C U LT U R E
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is a chocolate loverâ€™s heaven
and the annual Truck Light Parade energize holiday shopping
Young Forester, Jocelin Teron is making waves
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On the Cover Chocolate coated everything! Photo by Mike Davies
C U LT U R E
WINTER 201 4
Rocky Mountain Choco late Factory is a chocolate lover’s heaven
Star light Shopping
and the annual Truck Light Parade energize holiday shopping
Young Forester, Joce lin Teron is making waves
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CONTENTS Jocelin Teron is no princess but she has been known to spend time with royalty.
10 24 4|
The guardians of Mitlenatch Island
Rolling out the Christmas Season. Starlight Shopping and the annual Truck Light Parade energize holiday shopping.
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is a chocolate lover’s heaven...chocolate coated…everything!
Whether it’s Jenn Flinn or Stray Cat Sue, this artist sheds artistic convention.
A reflection of a horse and owner’s relationship, Corinne Matheson is a horse whisperer.
The Campbell River and District Winter Club is more than just brooms and beers.
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orester princess king waves
❖ Story and photography by Kristen Douglas & Tom Sandler
Jocelin Teron is no
- she spends her days out in the woods and her crown is a hard hat
ocelin Teron is no princess – she spends her days out in the woods and her crown is a hard hat – but she has been known to spend time with royalty. At 24, Teron, a Registered Professional Forester, is already making waves in the forestry industry. Just last year she won the Canadian Institute of Forestry’s first ever Prince of Wales Award for Sustainable Forestry. Teron travelled to Newfoundland to receive the award and then this spring she got to meet her award’s namesake, Prince Charles, while he was doing a tour of Prince Edward Island. “That was the best part of that award,” Teron says
from the Strategic office where she works as a consultant. “We got to sit down for 45 minutes and have tea and biscuits with him. He was great. He was really interested and had so many questions for us.” Next year, Teron will visit the United Kingdom for a tour of the forest lands owned by the Prince of Wales. They’re perks Teron had to work hard for. The honour was in recognition of all the volunteer hours she has put in to promote and further her industry. While studying at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Teron was involved in several
Give her a l l i w t a h t t f i g keep her warm and cozy all winter follow us on
recruitment fairs for forestry projects at area high schools. She was also a part of a student group that organized orientations for new students, fundraised for a school timber sports team, and helped run a symposium speaker series for students. She was also an integral part of the fundraising team for her school’s ring ceremony where graduates of the forestry program receive the keepsake token from the Canadian Institute of Forestry. Teron is now a part of the institute’s Vancouver Island branch and helps organize ring ceremonies for Vancouver Island University forestry students.
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When she’s not volunteering, she’s working out in the field. For three years Teron has been with Strategic, where she works almost exclusively with a client who owns private forest lands. “I basically coordinate all of their post harvest activities for their North Island operations,” Teron says. “Basically everything north of Buckley Bay.” That means Teron organizes tree planting for the client and does an assessment of how the harvest went, if it went according to plan, and as per the proper regulations. She also works with the client on plans for re-generation. “Anyone who does forestry in B.C. is legally required to re-plant what they took,” Teron says. The consultants also have to ensure that what’s been planted, which is mostly Douglas fir, and western red cedar, aren’t having to compete with other species such as alders or maples. Teron says it’s work she wouldn’t trade for the world. “Some of the places I get to see is the best part of the job,” Teron says. “Sometimes we
later graduated with an honours Bachelor of Science in Forest Management.
It’s what attracted Teron to forestry in the first place.
After a year in Alberta, Teron moved to Campbell River to accept a position with Strategic.
Growing up in northern Ontario Teron enjoyed camping trips with her family and knew from a young age she wanted a job where she could be outdoors. In high school she joined an environmental leadership program geared towards wildlife management. When it was time to start looking at post-secondary schools, she happened to stumble upon a university fair with representatives from Lakehead University’s forestry program. “I didn’t originally plan to do forestry,” Teron says. “There’s very little forestry in northern Ontario and I imagined lumber jacks and log drivers. All I remembered from my childhood was the Log Driver’s Waltz.” But after a little research and realizing there was more to forestry than the animated characters in the Canada Vignettes Series, Teron enrolled at Lakehead and four years
Teron knew there were little forestry opportunities near her family so she made the decision to move out west.
She says it was one of the best decisions she’s ever made. “When I applied at Strategic it was going to be a one-year experiment but it’s been three (years) and now I own a house and I’m engaged,” Teron says. “I love Campbell River. It’s so nice and it’s so different from everything that I grew up around. I still feel like a tourist sometimes; when I see things it’s a novelty still.” And she’s still loving every minute of her job, though it’s not always easy. “It’s bittersweet because we see a lot of places before and after they’re harvested, but then again it’s part of a cycle and it’s cool that we get to see that progress, from harvesting to re-generating those areas,” Teron says.
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go to some really remote places and that’s probably the most rewarding – just being able to be outside. Some days you just get this perfect weather and it’s so beautiful and calm where you are.”
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Rolling out the Christmas Season
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Starlight Shopping and the annual Truck Light Parade energize holiday shopping ❖ Story by Kristen Douglas, Photos courtesy the Downtown Business Improvement Association
t’s the most wonderful time of the year for Campbell River’s downtown business community.
If you’re thinking Starlight Shopping, you’d be correct. Campbell River’s unoﬃcial kick off to the holiday season, Starlight Shopping, has been a tradition for local families for nearly 15 years. This year’s extravaganza takes place Friday, Nov. 28. It’s a night where downtown shop owners will offer deals and savings to entice people to shop local. It doesn’t hurt that Santa and Mrs. Claus stop by too.
For Jan Wade, the event organizer and secretary-treasurer of the Downtown Business Improvement Association, it’s the busiest night of the year.
the evening, with a cavalcade of semitrucks, school buses, and ﬁre trucks all lit up and dressed to the nines, making their way down the Island Highway to Spirit Square.
“It’s the biggest business day of the year,” Wade says. “In fact, when I go around and talk to the business afterwards they say ‘that day saved me.’ People are out in the thousands and there’s more people coming out now because of the big truck parade.”
The parade has come a long way since its humble beginnings. The ﬁrst year
The truck parade is a relatively new staple to Starlight Shopping. For the past ﬁve years it has opened
saw only 11 trucks and a condensed route. “We started out at the Maritime Heritage Centre – not a long route – and the police went so fast it was over in about two minutes,” recalls Wade. “If it wasn’t for Aztec Freight there
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wouldn’t have even been a parade. They put in six or seven trucks. They really came through.” For Wade, the parade is a labour of love. She spends at least three months before the parade calling up local businesses to invite them to put a truck in the parade. While it was tough in the beginning, Wade said it gets easier every year and the truck drivers put a great deal of effort into stringing the lights and decorating their trucks. “Some of the guys will take a week to 10 days,” Wade said. “They really put in a lot of work and it’s not inexpensive either.” A crowd favourite is always the cement truck from Cumberland Ready Mix which last year boasted
12,000 Christmas lights and a rotating drum. Wade said this year she hopes to secure 65 trucks for the parade which leaves the Island Highway and Rockland Road at 5 p.m. and ﬁnishes up in Tyee Plaza at 6 p.m. A select few trucks will remain on display in the shopping centre’s parking lot.
At Tyee Plaza there will be cookie decorating, taffy, face painting, pictures with Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves, as well as hot chocolate and carolling with the Salvation Army to get you in the holiday spirit. Entertainment from the local high schools, as well as food vendors, will round out the docket.
Entertainment in and around Spirit Square will kick off at 5 p.m. with the ﬁrst 300 kids receiving glow sticks.
Banking on last year’s success, there will also be Christmas card making at the Art Gallery which last year attracted 300 people.
There will be live music in Spirit Square throughout the evening and Captain Thunderpants will act as the town crier. New this year, the Tidemark will be offering a children’s show, featuring the Canadian musical group the Kerplunks, in conjunction with Starlight Shopping.
Wade said it’s really neat to see what Starlight Shopping and the truck parade has become and she’s proud of how the community has embraced it.
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“It’s the busiest business day of the year,” Wade said. “What I like is it’s becoming a tradition.”
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chocolate Dennis Rozan hefts a tray of candy-decorated caramel apples
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
is a chocolate lover’s heaven
❖ Story and photography by Alistair Taylor
ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHOCOLATES
ou walk in the door and it hits you. Mmmmmmmm. Chocolate in the air.
The intoxicating aroma of it caresses your nostrils. Wafts across the counters. Declicious. Fragrant. Chocolate. Lovely brown chocolate everywhere! Chocolate fudge! Caramel candy apples! Yellow, red and blue smarties. Chocolate-coated…everything!
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The glass display cases in the brightly-lit wood-panelled store are festooned with printed-paper packages, orange bowed plastic wrapping, polka dots and gold seal stickers. Wrappers crinkle. The till jingles.
Customers smile. Customers smile a lot. Just walking into Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory puts a smile on your face. “People are happy when they come in here and they’re happy when they leave,” says Terry Watson, owner of Campbell River’s Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory outlet. It’s a small store but for a chocolate lover, it’s a little piece of heaven here in Campbell River. Opened in 1998, Watson transitioned from a career in health care to a purveyor of happiness. At least, judging by the smile on Watson’s face as she Winter 2014 | 13
talks about her business, it seems like happiness is the real product here. Think about it. Chocolate is always used for the purpose of Good. It’s given as a present for the love of your life. It’s a reward for hard work. It’s a gift for a darling child. It’s Christmas. It’s Valentine’s Day. It’s Halloween. It’s… just because you deserve a treat. Even as a business operation, Watson and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory do what they can to support other local businesses by sourcing local products. “I really like to stay in the community as much as possible,” Watson says. The raw chocolate is provided by the company but the apples, sugar, glucose, canned milk, cream, butter, etc. is sourced locally as much as possible. “It’s very much what you can source out locally to help the local economy,” Watson says. Watson turned to the idea of a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory franchise because she had always wanted to
move to the coast and wanted to set up her own business. She wasn’t completely new to the food industry. Besides working in long term care, she also ran a catering business on the side. She has always loved to cook and frequently made chocolates for Christmas and other occasions, giving them away as gifts. Making chocolates is also a creative endeavour as you produce not only the products you would expect like caramel apples, fudge of all kinds, chocolate bars and nut clusters but also launching your own ideas. That is one of the things Watson appreciates about Rocky Mountain, she has leeway to create her own products that reflect the local community – like chocolate salmon. The Campbell River store created a product – O’Rockies – that has been picked up and distributed companywide. And, of course, it helps to love chocolate, its smell, its taste. And there’s the association with good times, with growing up. It’s reminiscent of pulling toffee on Saturday nights and the little old lady down the road who made caramel apples for Halloween. “I just like making people feel good,” Watson says. “You give them a product they really enjoy.” Plus there’s an opportunity to educate people about good chocolate and bad chocolate. “Good chocolate is pure,” Watson says.
Terry Watson owns the Campbell River Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory franchise
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The whole gamut of chocolate products are available at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory from
Dennis Rozan dips and and dabs apples in chocolate
peanut butter cups to creams, mints to no-sugar products, plus a whole line of caramels and peanut butter cups, candy apples, candy and caramels dipped in chocolate, marshmallows dipped in chocolate (“Because we feel anything tastes better dipped in chocolate”), gellato and more. And chocolate can even provide insight into the character of a community. For example, Campbell River for some reason likes boxed chocolate.
“We probably lead the company in box chocolate sales (per capita),” Watson says. But don’t think it’s always fun and games. It is still hard work. Making and mixing chocolate can be physically demanding. There are heavy trays of caramel apples to be shifted around and packaging it requires tying thousands of bows. But it’s still, in the end, a fun place to be. Not only to buy the products but it’s
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fun to watch it being made. Molten chocolate is spun around in a mixing machine and the apples are dipped in the delicious, goopy, yummy mass. People often stand in the window and watch the chocolates being made. Tourists on their way up north are often known to drop by. Because really, who can resist chocolate? The smell, the taste...
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“Pub” might be the wrong title for the Coachman
❖ Story by Mike Davies photography by Michelle Hueller
en and Sylvia Phillips opened the Royal Coachman Pub in 1978 in what is now Video Works on Dogwood Street. They wanted an old, Tudor-style pub, with nice warm wood tones, open beams, a fireplace and a library section. So they built one. An interior, anyway. The outside of the building, however, wasn’t exactly what they wanted, so they proceeded to build a large, Tudor-style exterior across the street, and replicated the inside of their establishment within those walls, which they moved into completely in 1998. And it’s been one of Campbell River’s most popular pubs ever since. With its rich wood tones, cozy (but not cramped) atmosphere, and a back patio that feels more like a garden than dining area, and regular live music, “The Coachman,” as it is simply referred to, is always a good choice, and it’s about to be an even better one for families. General Manager Theresa Marson says they just received word that their liquor licence has been adjusted to allow for children in the pub. “When the liquor laws changed, you had the option of applying for an amendment to your licence to allow minors,” she says. “I applied, and I just found out that our amended licence is in the mail.” She says the law allows for the licenceholder to set their own rules about allowing minors, and theirs haven’t yet been established. They’re currently in discussions on how they will implement the change. She expects they will restrict the age of the minors allowed (maybe 12 and up) to encourage families to come for dinner together but not change the atmosphere of the pub to any significant degree.
Chef Dennis Vaughan prepares Coachman’s Kung Pao – Asian stir fry prepared with a medley of sauteed vegetables, tossed with a ginger-sherry oyster sauce over steamed noodles with prawns.
“The people who are against it say, ‘the reason we go to the pub is because we don’t want to be around a bunch of kids,’ so we don’t want to be changing the atmosphere for those people, and there certainly won’t be any children’s birthday parties or anything,” she laughs. “We still want it to be a pub. That’s the bottom line.”
But it’s not just a pub. When you think of a pub, you usually don’t think of full breakfast until 11 every day, catering events for 900 people, and gourmet coffee, all of which the Coachman offers. Mudslingers, the coffee shop that started out as a small shack beside Video Works across Dogwood Street from the pub, was purchased some time ago by the Coachman and moved into the main floor of the pub, into what’s known as “The Paddock,” and with its new access to a full-service kitchen, was reinvented and became, as Marson says, “a fullfledged restaurant, where we have a full breakfast menu seven days a week.” And it of course still has the coffee that made it the coffee shack of note in town before it moved inside. Breakfast runs to 11 a.m. Monday to Friday, and until 11:30 a.m. on weekends, at which time the full pub menu takes over, and Mudslingers acts as a separate room attached to the pub, for people who prefer the different atmosphere (and immediate access to a barista). Fans of great live music can also stop in on Saturday afternoons for a dose of blues and/or jazz, or watch for regular rock events in the evening. “We’ve had some fabulous blues players from both Campbell River and the Comox Valley come and play,” Marson says, from single musicians to, “big bands, complete with flutes and trumpets and there’s, like, 15 of them and they take up half the room.” “In the summertime, when it’s nice, we often have it outside, and that’s really nice.” As it would be. The Coachman’s garden is easily one of the best places in town to relax. “It’s the nicest outdoor dining in Campbell River, bar none,” Marson says. “When you’re out there, you don’t even hear the traffic. It’s like a little oasis.” Check out their Facebook page for information on upcoming events, and go to their website at theroyalcoachmaninn. com for menus, specials, catering information, and much more.
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ust l e ave i t wi t h us. . J ❖ Story and photography by Kristen Douglas
hong Tran and Thanh Luu knew they had to protect their family from Communists. So they packed up their three daughters and fled to Canada. Betty Lee was just five-years-old when her parents relocated the family from her native Vietnam to Montreal.
“When the Communists took over China, my mom’s family fled to Vietnam,” Lee says. “When the Communists moved into Vietnam my parents wanted none of that because they saw what the Communists had done (in China).” Vietnam was a French colony at the time and so her family made the decision to settle in Quebec. Their time there was short lived as Lee’s parents had a hard time adjusting to the long winters. “It was too cold for them,” Lee says. A friend of her father’s told him the warmest place in Canada was Duncan. So the family packed up and moved once again. Lee’s father picked up work at local jewelry stores. Though Tran had worked as a school teacher in Vietnam, his relatives owned a jewelry store and he learned the basics.
After some time in Duncan, Tran moved the family to Campbell River where, more than 30 years ago, he opened Thong’s Jewellery and Repair. Lee said he took the advice of a friend who told him that Campbell River was rich in resources and would be “a good place to open” his own store. So Lee opened Thong’s in the row of old buildings along St. Ann’s Road where Seymour Pacific now stands. “They had a small store and started out with a small inventory,” Lee says. “They did more repair and custom work and then grew the shop in to what it is now.” Today, Thong’s is in the Home Hardware plaza and Lee, who graduated with an economics degree from UVic, bought in to the store which she now owns with her mother, who is a silent partner. One of Lee’s sisters also works at the store.
What makes Thong’s unique from most other jewelry stores is that most of the repair work and custom designs are done on site in the back of the store. That allows customers to get their jewelry back in a timely fashion. “It only takes a few days, we can even do same day
Thong’s Jewellery maintains a tradition of in-house repair and design if it’s not too busy,” Lee says. “There were a lot of jewellery stores up here at the time (Thong’s first opened) but they all sent (jewellery) away. He (dad Tran) was the only guy here that did it in-house and that’s very important. A lot of times people don’t want to leave their valuables to get sent to another location.”
“They had a small store and started out with a small inventory. They did more repair and custom work and then grew the shop in to what it is now.”
Thong’s, though, has the technology to do most repairs right at the store. In fact, they recently purchased a new laser solder that can do delicate and intricate solders on difficult pieces. “It will do stuff you can’t add heat to,” Lee says. “Jewellery like opals and emeralds is hard to repair because you have to remove the stones or the heat
will damage it. With the laser solder you can solder very close to the stone without damaging it.” Lee says they can also update jewellery that customers have had passed down to them through an inheritance as well as other custom work. Lee uses a computer program to mock up the design and from there, the graphic is transferred to a machine that cuts out the design which is then fashioned into a wax mould. Gold is then poured into the mould to make the jewelry. Lee says while she uses the machines, her dad, who visits the store from timeto-time, still does a lot of work by hand. Lee says it takes longer, but it’s the way he was taught. It’s part of the lessons that have been passed down from his relatives and now to Lee and her sister from her father. “It’s truly just a family-run business,” Lee says. Thong’s Jewellery is open MondayFriday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located at 40-1270 Dogwood Street.
Winter 2014 | 19
her art and her
Whether it’s Jenn Flinn or Stray Cat Sue, this artist sheds artistic convention ❖ Story and photography by Mike Davies
enn Flinn is a familiar face to many in the Campbell River arts scene despite her admitted lack of self-publicity and marketing efforts, the fact that she really doesn’t show her work that much, and sells it even less frequently. She also doesn’t really have a focus, either in subject matter or medium, so…. “I’m a dabbler,” Flinn says. “I’ve gone through obsessive phases of just about every medium. One year it was silkscreening, another it was airbrushing, and one year I traded my friend a bass guitar for a tattoo machine.” The tattooing didn’t stick, but most of the others have, at least in terms of having some stylistic inﬂuence. And then there’s the painting. There’s always been the painting. “I paint everything,” Flinn says. “Ukuleles, guitars, mannequins, helmets, shoes, jackets….” and the list goes on. “Right now I’ve got a thing for clowns,” she says, which is even stranger than it sounds, considering she’s got Coulrophobia (yes, that’s a fear of clowns, and it’s more common than you’d think). “I’ve recently been painting really creepy, sick looking clowns that you almost feel some sympathy for. They give you serious ‘no no’ feelings.” She doesn’t show her work often, but Flinn was recently invited to display some of her work at the Vancouver “Pancakes and Booze” show this November, which she’s really happy about. Flinn says there was a call for artists to submit work on Juxtapoz Magazine’s website, “so I sent in some pics of a few of my things, not expecting anything to come of it, but I heard back from the organizer right away,” and she’s excited to show off her work outside the local scene. She previously showed some work at the Art Walk at Spirit Square “a couple of years ago,” but doesn’t frequently get the opportunity to do so. Not being able to show your work also makes it hard to sell, obviously. She thinks the reason she (and many other local artists) haven’t really been able to make a go of it financially-speaking in any real way is because Campbell River lacks creative spaces for artists to congregate. Winter 2014 | 21
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“At first I was so nervous. I was so concerned with getting the routines right and not looking stupid, until I finally realized that looking like an awkward twit was actually my appeal.”
In an attempt to rectify this, Flinn has created “Tooned Up,” which are nights for artists to come to her “studio,” have a few drinks, play music on the multitude of instruments she has laying around, and create art. “I actually got the idea from a fella who interviewed me for a graphic design position here in town (which I didn’t get, obviously, since I’m not a graphic designer),” she says. Apparently, after the usual interview questions, her interviewer was talking about a friend of his from art school who threw painting parties his friend used to hold in his unfinished basement, where they would just “get tuned up and throw paint everywhere.” “It sounded like a brilliant idea,” Flinn says, “so I cleaned out my shop, moved all my art stuff in and proceeded to get pie-eyed by myself and painted for six hours.” And, not that it wasn’t fun, but now she’s looking for friends to join her. You can email her directly at email@example.com if you’d like to be part of it. And then there’s the burlesque. “There was a shout out for talent on Facebook about eight years ago,” Flinn remembers, “and I knew I didn’t have any talent, but wanted to challenge myself, so I showed up and learned one dance, and didn’t f*** it up too badly and was accepted (into the troupe).” She then decided she needed something to set herself apart, so she “went home and researched obscure talents and decided I needed to buy an orange Flying V Ukulele off eBay.”
She would become Stray Cat Sue, the ukulelewielding, skivvies-donning stage performer of Campbell River’s own Sweet Tease Burlesque (hence the email address earlier). “At first I was so nervous. I was so concerned with getting the routines right and not looking stupid, until I finally realized that looking like an awkward twit was actually my appeal,” she laughs. Does she still get nervous after eight years of shows? How long can one keep pulling off the “awkward twit” role? “Well, I crack a lot of jokes and make fun of myself,” she says, adding that it’s not difficult to keep up the nervous persona, because every show is still a new adventure, and it’s a bit scary every time. “Right before the show starts, I still get the nervous pees,” she laughs. “I feel like I have to pee every minute, which is a lot of fun with fishnets and garters and corsets on,” she says sarcastically. “But once I’m on stage the adrenaline rush takes over and I could go all night.” For more information about Sweet Tease Bulesque, including videos of performances and upcoming event dates, find them on Facebook. Flinn also has her own Facebook page as Stray Cat Sue, where she is also featuring her newest artistic dabbling: poster design. If you’d like an original Flinn creation for your very own to wear around town, you can get one of those, too. She’s currently doing a cosmetology apprenticeship at Industry Hair and Body Care on Shoppers Row in Campbell River.
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The HorseWhisperer.... ❖ Story and photography by Alistair Taylor
antering around the barn, Zena, a beautiful, black PercheronFresian cross horse responds to a dip of the head, a gesture towards the ground, a subtle movement.
The dips, gestures and movements belong to Zena’s owner Corinne Matheson and the movements at times look choreographed. In fact, the horse and owner respond so quickly and subtly to each other, they almost look like they’re dancing together. It’s a reﬂection of the horse and owner’s relationship and it’s a reﬂection of the training techniques Matheson uses. Matheson is a horse whisperer. That term conjures up a number of images. You think of the literal image of the human talking breathily into the horse’s ear. You might imagine
some kind of ESP, a non-verbal communication. Or you might just think it’s all a bunch of horse dropping.
that involves yanking and pulling the animal around by the most sensitive part of its body.
None of that is true though. There’s no mind-melding, there’s no silent, shared language. That’s because horse whispering is actually a real technique that when you see it at work and hear it explained, makes a lot of sense.
Horse whispering, or as it is also less-dramatically known, natural horsemanship, uses leadership and will rather than fear and mechanics.
“For the most part, it is going to be me just using body language,” Matheson says. It also involves a different relationship between the human and horse. The traditional image of training horses is that of “breaking” it. You get on its back and it bucks all over the place until it’s exhausted. Then it’s so tired it won’t resist. Its spirit is broken. Then the halter is put into play and
When the halter is removed, the relationship between horse and trainer is all that connects the two. “Then it becomes the strength of the bond,” Matheson says. The horse ends up with a lot of say in the relationship and it becomes an exercise in encouraging the horse to participate out of free will rather than being forced to bend to the trainer’s will. “When the halter’s off, she has to want to do it,” Matheson says. The horse then essentially will decide whether it will do something or not. Whips are not used in natural horsemanship either. Although Matheson has a pole in her hand with a rope attached to the end, the horse is not whipped with it. It’s more for gesturing and indicating as well as guiding with gentle contact. In fact, the “whip” she uses is actually used more like a horse’s tail. Horses will often ﬂick their tails at each other when in close contact, much like a gesture.
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And it is gesture and body language that is the main method of communication. “You’re not going to hear me say much,” Matheson says as she continues putting Zena through her paces. The whole basis of the relationship is built on trust as the horse does not learn to fear the trainer. There will be no pain, no negative reinforcement; no hitting, no spurs, no pouncing on the back of an animal that
instinctively interprets something on its back as a predator’s attack. It also implies that the horse has an independent mind and the trainer has to capture her interest. “I always have her mind engaged,” Matheson says. “I’m teaching the horse to think.” There’s also a great deal of effort put into understanding your horse’s particular personality and using that knowledge in the training. Like humans,
horses are left-brained or right-brained or introverts and extroverts and mixtures of all four. “One thing this method teaches is you have to change your leadership style depending on the nature of the horse,” Matheson says. You can’t argue with the effectiveness of the techniques. Matheson can get her horse to back up by raising a finger. Pressure and touch play a large part in the training as well.
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It’s a methodology that is not without controversy, Matheson says, but she became convinced of its effectiveness a few years ago and set about training herself in the techniques through readings and instructional DVDs. Matheson has ridden horses since she was 10 and she learned the traditional techniques. Now she wants to pass on the techniques to the community. She held an open house at her new arena on
Gordon Road earlier this month. She built the steel-framed, PVC-covered arena with a mind to training horses and riders using natural horsemanship. She teaches dressage and knows natural horsemanship can develop champion competitors. She’s convinced of the effectiveness of the techniques. “It’s amazing,” Matheson says. “You can take a horse that is just crazy (and train it).”
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ocking the liquor cabinet ❖ Story and photography by Mike Davies
for the holidays
bout twice a year, it’s a good idea to take stock of the spirits, liqueurs and aperitifs you have on hand, as different seasons promote different styles of libation. For example, as summer approaches, make sure you have a selection of light, refreshing drinks that will cool people off, while through the winter (and especially during December when people are gathering for merriment) you need to reassess, and make sure you have the ingredients for heartier indulgences to warm people up.
According to Anthony Walsh of the newly opened Metro Liquor store at the corner of Hilchey and Dogwood in Willow Point, in the heat of summer your drink bases will be spirits like vodka, gin, white rum and tequila, while winter bases are more flavourful and dense. When the leaves start falling, the white rum should be swapped out for a spiced variety, and while the vodka and gin can stay for those who still want a light flavour, most will likely push those aside in favour of whisky, brandy, or bourbon bases. “You’re going to be wanting richer tones,”
Walsh says. “It’s great to get those nutty flavours and caramels incorporated, and swap those in for things like vodka, which is a very neutral spirit.”
can create the quality of a 12 or 15-year-old scotch in three to five years because of the climate,” he says, “and they’re producing an exceptional product.”
Your mixes will also need to change. Soda and tonic waters, ginger ales and juices will become colas, coffees, teas, and, well, no mix at all.
3. Liqueurs: Start with some fruity ones, likeTriple Sec, a cherry brandy and maybe something in a blackberry or currant variety. Then you add a few nutty and spiced ones like Drambue and amaretto.Then you flesh out the cabinet with the creamy and “desert-y” ones (Irish Cream and chocolate liqueurs, for example).
So here’s your list of bases to have in stock: 1. Darker, more flavourful rum of some kind – preferably multiple depths and ranges. According to Walsh, you may even want to drift away from the old standby of Captain Morgan’s Spiced and go with something like a Havana Club or Brugal, just to add an interesting and unexpected flavour to the palate.These options are similarly priced and will add a new dimension to your cocktails. 2. Whiskies. Lots of whiskies. A couple of varieties of Canadian ones, a couple of Scotches (a Highlands and an Islay variety, maybe) and at least one bourbon. “I’m big on the Elijah Crag right now,” Walsh admits, adding that there are also excellent whiskies being produced in places like Thailand and India these days that make excellent additions to the cabinet. “They
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Aside from the obvious ones (Spiced Rum and Coke, Scotch on the Rocks, Irish Coffee, etc.) there are a few simple recipes you should know, so you can offer something to guests (or enjoy for yourself) that they (or you) don’t always think about having. Get more complex and fancy if you want, but for now we’ll focus on the “three minutes or less to prepare” variety. 1. The Manhattan Two ounces of rye whisky (try other varieties if you want, but rye is traditional), a half ounce of sweet vermouth and a couple of dashes of angostura bitters are stirred (preferably) or shaken with ice, strained
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A warming bevvie rich with herbs and a touch of sweetness, this one will get you glowing.
into a glass and a maraschino cherry is dropped in. That’s it. For a dry Manhattan, you substitute dry vermouth. Pretty easy, right? And classy. Super classy.
4. Whatever you normally drink…but change it up a bit
2. Hot Toddy
Whether you’re just a straightforward gin and tonic drinker, or something a little more complex, consider taking that traditional drink and playing with it for a seasonal flavour.
Coat the bottom of a mug (preferably a glass Irish Coffee-type one) with honey, add an ounce and a half of your favourite flavourful spirit (I use brandy, but play around with it) and the juice from about a quarter of a lemon. Make a pot of your favourite tea (try different types, this is a great drink to experiment with) and pour it into that pre-prepared cup.
“There are so many cool and exciting twists you can do with traditional drinks,” Walsh says. “Even your Caesar drinkers could think about subbing in a bourbon or other richer flavour. Irish whisky, for example, can be subbed into just about everything, and is super dynamic.”
Stir. Drink. Smile. 3. Rusty Nail Pick your scotch. Pour it over ice. Add Drambuie.That is all.
If you have any questions about how to flesh out your liquor cabinet for the coming winter season, or would like suggestions on some seasonal beers and wines to have in stock, pop in to Metro Liquor on Hilchey and ask for Anthony. He’ll be happy to point you in the right direction to help your season glow a little brighter.
Another great cocktail that’s simple and fun to experiment with.You can use blended scotches, single malts, ones from different regions or bottled at different ages (maybe try one of those Indian orThai whiskies that Walsh was pointing out earlier), and you can use a little or a lot of Drambuie to customize this bad boy however you like it.
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More than just
brooms and beers ❖ Story and photography by Mike Davies
n January of 1964, the Campbell River and District Winter Club opened its doors to the public.
After selling 300 memberships for $100 each for seed money, the club was built for approximately $75,000, and it’s still one of the few “member owned and operated” facilities of its kind in the province. “The municipality isn’t set up to do this as part of the sports regimen in town, I guess,” says Larry Taylor, President of the club. “Curling started before any of the ice rinks or anything like that, and curling has always been a very social sport. It started as a gathering place more than a curling rink.” But being owned and run by its members brings a few benefits along with it.
“What it does,” says club manager Susan Johnson, “is it enables us to keep costs down. We don’t answer to the municipality, we answer to ourselves. We can keep things affordable. Not only the curling, but for renting our facility, the things we sell, the bar prices. Nobody dictates those prices to us.” “Instead of it being a city recreational facility, although it’s still public, it really is a family-like community in this building. It keeps this club going,” Johnson says. But the curling demographic is aging. Like any sport, curling is something you can’t do forever (despite the fact that the club has one member who is 90 years old), and volunteerism isn’t as present in the younger generation, according to Taylor, so it’s a problem finding people to backfill the service gaps.
But they’ve gotten good at adjusting to things. like the kinds of people taking up the sport, for example. “For many years it was very much like a men’s club,” says Johnson. “We had so many nights of men’s competitive curling, but now we’re seeing more couples wanting to curl and more social curlers. We have to keep adapting and changing with what people want. Now we can’t fill men’s league three nights a week, but we can do mixed curling or social curling or novice curling more often.” “Basically,” says Taylor, “We have to see where the demand is before we can know how to fill it. We have to be flexible.” Thankfully, and possibly due to their flexibility, membership is up at the club.
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“We have 21 draws a week,” says Johnson, “and for a small club in a small community, with only four sheets of ice, that’s a very active club. There are clubs much larger than us that have, on average, 14 to 17 draws per week, so for us to have 21, we’re very fortunate.”
The Campbell River Curling Club makes the sport accessible, affordable and fun
They also have a junior program for kids as young as seven, a full rental facility where they can host events of all kinds for up to 250 people (though Johnson admits that would be a bit of a tight fit), and a fullservice pro shop to cater to curlers’ needs, as there’s no other curling shop in the area. Curling in Campbell River costs about $7/hour. “You pay for a whole season,” Johnson said, “but when you break it down, and it depends on what league you’re in, and how many games are in that season, and how many ends are in each game, but it comes out to about $7/hour.” “When you think about it, it’s one of the cheapest sports,” Taylor said. “Once you buy your equipment, you know, other than if your feet size changes, you’ve got it.” “Our junior program, for one day a week, it’s $75,” Johnson says. “It’s pretty tough to beat that.” Considering the season runs from Oct. 1 to “near the end of March,” according to Johnson, you get a lot of curling for your investment, as well. If you’re not interested in joining a league, but would like to try the sport, maybe get some people together for a “Funspiel,” where your office or other group could book any combination of dinner, curling,
dancing, bar service, darts and billiards. They also run free clinics once or twice a year, where the public is invited to come and try the sport. Johnson and Taylor would also like to remind the public that the lounge facility upstairs is open to the public in the evenings from Monday to Friday, so if you’re looking for a place to have a few drinks, play some pool, and throw some darts (new dart boards just put in this year, and the pool table has just been resurfaced), keep the Curling Club in mind.
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