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Sharing the Direction of Vancouver Island Communities


Reliable transportation at affordable prices. Our drivers generally take the scenic route when transporting our clients so they can see the landmarks, whale watching sites, trails, and other activities they can participate in. During the trip, we’ll also recommend restaurants, hotels, shops, and other recreational hotspots for people to check out.

As well as tourists, we transport various groups, such as kayak parties, recreational sailors, hikers, family reunion excursions, wedding parties, school groups, and more. Call us today to schedule a precise pickup or drop-off any time of the day or night. We also handle parcel deliveries. WEDDINGS











The Gallery @ Weird Church

Joan Udell


A Second Chance with Giants

Marine Education and Research Society


Sid Williams & The Sid Williams Theatre

Courtenay Museum


Derek Georgeson & Aupe Studio

Kealy Donaldson


The Alchemy of Gathering

Jenna Walker


The Big Deal About Invasive Species

Luna Loiseau-Tremblay


Sue Muirhead's Journey with Process Art

Kristina Campbell


What Does it Mean to Have Wellness?

Dana Mahon

Sharing the Direction of Vancouver Island Communities 8 14 18




Life is filled with ups and downs, and every day we make choices about how to handle these variances. It really can make a difference to your stress and attitude on how you approach and think about the good and not so good moments. Positive mental attitude is one way to create an open door for your thoughts and feelings, and taking the higher road when times are tough and life doesn’t seem to be fair. Remember and honour all the amazing pieces of your life – past, present and yes, even the future – and hold your cup a little higher, a little fuller, through appreciating what you have. These important moments of gratitude can alter your state and give you a fresh, clear perspective of what is and are the most special memories that grace your minute, your day, your week or life! Being thankful for what has arrived to you whether it’s as simple as a beautiful sunrise or the smiling face of child. Give a little more gratitude and allow more of these special moments to arrive…

Gilakas’la, Emote, Marsii



Kealy Donaldson


Jessie Stones

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Publisher's Note
COVER Raven Spirit Stealing The Light Derek Georgeson CONTRIBUTORS
Campbell Courtenay Museum
Donaldson Luna Loiseau-Tremblay Dana Mahon Marine Education and Research Society
Stockton Joan Udell Andrea Wagemaker Jenna Walker CONNECT WITH US Facebook | LinkedIn Kealy Donaldson COMPASS MAGAZINE ISSUE 44 · APRIL + MAY 2023 MAGAZINE Entire magazine contents are copyright. All rights reserved. We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada. 3 1 2 5 N O R T H I S L A N D H I G H W A Y 2 5 0 2 8 6 0 7 5 2 | 1 8 7 7 2 8 6 0 7 5 2 W W W. C A M P B E L L R I V E R B O A T L A N D . C A We have your Bulk Ice! Starting May 1 Make Yardwork Fun Again
Issue 44 | COMPASS MAGAZINE | 5 WWW.COMPASSMAGAZINE.CA visit Start here, fly anywhere Open up the world from your back door. Comox Valley Airport offers WestJet, Air Canada and Pacific Coastal Airline departures connecting you to anywhere you want to travel.


The Gallery @ Weird Church

JOAN UDELL, Curator of The Gallery @ Weird Church

THE GALLERY @ WEIRD CHURCH in Cumberland began in fall 2021, when Gregor Schoenberg suggested hanging art on the walls in conjunction with the monthly music cafes being broadcast on Facebook. With the support of Pastor Ingrid Brown, Gregor approached Joan Udell to be the first artist. When they decided to continue, Joan began curating the monthly exhibitions. Joan had formerly directed a multidisciplinary arts festival in Hinton, Alberta so she wasn’t new to the organization required to manage arts events.

Weird Church, funded as a United Church member church, is located at 2688 Penrith Avenue and has partnered with the Cumberland Culture and Arts Society to host a variety of diverse community events: performances, conferences, slide shows, and guest speakers.

Joan has curated a total of 14 exhibitions, up to and including June of this year, which will be her final exhibit. Joan puts in two or three hours a week and has a couple

of volunteers for support. Hanging the monthly exhibitions is the biggest job, and finding artists for the space has never been a challenge.

Joan’s favourite part of the job? “It’s heartwarming to see each new show go up, it’s magic!” Biggest challenge? “Keeping clear communications with such a wide variety of personalities involved.” What does Joan have planned for herself as she steps away? “We have planned travel and I would like more time and focus for my own art.”

The Gallery @ Weird Church is seeking a new volunteer curator to continue this successful initiative (this position could be shared): someone passionate about art and community, a strong communicator with some technological skills, organized, flexible and with close access to the community of Cumberland. If that describes you, or someone you know, reach out to: Joan Udell at udell. or Pastor Ingrid Brown at

Joan Udell at Weird Church with Kristina Campbell's Norse-inspired Paintings © Kristina Campbell
Issue 44 | COMPASS MAGAZINE | 7 WWW.COMPASSMAGAZINE.CA Photos © POTA 5 2 6 C C U M B E R L A N D R D , C O U R T E N A Y W E D T O S A T 1 2 - 5 P M A R T F U L T H E G A L L E R Y C O M A V I B R A N T A R T I S T R U N G A L L E R Y F E A T U R I N G V A N C O U V E R I S L A N D A R T I S T S F O R A R T I S T S , A R T L O V E R S A N D A R T C O L L E C T O R S Wilma Millette Ian Fry Jacques De Backer Artful : The Gallery 5 2 6 C C U M B E R L A N D R D , C O U R T E N A Y W E D T O S A T 1 2 - 5 P M A R T F U L T H E G A L L E R Y C O M A V I B R A N T A R T I S T R U N G A L L E R Y F E A T U R I N G V A N C O U V E R I S L A N D A R T I S T S F O R A R T I S T S , A R T L O V E R S A N D A R T C O L L E C T O R S Wilma Millette Ian Fry Jacques De Backer Artful : The Gallery Getearly bird pricing until APRIL 15th To book and learn more visit YOGA, ART, meditation, health & wellness A weekend of wellness, elevated. Awaken your senses and rise up with the mountains t his spring. Elevate will bring together like-minded locals and island visitors alike to experience three days of wellness sessions that nourish the mind, body and spirit ELEVATE mount washington wellness weekend MAY 12th-14th 2023

A Second Chance with Giants

Humpback Whales off the coast of British Columbia

HUMPBACK WHALE POPULATIONS of our coast were devastated by whaling. The last whaling station in BC only closed in 1967. As a result, Humpbacks remained an uncommon sight off our coast for many decades.

But, as many of us who are fortunate enough to live on this coast know, Humpback Whales have made a remarkable comeback from the brink of extinction. We have a second chance with these awe-inspiring giants.

It is so important that coastal British Columbians know the realities resulting from the increased overlap between Humpback Whales and human activities. Not only do whales die as a result of collision with boats

and entanglement in fishing gear, there have also been very significant human injuries and material loss; for example: a boater is paralyzed as the result of collision, kayaks are flipped, and motorized vessels disabled.

One of the most common misconceptions about Humpback Whales and other baleen whales is that they know where fishing gear and boats are and that they will avoid them. But, unlike toothed whales, such as Orca, they do not have the same bio-sonar capabilities.

Humpbacks appear particularly unaware of boats and fishing gear when feeding and these whales are very hungry when they are in the rich, cold waters of BC.

MARINE EDUCATION AND RESEARCH SOCIETY Humpback Whale Jigger (BCX1188) breaching © Marine Education and Research Society taken under Marine Mammal License MML-57

They have lost a lot of weight in the warm water breeding grounds and bulk up here before migrating again.

Adding to the acute need for awareness by mariners is that Humpbacks can also be resting or nursing just below the surface; they can unexpectedly surface after long dives; and/or they can suddenly become acrobatic.

A further dangerous misconception is that Humpbacks are travelling in a predictable direction. Reality is that many of these whales return to feed in the same, very specific areas of our coast year-after-year. Rather than being in transit, travelling in a straight line, they are often travelling in unpredictable patterns in one area having specialized in feeding in that area.

Please see below for information on reducing threats from

How to reduce risk of collision

• Be vigilant at all times. Know a whale could suddenly surface and that there are Humpbacks off our coast at all times of the because not all Humpbacks migrate at the same time. Some leave later and some return earlier.

• Give whales space. We recommend staying at least 200 metres away from these large, unpredictable whales. National law is to stay 100 metres away but this becomes 200 metres when the whales are resting or with a calf. It is difficult to determine whale behaviour or when there is a mother with a calf, which is also why it is better to always stay at least 200 metres away.

• Always be on the lookout for blows and other indi cators of whale presence such as large aggregation of birds. Humpbacks and some bird species share the same food sources, such as krill and small schooling fish. Therefore, the presence of birds can signal an increased chance of whale presence.

• Watch for vessels flying the Whale Warning Flag. This signals that whales are in the area and boaters should slow down and increase vigilance. You can help by obtaining a Flag.

• Familiarize yourself with areas known to have a greater likelihood of whale presence and be extra vigilant in these areas.

• Know the laws and best practices whereby you can reduce risk, model the best boat behaviour, and

We were never meant to figure it out alone. Counselling can help.

Swiftsure at the Captain Cook Museum © Bill Maximick Humpback Whale Yahtzee (BCZ0376) Photo by Marine Education and Research Society taken under Marine Mammal License MML-57
Humpback Whale KC (BCY0291)
Research Society
k r i s t i n a c a m p b e l l a r t @ g m a i l . c o m a r t f u l e x i s t e n c e . c a R T C # 2 7 4 8 A C C T
Photo by Marine Education and
taken under Marine Mammal
Kristina Campbell Counselling and Facilitation

help with reporting incidents and violations. Note that it is the law that collisions and entanglements must be reported. The DFO Incident Reporting Line is 1-800-465-4336 (or Coast Guard VHF 16).

What to do if you see an entangled whale

Our preliminary research conducted in collaboration with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) indicates that approximately half the Humpback Whales off the coast of BC have scars showing that they have survived at least one entanglement. This provides an indication of how serious the risk of entanglement is but does not reveal how many Humpbacks die after becoming entangled. Dead whales often sink whereby it cannot be known how they died.

• With great urgency, report the entanglement with location to the DFO Incident Reporting Line 1-800-465-4336 (or Coast Guard VHF 16).

• If possible, remain with the whale at a distance until trained help arrives or another boat takes over tracking, otherwise the chances of relocating the whale are diminished.

• Take whatever video/photos are possible to help identify the individual whale and their entanglement but maintain a distance that doesn't stress the whale (at last 100 metres).

• Do NOT attempt to remove any fishing gear or rope from the whale. Not only would this risk human safety (has led to human death) but it can make things much worse for the whale and is against the Marine Mammal Regulations.

Often, much of the fishing gear in which the whale is entangled is not visible at the surface. If well-intentioned but untrained people remove what is at the surface, it then becomes much more difficult for professionals to remove what is below the surface.

The fishing gear at the surface:

• Makes it easier to find the whale back because it can be recognized as being entangled.

• Allows for the attachment of a tracking tag to find the whale.

• Is essential during the rescue to attach floatation to maintain contact with and slow down the entangled whale and best assess how to proceed with the greatest chance of success.

The Marine Education and Research Society is a registered Canadian charity based on northeastern Vancouver Island in the Territory of the Kwakwaka’wakw (the Kwak'wala-speaking Peoples). Research and education efforts are coast-wide.

Whale © MERS
Warning Flag
Humpback Whale Jigger (BCX1188) lunge-feeding Photo by Marine Education and Research Society taken under Marine Mammal License MML-57

Saunas, either radiant heat or infrared, are effective at in creasing the ability to sweat, eliminating toxins through the skin: the second kidney. Exercise also falls into this

WIth over 40 shops, restaurants, banks and services, Discovery Harbour Shopping Centre is a convenient and relaxing place to stop, shop and dine on the North Island. Visit for a complete list of shops and services available at the Shopping Centre.

1416 Island Highway, Campbell River, BC, V9W 8C9 |

Issue 44 Issue 21 HEALTH & WELLNESS


The One and Only Sid Williams


“I WAS BORN IN BC, as I had to be near my mother.” And with that quip, begins the extraordinary life of Frederick Sidney Williams. Sid was born October 14, 1908 to Charles Frederick and Emily Mary Williams in New Westminster, BC. His family, including siblings Agnes, Kathleen and Stanley, moved to Courtenay in 1920. Young Sid made a name for himself almost immediately by appearing in school theatrical productions. In his words, “I got lazy in high school and dropped out. Jack Patterson bought the shoe store on Fifth [Searle’s Shoes] and mentioned that he needed a kid. I was recommended.”

Sid stayed in the shoe biz for 40 years. Friends recount how this devoted prankster would fit children for rubber boots, send them home with two left feet and wait for the phone calls to come in! Sid was an athlete throughout his life and continued to ski right up until his 81st year.

Theatre played a major role in Sid’s private life. He met his future wife, Lillian Anderson, in the production of “It Pays to Advertise.” The couple married in August of 1933. They had two children, Richard (Dick) and Lynda, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Sid Williams “left the building” September 26, 1991.

“Century Sam” was a character created for the BC colonial centennial celebrations of 1958. It was the Comox Valley’s own Sid Williams who was chosen to portray the “pixie prospector” all around the province. Legend has it that Century Sam was discovered panning for gold on the Puntledge River in late 1957 by two young girls. Sam was a miner left over from the 1858 Fraser River gold rush who awoke from his near 100-year sleep with the stir of the approaching centennial celebrations. Century Sam showed up everywhere across BC—in parades, on films, wherever people gathered to commemorate the centennial.

Sid Williams as Century Sam © Courtenay Museum

There were many sides to Sid Williams’ performances. They ran the gamut from song and comedy to serious drama. He played to provincial and national audiences but in the Comox Valley, Sid was a lovable and essential fixture in the year round celebrations of the community. It just wouldn’t have been an event without the appearance of Sid Williams in some kooky get-up or portraying a well-loved character. Sid’s daughter Lynda recalled that during her childhood the most important projects were costumes for Cumberland’s May Day and Courtenay’s July 1 parades.

No doubt, giving to his community was its own reward for Sid Williams. But residents of the Comox Valley were compelled to show their appreciation for all that Sid did to brighten their lives. In 1950 the Valley held a “Sid Williams Nite” at the Native Sons Hall. More than 1000 people honored Sid and contributed money to send him and his family on a trip to Banff. The tribute song to Sid and Lillian was sung by the young people of the Fanny Dunkers to the tune of “How do You Do Mr. Jones”

Sid was also the recipient of the Good Neighbour of the Year award for 1958. An anonymous letter to the district judges stated, “… Sid has always been one of the most active community workers this district has had the privilege of knowing… Sid is also one of those rare individuals who radiates goodwill wherever he goes and in whatever he does…” Made a Freeman of the City of Courtenay in 1968, Sid was presented with a scroll by Lieutenant Governor G.R. Pearkes. “Your contribution to all facets of community endeavor, including recreation, entertainment and municipal service, stands as a monument to your ability and dedication,” reads the award. The next decade saw Sid named Citizen of the Year for 1976. Sid received national attention when he was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 1984. This award recognizes a lifetime of distinguished service in or to a particular community, group or field of activity.

With the amount of time Sid spent on entertaining his local and national audiences, it is hard to imagine that he spent an equal amount of time on community leadership and recreation. At the tender age of 34, Sid ran for Alderman of the City of Courtenay. His philosophy on this civic contribution was straightforward, “I believe the younger people should take their part in public life and I am willing to do my bit.” He was an elected Alderman for the City of Courtenay from 1942-64. He eventually became a Freeman of the City in 1976. In November 1946, Sid became President of the Courtenay Recreation

Association and stayed on for 17 years. For 25 years, he called bingo on Saturday nights at the CRA to help raise funds for recreation programs and facilities. He was also an active member of the Comox District Mountaineering Club and helped to build the club cabin on Forbidden Plateau. Sid, along with other recreation and theatre leaders, Herb Bradley, G.W. (Bill) Stubbs and Bob Gibson guided the amateur theatre community in an annual fundraiser entitled “Skattered Skits”.

The “Bickle” theatre, as it became known, was a popular cinema and theatre venue. Inside there were “all modern conveniences, including a large vestibule and separate lounges for ladies and gentlemen.” It thrived until the 1950s when attendance dropped, perhaps as a result of the introduction of television and E.W. Bickle’s creation in 1940 of a larger and more modern theatre, the “E.W”, two blocks to the west. In the meantime, amateur theatre was growing in the Comox Valley. Sid Williams, along with many others, was active in drama and musical clubs. Groups like the Courtenay Little Theatre and the Co-Val Choristers had an increasing need for more space.

During the 1960s, the “Bickle” became an auction house. By the late ‘60s, amateur theatre groups began to view the space as a viable option for a civic theatre. The idea of revitalizing the building became a community labour of love. E.W. Bickle sold the theatre to the City of Courtenay and City Council named a Theatre Completion Committee to find funds to refurbish the building. Three of the committee members—Sid Williams, Nellie Cartwright and Isabelle Stubbs—were given the assignment to “sell” the theatre seats for $100 donations, which entitled each donor to have a name plaque placed on the seat and an invitation to attend, free of charge, the first event in the renewed theatre. The response to this innovative fundraising idea was overwhelming. Very quickly all 450 seats were spoken for and within months the theatre was restored.

In 1971, when the Courtenay Civic Theatre was opened in conjunction with BC’s centennial, the project was expanded with an adjacent civic square and fountain. In 1984, the building was renamed the Sid Williams Theatre in tribute to his contributions. Sid had worked collaboratively as actor, director, make-up man, scene painter, prop master, promoter, ticket seller and costume designer in the world he loved.

For the full historic overview on Sid Williams and more wonderful local history, head to and experience their on-line exhibits in the comfort of your own device!


D erek G eorgeson and Aupe Studio


DEREK GEORGESON STARTED to carve in 2006 and was mentored by Darren and Bill Blaney of Homalco First Nation in Campbell River. His relations are to Homalco (paternal), Morricetown (maternal) near Smithers in Northern BC, Sechelt and Squamish. Darren originally designed for Derek in the early days.

“It’s all in the ovoids," Derek says. "It took me about ten years to figure out the designs and the story behind them.” His grandfather was a canoe carver, Albert Georgeson, and his father carved too; he has found inspiration from their work.

Recently Georgeson opened ‘Aupe Studio’ in Sechelt, by Porpoise Bay Provincial Park. Georgeson and his wife, Shy Watters, who is a Weaver, feature their art and cultural work in their new studio gallery. They reside on the homelands of shíshálh Nation and Georgeson finds himself splitting time between Sechelt and Northern Vancouver Island.

During Covid it was difficult to sell art, so they started to think that a studio space would fit their needs. They created a 16x16’ studio-styled gallery where clients could book an appointment and shop in isolatation in the studio. They worked hard together to put together an inviting space and get it stocked with many of their creations – from wood carving, cedar weaving, beading and more, they keep expanding their knowledge and grow more creativity from each experience with new mediums.

Georgeson’s first project was a totem. “I tend to go big,” he laughs, “but with age and health, I’m starting to scale down a bit. I can’t throw logs around like I used to.” Most of his original pieces are quite large, but now you can see he is scaling down and creating smaller pieces; they are also more affordable to collect.

That first totem is located on the Homalco Reservation in Campbell River. Other totems he has worked on are located in Powell River and Halfmoon Bay, between Gibsons and Sechelt, on the Sunshine Coast. Currently, Georgeson is working on a Bear/Salmon pole approximately 10’ in height. This one will be for sale once it’s complete.

Furniture is an enjoyable part of what he continues to create as he is inspired; he will start a piece because there is a piece of wood and he sees a form within it; he also works with clients on custom orders. “I try not to get too attached to my work as they go off with clients and find new homes," he says. "It’s such a joy to see their smiling face and their connection to the piece.”

He is working on a coffee table with a crouching wolf in an ovoid shape, and recently completed a custom 4’x8’ dining room table. The table featured a wolf and medicine wheel in the centre, with a raven opening a bentwood box letting the light out into a sun. The table took three years to complete – with client discussions, designing and then the carving itself. He expects to complete the coffee table in time for the summer season.

Georgeson’s future hopes are to expand his artistic skills, learning digital designing and carving jewellery. Right now, he is practicing on copper and working towards honing in this skill more and developing a unique style. “I’m excited to learn how to work with new mediums to keep with my own creative process; it’s important to explore new methods,” he says.

Aupe Studio is open with drop in hours 9-5 every day. Georgeson and Watters are creating on-site, and encourages you to drop by and enjoy their art work. On the approach to the studio, you will see the large carvings that Georgeson has created as an attraction for the studio. They are a part of the Coastal Cultural Alliance (CCA) and will be participating in the Purple Banner Tour and Art Walk this year.

Connect with Derek Georgeson on Facebook @FirstNationsCarvingsbyDerekGeorgeson

It took me about ten years to figure out the designs and the story behind them.



Flex that Gratitude Muscle

Anchoring love into our lives is a muscle we need to exercise regularly to keep it strong. Gratitude practices benefit our self-esteem, sleep quality, positive outlook, and resilience. When we practice gratitude, we can stay stable in our heart space even when challenges arise. If we get out of sync with someone or something, we can return to our center much faster, focusing on and applying the lessons we have learned from challenges instead of reacting and attracting them back into our lives in the future. Showing up in love is synonymous with showing up in gratitude, for this feedback loop brings more and more love into our lives.

Ways to Practice Gratitude

Daily gratitude practice

Taking a few minutes in the morning or evening to tune in to ourselves, to be grateful for our body, our lives, our loved ones, and beyond starts building the strength of love within us.

Keep a gratitude Journal

Write it down: I am thankful for (fill in the blank) this powerful writing exercise allows you to share your thoughts and feeling around a memory or event that happened today. You can think of something! It can be

Raise your Vibration with The Power of Gratitude ©
Andrea Wagemaker • Shift Happens & Lucia Light in Courtenay • • 250-338-3401 ANDREA WAGEMAKER
Daisy Daisy

a simple as “I am thankful for that great cup of coffee this morning.” We all have something to be thankful, get into the practice of simple journaling.

Sharing gratitude with our loved ones

Noticing and honouring the little things that the loved ones in our lives do for us helps us stay grounded in love. Did you know it takes three positive experiences to rebalance one negative experience? When we want to show up in love, we can practice consciously creating a positive connection with those we love by expressing our gratitude more than our critiques.

Forgiving ourselves and others

Intimately connected to gratitude is the practice of forgiveness. No matter how much we wish the past were different, holding on to grudges (against ourselves or others) only makes it more challenging to move forward. As you reflect on the topic of love this year, I invite you to take a moment to celebrate yourself! Showing up in love is a practice, and you have already come far!


June 3 + 4, 2023

Quadra Island artists are excited to open up their doors, welcome eager guests and share their new work on June 3rd and 4th, 2023. Twenty studios and thirty artists will spruce up their studios and display a wide range of art and craft—everything from sculpture, painting, woodwork, glass, pottery, printmaking, jewelry and handcrafted knives to moose antler carving, literary work and even a stop at Quadra’s own winery.

There will be a group ‘sampler’ show at the Community Centre, with a delicious bistro and a draw for art prizes. The Studio Tour is a great way to explore Quadra's hidden art spaces and have an enjoyable weekend of art and entertainment on our beautiful Island.

Tickets for the two day event are only $5 (kids 12 and under free) and may be picked in Campbell River at the CR Art Gallery, in Courtenay at the Comox Valley Art Gallery or on Quadra at Inspirations in Q.Cove, Copper Coast Gallery and Gifts in Heriot Bay, Quadra resorts or at the community centre during the weekend.

For more information visit

SUSAN MALLINSON REALTOR® at Royal Lepage Advance Realty Buying? cell: 250.203.3545 office: 250.286.3293 toll-free: 1.888.286.1932 email: ww w . s u sanmall i n so n . c o m Sayward · Campbell River Serving the communities of Selling? No-obligation Free Market Evaluation in Tahsis, BC “All that is gold does not glitter; not all those who wander are lost.” JRR Tolkien Offering Guest Accommodation since 2010 523 ALPINE VIEW ROAD | TAHSIS, BC 250 934 7979 INFO@NOOTKAGOLD.COM WWW.NOOTKAGOLD.COM /NOOTKAGOLD
Clockwise from top: Spindrift Knives by David Maclean; Kathryn Manry at her easel; Gordon James in his printmaking studio


The Big Deal About Invasive Species in our Environment

AS THE WEATHER gets warmer, mornings are lighter and we wake up to the songs of Varied Thrush and Song Sparrows, it’s obvious that spring has sprung. Many of us notice daffodils and snowdrops blooming as signs that the days have turned warmer. I begin my seasonal ritual of paying closer attention to the diversity of native plants and pollinators around me. One of the main things that stands out on a daily basis is how much of our environment is taken up by invasive plants and how normalized this has become for us. The topic of invasive species is an important one and it impacts us all, regardless of where we live. Understanding the reasons why it's important empowers us to make changes.

What is an invasive species? The BC government defines an invasive species as “plants or animals that are not native to the province or are outside of their natural distribution. Invasive species negatively impact British

Columbia’s environment, people (human health) and/ or economy.” This does not include non-native species that are intentionally introduced that do not escape cultivation. Basically, if an introduced species is not reproducing or creating its own population and taking up the niche of a native species, it may not fall under the label of invasive but is characterized as introduced or exotic. Who cares, right? Well, according to the Invasive Species Council of BC and the Government of British Columbia, invasive species, on a global level, are the second greatest threat to biodiversity directly after habitat loss due to humans. This is a big deal.

On a changing planet, species are constantly migrating but at a much slower rate than if humans help them move around. Examples of this include introduction by ballast transport (zebra mussels), Asian Giant Hornet likely catching a ride in shipping crates, Northern Pike intentionally introduced for sport fishing, big

Invasive English Ivy taking over the forest © knelson20

box stores and nursery sales of Goldmoss stonecrop, Cherry Laurel, English Ivy, Periwinkle… and the list goes on. Invasive plants outcompete native plants for resources, increasing fire hazard (like Scotch Broom) and changing entire ecosystem dynamics.

Invasive fish gobble up native fish species, invasive reptiles and amphibians can decimate freshwater ecosystems, invasive insect pests can heavily impact forests, range and agricultural lands competing for food and habitat with native plants and pollinators. This is only the tip of the iceberg—and if this isn't convincing enough, it is worth mentioning that the control the spread of invasive species costs billions of dollars. Invasive Species in the Pacific Northwest (Boersma, Reichard, Van Buren) states that $137 billion/yr in the US is a conservative estimate for losses incurred by agriculture, forestry, rangelands and fisheries because of the detrimental nature of non-native invasive species on the environment and economy.

There are many things we can do to make it less overwhelming. Planting native plants in our yards and gardens, and purchasing an easy ID book, like Coastal Plants of BC by Pojar and Mackinnon can help one learn the plants in your area. Gardeners can buy native plants from nurseries like Satinflower Nurseries in Victoria or Streamside Native Plants in Bowser.

Native plants have evolved with the pollinators and are the best choice to avoid unwanted introductions into nature. Hold big box stores and nurseries accountable and ask them not to sell invasive species. Remove invasive species from the surrounding area and replace them with native species, since replacing avoids other introduced species taking over that thrive in disturbed areas.

Volunteering for habitat restoration projects with organizations such as Greenways Land Trust, is another way to get involved and learn from knowledgeable people about environmental stewardship. The Invasive Species Council of BC website is very informative and full of great resources, such as the Grow Me Instead Guide, which shows common invasive plants, and the native or non-invasive species to grow in its place. As our knowledge of the impacts of invasive species grows, so do the resources available for learning how to live better within the ecosystems that are around us.

Mediterranean Spurge © Luna Loiseau-Tremblay
Daphne © Luna Loiseau-Tremblay Blackberry © Luna Loiseau-Tremblay A landscape of Daphne and Scotch Broom © Luna Loiseau-Tremblay


ELEVATE Wellness Weekend at Mount Washington

MOUNT WASHINGTON ALPINE Resort is Vancouver Island's coastal playground, sharing year-round community experiences that invigorate all five senses. Between the action-packed months of the winter and summer seasons lives the alpine's time for peace and tranquillity... As the snow melts and seasons change, spring is the perfect time to disconnect, get re-centred and awaken your spirit alongside the mountains' flora and fauna.

Awaken your senses and rise up with the mountains. Elevate will bring together like-minded locals and island visitors to experience three days full of wellness sessions that nourish the mind, body and spirit on the weekend of May 12th, 13th and 14th.

The Elevate weekend features 30 unique session options provided by 15 practitioners, including a perfect blend of group workshops and participants' choice of breakout sessions, followed by vegan/vegetarian

and gluten-friendly lunch, dinners and snack breaks together. Additional certification classes are also available, as well as some fantastic prizes to be won.

Ready to get elevated? You’ll have some important choices to make! With 30 sessions offered by 15 practitioners, the Elevate experience will fill your cup no matter which workshops you attend. Ensure to leave yourself at least 15 minutes of breathing room for transitioning between sessions, as well as snack and water breaks. Planning to attend 3-4 classes a day is plenty!

Eager to learn? Elevate Wellness Weekend is proudly partnering with accredited practitioners Marci Stockton and Deanna Papineau to offer additional certification classes during the day on Thursday and Friday, before Elevate begins. Join Marci on May 11th for an Access Bars Certification Course, and Deanna on May 12th for Reiki Level 1. Sign up for these classes for an additional cost when booking your experience.

Rewilding: Artist Christy Greenwood © Devon Gillott

Get set on Day 1 to fully elevate your weekend. Meet the practitioners and your fellow participants, stock up on supplies at the general store, and prepare to lift your spirit to new heights. Fully enjoy Friday evening's nourishing and delicious dinner menu. Ted's Bar will also open for evening drink service. Day 2 promises to absolutely amazing. Awaken your senses and rise up with the mountains. The choice is all yours for break fast and prepare for your day of sessions! Eagle View Bistro will be open inside the Alpine Lodge for special ty coffees and breakfast items. The day ahead will con tinue to nourish your mind, body and spirit until the final sessions of the evening. On the final morning of Elevate, enjoy your own breakfast or visit Eagle View Bistro café open in the Alpine Lodge before heading to your first session of the day. Sunday workshops finish midday, to allow participants downtime to enjoy the natural surroundings and begin the journey home.

Early bird booking with discounted pricing is on now till April 15th and all event details are available at


Tea Leaf Readings

Enjoy a beautiful sit down experience featuring: Authentic Tea Leaf Reading
Gorgeous Local Tea + Sweet Treats
© Jolie Nasralla
Fortune Card Reading Monthly Readings in Comox or book your private session! Book now at or in person at Compass Gallery + Gifts 101 - 1811 Comox Avenue Comox Like us on Facebook! @CupofDestiny


No More Secrets : Sue Muirhead's Journey with Process Art

MUIRHEAD’S JOURNEY with process art began when she was introduced to Michele Cassou’s, ‘Life, Paint and Passion’, and Aviva Gold’s ‘Painting from the Source’. She was amazed after attending their workshops, Muirhead remembers. “I was witness to the most amazing art gallery I had ever visited! People who had never painted and professional artists together, used just colour and paper to create the most inspiring art,” she says.

In her art today, Muirhead starts with a blank piece of paper, and follows her energy rather than trying to create what might look good or expected. "Process art allows me to express the full range of my emotions," she says. "I have worked through the most painful and devasting events, and the most beautiful and uplifting experiences of my life with process art. It has allowed me to present a creative voice that is authentically my own.” Muirhead works primarily with watercolour crayons, felt pens, and sheets of 9x12” watercolour paper, making so her supplies easy to pack up and travel with.

‘No More Secrets’ is drawn from a series Muirhead created after disturbing revelations about her father came to light in 2009, late in his life. The news was deeply painful and devastating, and she had to reconcile herself to a parallel story about her father that she had no idea existed. Feeling the ground torn out from under her, process art provided the means to work through all sorts of conflicting and painful emotions.

“I processed and processed, and continue to process, one of the rawest and most difficult events of my life,” she shares. “Doing art saved my sanity.” In 2018, having created over 300 images, Muirhead laid her works out before her and saw a story emerge. “I chose 57 images, put them into an order that spoke to what had happened, and the story ‘No More Secrets’ was created.”

Deciding to exhibit the work has been a process in and of itself. “Opening up and sharing my deepest challenges is tough,” says Muirhead. However, the huge stack

Photo © Kristina Campbell

of art that she was packing around in a cardboard box called her to do something with it. By sharing her pain ful process publicly, Muirhead hopes to encourage oth ers to share secrets that are hard for them to carry alone. She offers the idea that creative expression can be used to help process through difficult tragedies, traumas, and emotions in a healthy way.

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“The grief around my father is a part of my life now. I continue with my artwork, writing, ceremony, sharing with others, and looking to wild spaces in nature as ways to support myself. This exhibition represents part of my process moving through loss, grief, discomfort, shame, and embarrassment. I respect that we all respond differ ently when faced with devastating circumstances, and I honour that for some, secrets remain a part of their landscape, sometimes for good reasons. For me, this is a healthy choice.”

As part of this exhibition, Muirhead extends an invita tion for others to share a secret they have been carrying. It does not have to be a heavy or devastating secret, it can be a regret, a fear, a dream, a sadness….as long as it is true. Postcards are available, which can be completed at Artful : The Gallery, or mailed in anonymously, the postcards will form a permanent part of the exhibition.

“We all have things we don’t want people to know," she says. "Sharing our secrets may allow for more under standing and compassion with one another.”

Copies of Sue Muirhead’s book will be available for sale at Artful : The Gallery.

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Alchemy of Gathering

SET AMONGST THE MAJESTIC atmosphere of Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens, the Alchemy of Gathering: Wellness – Community - Creativity event debuts in June. This event will focus on creating an open space for community to come together and celebrate our connections – to each other, to nature and to ourselves. After years of separation, division and isolation, it is time to embrace the present moment, and honour the love and community that is here NOW! We could all use the time and space to focus on our own mental and physical health, spend quality time in the natural world and receive the opportunity to learn about techniques to support us during these intense times. The Alchemy of Gathering will provide such a time and space.

The Alchemy of Gathering wellness event will offer attendees access to over 40 local product and service

vendors. Discover new healing techniques, natural personal care products, local creations, and so much more. Attendees also have access to the entire Woodland Gardens’ 24 acres of pathways, ponds, plants, trees, hand-built benches, and the Ocean Stone labyrinth.

Also, amongst the Sunset gardens, six different ‘Interactive Stations’ will be set up for attendees to participate in. Several of the interactive stations will introduce different meditation techniques, such a guided walking meditation at the Ocean Stone labyrinth, an open-eye method, and a dance meditation at the stage. There will also be interactive stations that focus on techniques to ground ourselves and participate in a collaborative drawing.

On stage in the Sunset gardens, throughout the day, a host of activity will unfold. Between live music,

All Photos © Jenna Walker

presentations and a sound healing performance, the audience will experience the power of sound to not only move our bodies, but move and lift our spirits. Some of the lineup includes Jessie Epp, Anand David Embry, Serena Freedombear and Anela Kahiamoe. At noon, the event creator, artist and author Jenna Walker, will have a short talk on stage titled Art for Healing.

After this talk, Walker will then facilitate three different Art for Healing workshops under the pavilion near the stage from 1pm till 7pm. These hour and a half workshops will allow space for artistic emotional expression and teachings from Walker’s book A Guide to the Collective Awakening: Advice, Tool & Art Projects with which this event was inspired.

Each Art for Healing workshops will focus on specific emotions. Participants will have a choice between creating and expressing emotions such as anger, grief, anxiety, and sadness. Or to focus on self-reflection and self-acceptance. For each project, all set up and supplies will be provided for up to 100 interested participants. No artistic skills required! Projects are very simple and complete instruction will be given. Some specific instructions for the technical aspects of the project, but also specific instructions for the emotions and the body. These projects are not so much about a final product, though participants will take home their own projects. These workshops are more about expressing our emotions through the creative process. Letting the emotions create the marks, the layers and design.

The first project, starting at 1pm, will hold space and express anger or grief. Using simple materials such as paper, felt marker, magazine pages, and glue, participants will work through several steps as they

layer words, ripped pieces of magazine pages and more words. The second project, staring at 3pm, will hold space and focus on self-reflection and self-acceptance. On a half black and half white canvas board, this project will entail creating an image of reflection. Supplies will include canvas board, magazine pages, glue, black and white acrylic paint, and carrots and cotton swabs for applying the paint. And, the last project, starting at 5pm, will hold space and express anxiety and sadness. This final project is very simple and has few supplies, but is extremely helpful for holding focus on the emotions and just drawing from a stream of consciousness state. A state where there is no plan, no composition, but instead fast and random application of marks. Supplies include black felt marker, yellow or green crayons and thick white paper.

Altogether, the Alchemy of Gathering is an event to explore and celebrate ideas on wellness, connection, identity, creativity, healing and so much more. It is an opportunity to gather in Nature and experience the community and love that is here NOW! Through our togetherness, so many opportunities can ignite.

The Alchemy of Gathering: Wellness – Community –Creativity event takes place from 11am to 8pm, on Saturday, June 10th at the Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens in Courtenay. Tickets are $25 with children under 12 free with ticketed adult and are available through Tidemark Theatre and at the gate. Dogs welcome.

5% of all ticket sales will be donated to local organization Copper Legacy: Indigenous Empowerment Society. For more information visit

For more information on this event and to get tickets, please visit


What Does it Mean to Have Wellness?

WELLNESS. What does it mean to “have wellness” or to be well and, moreover what does it mean to you?

Sometimes it is helpful to go back to the drawing board so to speak, and ask ourselves basic, fundamental questions.

Does a definition or description of something (still) resonate with us? Is said definition holistic or vast enough to represent our beliefs? Is it time to redefine something? When was the last time you asked yourself, ‘what does wellness look like, for me, for my body, for my mind, in my heart’?

Wellness is such a dynamic, ever changing and ever-evolving notion, isn’t it?

It may be defined as a state of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. It may also include

something like “wellness is more than the absence of dis-ease, it is a feeling of vitality, health and vibrancy”. As we grow, evolve and shift, and as time passes, so too may our definition and it is important to revisit it and calibrate accordingly.

A state of wellness is never achieved or complete; it is something we continually cultivate, nurture and feed, and how refreshing is it to know that we’re never going to “finish” it, and we can’t really get it wrong, so why not enjoy the journey and the meandering along the way, even the not-so-high moments.

We are evolving and complex beings and thus we are continually seeking news ways to support our evolution (including our wellness) in a myriad of ways. Subsequently, a feeling of wellness may look very different now than it did five years ago, one year ago or even a month ago. What helped us feel good then vs. now, or

© Yura Yarema

what helps us now vs. then changes as we change, as we shape-shift and become more of who we are.

If you have not yet considered your wellness on a deep level, perhaps once you do you will start to notice there is space in your experience for increased vitality, nutrition or ways to support your body. Perhaps you seek more meaningful relationships and means of connection. You may notice the need for more rest, or more activity, more reflection time or quiet, or you may be questioning or seeking your life purpose or duty, in Yoga what is referred to as our Dharma. You may be examining your financial well-being more closely.

These are all tied to wellness; in fact there is no separation among any of these. Just the same way our bodies are complex, intricate and connected, and our systems are fully integrated and reliant upon one another, so is our well-being. And just the way the environment of a plant dictates how it will thrive, including the health of the soil, the sunlight exposure, pesticides, rainfall etc… so too is our wellness dependant to a degree on our practices like movement, meditation, breathwork, fresh air and exposure to natural light. It is also dependant on our internal environment…the relationships we foster, the state of our mental and emotional well-being, the conversations we have with ourselves and the inner peace we experience.

The word Alignment can be helpful when looking to “define” or connect more closely with our state of wellness. It can be instrumental when we find ourselves at a crossroads, or simply wanting to take our wellness to the next level but aren’t sure which step to take.

What feels good? What feels easeful, in flow, fun, inspiring and uplifting? What feels like a slog, like resistance, like forcing?

When we feel good and things feel in flow, easeful and relatively effortless, it means we are in alignment with our inner being - with the purest part of ourselves. When we are in alignment, positive feelings emanate from us and as a result, our wellness does too. When we are not in alignment with our inner being, we often struggle and as a result our well-being suffers.

When we are doing things we love, that inspire us and feed our soul, we shine. When we are trying too hard, or

living in accordance to the rules of others that may not resonate with our values, goals or dreams, we shine less. Listening, tuning in, calibrating and feeling is all key to doing what is best for us.

So before taking the advice of anyone, before hitting add to cart, before looking outside yourself for a quick fix, before making any sudden rash moves to increase your wellness (although sometimes we do need to flip a switch and only you know when that time is), ask yourself: ‘what feels aligned for me right now? When I’m feeling my best, both inside and out, what am I doing, who am I with, where am I, am I connected to my inner knowing? When we allow ourselves to get quiet enough, the answers always reveal themselves.

Ask yourself, what feels like nourishment, what feels like wellness, and then go do that! It is almost guaranteed that it will connect you directly with your wellness.

Dana has been a devoted explorer of wellness for over 25 years. She combines her love of body work, aromatherapy, holistic nutrition and mindful movement to offer women her very best on their wellness journeys. Her first book, Release Your Inner Wild, is the modern day women’s guide to reconnecting with your true Self and honouring health, passion and power..

© Dana Mahon




AS SPRING ARRIVES on the east coast of Vancouver Island, the increase in birdsong is noticeable—contributing to an overall feeling of relief that the winter is behind us. The chattering of Chestnut-backed Chickadees actively gathering bugs amongst the trees and the manic trill of the Bewick's Wren is sure to grab our attention as we make our way through our busy days.

The Kinglets, of which we have two species seen here on the coast, are common little songbirds that you may see in mature Coastal Douglas Fir and Coastal Western Hemlock forests area. Kinglets are very small songbirds in the family Regulidae, weighing not more than 6.5 grams. We have two species that occur in our area, the Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Corthylio calendula and the Golden-Crowned Kinglet, Regulus satrapa

The Ruby-Crowned Kinglet is a tiny olive green bird, with a white wing bar, a white eyering and a tiny needle-like beak. While both sexes look the same, when the male is displaying a ruby red crown of feathers raises up on the top of its head showing the reason for its common name. In comparison, the Golden-crowned

Kinglet is a tiny grayish olive green above, with gray below, and conspicuously yellow tinged wings. While it also has a prominent wing bar, it has a black and white pattern on the face with a black eyestripe and a bright goldish-yellow crest at the top of its head.

Both species are largely insectivorous, pecking small insects from various areas in the foliage of the canopy, gleaning insect eggs and other arthropods from the undersides of leaves and branches. They also eat seeds and fruits, such as berries. Kinglets are experts at hovering in the air and hanging upside down on branches while foraging for food, especially the Golden-crowned kinglet. The habit of Ruby-crowned kinglets involves more hovering and flycatching behavior high up in the trees, amongst the branches. Golden-crowned kinglets are often seen zipping around on the ground, foraging for insects right in front of you as you take a nice forest walk, once and a while noticing their yellow crest rising up.

These little Kinglets are among many birds that rely heavily on mature coniferous forests to provide a consistent and diverse food supply. The intricacy of a healthy forest ecosystem has many layers in its food web, working together to support the incredible biodiversity that coastal forests are so famous for.

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet © Jeasolar Golden-Crowned Kinglet © Sharon
Health & Wellness 32 | COMPASS MAGAZINE | Issue 44 WWW.COMPASSMAGAZINE.CA COMPASS GALLERY + GIFTS EASTER AND IS EASY AT COMPASS GALLERY + GIFTS! Weekly Updates Facebook @CompassGalleryGifts 101-1811 Comox Avenue in Comox MOTHER’S DAY BIRTHDAYS ANNIVERSARIES & EVERYDAY CELEBRATING Kiki’s Bubble Tea is back! Get your boba fix right in Comox

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