Acts of kindness bring early holiday smiles to Victoria


Vancouver’s 30 Days of Kindness blogger, Marc Smith, made a blitz trip to the Island Nov. 26–28, leaving surprised passersby with free treats and smiles in his wake. Smith has committed one random act of kindness every day since Nov. 5 in hopes of spreading kindness in communities, but treated Victoria to four kindness events over his two-day visit to B.C.’s capital.

“I thought, ‘If I’m here for the day, I may as well do three acts of kindness,’ ” said Smith, who is also the principal of Amuse Consulting, an event planning and marketing company in Vancouver. “The only reason I’m here is for 30 Days of Kindness.”

Smith invited individuals and businesses to sign up and perform an act of kindness for each of the 30 days. Though businesses do not pay to participate, Smith hopes to gain paid advertisers for his blog in the future.

At noon on Nov. 26, Smith and Chris Burdge, a co-founder of Social Media Camp Victoria, surprised diners at local restaurant Cabin 12 by announcing that Burdge would buy lunch for everyone present. Early the next day, Smith teamed up with Marriott hotel employees decked out in “Super Marriott” capes.

“We thought it’d be nice to incorporate Victoria,” said April-Dawn Best, director of sales and marketing at the downtown Victoria Marriott hotel. “So this is our random act.” Smith and the caped Marriot employees handed out free hot chocolate to passersby on their way to work. “People give you that ‘Really?’ look, and it’s great if you get a smile before 8:30 a.m.,” said Best. The Marriott also put Smith up for one night for free while he was in Victoria.

Midday on Nov. 27, unsuspecting people in the Inner Harbour area were treated to candy cane tea from Silk Road Tea and Tourism Victoria. Smith cited the free tea event as his favourite of the day, saying they were able to reach far more people than they were expecting.

Smith and Victoria local Rita Chand, known as Hugger Girl, joined forces to give out free hugs and cookies at the Hillside Thrifty’s as the final event of the day before Smith headed off to Nanaimo for Nov. 28. Chand is something of a veteran hugger, having led a Hug-a-thon that involved 10 000 hugs in 100 different cities over the course of a year starting in February 2011.

You can follow Smith’s 30 Days of Kindness at, or simply take up Smith’s calling and pass along some random acts of kindness of your own.