-outdoors nature preschool is coming to The Cridge Childcare Centre. 


“Let nature be your teacher”  William Wordsworth

This September will find eight adventurous four and five year olds, in the company of their early childhood educator and a support adult, exploring nature as it occurs in and around our city. Following the changing seasons in our Garry Oak meadow, watching the water move the rocks at Gonzalez Beach, and finding wildlife within city parks and greenspaces will all be an everyday part of this special curriculum.

Nature education is not simply about being outdoors – it provides children with an opportunity to interact with nature in a way that few urban children experience. With a belief that “there’s no bad weather, there’s only bad clothing,” the intrepid children and their leaders will sally forth as urban explorers to learn the special lessons of nature. Studies show that children who experience nature develop important critical thinking, team work, self-awareness, independence, agility, self management and risk taking skills.

The Cridge Nature Preschool featured on Shaw GO! Island

Planned for Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, The Cridge Nature Preschool will offer slightly extended hours in order to accommodate travel times, and – as with all Cridge Childcare Programs – will be inclusive of children with special needs. If you would like more information about The Cridge Nature Preschool, please email Paula West-Patrick or call (250) 995-6416.

Applications for September 2013 intake can be downloaded here..

The Cridge Nature Preschool featured on CHEK News Vital People.