Rotary Club talks focus on Victoria harbour

Breakfast speakers series begins Sept. 11 at Union Club

Victoria’s Harbourside Rotary members get a peek-a-boo view of the Inner Harbour out the windows of the Union Club during their breakfast meetings.

And with many members of the local service organization operating businesses or living in the city, it’s not surprising the club has taken an interest in the future of the harbour.

As a way of addressing key issues affecting this integral piece of city infrastructure, Rotary is hosting a series of talks aimed at offering varying perspectives on the role of the harbour, its past and future.

The monthly series, entitled Victoria’s Harbour: Meeting the Challenge of Making it Work, kicks off with Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin on Sep. 11.

Subsequent Wednesday morning speakers range from historian John Adams and Tourism Victoria chair Dave Cowan to Greater Victoria Harbour Authority CEO Curtis Grad and Libby Seifel, an urban land economist and city planner from San Francisco.

“I think it’s more a gathering of points of view,” said Rotary member and former Oak Bay mayor Christopher Causton, who was instrumental in arranging the speakers.

“We thought it was time to get people to focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the harbour and where we want to go in the next 20 to 25 years.”

Causton, who has enjoyed a unique viewpoint as a Victoria Harbour Ferry captain the past two summers, called the harbour “the icon of the city.”

Redevelopment plans for the Royal B.C. Museum, Belleville Terminal and the Blue Bridge, not to mention the working Upper Harbour and air terminal, of which the federal government has said it wants to divest itself, are all issues of great interest to the public, Causton said.

Attendees need not be Union Club or Rotary members, but must pay $18 for the buffet breakfast, which gets underway at 7 a.m. The Union Club is at 805 Gordon St.

ddescoteau@vicnews.com