PEOPLE AR TS HOMES FOOD CULTURE RECREATION HISTORY WINTER 2015
Life in the West Kootenay/Boundary Region
SCULPTING A LIFE
Aboriginal artist David Seven Deers
with credit unions
making a global difference
Freeride skier living his dream
contents Living his dream by Tyler Harper page 4
The Ravenâ€™s message by Joan Thompson page 7
Building community through financial cooperatives by Chelsea Novak page 12
Winter on the water by Jim Bailey page 17
Champions of justice by Betsy Kline page 20
PUBLISHER/EDITOR Chuck Bennett firstname.lastname@example.org SPECIAL PROJECTS MANAGER Karen Bennett email@example.com PRODUCTION Sandy Leonard Kately Hurley, Jaime Tarasoff firstname.lastname@example.org
Kootenay Co-op 295 Baker St, Nelson t: 250 354 4077
Page 2 ROUTE 3 Winter 2015
ROUTE 3 is published by Black Press 514 Hall St, Nelson, BC V1L 1Z2 250-352-1890 Printed in Canada. Copyright 2015 by Black Press. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any article, photograph, or artwork without written permission of the publisher is strictly forbidden. The publisher can assume no responsibility for unsolicited material.
TIDBITS – a taste of what’s happening in the West Kootenay/Boundary LUCKY LARRY FISHING DERBY
ROSSLAND WINTER CARNIVAL
BLIZZARD MUSIC FEST
FAMILY DAY CELEBRATIONS
January 1, 2016 Balfour
January 28-31, 2016 Rossland
January 28-30, 2016 Rossland
February 6-8, 2016 Grand Forks
Canada’s Oldest Winter Carnival was started in 1898. Traditions continue on Friday night with the carnival parade that gives participants a chance to dress up in costume and be part of the fun. While downtown watch Pyrophoria, the fire spinners as they entertain the crowds, be sure to visit the Olaus Ice Palace created by Slocan Ice Sculptures and listen to the live music of the Good Ol' Goats. Still more to come on Saturday starting with the Fireman's Pancake breakfast in the morning and the amazing Sonny Samuelson Bobsled Race that comes screaming down Spokane Street.
BlizzardFest takes place across five venues during Rossland Winter Carnival. Venues include the Miners' Hall, The Flying Steamshovel, the Old Fire Hall, the Ice Palace Beer Garden and the Alpine Grind. www.blizzardmusicfest.com
Planning for Family Day 2016 festivities is already under way in the City of Grand Forks. A full schedule of fun will be featured, tentatively to include free events downtown on Market Avenue on Saturday, as well as bowling and a movie; and free skiing, swimming and skating on Sunday and Monday. For information phone Sarah at 250-4428266.
NEW YEAR’S DAY POLAR BEAR SWIM
January 1, 2016 Lakeside Park, Nelson
This annual event is a fundraiser for the Nelson Rhythm Ropers as brave souls make the plunge into the icy waters of Kootenay Lake each New Year’s Day. WHITEWATER 40TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
January 15, 2016 Whitewater, Nelson
Whitewater celebrates 40 years with a full day of excitement at the resort. There will be live music, a variety of events both on and off the mountain.
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5TH ANNUAL SMITH JUNIOR FREESKI OPEN AT WHITEWATER
January 29-31, 2016 Whitewater, Nelson CHRISTINA LAKE WINTERFEST
January 29-31, 2016 Christina Lake
A long-standing tradition at Christina Lake returns when the community hosts their annual winter celebration.! The theme is “Snow Fiesta!” and the event features Sno-pitch, kids games, food and fun. For information contact the Visitor Info Centre at 250-447-616 or email email@example.com.
COLDSMOKE POWDER FESTIVAL
February 19-21, 2016 Whitewater, Nelson
The Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Fest was created to provide a grass-roots gathering where mountain enthusiasts of all levels can celebrate our local culture with a breathtaking backdrop on world-renowned snow.
The newest feature on Kootenay Savings’ mobile app lets you use your smartphone to deposit cheques anywhere, anytime. Fast, secure and FREE, check it out now at kscu.com.
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Winter 2015 ROUTE 3
Living his dream Trace Cooke is about to join the world’s best freeride skiers STORY BY
Page 4 ROUTE 3 Winter 2015
All Trace Cooke wants to hear is the sound of his own breath. He doesn’t want any distractions as he thinks about what line he’s going to take or what tricks he’ll do. Even when he’s surrounded by other skiers, Cooke wants to feel alone with the mountain. “It’s the kind of feeling that I strive for and I love that feeling,” says Cooke. “Just being alone, hearing only my breath. A lot of people ski with music and I don’t really like to. I just like to hear my breath and hear my mind think and that’s what I really love about it.” Years of quiet deliberation are about to pay off for Cooke. The 20-yearold from Nelson is set to make his debut on the Freeride World Tour in January. The five-event competition will take Cooke to Andorra, France, Austria, Alaska and Switzerland. It’s a trip Cooke has dreamed of, and one that didn’t always seem possible. Cooke, who counts Whitewater Ski Resort, Village Ski Hut and Nelson Brewing Company among his local sponsors, has been on skis since he was two years old and has always been a freerider at heart. He prefers a hill without fences, gates or sculpted jumps. Freeriding is nothing new, but it was only in 2004 that skiing and snowboarding were integrated into one tour that is judged by a skier’s chosen path and tricks attempted down a mountain. That makes the sport, which isn’t included in the Olympics, officially a novice compared to FIS events like cross-country or downhill. That doesn’t bother Cooke. His options were limited growing up — he notes he had no moguls or park jumps nearby — but the mountain gave him all he needed. ➤
This is how he does it: first Cooke sizes up the mountain as he rides up the chair. He looks for different lines, makes note of any natural landmarks and considers possible jumps. Most of the competitions he’s done allow for a couple practice runs down the course. On the tour, however, he’ll only get to inspect the hill from the bottom with binoculars. He also tries not to think about injuries. Cooke says he’s been told he looks scared before he starts down the hill, but in reality he’s actually just trying to stay calm. Peter Velisek coached Cooke for five years when he was part of the junior freeride program at Whitewater. He saw right away how talented Cooke was, that he was a natural athlete, but Velisek was also impressed by his protege’s fearlessness. “When you’re in the competition situation, some people will choke up and just not ski how they normally can, not ski to their potential,” says Velisek. “Or they might drop in and have a few funny turns and then they get it and they start shredding.” “Trace is like, when you are in the start gate with him, he’s already there. He’s in the zone and he’s so focused, and it’s like he’s able to focus even more under that pressure. He really gets in the zone. He’s a really great competitor.” Focus hasn’t saved him from every injury. Cooke skied into a boulder hidden by snow during a competition and tore up several knee ligaments in January 2014. He took two weeks off, but had previously committed to a competition at Chamonix, France, and didn’t want to back out and lose sponsorship money. ➤
Steve Robert Studio.
Winter 2015 ROUTE 3
Instead, Cooke taped up his knee and entered the competition. As he prepared prior to a run, he realized his leg wasn’t going to make it to the finish line. “So I mentally switched all my other muscles into full-on hold-the-knee-together mode and rode mainly on one ski for the entire thing,” says Cooke. He figured when he was done he’d either end up with a mangled knee or a victory. He limped away with a first-place finish. It was a good moral victory, but it still ended his hopes of qualifying for the Freeride World Tour. This year, Cooke told himself he wouldn’t miss out on the tour again. He won two of the first three events, but started to slip in the standings with several poor finishes. With two events to go it became clear Cooke would need some mathematical help. He secured the required seventh-place finish in Crested Butte, Colorado, meaning he’d need a second-place result at Wrangle the Chute in Golden in April. He also needed American veteran Andrew Rumph to finish worse than 16th.
Cooke qualified third before his final run. He stood at the start gate, listening to his breath and the cheers of the crowd unseen at the bottom of the hill. First place was out of the question — he was too far back in the points to win — but second was still a possibility. “That run was the most scared I’ve ever been at the top of a competition venue,” he says. “Just because I knew if I crashed it was all over, if I won it might not be enough. It was a lot to go through my head.” Cooke landed a 360 on his first cliff and realized all he needed to do was stay on his feet after that. He’d planned another trick near the bottom, but pumped his fists in the air instead. He knew he’d made it. Cooke finished second and Rumph ended up 20th. Still, he needed to wait more than three weeks for the results to be made official. “It was really awesome, probably the best day of my life, and I still didn’t know if I’d made it,” he says. When the wait was over, the numbers were on Cooke’s side. He was finally in.
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Image courtesy Whitewater Ski Resort, credit Steve Robert
The Raven’s message — Sculpting a Life in Grand Forks with aboriginal artist, David Seven Deers STORY BY
“This stone I am working with right now is a piece of earth, 380 million years old, from Brazil. The Pre-Cambrian red granite from the Canadian Shield that I used to carve a sculpture (100 tons) that now stands in San Francisco was much older at 3.5 billion years.” Within moments of stepping into the sunlit space of sculptor David Seven Deer’s studio alongside busy Route 3 in Grand Forks, I am swept into the vastness of a master sculptor’s world, a world which links millions of years with thousands of tons of stone and centuries of cultural traditions. It is a world that Seven Deers nimbly navigates. Flipping between English, Halkomelem (his native language), and German (an adopted language), Seven Deers references Greek myths, new archeological theories, Mayan traditions and Vedic Brahman beliefs as he chisels on the ancient Brazilian slate. He is working on a series of petroglyphs which will visually represent key legends of his ancestors — the Sto:lo Coast Salish (pronounced Stah Lo). Not surprisingly, the story emerging on the stone in front of us features a raven, iconic figure for the people of the Sto:lo Nation. “The Raven and the spirit of our ancestors play a vital role in our lives as guides, teachers and messengers. We are led by the wise advice of our ancestors and for me it meant becoming a stone carver and following a path that would eventually lead me here, to Grand Forks.” Being called to a life in art is not for the faint of heart so I suspected the path to becoming an internationally recognized aboriginal artist who chooses to work from a small town in the Interior of B.C. may not have been as effortlessly inevitable as he made it sound. I urged him to tell me more. ➤ Winter 2015 ROUTE 3
Growing up in the Fraser Valley, Seven Deers credits the encouragement of his aunt Rosaleen George and the “fighting spirit” acquired on the streets of Vancouver with supplying him the strength to carry out his ancestor’s wishes — to pursue a life as an artist. The journey to his now favored medium, stone, began in 1974 with woodcarving and painting at The Vancouver School of Art (now The Emily Carr University of Art and Design). Uninspired by the school’s exclusive championing of modern trends in art, he decided to continue his studies in Europe where he could learn “the fine old ways of doing a masterpiece.” It was there that he turned to the challenge of bringing beauty out of stone beginning with an apprenticeship in East Anglia, England, and later with The Stone Guilds of London. Involvement in restoration and stonemasonry projects with these “masters of marble” initiated him into the classic tradition of historic stone carving. A subsequent fifteen years in Germany allowed Seven Deers to hone his craft as a “steinmetz” (butcher of stone) and refine his unique style as a modern aboriginal sculptor of stone. While the sculpting of Madonnas and other standard commissions for public works of art in Germany were initial mainstays of his livelihood, Seven Deers was increasingly drawn to the art and stories of his ancestry. Aboriginal themes began to distinguish his work, such as the large sculpture he titled “The Beauty and The Beast” which depicts nature (in the form of a naked woman) struggling against the developing world (in the form of a stark granite wall). Seven Deers’ work steadily began to attract the attention of European audiences and in 1995 he was asked to create totem poles for the ethnological museums in Hamburg and in Munich, and act as co-curator of an exhibition of North American indigenous cultures in Hamburg. “Europe’s long tradition of supporting art, artists and public art works was a terrific boon for me as a young artist, and I was able to develop a wonderful connection to the German people, many of whom valued indigenous culture and empathized with our history. I returned to Canada in 1997 with my German wife, Sanna, when my aunt Rosaleen suggested it was perhaps time to come home again. When a good elder gives you a tip, it’s not something you can ignore! After a couple of years of living on the Sto:lo reserve in Chilliwack where I worked on finishing some commissions for European clients, we were ready to strike out into the wilds of the B.C. interior, purchasing 160 acres in the mountains between Greenwood and Midway with the sale of one of my sculptures.” “We lived in a tent while building our house, our babies were fed off of a fire, clothes washed on a scrub board and power provided by the sun. It was paradise. And inspiration for a number of books by Sanna that chronicled living, working and bringing up a family in the Canadian wilderness. They remain very popular with German audiences. After twelve years of living off the grid, however, it was time to address the needs of our four growing children and consider the benefits of city living. That’s when we traded our mountain home for this one in the center of Grand Forks. Though Sanna continues to homeschool the children, other equally important parts of their education — like piano lessons, choir, horseback riding and association with their peers — are available to them now that we live in town.” ➤ Page 8 ROUTE 3 Winter 2015
Long an enigma to fellow residents of the Boundary, the move has opened up new landscapes for Seven Deers, the artist, as well. Recently invited by the Boundary school district to design and sculpt an installation that would facilitate community learning, the resulting “Stektahl” (Gateway Project), standing equidistant between the elementary and secondary schools in Midway, was enthusiastically embraced by the entire community when unveiled in June 2015. Set appropriately in the park that commemorates the fellowship between neighboring First Nations bands along the 49th parallel, the installation involves a large free standing archway which welcomes you into a ring of twenty individually hewn stone seats, each with its own petroglyph. Presiding over the circle is the sleek black “Heelah” (raven), lovingly carved out of a large piece of basalt crystal. Together with a flat smudge stone in the middle of the circle (an important component of all aboriginal gatherings, where smoke is used to cleanse the assembled of any negative energy), the tableau of sculptures dramatically demarcate the open outdoor classroom and traditions central to aboriginal belief.
“To us, education and art are gentle, truthful processes which are integral to life and that cannot be separated from it. The outdoor learning circle provides all students with an opportunity to appreciate this belief in action; to listen to each other (as we would to our ancestors whose stories would offer us guidance and wisdom), and to confer on issues of importance to the group assembled. And above all, it behooves those gathered to remember that when a decision has been reached, its single most important determining criteria is that it will bring forth “mahmele leeyam” (the laughter of children).” Seven Deers is clearly passionate and knowledgeable about the wisdom inherent in the stories and beliefs of his ancestors. And while for most of his life he has transmitted those stories through his carvings, he also recognizes the important service he can provide as an oral historian of his culture. He stays connected with the school district and youth through continued service as an aboriginal storyteller and cultural facilitator. As well, he has issued a number of books in the last few years — in both German and English — that memorialize some signature legends of the Salish people. If education, according to writer G.K. Chesterton, is “simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another”, then Grand Forks is blessed with a most wonderful model to consider. “Hei chicka” (thank you), David Seven Deers.
Stop in and meet our Meat Department Staff. Meats and sausages are cut and made daily. Our butchers are always available for your special orders and cuts. “Proud to support local producers”
7370 4th Street, Grand Forks 250-442-5560 Open 7 days a week
Winter 2015 ROUTE 3
Museums & Galleries To capture some of this heritage, our region invests in galleries and museums that stray far from staid: vibrant, creative and cuttingedge, our local museums live and breathe Nelson Kootenay Lake culture. Places such as Touchstones Museum, Oxygen Art Centre, Kootenay School of the Arts and the Langham in Kaslo infuse our region with an authentic vibe, complementing our many art galleries expressing that Nelson Kootenay Lake vibe perfectly.
Shopping, Dining & Artisans From artisans whose studios populate the highway along Balfour, to vibrant downtown shopping districts in Nelson and Kaslo, we’ve got a heady local economy which makes shopping fun. And when you get hungry, stop in for a bite at one of our many local cafes and restaurants. We’ve got more restaurants per captia than San Fransisco or New York, so there’s plenty to choose from.
Blue Night Nelson. Photo by Adrian Wagner
CULTURED BY NATURE By Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism
The Nelson Kootenay Lake culture is a culmination of our natural surroundings, arts, and heritage combined with the spice of the people who live here. Everywhere you go you will feel the vibe that we value and embrace.
Theatres & Films Don’t tell locals here that they can’t have something. When Nelson’s Civic Theatre threatened to close, volunteers rallied together and reopened it as a community-funded theatre. It is now thriving alongside the popular Capitol Theatre and Oxygen Art Centre. Our towns also boast venues offering live music, theatre and performances to rival much larger centres.
Natural Surroundings All this, set in no less than magical surroundings. Natural hot springs, most notably First Nations owned Ainsworth Hot Springs, Selkirk and Purcell mountain ranges, many park and recreational areas brought together by our Kootenay Lake welcome you to explore our area: cultured, by nature.
To learn more about this magical region visit:
Nelson ∙ Balfour ∙ Ainsworth Hot Springs ∙ Kaslo ∙ Meadow Creek ∙ Lardeau
Heritage With more heritage buildings per capita than anywhere in British Columbia, history defines the Nelson and Kootenay Lake region. From heritage sites like the SS Moyie in Kaslo to our Electric Tramway in Nelson, history here is alive, shared, and shaped by the people drawn to this region: we are Dreamers and Dissidents, as noted by local filmmaker Amy Bouhigan’s award-winning film that captures the spirit of our heritage. It’s all about the people, and the people are fascinating.
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Ainsworth Hot Springs
THE CAPITOL THEATRE Live touring and local music, theatre, dance and comedy Alternative Films and Documentaries • Licensed Premises Annual Subscription Series • Annual Kids Series Christmas Pantomime • Summer Youth Theatre • Rentals
Over 140 events per year
ONLINE EVENTS CALENDAR and TICKET SALES www.capitoltheatre.bc.ca • 250.352.6363 421 Victoria Street , Nelson BC
Photos - clockwise from top left: ArtsClub Theatre Photo: David Cooper / Evalyn Parry Photo: Jeremy Minnagh / Ballet BC / Fei Guo Photo: David Cooper/ Sarah Jane Hicks Photo: Chris Shepherd / Allison Girvan Photo: Karen Redfern / Axis Theatre / Mike Stack Photo: David Cooper / Atlantic Ballet of Canada Photo: Aleksandr Onyshchenko
KOOTENAY STUDIO ARTS. NELSON, BC.
Intimate class settings. Hands-on learning. Spectacular location.
CERAMICS JEWELRY SCULPTURAL METAL TEXTILES Find out about our new Open Studio Advanced Certificate. selkirk.ca/ksa
Winter 2015 ROUTE 3
through financial cooperatives STORY BY
Chelsea Novak Page 12 ROUTE 3 Winter 2015
Four credit unions operate along the West Kootenay/Boundary Route 3 corridor. In some towns, they are the only financial institutions to offer banking services. Founded locally, credit unions not only provide services to their members, who buy into the cooperative-based institutions for $25 a share, they also give back to the communities. Credit unions in the area date back to the late 1940s and have grown considerably since then. Heritage Credit Union (HCU) started out as Castlegar Savings Credit Union in early 1949, founded by 11 members, and acquired Slocan Valley Credit Union and its 550 members in the early 1970s. The credit union changed its name to Heritage after it opened its branch in Greenwood in 2005. Grand Forks Credit Union (GFCU) began with 19 members in August 1949. The goal was to offer financial support for small businesses. “Each person put a $30 bucket of money into the pot, which probably seemed like a lot of money to them at the time and effectively that money was then used to lend out to other people,” explains Becky Clements, operations manager at Grand Forks Credit Union. “It might have been to buy a truck for somebody to do some logging or maybe a vehicle to be able to provide a service delivery.” Essentially the idea was to provide support to people who couldn’t get a loan from a mainstream bank. The Nelson and District Credit Union (NDCU) was incorporated by 10 Nelson residents in November 1950, and now operates in Nelson,
Rossland and Crawford Bay. It merged with Riondel and District Credit Union, which had been operation since 1954, in the 1980s, gaining 570 members and merged with Rossland Credit Union in 1999, gaining another 3,500 members. Kootenay Savings formed in January 1969 when three credit unions in Trail, Fruitvale and Castlegar amalgamated, the first amalgamation of its kind in BC. Since then a number of smaller credit unions in the area have merged with Kootenay Savings, and the credit union has opened new locations and closed others. Kootenay Savings now has 11 branches in the region with their corporate offices being located in Trail. All four credit unions give back to the communities they operate in by supporting local organizations and events. Heritage Credit Union supports community non-profits, such as the Castlegar Rotary Club, the Slocan Valley Historical Society and Greenwood Winterfest, as well as the United Way Success by 6 initiative, which is “dedicated to ensuring that children aged zero to six have access to programs that support their healthy growth and development.” It also supports community events. “We’re involved with … basically all of the community events: Sunfest, Winterfest, the Kootenay Festival,” says Larry Bomak, operations manager at Heritage Credit Union. The credit union also supports minor hockey and soccer teams and has been a longstanding sponsor of the Castlegar Ladies Golf Tournament. ➤ Winter 2015 ROUTE 3
HELPING US, HELP YOU
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For full details visit your branch. or visit us online at
Castlegar Branch West Boundary Branch Slocan Valley Branch C REDIT U NION UnitCastlegar #100-630-17th Street 256 S. Copper, P.O. Box 76 3014 Hwy 6, P.O. Box 39 Slocan valley #100 - 630 17th4G7 Street, Greenwood, 3014 BC Hwy 6, P.O. 39, Park, BC V0G 2E0 BC - V1N V0H 1J0 Box Slocan WWW.HERITAGECU.CA Castlegar, Castlegar, B.C. V1N 4G7 Slocan Park, B.C. V0G 2E0 (250)365-7232 Phone: Tel: (250)445-9900 Phone: (250) 226-7212 TRADITIONAL SERVICE Phone: phone: 250-365-7232 250-226-7212 Fax: (250)365-2913 Fax: (250)445-9902 Fax: (250)226-7351 IN PERSON & ONLINE Fax: 250-365-2913 Fax: 250-226-7351
Reaching your goals Nothing pleases us more than providing you with the right financial advice. Count on us to help with keeping your plans on track. Our business is all about your financial goals and helping you find the best way to reach them. 447 Market Avenue Grand Forks, BC 250-442-5511 www.gfdscu.com
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Grand Forks Credit Union supports the community by sponsoring events such as the Grand Forks International Ball Tournament, through scholarship funding, and through an endowment fund established with the Phoenix Foundation. “The Phoenix Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation, which is built by donations from people within the community—businesses, individuals and so forth—for the whole greater good of the community of the Boundary region at large,” explains Clements. “We’ve placed about $500,000 so far to the foundation.” Money from the foundation then feeds back into the community to support local organizations. The NDCU runs a community investment program to contribute financial or in-kind donations “in the areas of education, community, economic development, social responsibility, wellness, recreation and arts, culture and heritage.” “Over the past decade or so, that program has given back over $3 million to our communities,” says Doug Stoddart, NDCU’s chief executive officer. In 2014, the NDCU contributed over $141,000 through the program, including $1,000 to Nelson Search and Rescue, $10,000 to Rossland Skatepark Society, and $2,500 to the KBRH Foundation’s critical care unit. The NDCU also gives back to the community through education funding, both by providing funding to elementary and secondary schools, and by providing scholarships to secondary and post-secondary students. ➤
Outside of funding, NDCU also helps community organizations with their community tents, which can be borrowed for use during community events. Kootenay Savings supports the communities where it operates by providing funding to students and organizations, including two regional health foundations, and by hosting annual outdoor movie nights in support of local food banks. “We have a grants program through our Kootenay Savings Community Foundation. We also award bursaries to local students through our Kootenay Savings Community Foundation,” says Aaron Burke, community liaison for Kootenay Savings. “We also have a corporate sponsorship program. We do a lot of in-kind donations for all sorts of events and happenings all across the Kootenays, and we have a lot of volunteerism from our employees.” Kootenay Savings also runs an employee Care Wear program. “Employees pay into a fund to be able to dress casually on Fridays and then every year, on Credit Union Day all the money is given out to a charity of the branch or department’s choice,” explains Burke. Credit unions also play an important role in supporting small businesses. “Across Canada, credit unions are number two in supporting small businesses, slightly behind the Royal Bank,” says Stoddart, who represents the Kootenays on the Provincial Credit Union board of directors, is an elected member of the Canadian Credit Union Association and Canada’s elected representative for the World Council of Credit Unions.
He suspects that in the Kootenays, credit unions are even more important in supporting small business. Credit unions support small businesses by offering them financial services that support their needs. “It goes back to, in many cases, how and why we were created,” says Clements. “There’s a need for some small borrowing to do some startup business and/or to add some additional support to an existing business.” Kootenay Savings has gone one step further by creating a number of small business advisor positions, which Burke explains enables them to “connect with the small business community, be able to offer them not only the banking services, but hopefully some really good professional advice as well.” When it comes to profits, credit unions both invest them back into the community and pay out to their members. “Some credit unions pay patronage dividends and dividends on equity shares back to their members,” says Stoddart. “At Nelson and District, we prefer to reinvest our profits in the community through our community investment program.” Kootenay Savings and Heritage Credit Union both offer annual profit sharing to their members. “We distribute profits every year as approved by our board of directors, and how that is, is you’re awarded a share of the profits based on the amount of business you do with Kootenay Savings,” says Burke. Winter 2015 ROUTE 3
“We do pay patronage and dividends back to the members,” says Bomak from HCU. “That’s declared once a year by the board of directors, after our year end financials are complete and audited.” Clements from GFCU says they also pay out dividends and patronage to members, but says it’s also important for them to keep some money in reserves to adapt to changing technologies and stay competitive as financial institutions. “It’s a very cost driven business to be in,” she says. “We don’t have the deep, deep pockets of corporate banking Canada to be able to invest copious millions and millions of dollars into some technologies where they may be a leader in that.” The reason credit unions make a priority of giving back to the community is because they are owned by members of the community. Members not only hold shares but can also vote at annual general meetings. “We’re member owned, so by promoting and helping the community, which our members live in, it just gives back to the community and gets that cycle going,” says Bomak from HCU. “Help the community, help the businesses, help the members and it’s just a full circle.”
“Because we’re a financial cooperative or member owned, it’s super important for us to provide that community support. I mean our members are our owners,” says Burke from Kootenay Savings. “It’s people living locally, so ideally if we have an attractive place to live and work, then we have a really strong membership. We’re more successful if our communities are more successful.” “The credit union needs the community to thrive and the community needs the credit union to thrive, and together that can be a fantastic success,” says Clements from GFCU. “That’s what’s kept us here for [nearly] 67 years.” “Every member is an owner of the credit union,” says Stoddart from NDCU. “We’re not dictated like the banks with stock markets and shares and performance. We follow the seven principles of cooperation, and one of the key ones is commitment to community and giving back to community.” Stoddart says it’s also important for credit unions to give back because it differentiates them from the banks. “All the banks are in our market place, and none of them give back anywhere near the support to the communities that credit unions do,” he says.
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Page 16 ROUTE 3 Winter 2015
Explore, Dine and Golf Granite Shop Historic Baker Pointe, minutes Street. A true from downtown adventure in itself Explore, Nelson Dine and
Shop Historic Baker Street. A true adventure in itself
Relax and Enjoy Ainsworth Hot Springs Just a short driveVisit North of Nelson and Enjoy
Relax Ainsworth Hot Springs Just a short drive North of Nelson
Visit Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art & History
Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art & History
Visitor Centre 225 Hall St. Nelson BC V1L 5X4 Ph: (250) 352-3433 Toll Free: 1-877-663-5706 Email: info@discoverNelson.com Web: www.discoverNelson.com Visitor Centre
Visitor Centre 91 Baker Street V1L 4G8 Ph: (250) 352-3433 Toll Free: 1-877-663-5706 225 Hall St. Nelson BC V1L 5X4 Email: info@discoverNelson.com Ph: (250) 352-3433 Toll Free: 1-877-663-5706 Web: www.discoverNelson.com Email: info@discoverNelson.com Photos by David Gluns Web: www.discoverNelson.com
Photos by David Gluns
Photos by David Gluns
Winter on the water STORY BY
Jim Bailey The Kootenay-Boundary is renowned as a winter playground for outdoor enthusiasts who take to their snowmobiles, snowshoes or skis to recreate. But there are few places in North America where you can hit the slopes one day, and fish for the world’s largest rainbow trout the next. Our region offers a variety of winter fishing opportunities and destinations, including trolling large lakes, fly fishing or spin casting on the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers, or angling on a myriad of frozen lakes for some hard-water action. And there aren’t many residents who know the area and its waters better than Kerry Reed of Reel Adventures Sport Fishing Charters. “Winter in the West Kootenay offers many opportunities for anglers,” says Reed. “We’re lucky enough to have large lakes that don’t freeze over, so one opportunity is to fish either Kootenay Lake, Arrow Lake or Slocan Lake from shore or on a boat.” Reed grew up in the Kootenays with a fishing rod in his hand and an insatiable appetite for angling on Kootenay lakes and streams. Trolling these lakes in winter usually entails a slow troll depending on the lure, which include hand tied bucktail flies, hockey sticks, spoons, Bill Norman or Lyman plugs, and flasher-hoochie combos. Anglers are rewarded for the efforts by hooking into a unique strain of Gerrard rainbow trout and large bull trout that can top 20 pounds. Fishing for these potentially massive trout is an incredible experience and some of the best fishing comes during the icy grip of winter, but with Reed as captain, it doesn’t have to be a chilly experience. “My favourite type of winter fishing just might have to be the comforts of my heated boat on Kootenay Lake, trolling for giant rainbows,” says Reed. “Although that has been changing too.” ➤ Winter 2015 ROUTE 3
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While Kootenay Lake has faced its challenges of late with low kokanee returns, which affect large Gerrard trout populations, the cyclical nature of the fishery means it is expected to rebound to its former glory. In the meantime, Reed is taking advantage of a fishery in transition. “Kootenay Lake is still producing lots of fish,” Reed explains. “In fact, we are catching more fish than ever before. However, the decline in kokanee as a main food source has created a decline in large fish. So, a normal day on the lake now would consist of 10 to 15 fish between two-and-five pounds.” Winter fishing does not confine itself to the large lakes but includes the best tail-water fishery in North America, the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers. The 60-kilometre stretch of the Columbia from Castlegar to Lake Roosevelt in Washington State is the last free-flowing section remaining in the over 2,000 km length of the river and holds the best fishing for wild rainbow trout. “The Columbia River is open to fishing year round,” added Reed. “ ➤
“In fact, a lot of our biggest fish caught on the Columbia happen between December and March.” These hard-fighting Columbia River rainbows can be caught on the fly by casting sinking lines, sink tips, or nymphing with a floating line. Favourite flies include Clouser minnows, stonefly nymphs, or leech patterns. But hold on, for the lunkers that lurk in deep pools or in the seams of runs and riffles will peel you like an egg, and you’ll find yourself into your backing in mere seconds. For shore fishers, casting spoons or spinners or fishing a three-way rig baited with shrimp, maggots, or worm with a spin-n-glow, corkie, or marshmallow float and a one-ounce weight can be very productive. Ice fishing is another popular option. The basic gear required is a rod and reel, an ice auger, warm clothes, hook, sinkers, and bait. Many get by with an axe and simply chop out the thin ice formed over the old holes, but having an auger gives more options when it comes to pros-
pecting hard water. Early in the winter season, trout will feed close to shore on aquatic invertebrates and leeches still munching on decaying organic matter. So drill your holes in water between four and 10 feet deep. The types of bait vary from a single hook with worms, maggots, corn, and shrimp to artificial soft baits, jigs, and lures. There are plenty of stocked lakes around the Kootenay-Boundary that are great for ice fishing, such as: Summit Lake, Box Lake, Fish Lake, Bear Lake, Jewel Lake, Wilgress Lake, Rosebud Lake, Erie Lake, Third Champion Lake and Nancy Greene. The West Kootenay-Boundary offers a variety of epic opportunities in the height of winter to satisfy the casual caster or even the most ardent angler. “I guess I am just happy to partake in any type of fishing,” says Reed. “It’s great to have the options.” See B.C. freshwater fishing regulations for angling and water restrictions. Winter 2015 ROUTE 3
Champions of justice
Page 20 ROUTE 3 Winter 2015
Betsy Kline Something that started as just an idea in a West Kootenay Tae Kwon Do instructor’s mind, has now turned into a growing organization that is having a global impact. In 2014 Master Dean Siminoff of Kootenay Christian Martial Arts decided that he wanted to motivate his students and other martial arts schools to take the part of his school’s student oath that says, “We will be champions of freedom and justice,” and move it from words to actions. Thus, Martial Arts for Justice (MAJ) was born. The organization is designed to be an alliance of martial artists and school owners that choose to actively pursue justice, locally and globally. In many countries around the world, justice issues can be the underlying problem that keeps people in poverty or oppression, including an estimated 36 million people who live in slavery. MAJ’s signature fundraising event is called Breaking Boards Breaking Chains. Participants raise pledges that correspond to the number of boards they will break during the event. In 2014, with seven schools participating, the campaign raised $16,000, in 2015 $26,000 was raised. Those numbers are expected to multiply in 2016 as more and more schools join. “We use it to educate other martial arts schools about the problem and to ask them to join us in the campaign,” said Siminoff. ➤
Siminoff has a goal of mobilizing martial arts school on a global level to fight for victims of violence, slavery and human trafficking. “My initial goal was to get 1000 schools to participate in Breaking Boards and raise $1000 each, that would be $1 million,” said Siminoff. “I know we are so early in the process, but I am already thinking that may be too small of a goal. The potential is huge and we are getting encouraged every time we talk to a new school master that sees the vision. I can be that one voice crying in the wilderness, but if you have 500 yelling, that difference is huge. That is what we are building here with Martial Arts for Justice. That grassroots organization that can pull together and unify.” MAJ in turn, then supports International Justice Mission (IJM), a global organization with field offices around the world in areas that are high risk for justice problems. “When I first heard about IJM and the work they are doing and the problems they are fighting, then it was kind of an easy decision for me as a martial artist to get involved,” said Siminoff. “Really, it is to be a champion for those who can not stick up for themselves.” IJM works toward long term sustainable gains. Their four main tenants are to: rescue victims of violence, bring criminals to justice, restore survivors to safety and strength and strengthen the legal system. IJM works with locals and within the existing legal system. “To strengthen the justice system, we train local police forces and train court judges within the legal
system to ensure they do the long term work of protecting the vulnerable,” said IJM BC director of development and mobilization Phil Reilly. “What motivates us is that we believe all humanity is created in the image of God and therefore deserving of the freedom and liberty that you and I experience here,” added Reilly. IJM field offices are staffed with trained investigators, who work with local authorities to put a case together. Once the case is made, and a rescue from slavery or human trafficking takes place, lawyers are in place to ensure the criminals are brought to justice. The next step involves working with the victims and often involves working with other international non-governmental organizations (NGO’s). IJM’s after care plan involves getting the clients into safe homes and then following through with post traumatic therapy, education and vocational training by trained psychologists and social workers. Their aim is to support the survivors until they are ready to stand on their own. Another piece of Martial Arts for Justice’s work is to help establish and support martial arts schools in at risk areas. Siminoff will be travelling to Uganda and Rwanda in the new year to start several schools. He will be working with local contacts who already have Tae Kwon Do expertise, but need help to be viable financially. These schools will then be matched with a North American sister school which will help support them, enabling the students there to attend for free, or for a very small fee. ➤ Winter 2015 ROUTE 3
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Siminoff feels this is an important part of the work as studies show that learning self defense and self awareness techniques reduce a person’s risk of becoming a victim of violence. A recent Stanford Medicine study showed a drastic reduction in the incidence of rape among adolescent Kenyan girls that participated in self defense courses. More requests for assistance have already come in from Kenya and South Africa and MAJ hopes to help with schools there in the future. Plans are also being made to start a school closer to home in northern BC supporting First Nations in Quesnel. “Martial arts training gives them that self confidence where they will be leaders in life and not victims,” said Siminoff. MAJ has now become a non-profit organization and has put together an impressive board of directors that are poised to guide the organization as it grows. On the board sits a member with a degree in justice studies and experience in global organizations, one with extensive experience with the BC Teachers Federation, members with experience as treasurers and board members of other non-profits, and with marketing and graphics. Martial arts experience runs deep on the board with three school owners and the current vice president of Tae Kwon Do BC and Tae Kwon Do Canada. “I am thrilled with the depth of experienced members that have volunteered for our first board of directors,” said Siminoff. The International Justice Mission states that their average cost to support one rescue from slavery is $4200. That means that in its first two years, Martial Arts for justice has raised enough money to pay the expenses to free ten people from their misery. As MAJ continues to grow, it will be great to see how people here in the West Kootenay have made a tangible difference in the lives of those who are suffering around the world. For more information about MAJ or to make a donation go to www. martialartsforjustice.org.
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