I admit that when I first started working at Powell River Living magazine nearly three years ago, I wasn’t sure I fit the mandate very well. Showcasing the best of Powell River? Positive stories? Only write about what happens within the boundaries of the region?
Positivity is not my strong suit. As a journalist, I’m attracted to sensitive, gritty subjects – stories about ethics, conflict, change, and ideas. It’s a headspace that’s served me well as a writer and editor both on staff at various publications, and as a freelancer.
It wasn’t really until I started working on the first issue of Ferns & Fallers magazine, in early 2014, that I realized the genius behind owner Isabelle Southcott’s approach to media.
When reporting on environmental and social issues, I had always lobbed bombs. It’s easy to do. You can break stories by simply reading reports authored by the province’s regulators, or government departments. Or, receiving a brown envelope by an anonymous whistleblower. A toxic spill here. A failure there.
But try cold-calling someone from industry or government, and asking them to speak on the record about this stuff. It’s a sure-fire way to abort what could be a much richer story: “no comment.” It’s also certain to make sure that you, as a reporter, rarely learn anything from those actually working in government or industry.
With that first Ferns & Fallers, that gentler, listening-oriented approach rewarded me with far greater insights into the forest than any official report could have delivered. Foresters showed me what they did. Business managers and owners confided their concerns and struggles. Eureka. Important stories could be told.
The same holds true for Powell River Living, I’ve discovered. Ultimately, stories about the people, animals, land and ideas that are closest to us are the ones that we care about most. But it’s more than that.
Dislocation – the failure to be rooted in a place and a community – infects the 21st century. As our traditional media gets bigger and farther away, those local stories become rarer. We lose touch with each other, the economies that sustain us, the challenges we all face, and the humour that can come from a deep knowledge of each other, and from having a clear sense of place.
I now see that the stories that appear in Powell River Living are absolutely critical to binding us together. Whether it’s Maria Glaze’s Ruby Duck stories and photos, Janet May’s excellent ‘Hello Tla’amin‘ series, Isabelle’s tumultuous turn on hockey skates in this issue, or Ioni Wais’ rich presentation of local harvesting, these are the cures for what ails us.
That said, community magazines such as Powell River Living should ideally be a counter-point to a vital news media, which should regularly hold rules-violating industries and failing government programs to account.
Here at PRL, that’s not what we do. Instead, I’m proud to be part of a team making a new kind of media for a new century. Congratulations, Isabelle, for pioneering it for us these past 10 years.
~ Pieta Woolley
Every new year brings with it opportunities to start afresh and begin again. We are filled with optimism and hope fuelled by the knowledge that we need to change – but often times that need isn’t accompanied by a well-thought out plan or followed up by a commitment and the courage to do the hard stuff.
Change is hard. It’s easier to keep doing what you’ve been doing but when you want different results, something has to change and you need to turn that ship around.
Like many, my journey of change has to do with health and wellness. I’m carrying more weight on this 50-something body than I should and I need to change what I have been eating and how I’ve been exercising if I want different results.
I also want to give myself time to relax which is why I tried a Korean yoga class. See my story on Page 12, and find out what it is. I was particularly interested in this gentle form of yoga because I thought my partner might try it on his road to recovery following a very difficult surgery and health complications. In order to step out of my comfort zone I enrolled in the Rec Complex’s adult learn how to play hockey program which gets underway this month. Stay tuned for how I make out with that!
Like every year, 2015 was filled with highs and lows. Powell River has a lot to be proud of as our story on Page 22 shows.
We don’t get much snow in town but if you head up into the mountains around Powell River you’ll find lots. If you don’t have time or don’t want to experience the fluffy, white stuff in person you can always sit yourself down in a comfy chair in front of a roaring fire with a cup of hot chocolate and read the snowmobiling story on Page 6. And while you’re at it, be sure to check out ice images on Page 26 & 27.
The year ended on a sad note when we learned that 15-year-old Reid Kyfiuk died in a tragic accident at Mount Washington. The family lived in Powell River for many years and was a member of the Assumption School and Church family. The community grieves over his death and prays for his family.
The year also ended with joy, when 13-year-old Maddison White returned to Powell River cancer-free, after an arduous struggle with leukaemia, which included a bone marrow transplant.
What will the new year bring? Last word by Pieta Woolley takes a brave look at the year ahead.
Although it is difficult to tell what’s in store for us, we know that the Tla’amin’s treaty will go into effect April 5, 2016 and it will be an independent nation as Devin Pielle notes in our Hello feature on Page 9.
We can’t predict the future but we can do our best to be prepared for tomorrow and live our best lives possible.
~ Isabelle Southcott
I watched my first Christmas movie a couple weeks ago. It was probably the 27th or 28th time I’d watched It’s a Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, a man who has given up on his dreams to help others. It’s Christmas Eve and his imminent suicide brings about the intervention of his guardian angel Clarence who shows George all the lives he has touched and how different life in Bedford Falls would be had he never been born.
I still cry every time I watch that movie. Call me sappy but there’s something about Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life that makes me emotional.
I think what I love most about It’s a Wonderful Life is how it shows that you don’t have to be rich or famous to make a difference in this world and that we all matter. It’s a simple message but one that is worthwhile reflecting on especially at this time of year.
While many of us feel overwhelmed this time of the year we still look forward to a festive, family affair on the 25th. Sadly, not everyone does. For some, it’s the worst day of the year because they can’t find comfort and joy anywhere.
Imagine how you’d feel spending your first Christmas without a loved one. Imagine dreading Christmas because you couldn’t afford to give your children a nice Christmas meal, let alone gifts. Imagine feeling so depressed about Christmas that you just wanted to forget about it with a bottle of alcohol or drugs.
We can look away and pretend not to notice people who are struggling or we can help. I’ve been on both the giving and the receiving end of the helping chain. When my partner had heart surgery in October there were unforeseen complications so we ended up staying in Vancouver for a month and leaving the teenage boys home alone. I was worried about Dwain and worried about the boys but I needn’t have been. I live in Powell River and because I live in such an amazing community, friends and neighbours, made sure they had real food to eat. All these people made a difference in our lives, just like George Bailey made a difference in the lives of people in Bedford Falls.
We hope the stories in this issue fill you with comfort and joy as you read about the spirit of giving.
When Logger Sports returns in July after a 10-year hiatus, volunteers will create an amazing event showcasing forestry and putting Powell River back on the world championship logger sport circuit. When volunteers cook three different community Christmas dinners this month they do it because they want to help others. When people like Norm Hutton (see story on Page 11) build dollhouses and donate them to organizations so they can raise funds by raffling them off, they do it because they care.
Caring for animals drives Susan MacKay to rescue marine mammals and recently, bear cubs (Page 13.) And if you care about animal welfare, don’t give someone a pet on a holiday whim, says SPCA manager Brandy Craig in her story about pets for Christmas on Page 12.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Last year, a man knocked on our door in late November. My son David, then seven, answered it. The man was tall, lanky, and disheveled. He wondered if we had any jobs we needed done.
We were, as usual, just rushing around, trying to get out the door to go do something. So I apologized and said that we didn’t, but he should come back. We never saw him again.
David was distraught. Why was the man looking for work? Why did he need money? Why didn’t he have money? Did he have food, and a home? Was he homeless? I answered his questions the best I could with multiple “I don’t knows.” He sobbed. David needed to do something. He needed to help.
It’s an instinct I’m proud of, in my boy. Needing to help. He worries when he sees school friends without lunches, and people in Vancouver who are clearly street-involved. As he grows up, I’m sure his instincts will morph into a more nuanced understanding of wealth and poverty, and social justice.
Life can, of course, happen to anyone. A disability, a family break-down, an addiction, a job loss, a mental illness, a political upheaval – the line between the “haves” and the “have nots” is a fine one, and can be crossed by anyone, at any time.
Here in Powell River, we’re blessed with excellent agencies and initiatives that excel at helping the more than 1,200 locals who depend on welfare and disability assistance, and others who find themselves in need.
In this issue of PRL, we focus on helping. We’ve profiled the Community Resource Centre’s food programs (Page 7), and published a round-up of some of the charitable initiatives happening this holiday season (Page 10). Some require volunteers, others money – and some are just plain fun, such as the new Santa Train event, which will raise money for the Powell River Food Bank.
Publisher Isabelle Southcott wrote about three Italian families who left impoverished Europe after WWII, for a better life in Powell River (Page 13). In a personal, poingant memoir, local senior Elisabeth Von Holst shares how the scent of apples always reminds her of her own childhood hunger (Page 15), and the contrasting feeling of being blessed with enough. And Jack Anderson calls our attention to the upcoming climate talks in Paris, and invites us to march on November 29, for climate justice – an issue that disproportinately affects vulnerable people worldwide (Page 31).
Helping, of course, feels great. Just as David discovered, the cure for feeling intense compassion, or the sting of injustice, is to do something that makes life better for other people. Whether that’s a offering bowl of soup, sponsoring a refugee, or marching for stricter environmental laws.
~ Pieta Woolley
My 18-year-old son is excited about being able to vote for the very first time in the upcoming federal election. For weeks, he’s been reading on the candidates and talking about their platforms and the issues with his friends. I’ve had some good conversations with Matthew about the election, his concerns for the future of this country and who he will likely vote for. His best friend voted in an advance poll before heading off to UVic last month.
When I told my son I was proud that he was going to vote he looked surprised. “Of course I’m going to vote Mom,” he said. “Not voting is inexcusable.” Before I could say another word he continued by saying, “No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.”
Moments like these are turning points. This election will be the first time that my son has been old enough to vote and vote he will. I am proud that he feels the way he does about voting but not everyone does. According to statistics, the highest federal voter turnouts were in 1958, 1962, and 1963, all over 79%. The lowest voter turnout was 58.8 % in 2008.
To learn more about the candidates running in the upcoming federal election on October 19, go to page 16 & 17. To hear them speak in Powell River, be sure to attend the all candidates debate put on by the Powell River Chamber of Commerce on October 5 at the Evergreen Theatre.
Although the election seems to dominate life this month, it isn’t the only thing happening in Powell River. Bears seem to dominate most coffee conversations these days. See Francine Wilmen’s story on Page 7 for help in reducing human-bear conflicts.
It’s also Small Business Week October 18 to 24. There are over a million small businesses in Canada. They make up 98.2 per cent of employer businesses. Small businesses are both the backbone and the heart and soul of Powell River’s economy.
I’ve spent the last 25 years working for and owning a small business. During that time I’ve come to realize that employees are a small business’ most important asset. Think about it. Your sales people, receptionist and cashiers are the face of your business. Customers might never meet the manager or CEO, but they will deal with front line staff regularly. Investing in your staff is, in my mind, a business owner’s best investment.
Small businesses often operate on a very tight margin and can’t afford to pay the same wages as large businesses – but they can offer flex time, employee discounts, and bonuses.
Yes, small business is the backbone of the local economy, and employees are the backbone of small business, which is why investing in your employees is one of the smartest moves a business owner can make..
COVER: Our cover photo this month is of one of the bears hanging around the Lang Creek fish sorting facility. The photo was shot by Sean Percy.
~ Isabelle Southcott
When my 16-year-old son Alex told me he wanted to be airlifted off Tin Hat Mountain partway through an epic 30-plus kilometer hike he was doing with his friend Joe, I told him to hang on, it’s character building.
He didn’t see the humour in my words, any more than I saw the humour in them 30 years earlier when my father shared them with me.
Challenges like your first big hike (see story Page 22) are about more than simply checking off the box on your to-do list. Exploring the beautiful Sunshine Coast Trail and discovering what exists in our own backyard is amazing, but hikes, marathons and other physical challenges are about much more than simply reaching the finish line. They’re also about the journey of self-discovery we make along the way. They are (yes Dad, you were right) character building because they’re fraught with challenges like running out of water, hiking in the pouring rain, and being so exhausted that all you want to do is fall asleep on the trail with a 50-pound-pack on your back.
These challenges test your character and patience but they also help prepare you for other more important challenges you will face later in your life. We will all be challenged at some point. Some, like young Cooper Jones and his family, are challenged more than others. But the measure of a person isn’t merely about the challenges they face, it’s about how they handle them. As I read through the Terry Fox run story on Page 9, I was struck by how the Jones family made the best of what was obviously a very difficult time. They were filled with love and gratitude for all the good things that happened after they found out their Cooper had a tumour.
Maintaining a positive attitude is also important as students head back to school this month. They’ll be facing all the challenges, uncertainties and anxieties a new school year brings but there will also be rewards and many, many, opportunities too. When you’re able to stay positive and remain grateful, your outlook changes.
Everybody will face obstacles and be challenged to different degrees by life but those who face their challenges with integrity build character along the way.
COVER: Our cover photo this month is professional model and actress Emily Bruhn, who was back in her home town for a few days in August. She kindly agreed to answer a few questions. The photo was shot by Pieta Woolley
~ Isabelle Southcott
I LOLed when I read Vienna Romalis’ description of her photo shoot with live animals (Page 15) in a rainy forest in China. The teen model and Powell Riverite vividly reveals the chaos and creativity – and sometimes, courage – behind Asia’s intense fashion scene.
It’s the kind of story I like the best in PRL. First, it’s light, and funny, and told by a local. And second, it transports readers into a perspective that’s completely different from the languid casualness of sunny, summery, ocean-side Powell River.
Vienna’s is not the only story about Powell Riverites in China this month. Shannon Behan, who was recently promoted to Principal of International Programs for School District 47, spent the past year in China as principal of the Sino Bright Beijing campus. On Page 9, she recounts how much she loved her time in the 21-million-strong, hyper-diverse, historic city. She also pointed out the district’s goal of a much greater relationship with China.
This is good news for Powell River. So far, much of the relationship has, on the surface, seemed one-way: students arrive here, and Powell River hosts and educates them. But, as anyone with half an ear to the ground knows, the wider relationship between Canada and China is already deep, and growing.
As a mom with two young kids in SD47 schools (back to school September 8!), I’m excited that the district is pursuing the relationship. Edmonton’s schools have offered Mandarin immersion programs for nearly 30 years; 2,000 students there are learning the world’s most-spoken language (next is English). In Vancouver, Mandarin is now offered at several schools. And, various faculties at UBC and SFU offer semesters in China as an obvious part of a rounded, 21st century education.
Like Vienna and Shannon, I hope my kids grow up to be comfortable overseas and courageous enough to jump in and make their dreams happen wherever that may take them.
Roots and wings. That’s the promise of raising kids in Powell River. And the unofficial theme of the August issue of Powell River Living.
~ Pieta Woolley
FERNS & FALLERS 2015
Imagine for a minute that you’re the editor of a magazine about forests & forestry. Just in time for the second annual edition, a monumental conflict breaks out in the middle of the region, where chainsaws are severing tall Douglas-firs and cedars from their roots, in de-facto city parks (see Page 38).
If this were a different town, you – or I – might want to hide under a blanket. But here, it’s all good.
Why? Because this region is really, really good at nuance. On the upper Sunshine Coast, we have a wealth of collaboratively-oriented, complex-thinking leadership that makes my job easy. Judi Tyabji, Wayne Brewer, Eagle Walz, Stuart Glen, Dave Formosa, Patrick Brabazon, Jane Cameron, Erin Innes, Nola Poirier, Russ Brewer, the Fuller brothers, and many others all live here. When situations get hairy, we’ve got smarties to lean on.
The conflict over Lot 450 helped sharpen my vision for this publication, too. Last year, just getting basic information out about the Sunshine Coast’s biggest industry felt like an achievement. This year, the publication is closer to its potential: a hyper-local salon with a mission to deepen our shared understanding of the forest, and to connect people across perspectives. Yes, the ads are mostly from forestry companies; they, of course, alongside everyone else, have a genuine interest in furthering and deepening conversations.
I am particularly grateful this year for the trust and patience of Torrance Coste, a campaigner with the Wilderness Committee. He was willing to risk unpopularity by advocating for a ban on raw log exports in a region dependant on big forestry – which resists a ban for reasons which are now obvious to me, and worthy points. (see Page 30).
A danger of the Internet age is that we hunker down in our ideological factions, and only engage with publications we’re sure to agree with – whether that’s emails from the Dogwood Initiative, or The Economist app. Both contain excellent journalism, but there’s something worth preserving about the commons, too.
If there’s one thing everyone can agree with, it’s that BC will be better off when we collectively add more value to the wood we harvest. If you’re entrepreneurial at all, I encourage you to read the profiles in the main feature of the magazine (starting on Page 16) and get dreaming. Theoretically, there’s support out there for you.
~ Pieta Woolley
What do hippies and logger sports have in common?
For one, they both form patches on the quilt of Powell River. Secondly, and only slightly less importantly, they both appear in this month’s Powell River Living: Powell River Logger Sports and the hippies who took over the end of the road in the ’60s and ’70s.
Both make great stories. They have all the elements needed to fascinate readers. Strong, interesting characters, challenge or conflict, and a bit of drama thrown in for a good measure.
When Powell River Living’s Pieta Woolley interviewed local logger and businessman Bob Marquis about the now defunct logger sports for Ferns and Fallers, our annual forestry magazine inside this issue, he said if 5,000 people said they want logger sports back, he’d put it on again (see story on page 11). Associate Publisher Sean Percy decided to see what kind of interest there was so he launched a Facebook page, Bring Back Logger Sports Powell River. Sean was totally surprised that in less than a week more than 2,500 people joined the Facebook page!
As of June 25, we had over 3,000 members and counting. If you want to see Logger Sports live again in Powell River join our page and sign up to volunteer. All of us here at Powell River Living are excited at the thought of bringing back logger sports and have committed to helping. How about you? Logger sports with its log rolling, tree climbing, underhand chopping and more is an amazing spectator sport. I remember when I used to work for the Powell River News and went in the axe throwing competition. Now that was fun!
And now for the hippies who took over Lund and are holding a huge reunion on the August long weekend. There they’ll reminisce, visit and have a fabulous weekend. Although I’ve lived in Powell River for 20-plus years, I was drawn in completely by Peter and Margaret Behr’s great story on the hippies’ 1970s invasion of Lund (on Page 6 and 7). Besides being well-written and exciting, the story tells about a time in Lund that I didn’t know about. To top it all off, Tai Uhlmann, whose parents were part of that movement, has made a documentary about the End of the Road (Page 9)
And finally, don’t forget to enter our “Do you love Powell River?” contest before July 15! Send a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org that illustrates your love for this great community and tell us in up to 200 words, why it’s so special. It’s that easy! We have some great prizes donated by members of Tourism Powell River.
Stay safe, stay cool and enjoy July!
~ Isabelle Southcott
If you have kids in school, you know that June is one of the busiest months of the year. With everything from fun days to science fairs to exams and grad, there’s so much to do and not enough time to do it all!
My oldest son is graduating this year. He is one of a number of Powell River students who will take advantage of Vancouver Island University’s first year university program. This is an amazing opportunity for students to attend university without leaving home at an affordable price. It’s a gift and one I am most grateful for.
June is the real beginning of summer as the 21st of this month officially marks the start of summer with the solstice at 12:38 pm.
June 21 is also Father’s Day and National Aboriginal Day and this issue of Powell River Living reflects on both of these.
Local businessman Joseph McLean shares his own insights about fatherhood with our readers. I’ve been a fan of Joseph’s for a while now and delight in his Facebook posts and photos about family life and his two young sons, Ryan and Kevin. We’re thrilled that Joseph agreed to write a story for Powell River Living about being a father so our readers can also enjoy his writing.
If you haven’t noticed, there’s a lot happening in Sliammon these days. With the implementation of the Sliammon Treaty set for next year, there’s a positive future ahead. National Aboriginal Day is June 21. It will be celebrated in Sliammon on Friday the 19th (see Page 7). This month, I had the great honour of attending a Sliammon sweat. John Louie, a gifted storyteller and counsellor, walked me through the intense four-stage ceremony.
Just last week, Kim Barton-Bridges shared some amazing news with me about our love your non-profit contest. Although her entry didn’t win first (and the $500 prize money), her second place story was published and moved someone so deeply that they decided to help the brand new non-profit, Powell River Hospice Society, she wrote about, with a $2,000 donation! When Kim told me what happened it made me realize again just how connected we all are. Powell River is a beautiful community filled with kind, loving, people who care so much about helping others.
Stories like this always reaffirm why I love Powell River!
~ Isabelle Southcott
It’s official. Powell River loves their non profits! It takes a lot for me to be rendered speechless but I was totally overwhelmed by the response to our first Love Your Non-Profit story contest.
We received 33 outstanding stories telling us why their non profit was the most deserving non profit in Powell River. They all represented excellent causes, ranging from helping young moms with babies, to the archery club, to the hospice society. I’m happy I wasn’t judging as I know judges had a tough time picking the winner.
Congratulations to all who entered and special congratulations to Therapeutic Riding – you’ve won $500 plus a full page ad in Powell River Living!
This month, we take a look at tiny pets. As I read Pieta Woolley’s story about Boris, the hamster, I thought about the many pets we’ve had. I was eight when I got my first mouse. After visiting a friend’s mouse, my mouse had babies. At one point I had 33 white mice living in my bedroom. My mother thought this was too many so she “released” them in our backyard so they could “visit their country cousins.” It was no surprise when my youngest son Alex said he wanted a mouse. I protested as long as I could but my then seven-year-old wore me down with his persistent campaigning and I caved. After a trip to Mother Nature, we became the proud mouse owners of Scampy. I remember questioning my own sanity when we took Scampy to the vet (you don’t want to know how much it cost) when it looked as though she was dying. Scampy was dying and she did die despite the medical intervention. Alex learned a lot from Scampy. He learned about being responsible for another living creature. And he learned about death. Pets are great friends and great teachers.
This year May 10th will be a special day for me. Not only is it Mother’s Day but it is also the 18th birthday of my oldest son Matthew. Sometimes it seems like he was only born yesterday; sometimes it seems like he was born a lifetime ago. When Matt made me a mother, I began a crazy, wonderful, often-frustrating journey that I wouldn’t trade for anything. To my own mother, Happy Mother’s Day. And for all our readers, many of you who are also mothers, Happy Mother’s Day to you and thanks for reading.
~ Isabelle Southcott
Home Grown 2015
Local food just keeps growing in popularity. When I moved here in 1993, Powell River and Texada each offered one farmers market. I remember going to the Open Air Market for the first time and being thrilled with what I saw! ‘Fans’ lined up behind a rope and anxiously awaited the ringing of the bell at 10:30 am, to run towards the lone stall that sold fresh carrots. And before you could say “Bob’s your Uncle,” the fresh carrots would be sold out.
When my children were young, we’d spend hours with grandma at the market. They loved the pony rides, the handmade toys, the cookies and dancing to the music in front of the stage. I loved the fresh produce, the homemade jams, the starter plants, and basking in the sun drinking coffee while my children enjoyed some Home Grown fun.
A report prepared for the BC Association of Farmers Markets found that market sales rose 147 per cent between 2006 and 2012. Local farmers markets are flourishing in Powell River, in BC, and all over North America because people want fresh, locally grown meats and produce.
Today, there are five markets in our region!
First up popped the Winter Market, then the Kelly Creek Market, and now, as of just last month, we also have the Midweek Market.
It takes time for business to respond to consumer demand. But if the demand exists, well, cool stuff, like more markets and more local food, will grow right here in Powell River. Be sure to check out the food map in this year’s edition of Home Grown. You can download a PDF of it here.
~ Isabelle Southcott
Last year I did the Marathon Shuffle for the first time. Not the whole 29 kilometres; instead I opted for the half shuffle with a couple of friends.
We didn’t set any world records for the fastest times or wearing the sexiest spandex. Instead we got some exercise and enjoyed a wonderful April day beneath sunny skies on the Sunshine Coast Trail. And really, it doesn’t get much better than that.
This year’s shuffle – the 22nd annual – is coming up on April 26. Organizers note that it’s grown substantially each year, and many out-of-towners are expected for this popular, and free, event. Trying something for the very first time is good.
There’s something to be said about doing new things and here in Powell River, lots is new. The new $540,000 bike park is a smashing success. It’s been packed more than once during spring break with riders who are digging the challenging jumps and trails.
Educators know that new is good. They know that students who stretch themselves often discover talents and abilities they didn’t even realize they had. The school district has some fabulous programs this summer for students interested in developing their leadership skills, or improving their academics.
Students aren’t the only ones breaking new ground. Last month, Tla’Amin Chief Clint Williams and other dignitaries broke ground for Tla’Amin’s new Governance House which will be completed by the time their final treaty is signed next April. It will be built where Klahanie meets the highway, in the forest.
While Powell River celebrates all the newness and promise that comes with spring, some members of our community need help. Twelve-year-old Madison White, who was just diagnosed with advanced stage leukemia, is fighting for her life. Madison and her family desperately need our prayers and financial support so she can focus on getting better. And Kayla Crouse Morris, 24, who is reaching end stage kidney disease needs a new kidney. Because she has a rare blood type, O Negative, finding a new kidney isn’t easy.
Life is always challenging us and those we love. But through it all, we need to keep the faith. Faith, hope and love. But of the three, the greatest of these is love. Remember this as you go about your day. With love we can do so much. With love, the impossible becomes possible.
~ Isabelle Southcott
The other day I asked my 15-year-old to find a screwdriver for me. “Robertson’s or Phillip’s?,” he asked. “The kind with the square in the centre,” I replied.
Alex fetched the screwdriver and then proceeded to enlighten me on the history of the Robertson’s screwdriver. “Did you know the Robertson’s screwdriver was invented by a Canadian man called Peter Robertson?” he said. “It is much better than the American screwdriver, the Phillip’s, but it isn’t as popular because the Americans won’t admit that the Canadian system is better.”
I looked at my son in amazement. “Where did you learn this?” I asked.
“In my mechanics class,” he answered nonchalantly.
Wow, I thought. How cool is that?
“And Mom,” Alex continued. “The only reason why it isn’t the top screwdriver is because Henry Ford refused to admit the Canadian one was better.”
Sometimes I ask my kids what they learned in school that day and they say, “Nothing.” But I know they did. Conversations like this prove it.
March is all about education. In this issue, you will read stories about what the different schools are up to. You will learn about programs, opportunities, and changes that are taking place in School District 47. The School District’s special section begins on Page 29 with a message about personalized learning. Inside, stories about each school highlight their uniqueness and focus.
March 20 is the first day of spring. Crocuses and daffodils poked their heads through the soil last month and I’ve heard the telltale whir of lawnmowers. Wedding planning begins in earnest, and we have help with that. Although March is Spring Break, there are still opportunities to learn. One is at a Powell River Living-sponsored night sky astronomy / astrology workshop from 7:30 to 9:30 pm on March 15 at Willingdon Beach with Michael Moonbeam.
So get learning, get healthy and get reading.
~ Isabelle Southcott
The inaugural issue of Powell River Living’s health and wellness magazine, ZEST.
Whether you’re looking for a soul-cleansing cry, or a better way to get fit, you’ll find something in the pages of ZEST magazine.
The magazine features a story by veterinarian Bryce Fleming, who was surprised by the power of an obnoxious cat to soothe his family after a tragedy.
There’s also an in-depth look at the Aging Boomer Tsunami, and the housing challenges that demographic faces.
Can you help recruit doctors? Find out in ZEST!
This month we publish the 10th February issue of Powell River’s only independent monthly community magazine.
We are grateful to have made it this far because, quite frankly, it wouldn’t be any fun to write the magazine’s obituary.
We can’t thank our advertisers and readers enough for their support for without them, we wouldn’t still be here. As associate publisher Sean Percy says, our advertisers go where the readers are!
To thank Powell River, we are launching a “Love Your Non-Profit” contest. To enter, write a 500-word story on why you believe your non-profit is the most deserving non-profit in Powell River and send it to email@example.com before March 30. The winning non-profit will receive $500 plus a full-page colour ad in the May issue of Powell River Living. We hope this combination of cash and space will give one of our non-profits a financial boost and the opportunity to tell the community their story.
Speaking of love, it’s Valentine’s Day on February 14! If you want to do something special and unique for your sweetie, you could always buy the combo dinner/theatre tickets at Brooks Secondary for the 14th followed by the Putnam Spelling Bee musical. The cast of the musical is on our cover this month.
Love is beautiful at any age as our story on Page 6 shows us. Writer/photographer Jered Devries has a touching photo essay of Howard and Esther Lowe’s 64-year love story.
On page 22, staffer Pieta Woolley tells us how she learned a financial and parenting lesson from her seven-year-old, Star Wars and some Ewoks.
Lunar New Year is February 19 and marks the beginning of year of the sheep in the Chinese calendar. Coco Kao, Powell River’s immigrant services coordinator, wrote a story about how different Asian cultures celebrate the special occasion.
Writer/photographer Susan Clark shares a recent Fibre and Fabric weekend put on by Kevin Wilson of Urban Homesteading School of Powell River. See her photo essay on Page 14 and find out why more people are interested in urban homesteading these days.
Every month we try to bring you a variety of stories that we hope will engage and interest you. If you have a story idea or would like to write for us, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks again for being part of our journey and supporting Powell River’s only community magazine since February 1996.
The first ever January issue of Powell River Living marks the magazine’s expansion to 12 issues a year. It’s also the first issue to be all colour on all pages. It’s also just a little bit wider, making the whole magazine bigger and better.
In addition to our usual fun events and ideas info, we also introduce you in this issue to a number of fascinating Powell Riverites. We have a feature and Q&A with Mayor Dave Formosa. New residents Hayley and Jered Devries are interviewed in our “I Made the Move” feature. Ken Shannon has beaten cancer, heart disease and diabetes. His wife Ernalee interviews the Survive & Thrive guy. Rose Adams is a champion of the Tla’Amin language, even though she’s still learning how to speak it herself. What makes her work so hard to teach it to children? Find out on page 18-19. Local builder Jim Agius is profiled by Groundswell, and shares his insights on building community.
We also look at how small local businesses support the community, and the world, with innovative fundraisers and donation methods.
Don’t miss Pieta’s Woolley’s cheeky, funny and insightful 15 Predictions for 2015.
UPDATE: If you were struggling to read the School District story that was cut off on Page 28 of the printed edition, we’re sorry. But you can read it here. It’s fine in the digital edition!
Miniature Christmas villages are everywhere this year – so I’m thrilled. They’re on the cover of Martha Stewart Living magazine; they’re all over Pinterest; craft stores are selling pre-made cardboard houses, ready to be glittered; and the German-American “Putz” (or Christmas village, with some Nativity figures and toy trains tossed in for flavour) seems to be the “it” decoration of Holiday 2014.
The reason I’m thrilled is this. In December, the rational part of me usually descends into a Grinch-like funk about the holidays’ “traditional” over-consumption of toys and treats – indulgence which inevitably leads to grouchy and entitled behaviour on the part of my children. Not to mention my deep inner discomfort with publicly “celebrating” a holy-day stripped of all meaning. The symbolic and literal return of the light – a Solstice theme among Northern cultures for millennia – replaced by images of bulbous Frostys and Lego advent calendars. Don’t I sound like a barrel of laughs?
Thankfully, there are Christmas villages. In Wildwood, John and Lexie Harris have this thing down to an art. Seven tiers of pure, Grinch-free Christmas joy. Carolers gather on the sidewalks of a poverty-free Victorian city; kids toss snowballs; a solarium grows fat poinsettias. It’s perfect. A perfectly-tiny place to project all my aspirational, air-headed hopefulness of the season. It’s not right, or correct. But it feels so… happy.
Back in the real world, Powell River is also alive with people building life-sized things that are hopeful. At Sycamore Commons, a labyrinth has emerged out of the soil, thanks to some local visionaries. It’s modeled after the design at Chartres Cathedral, an ancient walking path designed for prayer and meditation – authentic contemplation, in other words. The opposite of air-headed.
Powell River’s newly-elected representatives are also pursuing hope. In an effort to get to know more about them, we asked about their favourite gifts of all time. The answers are entrancing: a bike; a Stetson hat; a visit; a necklace. The delight is palpable, in their memories of receiving these gifts. But perhaps the most inspiring project in this issue is the 122-foot Christmas Tree, near the corner of Alberni and Fernwood. The statuesque Douglas-fir is second-growth – a young tree, growing strong. At night, covered in lights, it’s a beacon of human warmth on this cold coast. The things that make this lit-up tree possible represent the best of who we are: respect for nature, technology, the drive to create beauty, prosperity, purpose, and a touch of indulgent glitz.
We live in a post-modern era. PoMo, say the hip. So all these things must exist together: Solstice labyrinth walks, Nativity pageants, Lego advent calendars, too many and too few gifts, grouchiness, loneliness, contemplation – and lights, twinkling hopefully in the darkness at us, in spite of ourselves.
Wishing you an authentically-hopeful holiday season – and a touch of airheaded joy.
There are lots of moustaches around this month – some good, some bad, but all for a good cause – raising awareness of men’s health, and prostate cancer in particular. Our cover honours the moustache-growing men of the Powell River fire department, and those throughout the community supporting Movember. Look inside for a feature on men’s health, including stories from several Powell River men and their battles with disease.
Les Vegas learned a lot of self-confidence from his boxing career. Now, at 73, he’s sharing the sport with others by running a free boxing club at Oceanview Educational Centre. Learn more about the club, and why Les runs it, in the feature “Trouble: meet your match.”
Meet Clint Loan, who, with wife Lorraine, recently moved to Powell River to take the job as Mall manager in our regular feature “I Made the Move.”
Between the flu, ebola and enterovirus, will Powell River be immune to serious plagues? Powell River Living reporter Pieta Woolley looks back at the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic and how it affected Powell River, and the lessons we can learn from it.
Finally, Powell River Living and our advertisers share a list of gifts that someone you know will really want, in our “Lust List.” Don’t miss these local shopping opportunities.
If you’re a kid, October means s-p-o-o-k-y Hallowe’en. And if you’re an entrepreneur, October means Small Business Month — an event with just as many scary features! The money! The staffing! The work-life off-balance! This month, Powell River Living celebrates the region’s many small-business owners who brave it all for their customers, in spite of the fear.
A trio of mom-owned small businesses demonstrate that, in spite of the demands of parenting, it is possible to start something wicked, and profitable.
Despite sustaining significant water damage and being forced to close for at least two months, the Patricia Theatre is weathering the setback, with the help of its business model, which includes the Friends of the Patricia Society.
Apart from small business, Powell River Living offers plenty of brain candy.
Do you believe in ghosts? The supernatural? How about fortune telling? Publisher Isabelle Southcott brought three personal questions to a tarot reader to learn more about the craft.. and her future.
If you’re a numbers nerd, our Civic Literacy chart will get your gears turning. How much does Powell River spend on transportation compared to other local cities? Rec and culture? Find out in our pre-election section.
Remember what it was like to be young and free in the story about Rotary international youth exchanges.
Winter is coming, and you’ll want to make sure your house is cozy. Let the experts help you prepare.
And our first Lives Lived column runs this month, featuring Clara Mae Allen. Contact us to find out how you can remember your loved ones in the pages of our magazine.
Happy Hallowe’en! (And Thanksgiving.)
The September issue of Powell River Living explores the Endless Summer opportunities available in a community where summer carries on right through September. And anyone who says summer is over can go jump in the lake!
There’s an eclectic range of stories in this issue. Staff journalist Pieta Woolley looks at the economics of marijuana, and how legalization might affect the flow of cash in Powell River.
Guest writer Krystal DeWolfe examines the art of the “selfie” and the reasons why we take them. Plus we share a bunch of her inspiring selfie photos!
Contributor Juhli Jobi, August’s cover model, shares another story with us this month – her experience learning cedar weaving.
Longtime Powell River businessman Peter Mitchell chats with Groundswell organizers about the connections between the past and future of Powell River.
Our regular I Made the Move column, about why people move to Powell River introduces you to a pair of health care professionals, one of whom is a nurse practitioner working in Sliammon and one who is an x-ray tech at the hospital.
Since the start of school was delayed by the labour dispute, PRL staff put together a list of field trips parents could take their kids on to ensure some learning happens this September. Guaranteed fun and educational!
I couldn’t help but laugh when I read writer Juhli Jobi’s story about ‘glamping’ that appears on Page 6 of Powell River Living this month. The part about the souvenirs that Juhli and her cousins brought home from a family camping trip many years ago was totally unexpected. I found myself squirming. No wonder Juhli turned to glamping! These days, Juhli no longer camps in a tent. She prefers to have all the amenities like a shower, toilet, stove, and Cobb barbecue. I first stumbled across Juhli’s glamping adventures on her blog where she explored the various campgrounds in Powell River and wrote about her experiences. Juhli, who manages the Farmers Market, loves to play her ukulele around the campfire. She and friend Carina Rempel form the band Lotus and the Wild Flower, and are releasing new CD “Toes in the Water” Aug. 9 at 7 pm at the Cranberry Hall. Lucky for us, Juhli agreed to share her glamping story. I know you’ll enjoy it.
* * *
We have heroes living amongst us. Heroes like Karl Siegler, our newest member of the Order of Canada.
When Karl was inducted into the Order, his first thought at joining such an illustrious group was that he’d be joining his hero Don James.
What Don has done for choral music, and for Powell River, is remarkable. But what Karl has done for publishing and Canadian literature is equally remarkable. For a sense of what Karl has worked on, see his story on Page 12.
* * *
If you’re looking for something to do this summer in between camping or glamping, check out our Festival Frenzy lineup on Pages 28 and 29. Complementing the many festivals this summer, are a number of art-related events including Arts Alive Art in the Park later this month (see Page 29). Powell River has long been a magnet for artists and events like this one, the Southern Belles Art Hop (see Page 14) and the Texada Artists Studio Tour (see Page 24), give our artists the opportunity to showcase their work to a live audience. When you meet the person who created a particular piece of pottery or a painting, that piece has more meaning.
* * *
And finally, there’s my great golf story on Page 9. I don’t mean that I’m a great golfer, what I mean is that I think golf is pretty great these days. Here I am learning a new sport at 50-something that I should be able to do for the rest of my life. Golf has added a whole new dimension to my summer and given me something to do on Monday nights. I’ve met some really great people at ladies night, had lots of fun and enjoyed the beauty of Myrtle Point on a summer’s eve. My boyfriend and my son both golf so maybe, just maybe, if golf pro Steve Phillips is able to work his magic, the boys will let me join them for a game!
The July issue of Powell River Living is all about summer. Need help planning your activities? Texada’s own Michael Moonbeam offers an astrological guide to your star sign’s most fulfilling warm-weather ventures.
Thanks to the foodies featured, your 2014 campfires may get a tasty, locavore makeover – including smokies, beer and icy treats.
Summer in Powell River brings a serious tidal wave of events. Texada shines in July, with celebrations such as the Sandcastle Weekend and the Fly-In – and while you’re on-island, be sure to check out the additions to the Texada museum. Powell River’s Sea Fair, on July 25 to 27, is captained this year by a highly-skilled former Miss Sea Fair, bringing us new rides, a canoe race, volleyball tourney, a new Kidzone, and much more.
With far too many events to list here, both the Visitor Centre and the Powell River Public Library are offering oodles of July events for all ages, listed on the Community Calendar on Page 30. And for parents looking for free and inexpensive activities this summer, the calendar contains many treasures.
Do you love longboarding? Or hate it? The June issue of Powell River Living introduces you to some local longboarders and to some of those who are worried about the safety of these young men and women on their noisy wheels.
Are you a hippie, a redneck, or a hipster? Use our handy chart to figure out where you fit.
You can also read about former Powell Riverite and budding architect Kaz Bremner.
Canada Day will be a big day in Powell River, with the huge BC Bike Race, a kids bike race, the opening day of the choral Kathaumixw, the Farmer’s Market, and civic Canada Day celebrations at Larry Gouthro Park. Check out the schedule in our centre spread.
Ferns & Fallers 2014
Our inaugural issue of Ferns and Fallers is now available for download, or you can find it inside the current paper copy of Powell River Living. It’s hard to miss. It’s the shiny, glossy magazine that will fall out when you pick it up!
It’s a look at something we often take for granted: our forests. In addition to being beautiful places to hike, fish and play, they provide food and jobs to our communities. But most of us know little about what’s happening in our forests. Ferns & Fallers introduces you to some of the people and plants that make Sunshine Coast forests home.
Powell Riverites love their pets! The May issue of Powell River Living introduces you to some local pet owners, and the things they do to show how much they love their pets. From extreme training to building a sidecar for a motorbike, it appears true that dog is man’s best friend. Although rats are in the running, apparently.
Elsie Paul has written a book, As I Remember It, and it’s featured in our story on Page 8.
HOME GROWN (2014)
Our annual guide to local food and agriculture is now available. Home Grown 2014 contains a map outlining where local food is grown, as well as features and listings about local growers.
Is Powell River hip? Our research revealed that not only is it currently hip, and trending up, but it also has a history of hip dating back to the town’s original establishment. Find out what made Powell River hip in the past, and who’s making it hip today in our feature story by Pieta Woolley.
What makes young athletes go the extra mile to compete at the elite level? And what makes their parents support and pay for their many road trips? Isabelle Southcott asked a few local families why they go to all the effort.
Easter is coming. Chocolate will follow. Will it survive? Not according to Lynn McCann, who shares her darkest chocolate secrets.
We begin a series catching up with former Powell Riverites who’ve made a name for themselves outside this burg. Brilliantly titled “Where Are They Now?”, this month’s edition checks in with Arwen Widmer, now a diplomat in Mexico City.
Our “I Made the Move” feature, introducing you to people who moved to Powell River gets personal with Shane Bodie, the force behind Studio 56 in the Townsite.
Townsite Heritage Society has a new executive director. What makes Linda Nailer love the Townsite? Find out on Page 18.
A new local rewards program has been kicked off, following up on the successes of the Sustainability Stakeholders program, and taking it further. Learn about Local Logic on Page 29, then sign up here.
March’s issue goes deep, exploring the inner thoughts of some of Powell River’s leading women, as well as the story behind Powell River’s underwater mermaid statue.
The cover image of the March issue of Powell River Living was taken by Doug Pemberton.
As the Powell River Kings head into the playoffs, we featured an interview with their play-by-play man, Alex Rawnsley. As far as we know, he’s the only play-by-play announcer in the country with an Australian accent.
The local school district featured each of its schools in a special section, where you can learn what’s happening, and how it’s preparing youth for the future.
Our ongoing “I Made the Move” feature introduces readers to Ben Crawford and Katie Kinsley, and how a camping trip here turned them into full-time residents.
Is there a wedding in your future? Consider holding it in Powell River’s historic Townsite. We share a bunch of reasons why. We also share a romantic story and some great photos from a recent surprise engagement.
If you’ve read this far, you probably agree that Powell River is the centre of the universe. Jennifer Salisbury explains how she has come to that conclusion after meeting people connected to Powell River during her trips to various destinations.
In honour of International Women’s Day, Powell River Living profiled 31 local women. Get introduced beginning on Page 29 of this issue.
March marked the return of horticulturist Jonathan van Wiltenburg’s “A Growing Concern” column. In it, he discusses how to tackle all those gardening tasks, without killing yourself in the process.
Miriam Abrams shares her first close-up of death in a heartwarming and heartbreaking story of an adopted little bird.
For the first time ever, a reporter asked famed BC politicos (and local sheep farmers) Judi Tyabji-Wilson and Gordon Wilson about their true romance — the one that made headlines more than 20 years ago. That reporter is Isabelle Southcott. Get ready for Valentines Day here.
Joining protests throughout BC’s coast, more than one thousand locals came together here to protest the cuts to BC Ferries in January; find a photo spread capturing the fury on Page 22.
Many Syrian refugees in Lebanon are experiencing a freezing winter in tents. Local realtor Kathie Mack has a daughter working as a United Nations field officer in Lebanon, and asked Powell River locals to knit toques for babies. See the remarkable response here.
Closer to home, inspire your Valentine’s Day by reading about senior love-birds John and Wendy; the camera club makes winter look good; Karen Southern published a new book about Townsite history for Heritage Week; Capt. Hal Ross retired from the Coast Guard.
Finally, and sadly, Ruby Duck passed away this month. The famous Muscovy duck spent the past year bringing delight to Facebook readers here and abroad.
Happy February, all.
WINTER LIVING 2014
Powell River backcountry adventurers head back down the hill after a day in the Knuckleheads Winter Recreation Area in the cover photo for this year’s edition of Winter Living. The sunset shot is by Tobias Ulrich. Elsewhere in BC, commercial mountains have suffered with a lack of snow, but here in Powell River, the Knuckleheads is a playground for snowboarders, snowshoers, cross-country skiers, tobogganers and power sledders.
Local writer Malina Hopkins rounded up four talented local visual artists to share their vision of winter in the rainforest. Check out their great art beginning on Page 5.
Hiking is more fun in the winter than it sounds, thanks to lowland snow-free trails and high-country cabins.
Meanwhile, underwater, Powell River Living’s own Sean Percy braved the cold depths to photograph the eclectic variety of sea stars that call the Salish Sea home. Some of them seem to be melting. No kidding, melting.
Still feeling lethargic? But not ready to dunk yourself in the salt chuck? Our annual winter roundup of things to do in the rainy season will get you off the couch. No drysuit required.
For some people, getting off the couch seems a herculean task, thanks to winter’s depressing effects. Counsellor Rick Berghauser offers his expertise on how to handle Season Affective Disorder on Page 27.
One of the hippest places in Powell River on a winter Saturday morning is the Winter Market on Joyce Avenue. Get to know the market with our photo feature on Page 30.
Our “Townsite’s Where It’s At” feature looks at the History Afloat, the theme of Heritage Week Feb 17-23. From steamships to log barges, the coastal waterway was the lifeblood of this community for decades – long before highways were built here or BC Ferries started ticking off local residents.
Everyone has a story about home renovations, and we want to read yours. So we’re having a contest! Send us your dream or nightmare – maximum 500 words plus a photo, if you have one. Deadline is March 7. Send your stories to email@example.com. Need inspiration, see Isabelle Southcott’s personal story on Page 36.
Winter Living is produced once a year in January.
Powell River Living magazine is published 11 months a year by Southcott Communications. Paper copies are available at most businesses in Powell River, at grocery store and mall racks, and at our office on Glacier Street. Online, you can find it here via issuu.com (click the “Current Issue” tab above), or as a PDF download (click the “Archives” tab).