Show cover of Vital Victoria Podcast

Vital Victoria Podcast

We have amazing people in our community, and we want you to hear their stories. The Vital Victoria Podcast, hosted by Lucky Budd, spotlights people who are working to create a vibrant and caring community for everyone in Greater Victoria and beyond. From wellness experts to performers and business innovators, to champions for causes that matter, and more, this monthly podcast captures the stories of wonderfully diverse, passionate people and the missions that drive them all. During each conversation, host Lucky Budd pulls in stats from the Victoria Foundation’s Vital Signs program to dive deeper into the states of wellness in our region, and how Victoria’s vital people are working to address challenges so everyone can thrive.


Growing the community through a farm-to-table food hub
The Victoria Community Food Hub is a crucial organization in a giant sustainable food ecosystem working to put farm-fresh grub in the bellies of all Greater Victorians.  This month, host Lucky Budd chats with Laura Gair and Colleen Popyk – two outstanding people who are working tirelessly on Food Hub initiatives that bring good food to the capital region’s most vulnerable, while feeding our robust local food economy.  The South Island FarmHub is an online farmer’s market that connects Victorians with boxes of fresh produce from local farmers, and it runs the Farm Bucks program to help subsidize this great food for charities and schools.   Kitchen Connect is a food business incubator and processing facility open to anyone wanting to learn how to start a business and process their food to be sold in stores.  Tune in for a lot more on these incredible initiatives, the faces behind them, and how you can get involved! 
35:55 4/16/24
Jess Gibbard on helping the trans community find its true voice
For the last few years, Victoria's Jess Gibbard has been passionately working to help trans and non-binary people find their true voices, be it from her private home studio or through charitable initiatives. After transitioning herself, she learned there's large gap in BC and all over the world for gender-affirming voice training. Often, voice coaches are expensive, unavailable, or, in certain parts of the world, non-existent.On this episode, Jess tells host Lucky Budd the story of finding her own voice and her passion for helping others do the same, on top of her studies to become a speech pathologist. She talks about the necessity for affordable and accessible voice lessons in a time when more people than ever are discovering who they truly are.
38:22 3/12/24
‘Winning hearts’ through a family-run mobile food bank
Fateh Care means “winning hearts by caring.” And that’s exactly what Harjas Singh and Navneet Kaur Popli aim to do by delivering food, clothing and other necessities to people in need, through their family-fun mobile food bank called the Fateh Care Charity. When the Poplis immigrated to Canada in 2020 on the last flight from India before COVID shutdowns, they found themselves housebound, without jobs, and in need of a food bank to provide for their family. A year later in Victoria, they set their hearts on creating a charitable delivery service of their own that could bring items to those who aren’t as mobile. Since 2021, Fateh Care Charity has been filling bellies, feeding souls, and creating heartfelt connections in Greater Victoria. Tune in to an inspiring conversation with the Poplis and host Lucky Budd, about selflessness, faith, and a love for community.
36:14 2/7/24
Victoria Police's Del Manak on fostering leaders and inspiring youth
Chief Constable Del Manak of the Victoria Police joins host Lucky Budd to talk about his life in the public service, and how the police are connecting with community through their non-profit and related work. Chief Manak reflects on his childhood in Victoria, his inspirations for leadership, and his vision for the future of police work at a time when more community members feel less safe overall. He also discusses the new Greater Victoria Police Foundation, which offers youth camps and one-on-one mentorships between young people and police officers, to inspire confidence, leadership, and community engagement.
35:16 1/16/24
Changing lives by providing hope and dignity through hygiene
Anne McIntyre says while there are services that provide food and shelter to those in need, hygiene products can often be more of an afterthought. Tune in as Anne joins host Lucky Budd on the Vital Victoria Podcast to share the story of her journey building Soap for Hope Canada – one of the country’s only nonprofits dedicated solely to personal hygiene. Soap for Hope collects gently used and unused hygiene products, linens, and lost and found items from hotels, and redistributes them to the community. The organization now works with over 450 community facilities in B.C. and Alberta to make sure soap gets into the hands of people who need it most. Anne talks about what inspired her to start the organization and how it’s grown over the last 7 years, and how the non-profit is helping both people and the environment at the same time.
37:31 12/5/23
How Victoria’s Filipino community centre connects generations through arts, food, and passion
Laila Pires joins host Lucky Budd on the Vital Victoria Podcast to tell the story of one of Canada’s first Filipino-owned community centres, and how it continues to create space for Victorians of all backgrounds to celebrate Filipino arts, food and culture.Laila, the treasurer and a founding member of the Bayanihan Cultural and Housing Society, has won numerous awards for community involvement, including the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012. She discusses her involvement in the region’s Filipino community after her immigration to Canada over 50 years ago. She traces the society’s early roots, how it opened its official community centre in 2001 and paid off the building’s mortgage in just 5 years, and how since then it continues to enrich Greater Victoria through events, food, and arts, in order to break down barriers and create an equitable community for everyone.
36:03 11/7/23
Boosting literacy skills for a more confident and democratic Victoria
This month on the Vital Victoria Podcast, host Lucky Budd joins Janine Hannis, the Head of the Greater Victoria Alliance for Literacy (GVAL), and Christine Bossi, the Executive Director of the Victoria Literacy Connection, to talk about the community’s work to boost literacy skills in people of all ages. They discuss the community’s most pressing literacy needs today, how to tackle the stigma around low adult literacy, and how bolstering reading and digital literacy skills makes for a more confident and democratic society. They also talk about the GVAL’s recent Council of the Federation Literacy award, from the Premiers of Canada.
33:19 10/24/23
Destigmatizing addiction and fostering mental wellness in the construction industry
This month on the Vital Victoria Podcast, Rory Kulmala, the CEO of the Vancouver IslandConstruction Association (VICA), joins host Lucky Budd to talk about mental health andaddiction issues that many are facing in the construction industry. They talk about howVICA has been educating workers about harm reduction, connecting them with localresources to help, and reducing the stigma around mental health and substance issues.They talk about how Rory’s time in the navy inspired him and his team to take action onmental health issues, and how, day by day, that action is helping save lives.
35:39 10/10/23
A voice of Victoria and why local journalism matters
Host Lucky Budd welcomes Jack Knox to the Vital Victoria Podcast. Recently retired from the Times Colonist in Victoria, B.C., Jack shares his story on how he got his start in journalism and the first story he ever wrote covering a dead cow on the road in Kamloops. He talks about his start at the Times Colonist, from copy editor to columnist, and how his column started with a piece on men at craft fairs. They talk about the importance of local journalism and how it can help create a sense of belonging and healthy engagement in our community, and more.
36:13 9/5/23
From Vancouver Island to the Olympics, talking sport and culture
Host Lucky Budd welcomes Micah Zandee Hart, a member of the Canadian Women’s National Hockey Team. Growing up on the Saanich Peninsula, Micah talks about her journey from playing minor hockey with the boys on the Peninsula to becoming the second sophomore to wear the ‘C’ when she played at Cornell University. She talks about the culture and work ethic playing for Team Canada, how the Women's gold medal game in 2002 inspired her to pursue her dream, how we can foster inclusive leadership and culture at all levels of hockey for youth, and more.
36:15 6/8/23
Honouring the history and culture of Chinese Canadians
May is Asian Heritage Month and host Lucky Budd welcomes Dr. Grace Wong Sneddon, board chair of the Victoria Chinatown Museum Society, to the Vital Victoria Podcast. Dr. Wong Sneddon shares her story of how her family came to Vancouver Island and touches on the impact of the Chinese Exclusion Act. They talk about the need to preserve, teach and inform about the culture of Chinese Canadians and how Victoria’s Chinatown is a living museum, engaging the community. Dr. Wong Sneddon reflects on the importance of cultural events and storytelling, how reclaiming identities and pride can help foster belonging in the community, and more.
36:43 5/2/23
Theatre, the arts and building a platform for cultures to flourish
Isaac Thomas is the executive director of the Belfry Theatre and joins host Lucky Budd for episode 12 of the Vital Victoria Podcast where they talk about Isaac’s journey to Greater Victoria. They discuss how theatre can analyze the past, present and see the future and explore a broader set of stories while reflecting on arts in Greater Victoria and how, across the country, theatre can set the stage to welcome many stories from many cultures.
35:46 4/4/23
Language and the role it plays in community
Alex D’Arcy is a professor of Linguistics and Associate Dean of Research in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Victoria. She joins host Lucky Budd for episode 11 of the Vital Victoria Podcast, where they talk about how she found her way to Victoria, crossing paths with her family’s history in the city and what led her to pursue studies in linguistics. They talk about the connection to place, how language influences belonging and community, International Women’s Day and how young women are changemakers in language, and more.
45:21 3/7/23
Black history and fostering diversity and inclusion in Greater Victoria
Silvia Mangue Alene, president of the BC Black History Awareness Society, joins host Lucky Budd for episode 10 of the Vital Victoria Podcast. They talk about Silvia’s journey to Victoria, from being born in Africa to growing up in Spain and coming to Canada. Silvia recounts growing up as a black child in Spain and the experience of moving to London, seeing black people and the power of “being invisible.” She touches on what steps we as a society can take to foster a more inclusive Victoria, what it means to really believe in diversity, and much more.
30:14 2/7/23
Understanding and protecting our oceans with Open Ocean Robotics
Open Ocean Robotics’ co-founder Julie Angus, the first woman to row across the Atlantic Ocean from mainland to mainland, joins host Lucky Budd for Episode nine of the Vital Victoria Podcast. They talk about how Open Ocean Robotics started and the importance of monitoring and protecting our oceans with cleantech. They also touch on how technology and innovation can play a role in adapting to climate change in our community, Julie’s journey across the Atlantic, and more.
34:25 1/3/23
Enhancing mental health through the great outdoors
Human Nature Counselling takes what Greater Victoria is known for, its picturesque outdoors, and provides individual and group nature-based therapy and programs for children, youth, adults and families.In episode 8 of the Vital Victoria podcast, co-founders of Human Nature Counselling David Segal and Katy Rose join host Lucky Budd to talk about how Human Nature Counselling started, working in partnership with the natural world, and how the connection to our “near-nature” can help many individuals’ mental health and well-being.
38:10 12/6/22
Bonding through dumplings and the birth of a Victoria restaurant
From delivery service to pop-ups and a successful downtown restaurant, Dumpling Drop started with a gathering between mother and daughter. In episode 7 of the Vital Victoria Podcast, Tarn Tayanunth, owner of Dumpling Drop, joins host Lucky Budd. Tayanunth shares the story behind Dumpling Drop, which began with her mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis and time spent bonding afterwards, making dumplings. She shares her story of moving to Victoria at age 14, the support of the Greater Victoria community as a small business owner, how Dumpling Drop gives back to the community and more.
31:52 10/26/22
Spirit, identity and caring for Indigenous Youth
When our children return to school, our hearts go with them.” It’s a quote that rests on the back of a t-shirt from Surrounded by Cedar. In this episode of the Vital Victoria Podcast, Jennifer Chuckry, Executive Director of Surrounded by Cedar Child and Family Services, joins host Lucky Budd.They talk about Surrounded by Cedar’s work as a delegated agency and their mission, to provide child and family services strongly rooted in Indigenous cultural values. Jennifer shares a personal story on the importance of treating people with kindness and compassion and the impact it had on her work with families. They dive into the importance of community raising children and youth, and that the health and well-being of Indigenous people relies heavily on connection to spirit and identity. Services are available for anyone who may need support: Hope for Wellness Help Line (24 hours a day) – 1-855-242-3310 Indian Residential School Crisis Line – 1-866-925-4419 Kuu-Us Crisis Line Society – 1-800-588-8717 Métis Crisis Line – 1-833-638-4722
35:00 10/4/22
Serving sport and community through PISE
From tennis courts around the world to leading the Pacific Institute of Sports Excellence (PISE) in Greater Victoria, Robert Bettauer has left a mark on the world of sport. In episode five of the Vital Victoria Podcast, Bettauer joins host Lucky Budd to talk about his unique story: emigrating from West Berlin to Canada, his journey to becoming a professional tennis player and playing events like the Davis Cup and Wimbledon, becoming a national coach, covering tennis on national television, and his role developing sport across Canada. They then discuss the role of sports and recreation in Greater Victoria, the upcoming 55+ games and the importance of physical literacy for youth and PISE’s role in the community.
35:35 9/6/22
Cultivating community through the Choirs YYJ
Host Lucky Budd welcomes Marc Jenkins, director of The Choirs YYJ, to talk about leading three choir ensembles with over 200 members of all ages, genders, vocal abilities and experiences. They talk about Marc’s beginnings, being inspired by seeing Stevie Ray Vaughn and picking a guitar up at the age of seven and years later, moving to Victoria and taking over The Choirs YYJ. From arranging a Radiohead song for 100 people to providing a platform for local causes to share their stories, Marc reflects on the incredible power of bringing community together through song.
26:37 8/2/22
Supporting newcomers in Greater Victoria
Host Lucky Budd sits down with Jean McRae, CEO of the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria, to talk about her time working in the immigrant and refugee services sector since 1982. McRae reflects on the experience of supporting the full integration of newcomer immigrants and refugees into the Capital Region and the role the Inter-Cultural Association plays. She also talks about the community’s support over the years and how members of the community and organizations can better support newcomers in Greater Victoria.
31:03 7/5/22
Empowering the community through peanut butter
In the second episode of the refreshed Vital Victoria Podcast, our host Lucky Budd talks to Jill Van Gyn, CEO and founder of Fatso peanut butter. Van Gyn shares her unique and powerful story, from getting sober in 2010 and earning a post-graduate degree in International Development in 2015, to becoming CEO of Canada’s 18th fastest growing startup for 2021. They also talk about how to build community by giving back, Victoria’s civic pride and love of a home-grown success story.
26:59 6/7/22
The role of Nurse Practitioners in the healthcare system
In our first episode of the refreshed Vital Victoria podcast, our host Lucky Budd chats with Sarah Jesshope and Lynn Guengerich about the important role and history of nurse practitioners in our community. With two unique stories on how they came to this profession, they discuss the differences and overlaps between their roles and that of physicians and registered nurses. From assessing and diagnosing patients to prescribing medications and patient education, their practice and designated authorities enable them to play a vital role in their patient’s long-term health journey.
23:39 4/26/22
Preview: Vital Victoria Podcast
Welcome to the Vital Victoria Podcast hosted by Lucky Budd!New episodes will air monthly with conversations highlighting people in our region that are working to create a vibrant, caring community for all.
00:25 4/11/22