MARCH 2015

Powell River Living

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


ZEST 2015

Powell River Living

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.

The role of community nurses is examined in a piece by staff writer Pieta Woolley, and contributing writer Heather Allen looks at the benefits of square dancing.

Can you help recruit doctors? Find out in ZEST!








Powell River Living

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 isabelle@prliving.ca 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 isabelle@prliving.ca

Thanks again for being part of our journey and supporting Powell River’s only community magazine since February 1996.


Powell River Living

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.

We’ve also added a local horoscope and a Powell River-centric crossword.

These links take you to our magazine on Issuu.com. You can also view the magazine as a PDF in the archives tab above, or on Magzter.com. Back issues are available in all three places.


Powell River Living

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.

~ Pieta


Powell River Living

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.”

Local elections will be held Nov 15. We introduce you to all the candidates. You can also find out where to vote if you live in the Regional District, or in the City.

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.


Powell River Living

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.

Meet Melanie Alsager, who reveals the magic behind one of Powell River’s swiftest-growing small businesses: the Sunshine Treatment Centre.

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.)

There’s more to the magazine, of course, that you’ll find in the hard copies available at hundreds of locations around Powell River, or download the PDF here or view it online here.


Powell River Living

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!

There’s more to the magazine, of course, that you’ll find in the hard copies available at hundreds of locations around Powell River, or download the PDF here or view it online here.



Powell River Living

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!

There’s more to the magazine, of course, that you’ll find in the hard copies available at hundreds of locations around Powell River, or download the PDF here or view it online here.

~ Isabelle

JULY 2014

Powell River Living

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.

And hiking season is upon us – whether that means toddlers in tow or alpine and glaciers to conquer in the back country.

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.

Of course, there’s much more, but you’ll have to find a paper copy at one of our hundreds of drop-off locations, or download the PDF here or view it online here.

JUNE 2014

Powell River Living

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.

We all bring you details of two of Powell River’s biggest musical events: the choral festival Kathaumixw and the orchestral show PRISMA.

Of course, there’s much more, but you’ll have to find a paper copy at one of our hundreds of drop-off locations, or download the PDF here or view it online here.


Ferns & Fallers 2014

Powell River Living

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.

There’s much more, and you can get a glossy paper copy at one of our hundreds of drop-off locations in Powell River and the lower Sunshine Coast, or download the PDF here or view it online here.










MAY 2014

Powell River Living

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.

We introduce you to several exciting local festivals, including the Lund Shellfish Festival, the choral event Kathaumixw and the orchestral show PRISMA.

Of course, there’s much more, but you’ll have to find a paper copy at one of our hundreds of drop-off locations, or download the PDF here or view it online here.




Powell River Living

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.

Learn about microgreens, local farmers markets, garlic growing, sheep shearing, seaweed for gardens, and fruit fly invasions.

Of course, there’s much more, but you’ll have to find a paper copy at one of our hundreds of drop-off locations, or download the PDF here or view it online here.







APRIL 2014

Powell River Living

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.

Of course, there’s much more, but you’ll have to find a paper copy, or download it here or view it here.


MARCH 2014

Powell River LivingMarch’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.

Two Wildwood artists, who also happen to be a couple, and a sample of their art, are featured. Check out Debbie Dan’s beautiful painting, and Rod Innes’ lovely hummingbird photo.

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.

Don’t forget to check out what’s going on around town in our What’s Up and Community Calendar sections.



Powell River LivingFebruary’s issue highlights how connected Powell River is to the rest of the world.

Interested in the Sochi Olympics? The legs gracing the cover of the February issue of Powell River Living are just a hint. Read high heels and hockey skates to find out more.

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.



Powell River LivingPowell 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 isabelle@prliving.ca. 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).