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March 2009 issue

March 2009

>> This entire issue is available as a 18MB PDF download


Table of Contents

Coming up...
The hardest minutes: A personal challenge
Pardon My Pen: A good sense of humour
Pauline Joy Galinski: A woman who made a difference
Change your body
For Art's Sake
Local skier has Olympic dreams
Point of VIU: Be smart about financing your education
The Sunset Homes Society: Housing for seniors
Business Connections
Marketing expert to share techniques
Turning glass into gems
Family Matters
Success by 6 ORCA Bus now on the road
Explore Powell River




Outstanding Aboriginal artist
Local Haida Artist, April White, was honoured at a gala celebration on January 27 in Vancouver. Her business Wind Spirit Art & Gallery was selected as an Outstanding Achiever in the Aboriginal Business of the year in the two to ten person enterprise category. This year marks 15 years at her Marine Avenue location, where April's Wind Spirit houses exhibit space, frame shop, print-making studio, and centre for marketing and distribution.

Hon. Michael de Jong, Minister of Aboriginal Relations & Reconciliation with April White
Hon. Michael de Jong, Minister of Aboriginal
Relations & Reconciliation with April White.

Community Achievement Award
Powell River's Joyce Carlson was one of 45 outstanding British Columbians who were named on February 20 as recipients of the sixth annual BC Community Achievement Awards by Premier Gordon Campbell and Keith Mitchell, chair of the British Columbia Achievement Foundation.

Carlson, publisher of the Powell River Peak, was recognized for being a leader in her community and a committed volunteer. Serving with the United Way, the Festival for the Performing Arts, the 2007 Disability Games Society, and the Powell River Ayjoomixw Spirit of BC Community Committee, Carlson is a driving force involved in the fabric and future of her community.

TC Mall Merchants help kids
Congratulations to the Town Centre Mall Merchants' Association on the success of their penny drive! A friendly competition to collect money for the Variety Club's Coins for Kids campaign resulted in $1069.10 being raised.

If you know of an item for the Kudos Powell River column please tell us about it by emailing isabelle@prliving.ca, or calling 604 485-0003.


Coming up...

March is Kidney Awareness Month

During March, volunteers are out in force educating people about kidney disease and raising funds to fight it. Did you know that each day about 14 Canadians learn that their kidneys have failed and that their survival depends on daily dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant? Your donation will help with these treatments.

In 2008, the Kidney Foundation received $5,000 raised by volunteers who went door-to-door canvassing for donations in Powell River. When they visit you, please give generously.

To learn more or to volunteer, contact Kim Miller, the Powell River & area coordinator. She is at 604 414-0024 or at the Chamber office, 604 485-4051.

Stanley Cup coming to Powell River

Sports fans: Add March 17 to your calendars, because the Stanley Cup is visiting! ScotiaBank's Celebration of Hockey Tour brings the Cup to Powell River. Have your photo taken with this iconic piece of hockey history at the ScotiaBank branch on Alberni Street from 2 to 6 pm on Tuesday, March 17. And look for Brad Bombardir's name etched on the Cup from when he was with the cup-winning 2000 New Jersey Devils.

Festival of Writers

Calling all writers, those who would like to write, or anyone who just loves books!

You're invited to the Powell River Festival of Writers on March 27 and 28. Author Anthony Dalton shares his stories from around the world in Adventures of a Writer and explains why research is vital in Getting it Write. Sylvia Taylor, an award-winning freelance writer, editor and speaker will teach you how to write memoirs or family history.

Get tickets from Breakwater Books or by calling Barb Rees at 604 485-2732. You must register in advance. The festival takes place at the CEP Local 76 Union Hall, 5814 Ash Street in Townsite. Visit www.festivalofwriters.com for more.

Expose Yourself!

The second annual Expose Yourself is billed as an exhibition for exhibitionists. This night of fun, fantasy and celebration of sexuality comes up Saturday, March 28 at 6251 Yew Street below the Rodmay Hotel. It runs from 7:30 pm to midnight.

Local artists as well as returning guest exhibitors, show off their new art, all with an erotic twist. Many of the pieces will be for sale, so if your bedroom needs a little spice, bring your cheque book.

InkFected Tattoo & Body Piercing will be showcasing provocative body art, and check out the Cloud Nine demonstration corner. Manzanita Restaurant will be shucking Okeover oysters at the Oyster Bar. Enjoy the silent auction and drink specials.

Organizers are still looking for spoken word or other performers and music. Find out more by calling 604 483-1979 or email ArbutusOils@groundswell.ca.


The hardest minutes: A personal challenge
Powell River Festival of Performing Arts
By Janet May

She was terrified, waiting for the bell. When it finally signalled, she climbed the stairs, strode to centre stage and introduced her poem. Lillian Clutterbuck was only six years old when she gave her first performance at the Powell River Festival of the Performing Arts. At that young age she learned an important lesson: the hardest minutes are the ones spent waiting to go on stage.

She realized that she got great satisfaction from delivering good entertainment to an audience.

At 14, Lillian is preparing for another wait beside those stairs. "It's still nerve racking," she confides, "but I know that once I start I will be fine."

Speech Arts coach Liz Brach believes that Lillian's lesson is a most important one.

"There are so many jobs that require you to be able to give a presentation or speak in front of others." Liz, herself, remembers singing on stage as a child. Afterwards she thought, "That was really scary, but I did it!"


Web bonus! Listen to these mp3 sound samples of Assumption students practicing their 2009 Speech Arts entries:

Alex & Alex

Colin & Noah

Eden & Darrian

Ciara & Hannah

Josie & Asees


Linsey & Lisa Marie


Thanks to that early experience, Liz now finds courage to speak up in front of large groups. She also volunteers her time at Assumption School coaching students during their lunch hour. She has 47 students entered in the various speech arts categories this year. She says that some of the students work really hard and take it seriously. They usually do well in the Festival. But most of her students do it for fun and they really enjoy themselves. Either way it is a great experience.

Liz works with Lillian on her delivery of three different spoken entries: a lyric poem, a Shakespeare monologue and a piece of humorous prose. Lillian likes to make the audience laugh.

"I sometimes start laughing myself during practice" she giggles. Her favourite entry this year is Titania's monologue from the Shakespeare's comedy "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Last year she performed a similar piece and was selected to go the BC Festival of the Performing Arts, where she and 15 others performed and were critiqued. Lillian and the others spent eight hours with the adjudicator, learning about enunciation and delivery. She enjoyed it so much that her goal is to be selected again this year. "What I learned last year will help me in my performance this year," she declares. Lillian is clearly one of the students who takes speech arts seriously.

Speech arts is more accessible than most of the festival categories. Most of us could get up on stage and deliver a poem or prose to an audience. It would be a challenge that contributes to personal growth, the way running a half marathon contributes to our health.

I know of what I speak. Some years ago, while watching students prepare for festival, I was inspired by their courage and daring. I felt I should challenge myself too, and I prepared a recitation of "The Cremation of Sam McGee." I know now what it is like to stand at the bottom of the stairs and wait for my turn to deliver my best. The challenge was made sweeter by the fact that the competition was my husband!

I recommend the experience. As you watch and support this year's festival line-up, consider performing yourself, next year. Lillian's lesson can be yours.

Lillian Clutterbuck
LET THE SHOW BEGIN: Lillian Clutterbuck says once she starts speaking,
performing at the festival is fine; it's the waiting to begin that's tough.

Festival of Performing Arts

The Powell River Festival of Performing Arts runs March 13 to 25. Speech Arts will be performed at 9:30 am and 1:30 pm from Wednesday, March 18 to Friday, March 20 in the Max Cameron Theatre. For the complete schedule go to www.prrotary.org and click on "Festival of Performing Arts."

Or you might take the challenge and enter yourself in the 2010 Festival. Learn more at www.prrotary.org.


Pardon My Pen: A good sense of humour
By George Campbell

A tight ropewalker has a good sense of balance. He must have. If he can walk along a suspended rope without falling off while he is tight, just imagine what he could do if he were sober. I, myself, have a lousy sense of balance. If I get above the third rung on a ladder I have a tendency to fall off. I also have a poor sense of direction. I can get lost wandering from the kitchen to the bathroom. I do, however, have a great sense of humour. If one is constantly stumbling and falling over one's feet, whilst getting lost and refusing to ask directions, one needs a good sense of humour.

It helps if one's wife has a good sense of humour, too. Fortunately mine does, although it does sometimes wear a little thin when it comes to my refusing to ask for directions when we are lost. Especially if she is fielding a call from nature at the time. "Never mind asking for directions," she will say testily, "Just find me a bathroom. And you better be quick about it."

My wife fields a lot of calls from nature. Especially when we are driving. I have always suspected that her bladder is somehow connected to the odometer on the car. Drive her anywhere over five kilometres and she has to go. It is one of the mysteries of womanhood, just as refusing to ask directions is one of the mysteries of manhood. These are two things husbands and wives have to accept about each other if their marriage is to endure. Ours has endured 58 years, which is not bad when you consider that I get lost on an average of twice a week. A good sense of humour on both our parts has helped.

There is some controversy attached to how one goes about getting a good sense of humour. One side says we are born with it, the other that it must be learned. If it must be learned, just how does one go about studying it? Mark Twain said that studying humour is like dissecting a frog. When you finish your studies you may know a lot more about what is, or is not, funny, but you will still end up with a dead frog.

Mark Twain said a lot of funny things. That was because he had a good sense of humour. A person gifted with a good sense of humour is able see the funny side of almost any situation. Take the case of the guy condemned to die before a firing squad. When asked if he'd like to have a last cigarette before he was blindfolded and shot, he replied, "No thanks, I'm trying to quit."

A person with a poor sense of humour is said to have an under-developed funny bone. For those unfamiliar with human anatomy, the funny bone is the large bone of the upper arm that attaches the elbow to the shoulder. The proper name for this bone is the humerus, which is why it is called the funny bone. So, if you want to know if someone has a good sense of humour or not, just check out the size of his or her upper arm.

It is okay to occasionally lose your sense of balance, and it is all right to once in a while lose your sense of direction. But--never, ever, under any circumstances, lose your sense of humour. After all, "he who laughs, lasts," and we pretty much all want to do that.


Pauline Joy Galinski: A woman who made a difference
By Isabelle Southcott

Pauline GalinskiPauline Galinski was a dynamic woman who got the job done.

She served Powell River School District for over 40 years in a variety of capacities including chair of the district's board of education for 15 years and as a teacher for 25 years. Pauline always focused on doing what was best for the students and never lost sight of her target: students and education.

Pauline was born on January 22, 1932 in Vancouver. When she died on February 10, she was 77 years old.

At her Celebration of Life, words such as committed, strong, dedicated, visionary, pioneer, forward thinking, well-respected, master teacher and loyal were used to describe Pauline.

Yes, Pauline was all of that and more.

Pauline Galinski made a difference. She made a difference to her children Paul and Lise, to her five grandchildren, to her husband Hank and daughter Kerry, both who predeceased her, to her many students, to Powell River's education system, to the BC Teachers' Federation (of which she was a life member), to the BC College of Teachers (of which she was a founding member), to the Powell River and District Teachers' Association (she served as president for three years), to her friends, family, colleagues, those she mentored, and even those who disagreed with her.

There's no denying the fact that Pauline commanded respect. She was always well turned out, organized and in control. There was a reason she was called "The General."

"Pauline had a presence; when Pauline entered the building or when she had something to say people stopped and people listened," said Jay Yule, Superintendent of Schools.

Pauline wasn't quite 18 years old when she left her home in Ladner for her first teaching job in the isolated community of Beaverdell, BC. There found herself teaching all subjects to Grades 7 to 9 students plus a few correspondent students.

There was no running water, no electricity and no central heating. Temperatures dipped to 40 below in the winter and the ink froze in the inkwells. They couldn't write before noon. But Pauline, a city girl, thrived and blossomed. "It was a wonderful beginning to a teaching career," she told Powell River Living in 2006. Pauline married Hank, who was in the army, and they started a family. Hank was posted to Germany in 1965 and Pauline and their children spent three years overseas with him. When they returned they moved to Powell River. Tragedy struck the family when Kerry, who had contracted meningitis the first time in Germany, lost a second battle with the disease in 1971 and died in hospital.

Pauline was driven, and gave tirelessly to her community. She got involved; she served. Pauline had no time for whiners and told people to get involved and be part of the solution--not part of the problem.

But Pauline also had a strong sense of fair play and justice.

"She once said to me, 'I am here for the children and I'll be dammed if anyone is going to stand in my way,'" said Jay.

Yes, that was Pauline. Exciting, exhausting and results-oriented. She was a woman who didn't suffer fools and wasn't scared to say what she thought.

The life of a politician and school board chair can be controversial. It isn't a popularity contest, but Pauline stayed the course, keeping what's in the best interest of the students within her sights.

I got to know Pauline through the dogs. I was training my English Setter at Dogwood Kennels with Ann Seale, and West Coast ACCESS (Animals for Community Care and Emotional Support Society) needed another board member. I guess Pauline thought I was a likely candidate and so she invited me to a meeting. "Our meetings are fun," she assured me. "We drink wine, have snacks and talk while we work."

She was right. It was fun and we made things happen. You couldn't be around Pauline and not make things happen.

But there was another side of Pauline that the public didn't know. The side she saved for her family and close friends such as Ann Seale.

Pauline and Ann met in the early 1970s through the Powell River Trail Riders. Pauline was president at the time and show manager.

Pauline's daughter Lise was riding and so were Ann's daughters, Kim and Marie. Ann had a barn and ring on her property and all the kids hung out there.

The two women shared a love of animals and a love of children. "Our friendship was so different from our normal working lives," Ann explained. The pair would hang out together on Saturday nights and unwind. Their Saturday night visit soon became a ritual and so they dubbed it Saturday Night Live. When Ann, who is a professional dog trainer, wasn't looking, Pauline would delight in slipping some hot buttered popcorn to Ann's prize dog Mamba.

Ann's daughter Marie would confide in Pauline and Pauline's daughter Lise would confide in Ann.

Pauline was one of the founding members of West Coast Access, one of many great ideas that was born during Saturday Night Live.

Pauline was also a member of the Powell River Garden Club and I was told of a time when she stood up at the front of the room and told people a new executive was needed and they'd better get on with the job or else! The roles were quickly filled.

Mayor Stewart Alsgard said Powell River has lost a great person but Pauline's legacy will endure through the accomplishments she has left behind.

"Pauline truly dedicated her life to bettering the lives of others. She lived a purposeful life and brought education, leadership, integrity and accomplishment to those with who she had contact."

At the inauguration of the new City Council and School Trustees on December 2, 2008, the audience spontaneously gave her a standing ovation. Although we know that Pauline didn't seek fame or fortune, I'm glad the community was able to let her know that evening how much she was appreciated.

Alsgard spoke about Pauline's character and how the best measure of character is not the behaviour that brings us to crisis but the manner in which we face it.

Pauline's Celebration of Life was both sad and joyous as we acknowledged the end of an era. Pauline Joy Galinski, it was a joy to celebrate someone who led such a meaningful life, and to pay tribute to someone who indeed has made a difference.



Change your body
Tai Chi changed Don Morrison's life
By Isabelle Southcott

Don Morrison's near-death experience in 1991 led him to take stock of his life.

"It made me think that if I had died would I have been satisfied with what I had done with my life?"

The answer, he discovered, was "no."

Determined to change, Don quit drinking and instead of just thinking about Tai Chi he walked into the Taoist Tai Chi Centre in downtown Vancouver.

Taoist Tai Chi is a practice of 108 movements designed to gently stretch, move and lubricate the entire body internally and externally. "It's becoming sensitive to your body's movements, needs, likes and dislikes," Don says, adding this includes everything from food and exercise to your environment.

"Taoism means change and that is the one constant in life so as you do Taoist Tai Chi things will change in your body."

For instance, Don discovered that his muscles and tendons became more flexible as he practiced the art of Tai Chi and as he learned and remembered the set of moves he meditated and became more aware of his body.

Master Moy Lin-shin, founder of the International Taoist Tai Chi Society, was heir to the practices of the traditional Chinese internal arts. His teachings combine knowledge of the Taoist classics with training he received in China and Hong Kong. Master Moy immigrated to Canada in 1970 and founded the Taoist Tai Chi Society of Canada.

"Tai Chi is an internal art and the strength and the health benefits are internal," says Don explaining that movement comes from your spine.

Tai Chi has helped Don focus and change the total direction of his life. "When you are doing Tai Chi you are open. Your body works as a unit instead of just individual muscles, you cannot be divided."

Don began listening to his heart and became sensitive to other areas of his life. He left Vancouver for Powell River and exchanged the life of a professional painter for that of an organic farmer.

"As you open up your body things come up. You feel better when you do it and your body responds."

Beginner Tai Chi classes start in October and February at the United Church. Continuing classes are held on Saturday and Wednesdays. For more info, call 604-483-8939.



For Art's Sake: Investing in arts a wise economic choice
By Jessica Colasanto

You may have heard about Brandeis University's recent reaction to the current economic climate: they decided to close their Rose Art Museum and sell off the artwork housed within it. Ironically, the museum had been operating autonomously, in the black, since its opening in 1961.

The plan backfired for multiple reasons, and the University is still reeling from the fallout of its decision, which underscores an important point: the arts aren't superfluous. The arts can't be cut without consequences. And when times are tough, the arts become even more vital to a community. Not only do we turn to the arts to lift our spirits, but the parallels between cultural occupations (jobs servicing or generated by the arts) and a healthy economy have been well documented.

So when a new gallery opens, it's not just the arts community that benefits: our community as a whole reaps the rewards.

Tourigny and Marce, Wood Artisans, have opened their doors to Powell River. This unique venue in Edgehill produces intricate, hand-crafted pieces showcasing wood in all its glory.

In fact, March marks the one year anniversary of this gallery, and to celebrate, Tourigny and Marce are launching their 2009 collection this month. They have invited several other local artists to participate, presenting a collaboration that will feature the gallery's intimate relationship with wood. Beautiful woods and burls from the Powell River area are provided by "Doctor Wood", George Ouellet of Compu-Wood. Included in the show are carvings from Bob Brackenbury, garden art from Ron Hilleren, and photographs by Mischa Brooks-Thoma and Graham Lavery which have been framed by the wood artisans.

Surrounded by a manicured, eclectic garden, this yellow house at 5287 Manson Avenue welcomes locals and visitors alike. You are encouraged to stop in whenever you see the gallery sign out front.

Investing in the arts is a wise choice for a community. The ArtReach program at the Academy of Music offers a new chance to do just that, while investing in the future as well: a series of three workshops, open from children ages six to 12, will be held on Saturday mornings, March 14, 21 and 28 from 10 am until noon. An emphasis on creating imaginative inventions using recycled and natural materials will be led by guest artist/instructors in an exciting variety of art activities. Participants will be introduced to contemporary artists working in new ways with recycled materials. Sculpture, painting and drawing materials will be included. The fee is $20/workshop; register for one or all three by calling 604-414-7020.

Fortunately, our community's commitment to the arts is indisputable, and is evident in events such as the Powell River Festival for the Performing Arts. Organized by our Rotary Club for the last seven years, this is the 65th year that the festival has given a supportive stage to amateur performers of all ages. You can catch band, instrumental and speech arts performances at the Max Cameron Theatre, while vocal, strings and piano sessions will be held at the Evergreen Theatre. This year's Grand Concert is at 7:30 pm on March 25; for more information, visit www.PRrotary.org.

Do you have an upcoming art event? Let us know about it via email to arts@prliving.ca.


Local skier has Olympic dreams
On the mountain
By Isabelle Southcott

Amanda Birtig was just 18 months old when mother Brenda first put a pair of skis on her and introduced her to Mount Washington and skiing.

"My mom was a ski instructor," explains 15-year-old Amanda.

Amanda went through Mount Washington's Mountain Kids program and then the Nancy Green program. When she was nine, she was introduced to racing and K Stars, a progressive competitive racing program. Today, Amanda is in her second year of the K2 program and races for Mount Washington's ski team.

The granddaughter of former MLA Harold Long can't imagine a life without skiing. It has been a big part of her existence for as long as she can remember.

Even though it hasn't been a great winter for skiing on the coast, Amanda managed to get in more than 60 ski days between July 2008 and the end of January 2009.

When asked how, she smiles.

"I went to Austria with my team for three weeks in October," she explains. "The skiing was really good; there were lots of other racers from across Austria training there."

Amanda's short-term goal is to make the BC development ski team this year. Her long-term goal is to make the national ski team and then the Olympics. "That one is pretty big," she says.

But it is big goals like the Olympics that keep this young skier going as she travels to Whistler and Seymour to compete in Super G and Slalom races.

When the BC Provincials are held in March at Red Mountain, Amanda will be there. If she qualifies there, she'll be at Silver Star when the Nationals are held and then she'll be "back at Whistler if...," she says.

"If what?" I ask.

"If I keep skiing the way I'm skiing," she smiles.

Amanda pauses and pulls up a photo album on a laptop she has set up on the dining room table. She clicks on a group of photos taken of her at a recent race. Her father, Tor, points to a photo of his daughter and it's easy to see how proud he is of her by the casual banter they share.

Determination and a love of powder keep this young lady on the mountain and outside in the cold, fresh air as she strives to qualify for the next race.

Amanda Birtig
Race day concentration: There's nothing like the rush of competition.
In mid-January 15-year-old Amanda Birtig competed at Mt Washington,
just one step towards her big dream.



Point of VIU: Be smart about financing your education
By Dawn McLean

It's no secret that we are facing difficult economic times. Given that the costs of education are increasing, it can be daunting to plan for a post-secondary education. At the end, we all want a good jobÑand it is a good idea to research the career possibilities. Arming oneself with information is the best possible strategy for anyone planning on pursuing an education in a trade, technology, university or college.

If you are coming directly from high school, you are in the best position to access scholarships, awards and bursaries. Not all are grade-based; many focus on community involvement, school events, and sports. Often, you can be eligible for special scholarships if you have a parent in a union or a grandparent who has been in a war. If you've achieved high marks, you could be entitled to provincial scholarships. There are district awards as well that many students don't even realize are available. Contact your school to find out more about your Passport to Education--there could be up to $1,000 available for use within five years of completing high school. Useful websites on financial aid include Student Awards Canada at www.studentawards.com and Scholarships Canada at www.scholarshipscanada.com.

Carol Sansburn, Educational Advisor at the Powell River campus at VIU, suggests that people often need support as they navigate through what might seem an overwhelming process. "It's key not to put up barriers. People often assume they won't be eligible for financial aid. We can provide information as we guide you through the process in a supportive way." Carol says that adults who need to upgrade their high school education may be eligible for grants through ABESAP--Adult Basic Education Student Assistance Program. "You don't have to pay back a grant, and this can help offset costs for application fees, student fees, transportation, some daycare costs, and, with ABESAP, even textbooks." Contact Student Services at VIU at 604 485-2878.

Connie Guenther, Service Coordinator at North Island Education Foundation Services, makes regular trips to Powell River to provide free information sessions. "I think that if people are planning on returning to school and have been on EI in the last three years, their best bet is to come to one of these info sessions. Held at the PRREDS office on Duncan Street, they are open to any Canadian citizen and are free." Here, people can check out the opportunities of retraining and learn about the services available. A toll-free number is available: 1-866-334-8288.

Government student loans are also available, both from the provincial and federal governments. These depend on the parents' income for a dependent student, and do not have to be paid back until the student completes the program. Student Aid BC supports an excellent website that will help students find out more about this option: www.StudentAidBC.ca

Of course, you can always visit your bank or credit union for a line of credit or loan. Ask about getting a preferential student rate for a loan. So if you don't have a nice tidy educational nest egg, take heart: you can still find ways to buy the books and pay the tuition. You still might need to develop a fondness for Kraft Dinner or noodle soup as you live within your budget, but think of it as brain food.



The Sunset Homes Society: Housing for seniors
By John Smail

Fifty years ago a parcel of four building lots on Westview Avenue at Kamloops and Kemano (then Bezo) Streets was given to the community by the late Olive and Alphonse Devaud to build housing for needy seniors.

Since that time, seniors' non-profit accommodations have continued to grow there, and all of it, from conception, negotiations, to finding the cash, providing governance, right down to the changing of light bulbs, has been done by local volunteers.

The first sod for the first seniors home built in Powell River, the 12-unit Centennial Homes, which fronts on Westview at Kemano, was turned by Mrs. Devaud and Reeve Ray Weaver, June 15, 1957. Units rented for $30 a month. It was a BC Centennial (1958) project and the down payment came from a donation of $6,000 from the municipality, doubled by the provincial government, which left a $3,000 shortfall to meet the 10% down payment needed for the mortgage. The shortfall was raised by public subscription: a donation from Moose Lodge, bingo games, the Legion, and a membership drive at the Powell River Exhibition.

Centennial Homes opened September l958, and was fully occupied by November 1 that year.

Ten years later, the finishing touches were being added to a new 40-bedroom seniors home, The Olive Devaud Residence, directly behind the Centennial Homes. Total cost, excluding furnishings, was $260,000. This was raised through a municipal grant of $25,000, a provincial grant of $85,500 and $20,200 from the Senior Citizens Society. Rent for each bedroom was $100 a month and the new Powell River Sunset Homes Society governed the building. Neither project would have been possible without the full support of the community and community fundraising efforts, as more funds were needed for furnishing and kitchen and laundry equipment. A favourable long-term, low interest mortgage, made the home self-supporting.

In 1967 there were an estimated 1,000 senior citizens in Powell River. (2006 Census shows 3,605 age 65 and over, with 85% of them living alone.)

At the time, Miss Amanda Gerhardt of the local seniors citizens society said, "So many of our senior citizens want to continue to have their own separate units which they can look after as they did their former homes."

Another decade later the headline in the Powell River Town Crier read: Olive Devaud Home expansion may top $1 million. Society chairman Terry Herrewig thought the cost might grow to $2 million. In the end the home would grow by almost two-thirds. In the first phase, once the provincial government approved the architect's plans, accommodation would be expanded by 47 beds.

Financing was the domain of the government and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Repayment would be made from the operating budget, and then subsidized by about $10 per day per bed.

Health ministry assistance residence manager Jacquie Campbell was quoted as saying: "Considering the state of confusion of other similar projects in the province, we should be ahead of the game." Other organizations proposing intermediate care facilities had experienced turmoil when dealing with government subsidies, she added. "We're looking forward to this with confidence, not trepidation."

Treasurer Dick Bull added, "None of us knew the first thing about operating a home. And we are now regarded by provincial authorities as being one of the best operated homes in the province." The expanded residence was opened Friday June 19, 1981.

There were 77 people in residence, just three under maximum occupancy. Residents had use of a solar greenhouse built by Arthur Van Der Est, a gardening project, exercise, swimming, lunches and tours in the Rotary wheelchair van.

Provincial Government replaces hospital boards

Just over 10 years ago as the result of the NDP provincial government's new legislation, the PR Hospital Board ceased to exist, and the PR Sunset Homes Society lost its governance status over the Olive Devaud Residence. The duties of both were taken over by a government-appointed Community Health Council (CHC). This happened just as The MacGregor Memorial Housing Society, an independent society within Branch 164 Royal Canadian Legion, had voted to team up with the Sunset Homes Society to fill their similar mandates of providing non-profit housing for seniors. Despite the government's new legislation, Sunset Homes maintained that it still owned the residence, and the land left to the community by the late Olive and Alphonse Devaud. But in practical terms the legislation had left the Society property rich and cash poor. An examination of accounts showed there was about $3,000 in the bank, and a small mortgage on Centennial Homes, now its sole responsibility.

The reverse was true of the MacGregor Society, which had saved $164,000 over the years from bingo games, an annual boat raffle, and the sale of three rented trailers, but owned no land beyond that on which stood its clubhouse.

Through its newly appointed CHC, the provincial government became the virtual owner of all provincial hospitals and continuing care homes and the lands on which they stood. The official line was that the change was necessary in the name of efficiency. Other agendas were mooted by the press and public. The fact is, the move had increased the government's property holdings, and its ability to borrow money.

A few boards across the province saw that, and the deeper danger of the government's change, and different political agendas take precedence. So they fought back. One board on Vancouver Island took its case to court. The government lawyer argued that having paid mortgages for the upkeep and improvement of the hospital, the government therefore owned a stake in it. The judge was reported to have asked the lawyer if she had driven to court in her own car, and if the government had paid her a mileage allowance for wear, tear and fuel. When the lawyer said "Yes!" The judge rejoined with, "And do you think the government now owns part of your car?"

The atmosphere of friendly cooperation between the provincial health authority and PR Sunset Homes had changed. When the Society opposed the province's claim of ownership it was threatened by the new Vancouver Coastal Health board that if it re-possessed the OD Residence, those patients who opted to remain would be denied the financial assistance and supplements they enjoyed. While that same tax-financed aid would travel with clients who agreed to move to one or other of the Ministry's choice of locations, such as the Glacier Apartments. The Society would also inherit the balance ($1.6 million) of the mortgage the government acquired for the Olive Devaud expansion.

Land ownership negotiations were held and the Sunset Homes Society prevailed. Sunset Homes Society lawyer, Milda Karen Byng prepared a contract of the negotiated agreement which leaves ownership of the OD Residence and the four-lot parcel of land in the hands of the PR Sunset Homes Society. We later learned that had ownership remained with the new provincial Liberal government through its CHC, the Olive Devaud Residence could have been sold and become Powell River's first private hospital.

In the background was a legion of local supporters of the PR Sunset Homes and its fight for the Devaud property ownership, and their names go unsung.

With land ownership decided the MacGregor Society voted to transfer its assets to the Sunset Homes Society.

After the contract had been signed, the late David Gillespie, a Legion member on the Sunset Homes board, did most of the financial negotiations with the Community Health Council. As a result the Sunset Homes was able to add another $80,000 to the $164,000 contribution by the MacGregor Society.

Some time later, the Sunset Society's new chairperson, Myrna Leishman, working with treasurer Donald Swaitlowski, acquired another $100,000 in the form of a charitable donation from the Real Estate Board of British Columbia.

With our down payment plus cash in hand, The Sunset Homes board called for local builders to tender plans and costs. Two were received. The board chose a design by John Spick, who would work with builder Jim Agius as contractors. Spick produced plans for the first two buildings to be named MacGregor Lodge, and was additionally contracted to build a scale model that is now in Jim Agius Construction offices. Phase 1 has six one-bedroom units, and four two-bedroom units. Phase 2 has seven one-bedroom units and four two-bedroom units.

The Sunset Homes Society is now paying for a feasibility study to build on the last vacant lot, on the sloping section of treed land directly behind the Olive Devaud Residence.

When the Olive Devaud Residence is returned to the Sunset Homes Society, it will probably revert to its original purpose of providing a residence for needy seniors.

"Through [the]CHCs, the provincial government became the virtual owner of all provincial hospitals and continuing care homes and the lands on which they stood."



Business Connections
By Kim Miller

Spring is in the air! It is time to get outside, clean up the debris, pick up, spruce up and clear away the winter gloom. The Chamber is encouraging everyone to look around and see where you can add some colour, plant a few bulbs, some greenery or hang a flower basket. Lets all do our part to make our community look beautiful.

Andra and Bill Garret have taken over the helm of the Town Centre Mall Merchant's Association. The couple, who own Split Endz Salon are the new president and vice-president of the association. TC Mall is a busy place these days as Shoppers Drug Mart will be moving into new quarters in the mall this year and an energy audit is underway.

Powell River has a new doctor: Dr Vidushi Mittra Melrose completed her residency in Alberta and moved to Powell River to join Dr Dan Lafferty in his practice.

Wendy Pelton just opened Options For Life, a business that offers individual, couple and family therapy as well as life coaching. It is located in a quiet and private, wheelchair-accessible setting at 8080 Gunther Road. Wendy has 11 years of experience and brings confidentiality, understanding, support and humour to facilitate each client. Call 604 485-6664 for more information.

Quality Foods' kitchen, bath, home decor and coffee shop, A Step Above, is now open in Crossroads Village. Quality Foods is the newest member of the Marine Avenue Business Association and the Chamber of Commerce. Even though the business is not located on Marine Avenue, the company wanted to demonstrate its commitment to the entire community.

Grooming by Lou Anne has changed hands and its name. Jessica Medford is the new owner of Dog Gone Grooming & Boutique and she is offering expanded services.

Congratulations to Brenda Neall from Down To Earth ClayWorks who just held her grand opening at 2107B Mahood Road, just off Brew Bay Road. Brenda says: "It's wonderful, the community has really embraced my new store and I am busy making new pieces of unique style and flaire." Brenda can be reached at 604 487-0970 or visit her website at www.downtoearthclayworks.ca

Congratulations to Lindalu Forseth who has been involved in Community Futures' Self-Employment Program. This program has assisted her in creating a business that is strong in all areas such as marketing, sales and customer service. Lindalu has just opened Malaspina Soap Factory as a home-based business on Invermere Street and if you check out www.malaspinasoapfactory.ca you will find a list of locations where Lindalu will be selling her products. This business idea came about because she has the type of skin that is incredibly allergic to commercial soaps. "I have made my own bath products for years," she said. Lindalu's soaps are broken down into three lines: Eau de Natural, Divine Scents and For The Kids. Lindalu can be contacted at 604 485-2281

Centsible Too has a new owner and a new name. Shirley Lundstrum has vintage collectables and furniture. The business, located in the Rodmay Hotel, is now called Charlie Rose. Baked goods, beverages and light lunch fare are coming soon. You can contact Shirley at 604 483-3326.

Do you have any changes within your business you want Powell River to know about? New managers, new owners or are you moving locations? Starting a new business? Call the Chamber office at 604 485-4051 and I will get your info into the next issue of Powell River Living. If you are interested in receiving monthly updates and community event invites, send me your email address and I will add you to our list.



Marketing expert to share techniques
Learn how to reach your targets

It takes passion, commitment and business acumen to own a business. These traits can be found in women all over the world and some, including Powell River women, are using them to build their own businesses.

There are more than 850,000 businesses owned by women in Canada, contributing more than $18 billion to the economy each year. And the number of women entrepreneurs is growing, which is why groups that champion women entrepreneurs, such as Powell River Women in Business, are vitally important.

Women learn early how to balance careers and families. They know how to manage the many facets of family life while juggling a career, social life and finding time for themselves. Skills such as these lend themselves to the running of a business because successful entrepreneurs need to know something about a wide variety of things in order to run a small business.

"One aspect of running a business is marketing", says Vancouver marketing specialist Mary Charleson who will be in Powell River on March 25 to speak on Trends, tips and takeaways--Savvy marketing advice for women.

"I have a real interest in helping women succeed in business," says Charleson, who holds an MBA in marketing and teaches at City University of Seattle and the University of Phoenix and is a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers.

Charleson, who has conducted interviews, research, and consultations with a broad range of businesses, has taken the four areas she considers critical for business women to understand about marketing, and weaved them into a series of stories to illustrate learning points. Her presentation will include:

"Whether you're a mompreneur, a boomer woman re-launching, coming from a small business or a corporate background, Charleson makes a complex subject simple, and delivers information in a way that women learn, through storytelling, humour and actionable advice," says Isabelle Southcott, a member of Powell River Women in Business who, along with the Powell River Chamber of Commerce, is presenting this special event.

Charleson will also bring DVD copies of her other presentations: Marketing to Women, filmed at the Canadian Women in Communications and Effective Advertising: Use your precious budget wisely, filmed at the Burnaby Board of Trade. These DVDs will be available for sale at the event. Mary's book, 5- Minute Marketing, will be coming out in Spring 2009.



Turning glass into gems
How to, with Laura Kew
By Barb Rees

Glass artist Laura Kew goes to work so she can play in her studio, which also serves as shop, on Marine Avenue. That is where I went for her jewellery-making workshop. Surrounded by light shining through blue, green and purple glass it was like walking into a garden of summer colour.

I've had a lifetime love affair with coloured glass and I can't walk over a bit of glittering glass on the beach without stopping to pick it up. Now there I was, finally being given the chance to create something beautiful out of bits of glass. For the next couple hours, four of us chatted and created under Laura's careful tutelage.

But first we needed a lesson in glass. We were using dichroic glass, originally utilized in the aerospace industry and later adopted by artisans. Each piece has two or three spectrums of colour. No two pieces are the same, but the magic is in the heat. We started with little black squares on which we painstakingly laid tiny pieces of coloured glass. Every person had her own designs and colours in mind. I soon realized mine were mostly blue or green so I made a conscious shift to find different hues. Miniscule bits of glass were glued into place and then topped with a clear cap. Every person's work was laid on special paper that would turn to ash in the kiln but protect the glass from melting to it.

After we left, Laura put our creations in the kiln. She heated it up slowly over several hours to 1000°C for 15 min until the heat went through the glass. At that point she "ramped it up" to 1450°C when the glass started to flow and become one. A bit of glass trivia: Did you know the nature of glass is such that it will only spread out to a quarter inch no matter how many pieces you stack?

In a couple days I went back to find sparkling gems lying in the kiln. The next step was to glue jewellery fixings on the backs and voila! I went home with several pendants and pairs of earrings. They will make great gifts if I can part with them. Now I'm hooked on turning glass into gems, and look forward to taking another class.

Laura Kew started Pacific Reflections in 2007. She sells supplies, teaches classes, sells wholesale to other shops and does commission work. For a brief period of time we can experience the freedom to create whatever we want just like Laura does everyday she comes to work to play. Check out her shop at 4690 Marine Avenue, and to sign up or learn more about upcoming workshops, call 604 485-7475 or visit www.pacificreflectionsglassworks.ca.

Laura Kew
From artist to student to jewel:
Laura Kew helps people learn how to create
their own glass art, turning tiny pieces of
coloured glass turn into beautiful jewellery
and other pieces in workshops at Pacific Reflections.

The history of glass

Though natural glass has existed since the beginnings of time, stone-age man is believed to have used cutting tools made of obsidian. According to Pliny (AD 23-79), Phoenician merchants transporting stone "discovered" glass accidentally in the region of Syria around 5000 BC. He tells how the merchants rested cooking pots on blocks of nitrate placed by their fire. With the intense heat of the fire, the blocks eventually melted and mixed with the sand of the beach to form an opaque liquid. The exact origins of the process of glass making are unsure, but it is thought that it first appeared in Mesopotamia about 3000 years BC, probably as a result of experimenting with glazes for pottery.



Family Matters: Doing what is right isn't always easy
By Isabelle Southcott

Being a parent isn't an easy job but it is the best job I've ever had, and, given the opportunity, I'd do it again.

There are moments in every parent's life when their heart swells with pride over something their child has done. I am no exception.

A couple of weekends ago, we went to Vancouver Island to ski at Mount Washington. Alexander, my nine-year-old son was skiing with his nine-year-old cousin and doing what nine-year-olds like to do: hang out without mom or auntie hovering over them. So I was still skiing down the mountain when my nine-year-old did something that I'm very proud of.

Alexander spied a lift ticket in the snow. He bent down, picked it up, and after examining it closely realized it was unused. This ticket had an expiry date of April 2009 on it. It was worth almost $65 but Alexander didn't think twice about the money, instead, he did what he knew he must do. He turned the lift ticket in at the ticket booth because he thought someone may have lost it. Alexander didn't shove the ticket in his pocket; he did the right thing and turned it in.

When I reached him at the bottom of the hill he reported the incident to me quite matter-of-factly. I gave him a quick hug and told him I was proud of the choice he'd made.

We skied for a few hours and then stopped for a quick break. It was a beautiful day, blue skies, warm, and we were skiing. What more could you ask for?

The boys were hungry so we took a break and bought Beavertails. I took a bite of Alexander's without thinking what was on it and he exclaimed: "Mom, you owe me $100."

I looked at his Beavertail and realized that yes I did. On January 1, I told the boys I would not eat any chocolate until my birthday weekend in March. I'd made this deal as I needed to lose the weight I'd gained over the holidays.

Ouch. A hundred bucks to each of my sons. Double ouch! But a promise is a promise; I wrote out a cheque despite Alexander telling me it was okay, that I could have another chance. Parents lead by example and I needed to put my money where my mouth was!

The following day we went swimming at the Wave Pool in Comox. My 11-year-old son Matthew was first in the family change room. He bent down and picked up something from the floor. It was a $20 bill. "Cool," he said with a big smile. He'd never found $20 before. This was a big deal. Bigger than a penny. Bigger than a quarter. It was $20, and $20 is a whole lot of money to an 11-year-old.

A moment later there was a knock on the change room door. "Excuse me," said a woman. "My son was just in that change room and he lost $20. Did you happen to find $20."

I was silent. It was not my place to say anything. I did not look at Matthew but rather, waited. I didn't have to wait longer than a nanosecond. Without hesitation Matthew opened the door of the change room and handed the money he'd found to the woman. "Here," he said, "I found it under the bench."

The woman thanked Matthew and walked away.

I smiled at Matthew and told him how proud I was of him for doing the right thing. He shrugged his shoulders the way 11-year-old boys will do when their mother gets mushy but I could tell he was pleased. He too had done the right thing.





Success by 6 ORCA Bus now on the road
By Kim Barton-Bridges

More than four and a half years of dreaming and planning has come to fruition! Details of the refit of the ORCA Bus "On the Road with Children's Activities" have been reported over its development through articles in the pages of this magazine, so at this stage it is really exciting to give an update on what's happening on the bus.

The bus is bringing learning and fun, free of charge, to areas where children and families have difficulty accessing early childhood development programming.

Books on the bus
BOOKS ON THE BUS: During the first week
on the road for the ORCA Bus, toddlers and
parents got on board with fun and learning.

We are fortunate to have such a fabulous group of volunteers involved with this project. Currently, we have a roster of 11 drivers and 22 helpers. The drivers, under the direction of Don Edwards, come from a variety of backgrounds and their enthusiasm is contagious! Many of our helpers are retired teachers or early childhood specialists. If ever there were a project that the whole community could call its own, this is it! It is heartwarming to see the volunteers gather excitedly at 8:30 in the morning to get ready for the day. Snacks are lovingly prepared, slippers have been knitted to keep little feet warm, the bus is loaded with resources and the excitement builds as the ORCA Bus gets closer to its destination. For one to two hours, bus visitors enjoy stories, activities, songs, puppets, healthy snacks and visits from local agencies providing services to children and families.

The schedule for March in on this page. We hope to expand programming to include visits to Texada soon. Please don't hesitate to contact Kim at 604 485-2132 or Rita at 604Ê485-6271, ext 2244 if you have a particular outlying area in mind that would benefit from an ORCA Bus visit. Preference is given to a stop where facilities are accessible.

We have also been working with Sliammon on an intergenerational and cultural exchange project. This exciting new project will work with families, elders and youth to develop seasonal theme boxes and programs to share the richness of the Sliammon First Nation with children and families across the community. The ORCA Bus will be one "vehicle" for this cultural exchange.

There will be a fundraising effort in the upcoming months as we encourage businesses and organizations to become involved in the ORCA Bus Project. This relationship benefits both the Project by way of committed financial support and the business/organization through our attractive sponsorship recognition package. Splash, our ORCA Mascot, could be the star attraction at your next staff event! Please contact Heather Gordon (604 414-3939) or Kim Barton-Bridges (604 485-2132) for more information, or for fabulous volunteer opportunities. Or visit the ORCA Bus Blog at powellriverorcabus.wordpress.com for photos and updates!

ORCA Driver Don Edwards
is one of the extraordinary volunteer drivers
who pilot the bus to five different locations each week.


  • 9:30 to 10:30
    Kelly Creek Community Church
  • 11:00 to 12:00
    "The Hill" (second left right after the Eagle River Bridge,on Eagle River Road)


  • 9:30 to 10:30
    Sliammon Child Development & Resource Centre
  • 10:30 to 11:30
    Ahms Taow Building,Sliammon


  • 10:00 to 12:00
    Lund Community Hall

There will be no service on Monday, March 9th, as it is a School District #47 Pro-D day.




Explore Powell River


The talents of Powell River's quilters
March 2009
The talents of Powell River's quilters
Photos by Sean Percy & Isabelle Southcott