Channeling the spirit of Canada

Collective pushing Victoria as an arts destination

Hopeton Anderson is the owner of The Well

Poet Hopeton Anderson has a vision to make Victoria an international arts destination.

The proprietor of The Well cafe on Fort Street – which is more arts community space than  restaurant, with regular shows and displays – is part of The Well Victoria Society, a group of local artists.

The ambitious members come from varying disciplines but share the goal to raise $35,000 in 46 days for their project, entitled Victoria: a Primary Destination for the Arts.

“It’s four separate events that will raise the profile of Victoria as a true arts destination,” said Anderson, former poet laureate of Florida Memorial University in North Miami.

“The core values have remained intact since The Well started in November of 2010, and now we’re forming a society to further promote the arts and wellness of the city.”

The initiative will broaden Victoria’s festival calendar, beginning in 2013. At the heart of the vision is The Well’s signature event and the already successful Spirit of Canada contest, which started in 2011.

“Think Canadian Idol meets a poetry, spoken word and singer/songwriter, which will grow even larger with the eventual goal of going national,” said Shantel Cordeiro, fundraising coordinator for the campaign. “

The society will also introduce two new festivals, the Nobel Laureate Festival of the Arts, June 30 to July 6, and the Sacred Gospel Musical Festival, Aug. 1 to 4. Finally is an annual Symposium of Health and Wellness, to run Sept. 1 to 6, which would bring practitioners together to speak on wellness “at the forefront of the sustainability movement.”

“You look at our festival, the Spirit of Canada, and there is no other national contest like it,” Anderson said.

“Nov. 10 is only five weeks away. These funds will help get us the help we need to secure government grants and greater sponsorship for 2013,” said Cordeiro. The communications specialist has experience with major events on the Island, as she worked five years with LifeSport Coaching, the organizer of the Subaru Western Triathlon Series.

For more information visit, call 250-590-4995, or email Cordeiro at

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