What about Bob?
I have lived with my partner, Heather Biasio, in Saanichton since 1991 in one of the original farm houses behind the old Fairgrounds. A lot has changed since then. When we moved here, Polo Park was still the Old Fairgrounds and the Thrifty Foods complex was an empty field. Besides development of Polo Park and the Thrifty Foods plaza, other new buildings have appeared over the years, including the P.I. Cold Beer & Wine store, the Station Building (Fresh Cup Roastery Café), the small townhouse complex across from the P.I. and other mixed commercial/residential developments.
At work in the community
I have been involved in many volunteer activities in the community including the Peninsula Country Market, Saanich Fair, Brentwood Bay Festival, Saanichton Village Association and the Saanich Peninsula Harvest Feast. I’ve also volunteered with other community organizations and projects such as the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce (Director, 2009-2010), the Hagan Creek Project, the 100-Year Vision Committee and The Farmland Trust. I am also the proud winner of the park-naming contest for Oak Haven Park and co-winner for Saanichton Green.
Peninsula Country Market
Since 2012, I have again been active with the Peninsula Country Market, renewing a relationship that goes back to the 1990s, as a Director, President, Manager and volunteer. Part of my responsibility is organizing the market component of the Brentwood Bay Festival. I am currently Assistant Manager, helping organize the weekly markets and working on promotion.
I am a Director of the North and South Saanich Agricultural Society (Saanich Fair) and volunteer for various activities at the Fairground throughout the year. This I year I designed and organized the Buy BC promotion at the Fair and the new music stage and picnic area in the West Ring. I am the Fair’s representative on the 2019 Islands Agriculture Show planning committee.
At work in support of food and agriculture
One of my passions over the last 20 years has been supporting local agriculture, working and volunteering with local and provincial food and agriculture organizations including with the Southern Vancouver Island Direct Farm Marketing Association (editor of the annual Farm Fresh guide), Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable (CRFAIR) – coordinating the Saanich Peninsula Flavour Trails program (North Saanich Flavour Trail, Strawberries and Wine, Harvest Days) – Small Scale Food Processor Association, BC Association of Farmers’ Markets, Island Farmers’ Alliance and BC AgriTourism Alliance. I’ve also worked food security projects in the Western Communities including managing the Goldstream Station Market, producing a small farm guide for the region and coordinating the Sooke Farm Forum, Festival and Feast (2008).
Prior to 1996, I was a sessional lecturer and lab instructor in the Department of Biology at the University of Victoria, receiving my PhD in 1989 (original research on hypothermia). One of my more interesting projects during that time was designing and building the first aerial malaise traps for entomological canopy research in the Carmanah Valley as well as participating in Marbled Murrelet counts.
Education: BA, BSc, PhD
My partner Heather is a retired Nursing Instructor (Camosun College) and is a proud member of the Island Breaststrokers dragon boat team which recently travelled to Florence (Italy) to participate in the International Breast Cancer Paddler’s Commission’s Dragon Boat Festival. Since volunteering for the Peninsula Country Market in the 1990s, she has served as convenor of the Vegetable Section at the annual Saanich Fair. Photo: Heather with her medal from the 2018 Victoria Dragon Boat Festival.