Editorial: Loving #lovelocalSGI

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Salt Spring Islanders have been feeling the pinch of inadequate ferry capacity when it comes to their needs and desires to access Vancouver Island. 

But one way to avoid the frustration and chaos is to just not go there: on the ferries, we mean. 

This month the chambers of commerce of the Southern Gulf Islands (SGI) have teamed up to create a fun #LovelocalSGI promotion that highlights the various islands’ offerings and encourages residents to “shop, eat and stay where your heart is.” 

They encourage residents of Salt Spring, Pender, Mayne, Galiano and Saturna islands to play a social media-centred game called Love Local Bingo Between Feb. 1 and 13. It involves taking photos of yourself or loved ones that correspond to activities on 25 bingo card squares. Just a few examples are “Screenshot your ideal SGI accommodation,” “read or order a book about the SGI,” “Donate, volunteer or promote a local charity” and “Treat yourself at a local bakery or cafe.” Participants then post the photos to Facebook or Instagram and must tag their local chamber, use specific hashtags and identify both the island where the photo was taken and the entrant’s home island. (People who don’t use social media can submit photos via email.) 

All of the specifics — and there are many — are available via the love-local.ca/sgi-love-bingo-2022/ website. Entering the contest might take a bit of effort, but more than $12,000 worth of prizes are available to be won for those who participate. Eligibility for grand prizes requires completing one row (so five photos) of the bingo card. It will also be exciting to see all of the resulting photos. 

Kudos should go to the organizers of the #lovelocalSGI campaign for promoting the islands’ economies and always valuable inter-island connections. 

Ironically, the Love Local promotion does make one want to travel on ferries to visit the other Gulf Islands — and grand prize winners will definitely be travelling — but that doesn’t need to happen at peak times, and a trip on the Quinitsa on Route 6 between Vesuvius and Crofton would thankfully not be required.

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