Service Groups in Esquimalt
There are several volunteer-based community organizations in Esquimalt. Please contact the organizations individually to find out about volunteer opportunities.
- Esquimalt Buccaneer Days Committee
- Celebration of Lights Committee
- Esquimalt Anglers Association
- Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce
- Esquimalt Early Years Coalition
- Esquimalt Garden Club
- Esquimalt Kiwanis Club
- Esquimalt Lantern Festival
- Esquimalt Lions Club
- Esquimalt Legion
- Esquimalt Photography Club
- Fraternal Order of Eagles
- Greater Victoria Green Team
- Harbourside Boys and Girls Club
- Independent Order of Odd Fellows
- St. John Ambulance
- West Bay Residents Association
The Esquimalt Buccaneer Days Celebration started its own committee in the 1970s. The present committee was formed in 1994. There are approximately 10 members that work about eight to nine months of the year to put on the celebration each year. They coordinate the parade, dance, arts and crafts and the outside groups. They encourage the community groups in Esquimalt to participate in the celebrations each year. The community groups participating raise funds for their individual groups.
The Buccaneer Days Committee receives a percentage of revenue from the festivities which pays for advertising to promote the weekend. The Committee is always looking for volunteers to help with set up and the parade. The committee is now evolving into a community-based group.
For more information or to volunteer with the Buccaneer Days Committee please visit: http://www.esquimaltbuccaneerdays.ca
The Celebration of Lights Committee was founded eight years ago and their current membership is 18. Their mandate is to bring light to Esquimalt and to create a fun, family event.
They are funded by the municipality and the community through sponsorship. The Celebration of Lights Committee is always looking for new members.
For more information or to volunteer please visit: http://www.celebrationoflights.ca
The Esquimalt Anglers Association (EAA) was formed in 1952 by a small group of Esquimalt residents who shared a love for fishing. The "Club" has grown over the past 61 years to where the annual membership numbers between 450 to 600 members.
During the early years EAA, in partnership with Esquimalt Municipal Council, received approval for the Club to center their activities out of Fleming Beach which had previously been a gravel pit. As the Club's activities grew, permission was given for them to keep a "break down structure" at the site which would be erected on Friday but it had to be taken down at the end of each weekend. Over the years "The Shack " grew into the building that it is today.
Since being formed in 1952 as primarily a fishing club, EAA activities have expanded to include numerous one time and ongoing community projects and activities, including involvement with Buccaneer Days activities and installation of new infrastructure such as boat ramp, wharves, Fleming Beach breakwater, the beach walkway, Buxton Green, and the sawdust trails on Macaulay Point.
As part of their day to day responsibilities, EAA volunteer members also work in conjunction with Esquimalt Public Works staff maintaining the washrooms, wharves, ramp, parking lot and have just recently purchased and installed a security system that monitors the safety and well-being of the public and park infrastructure.
EAA is a non-profit association with a great majority of the funding for the projects/facilities and maintenance coming from the purchase of annual memberships and day boat launches.
For over 30 years EAA members have also volunteered and maintained a fish fence on
Craigflower Creek. Funding for this and other salmon enhancement projects are donated through EAA from like minded local clubs, businesses, derbies and individuals. EAA, on behalf of these organizations, distributes those funds where they can best add to the betterment and improvement of salmon stocks.
For more information go to www.esquimaltanglers.ca
The Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce has been in business since February 26, 1947 and the current membership is 160. The mandate of the Chamber is to “help start, run and grow business in Esquimalt.”
The goals of the Chamber are to:
- Promote and improve trade and commerce and the economic, civic and social welfare of the Municipality;
- Foster business growth through the sharing of ideas and knowledge within the membership;
- Development in the community at large a finer appreciation and greater understanding of the benefits derived through local businesses;
- Co-operate with other organizations having mutual aims and objectives by participating and sharing joint ventures;
- Undertake projects as defined by the Board of Directors of an educational nature for the promotion of business within the Municipality;
- Function at all times as an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit body for the purpose of carrying out the aims of the Chamber.
Their primary source of funding is membership fees. The Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce encourages new membership.
For more info call 250 590-2125 or visit www.esquimaltchamber.ca
The Esquimalt Early Years Coalition is a network of service providers in Esquimalt who work for, and are interested in, the health and well-being of young children in Esquimalt. They believe that children’s voices matter and should be part of all community planning. Our goal is to strengthen the community’s capacity to address issues related to healthy early childhood development (0-6 years).
The Esquimalt Early Years Coalition was formed in 2003 to respond to community needs in Esquimalt identified by the Early Development Instrument (EDI). A coalition of local organizations working with children was formed, with seed funding from Success by Six, to work at improving the lives of young children in Esquimalt.
Ten years later the table continues to network, share, and collaborate to make this community a better place for all children and families, with the ongoing support of Success by Six. The Esquimalt Early Years Coalition members meet quarterly and include representatives from across sectors, health to planning, recreation to education. Esquimalt is one of a handful of Early Years Committees in the Greater Victoria area; across the province most communities and regions collaborate to improve the Early Years outcomes for children. In the Greater Victoria Area the committees share ideas, information and events with each other. Provincially they are part of an annual evaluation to note partnerships and collaborations that promote the Early Years. Participants in the Early Years Coalition are actively working together to create the legacy of a healthy community for Esquimalt now and in the future.
To create a healthy community, we need to start with healthy children.
The Esquimalt committee currently has membership from the following organizations/services:
- Boys & Girls Club
- VIHA – Public Health Nursing
- Salvation Army- Vic West
- Vic West Community Association
- Island Kids Academy
- Saxe Point Day Care
- Esquimalt Municipality- Planning dept.
- Esquimalt Park & Recreation
- Esquimalt Neighbourhood House
- Songhees Nation Day Care
- School District 61- Strong Starts
- Esquimalt Residents Association
- Ciara Early Childhood Centre
Everyone plays a role in the development of a child. We invite you to join in and be a part of making Esquimalt a leader in Child and Family Friendly Community Practices.
To learn more about the Esquimalt coalition, and/or the Greater Victoria Early Years tables and how you or your organization can become involved, please contact Gillian Petrini, Early Years Tables Coordinator at [email protected]
The Esquimalt Garden Club originated in 1964. Their mandate is to provide gardeners in Esquimalt and the Greater Victoria Region with information and a forum where they are able to ask questions of professional gardeners and hold informal discussion groups. Funds are raised annually through the sale of annual plants in May. In June they take part in the local Buccaneer Days celebrations with a sale of perennial plants and hanging baskets. Funds realized by these sales are used to help beautify Esquimalt through tree plantings, erecting planters and benches and assistance to local schools that are doing landscaping improvements.
For more information or to volunteer with this club visit www.icangarden.com/clubs/EGC
Note: in late October 2017 the Esquimalt Garden Club discontinued their operations. Thanks to Esquimalt Garden Club for their many years supporting the community.
The Esquimalt Kiwanis Club started in 1977 and has a current membership of 19. In addition to supporting Kiwanis International in its efforts through the Eliminate Project (working with UNICEF to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus), local Kiwanis clubs donate their time and the funds they raise to support amazing groups right here, in our own backyard.
Kiwanis tries to serve children and youth using two approaches. The first approach is to attempt to improve the quality of life directly through activities promoting health, education, etc. The other approach is aimed at encouraging leadership and service among youth. Kiwanis members help shelter the homeless, feed the hungry, mentor the disadvantaged, and care for the sick. Members are involved in a variety of projects that involve fundraising, community service, and helping children both locally and worldwide.
Here in Esquimalt, the Kiwanis are involved in volunteering with Child Find BC, providing books for the Esquimalt Story Festival, participating in the parade, and hosting the Christmas tree sales and chipping, just to name a few.
Note: in late December 2015 the local Kiwanis Club discontinued their operations. Thanks to Esquimalt Kiwanis for their many years of dedication to the community.
For more information visit www.kiwanisdivision17.ca.
The Esquimalt Lantern Festival started in 1995. The mandate of the group is to create an opportunity for the local community to come together and celebrate a festival of light, art and music, which showcases local artists and performers in the context of a free and fun family event. The festival is funded through grants and donations. Volunteers are an integral part of the festival’s success and are required to hold both the event and workshops. New members and volunteers are always welcome and the festival is currently seeking five volunteer directors.
To volunteer or for more information about the Esquimalt Lantern Festival, please contact the Township of Esquimalt Community Development Programmer at 250-412-8511.
The Esquimalt Lions Club started in 1951. The club is involved in a wide and ever-changing range of activities and events in support of the community, from operating concessions at community events to holding children’s events, to supporting the community’s seniors
Lions membership currently stands at 36 and the club is always open to new members, particularly younger members who help to re-energize the Club and bring fresh ideas and approaches to established practices and ways of doing things.
The Lions Club is a strictly democratic society administered by a Board of Directors on behalf of the membership. The President of the Club is a facilitator/administrator, responsible for the orderly conduct of meetings and ensuring the wishes of the membership are carried out.
Funding is obtained through a number of activities such as fundraisers (concessions, entertainment endeavours, garage sales, etc), through donations, through gaming grants, and so on. Most funding comes from the public and all monies raised directly from the public are directed back into service to the community.
People can volunteer by contacting the Membership Director, any member of the Club or our Board of Directors. The Club is in the process of developing a Facebook page, which it hopes to have up and running in 2014.
The Lions Club has also committed to raising and contributing up to $50,000 towards a Splash Park component to the Esquimalt community park project should it be approved. This will be a major undertaking given how busy the Lions are in the community.
Club projects and activities include: Highland Games, Buccaneer Days Weekend, Celebration of Lights, Seniors & Youth Programs, and the Eye Glass Recycle Station
The Esquimalt Dockyard Branch 172 of The Royal Canadian Legion was inscribed on October 6, 1944. The current membership is 1001.
The organization mandate is support for all Veterans including active service, Merchant Navy, ex-service from commonwealth countries that reside in Canada and their families who are in need and ex-service personnel of allied countries who reside in Canada and their families, who are in need of assistance. The Legion provides other assistance by way of scholarships, bursaries, food purchases, rental assistance, and medical assistance, to name a few. It also supports the community by providing financial support for baseball, softball, hockey, curling, basketball, wrestling, soccer as well as other sports groups up to junior level. It provides assistance in housing accommodation or care facilities, medical training and medical research, senior services, disaster relief, transportation, monuments, support of cadet services, veteran visits, veterans reading programs, Military Family Resource Centers and Veterans Transition Programs.
All Royal Canadian Legion Branches create their own funding from bar sales, special functions such as weddings, receptions, birthday parties, anniversaries, retirement functions, and funerals, to name a few. No government funding is available.
The Legion needs and wants more members. Any Canadian can join the Legion or become a Legion volunteer. Our members serve thousands of hours each year volunteering for various community functions. The legion values their members and all volunteers.
The Esquimalt Legion will be 70 years old on October 6, 2014.
For more information about the Esquimalt Legion visit www.legion172.com
The Esquimalt Photography Club is a venue for those who love photography, the outdoors and just taking pictures.
For more information, visit http://www.esquimaltphotoclub.org
The Aerie received its charter in 1899 and had premises for many years on View Street in Victoria. They moved to their present location in 1988.
The current membership is approximately 200 men and women. It was originally a men's organization. The ladies operate their own auxiliary under the umbrella of the Aerie, which received its charter in 1946.
They have their own officers, ritual and meeting nights but also do many things jointly. The mandate of the organization is based on the motto "People helping People." The Eagles assist members of our community, especially local youth and families, the vulnerable and needy, and wider community organizations. We use social events to raise money for community causes. In 2012 the FOE raised just over $12,000, a large sum of money for such a small group, especially since it has no access to gaming funds.
All monies raised by our group are distributed to causes in the community. Internal income from lounge sales and our membership dues pays bills and funds our administration costs.
It was the Eagles who pushed for the founding of Mother's Day, who provided the impetus for social security and who pushed to end job discrimination based on age. The Eagles have provided support for medical centers across the country to build and provide research for medical conditions — they raise millions of dollars every year to combat heart disease and cancer, help handicapped kids, uplift the aged and make life a little brighter for everyone.
Become a member of the Eagles and get involved. For more information, visit www.bcfoe.com
The Greater Victoria Green Team has been busy at work throughout the Capital Region since August 2014. The Program Manager, Amanda Evans, believes that fostering a connection between people and nature is vital to the health and well-being of our planet, and plans to continue to motivate and encourage the community to get outside, get their hands dirty and restore habitat.
- Remove invasive plants
- Plant native species
- Pick up litter from shorelines, creeks and parks
- Maintain and build trails
- Prepare vegetable beds, harvest veggies on educational farms
Join the GVGT volunteer program on their meetup site
Boys & Girls Club Services of Greater Victoria, first incorporated in 1960 as the Boys’ Club of Victoria, provides safe, supportive places where children and youth experience new opportunities, overcome barriers, and develop skills, positive relationships and confidence for successfully leading their lives and their communities. While locally autonomous, we are part of a national and international movement that is over 100 years old. And what originally began as a desire to provide meaningful and constructive activities to keep young boys off the streets developed into an international organization that has the healthy development of children and youth at its heart. Today there are 99 Clubs operating in 500 service locations across Canada and 200,000 children and youth are served, ranging in age from pre-school to young adulthood.
We are one of the largest providers of services for children, youth and parents in Greater Victoria. Our wide range of innovative and accessible programs reflect local need and build on the internal strengths and capacities of the participant – meeting youth where they are and helping them get to where they want to be. In 2012-13, we worked with approximately 3,000 participants across 30 prevention and intervention programs. We assist youth, children, families, homeless youth, single parent families, youth in care, aboriginal youth and young offenders. Our facilities include a 98 acre outdoor centre, four community clubs and a central program/office space.
Harbourside Club - A Satellite Club of Boys & Girls Club Services of Greater Victoria
In 1988 a special needs school counselor from Macaulay Elementary School approached us regarding the need for after-school programming in a community with a high component of military, single parent and low income families. When the Rotarians, under the leadership of the late Alan Potter, heard of our intentions to open a club, they raised and donated to Boys and Girls Clubs a total of $30,000 to buy and equip the trailers needed. To honour their contributions we named the Esquimalt facility the Harbourside Club. In 2001, when we had to relocate the old trailers it was decided that it would be best to build something that was large enough to meet the growing needs of the local community rather than simply move the ancient structures. The Harbourside Rotary Club contributed a total of $45,000 towards the new building and we named one of the activity rooms “The Alan Potter Room” to formally acknowledge his incredible support to us over the years.
The Harbourside Club offers licensed before and after-school care, outdoor adventure programs, youth leadership, numeracy and literacy support, girls group, and holiday and Pro-D camps.
The budget to operate Harbourside is $210,241 exclusive of non-core programs like outdoor adventure, youth leadership, and numeracy and literacy. The budget for those programs is approximately $52,000. We receive support from the United Way, gaming grants, revenue from fundraising events, the Township of Esquimalt, grants through our national office Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and from our own foundation, membership fees, fees service for before and after school licensed care, and donations from individuals and businesses.
Current members total 144. We are licensed for 40 children for after-school care; however, as we run a number of other programs our membership exceeds that. We welcome new participants for these programs. We serve children and youth from 5 to 17.
Volunteers are welcome and when positions are available they are posted at bgcvic.org/get-involved/volunteer/
The Odd Fellows have been in Victoria since March 10, 1864. The membership is about 150 members in Victoria. The Grand Lodge is located in Esquimalt.
Some of the projects of the Order include:
- Visual research;
- Contribute to the Arthritic Foundation and all this money stays in British Columbia and the Yukon;
- The United Nations Pilgrimage for Youth founded in 1951 sending students to the United Nations for a week;
- Student loan programs, bursaries at the international, provincial and local levels;
- Several housing projects for seniors in BC;
- The Living Legacy Program.
For more information about this group visit ioofbc.org
St. John Ambulance was first established in Canada in 1883 in Quebec and by 1892 had established 12 branches across Canada. Its mission is to enable Canadians to improve their health, safety and quality of life by providing training and community service.
This is carried out through community service, first aid, and CPR training.
Community Services volunteers include uniformed members who serve communities across Canada, providing first aid and emergency response support, as well as improving the quality of life for people confined to a health care facility through our Therapy Dog visitation program. Our volunteers contribute millions of hours to Canadian communities each year.
First aid and CPR training comprises instructors, volunteers and staff who provide high-quality first aid training and products. Under the guidance of our network of medical and health care professionals, St. John Ambulance is the national leader, setting the standard for training in first aid, CPR and other lifesaving skills.
2013 marks St. John Ambulance's 130th Anniversary in Canada!
For more information, visit sja.ca
The West Bay Residents Association is an organization of residents in the historic Township of Esquimalt, B.C. and is a registered Society, constituted under the B.C. Societies Act. The mandate of the Society is to promote the physical, environmental, economic, social, historic and aesthetic interests of the West Bay neighbourhood, including land use and development. We work to support initiatives that contribute to the vibrancy of our community, and to keep residents informed about issues that impact our neighbourhood.
For more information, visit westbayresidents.com