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August 2009 issue

August 2009

>> This entire issue is available as a 24MB PDF download


Table of Contents

Family Matters: On the road
5 days in August
Geocaching: The electronic treasure hunt
For Art's Sake
"Happy Face Lollipop"
See you at the Ol' Swimmin' Hole
Coming Up!
Annual 50-mile, eat-local diet underway
Point of VIU: A tale of two Matts
3 Thrilling kayaking destinations
Max Cameron visits namesake theatre, school
Business Connections
Romancing Carlotta
Pardon my Pen
Dog days of summer
Faces of Education
Explore Powell River


Isabelle SouthcottFamily Matters: On the road
By Isabelle Southcott

The family road trip. Brings back memories huh?

I think most of us can relate to the question asked most frequently by the kids; "How much further?"

We're going on a road trip this summer and I've been given lots of advice by friends as to how to make sure our camping/road trip is enjoyable. Here are some of my memories and their hints.

When I was a kid we played that old game called Punch Buggy. You know, whenever you saw a Volkswagen, you punched your brother in the arm. We also counted license plates.

Well, we're not going that far, but still, anything over six hours is a long time with kids so my friends have volunteered to lend me a portable DVD player for those endless stretches of highway. Apparently electronics break up fights between siblings. They also can create frustration.

I was given a GPS for the car for Christmas. On one adventure, the GPS became exceptionally bossy and someone in the van named her Angela. The name has stuck ever since. Whenever we drive past a turn that GPS has mandated, Angela announces "recalculating" in a very annoying voice. The kids say that Angela is driving them crazy! I must admit her voice is a bit grating.

How do you break up a long road trip? How do you keep the kids and dog from being hot, bothered and bored?

I was mulling over this question as I pulled out the old Monopoly game and deck of cards the other day. Of course those are good for the campsite but what about en route?

Enter geocaching. The hottest new thing since sliced bread. Apparently geocaching can take the boring out of boredom. At least that's what one avid geocacher tells me and he and his family have geocached their way through many family holidays.

And so we will try it.

As our old van, stuffed with sleeping bags, a tent, and mattresses, hums along we will be thinking of the next spot to stop for a treasure hunt. Not only will it break the trip up but it will make the trip more memorable for the boys and after all, isn't that what summer holidays are all about?

Heading off on a road trip is kind of like buying a lottery ticket. The possibilities of what might happen are endless. All those happy people packed into their rented RVs driving across Canada (a friend of mine calls them CAN OF DREAMS) really have no idea of what lies in store. Based on advice and experience I'm aiming to make ours a wonderful adventure!





Losing their locks

Losing their locksEthan Taylor and his dad, Denis, raised $580.50 for the Bruce Denniston Bone Marrow Society on July 17 with a head shave initiated by six-year-old Ethan.

Hair stylist Chantal Gaudet from Beyond Bliss Salon Spa started with Denis, creating a curly Mohawk cut that inspired Lori Robertson, the owner of Kane's Sports Bar and Bistro where the event was held, to donate $50 to the Society (in addition to $5 for each dinner special sold that night) if Denis agreed to leave his hair that way for one week.

Ethan was next, briefly sporting a golden mane similar to that of his dad but ultimately all his curly blonde locks were shaved off.

Allan Sharpe then stepped up to the chair, followed by son Aubrey, a classmate of Ethan. Finally, Ray Dubé allowed Ethan to help shave his hair off as well. Congratulations to everyone who gave so generously of their time, talent, money and hair.




5 days in August

If your best friend was visiting Powell River for the first time where are some of the places you would take him or her? What is it about our community that simply has to be seen or experienced? If we ever got a day off here's how we'd like to spend it.

Lund & Savary

Lund and Savary Island are a must see. Drive north from Powell River on Highway 101 for 25 minutes to the village of Lund, a charming community that bubbles with excitement during the summer months. Established in 1889 by two brothers from Sweden, the area was logged before becoming a thriving fishing village with an abundance of fish, crabs, clams, and oysters. The population swells in the heat of the summer as visitors boat, drive or cycle here to enjoy Lund's charm and to access Desolation Sound, Okeover Inlet and "tropical" Savary Island. Boasting the warmest waters north of California, Savary Island offers pristine white sandy beaches and a unique charm that's been discovered by movie stars, celebrities, hippies and yuppies. It's truly an island paradise.

Desolation Sound

No trip to Powell River would be complete without an excursion to Desolation Sound. In fact, we think it is one of the undiscovered wonders of the world. With it's purple mountain peaks, eagles soaring high in the sky and stunning scenery, Desolation Sound Provincial Marine Park, the Copeland Islands and beyond are a must for any traveler. Sightseeing cruises are a great way to enjoy the area; as well, several companies offer lunch and dinner cruises. "Don't miss out on what people from all over the world come to experience," says Joanie Winegarden of Beyond the Road Adventures.

South to the beaches

For a change of pace, head south of town and check out some of this area's best beaches. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the day collecting sand dollars, playing in the waves and exploring tidal pools at Donkersley Beach or Palm Beach. When the day is over, visit a local restaurant with a view and take in a breath taking sunset. A perfect way to end a perfect day!

The Sunshine Coast Trail

Powell River is a hiker's paradise. The Sunshine Coast Trail stretches 180 kilometres from the Saltery Bay ferry terminal to the top of the Malaspina Peninsula at Sarah Point (or the other way around if you go by the kilometre markers, which mark Land's End at Sarah Point as Kilometre Zero). But you can hike just a portion of it, because there are so many points to get on and off the trail. Check out the website at www.sunshinecoast-trail.com and pick up Eagle Walz's excellent publications Sunshine Coast Trail Guidebook and Along the Edge of the Salish Sea.

One of our favourites is the Appleton Canyon trail (35.6 to 37.7 km of the SCT). Drive up Wilde Road to kilometre six to find the gravel pit and start of the trail, which is relatively well-marked. It's a fairly easy walk along a well-defined trail about 2.2 kilometres into the creek. The highlights of the trail are the waterfalls along Appleton Creek, and the cliffs along the canyon. Trails continue both ways, so you can hike as long as daylight allows. Just don't forget where you parked the car!

The Patricia TheatreAnd a little history

Stop by the Powell River Historical Museum or the Forestry Museum just by Willingdon Beach. Purchase a unique gift or souvenir at one of the boutique shops found along Marine Avenue and then head off to the historic Townsite and sign up for a guided tour of heritage homes, Dwight Hall and restored lobby of the Rodmay Hotel. At the end of the day take in a movie at the Patricia Theatre, Canada's longest running movie theatre.




Geocaching: The electronic treasure hunt
Fun for the whole family
By Isabelle Southcott

At first I couldn't understand why all the hype about going on an electronic treasure hunt. After talking to several people about the fastest growing recreational activity in recent years, however, I was convinced that I needed to check it out for myself.

I began by visiting www.geocaching.com, where I learned that interest in the high-tech treasure hunting game is international and that there are at least 842,869 active geocaches. By entering your postal code or address on this site you will be provided with a list of locally available geocaches.

Family outing: Andy Evans and his family make geoching a regular activity as it gets them into Powell River’s outdoors.Andy Evans has been geocaching since the day in 2006 when he purchased a GPS "for hiking."

Powell River has an active geocache community, including a number of his friends who were already into the activity. Now, he says, its part of his routine whenever he goes hiking or on a bike trip.

Andy's pastime has now become a family activity, as well. He and his wife, Allison, along with their two children, Sophie, 7, and Zachary, 9, have gone on several geocache hunts together. While some involved treasure hunts in the Powell River area, others were part of out-of-town family holidays.

As for the degree of difficulty, geocaching can be easy or it can be hard; it just depends on where the cache is hidden.

"Sometimes you walk past them 100 times," says Zachary.

A geocache, or "the cache," is a hidden container with several small items inside. One item is a logbook in which to record your experience--including what you removed and what you added. Geocache containers can include traditional, multi, mystery, puzzles, letterbox, mini and event-oriented contents.

"The kids like the standard geocaches because you put one item in and you take another out and you enter the information in the log book. I put in a lot of batteries for GPS devices," says Andy.

But there are other geocacher valuables inside the containers, as well. Some caches have geocoins and/or travel bugs (each has a tracking number). A travel bug wants to get to a pre-determined destination and people help it get there.

"We put a travel bug out for Emma's Light and sent it traveling from coast to coast in Canada and the US. The Emma's Light travel bug contained a picture of Sophie and of Emma, her friend who had been killed in a car accident.

"The travel bug logged 140,000 miles before it was stolen in Oregon," said Andy.

"Sophie was able to do an imaginary trip. One family took the travel bug on their holidays all across the US," Allison added.

There are more than 50 geocaches in the Powell River and Upper Sunshine Coast area, including Willingdon Beach Trail, the ferry, Palm Beach, Inland Lake and the Town Centre Mall.

"The one I have out in the parking lot at the Town Centre Mall gets more hits from business travelers looking for something to do," says Andy. "The idea is to find it without anyone knowing you found it."

There's even a specific language geocachers use to thwart would be thieves. "We attempt to locate our caches without being noticed by Muggles (people who do not geocache). Muggles will sometimes steal the geocaches."

It can be tricky to uncover a geocache in a densely populated area without being spotted.

"I did one in Toquart Bay, Tofino and it took me to a waterfall in the middle of nowhere," said Andy. "That is a spot I never would have seen and that is one reason I do geocaching, because it takes me places I'd never go otherwise."

So what do you do once you find one? "You enter information in the logbook about what you took and what you left, plus any comments, "Andy said. "We put out a lot of Discover Powell River tourism magnets. If you like what the geocache contains you might say Good Swag! and TFTH (thanks for the hunt). When you get home, you go to the website and enter your information online."

Andy tells of two tourists visiting Powell River from Seattle who commented on visiting the geocache at Inland Lake and how glad they were that they geocached. "They would not have visited Inland otherwise."

A Geocache BoxSo there it is. You need minimal equipment (a GPS unit and Internet connection); it's an individual or group activity; and it's just as much fun when done with a group of adults as with children. Geocaching can break up a family road trip or let you plan a different kind of holiday. As an added bonus, the GPS unit doesn't take up much room in your suitcase.

For more information go to www.geocaching.com. To download caches, visit www.geocaching.com.

Try it--it might take you to places you might never have gone.


Geocaching around Lund

The Lund Community Society received a grant for creating geocaches in the Lund area.

Geocacher extraodinaire: John Hermsen shows a geocache on one of the cache-locations near Lund.Eight land-based geocaches, eight water-based geocaches and two land-and-water geocaches were created, said John Hermsen.

A boat is needed to find the water-based geocaches but you can hike or bike to the land-based geocaches. The two combined land/water geocaches can be reached by water-based transportation that is already in place.

Directions for finding these geocaches is on www.geocaching.com, the global geocache website.

All these geocaches contain a clue inside, says John. "There is some text in a notebook that tells you something unique about the area or the wildlife. For example sunstar would be a clue and if you collect all the clues and send us an email you will get the coordinates for a bonus cache. It's a puzzle too."

Instructions for the puzzle can be found at www.lundbc.ca.

The geocaches vary in difficulty. Some are suitable for beginners, others for the more advanced, and some take longer than others to solve.

"Caches bring you to the best places around here," says John. They are hidden in the Lund area and the waters in the area north to Desolation Sound. They are hidden on Savary Island, the Copelands, and the Lund trail system including the Sunshine Coast trail.

John says the Lund Community Society hopes to make Lund a destination for all people from adventurers, to families and travellers.




For Art's Sake
By Jessica Colasanto

Powell River's Studio Tour 2009 presents yet another opportunity to enjoy the area's many cultural festivals and events. August 22& 23 promise to be a feast for local and visiting arts lovers.

Now in its fifth year, the tour has established itself as an organized, well-supported way to promote the region as an arts destination. A consistently attractive event for tourists, the Studio Tour continues to gain area support.

The tour is self-guided, and runs from 10 am to 5 pm both days. There are 25 locations this year--many are studios of a single artist, and some are shared spaces. The Artique Artist Co-op and the Powell River Fine Arts Association are also on the tour, bringing the total number of participating artists to well over 40. Powell River Studio Tour

Here's how it works: pick up a free brochure and map in local stores, or check the PowellRiverArtists.com website. This will give you a list of the locations, along with a description of what's offered at each. Decide which studios you'd like to visit and you're ready to go. You can even drop in spur-of-the-moment wherever you see a Studio Tour sign.

Some dedicated folks make a point of visiting every single location. The event planners have numbered each studio in geographic order from north to south, starting in Lund, continuing through Wildwood, Cranberry, into Town Centre, and then south through Myrtle Point, Black Point, and finishing in Lang Bay--but you may want to start in Lang Bay and finish in Lund. Remember that you've got two days so another option is to visit the studios within the municipality on Saturday, then those north and south of town on Sunday (or vice-versa.)

Of course, you certainly don't have to go to every studio. Some visits will only last a couple of minutes, others for more than an hour. Even if you have time to visit only one or two, it will be worth your while. The artists put a lot of effort into preparing for the weekend, and it's a great show of local talent.

Each visit will be unique. The featured art will include paintings, sculptures, letterpress printing, beadwork, handmade paper, weavings, and more. Some artists are ready and willing to demonstrate their process, while others prefer to focus on the finished product. All are prepared to answer your questions and inspire your interest in our local art community.

The tour is free to the public. The artists will have work for sale, with prices ranging anywhere from a few dollars to more than $500. This year the Studio Tour will be giving a donation to the CAT Scan fundraiser as a group, and individual artists will contribute a small percentage of their sales as well.

Don't miss this great opportunity to find distinctive gifts with local flavour, support our local arts community, and enjoy a rewarding experience all the while.




"Happy Face Lollipop"
A mountain bike trail
By Leta Burechalio

A ride for any level of cyclist, this is one that the Wild Women Cycling Club recommends for a fun outing. Enjoy.

Start ¥ Intersection of Duck Lake Road (DLR) with Highway 101 (south of town).

Length ¥ About 10 km.

Duration ¥ About 1.5 hours of riding time, rather leisurely.

Difficulty ¥ Beginner

Lean on me: The challenge is what you make it. Author Leta Burechalio takes a break.Directions ¥ Ride up DLR for about 5 minutes to the first right (Deighton Creek Forest Service Road). Head up about km to the first trail head on the right (no immediate signage, but this is the Bedframe Trail). Shortly therein take your first right on Rene's Canadian, zip down a gentle downhill section, wind down to cross a logging cut access road, then take your next left close to DLR (you could start here if you wanted/needed to shave off 2 kms). Follow the multi-use trail for a fair stretch, always staying left. At the fork (at which you may or may not notice a yellow Happy Face Trail sign hanging above your head) go left, and follow the main trail through to the slightly narrower, huckleberries trail. Take a right at the T to the short but peppy downhill and then take a right just past the lets-not-and-say-we-did ramp. You will come back to that fork at the happy face and double back along the multi-use trail to DLR.

Trail Description ¥ For riders big and riders small, this one of the best beginner routes around. It combines short sections of intro-level technical grade with relatively unhindered flat stretches, and is easy to expand or contract depending on how far you want to ride. It provides a gradual uphill warm-up, then a short section of down-tempo rocks-and-roots, followed by a level and persistent wider trail on which to toddle or put the mettle to the pedal. The Happy Face section gives a suggestion of single track, especially with the encroaching leafy corridor. Bonus points are awarded to those who can eat huckleberries without hands and without stopping. Regardless of your berry prowess, we guarantee you will be smiling during this ride.

For more information on great bike rides email Wild Women Cycling Club at wildwomencyclingclub@yahoo.ca.




See you at the Ol' Swimmin' Hole
Photos & text bySean Percy

When temperatures soar, nothing beats the heat like a cool swim. Powell River is a coastal community surrounded by many lakes and endless shorelines which means there is no shortage of great swimming spots! Here are a few of our favourites.

Fresh water swimming

Haywire Bay

Located inside the Regional District's campground, Haywire Bay boasts a sandy beach and enclosed swimming area. It is popular for campers and day trippers alike. Outhouses located on site are a bonus. The beach is fairly long and isn't usually too busy, but if you want less traffic, walk down the trail to the beach on the outside of the bay. Here you'll find another sandy, sloping beach, perfect for kids. Older kids may want to walk out onto the knoll that forms the point and dive off the rocks.

Lang Creek

Located directly below the waterfalls at the fish hatchery. Duck Lake is the epitome of the ol' swimmin' hole. It's not big enough for laps, there's no beach, and you won't want to bring the toddlers here but the pool created by the crashing waterfall is an exciting place to swim. Swim up to the waterfall and let the creek push you back. Don a mask and snorkel, swim under the falls and look up at the frothing water - you'll never forget the sight. Small trout and occasionally a larger salmon or steelhead cruise the pool. Be careful of the current, though, it is deceptively powerful and could easily pin you against a log jam. Note: Lang Creek flows out of Duck Lake. Take the road down to the fish hatchery, then follow the creek to avoid trespassing on the Salmon Society's property. Or, approach via the trail from the Duck Lake road.

Mowat Bay

Mowat Bay BeachThis is probably Powell River's busiest beach. Right on Powell Lake, Mowat Bay in Cranberry is a top swimming spot, complete with marker buoys to keep out the boats. The sandy beach is great for tanning while the little ones splash in the water. The swim area is clearly marked, there are flush toilets on site and the surrounding park and play area are cared for by the City. Watch out for goose poop; geese like Mowat Bay as much as people do.

Texada Quarry

This abandoned old quarry has been a favourite place to swim for years. Not only is it refreshing but the vivid aquamarine waters are unexpected and many first timers comment on the beauty of this swimming spot. If you're lucky you might see a turtle swimming by.

Eagle River

Perfect for the young and reckless, Eagle River is a hangout for thrill seekers who like to jump from the cliffs surrounding a waterfall on the river that flows out of Lois Lake. The access point is on the left side of the highway just after you cross the bridge when you're heading south from town. Keep in mind that there's a huge dam upstream and this is the floodway. Though the floodgates rarely open in summer, if the siren sounds, get out of the riverbed! Jumping from the cliffs is inherently dangerous. If you insist, climb down to the pool first to check the water depth, as the target zone is pretty small, and changes from year to year as the gravel beds shift. You don't have to be a crazy teenager to enjoy this spot, however. Just upstream from the falls is a clear, clean pool, well-suited for swimming or wading, and you can sit in the flow of the river, and let the water course over your body. This spot has several steep cliffs and rocky ledges, so leave the toddlers at home.

Kinsmen Beach (Shinglemill)

Historically a popular swimming spot, but eclipsed by Mowat Bay, Kinsmen Beach still attracts swimmers, especially those looking to escape the crowds at Mowat Bay. Drive past the Shinglemill and Marina and park at the top of the grassy slope. The beach is not nearly as developed and the grass is no longer maintained. But it's still easy to access. It's a perfect place to cool off after an afternoon of rock climbing at the nearby crags of Higgyland.

Inland Lake

Great for fishing and swimming. For a great workout, pack your bike or runners and do the 13 kilometre loop of the lake. Once you're hot and sweaty the waters of Inland will feel absolutely heavenly! If you're not into a workout first, Inland is still a great place to swim although the beach area is quite small. Outhouses on site.

The ol' swimmin' hole

Saltwater swimming

To those who say they don't like the sticky feeling after swimming in salt water, we say they don't know what they're missing. You float better in the ocean because of the salt, it's really good for your skin, and, best of all, it doesn't hurt when the water goes up your nose.

Kent's Beach (Saltery Bay Provincial Picnic Ground)

Whether you access this beach from the provincial park or Kent's Beach Campground, you'll find the same thing: A cobblestone shore leading to, at low tide, vast sand expanses. It's protected from prevailing winds, ideal for splashing about, wading, beachcombing, snorkelling and even scuba diving.

Palm Beach

Salt water beaches, sand dollars and enough driftwood to build a great fort. What more could a kid want? Palm Beach has long been one of Powell River's favourite swimming spots and with good reason. It boasts flush toilets and a play ground plus lots of shady trees in the park. Don't forget the sand toys and sunscreen!


Just south of the Lang Creek fish hatchery on Highway 101, turn towards the ocean on a dirt road and park behind the gate. The public access is straight down the road, but most of the locals trespass down a trail that connects to a sandy beach. This beach is just around the corner from the Lang Creek estuary, which is partially protected by a breakwater. Most of this area is private property, so be respectful, and keep in mind the ecological sensitivity of the estuary.

Donkersley Beach

At the end of Donkersley Road, just a minute past Black Point. A favourite beach with locals, probably because if you get there early enough you don't have to walk with your beach stuff. Often less crowded than Palm, Donkersley boasts pristine sandy beaches, driftwood, and tidal pools. Parking is limited.

Willingdon Beach

A beach right in the middle of the city? Although we often take for granted Willingdon Beach, the campground, the play area and the connecting trail, we should remember how lucky we are to have this great beach smack-dab in the middle of the city. Willingdon is a destination for many to swim, play in the water park, stroll, eat an ice cream or simply watch the sunset.

Savary Island

Mile and miles of sandy beaches and the warmest water around will make you think you've been transported to a tropical isle. You don't even have to have a boat to get here. Just hop the Lund Water Taxi for an excursion to the best beaches north of California.

Gibson's Beach

Between Wildwood and Sliammon, a well-marked road travels to the ocean. There's a picnic site here. There's not a lot of sand, but a little bay and a breakwater for a boat launch creates a protected swimming spot.




Coming Up!

Studio tour this month

The Powell River Studio Tour on Aug 22 & 23, 10 am Ð 5 pm is a self-guided tour of artists and artisans on the Upper Sunshine Coast. This fifth annual event showcases 26 individual artists and artisans. Another 22 are represented at the Artique Gallery and more at Powell River Fine Arts Association. The tour is free and the free 2009 brochure and map is available at Artique and the Visitors Centre or visit the tour website for further information. Contact Alfred Muma, 604 487-1766 www.powellriverartists.com


Wouldn't it be nice if you could get yourself and your kids signed up for all your sports and recreation programs at once? That's the idea behind Powell River's first Registration Fair, scheduled for September 9 & 10 from 6-8 pm at the recreation complex.

Organizations pay a small fee to reserve a space, and get the benefit of large scale exposure. For more information, or to get your group involved, call Mariah at 604 414-0700.




Annual 50-mile, eat-local diet underway
Are you up to the challenge?
By David Parkinson

Powell River's 50-mile eat-local challenge is getting ready for its fourth year. This annual event is our regional spin on the 100-mile diet, which is now even the subject of a TV show. This year, the challenge will run from August 9 to September 27: 50 days in which as much as possible of what we eat comes from within 50 miles.

Why the interest in eating local food? For one thing, it reduces our carbon footprint, since most of our food is regularly shipped thousands of miles. One estimate is that only 1-2% of the food consumed in this region comes from here. Buying from this area's farmers and fishers also keeps money circulating locally.

What will you get from taking part in the eat-local challenge? You will learn how difficult it is to eat even half of your daily intake from nearby farms, gardens, and fisheries. In the summertime, this region produces a considerable amount of vegetables and fruit, but very small amounts of grains, legumes, meat, poultry, dairy products, oils, sweeteners, and other components of a balanced diet.

You'll have to get good at asking questions and snooping around. The best place to buy really local food is directly from a farmer or at the Open Air Market at the Paradise Exhibition grounds, the Hot Summer Night market at Willingdon Beach, or the Texada Farmers' Market.

But the main benefit is that it is fun! You'll learn a lot about where your food comes from, you'll meet your local farmers, and you'll make connections as you swap food and recipes. Above all, you'll get to eat some of the most delicious and fresh food imaginable.

We'll kick off with an excellent opportunity to see some food-producing gardens, in the first ever Edible Garden Tour. Come see how your neighbours are growing some of their own food. Get inspired to start growing some of your own!

How can you get involved? We'll be out at the local markets signing people up. Check the blog at pr50.wordpress.com from which you can find our Facebook and Twitter connections.

You get to choose your level of commitment to local eating by setting the percentage of food you think you can eat from within 50 miles.

Once you're signed up, we'll send out regular email messages with information about what's available locally, recipe ideas, and other information to help you find and enjoy the most delicious local food. This year we're planning to do a weekly podcast (like a radio show on the internet) featuring conversations with some of our biggest supporters of local eating.

The future is local. Be part of it this summer.



Point of VIU: A tale of two Matts
Student Leaders
by Dawn McLean

Matthew Emig and Matthew Wate, or "The Two Matts, as faculty and staff at Vancouver Island University fondly referred to these young men, are outstanding leaders in the community. While many people lambaste the lackadaisical attitudes or the apathy of our youth, the two Matts have outstanding qualities and skills that will serve themselves and others well.

Matt Emig is an artist at heart, happy behind his fiddle and guitar, equally at ease exploring other avenues of art--film, photography, or sketching--but music is his passion. Involved with his church, he leads weekly Bible studies and activities for the youth group and spent last summer working in five camps in an outdoor leadership program. "I really enjoy working with kids. They make me smile. I feel it's a responsibility to provide a proper role model--it's an investment in our future." Matt involves himself in providing music workshops to people of all ages and makes sure he's available every Sunday to play the music at the Evangel Pentecostal Church.

After completing his first year of university studies at the Powell River Campus, Matt headed off to a dude ranch in the United States as a volunteer. "It's a working ranch, but there is also a program for building relationships. There's a lot of maintenance needed at the ranch, so four guys from my church headed there to build and fix things--whatever needed doing."

Mapping the community: Instructor Zora Soprovich, Daniel Adaszynski, Alex Hugenschmidt, Matt Wate and Matt Emig poreover their collaborative mapping project, which was unveiled to the community at VIU grad in June.Matt Wate, who has a similar involvement in his church, considered himself a jock until he injured his back in grade eleven. When he found out he could not participate in sports anymore, it was a real identity crisis for him. When asked to coach gymnastics, he found a new role for himself. "Once I saw the joy on a kid's face who couldn't do a forward roll, I got the same feeling I had when playing sports. I wasn't missing it anymore." He knew he wanted to help kids, so went on to coach soccer as well. "I want to create a safe environment for them, where they can have fun and goof off. I want them to be comfortable, not just competitive." Matt will be spending his July coaching baseball to grade 8 and 9 s, going to the provincials at the end of July.

In his spare time, Matt Wate runs the youth group at the Assumption church, and thinks of activities the kids would enjoy, such as going to Camp Homewood on Quadra Island or the rifle range. "I love it when I go into the school and the kids run up to me, asking what we're going to do next."

Both Matts chose to attend university locally for similar reasons: small class sizes, professional and caring instructors, and of course, it's simply cheaper to stay at home. Matt Emig, homeschooled for most of his life, then chose to attend the BOATT program at Brooks School, now known as Coast Mountain Academy, which focuses on leadership and citizenship. He views the professors as guides. "It would be a wise choice to have your first-year university experience at the Powell River campus. Next year, Matt plans on traveling in Europe as he contemplates his next steps in education.

Matt Wate was awarded the newly created Student Life Award at VIU this year--given to a student who not only achieves good grades, but supports fellow learners and creates a good atmosphere on campus. He enjoyed the opportunity to work on the community mapping project, a collaborative effort among the first year students with their instructors, and unveiled the map at this year's graduation in June. During the summer months you can chat with Matt at the tourist information counter either on the Westview-Comox BC ferry, or at the Powell River Visitor Centre on Joyce Avenue. Matt Wate will be heading to UVic in the fall to study education with a physical education specialty.

Dr. Michael Thoms, the history professor at VIU Powell River, says last year's cohort group of university students was exceptional--absolutely delightful. It was exhilarating to see students of such diversity gel and get excited about learning. "The Two Matts were keen to learn and gained confidence throughout the year. They came to see there were no 'wrong answers' and showed an incredible accumulation of knowledge. Their final papers showed how they were not taking classes as unconnected units. They helped others see the value of getting involved at all levels of learning."



3 Thrilling kayaking destinations

Every time you drive down town these days, it seems you pass a car or SUV with a kayak strapped to the roof. Where are they going? And why are they everywhere in Powell River?

The second question is the easiest to answer: because Powell River is one of the best kayaking destinationsin the world. The first is a little trickier. Because there are so many good places to paddle in Powell River,they could be headed to any number of spots. Here, we examine three thrilling kayak destinations.

Desolation Sound

Photo courtesy Terracentric AdventuresGoogle "Desolation Sound Kayak" and you'll get nearly 40,000 hits, many of them from photo sharing sites with people showing off their kayaking trips into this rugged, beautiful sound. It's a mecca for kayakers. One of the great things about the Desolation Sound Marine Park is its great size. Here you can escape the madding crowds by choosing a more remote or lesser-known pullout.; you can even paddle beyond the park boundaries and find more wilderness. Sheltered bays and coves and clusters of islands and rocks are perfect for poking in and out of with a kayak.

"This area is a microcosm of all that is best about life on BC's west coast," says Adam Vallance of Powell River Sea Kayak, which has locations in Okeover Inlet and Lund. "You can go where there's no one else, even during busy times. The marine wildlife here is some of the best on the BC coast."

It's also some of the warmest water on the coast. Because the tides flooding around the north and south ends of Vancouver Island meet here, there's no huge exchange of those cold Pacific waters. In sheltered areas, water temperatures can climb to a bathtub-like 26¡C (79¡F) in summer.

The warm water, and the lack of serious currents that are found further north and south, make Desolation Sound a safe area to paddle. It also makes for great snorkelling says Vallance. "Snorkelling really changes the perspective. It's an awesome add-on feature to a kayak trip," he adds. What might you see below the surface? Colour, lots of colour! There are sea stars in a brilliant assortment of colours: Purple and orange, giant pink, red blood, vermillion and painted sea stars. There are spiny red sea urchins, green urchins and orange sea cucumbers. There are more amazing colours as well, all set against a backdrop of assorted seaweed greens. Then there are the sea urchins: spiney red sea urchins, green urchins along with leather stars. giant pink stars, orange sea cucumbers, red Rock and Golden Kelp crabs. Add to that the really alien-looking stuff: giant sun stars up to a metre across, or California sea cucumbers with knobby spikes that look like they should be sharp but are really soft--and you've got colour.

You won't be lonesome, either. Seals are always poking around and you may spot river otters. If you're lucky, a pair of porpoises or a pod of white-sided dolphins or orcas will cruise by.

The topography varies from the relatively low rolling hills of the Gifford Peninsula to the Unwin Range rising over 1,400 metres (4,500 feet) directly behind the islets of Prideaux Haven. Sky stabbing Dudley's Cone rising to 2,100 metres (7,000 feet) is easily the most distinctive summit on Canada's west coast, says Vallance.

"We get people coming from around the world for this. If there are people locally who haven't experienced it, they're really missing out," he added.

Kayak tours are offered by Vallance and other local tour operators.

Copeland (Ragged) Islands

An easy paddle from Lund, the Copeland Islands are a Marine Park, which means there's no development along their shores.

"There's lots of marine life and narrow passageways through the islets and islands," says Christine Hollman of Terracentric Adventures. "There are lots of sheltered bays, too, which makes getting in and out easy."

You can spend just a few hours, all day, or even camp overnight on the islands. Arbutus trees hang over the water, sailboats head up the coast, and curious seals pop up to check you out. Marbled murrelets and loons dive for fish just off your bow. Clusters of ochre sea stars cling to the rock walls. Because kayaks require just a few inches of water, it's easy to examine the intertidal life. You're so close to the water that it's the next best thing to snorkelling, and all the marine life listed above for Desolation Sound can be found between the little islands that make up this archipelago.

Starting Poing: Lund Harbour is an ideal spot to start your trip into Desolation Sound Marine Park, or for a short day trip.It's a birder's paradise. Bald eagles, osprey and turkey vultures soar overhead. Mergansers, grebes, scoters, auklets, murrelets, cormorants and loons paddle in the ocean. You'll chuckle as you see a sea gull trying to choke down a sea star that looks way too big for his throat. Black Oyster-catchers with their long red beaks and beady eyes call shrilly as they search for food along the shoreline.

A sunset tour gives you the chance to watch the sky explode in colour over Vancouver Island before paddling to camp or back to Lund in the moonlight. Watch your paddle light up the water as disturbed bioluminescent dinoflagellates give off a glow; fish darting away from your kayak, set off more of the dinoflagellates. With stars above and what appear to be shooting stars below, a night time paddle in the Raggeds "can be pretty surreal," says Hollman.

Okeover Inlet

The sheltered waters of Okeover Inlet are the gateway to Desolation Sound. And since the launch at the Okeover government dock is one of the easiest anywhere, many choose to begin their Desolation Sound adventure here. But Okeover itself is a great paddling area for both new and experienced paddlers. It is sheltered from the prevailing winds, and there are hidden coves and tiny islets to explore. By looking over the side of the boat it's possible to see moon jellyfish throbbing their way through the emerald waters or red Lion's Mane jellyfish and their long tentacles hunting the moon jellies. The area, an aquaculture centre, boasts numerous shellfish farms growing everything from oysters to scallops. Paddle close to the farms and get an up-close look at this industry--fed by the same plankton that gives the water that emerald hue. As you continue down Okeover Inlet, you can expand your tour by paddling north into Lancelot and Theodosia Inlets, or you can skirt the Coode Peninsula and paddle west into Malaspina Inlet and out into Desolation Sound. The islands off the tip of the peninsula are home to beautiful marine gardens with all sorts of intertidal life to examine.

Okeover Arm Provincial Park is an ideal spot to camp and base your explorations. The launch is right next to the park.

And a bonus!

Well, that's three, as promised, but we have to admit that in a paddler's paradise like Powell River, we just couldn't stop there. Here are some bonus destinations offering more perfect paddling.

The Powell Forest Canoe Route

It's almost not fair to have excluded this from our "three thrilling" list but given the calm and relaxed nature of the Canoe Route, "thrilling" really is not the word. Eight lakes and five portages combine to make a quick three-day trip but to really get the most out of it, we recommend taking five or more days so you can enjoy swimming, fishing and sightseeing along the way.

Kayaking with the ferryThe Hulks

You can paddle anywhere along the water in front of Westview and you'll be protected from the prevailing winds by Grief Point. You can launch at the boat harbour, or explore the area from Willingdon Beach north to the Hulks. These cement ships from the Second World War are used by the mill as a floating breakwater. "If you're ambitious, venture past the Hulks to Gibsons Beach and the Sliammon waterfront, over to Harwood Island and make a day of it," says Scott Friesen of Alpha Dive and Kayak.

Myrtle Rocks

Launch where the highway touches the sea south of town, less than a kilometre from the Myrtle Point Golf Course. It's a simple paddle, close to shore, where you can watch eagles, heron and oystercatchers, and skim over the oyster beds as fish dart out of the way. Watch for the wind, but you can usually take shelter on the inside of the rocks.

Kayaking on Powell LakePowell Lake

This huge lake gets windy in the afternoons, but it is usually calm in the mornings and evenings. Launch in either Mowat Bay or by the Shinglemill and enjoy the spectacular rocky shores. Float cabins dot the shoreline, bringing accompanying boat traffic, but the lake is relatively pristine and the scenery is second to none. Stop at the sandy beaches of Haywire Bay for a swim.


Explore Scotch Fir Point and McRae Rocks in the spring to see California and Stellar sea lions. When a 900-kilogram (2,000 pound) bull surfaces beside your kayak, you'll feel pretty small and vulnerable.

Into the drink: Practising the rollover makes you ready for future emergencies.Savary Island

It's a bit of an open paddle to get there, and you have to watch the boat traffic, but once you're at sunny Savary it's like being in a tropical paradise. Skim over the shallows, especially at the secluded beach of Duck Bay. Admire the rare dune ecology and the marine life. Explore among the boulders on the south side. They're land mines for boat props but that means no traffic.

Jedediah Island

Off the southern tip of Texada Island in the Straight of Georgia, Jedediah was originally homesteaded in the late 1800s. It's now a provincial park. The original homestead and some of the old farming equipment still exists. Access is by boat only, so the wildlife is abundant. Contact a tour operator as this is no place for novices.

Toba Inlet

This is not for the faint of heart, or the unprepared. Toba Inlet is devoid of marinas or parks. As the adventurous kayaker paddles towards Toba from Desolation Sound, the waters begin to take on a glacial greenish hue. Waterfalls thunder off the mountains. The enclosed, isolated feeling of Toba Inlet compels one to forget about everyday life. "An afternoon wind may blow up a six-foot wave and with few escape routes this may not be your idea of a relaxing vacation," says Adam Vallance of Powell River Sea Kayak, who leads tours into Toba. He calls those tours "into the mountains," and the name fits, as you paddle between towering peaks.



Max Cameron visits namesake theatre, school
Taking Max to the Max
by Sean Percy

Max Cameron couldn't help but smile as he stood beneath the big sign that bears his name. And the name of his grandfather.

The Max Cameron Theatre, inside Brooks Secondary School, and the former Max Cameron Senior Secondary School on Joyce Avenue, were named after the same man--Max Cameron's grandfather.

The elder Cameron was the principal of Brooks High School from 1928 to 1933. At 21, he was the youngest high school principal in BC history. His career was meteoric. In 1933, he married the Home Economics teacher from Brooks, Hazel Robertson, resigned from the principalship and by 1935 had earned a doctorate in Canadian Finance. He made his biggest mark in history as a one-man Royal Commission to look into the financing of public education in BC, and his recommendations remain the foundation of the school district and school board system of today. He died in 1951.

A plaque in the foyer of the theatre outlines all this, and as his eldest grandson stood in front of the plaque and photo, the family resemblance is clear. Max has followed his grandfather's steps in education. He's part of the political science faculty at University of British Columbia--the same school where Max Sr. got his Master's degree.

Max, at the Max: Max Cameron stands before the theatre named after his grandfather, who also bore his name.The younger Max, his son Gabo (Max Sr's great-grandson), his wife Fabi and his cousin Jennifer (Max Sr's youngest grandchild) were guided here by Max Sr's son, Ken Cameron, who first visited Powell River for the opening of Max Cameron School in 1953 when he was eight years old. Ken returned in 2007 for the dedication of the theatre.

When Fabi won two nights accommodation at Palm Beach in a workplace contest, it was only natural that the family enlist Ken as a tour guide.

"It wasn't a hard sell," he admits.

When they arrived at the doors of Brooks July 17, principal Kathy Rothwell met them and gave them a tour of the school.

In the library, they marvelled at the view over Malaspina Strait.

"Wow! That would be either inspiring or distracting," said Max.

When the group came to the front of the theatre, Gabo couldn't contain his surprise: "Look! It's says Max Cameron! It's your name!"

Max chuckled, and they had their photos taken in front of the plaque and the theatre sign.

"Because mom and dad met here, Powell River was always had a special place for them. They weren't here long, but there were a lot of special memories here," said Ken.

Jennifer said visiting the resurrected version of her grandfather's old school was "really weird."

"It's bigger than my high school (in Vancouver), which I wasn't expecting at all."

She said that while she knew some of the history, reading the plaque and seeing the school made it more real.

Following the tour of Brooks, they wandered around the outside of the dilapidated remains of the former Max Cameron Senior Secondary, guided by this reporter, who graduated from the school. Though the decaying school in Westview holds none of its former glory, the visit was a lot cheerier for Max than the last time he saw his grandfather's name in stone. Six months ago, they visited Max Cameron's grave site.

"This is a little surreal. Not as surreal as visiting his gravestone, but this is a lot lighter--a happier association."



Business Connections
by Kim Miller

Powell River Books has published its first of two science fiction titles to be released this year. Echo of a Distant Planet, is written by well-known local writer, Wayne J Lutz. Previously, Powell River Books has published six titles in the series, Coastal British Columbia Stories, which features local destinations. Copies of all titles are available at local bookstores or online at www.PowellRiverBooks.com.

Congratulations to Karen Anderson, new restaurant manager at Savoury Bight at the Beach Gardens. Sources tell us that good things are coming to the table!

For local hairstylists who want to keep their business on the cutting edge, there's Ultimate Edge Sharpening. Jeff Blace, certified sharpening technician, recently moved with his wife to Powell River. Blace is certified to provide warranty-approved sharpening services products for three different shear manufacturers and he's actively sought out by international clients for personal mentoring. His earlier experience as a hairstylist led him to pursue this specialized trade when he was unable to find qualified shear sharpening technicians. Call him at 604 483-3660.

There are some new faces at Garnet Rock Modular Home & RV Park. New managers, Scott and Cindy Huff, bring together a winning combination of 15 years' experience in commercial and residential management, a couple of down-to-earth personalities and a dog that demands only a biscuit in exchange for being your friend. The couple moved here from Dawson Creek to be nearer family. Visit them at the Park, at www.garnetrockrv.com or call 604 487-9535.

Congratulations to Sliammon band member Robbi Wilson. After being away from the area for a number of years she has returned and opened her business, EMERGE Wings of Change Business & Wellness Consulting. She's a Certified Life Skills Instructor and a Violence and Abuse Prevention Educator. Robbi has a Certificate in Indigenous Government Studies and Professional Studies in` Small Business Programs. Check out her website at www.emergewingsofchange.com.

Robbi is also the business manager for Darren Joseph Arts. Powell River resident Darren Joseph is originally from the Squamish First Nation. Robbi and Darren met over three years ago and Darren inspired Robbi to start her own business. Robbi is now Darren's business manager. He is an artist who has worked on totem poles and five ocean-going canoes. Check out his website at www.darrenjosepharts.com. They have already become involved with the community at the Open Air Market in Paradise Valley and the Powell River Night Market held Thursdays at Willingdon Beach.



Romancing Carlotta
110-year-old pilot cutter restoration project
By Gary Grieco

Where else but the Salish Sea could two people live on an island named Sevilla overlooking their own ship restoration project from the deck of a funky blue cottage?

Carlotta's crew: The newest owners of a storied ship, Stephen and Barbra Mohan, are doing the old girl justice.Stephen and Barbra Mohan are doing just that. Along with 10-year-old son Jasper they are following their dream and restoring Carlotta. She is a 110-year-old; 55 foot wooden Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter with a 10-foot retractable bowsprit. Carlotta is moored just below their house at the floating government dock in Finn Bay, just north of Lund.

Built in Gloucester, England in 1899 and originally named Solway, she was constructed in six months by a large crew of shipwrights under the direction of master boat-builder William H. Halford. Its purpose was to be a police boat or protection cutter for the use of officers to patrol the fisheries in the Cumberland area of the English Channel. She was painted black with a vermillion cove stripe, and with the license number 2.

After six years of service she was sold as a rich man's toy and for the next 104 years has been an active sailing ship in private hands. The Solway's new life began in 1907 when Lady Vivian found the boat in Whitehaven and converted her to a yacht, re-registering her under the name of Carlotta. She has mostly lived an adventurous life of racing and glamour. Lord Gort, the 6th Viscount Gort, loved Carlotta so much he preferred to live aboard rather than ashore in the family's East Cowes Norris Castle.

In 1937 Bessie and Aleck Bourne of London bought Carlotta and spent the summers sailing around the coasts of Northern Europe. During a stay in Brest in 1939 the radio receiver on board broke down. When they finally returned to civilization they received a telegram from London: Return Home Immediately. War Imminent. They promptly sailed north to the Island of Guernsey to keep Carlotta safe. The Germans landed at the Guernsey airport in June 1940. In exciting fashion right out of a spy novel, Carlotta and her crew escaped with minutes to spare.

The CarlottaCarlotta's connection with Canada began with Peter Heiberg of Vancouver who found her in 1973 abandoned in the Fowey Estuary, England. She was in complete disrepair; but his search for a Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter was over. He spent the next four years replacing frames and restoring her at Thomas Ponsharden's Yard at Falmouth. Heiberg brought her to Canada by sailing her through the Panama Canal to Hawaii and reached Vancouver after a quick passage averaging 180 miles a day without an auxiliary engine.

The Pilot Cutters were well designed and fast, much like the Bluenose, according to Stephen Mohan. Heiberg raced Carlotta to victory many times in the Old Gaffer's races in Vancouver's English Bay. Heiberg tried to have Carlotta earn her keep by chartering, and offering sail training to distressed juveniles. He never installed an engine, and Carlotta was possibly the only vessel to be towed by rowboat completely around Texada Island other than Captain Vancouver's ship on his voyage of discovery.

Heiberg's love affair with Carlotta would last for over 30 years, and his decision to say goodbye to Carlotta was not an easy one. It was based on a promise that he made to himself. "The time to sell would be when he could no longer make one good voyage a year." That time came in 2004. He knew of Stephen and Barbra's love of his boat, and the Mohan's jumped at the chance to be Carlotta's new custodians.

Barbra and Stephen are both accomplished sailors. Originally from the prairies, and proud of it, Barbra claims: "Prairie sailors make some of the best sailors because they learn their craft in small boats and treacherous waters like Lake Winnipeg." Barbra has been sailing and teaching sailing skills since she was 12 years old. Stephen started out with SALTS after high school--the acronym for the Sail And Life Training Society based in Victoria.

"I did anything to stay and work with SALTS," said Stephen. "I sailed summer trips on the 130 foot tall ship, Robertson II to Desolation Sound and acted as night watchman in harbour. I mainly kicked people out of the rigging after the bars emptied, and eventually made bosun. In 1990 I sailed on the Robertson II to Spain and back, spending 20 months on board out of a 24-month trip. That's where Barbra and I met."

Barbra picks up the story. "We were on board together for eight months from Spain to the West Coast of Africa before traveling through the Panama Canal to Hawaii and Galapagos Islands. I got off the boat in Hawaii and we became engaged in the Marquesa Islands. Stephen sailed home with the boat."

The Mohan's are happiest in a marine environment. After Barbra graduated from University and Stephen left SALTS they both were involved for six years with one of the first companies in Victoria, which called in sightings and tracked killer whales. "In those days, even though commercial, it was still considered an adventurous expedition," said Barbra.

In 2000 the Mohan's moved to Calgary where Barbra received her MBA, but the pull of the sea was strong and they returned to Powell River in 2003 to her present position as Manager of Human Resources for the City. The following year they purchased Carlotta.

Now, six years later, Barbra rows herself and son Jasper each morning from Sevilla Island to mainland Lund, then drives to Powell River while Stephen continues the restoration. Rather than a hardship Barbra says, "We appreciate our situation on a daily basis. We look out the window at Carlotta, and say "Wow."

After 15 years of marriage Barbra agrees they are a good combination. "I love sailing and the lifestyle. Stephen, though an experienced sailor has a greater passion for the physical boat than I do. He loves the visual stimulation of color and paints--the clean spaciousness and strength of it."

The Mohan's started the restoration of Carlotta in 2005 by first gutting the interior and pulling the mast and spars. 3500 lbs of 40 lb pig ballast had to be removed while several new frames and planks were fitted and installed at Jack's Boat Yard in Finn Bay, with help and advice from master shipwright Bill McKee.

Over the next four years Stephen and Barbra restored the companionway hatch and skylight to their original condition. They built a new main boom; removed the old deck, and constructed a new aft counter at the stern of Carlotta. New deck beams were shaped and installed and the gimballed table and companionway leading below were restored. When I suggest they have a romantic lifestyle, Stephen laughs, "Not a whole lot of romance in sawing out rotten oak beams."

In 2008 a new cockpit was finished based on the original, and the forward hatch restored.

The new deck is finally in place, and the original wooden mast has just been raised. Carlotta is now ready to celebrate her restoration and new life.

There are only 17 Pilot Cutters left in the world. One boat is in the US, the Mohan's and the rest mostly in the UK where they get together several times a year for races. Eventually the Mohan's would like to live aboard, and they dream about one day sailing Carlotta back to Europe.

You're invited!

Stephen and Barbra invite youto join them on the Lund Hoteldock on Saturday, August 22 atnoon where they will be smashinga bottle of champagne onCarlotta's bow. Visit, share insome cake and have a lookaround the ship.



Pardon my Pen
Fun with signs
By George Campbell

I was driving along the road just south of town recently and I saw this sign nailed to a fencepost, "FREE RANGE EGGS." Now, I have heard of chicken eggs, duck eggs, and even turkey eggs, but this was the first time I had ever come across range eggs. I wondered what sort of bird laid them. I wondered if they were any good or not. I guess they couldn't be, seeing as how they were free. In my experience, anytime you see something that is free, that is usually just about what it is worth.

Speaking of signs and advertisements, I saw a truck the other day with the following message painted on the side; "Flooring--nobody does it better." The truck was parked in front of a shop that sold and installed flooring. I noticed there was an empty store right next door to this shop. I got to thinking what would happen if someone rented this store, opened up a flooring and carpeting place, and called it "NOBODY'S." I imagine the first flooring guy might be a little miffed when he realized he was advertising that the guy next door installed flooring better than he did.

Sometimes advertisements send the opposite message to what the advertiser intended. Like the one I saw in a General Motor's dealership over on Vancouver Island a couple of months ago. This outfit sold Buicks, and they had this sign boldly printed and hanging in their parts department: "The 2009 Buicks are as reliable and will hold their resale value as well or better than the Toyota."

Now, I don't know how you interpret that sign, but to me it says loudly and clearly that the 2009 Buick is almost as good as the Toyota, but not quite. If I were to follow the advice of that sign, I would be inclined to buy a Toyota rather than a Buick. Like the flooring and carpeting guy, the car dealer was advertising that his competitor was better than he was.

Another sign that doesn't mean what it says is that one you often see in a clothing store perched jauntily on top of a rack of clothing --EVERYTHING ON THIS RACK-- $9.99. Just try buying everything on that rack for $9.99 and see how far you get.

The sign over the toilet facilities in most public places that says, RESTROOMS is also a misnomer. Nobody goes into those rooms to rest. These places should be called RELIEF ROOMS. Think of how many times you have made it to one of these facilities just in the nick of time, and when you walk out a few minutes later you think to yourself, Wow! What a relief!

There are some signs that do mean exactly what they say. Traffic signs, for example. This was brought home to me rather dramatically a few years ago in Vancouver when I got confused and drove my car the wrong way onto a one-way street. The policeman who pulled me over asked in an exasperated tone, "Didn't you see the arrows?"

"Officer," I replied, "I didn't even see the Indians."

He gave me two tickets. One for driving the wrong way on a one-way street, and the other for trying to impersonate a comedian.



Dog days of summer
A woman and her dog
By Bonnie Krakalovich

Since I've never quite figured out what they meant by the Dog Days of Summer I decided to go out and try to find the meaning. And what better way to do that than with my dog? One sunny day not long ago, Scooter, my Shih Tzu, taught me the meaning of the mysterious expression.

Treats welcome: Bonnie's little Shih Tzu, Scooter, is always ready for a well-earned treat!Our first outing was to Willingdon Beach Trail. While I had no idea how many interesting things could be sniffed out on that beautiful path, Scooter found them all. What a great way to spend a couple of hours on a hot summer day! The shaded trail kept us relatively cool and all the leaves and pine needles made for a cushiony walk. I have to admit that it did tire me out, though, as "Scooter" was in fine form and had me almost running the whole time. I also think we walked at least double the distance as that dog insisted on crisscrossing the path to sniff out all the treasures this jewel on the Sunshine Coast has to offer.

We then decided to take advantage of the numerous places to get ice cream. We checked out most of them but I soon discovered that Scooter has a penchant for soft ice cream in the cone. This is great, but it got be a little messy what with ice cream all over his chin. A word to the wise: If you are going to give your pooch a taste of your cone, make sure you have your wet wipes handy. I know, I know, what the heck am I doing wiping ice cream off my dog's chin? Didn't I get enough of that when my kids were little? Let me tell you, this little dog is more spoiled than either of my kids ever was.

Finally, I took one day just to hang out in the park with my dog. I let him off the leash and he had a little run while I found a nice big shade tree to sit under. I spread a blanket and lay back to relax. The next thing I knew Scooter was curled up at my side He managed to stay with me for about half an hour. Then, after hearing the sound of another dog and he was off to the races.

For Scooter and me, The Dog Days of Summer, mean just hanging out and enjoying life. If you are lucky enough to have a best friend of the canine variety I encourage you to take the first step and find out the definition for yourself. And take your dog, of course.




Faces of Education

Years ago, the thought of a metal work class didn't get a lot of female students excited. For some reason, the prospect of working with sheet metal didn't thrill girls.

But that was then and this is now. Under the direction of School District 47's metal shop teacher Brent McKenzie, grades 9 to 12 students learn a variety of metalwork skills and create everything from jewellery to ornate ironwork and have fun while they're doing it.

Brent has been teaching metalwork for 14 years but prior to his time in the classroom he worked in the mill for 16 years, starting as a papermaker and then apprenticing and becoming a machinist. In the mid 90s he decided to change careers and went back to university.

Brent grew up in the Townsite. He attended Henderson School and went to sea cadets. When the cadets needed an instructor, they approached Brent thinking that his cadet background and experience as a pilot would be a good fit for him to teach air cadets ground school. "The next thing I knew I was wearing a uniform," he laughed.

While Brent mulled over what to do with his life should he decide to leave the mill,, he realized how much he enjoyed teaching and working with children. His interprovincial ticket as a machinist, he realized, allowed him to combine two things he loved.

Today Brent does what he loves--hanging out in the metal shop teaching metalwork, art metal, welding and machining. "Students who don't like school will sometimes find a creative outlet in shop," he said.

Growing up in Powell River had a lot to do with Brent's interest in flying, as well. After he began working at the mill he joined the Westview Flying Club and bought his first airplane, a Cessna 150, "as a means of getting to the city quickly"; for a time he also owned the Mad Hatter Restaurant on Savary Island and used the plane to go between his two jobs.

After graduating from UBC Brent was hired to teach at Max Cameron. While others graduating from the education program at UBC were sending out multiple resumes, it was "Powell River or nowhere for me."

Brent says students feel a deep sense of satisfaction when they make something with their hands. And not only do they like to produce something of value but they like to contribute to the community. One recent project that students took on for Dave Formosa and the Lund Hotel beautifully illustrates how the school district and the community can both benefit when students are given opportunities. The flagpole, which was commissioned on July 1, combines First Nations and West Coast art. This flagpole had several senior students directly involved, particularly Dylan Merrick, who did a lot of the welding. As a teaching tool to show process and inspire creative projects, over 150 students have indirectly benefited from the flagpole project.

Making something where students see a real customers either private, corporate, or community lends a real world work experience aspect to the job. Learning the basics of metal work is also important for academic students interested in becoming engineers. "It's beneficial to have some hands on experience. They need to know how to put a nut and bolt together, to understand projects from both ends."

Last year Brent's students made campfire rings for the Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Arts. Fifty students created 30 steel campsite rings that have been installed at campsites in Powell River and on Vancouver Island. Through these projects students gain a greater appreciation of where school is leading them.

Customers pay for materials and make a donation to the shop program which helps fund other projects for the students. "The price of steel has gone up about 50 per cent in the last two years," said Brent.

If people want a job done it has to fit the curriculum and they can't be in a hurry for it because students are working on it and it will take more time.

Community projects give Brent the opportunity to demonstrate more complicated aspects of metal work for students. "It inspires students to do other projects using similar techniques," he explains. Besides making campfire rings and the flagpole, students built the archway at the Cenotaph in 2000.

Just what do students make? In Grade 9 students take shop for just over a month but even so they make a metal note pad holder, a basic candleholder, or jewellery.

In Grades 10, 11 and 12 they'll continue to build on what they learned the previous year and experience all the shop has to offer.

Building go-carts is always a popular project and students. Brent's own cart is eco-friendly as it uses an electric truck starter as motor. Kids love the fact that it does 30 kilometres per hour almost instantly!

Kyla Pihl, who just graduated this year, is pursuing a career in art metal, something she may never have considered had it not been for her start in metal shop.

Metal shop opens students' eyes to possibilities some have never imagined and they do things they never thought possible.

Recognition: Jay Yule, left, congratulates teacher Brent McKenzie upon completion of his students’ flag pole project at Lund.





Explore Powell River


A Day at the Open Air Market

August 2009

A Day at the Open Air Market

Photos by Isabelle Southcott