Social Enterprise Coffee Roastery Perks up Non-profit Community

18809225 1852303578418896 6882539629887619072 n1Smoke & Mirrors Coffee Co., Victoria’s newest small-batch coffee roastery, is delivering funds to local non-profits where they need it most while taking a scientific approach to coffee roasting. Launched in June 2017, the team of two scientists, Dr. Euan Thomson and Hannah Charnock, reinvest their profits into four community building organizations.

Thomson and Charnock launched the social enterprise Smoke & Mirrors Coffee Co. to support non-profits with unrestricted cash donations. As a social enterprise, Smoke & Mirrors Coffee Co. aims to maximize social impact by applying commercial strategies to benefit the community.

Smoke & Mirrors is supporting four not-for-profit partners: Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT), which engages the Victoria region in conservation efforts that protect and support habitats and wildlife; Restorative Justice Victoria (RJV), a key partner for local police, facilitating community focused alternative solutions to crime; UVic Women in Science, a community engagement hub for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields in Victoria; and The Latitude Project, which brings critical infrastructure to remote communities in Central America. The organizations, inlcuding HAT, received their first cash donation in July, and Phillips Brewing & Malting Co. stepped up to match this donation. Smoke & Mirrors plans to collaborate with a different local business for each round of donations to amplify the impact of their contributions.

“As a society, we are learning the hard way that our consumption choices have environmental and social consequences. Through innovation and a boldly caring approach, Smoke and Mirrors is offering coffee drinkers a simple way to positively impact our natural environment,” says Alanah Nasadyk, HAT Community and Development Coordinator.

18445034 647571005437871 3708956920137121792 nRJV Executive Director Dr. Jessica Rourke offers this perspective:

“With restorative justice, our communities are experiencing the social benefits of moving away from a punitive approach and focusing on victim needs, addressing root causes of crime, and reinforcing social fabric. The efforts of Smoke and Mirrors will help us focus on victims of crime and build community resilience.”

Smoke & Mirrors coffee is available online at or from the community partners listed above. Come by the HAT office at 825 Broughton, Mon - Fri 9:30 - 4:30 to pick up some coffee! Please give us a call at 250-995-2428 to confirm availability. Free delivery by bicycle is available in Victoria, Esquimalt and Oak Bay. To learn more in person, look for the Smoke & Mirrors booth at Movie Under the Maltworks at Phillips Brewing & Malting Co. on August 26 and at Picot Night Market in Fernwood Square on August 31st.

Smoke & Mirrors Address: 2010 Government St., Victoria, BC, V8S 1P3

Tel: 204-541-0173 (Hannah), 778-677-0585 (Euan)

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

More info on supporting HAT with your purchases.


Read more: Social Enterprise Coffee Roastery Perks up Non-profit Community

Volunteer Spotlight: Miranda Cant

Miranda Cant Volunteer 2017This August we are sending off volunteer Miranda Cant with a huge thank you for lending her time and energy to sharing conservation with our community.

While it's always sad to see one of the HAT volunteer team head out, we know Miranda will bring her enthusiasm and knowledge about nature with her wherever it takes her. 

Miranda holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science at Royal Roads University. Her love of being outside and interacting with people and the environment makes her a natural fit for the HAT volunteer team. According to Miranda, "HAT has provided me something to look forward to on the weekends and allowed me to get out in the community, and I am forever thankfull!"

Miranda came to us this year and dove right in to HAT's outreach program, attending events to pass on the message of habitat stewardship. Miranda also joined the annual bat count!

Miranda says, "I first found out about HAT when I was volunteering with the Nature Conservancy at the Matson Conservation Area. I got inspired by the similar work they did, like the Nature Conservancy but at a regional level. I am inspired to volunteer with organizations such as HAT as it allows me to meet like minded individuals in the community. I love meeting new people who are just as passionate about the environment as I am!"

She adds, "My favourite experience volunteering with HAT is a tie between the In Bloom Festival at the Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve and bat counting. It was absolutely beautiful at the preserve and I felt honoured to be able to visit the property and educate people about HAT." When it comes to bat counting Miranda shares, "I have learned a lot more about bats and seeing them fly and the different places they live is just so cool."

When it comes to broadening horizons, Miranda explains that volunteering with HAT has helped a lot, "I have learned many things since I’ve started volunteering with HAT! I learned about the Blue grey Taildropper slug and how in Canada its only been recorded on Vancouver Island! How cool is that. I learned about the White Nose Syndrome affecting bats in Eastern Canada, as well as how common it is to have bats in residential areas."

"HAT has given me the opportunity to learn more about Vancouver Island and spread that knowledge to my class mates." - Miranda Cant

Thank you Miranda, we are so grateful to you for sharing your kindness and enthusiasm with the community!


Read more: Volunteer Spotlight: Miranda Cant

Conservation Connection Forum 2017: Early Bird Discount Tickets on sale now!

Conservation Connection Plain Logo

October 12th, Thurs

The Conservation Connection forum encourages people representing First Nations, land trusts, wildlife conservation experts, environmental groups, and those caring for nature across South Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, and beyond to come together bi-annually for a conference hosted by Habitat Acquisition Trust. With renowned speakers, a beautiful space to gather and collaborate, active nature walks, as well as a benefit auction night this is the event of the season. This local conference is surely not to be missed.

Earn an early bird discount for purchasing tickets before Sept 15th! Last chance to purchase tickets is October 1st, don't miss the deadline.

Businesses and Sponsorship

For those that wish to advertise their business with this event and act on their desire to support a green local economy, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or 250-995-2428 to negotiate a sponsorship. Monetary sponsorships and donations of goods or services for the silent auction benefit will allow our charity to fund ongoing programs for children in nature, species of concern, and habitat protection. Contact us by September 2017 for maximum exposure!

I want to attend

Space is limited, reserve your spot today for this expected sell-out event. Call 250-995-2428 and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be the first to secure tickets. Tickets available online here.

The Speaker Line-up

Coming soon... sign up for The Fern Newsletter to receive regular Habitat Acquisition Trust updates.

A teaser from the last Conservation Connection Forum here.


This event is funded by:

Logo vancity.svgvictoria foundation logo

To become a sponsor contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..c 250-995-2428


Click below for more details


Read more: Conservation Connection Forum 2017: Early Bird Discount Tickets on sale now!

Pete Lewis Board Biography

Lewis Photo for HAT WebsitePete Lewis

Retired, Provincial Director of Aquatic Information and Professional Geoscientist (Geomorphologist)

Pete worked in the Canadian Arctic for 16 years as a federal scientist and manager before moving to BC in 1981 where he was involved in many aspects of provincial natural resource information programs.  He has also been active in Scouting outdoor programs for many years and previously served on the HAT Board from 2004 to 2009.  Pete sees HAT’s open, collaborative approach as an important contribution to connecting local residents, including youth, to the outdoors and the natural environment.


Read more: Pete Lewis Board Biography

Ruby Creek Riparian Restoration Workshop

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Habitat Acquisition Trust is hosting an invasive species removal event and Riparian Restoration Workshop on Ruby Creek in Metchosin with Dave Polster of Polster Environmental Services.

We would like to invite you to join us for this unique educational opportunity and come out to get your hands dirty and have fun while broadening your knowledge base on habitat restoration, riparian corridors and bioengineering with expert Dave Polster!

The 2-day workshop includes a full day in a classroom setting and a full day in the field putting your new skills to work. In addition, there is an invasive species removal day prior to the workshop in partnership with the Greater Victoria Green Team and CRD Parks, in which volunteers will be clearing invasives from Ruby Creek to prepare for the field portion of the workshop. Participants who attend the optional invasive removal day receive a 50% discount on the cost of the Restoration Workshop.


Event: Invasive Species Removal on Ruby Creek in Metchosin - Optional FREE event

Date: September 28, 2017

Time: 10am-3pm

Hosted by: Habitat Acquisition Trust in partnership with

CRD Parks & the Greater Victoria Green Team

No Cost: A volunteer community event*

Lunch: Included at no cost

Event: 2-Day Riparian Restoration Workshop with Dave Polster R.P.Bio

(Polster Environmental Services) on Ruby Creek

Dates: September 29th & 30th

Time: 9am-3:30pm

Hosted by: Habitat Acquisition Trust

Cost: $100 for both days*

*Note: Those attending the Sept. 28th volunteer invasive plant removal day receive a %50 discount for the workshop.

Lunch: Bring your own lunch, or add $7/day for a HAT provided 'bag' lunch.


You can register for the 28th and/or the Workshop (29-30th) online at:

Space is limited for the 2-day workshop to 30 participants, so register soon to reserve your spot!

If you would like more details, or are interested in RSVP'ing for just the Sept.28th Ruby Creek Invasive Plant Pull Event

contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 250-995-2428.

Who Should Attend?

Anyone wanting to learn more about restoration options including bioengineering with an emphasis on riparian restoration techniques and other innovative options involved in the restoration and reclamation of damaged ecosystems using a combination of structural materials, vegetative cuttings and other specialized methods.

What's included in the cost of the workshop?

2 full days of hands-on, educational trainingcourse manual coffee/tea and morning snackstools & gloves


Ruby Creek is a small watercourse that empties into Witty's Lagoon. The area of Ruby Creek that workshop participants are restoring runs through private land, is adjacent to Witty's Lagoon and protected in perpetuity through a conservation covenant with Habitat Acquisition Trust and the CRD. HAT and community volunteers have been restoring this land and riparian corridor for over 10 years. We will also be continuing to clear laurel-leaved daphne on adjacent CRD Parklands to enhance the habitat for the Provincially at-risk Blue-grey Taildropper Slug, found near Ruby Creek in 2016.


Dave Polster is a plant ecologist with over 35 years of experience in vegetation studies, reclamation and invasive species management. He has developed a wide variety of reclamation techniques for the re-establishment of riparian and aquatic habitats using soil bioengineering and other innovative techniques. To find out more about Dave, check out his website at:


This two day course will focus on restoration techniques including soil bioengineering and options involved in restoration and reclamation of damaged ecosystems using a combination of structural materials, vegetative cuttings and other specialized methods with an emphasis on riparian restoration. Soil bioengineering is an applied science that uses live plant materials to perform an engineering function such as slope stabilization, soil erosion control, or seepage control.

Topics to be covered include:

Factors involved in successful restorationSuccessional reclamationSoil bioengineering techniquesRegional differences in climate, soils, hydrology, plant types, and growing seasonsMaintenance and monitoring


This workshop is a part of this year's Metchosin Good Neighbours Project. The goal of this HAT project is to engage with the Metchosin community to find solutions to significant local conservation issues and to promote community appreciation of healthy natural habitats. We are doing this on HAT covenanted lands and with private landowners in Metchosin. We are grateful to have the opportunity to host this workshop and invasive plant removal event through our generous funders of HAT's Good Neighbours Program

The Sitka Foundation

BC Gaming

Metchosin Foundation

District of Metchosin




Read more: Ruby Creek Riparian Restoration Workshop

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