My @VicFoundation Journey Ends in Sooke

Journey musicians If you have a kind of idealized image of Vancouver Island in your mind - a rolling road twisting along the coniferous coastline with cozy coves harbouring independent businesses and free thinkers - you're probably picturing Sooke, home of the famed Sooke Harbour House restaurant that friends of my parents fled Toronto to start several decades ago. And not too far from that was the final stop on my tour of schools in the Victoria area this week - appropriately enough named Journey Middle School.

I was thrilled that Journey decided to delay the start of renovations to their gymnasium so we could do this assembly today and although it was a short day for the school I was also thrilled that the students hung on every word of the presentation even beyond our official end time. Vice-principal Glenn Bedard helped us get set up and festooned the table where I place the guitar case with a school logo covering made in the traditional button blanket style of the local T'Sou-ke Nation on whose traditional territory the school sits.

For the performance pocket, Miles Eldredge (pictured, second from left) performed solo doing one of his own songs, while Mitch Rehman (holding Voyageur) covered the Beatles' "Oh Darling" with Richard Hopkins (left) on bass and student Ella McDonald (right) providing some powerful vocals. It was a real high note on which to bring this extraordinary week to a close (though I'm kind of amazed they didn't do a Journey song!).

Thanks to everyone at Journey and to everyone at the Victoria Foundation for making this such an amazing journey for me on Vancouver Island!

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