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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Esquimalt, T’Sou-ke nations join more than 50 other members in South Island Prosperity Partnership

Chiefs look forward to creating ‘sustainable future’ for next generations

Almost 150 calls of service for Westshore Towing during snowstorm

Most calls were from Sooke, Metchosin and Highlands

Langford Legion gives the gift of tech to elementary school

Savory donation of $2,680 funds four Chromebooks and two iPad minis

Saanich roads doused in more than 300 tonnes of salt during snowstorm

Crews cleared roads around the clock during the mid-January storm

VIDEO: The Victoria byelection leads a selection of today’s news stories

A selection of Greater Victoria top stories for Jan. 17

Intense winds en route to Greater Victoria

Winter storm warning in effect for east and west regions while wind warning to hit south and north

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

POLL: Has the recent snow had an impact on your daily life?

Old Man Winter had Greater Victoria in his icy grip this week.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read