Happy middle -of -winter in Victoria! Aren’t you glad you live here and not in some other areas of our fair land that are in depths of snow or in a deep freeze right now? We are so lucky here, particularly when the sun finally comes out, even if it is only for a few days. Now that the weather has improved I hope you have all had the chance to get out and view the sky at night under some good conditions or are in the enviable position of having access to a solar telescope to see what prominences and spots there are on the sun.
As I spoke to many visitors at our booth at the Hobby Show last weekend I was happy to hand out the RASC planispheres and show them what to look for when they went outside at night: Orion in the south, Cassiopeia above us and the Big Dipper in the northeast, Venus and Jupiter shining away and Mars just rising. It is such a great time of year for sky viewing. Soak it up when you can. The Hobby show was a great success with good questions from guests, long discussions, and lots of people lining up to buy our Telescope raffle tickets. (Almost three hundred were sold in total so, if you want in on the raffle, you’ll have to be quick about it. The tickets are going fast!) On Friday evening we were even able to show visitors the moon through the glass of the roof in the mall. Thanks to Sid and all the volunteers who spent many hours in this public outreach.
At our last general meeting in January I asked members and guests to help with an activity to elicit ideas for membership, publicity for events, and some creative suggestions for our public outreach programs such as Astronomy Day and the RASCal’s Star Party. I wanted to give you some of the feedback that came from that endeavour, so, here is the input for the Publicity section. I will put the rest up on the website so you can see it as well. This is a great list of suggestions but if you can think of any other places we can advertise (for little or no money) then please let me or any other member of Council know. Thank you for the input so far. I think it will make a big difference to our group in the future.
- Raffle 2 tickets on Amtrak to Arizona for the Transit of Venus – possibly even accommodation?
- Channel 11 Shaw TV-video talks- presentations – also on their Community events calendar
- Have our Face book page with photos of our events added in
- Use Twitter to publicize events
- Reddit ( VictoriaSubreddit) ( Anyone know about this?)
- Put our events on Craigslist calendar
- Is there a way to use” Used Victoria”?
- Write an article about observing for a local magazine, e.g. Focus Magazine
- Make sure we are in Monday Magazine – on their Community Events Calendar
- Community announcements on CBC , other local radio stations – ask CFAX etc. for time to talk about latest events
- Victoria/Saanich/Oak Bay/Peninsula Review newspapers for advertising
- Advertise meetings on UVIC calendar website and other UVIC outlets
- Coffee shop “ Night sky Highlights” sheets every month in their broadsheet
- Public Libraries- notice boards and Display cabinets
- Public Bulletin Boards- at Community Centres, supermarkets etc.
- Upgrade our own RASC Victoria Centre brochure for handing out at events
- Quarterly or semester activity poster members could print and put in stores
Clear Skies, Lauri Roche