BUSINESS BEAT: Training teaches historical method to sighted and non-sighted alike

Braille program draws on age-old techniques to teach communication

Its roots were developed nearly 300 years ago.

Now a local entrepreneur and instructor of the historic Braille system is expanding her program from blind and visually impaired people to sighted people as well.

“We are offering this class to bring public attention to Braille and to show people that Braille is a valid and thriving form of literacy that anyone can learn,” said Elizabeth Lalonde, who has been blind since birth. “People take courses in all sorts of things, like pottery, art, music, sign language, so why not Braille?”

Her company, BlindWay Training and Consulting, is offering its latest course, called Right on the Dot, starting tomorrow (Oct. 25) in the Fernhill Room at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre, 527 Fraser St. The seven-class course is $70 for sighted individuals; free or by donation for blind or partially sighted participants.

Visit or call Lalonde at 250-590-9048 for registration details or more information.

Victoria AM fundraiser turns back the clock

Cruise tourism greeters Victoria AM are marking the city’s 150th anniversary and its own 28th birthday with a special fundraiser for their activities on Oct. 26.

Attendees of A Victorian Affair are requested to wear historical, hysterical or even slightly risqué apparel with a touch of class. Prize draws, a silent auction and a dinner/dance are part of the evening.

The event happens from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour, 728 Humboldt St. Tickets are $80 each, available online at or at the Victoria AM office on Pier A at Ogden Point.

Tourism Victoria up for 2 awards

Tourism Victoria is a finalist for the small- or medium-sized Business of the Year and Social Media Initiative of the Year for the 2012 Tourism Association of Canada awards.

The latter nomination is for Tourism Victoria’s Escape Your Everyday campaign, characterized as an “impactful and creative means of targeting consumers” in Vancouver and Seattle. The campaign encouraged the 9-to-5 business crowd to escape the daily grind with the use of such unique tactics as song-and-dance street teams, elevator branding and 3-D billboards.

Public speaking boot camp upcoming

Sarah Daviau of Piece of Cake Communications is hosting a half-day workshop billed as a “public speaking boot camp” on Saturday, Oct. 27. Topics covered are designed to help anyone lose their fear of speaking in public and in networking situations. The workshop runs from 9 a.m. to noon at the Four Points by Sheraton Victoria Gateway, 829 McCallum Rd. near Costco in Langford. Cost is $99 until Oct. 19, $109 after that until deadline of Oct. 25. Register at

Multi-service firm opens 24/7 division

Cobble Hill-based Harbour Side Mechanical Inc. has opened up a dedicated service shop at 601A Alpha St. in Victoria for residential and commercial plumbing and heating customers. Managed by Jordan Pringle, the shop offers service and repairs on a 24/7 basis anywhere from Nanaimo south. For more information, visit or call 1-877-703-2487.

Liquor stores featuring best of B.C. wines

The B.C. liquor distribution branch Signature Store at Fort Street and Foul Bay Road is spotlighting a special offering of B.C. wines from some of the province’s award-winning producers. The ninth annual Best of B.C. promotion includes a selection of 11 wines, primarily of the 2009 vintage, that earned the 2012 Lieutenant Governor’s Award. The winners were chosen from a record 347 wines submitted by 94 different B.C. wineries. Visit for more information.

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