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Feel-good Friday: Global BC’s highlights of the week

B.C.'s Jerry Zhang may have set a new record for the fastest crossing of Georgia Strait on a stand-up paddleboard on Wed. Aug. 30, 2023. Submitted

We know it’s been a difficult week for British Columbians, marked by tragedy, loss and incalculable grief.

That’s why we feel it’s more important than ever to bring our weekly good news dispatch to your inbox. Here are a handful of stories to bring a bright spot to your Friday and into the weekend.

The five stories we want to share:

B.C. man breaks record for Georgia Strait crossing on stand-up paddleboard

A B.C. man appears to have set a new record for the fastest crossing of Georgia Strait on a stand-up paddleboard.

Jerry Zhang, a former architect, completed the crossing in just 13 hours and 45 minutes.

On Wednesday morning, Zhang began his journey at Oak Bay Marina at 6 a.m., with the aim of reaching Tsawwassen Beach, 80 kilometres away, by 7 p.m.

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“There was never a doubt that he was going to pull through,” said one of his crew members, Aaron Pierce.

Click to play video: 'Vancouver paddle boarder attempts to set world record trip'
Vancouver paddle boarder attempts to set world record trip

‘Extremely grateful’: Fundraiser for Okanagan firefighters who lost homes tops $130K goal

A fundraiser for 13 Central Okanagan volunteer firefighters, who lost homes to wildfire in the past two weeks, has blasted past its goal of collecting $130,000.

Arne Perrin started a GoFundMe campaign to support members of the Wilson’s Landing Fire Department on Aug. 25, as the McDougall Creek wildfire raged nearby. As of Friday morning, more than 650 people had donated more than $136,000.

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“We’re extremely grateful that we’re able to have the success we’ve had to be able to help these families,” Perrin told Global News on Friday.

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“This is a pretty gut-wrenching story for more than half of the firehall to lose their homes while serving the community, and clearly, this is about incredible people who have been willing to reach out and help.”

Click to play video: 'Fundraiser for Okanagan firefighters who lost homes surpasses $130K goal'
Fundraiser for Okanagan firefighters who lost homes surpasses $130K goal

Nisga’a memorial pole about to start journey home to B.C. from Scottish museum

A memorial totem pole belonging to members of the Nisga’a Nation in northwestern British Columbia is about to begin its journey home from the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, where it has been on display for nearly a century.

Amy Parent, a member of the nation and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous education and governance, said she expects to feel a deep sense of peace when the pole that’s alive with the spirit of a relative returns to the Nass Valley.

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The pole is set to make its journey in the belly of a Canadian military aircraft as a result of what Parent described as an unexpected moment of reconciliation.

Click to play video: 'Nisga’a Nation totem pole begins journey home'
Nisga’a Nation totem pole begins journey home

B.C. man transforms old instruments into eye-catching art

Vancouver Island man is repurposing broken instruments into works of art, transforming items once meant to please the ear into sculptures that treat the eye.

It’s another busy day in the backyard studio for Douglas Walker, where he’s assembling intricate pieces into a bigger puzzle.

That sometimes means dipping into the saxophone stash. Or maybe adding a trumpet and trombone.

“You just sit and make stuff out of other stuff,” Walker told Global’s This is BC.

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Walker says his career took off once he brought the brass section into his creations.

“There was a point about three to five years into it when I said, I really have something here,” he said.

Click to play video: 'This is BC: Recycling old instruments into new art'
This is BC: Recycling old instruments into new art

B.C. unveils new $145-per-month child-care subsidy for school-aged kids

The cost of preschool and before- or after-school care in British Columbia is about to get cheaper for parents.

Starting Sept. 1, the province is rolling out a new subsidy program that will reduce the cost of such programs by up to $145 per child per month, B.C. Premier David Eby said Thursday.

“This is a made-in-B.C. solution that is going to support thousands of families in our province. In fact, 43,000 kids and their families are going to benefit from this program,” Eby said.

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Click to play video: 'B.C. premier announces new childcare savings'
B.C. premier announces new childcare savings

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— with files from The Canadian Press

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