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EMBRACING THE

Slow Fashion Movement

Kathok Centre: meditation, spirituality, community

Finding answers in

Fossils

Shaping Art:

surfing, painting, family

Fall 2014


fresh as an autumn breeze

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FALL 2014

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3


PARKSVILLE QUALICUM BEACH LIFE

Fall Edition

W

ho can say they have a Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Centre as well as an internationally acclaimed fossil collector (with an extensive collection for the public to peruse) right in their own community? We can. Plus an unfathomable amount of talented artists and artisans, including four fashion designers (page 16) and a husband and wife team that creates ultra cool surfboards and other objects adorned with West Coast art (page 11). I’d been meaning to further investigate the Kathok Meditation Centre in Errington, but when an article fell through for this issue, the time was now. I called and asked if there was any chance one of our writers could come do an interview and take photos in the short term, and I was thrilled with the response. Not only could she come, but one of the founders (who resides in Tibet and is head of a monastery there) was in town and would also participate. How serendipitious. It was also a nice “zen” story pitch to our busy writer. Check out that interesting story and learn how you can take a tour (page 23). Graham Breard enlightens us on fossils found in our own backyard in this issue (page 28) and Yvonne and Lorne Acheson show us that it is possible to have jobs, raise children and still make time to create incredible things, plus have a little fun. And if you think you need to head out of town to be at the height of fashion—think again. In my homemade fashion article I’ve found four local designers that make wonderfully alluring things, and I didn’t event get into all the fantastic clothing stores that you can also you can find in the region. Add some pop to your food with Carrie Powell-Davidson’s piece on edible flowers, become in-awe of Lighthouse Country’s Sheena McCorquodale and take a step back and look at the big picture with Linda Tenney. And if you get bored this fall take a look at our Stuff2Do page or visit some of the fabulous places revealed in this issue.

- Lissa Alexander

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Contents

Contributors Lissa Alexander

9

Originally from Qualicum Beach, she completed her journalism training in Calgary.

Great local Fall events around the community.

A local couple collaborates.

Photographer, publisher & broadcaster who has worked on both coasts.

Learn how edible flowers can complement your meals.

Candace Wu

A Vancouver Island journalist and photographer.

Her photojournalism career began while in Kuwait.

Stuff 2 Do

11 Combining surf and art 15 Loco 4 Local

Peter McCully

Linda Matteson-Reynolds

Fall Edition 2014

11

16 Homemade Fashion

A story about four impressive designers working in Parksville Qualicum Beach.

23 Kathok Meditation Centre A Tibetan Buddhist Centre open to the community.

26 Just Sayin’

An outlook on life with Linda Tenney, the publisher of Eyes on BC Magazine.

Brenda Gough

A journalist for more than 30 years, she’s been in this area for 20 years.

Carrie PowellDavidson

A writer, local food advocate, event planner & tireless promoter.

28 Unearthing local fossils

Linda Tenney

A local writer, editor, photographer and publisher.

Publisher Peter McCully publisher@pqbnews.com Editor Lissa Alexander reporter@pqbnews.com Advertising Steve Weldon sweldon@pqbnews.com

16

38

Graham Beard digs for answers.

TÊTE À TÊTE

Question and Answer with Sheena McCorquodale, volunteer, artist, entrepreneur.

Design & Production

Peggy Sidbeck, Brad Everest Circulation Laurie Fairbanks circulation@pqbnews.com

Cover Photo Linda Matteson-Reynolds 4-154 Middleton Ave. Parksville BC, V9K 1X3 PH: 250-248-4341 FX: 250-248-4655

23

28

oasislife.ca

FALL 2014

Oasis magazine is published quarterly by the Black Press. The points of views and opinions expressed herein are those of authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher of Oasis. The contents of Oasis are protected by copywright, including the designed advertising. Reproduction is prohibited without written consent of the publisher.

7


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2

Stuff Do 1.

Fall Harvest Festivals, Errington: Pony and wagon rides, scarecrow-building and more at Tiger Lily Farm, Sept 21. www. tigerlilyfarm.ca • A corn maze, a pumpkin patch and more at Silver Meadows Farm in October. 1019 Errington Rd. 250-248-4450.

2.

Nanoose Bay Thanksgiving Studio Tour: Oct. 11, 12 and 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Embark on a self-guided tour to a variety of artist’s studios. Pick up a guide at Fairwinds Centre or download the map from www.nanoosebaystudiotour.com

3.

Rigoletto: Oct.18 and 19. Vancouver Island Opera presents this full length opera with a full orchestra at The Qualicum Beach Civic Centre. Oct. 18: 7:30 p.m., Oct. 19: 2:30 p.m. www.vancouverislandopera.com

4.

Ghost Story Cave Tours: Horne Lake Caves becomes the portal to the Underworld with scary Ghost Story Tours running every weekend in October. www.hornelake.com

5.

Echo Players at the Village Theatre: The season begins Oct.16. The One Act Play Festival runs Nov. 4-9. 250-752-3522. www.echoplayers.ca

6.

Winterfest Christmas Craft Fair: Nov. 21, 22 and 23 at the Parksville Community and Conference Centre. www.winterfestcraftfair.com

7.

Fridays at the MAC: First Friday of the month: a reception for the month’s featured art exhibition, second Friday: Jazz at the MAC, third: MACoustic Folk Club night, fourth: Tales for the Telling starting Oct. 24. 250-248-8185. www.mcmillanartscentre.com

8.

Errington Hall Concert Series: Celebrated musicians from around Canada and beyond. 250-248-5106. www.erringtonhall.bc.ca

9.

Lazy Mike’s House of Music: Monthly shows, open mic nights and classes. 250-594-9951. www. lazymikerockinrecliners.com/houseofmusic

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FALL 2014

10. Harvest of Music Festival: The Old School House Arts Centre. Oct. 17- 19. Music includes a string quartet from Russia, a young classical pianist, a U.S. jazz quartet and more. 250-752-6133. www.harvestofmusic.com

2

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FALL 2014

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Story by Lissa Alexander, Photography by Peter McCully

Lorne and Yvonne Acheson married 14 years ago, but they’ve only recently married their artistic abilities, and the results, you could say, are cranking. Cranking: A word often used by surfers to refer to great waves. Lorne was a clothing designer in Vancouver for 14 years before moving to Parksville and devoting his design skills to making surfboards. He started off making T-shirts at a print shop in Tsawwassen (where some of the band members from 54-40 worked). He began designing and selling his shirts to skate and snowboard shops before expanding his sights to include shorts, pants and jackets. He had a successful line of streetwear for men called Fluent and a girl’s streetwear line called Sasta. Twice a year he and Yvonne would hit the road in their red 4 Runner and travel down south with garment samples and catalogues. But it all became a bit too stressful, he explains. “They were fun trips but then I thought, do I want to be doing this in five years with a family? No,” he recalls.

MAKING

Yvonne and Lorne met in Tsawwassen in ’97 when Yvonne worked at a stationary store in the community. Lorne would come in to buy receipt books, even when he didn’t need them, Yvonne laughs. The couple loved coming over to the Island and thoroughly enjoyed the ferry ride—in fact they had been known to take the boat back and forth without even getting off. And so, quite fittingly, Lorne proposed on the ferry in 2000. In 2007 the couple moved to Parksville and they now have two boys, Noah (eight) and Jonah >>>

FALL 2014

WAVES

TARRED BEGINNINGS

11


>>> (four), who, they both agree, constantly keeps them on their toes. Although she has no formal artistic training, Yvonne has been making a name for herself recently with her stunning, acrylic West Coast art. The first masterpiece she remembers creating was on the outside of her grandpa’s house in Winnipeg when she was three—using tar. “My parents were horrified,” she recalls with a chuckle, “I was going to get a spanking but my grandpa saved me.” Although her parents may have been a bit strict, they were also very loving and supportive, Yvonne says, and encouraged her to pursue the piano. She began teaching piano when she was 14 and today she continues to teach students from her home. In order to encourage her piano proteges, Yvonne enjoys drawing elaborate scenes in their notebooks where they get to place a sticker when they practise. After receiving an easel for Christmas from Lorne in 2012, Yvonne decided to try and make some time for painting. She says it was her students who first encouraged her to sell her work. “They asked if I would sell my paintings and started buying them off our walls,” she laughs. Although finding time for painting remains a challenge every day, the work Yvonne does complete is attracting positive attention at stores in Bowser, Parksville, Victoria and Tofino. Yvonne’s evocative artwork is dominated by bright, vivid colours and she likes to include clean, black lines throughout her paintings. Paintings named Storm Brewing Over Cox Bay and Longing—featuring a mermaid gazing out to sea—have long since sold. FALL 2014

12

SHAPING THE SURF INDUSTRY Lorne started surfing 15 years ago and about eight years ago the couple got an offer they couldn’t refuse. Their friends, owners of Island Long-

boards Surf Shop in Hilliers (now called Island Surf Co.), were going away for three months and asked them to mind the store. Lorne had recently purchased some equipment to make his first surf board and found the opportunity to put it all together while there. The second board he made was bought by a friend and then he started getting requests. “I was intrigued in doing different shapes of boards and riding them myself and then friends and other people wanted to try them out and buy them, which I never thought would happen,” he says. Lorne has now made about 150 surf boards. A couple of years ago Lorne’s father (80 at the time) built him a surfboard shop on the couple’s property in Parksville and that’s where Lorne designs, shapes and glasses all his boards today. But along with being a father, Lorne also works for Orca Airways booking charter flights, so he struggles to keep up with his orders from surf shops. The most challenging part of creating surf boards is also the most fun, Lorne says, and that’s creating new shapes. Lorne has a reputation for making innovative board shapes and two years ago he was asked to make five of them for a competition in Tofino called The Weird run by Nixon Watches. The invitational event at Cox Bay featured employees from Coastline, HTO, Sikta, Storm, Longbeach Surfshop, Live to Surf and Surf Sister, who all surfed on Lorne’s boards. He made an asymmetrical board, a mini simmons and even a finless board for the competition.

MARRIAGE OF THE MINDS Last year Lorne was asked to build a board for a client who wanted a fern graphic on the back. He asked Yvonne if she might like to paint the fern on the board and that’s when the marriage of minds began. Since then the couple has collaborated on three surfboards, four wooden boxes, and one table. And they plan to do much more…when they can >>>


Come See Our Bears Owls Eagles Hawks Falcons Turkey Vultures Ravens & More >>> find the time. Although it’s not the norm, Yvonne has awoken in the middle of the night with a painting on her brain and worked during the rare, silent hours of the morning. Painting does for Yvonne what shaping boards does for Lorne, reduces stress and anxiety and brings them joy. Yvonne says at the end of the day she hopes her paintings lift people’s spirits and allows them to appreciate all of God’s creation. “A lot of time people just see the creation and they don’t think about who created it. We have so much to be thankful for…we need to remember to thank the One who gave everything to us,” she says. Look for Yvonne’s artwork at the Salish Sea Market in Bowser, Island Exposures Gallery in Parksville (where prints are being made), HTO in Victoria and Surf Sister in Tofino. Find her on Facebook or visit her website www.yvonneachesonart.ca. Lorne’s boards can be found at Island Surf Co. in Hilliers, the Long Beach Surf Shop in Tofino and Ucluelet and at HTO in Victoria. Visit his website at www.arksurfboards.com.

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FALL 2014

Photos: page 11, Lorne and Yvonne Acheson with a surfboard they collaborated on, Lorne with a couple of his boards. Pages 12-13, Lorne shaping a board, Yvonne and Lorne with their sons Noah and Jonah, a painting by Yvonne.

13


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FALL 2014

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LOCO 4 LOCAL Recipe for Nasturtium Goat Cheese Salad with Minted Raspberry Vinegar

MINTED RASPBERRY VINEGAR

Story by Carrie Powell-Davidson

8 cups berries (blackberries and strawberries work well too). Mash slightly and pour white wine vinegar over to cover. Let sit for 48 hours and then strain in cheesecloth. Do not squeeze bag or your vinegar will be cloudy. Measure out the liquid and mix with equal amount of sugar. Add ¼ cup of fresh mint leaves. Heat to boiling and simmer for 5 minutes, then bottle in hot sterilized jars.

TO ASSEMBLE SALAD Use assorted greens and top with goat cheese. Sprinkle nasturtium petals all over and drizzle the vinegar. Fresh cracked pepper to finish.

These edible flowers called calendula grow at Nanoose Edibles, along with a variety of other tasty flowers. PHOTO:Lissa Alexander

Please DO eat the Daisies!

F

lowers add colour, flavour and whimsy to food so why not eat a bouquet today? Many folks may not realize it but even though they have not planted a formal garden, they just may be sitting or walking on a veritable gold mine of delicious food. Flowers, both those planted intentionally and those who volunteer to take up residence in our yards, are a culinary idea whose time has come again. The Renaissance cook did not confine flowers to a vase. No, they incorporated the roots, leaves, petals and stems into many dishes fit for kings and queens. Edible flowers added charm, colour and an element of surprise to the food of the fourteenth century. Somehow, using flowers in meal preparation was an idea that took a little time off from our menus but as more people become enchanted with eating locally, they could be foraging for food right in their own backyards. So wander no more wild crafters, for tonight we dine on nasturtiums and marigolds!

-Do know the source; a nursery or farm that grows flowers for eating or flowers you grew -Do select flowers at their peak—avoid unopened or wilted ones -Do remove the pistils and stamens of most flowers before eating -Do pick your flowers in the morning as they will have the highest water content -Do shake out and wash thoroughly in cold water to get rid of the insects -Do store your flowers in the refrigerator in a sealed container on a damp paper towel

A Few of the Many Flowers You Can Eat

Where to Buy Locally Nanoose Edibles in Nanoose Bay grows flowers specifically for eating and they sell to many restaurants around the island. Barbara Ebell says they include a few flowers in their salad bags but if people want more, there are plenty for them to pick from the certified organic gardens. Brook Kennedy, a Certified Horticulturist at Ken-Dor Garden Centre in Qualicum Beach says that spring and fall are the best times to plant and for those chefs, domestic or otherwise who want to get started, Ken-Dor has a wide range of seeds perfect for edible flower gardens. Kennedy says these are openpollinated seeds that are certified organic and non GMO (genetically modified organism). And while the nursery has a wide range of seeds to choose from, Kennedy adds that not many gardeners are taking up the cause. “We don’t get too much call for these but I suspect people just don’t realize how many flowers that they can actually eat.” And now, they do!

FALL 2014

In the flower garden: roses, pansies, carnations, marigolds, nasturtiums, geraniums, passion flowers, cornflowers, lilacs, snapdragons, chrysanthemums, fuchsias and violets. From the herb garden: garlic, chives, rosemary, lavender, basil, borage, chamomile, chervil, cilantro, dill, fennel, mint, oregano and sage. From the vegetable garden: arugula, radish, squash, pumpkin, sunflower, beans, peas, cauliflower, broccoli, radish and zucchini. The fruit blossoms too: apple, plum, elderberry Eating Flowers Safely Don’t forget the lawn: clover, dandelion and -Do make sure to eat only flowers that are safe English daisies. to eat (see below) and free from toxins -Do introduce them slowly to your diet if you How to Use suffer from hay fever, asthma or allergies. Edible flowers can be used to prepare every

course in the meal. From canapés to salads and from the main courses to desserts, the list is almost endless. Use them in salad dressings, marinades or spreads. They can be turned into beverages such as teas and cocktails or preserved in wines or vinegars. Naturally, they make beautiful garnishes, too!

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Shirra Wall and Trish Smith

Homemade

FASHION

W

ith a marquee sign that reads “shopping local is sexy” and owners who are passionate about creating clothing in-house, Wilde and Sparrow is interlaced in the slow fashion movement.

Co-owner Shirra Wall designs many of the store’s distinctive items in the upstairs studio. Up there, screen printing equipment sits alongside an industrial dryer, sewing machines, bright fabric paints and eclectic materials. It is there that Wall works her magic, putting her funky designs and vintage illustrations on T-shirts, tank tops, bamboo leggings, baby onesies, pillow cases and home decor items, and she says her customers appreciate the handcrafted aspect. >>>

Story by Lissa Alexander, Photography by Lissa Alexander and Candace Wu

FALL 2014

16

Story by Lissa Alexander and Photography by

>>>


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Regensburg Nuremberg Nuremberg (Disembarkation)– Prague, Czech Republic Days 11-13: Prague †Daily

exercises, stretching, yoga, lectures & more.

* Land/cruise only, twin share, Cat. E cabin, July 1, 2015 departure date. Flights and travel insurance are additional.

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FALL 2014

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17


>>> “People are conscious of environmental factors and about owning something that has some integrity,” says Wall. “I think there’s a lot of people who want to support our local economy and local artists, and they see the value in that.”

EMBRACING SLOW FASHION The term slow fashion was coined by UK sustainable fashion designer Kate Fletcher in 2007, following the rise of other slow movements in the ‘80s like slow food. Slow fashion, as the name suggests, surrounds making high quality clothes in sustainable and environmentally conscious ways in a slow (rather than mass-produced) fashion. The philosophy goes hand-in-hand with the cultural shift of supporting locally-produced goods, small businesses and fair trade. Wall’s upbringing was steeped in fashion and design, but the industry didn’t capture her heart until about five years ago. Her mother was a talented fashion designer and ran a store in Vancouver on trendy West 4th Avenue in Kitsilano when Wall was young. In the ‘80s they moved to Australia where Wall worked in her mother’s clothes factory. “I swore to myself I would never be in the industry,” recalls Wall, citing that it didn’t seem cool or exciting at the time. But being the creative type, Wall had an itch for change, so she decided to create garden art from reclaimed steel. She started a company called Shining Sun Gardenworks and sold her products in over 300 stores around North America. But soon she got tired of grinding steel and switched to soft fabric. She made and sold purses, bags and pillows from vintage, recycled fabrics. After taking a basic screen-printing course, she moved on to T-shirts and soon she was selling out of her items at local markets. It was while working at a local Christmas market that she met co-owner of the store, Trish Smith. “Trish is a talented designer and was making baby shoes out of vintage fabric and I immediately saw her talent,” says Wall. When Wall opened the store three years ago Smith worked as the manager and a year later she became Wall’s partner. Today the ladies offer trendy yet comfortable clothing made by Canadian and U.S. designers, often with a vintage-inspired look, and they carry a ton of locally made-jewelry and other accessories. Smith and Wall agree that by seeing their customers on a daily basis and interacting with them, it has helped shape what they offer. FALL 2014

“People think they want to wear that ultra skinny long coat they saw in Vogue but what they actually want to wear is bamboo leggings and tunics,” Wall laughs. >>>

18

Kristin Moon


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FALL 2014

Kristin Moon is also mindful of supporting the local economy, and she’s ultra conscious about the fabrics she uses for her products. Moon is a textile designer, weaver, dyer and print-maker and created her business Marie Moon Textiles last year. She works from her home in French Creek making sleek bamboo tie-dyed dresses and maxi skirts, and hip organic cotton and tencel scarves (tencel is made with wood pulp from sustainable tree farms). She also creates hemp and organic cotton exfoliating cloths, couch pillows, and handwoven clutches. She sells her clothing and accessories at local markets, at the Salish Sea Market in Bowser and online. >>>

We have blinds for Tilt & Turn Windows

19


Roxanne Rose-Bouchard Moon has been interested in clothing, textiles and design since she was young. In high school in Qualicum Beach she designed and made both her and her best friend’s prom dresses while taking a sewing and fashion design course.

that she makes in her studio in Qualicum Bay. She has been designing and making clothing and accessories from that studio for 22 years. Her company is called Qualicum Clothworks and she prides herself on creating things that make women not only look, but feel beautiful.

She took fine arts classes at Langara College in Vancouver before transferring to the textile arts program at Capilano University. Beyond learning to weave and how to work with fabrics and dyes, Moon learned all about the textile industry.

“I love taking a flat piece of material and making it into a beautiful shape that flatters women of all sizes, not just models,” she says. Lining the edges of her studio workspace are rows upon rows of cut paper patterns that she’s created over the years. Her sewing machines are surrounded by stacks of coloured thread and hand-carved blocks used for hand-printing her designs onto the fabrics.

>>>

“It’s a big industry that people don’t look at as much as organic foods,” she says. “We need to look for sustainable ways to make fabrics—we’re cutting down huge forests to make this stuff and depleting the soil.” Natural and eco-friendly fabrics are more breathable than synthetic polyester, Moon explains. Breathable fabrics allow people to keep drier and cooler and they don’t hold on to body odour like polyester fabrics. Eco-friendly fabrics are also grown with minimal or no pesticides and fertilizers, making them a nice choice for your skin. However there’s a lot of room for improvement with eco-friendly fabrics, Moon explains, as some use harsh chemicals for processing, while others are only available overseas and burn tons of fossil fuels to reach us. FALL 2014

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HAND-CARVED DESIGNS Roxanne Rose-Bouchard also likes to use natural fibers in the clothing

Rose-Bouchard entered into fashion in an unconventional way—she made clothing for male exotic dancers in Vancouver. “I had a friend who was a Dolly Parton look-alike and I made things for her and it just grew from there,” she says. She decided to go back to school and completed a degree in fashion design at Kwantlen College (now a university) before moving to Qualicum Bay to set up her studio. Rose-Bouchard began making women’s and children’s clothing and sold them in Qualicum Beach. Soon, with the help of an agent in Vancouver, she was selling her clothing in boutiques around Canada as well as in the Images of Canada catalogue. >>>


Photos: page 16, from left, Wilde and Sparrow’s Shirra Wall and Trish Smith and the clothing from their store. Pages 18-19: Kristin Moon dying her maxi skirts and her handwoven clutches; Margie Preninger in her home studio and one of her handmade purses. Pages 20-21, Roxanne Rose-Bouchard in her home studio, one of her handmade blouses, and (this page) a handcarved and printed mermaid shirt by Rose-Bouchard.

But things changed around five years ago when the economy crashed, she explains. More big box stores started popping up and she was dealing with other personal issues. Today Rose-Bouchard sells her clothing from her home studio, from local markets and from Oceanside Village Artists’ Gallery at Oceanside Village Resort on Resort Drive in Parksville. She often uses bamboo for her blouses, tunics and dresses, and handprints eye-catching designs onto the fabric like First Nations’ animal symbols and ancient petroglyphs. She also makes tie-dyed maxi skirts, sweaters, hair bands and scarves. >>>

Rose-Bouchard said it’s still hard for local fashion designers to compete with big box stores in nearby cities, but she maintains that local clothing-makers can offer something unique that people won’t find at those larger stores.

REPURPOSED AND RADIANT Margie Preninger also makes one-ofa-kind items from her home studio in Parksville. Preninger graduated from Ballenas Secondary School where she began her love affair with clothes-making and where she completed her first major project—a leather coat. From there she attended Kwantlen College and graduated from the fashion arts program before jetting off to New York City to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology.

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Preninger enjoys getting lost in a blissful state of creativity while carefully making accessories like purses with handwork details and framed fibre art. “I find accessories very freeing to make because there’s no sizing involved, it’s just the piece, the shape, the colours and the textures you want it to be,” she says. She’s been having a blast recently working with a cardboard weaving loom, allowing her to make 3D vessels with no seams, and creating purses using the by-products of her sewing business.

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Preninger says that besides being sustainable and helping the local economy, slow fashion also allows people to stand out in a crowd and feel good about their decision. “You can go buy a five dollar T-shirt but you don’t know what’s gone into it, you don’t know the artist or person who made it— with slow fashion you can connect right to the source.” Take some time to source homemade fashion in Parksville Qualicum Beach and you’ll be inspired by the ingenuity of these entrepreneurs. And take heed of their passion and determination to make you your new favourite thing.

Where to find them: Wilde and Sparrow: www.wildeandsparrow.com 144 W. Island Hwy, Parksville. 250-586-2010. Marie Moon Textiles: www.mariemoon.com. Qualicum Clothworks: www.etsy.com/ca/shop/qualicumclothworks 2918 Leon Road, Qualicum Bay. 250-757-8052. KLõZHAUS Clothing Design Studio: www.facebook.com/KlozhausDesignStudio 161 Stanford Ave. E. Parksville 250-248-6682.

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Following that she lived in New York and Los Angeles and worked for Jones New York and Warnaco before she moved back to the area to open her design, alterations and sewing business 23 years ago, called KLõZHAUS Clothing Design Studio. She also mentors young learners online in fibre arts, mixed media and fashion design and offers classes in her studio.

instead finds interesting uses for the materials by repurposing with weaving and stitchery. She’s completed commissions that run the gamut from wedding and prom dresses to a giant 3D Brant Goose mascot outfit, using her own 3D nets made from cardboard, complete with a fabric outfit on top.

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KATHOK CENTRE – the sanctuary of secrets Story and photography by Linda Matteson-Reynolds

H

appiness, according to Buddha is really quite simple: “The secret is to want what you have and not want what you don’t have.”

The Kathok Meditation Centre in Errington is a Tibetan Buddhist Centre—a magical and tranquil sanctuary of calm in an idyllic rural surrounding. The gates are open to the entire community regardless of faith or denomination. The Centre is a registered non-profit society operated and maintained by a dedicated board of volunteers with all expenses supported entirely by donations. Penny McGuire is a yoga teacher, grief counsellor and current president of the society. “People of all faiths are welcome to enter through our gates, to relax and feel the amazing positive energy flow into their lives.”

FALL 2014

The Centre provides various “practices” or meditation lessons to all levels of Buddhism to help reduce stress and increase awareness of physical and spiritual happiness. Open meditation is the teaching and practicing of simple techniques on how to manage one’s own >>>

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>>> thoughts and emotions while increasing a sense of general well being. Through these practices, one is better equipped to cope with life’s ups-and-downs, has decreased stress and anxiety, and is able to transform negative behaviours into positive, thriving habits.

Every six to eight weeks, the Centre hosts a Silent Retreat that allows individuals to take a break from the pressures and demands of daily modern life. These retreats are not entirely silent as there are lectures on Buddhist philosophy and meditation instruction.

THE NOBLE TRUTHS OF BUDDHISM

“Going on a silent retreat is a journey,” explains McGuire. “When you take away all of the energy we put into communication, it is redirected to the parts of your life you normally ignore. I would recommend it to anyone.”

His Eminence Lingtrul Rinpoche is the principal teacher and he was actively involved in establishing The Kathok Meditation Centre – Centre of Clear Light, 19 years ago. He is the head of Tra Ling Monastery in Tibet and is said to be an emanation of Longchenpa, who was a revered Tibetan Buddhist teacher in the 14th century. Rinpoche (meaning teacher) visits two to three times a year to conduct practices, spiritualistic guidance and counselling to the community. Lingtrul Rinpoche accepts invitations to travel worldwide at places like the Tra Ling Monastery in Golok, Tibet; at ODD in Oakland, California; Tashi Choling, in Ashland, Oregan; and throughout USA, Brazil, Malaysia. Rinpoche explains that the basic teachings and foundations of Buddhism are the Four Noble Truths: The truth of suffering (dukkha) The truth of the cause of suffering (samudaya) The truth of the end of suffering (nirhodha)

McGuire says connecting with one’s community ultimately increases well-being.

The truth of the path that frees us from suffering (magga)

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One of the most iconic images of Buddhism is surely that of the Buddha sitting silently under a tree, with his eyes half-closed, while beaming the most beautiful, kind and understanding smile. The secret of the Buddha’s enigmatic smile lies in the mastery of his mind—through the practice of meditation. At the Kathok Centre Temple, the 15-foot statue has been especially made-to-order and is one of 25 being placed in strategic locations around the world to bring about greater world peace, and help balance the energy of our planet.

By themselves, the Truths don’t seem like much but beneath the Truths are countless layers of teachings on the nature of existence, the self, life, and death, not to mention suffering. The point is not to just “believe in” the teachings, but to explore them, understand them, and test them against one’s own experience. It is the process of exploring, understanding, testing and realizing that is Buddhism.

It is said that simply seeing a Golden Buddha for a mere second will ease one’s suffering and bring great benefit to all aspects of one’s life, Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike.

CREATING COMMUNITY

The Centre provides offerings of butter lamps and prayers as a dedication to the dead in order to guide them through the “bardo” (a state of existence between death and rebirth). Butter lamps traditionally burned clarified yak butter in Tibetan Buddhist Temples but now often use vegetable oil or vanaspati ghee. The lighting of the butter lamps symbolizes wisdom and removing the darkness of ignorance. This can be done in the immediate event of a loved one’s passing, or at any time. Requests of butter lamps and prayers made by the general public can include a photo and name of the deceased. When making an offering to someone who’s sick or suffering, the Centre sends a card to that person or their family. >>>


>>> “One of the key ingredients of happiness is a deep sense of community and with all of our projects at the temple and throughout the Oceanside area this is our goal. We are continuously working to create a harmonious, peaceful society through the inspiration of the Buddha’s teachings.” To learn more about The Kathok Centre, free guided tours are available to the public and dates and times of the tours are posted on the website. Visit www.kathokcentre.ca or call 250-586-5882. The Centre is located at 2800 Grafton Ave.

:

FALL 2014

Photos: page 23. Lingtrul Rinpoche at the Kathok Meditation Centre. Pages 24-25, sights to behold at the centre in Errington.

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JUST SAYIN’

Story & Photo by Linda Tenney

The only clear thing is that we humans are the only species with the power to destroy the earth as we know it. The birds have no such power, nor do the insects, nor does any mammal. Yet if we have the capacity to destroy the earth, so, too, do we have the capacity to protect it. ~ Dalai Lama

Walk Gently Upon the Earth

Y

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ear after year, our growing urban communities expand and push further into the wilderness. Civilization spread from an ancient nucleus – a small group of hairy beings evolving, learning discovering, exploring, and constantly redefining the fringed boundary between human-claimed territory and the wilderness. Mother Earth hasn’t objected, at least not in a language that we can clearly understand. Her discontented grumble rides on the savage winds of monumental storms, but we don’t hear it. We scurry to recover from natural disasters so big that we can’t see the message for the mess. In recent years, the ferocity of weather-related disasters has increased leaving populated areas devastated and lives changed forever. Is climate change cyclical?

Possibly. Can it be blamed on Global Warming? Likely. Are we partly to blame? Definitely. Mother Earth is imploring us to make changes. Begging us to respect our home. Help it, rather than harm it. No matter whether you believe a god or a cataclysmic “Big Bang” event ultimately brought us here ... we’re here. The Earth is our home ... probably the only home we’ll ever know. So why are we so cavalier about our caretaker chores? We’re irresponsible in so many ways. We make a mess, but we don’t clean it up unless someone complains. We take finite resources from the Earth, and we can’t put them back. We recklessly abuse the very place that nurtures us. Each of us has a connection to the past and a link to the future. We are not the beginning, nor are we the end. Hundreds of years from

now, I hope the story told of us about this time and this place isn’t that we irreparably defiled our sacred earth, but that we instead learned to thrive in harmony with everything that makes our world a miracle. We can all walk a little softer, but it takes courage. Courage to commit to individual change. Courage to say ‘no’ when something is indisputably wrong. Courage to believe that one small positive step might create a path for others to follow. Mother Earth has tolerated our messy habits for far too long! She speaks to us of her displeasure in wordless ways, and it’s obvious her resilience has weakened. Her tolerance is waning. We’re undeniably hard on the old gal. She’s ancient, and we need to be kinder to our elder!

Just sayin’


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Digging up

SECRETS OF THE PAST

Story by Candace Wu, Photography by Linda Matteson-Reynolds

In a world consumed by the future we tend to forget the past. But at least one Qualicum Beach palaeontologist hasn’t stopped digging for answers connecting today to a bygone era. Graham Beard—an internationally-acclaimed fossil collector and researcher, retired high school teacher, author and honorary research assistant—has dedicated much of his life to teaching others about fossils. 

FALL 2014

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“Fossils are quite remarkable,” he says. “They tell us about the evolution of life on earth.” Beard has played an instrumental role in shaping the Qualicum Beach Historical and Museum Society into the organization it is today—one of worldclass stature. The Society opened the Qualicum Beach Museum in 1994 at which

time Beard donated some of his personal, extensive fossil collection for display. Today the main floor of the museum is dedicated to the palaeontology exhibit. Education, Beard says, is one of the most important things a person can give. Beard says Vancouver Island is a prime place to look for fossils, and while it is largely under appreciated, it is one of the Island’s “best kept secrets.” 

True petrification takes place when the fossil’s original substance is completely replaced with another mineral...

“In terms of palaeontology, Vancouver Island is virtually unexplored,” he says. “We have fossils here you can’t find anywhere else in the world.”

TREASURES FROM ANOTHER ERA Beard has spent half a century exploring the Island’s rich fossil beds and his collection boasts more than 20,000 one-of-a-kind pieces. The stature of his vast collection >>>


>>> has provided inspiration for amateur and professional palaeontologists alike and the Qualicum Beach museum’s palaeontology exhibit, of which Beard is the curator, is now home to an extensive assortment of fossils from around the world—and also from right here in our backyard. Beard says British Columbia provides a boundless terrain to search for fossils, many of which are located on Vancouver Island and the Northern Gulf Islands. He says Hornby Island—which lies along the geologically active “ring of fire”—is one of his favourite places to look for fossils.   The exhibit has pieces which date back as far as the Precambrian Era (545 million years ago) all the way to the Pleistocene Era (13,000 years ago). It includes fossils from the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic periods including plants, insects, ginko and fish fossils, some dinosaur and early reptiles as well as bones and skulls from the early mammals of the Eocene Epoch.  The display encompasses an enormous amount of knowledge and history, and like Beard says, “fossils allow us to study the many forms of life we would otherwise never know.” 

HOW FOSSILS ARE FORMED Beard says his fascination with fossils comes from their unusual nature. “Fossils are very rare,” he says. “They survive vigorous agencies of decay, plate tectonics...these things destroy rocks but some fossils somehow withstand them. It’s just a miracle.”  Beard explains for animals, plants and/or other organisms to preserve as a fossil, they need precise environmental conditions in place. 

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“Preservation is just mind-blowing,” he says, adding it is estimated that only one in a million species will become a fossil over time. “To fossilize, a creature must be buried relatively quickly and escape all sources of oxygen.” >>>

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He says after an organism is buried, the hard parts, like bones, shells and wood, generally become fossilized in clay or fine sediment. For softer parts to fossilize, they require a sudden change in water chemistry or decomposition by mineralizing bacteria. >>>

Once the creature is buried, a long and complex process begins which works to change the organism into fossil form over time. Some fossils are preserved as films of carbon under the heat and pressure of deep burial, while others undergo some recrystallization in groundwater. For others, their substance will dissolve leaving a mold which is refilled with surrounding minerals or the structure will form a cast. True petrification takes place when the fossil’s original substance is completely replaced with another mineral—and the results can be spectacular.

UNCOVERING BEARD’S PAST Beard says he has hopes of expanding the palaeontology exhibit to encompass even more astonishing finds. Beard recalls feeling engrossed in fossils as a young boy for their representation of natural history. He remembers setting up his own private museum in the basement of his family home—a collection that hasn’t stopped growing, though it has since changed venues to a more public place where everybody can share in his wealth of knowledge and discoveries.  In his many adventures, Beard even uncovered a new genus of walnut leading to recognition as an honorary research associate by the Geology Department of Vancouver Island University, where he often gives guest lectures. Additionally, Beard teaches courses through VIU’s Eldercollege.    Beard coauthored West Coast Fossils: A Guide to the Ancient Life of Vancouver Island, a book including photographs of more than 200 fossils, many of which are on display at the Qualicum Beach Museum.   Visit the Qualicum Beach Museum to see a world class exhibit nestled in the heart of downtown Qualicum. One-of-a-kind pieces of the past, all of which have a story of their own, are on display for the public. And more than anything, the museum gives us an opportunity to peer into another time — one that provided the foundation to get us to where we are today.

Photos: page 28-29, Graham Beard At Beachcomber in Nanoose Bay, a fossil displayed at the Qualicum Beach Museum. Page 31, A fossil displayed at the Qualicum Beach Museum, Graham Beard looking for fossils at Beachcomber.

FALL 2014

“From fossils we can learn a lot,” Beard says. “We can study past climatic conditions and see what happened with ice ages and how it affected organisms that lived on the land—global warming is nothing new; the only difference is it used to take thousands of years and now it only takes hundreds.”

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Randy Hall is a Vancouver Island photographer specializing in nature photography, whether it is capturing natural settings such as seascapes or forest landscapes or the plants and animals that inhabit this part of British Columbia. Some of Randy’s work is currently on display at the Oceanside Village Artists’ Gallery and Island Exposures Art Gallery. Other images are available through Fine Art America. Website: http://1-randy-hall.artistwebsites.com/


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Quality drawaFoods na si hc–aeParksville, B mucilauNanoose Q & esoon &aQualicum N ,ellivskraBeach P – sdisoan oFaward ytilauQ winning leader 8 egin apthe no Canadian da eeS .y rtgrocery sudni y rindustry. ecorg naiSee danad aC on ehtpage ni re8dael gninniw

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RalpheKretzschmar uqinu a srelles dnacan sreprovide yub ot eto divbuyers orp nacand rasellers mhcsazunique terK hplaR combination of selling, .esitrepmarketing xe noitcurtsand nocconstruction dna gnitekraexpertise. m ,gnilles fo noitanibmoc See ad on page 36 63 egap no da eeS Raymond ’stneilc James rieht tahtFinancial serusne puoGroup rG laicensures naniFthat sem their aJ clients’ dnomyaR investment5 experiences egap no da eare eS .lpositive ufsseccuand s dnasuccessful. evitisop eSee ra sead cnon eirepage pxe 5tnemtsevni

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TÊTE-À-TÊTE

Story and Photo by Brenda Gough

SHEENA McCORQUODALE

Graphic artist, owner of Silver Wings dove service, actress, tireless volunteer

A

nyone who lives in Lighthouse Country will tell you that Sheena McCorquodale is communityoriented but it is hard to pigeonhole the multi-talented woman who really is a Jack of all trades.

FALL 2014

38

a lot as a child so it is really nice to put down roots and know your community. Question: What do you see 10 years down the road in Lighthouse community?

Answer: I am a great believer in just bumping into things. I am not a great planner and I Graphic artist, farmer, musician, actor, am not a visionary. There is so much that I entrepreneur and aviculturist are just a few have bumped into in life just serendipitously I let them out all day long. They just fly around of the occupations she dabbles in and she that I am so glad I didn’t have a plan that over [outside] the house and then come home at dusk. They have been known to fly 1,000 miles. consistently illustrates her ability to successfully ruled it. They are just remarkable animals and have an pull off any project thrown at her. Question: How would you describe yourself? innate wisdom to them. Since moving to Qualicum Bay 11 years ago, McCorquodale has been involved in Answer: I consider myself a dilatant. I dabble I went to a wedding many years ago and they multitude of activities both professionally and in all kinds of things. I enjoy doing a lot of art released one dove and it was the high point work. There are a lot of diversions in life. It’s of the wedding and it just seemed like such a recreationally in the community. a small pond in a lot of ways, there is so much beautiful thing to do. It is a renewable resource. A super volunteer for the Lighthouse Community that you can effect being in a small community I am very anti helium balloons because it is a Centre, she also launched the Qualicum Bay and I have had such a wonderful time being license to litter and doves are a nice alternative Theatre Group this year. Donating her time and here. to mark a celebration. her talents, the consummate achiever knows how to get the job done and her efforts and Question: When did you start Silver Wings of They are blank canvasses; you can project joy or sorrow. At a memorial service I will pass hard work are felt throughout the community. Qualicum Bay? around a dove for a final touch of the dove and When she isn’t volunteering she is making neon Answer: I got a phone call from a gentleman it is so touching. signs, running her graphics business called in Union Bay. He was an elderly Italian man Qualicum Bay Designs and creating memorable who loved his pigeons and he was dying of I have actually released them from West Van moments with her dove service called Silver cancer and he needed a good home for his and I think they over-nighted on Lasqueti birds. I gave them to my partner’s son for his Island because it was a wedding that went on Wings of Qualicum Bay. 13 birthday and now he is 19. We started with much longer than anticipated, but they did Question: You are deeply immersed in your six birds. You have to keep them locked up for make it home. community. Have you always embraced your a minimum of eight months otherwise they Question: How do you find time to do all of the neighbourhood? will just fly home. things you are passionate about? Answer: I have always been involved in some They produce pretty rapidly when they are kind of extra-curricular activities in other places happy. They really are amazing birds. The Answer: I have worked at home for last 10 like dog racing or whatever, but this feels more white is a dominant gene and they are crossed years. I used to commute a minimum of one like home than any other place I have lived in. with racing pigeons and homing pigeons. hour a day in Vancouver. Now I have the time This is community to me and it is the longest When you release them at a wedding they fly it takes to work with animals and instead of commuting two or three hours I work in the I have ever lived in one place too. We moved right home. community.


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