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

‘Actors can play any roles’: Debate over ‘colour-blind’ casting after Victoria lawsuit

Tenyjah Indra McKenna filed a complaint over racially-motivated casting

Langford residents ask city to invest in park on controversial development parcel

Final public hearing scheduled at Langford City Hall on Monday, Nov. 25

Second cyclist struck during morning commute in Greater Victoria

Saanich crash involving a cyclist at the Braefoot Road, Epsom Drive and Cedar Hill Cross Road intersection

Cyclist struck in downtown Victoria

Lack of visibility likely the cause of early morning crash

North Saanich firefighters keep pace with major Canadian cities in Movember fundraising challenge

Local department in top three with hopes of raising $20,000 before the month’s end

VIDEO: UBC exchange students offered $1,000 to help with leaving Hong Kong

The university said 31 of its students were attending four universities in Hong Kong

POLL: Do you plan on making any purchases on Black Friday?

We’ve all seen the images. Shoppers rioting outside of a store in… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 19

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

Victim of downtown Courtenay assault dies from injuries

Person of interest identified by RCMP

Infants more vulnerable to measles than previously thought: Canadian study

Babies typically don’t receive the measles vaccine until they are 12 months old

Shatner, Obomsawin among 39 inductees to Order of Canada today

Shatner is being given one of Canada’s highest civilian honours for his 60-year career

John Mann, singer and songwriter of group Spirit of the West dead at 57

Mann died peacefully in Vancouver on Wednesday from early onset Alzheimer’s

Teacher tells B.C. Supreme Court that student was ‘happy’ to watch smudging ceremony in classroom

Case being heard in Nanaimo over indigenous cultural practice in Port Alberni classroom

VIDEO: B.C. high school’s turf closed indefinitely as plastic blades pollute waterway

Greater Victoria resident stumbles on plastic contamination from Oak Bay High

Most Read