A site responsive processional performance in remembrance and recognition of a buried creek on the unsurrendered territories of the Lukwungan people in the area also known as Victoria, British Columbia.
Rock Bay Creek: The Memory of Water
Video by Corina Fischer December 2020
Read my artist statement document for more info on research and methodology:
- link to Times-Colonist article
King Street divider
After over 20 years, the “temporary barriers” at Fifth and Kings have been replaced by the City of Victoria. It is designed to allow pedestrians, cyclists and strollers to flow through the barriers and access the sidewalks. The new design incorporated Tyee salmon pavers to signify the presence of Rock Bay Creek flowing underneath the pavement. This was a successful collaboration between Rock Bay Creek Revival and the City of Victoria. There will also be plantings to fill out the design.
Stream Walk January 16, 2019
On January 16, 2019, at the invitation of Penny Tennenhouse and Elaine White, Dorothy Field led a women's walking group on a stream walk. Unlike many of our walks, the participants weren't Fernwood residents. In fact, part of the draw was a stroll through some of Fernwood's and Hillside Quadra's back streets.
We met at Stanley and Vining, the site of the former Harris Pond. In the 1890s, the pond had provided ice skating in winter and swimming in summer, before it became polluted. About 125 years ago, it was drained and filled. This will be the site for one of three signs RBCR will soon be erecting to wake the neighbourhood to the stream running in culverts below our streets. Some residents are already all too aware, due to wet basements and rivulets that trickle down their street.
From there we wandered smaller streets to Alexander Park at Bay, Oregon and Walnut, soon to be the site of another way-finding sign. In the wet seasons, this park can be quite squishy. In the early 20th century, contractors didn't have the technology to build on such damp sites, so they remain green spaces. Lucky for us! This is a possible site for future daylighting the stream.
Onward to Blackwood Park, at Cook, Haultain and Blackwood, another too-wet-to-build-on green space and the site of our third way-finding sign. Along the way, we noticed low spots in the road or people's back yards where cedars and poplars thrive, hints of the creek flowing below.
From there we circled around through Wark Street Commons, up to Spring Ridge Commons, the site of Victoria's first school, and then to Fernwood's well in Stevenson Park. Early on, First Nations showed new arrivals these springs. This abundant, excellent water is one reason Victoria grew up here. A handle-less pump stands in Stevenson Park. On the third Saturday morning of each month, the well keepers arrive with the handle and anyone can come and pump pure water to take home.
We ended our walk at the Fernwood Inn where some of us warmed up with good soup and garlic bread.
Rock Bay Creek Stream Walk
Sunday May 20, 2018
10:00 AM to 12:00
This year, we begin at the end. Meet on Queens St near the corner of Government St. On-street parking is plentiful. If it is raining...bring an umbrella and wear warm clothes & waterproof shoes. We will walk the original shoreline of One Rock Bay (now mostly filled and paved). See some old pictures of the area and discuss how the landscape has changed. Where are the signs of its original form? Imagine the various indigenous travellers camping on its shore, hoping to trade at Fort Victoria. The Rock Bay watershed drains into this part of the upper harbour, originally in the form of a small waterfall at the edge of what became Finlayson Farm; now a culvert under Queens St. The bay was largely filled in to accommodate heavy industry. 100 years of coal gasification resulted in it becoming one of Canada's most polluted sites. After 12 years of cleanup and $138 million it now looks like a benign parking lot. Purchased by local First Nations as part of a land settlement, what does the future hold? Can we sing the salmon back? Hosted by the Rock Bay Creek Revival group.
Tour lead by Dan Doherty (the wisdom is in the group)
Mapping Showcase at UVIC January 23, 2017
The Deans of Social Sciences, Catherine Krull, and Humanities, Chris Goto-Jones, and the University Librarian, Jonathan Bengtson, are sponsoring the first ever showcase of the best of UVic’s community mapping and related innovative projects.
Community mapping is a tool for student-community engagement and storytelling, sustainability and place-making around the world. UVic’s Community Mapping Collaboratory has been one of the leaders in this area for more than a decade.
GOALS: The goals are to 1) highlight the many different kinds of community mapping happening in the space that links UVic to many communities locally and around the world; 2) to learn from each other about approaches, tools and resources, in a community of practice; 3) have some food, conversation, and who knows, maybe even a little fun might break out!
INVITATION: Faculty, students, and community members associated with the university are invited to propose very brief – 5 minute – showcase of community mapping projects or related tools/innovative practices that could facilitate community mapping followed by a Q and A session and then lots of time for networking and socializing.
Everyone is welcome to experience some of the best work at UVic - please mark this in your calendar.
John Lutz and Erich Nahser-Ringer
Co-Chairs UVic Community Mapping Collaboratory
Dotter's notes from UVIC Mapping Showcase:
Florence Dick of the Songhees Nation opened the event with a prayer and Ed Thomas of the Esquimalt Nation closed it. Afterwards we spoke with both of them about our hopes to be part of the conversation on plans for Rock Bay.
John Lutz of UVic's History department and Maeve Lydon and Ken Josephson of Geography held this event at UVic to showcase various projects underway. We heard about digital technological advances for mapping and some exciting projects, several having to do with First Nations land use and history.
Cam Owens opened our section with a short talk on student projects completed as part of his Coastal Communities course. Dorothy Field delivered a brief powerpoint focusing on the creation of the Fernwood Community Green Map which includes the long-filled in Harris Pond and culverted Rock Bay Creek. This aspect of the Fernwood map gave rise to the idea of daylighting parts of the stream. She showed images of Fernwood's map, community members in the UVic mapping lab, the Lost Streams of Victoria map, the LOST RIVERS poster, the Rock Bay Watershed map to orient the assembled group to our project and our trajectory. She also included an image of an early stream walk, before she ran out of time.
Ian Flock spoke of the video he'd made with Lindsay Kahrens about our project and where that's led in his own plans for further study. Dorothy closed with a shot of Finlayson Falls with the outrageous statement that we'd like to bring them back.
Creek Walks November 27, 2017 & January 21, 2018
Dan Doherty lead one of his famous creek walks on Sunday, November 27, starting from the Cornerstone in Fernwood and ending at Blackwood Park.
Dan lead the second half of the stream walk on January 21. Twenty-five people met at 10 am at Blackwood Park (Cook, Haultain and Blackwood) and walked to Rock Bay.
Lots of people checked out the Revival table in the Field of Dreams on the grounds of Vic High.
Fernfest 2016 June 18 11am - 5pm
On May 7, 2016, the daylighting group had a table at Quadra Village Day. We gave out information, talked up the project, and created quite a bit of interest. Sara Stallard lent her portable rain garden which generated lots of discussion. It was a great event and we connected with all sorts of Quadra Hillside residents.