Neil Cooke-Dallin, from Victoria-based band Astrocolor, participated in the “Blooms for Benefit” calendar. (File contributed/ Tristen Williams)

Victoria business responds to downtown attack with mental health initiative

Bespoke Blossoms created a charity calendar following an attack with a field hockey stick

A local Victoria business has taken a vicious attack and turned it into something positive.

In May, a staff member from Bespoke Blossoms was one of the five individuals attacked by a man with a field hockey stick in the downtown core. The attacker had been going through a mental health crisis during this time.

READ MORE: VicPD defend decision not to warn public after initial attack

“We sat down and had a conversation in the emergency room that night,” said Annise Lorel, owner of Bespoke Blossoms. “We knew that while it was terrible for us, that the experience the individual was going through in that psychosis, to not have support or resources, was much worse.”

So, the floral businesses decided to fundraise for Island Community Mental Health.

They reached out to community members and asked them to be part of a calendar project called “Blooms for Benefit.”

ALSO READ: Centre for youth seeking mental health and addictions support opens in Victoria

Victoria locals were embellished with colourful floral displays, and photographed by local photographer Tristen Williams. Below each photo, each person shared a small statement about their own experiences with mental health.

“Mental health affects everyone from models, to moms to business people,” Lorel said. “It’s on everyone’s minds and needs to be discussed and destigmatized.”

Because mental health affects everyone and in different ways, Lorel said that within the project they tried to choose individuals who represented a wide spectrum of people.

ALSO READ: Mental health issue suspected after spike belts end Island Highway car chase

Some of the models include Tom and Perry LaFortune, master totem carvers who have been working outside the Royal BC Museum, Victoria Coun. Jeremy Loveday, and band members from The New Pornographers and Astrocolor. Local authors, doctors, mental health advocates, LGBTQ2 activists, and more are also featured.

The calendar is for sale at Migration and Still Life, as well as online at bespokeblossoms.com

The calendar costs $20, with all proceeds going to Island Community Mental Health.

“This way the community is turning something negative into something positive for others,” Lorel said. “Hopefully it can prevent that from happening for others.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Revisit Christmas past as Point Ellice House displays Victorian-era traditions

Antique bobbles, cards, decor and more are on display

Bold and brassy quintet touches down at UVic

Internationally recognized Canadian Brass performing with Victoria Symphony on Dec. 21

Saanich church kicks off holidays with peaceful Winter Solstice service

St. Luke’s song-filled Christmas services come later

West Shore Parks and Rec staff member injury raises concerns about cut-through traffic

WSPR says staff member ‘seriously injured’ while monitoring scheduled closure

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Scheer’s resignation tips party into internal war over school tuition payments

The Conservatives have a Toronto convention already scheduled for April

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

Most Read