Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Essential visit #1

It's that time again. Summer's over and it's back down to the serious business of home renovation on the island.
However good the planning, once in a while it pays to take time out to capture other people's ideas and see what's new.
October 16-18 sees the 20th annual Nanaimo Home Expo at Beban Park Auditorium, 2300 Bowen Road in Nanaimo.
The show's open 6-9pm on Friday; 9.30am-5.30pm on Saturday and 10am-4pm Sunday. Admission is free. See you there!

BC Community showcase from YVR

Today, Vancouver Airport Authority premiered 15 films commissioned to showcase B.C.’s diverse communities to help welcome the world to British Columbia in 2010.

In June, 2009, each community was presented with $10,000 funding from the Vancouver Airport Authority, and filmmakers were selected with help from the local Spirit of B.C. Community Committees.

The 15 three-minute films were screened for the first time today before a crowd of community dignitaries. The films will play on select video screens throughout YVR and online at http://www.yvrconnections.com/ leading up to and during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games period. The following 15 B.C. communities participated in the program.

Click on the links below to watch each video.

Campbell River
Fort St. John
Port Hardy
Prince George
Prince Rupert
Williams Lake

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Congratulations to crew of "Silent Sound"

When Fred Amor, founder of Gabriola boatbuilders Amor Marine, set the design of the Amor 40 to paper in the 1970s, he could not have imagined that this 40-foot cutter rig sailing boat could one day navigate the fabled Northwest Passage from the Pacific to the Atlantic.

Since the discovery of the New World, the Northwest Passage had been an elusive dream for explorers and mariners alike. Throughout the grand age of exploration, it remained the ocean's one unattainable prize, luring young men who were seeking wealth and fame to sail north in search of this frozen passage.

Now, "Silent Sound", built 30 years ago by Amor Marine, has completed the Northwest Passage and is heading south for home. The crew left Victoria, BC on June 6 for a west to east transit of the Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic. They took the Inside Passage to Prince Rupert then cut across the Gulf of Alaska, sailed the Bering Sea and entered the Arctic in mid-July. Since then they have been sailing east, stopping in communities such as Sachs Harbour, Cambridge Bay and Gjoa Haven along the famous Northwest Passage. Silent Sound’s final port will be Halifax, Nova Scotia in early October.

The goal of this carbon-neutral voyage is to use written word, video and photos to tell the story of how climate change is affecting Arctic communities and describe modern Inuit culture and lifestyles. Scientific research provides us with facts on how the earth is changing, but our goal is to tell this story in a more creative and emotional way to reach a wider audience.

Expedition leader and captain of the "Silent Sound", Cameron Dueck, kept a
Blog of their epic journey. The entry for September 15 records their successful passage out of Arctic waters:

September 15, 2009
We’ve sailed the Northwest Passage!

Silent Sound crossed the Arctic Circle early Tuesday morning local time, marking her official transit of the Northwest Passage! We entered the Arctic via the Bering Sea two months ago to the day, and since then we’ve sailed some 3,400 nautical miles, seen a lot of ice and learned a lot about the Canadian North. We’re far from the first to make this journey, and we’re not home yet, but we do feel a real sense of accomplishment. I’m proud of how well Silent Sound has carried us through the seas and the teamwork and dedication of the sailing crew and shore crew which has brought us this far.

There are several definitions of where the Northwest Passage begins and ends, but using the Arctic Circle is certainly the most encompassing, so we’ve been holding our breath until we crossed this line. The Arctic Circle (66 30N) marks the lowest latitude at which the midnight sun is ever seen.

By far the most impressive feature of the Arctic has been its people. In every town we visited we met complete strangers who offered us help, welcomed us into their homes and provided us with hot showers and food. So many people showed genuine interest in our journey and generously told us about their lives, and we left nearly every town with a few fish or other wild game in our fridge. We are leaving a lot of new friends behind as we officially exit the Arctic.

We are passing miles of beautiful coastline that we’d love to explore, but time is tight. Each fjord and harbour looks tempting, and we’ve discussed stopping in many of them…but we need to push on. We are far from done this epic journey. Silent Sound still has some 1,800 miles to sail before reaching Halifax. We’re looking forward to the welcome from girlfriends, family and friends who are awaiting our arrival. We hope to drop anchor in Halifax on October 10.

Silent Sound is currently sailing along nicely in about 15 knots of NW breeze!!!!!!, and all is well on board. We’re still seeing the occasional iceberg, and are keeping a sharp eye out for growlers. I’ve recovered from the tap to the head I got last week during stormy conditions, and now we’re focused on ticking off the miles. We’re not sure where we’ll stop next…it depends on wind conditions.


Saturday, 19 September 2009

Support ALTRA at VIU

Great to see the following article in the Nanaimo News Bulletin!

Vancouver Island University is helping encourage alternative forms of transportation during ALTernative TRAnsportation Week (ALTRA) Sept. 21-24. The event is organized by VIU students who share the belief that cycling, busing and walking is a critical component of a healthy transportation system and promotes a healthier lifestyle and community.

“We want to educate and encourage commuters at VIU about the benefits of alternative transportation,” said Rebecca Martin, a bike enthusiast and organizer of the event. “Taking the bus, riding your bike or walking to work is a positive choice for so many reasons. Not only is it better for the environment, it can help you save money, reduce stress and create a healthier lifestyle for yourself and for your community.”

As a campus that serves 19,000 students, staff, and faculty, VIU has a significant environmental impact due to its commuter demographic. The university wants to reduce its impact and become a greener campus, as well as promote the idea that sustainability starts with the individual. Activities during the week-long event will include a bike wash/tune-up station, interactive games, the ALTRA parade, and Bikers Breakfasts (Tuesday to Thursday from 7-8 a.m. in front of the Students’ Union and free to all ALTRA commuters or by donation). Participants can also ride their bikes and take part in Critical Mass to increase drivers’ awareness of bikes on the road and ride as a group to the Bowen Park Farmers’ Market, meeting every Wednesday at 4:30 p.m., at Fourth Street and Wakesiah Avenue.

There will be prizes including bus passes and bike and running paraphernalia. The week will conclude with a “bike-in” movie – Veer – an inspiring film of twists and turns of urban bike culture.

Details about the event are available online at www.solutions.viu.ca or e-mail viusolutionsnetwork@gmail.com for more information.