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December 2010 | THE STEW Magazine | PAGE 1


the christmas issue Inside: The Spirit of Giving Page 4 The ‘Flying Fur Buyer’ tells his tale Page 16 Brandon Hoffman makes beautiful music Page 21

PAGE 2 | THE STEW Magazine | December 2010

Yes, all of these things exist. No, not all of them are for sale. Yes, we were horrified at most of the prices you see here.

December 2010

| THE STEW Magazine

| PAGE 1

ER 2010


On the Cover: We stumbled across Captain Randy Kadonaga of the Salvation Army on Wednesday night as we were desperately looking for an appropriate cover photo for our December issue. At the last minute, as always. Finding Randy was more than just fortunate. It was perfectly logical, considering our feature story this month was a look at the Williams Lake Salvation Army, and the work that organization continues to do to help out those less fortunate, particularly at this time of year. Thanks for letting us point our camera at you, Randy!

Inventing the ultimate advent calendar Everyone loves Advent Calendars. They’re like a little gift that contains 24 littler gifts. Nothing extravagant, mind you — maybe those tiny little windows will open up to unveil a picture, or even a little piece of chocolate. After all, with an Advent Calendar, it’s the thought that counts. This year Porsche Design didn’t agree, and designed what is being called the $1 Million Advent Calendar. Each day you could unveil items like a speedboat, a brand new kitchen, or a rose-gold watch. Truly a gift for the man who has everything. But we here at The Stew thought to ourselves, is that really the ultimate advent calendar? Or could we design an even bigger, even better advent calendar, for the man who truly has everything? We put our heads together, and these are the 24 gifts we came up with. December 1: We’ll start things off small with a young Chinese child who will function as your servent. There are plenty of things you could use your small child for, but chief among them is getting him into really narrow spaces. They’re so small! December 2: We may not have literal thrones from which we can rule over our empire, but with a solid gold toilet, you can feel like you’re number one, even when you’re doing number two. December 3: What’s the wisest investment you can make? Land. Because they’re just not making any more of it. Which is why this 100 square mile chunk of dirt in Brazil is so valuable. Do with it as you please (though we’d recommend clear-cutting), and don’t let those indigenous people bother you. I’m sure you can put them to work. December 4: If it’s good enough for the President of the United States, it’s good enough for you. What do you think happens to Air Force One when it’s no longer at the top of it’s game? Well, we don’t know either, but a few dollars in the right pocket just got you a hand-me-down plane that used to shuttle the most powerful man in the world around. December 5: Now that you’ve got a plane, you might as well have a reason to travel. Enjoy your night out with Angelina Jolie (or, if you’d prefer, Brad Pitt). We can’t promise you’ll get into his or her pants — you’ve got to do some of the work, after all — but we’re sure it’ll be fun to try. December 6: Why not take Angelina or Brad to

the Royal Penthouse Suite at the President Wilson Hotel in Geneva. At $53,000 a night, it’s the most expensive hotel room in the world. With only four bedrooms and six bathrooms it might be a tight fit compared to your palatial home, but it should provide exactly the sort of intimate backdrop you need for an evening of romance. December 7: Everyone needs a few warm and fuzzy pets around the house (and your chinese child probably needs something fuzzy to play with). So enjoy your new Siberian Tiger. He’s more cuddly because he’s endangered! December 8: No woman is properly dressed without a little something-something for sparkle and shine. For that special lady in your life, we have the ultra-rare, fancy, deep grayish blue WittelsbachGraff Diamond. Not quite as large as the Hope diamond, which isn’t for sale anyhow, the WittelsbachGraff is 31.06 carats and is estimated to be worth a mere $24.3 million. December 9: For a truly decadent dip into sheer soft luxury, we have a Burmese woman who will put together a truly unique Striped Rabbit fur jacket. These soft furry creatures have only been discovered in the last 10 years, and are native only to Burma. They are so rare that even photos of them are scarce! You’re sure to make a statement wearing a full length coat made of these one-of-a-kind beauties! December 10: To satisfy your palate you’ll be heading over to the Fencegate Inn near Lancashire, Britain, where they will build you and a few of your dearest pals a simple Wagyu Meat Pie, consisting of 6 pounds of butter-like Kobe beef mixed with a healthy serving of rare Japanese matsutake mushrooms, as well as two bottles of 1982 Chateau Mouton Rothschild and is topped with a healthy sprinkling of edible 24 karat gold flakes. The cost for the whole affair comes to $16,169.50. Cheese is 50 cents extra. December 11: Christmas is a great time to renew your ride. But it seems like Lamborghini, Mercedes, Farrari Enzo, and Bugatti Veyron are on every corner in the neighborhood. That’s why you’re getting a rare 1931 Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe valued at $8,700,000. It’s sure to one-up the neighbors. December 12: Time to start planning your New Year vacation! For the ultimate in a life of luxury,

For Christmas, we would like to give you the gift of sharing. Bring in this coupon and receive

2 for 1 Appies! Dine-in only. Excludes appy platter and promos. Only in Williams Lake. Through January 31, 2010

285 Donald Road


we’ve given you a 110 night cruise around the world? Starting in London, England and ending in Los Angeles, this cruise will take you to ports such as Cape Town, Mumbai, Honolulu, Singapore and Sydney while you bask in your 1,345 square foot penthouse suite. The trip is a mere $559,790 per person. Which, at about $5000 a night, makes it a pretty good deal. December 13: Go where no man has gone before (except those pesky astronauts)! This ticket into space on Virgin Galactic is worth $200,000, but for anyone who ever wanted to be James T. Kirk, it’s priceless. December 14: Pump up the passion of ladies who lunch with these Stuart Weitzman / Le Vian bejewelled strappy sandals. These $2,000,000 Tanzanite Heels are decorated with 28 carats of diamonds, 185 carats of quality tanzanite as well as 4½ inch heels encrusted with 595 carats of Kwiat platinum diamonds. December 15: If you’re not a scotch lover already, you will be with this bottle of Chivas Regal Royal Salute, which sells for $10,000 a bottle and is at least 50 years old. Made in limited quantities, it has a mixed flavor with notes of citrus and apricot - a fine way to relax in the midst of Christmas shopping. December 16: For the days when your small Chinese child is sick, back up the housework with a multi-million dollar RT Home Assistant Robot. With 3 fingers on each hand it moves about on two wheels and has several cameras on its head that allow it to recognise objects in front of it. It can grasp soft objects and can reattempt tasks that it has failed to perform correctly such as emptying the dishwasher. December 17: The perfect gift for the infant in your family: A $17,000 personalized, diamondstudded pacifier. Covered in 14K white gold, the diamond pacifier features over 278 pave cut white diamonds, totalling approximately 3 karats. While your baby may not use it every day, this gift is one that lets your little one know how much you really love them. We’re not done yet! Want to see the last seven days of our fictional Advent Calendar? We’ll be posting one each day to our web site for the last seven days leading up to Christmas. Drop by starting on December 18 to check them out.

December 2010 | THE STEW Magazine | PAGE 3

Nutrition Facts Serving Size: 24 pgs Servings Per Container 1 Amount Per Serving

Calories 0 % Daily Value* Fibre Probably need more of it Total Snark Pretty light month Artificial Snark Even less Pizza We like pizza a lot We try to make sure we Get at least one each week Christmas Spirit If we did our jobs we’ve got a metric ton.

The Spirit of Giving Page 4

The ‘flying fur buyer tells his tale Page 16

Ingredients (or things that helped us get through the last month): Dead Frog’s delicious new Mandarin Orange Amber Ale, being able to actually get a brand new white Cristmas tree before they were all sold out, enjoying the first snow fall of the year, surviving the first slide into the ditch that was brought on by the first snowfall of the year, getting hand-me-down winter tires from my parents so we could afford to buy a second set of rims, experiencing the new World Of Warcraft after their big “The Shattering” event, still more time with Rock Band 3, making a shopping list of all the video games to buy once we have some money again, actually hearing our business line ring a couple of times, realizing that we have officially completed our first “quarter” as a business, comfy maternity pants, new whole wheat pizza crust at Monster’s, 7-11 coffee specials, removing the dead duck from the chimney so we can again build fires, Christmas cheer, watching Todd playing Dance Central, keeping warm under the mound of our cats and dogs, fuzzy sweaters, Christmas craft fairs, finishing our road-trip reading book (and the promise of starting a new one), popcorn, buckets of tea

Motion Control Gaming from Microsoft Page 19

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Where’s Wally? He’s on a fishing boat Page 23 Felicity Klassen tells the story of Chilcotin Lodge Page 17

Brandon Hoffman Making Beautiful Music Page 21


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Station House Gallery November 25 - December 31, 2010 Gift ideas from Cariboo / Chilcotin artists! 10-5 Weekdays & Saturdays | 10-4 Sundays

250-392-6113 #1 Mackenzie Avenue North, Williams Lake At the foot of Oliver Street

PAGE 4 | THE STEW Magazine | December 2010

It’s easy for many of us take to for granted something as simple as having food to put on the table. Not everyone is so lucky.



COMFORT FOOD  Bev Hinton, on the left, and Juli Mead have been volunteering in the Salvation Army kitchen for many years now. They say that they’re careful to make sure love goes into their soup.

Christmas is hard on everyone Some more than others BY TODD SULLIVAN THE STEW MAGAZINE

Christmas can be a difficult time of year. There’s extra pressure everywhere. You’re working harder than ever to pay off the bills that accumulate this season because your family has a lengthy

wish list. Family coming over for dinner or a few drinks, but you need to make sure that your Uncle Ralph doesn’t put his foot in his mouth again, like he did last year. And of course your hydro bill is going to jump through the ceiling, thanks to the sub-zero temperatures that have finally struck.

Christmas can be pretty stressful. But, all things considered, it could be a whole lot worse. There are people who haven’t even started worrying about what they’re buying for their loved ones for Christmas, because they’re still worrying about how they’re going to put

food on the table. There are people who don’t have to worry about their tactless Uncle Ralph because they don’t have anyone nearby to spend the holiday season with. This is the Christmas reality that Claudine and Randy see at the Salvation Army every year.

Things are rough out there, and they don’t seem to be getting any better. “The big, huge increase was between 2008 and 2009,” says Claudia. “That’s when that huge spike happened, and it hasn’t come back down. We had thought it would only be a year, but no.”

December 2010 | THE STEW Magazine | PAGE 5

The spike she’s referring to is in the number of households accessing the food bank on a monthly basis. In September of 2007, for example, that number was at 45, but by September of 2009 it had rocketed skywards to 205. Numbers for 2010 put it at 223, and there’s no end in sight. “Economists are saying it could take up to five years for that to come, because people get so far in the hole when they first lose their work, and it’s the snowballing. So there’s people on social assistance, their cheques are being cut regularly, so they’re getting less now than they were a year ago. Yet the cost of living is up. So of course you’re going to see a bigger gap between those who have and those who don’t have.” For those who don’t have, there aren’t many options, and that becomes painfully clear at this time of year, when it seems like it’s all about the having. And even something that seems as simple as providing food for those in need, can get complicated pretty quick. “You have some folks who are very adamant, in order to donate they want to have it that the checks and balances are in. Then you have others who are on the other side of the spectrum, and we’ve got those calls too, where they’re saying, well, there should be no qualifying, anybody who thinks they need it should be able to access it, and they should not have to give out any information for finances.” The bottom line for the food bank is pretty basic — if you need food, you should come and get it. “If your income level is below what you can go and buy fresh bread and produce for your family,” Explains Claudine, “there is nothing wrong coming in to ask. And a lot of this stuff is reclamation. A lot is by donation, where people go out and purchase to bring in, but there’s others that’s by reclamation. “Like the six skids of cereal we just got. The company has written it off, for whatever reason, there



ALWAYS ROOM FOR MORE  The Salvation Army’s shelves have been looking dangerously bare this season. Donations are always welcome. was a mislabel on the box, or whatever, and so a whole truckload will go out to BC food banks, and so if we access those type of things, these are things that are not for sale anymore. “So it’s a reclamation thing, so we’re telling people, you know, it’s things that will end up in the garbage otherwise.” But at this time of year, it isn’t just about putting food on the table. It’s also about having someone to spend the holidays with. Christmas alone can be a difficult and depressing thing. That’s where the Salvation Army’s Christmas Dinner steps in. “The Christmas dinner is great because it’s really got nothing to do with whether you’ve got money or not. It’s got to do with whether you’ve got Christmas to spend with somebody or not. So it’s a whole different emphasis.” All this work doesn’t come without a price, and it’s also this time of year where the Salvation Army goes all out with one of their bigger fundraising efforts — the Christmas Kettles. Sadly, those kettles are currently a little bit un-

derstaffed. “Right now we’re at less than half our kettle shifts,” Claudine explains. More bodies are needed if they’re going to be able to raise the funds they need, but the process to sign up couldn’t be easier. “They just call in here and tell us what day and time suits them, and we’ll tell them what openings there are, so it’s very quick. It’s just a matter of a quick phone call. And she insists that every little bit helps. “We have some people who take a two hour shift every day, and others who take it once in the time frame, and others who’ll do it a couple of times a week. It just depends on your schedule.” After the generosity they show to so many people each and every year, it seems a little thing to give a little bit back -- whether it’s through a cash donation at a Kettle, by donating food that can be used in their hampers, or by manning one of the Kettles yourself. After all, Christmas is meant to be a time for giving, isn’t it? And if you can’t give to those who are really need, then why give at all?


Raised from the time he was still in diapers right here in Williams Lake, Store Manager Chip Schick knows what it's like to live and work in the Cariboo. For the last seven years Chip has been helping folks with their needs at Canadian Tire. A self-described regular kind of guy, Chip started out working his way up to management at Safeway for 13 years before the move over to Canadian Tire. This young fellow is not against perseverance and commitment to the task at hand. At home with his family Chip likes to get greasy. "My biggest hobby is customizing everything I ride or drive. My wife complains that I never leave anything stock," Chip says with a smile. His current project: a 2008 Honda Shadow. “It's a constant work in progress," he says. "I picked it up because I loved the look of it and then proceeded to change every part of it." As for choosing to stay in Williams Lake, coming from a generation where many others have chosen to head out to new locations, Chip says he has never found anywhere else he would rather call home. "It may not have everything you want," he says, "but it sure has everything that you need." And that is the best you can ever ask for.

Canadian Tire: More than a store, we’re family. 1050 S. Lakeside Dr, Williams Lake • 250-392-3303 Mon-Wed 8am to 8pm • Thur-Fri 8am to 9pm • Sat 8am to 6pm - Sun 9am to 5pm Automotive Department: Mon-Sat 8am to 5pm Sun 9am to 5pm • 250-392-3697

PAGE 6 | THE STEW Magazine | December 2010

Another traditional way to keep the holiday stressors at bay: Booze. There’s a reason they put rum in all that eggnog, you know.

Keep your stressors under control for the holidays Christmas. The Silly Season. Also Christ-stress or Christ-mess, depending on what your past experiences with this most busy, expectant time of year have been. For the past few years I have attempted to avoid the season altogether in an effort to alleviate any and all stressors, with plans to just sail through the season without losing my mind. After several years of taking this head-inthe-sand approach, with admittedly very limited success, I have decided this year to tackle the Christmas season stressors head-on so that they don’t get the best of me, and so I can enjoy the many positive aspects of what this time of year has to offer. I will embrace and acknowledge the stress, and make it work for me rather than against me — I will rule over the stress, rather than

the other way around. Staying healthy and being able to enjoy this time of year is simple enough if we take the time to manage our stress levels, while ensuring we eat properly and manage our expectations of ourselves and others. Stress, in a biological sense, is a good thing, because it keeps us alert to danger and, when necessary, kicks in the fight-orflight response we need for our species’ survival. The problem with stress is that if the stressor doesn’t go away, the heightened state of stress our body experiences will lead to things like headache, anxiety, depression and a list of other health problems. When that happens, no one is going to enjoy the season. Like washing our hands to help prevent the spread of germs which can cause a cold, we need to ‘wash’

Stir By Carol Davidson away the stressors that will negatively affect us and everyone around us. It’s not easy to avoid all stress during the Christmas season, but there are many things that can be done to ensure you can maintain a positive outlook and therefore enjoy the spirit of the season. We sometimes forget that Christmas is meant to be a happy time spent with friends and catching up with family members we have not seen all year. My first approach to stress management this

The Gecko Tree Café and Mountain Mystics present

Grand Cariboo New Year`s Eve


December 31, 2010 at Williams Lake Elk’s Hall Doors open at 6:30

Gecko Tree

Café 250-398-8983

54 N Mackenzie Ave Williams Lake

year is to ensure that I get to do what I want to do, and not worry about the expectations that others may have of me. We tend to get caught in a whirlpool of trying to please everyone else at this time of year due to an often dizzying schedule of events. That’s all well and good but if all of the rushing around and overconsumption makes us grumpy then something is out of whack. Don’t ask for permission to take some time for yourself – just do it. Go shopping on your own. Take a walk. Go for a ski. Go to Mexico and sit on the beach. Most importantly, don’t feel guilty! Everyone else will adjust to your brief absence, and the world will not end because you’ve decided to take some time for yourself. My plan is to maintain my running schedule for the half marathon I’m doing in the spring – it’s something I will make a

priority in my busy Christmas plans, even if it means adjusting my workout schedule here and there. If the weather is too inclement, then there is always the local pool – what’s important is that I know I’ll feel better after a workout, and everyone else around me will benefit, too. I’m as guilty as anyone about making mountains out of molehills at this time of year, worrying about trivial matters weeks in advance and building them up into potentially huge issues. Keeping everything in perspective helps to alleviate stress, because the importance of certain issues can be brought down to size. We can’t all have that perfect Martha Stewart Christmas, and who cares if the table linens don’t all match? Isn’t it more important to appreciate that you have the opportunity to enjoy the company of friends and family? In the end, people will remember the good times they had, not that there were a few lumps in the gravy. If I find that my schedule is getting a little too overwhelming, I will pull out one of the most effective tools we all have at our disposal. Saying ‘no’. It seems that we feel overly obligated to please everyone else at this time of year, but it’s hardly possible to please

everyone without exhausting ourselves. If we get overwhelmed and sick then we can’t be of much use to anyone, so don’t be afraid to turn down an invitation if you start to feel like it’s just one more thing you have to fit in. As soon as the idea of taking on another activity fills you with dread, it’s time to say ‘No’. Given an honest reason, most people will understand and appreciate your need to take some time off. Even though I’m on a fitness regime for some triathlon goals I’ve set for next year, I plan to alleviate all stress around food and enjoy every dinner, every cookie and every chocolate truffle I encounter. For this one time of year, it’s fine to enjoy some of the holiday cooking, and as long as it doesn’t get out of hand. A few extra treats are not going to hurt anyone. Why stress out around food? Enjoy the seasonal dinners and treats — you deserve it! Rather than let the stress of the season get you down, use it to spend some time on yourself. Keep your seasonal expectations in perspective, and enjoy the fine things in life during this busy time of year. Merry Christmas, and have a healthy New Year!

Join us for an enchanted evening of celebration, music, dancing and feasting with:

Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society invites you to Come out and Play at the

• Maria in the Shower • Shara and Seth • Drum and Bell Tower • My Wife’s Quartet • Big TwangDaddy

Second Annual

All you can eat buffet feast by Crystal, Martin and the Gecko Crew Winter Ball Decor by Paula Scott. Master of Ceremony Carmen Mutschele. Sound by Irwinsound. Early Bird Tickets $85 before December 5 $100 after December 5, $115 at the door Taxes included. No minors. Tickets can be purchased at The Gecko Tree, by calling (250) 398-8983 or by e-mailing More information coming soon!

This New Year’s, you’re going to have a ball!

Wrestling Day Celebrations! In partnership with the WLCBIA

• Wrestle with your friends! • Wrestle with your thumbs! • Wrestle with your conscience! Williams Lake


Hot drinks will be provided! Noon to 3 pm January 2 at the corner of Third and Oliver at the Williams Lake Business Improvement Association office

December 2010 | THE STEW Magazine | PAGE 7

It’s probably best to leave the butter and salt off the popcorn if you’re planning to thread it on a string. Unless you want to play a game of ‘Who can eat the Garland the Fastest’ later in the season, that is.

Crafting your way to a merry Christmas For Christmas there are many ways to decorate cheaply while having a lot of family fun! I would like to share just a few of my favourites with you. There is nothing as simply Christmas as the classic popcorn strings that merely need a needle, thread and popped popcorn (you could even throw some food colouring into a bowl with a small amount of water and dip in the popcorn to get even MORE festive). Be sure to make lots of popcorn as little hands (and big ones) can get the munchies during this craft. Want to add texture? A little bag of cranberries can go a long way spread throughout the popcorn string. Think back to your kindergarten days and

Fine Frugality By Angela Shephard break out a pad of coloured construction paper to let the kids cut out Santa, reindeer, trees, stars or even a manger scene. Even simple white copy machine paper can become beautiful snowflakes with a few folds and some scissor cuts. One of my favourite crafts over the holidays are easy-to-bake clay ornaments. To make the clay simply mix 4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon alum, 1 cup salt, and 1½ cups

water in a large bowl till smooth. You may separate some and add food colouring, or leave it the way it is and paint the whole piece later. It’s your craft after all. Once the dough is the way you want it (coloured, not coloured) roll it out to about ⅛ inch on a lightly floured surface. Cut shapes out with cookie cutters dipped in flour then insert a wire, or make a

We’ve got your New Year’s covered. We’re giving away two tickets to the New Year’s Eve bash being put together by The Gecko Tree and Mountain Mystics. Here’s how you can win. Ticket #1: Find us on Facebook. Push the LIKE button. Wait until December 15, 2010 when we’ll draw one fan, randomly. Ticket #2: Send an email to before December 15, 2010, explaining why you should get a free ticket. We’ll arbitrarily pick the one we like the best, and the best letters will appear in the January issue of the magazine.


hole in the top about ¼ inch from the top so you can hang it. Bake ornaments in a preheated 250 degree oven for 30 minutes, then turn and bake for another 1½ hours until hard and dry. Remove from oven and allow to cool. When done, paint and seal with varnish. This comes from my favorite cook book, Dining On A Dime by Tawra Kellam.Check your inter-library loans for the title. After you’ve decorated, there is still the matter of gift-giving. Gifts don’t have to be an expensive venture. I usually bake up a storm during the week before Christmas and give a variety box of goodies. People are usually very happy to get baked goods, as many people

don’t usually have the time or inclination to bake at home and, heck, home baked is usually better tasting anyhow. If baking isn’t your forte, crafts are fun and are given from the heart. If wood-working is something you know, but can’t afford wood, get some pallets! There are many businesses that are MORE than happy to have you take them if you ask. All you need to do is carefully take them apart, and you have some great, usable 2x4s. There are quite a few videos online that can show you how to dismantle the pallets with the best reusablility. If sewing is for you, then making a Christmas scene in fabric might work. Heck, if you can’t sew, you can use

“No Sew” fabric adhesive to put it together. No money for fabric? If you have clothes that you no longer wear, have outgrown, or just plain don’t like anymore, then you have fabric! If they aren’t in the colours that you want to use, fabric dyes are a cheap and easy solution. Also, the local Salvation Army shop and fabric shops sell remnant fabric at really low prices. If none of these ideas seem to fit, search the web for what works best for you, your skills, and what you have on hand. On my blog, I have a few sites listed if you want more ideas: Have a frugal season, and Yuletide greetings to all!

Gardening & Greenhouse Supplies Hydroponic Equipment & Supplies Smoking Accessories Organic Loose Teas and Accessories New product line coming to our tea room Watch The Stew in January for an announcement about some big changes coming up at Halls Organics!

250-398-2899 1-888-498-2899 107 Falcon Drive, Hwy 97, WL

PAGE 8 | THE STEW Magazine | December 2010

What do you mean it isn’t Christmas yet Thanks to our deadlines, the holidays are over almost before they’ve even begun BY TODD SULLIVAN THE STEW MAGAZINE

It’s not even December yet and I’m already done with Christmas. I’m not, of course. Not really. I still have some Christmas shopping to do, and we still have yet to decorate our tree (we picked up a snazzy new all-white artificial tree which is currently glowing, nakedly, and looking all kinds of awesome, in the living room) but as I write this column, we are put-

ting the finishing touches on the December issue of The Stew Magazine -- our Christmas issue. And with that, it sort of feels like Christmas is over, before it’s even begun. It’s sort of nice, actually. Coming from a newspaper background, in years past I’ve spent six, seven, sometimes eight weeks trudging through the holidays. Digging up Christmas clipart, designing Christmas ads, laying-out Christmas songbooks. It would all get to be so overwhelming that,

traditionally, by the time Christmas itself arrived, I was pretty sick to death of the whole thing. I’m hoping things will go a little differently this year; with our Christmas issue finished by the end of November, there should be plenty of time to relax and get festive again before December 25 arrives. Because, in spite of my traditional humbugginess, I’m actually pretty fond of Christmas. This is something I’d forgotten for awhile, then rediscovered a few years ago when I started our new ritual of holding Christmas in July parties. What I found was that our Christmas in July celebration, even though it was held in the summer, and even though there was

no snow on the ground, ended up feeling more festive to me, because it hadn’t been worn down by spending all those weeks just steeped in Christmas-ness. So I’m hoping I get to the same sort of thing with the regular holiday this year. The fact that the Christmas tree is already standing up is a good sign. Normally I’d have argued to keep it in the box until at least December 1, but this year I was dragging it out by the end of November. Although the fact that it was a shiny new toy probably helped a little bit. But this is also the first Christmas since the start of this magazine, and therefore the first Christmas since both Juli and I decided to completely

redefine our lives. And there’s something that feels kind of exciting about that. In the same way that we awoke a few months ago, on the first day of our new adventure, and thought, “Today is the first day of the rest of our lives,” I’m also looking forward to waking up on December 25, thinking, “Today is the first Christmas of the rest of my life.” And it’s against this one that all the rest will be judged. So I’m planning on making sure it’s a good one. Hopefully all of you have yourselves fantastic Christmases as well. Ones that are so good that all the Christmases still to come will be judged against this one.


Call or Fax us: (778) 412-2600 Email us: Find us on the web at or Friend us on Facebook!

Maintaining the Christmas balancing act BY JULI HARLAND THE STEW MAGAZINE

T’is the season to be shopping, or so it seems. Throughout the years, Christmas has turned into a feeding frenzy of endless spending to build up the never-ending piles of things that are supposed to make us happy. And year after year, it seems it all culminates in an anti-climactic peak when the presents are opened, “gotta-have” lists are not-quite-met, bellies are stuffed beyond capacity, and Uncle Bob is slurring in the corner. Or at least that’s how it seems it is being pushed through media, movies, and the endless stream of “ifyou-don’t-have / do / see / buy / look like this, then you

are seriously lacking” that barrages us from all corners as soon as Halloween is over. It doesn’t have to be so. Don’t get me wrong — I am a fan of shopping. I love giving and getting treasures and presents as much as the next girl. I just think that perhaps the focus of Christmas may have been lost somewhere and it doesn’t have to be impossible to bring the focus of family, giving of yourself, the message of hope, and the celebration of faith (however you want to define that) back to the Christmas table. Let’s be honest, we can’t not spend cash — and who would want to give up the Santa side of things all-together? Though I do believe

that balance is not only possible, it is calming. And face it, calming is something we could all use in the holiday season. In the midst of all the holiday shopping take some time to pick up a gift for a less fortunate family. Drop it off at the Salvation Army (or church or charity of your choice). Go one step further and bring the kids along to pick up something for a child of their own age to bring to a charity. Explain to them why. Not only will you be helping another family in the community, you will be teaching the gift of giving to the next generation. Gather together friends and family over a potluck dinner. Encourage your guests to bring along

someone who may not have family in town or who may otherwise be eating alone. You will make someone’s day and may even make a fantastic new friend. Who can’t use more friends? Volunteer! There are so many organizations in the Cariboo that need help, over the holidays and year round! Got family? Sign them up too. From organizing Christmas hampers to helping with community dinners to making sure that the animals at the SPCA get some love over the holidays, there is plenty going on. Remember the feelings of giving and hope that doing for others gives you, and know that any of these ideas don’t have to happen just over Christmas. Make an effort to think and act com-

munally year round. As for Christmas? Enjoy the heck out of your traditions! Thank others for the gifts you receive. Take joy in the gifts you give, of yourself, of things — however that manifests for you. Sing songs. Embrace your inner child. Eat. Share. Drink. Be open. Breathe. Know that you are a part of something bigger than yourself. Find comfort in knowing that through your actions and the actions of others that Christmas may be a little brighter this year. And give Uncle Bob a hug while he babbles drunkenly in the corner, he could likely use a little love too. Merry Christmas everyone! Mucho blessings to all of you.

December 2010 | THE STEW Magazine | PAGE 9

You want to write us a letter? We’ll print ‘em! You can email us at Couldn’t be easier than that.

Christmas wishes for the Cariboo Editor: What I would wish to see for the Cariboo / Chilcotin in the coming years is mainly the development of the natural resources that we have in abundance here, and that really should be exploited for the benefit of the people who live in this really great beautiful place and call it Home. We should all realize by now, the forest industry that we used to be able to rely on for the jobs and economic welfare it provided, has been drastically downsized, and that between the devastation from the bark beetles and the housing market downturn in the states, is not going to be the provider it once was. We will have to turn our heads, and take a good look at developing the other resources that exist in the heartland; we have mineral potential, great cattle country, lakes and streams for fishing and hunting, some areas with great agricultural potential. Let’s take a closer look at some of these. The cattle industry, yes cattle are raised here, but what about the possibility of producing a finished

product, years ago a slaughter house was located on the other side of Glendale. Something along those lines could provide some needed employment. How about wineries and orchards? The Soda Creek area is a micro climate area that originally boasted one of the first orchards in BC, today it could be very productive land, the climate is right, and if thinking of making ice wines, well we definitely have the climate for that. From apples to fresh home grown garden produce, it would just take some people with a bit of vision and the investment of time and money. Tourism is another of the great potentials we have here, with countless lakes and streams, full of fighting fish, one of the truly great wildlife experiences for the rest of the world. We just have to open our arms and really make the tourists welcome, and they will come. I’m looking at starting an adventure tourism sideline in the future, gold prospecting trips. The opportunities are out there for all types of adventure tourism.

Mining the raw resources that exist here under our feet, the mineral wealth of this area, has not really been discovered as of yet. There is the potential for oil and gas out west of the Fraser River, gold and other minerals as well, opal if you wish can be found in the Nazco area, mainly plain fire opal, but who knows, there may someday be discoveries of precious opal as well, it just takes the right conditions. Let’s look at manufacturing some of our raw resources into finished products. We have Pioneer log Homes and several others doing just that right now. What else can we do with the wood fibre and minerals that surround us? The last on the list of resources that needs to be developed is the potential of the people that call the Cariboo / Chilcotin home. There lies our largest potential — teach them, train them in new skills and trades, invest in the development of our community. Perhaps the federal and provincial governments will hear of these Christmas wishes as well as St. Nick. — Eric Brigden

Learn from the tale of the Stone Soup Editor: I am sure that many are familiar with the folktale ‘Stone Soup’. A hungry traveler comes through a town that is experiencing lean times, it is not very welcoming! In the town centre he fires up his big soup pot and drops a special stone in. He excitedly shares that he is brewing up a pot of incredibly, delicious stone soup. The curious townsfolk, caught up in his enthusiasm, slowly come around and add a little of this and a bit of that. By the end, the whole town enjoys a wonderful feast and the camaraderie of each other. This story is a reminder of the resilience that we experience when we come together as a community and support each other. The wonderful thing about the Cariboo is that there is a constant Stone Soup brewing. This is definitely a community that is experiencing lean times, yet the resilience grows and strengthens. The holiday season can

be a challenge for many. We may be unsure if we have enough to pay the bills, or we may feel very alone. For others it could be that we are frustrated with the way that there is so much focus on consuming this and buying that. Perhaps it is simply so much darkness that brings you down? It is no coincidence that ancient people, the world over, of all different faiths would come together at this time of year and celebrate community and life! Create your own Stone Soup! Consider having potlucks, gather with the ones that nourish your soul. Find a community dinner and take a friend. Volunteer! Several years back I was in a new town with nowhere to spend Christmas. I found a place to volunteer and was surrounded by many others in a similar situation and we gave each other the gift of companionship! The holidays became more manageable for our family when we decided to unplug from the incredible consum-

erism. We still have a feast and some presents, it simply is not the primary focus. We have created some new traditions that we look forward to each year. Whatever your faith or path, this time of year has many old traditions that were the focus of our winter festivities. I don’t think that any of the luminaries of these faiths would believe what these holydays have become! If nothing more, give thanks for the fact that the days start to lengthen and there will be more light! Celebrate! I have found that the biggest key to enjoying the Holidays is GRATITUDE! Here is a lovely quote that I came across: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace ...for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” — Melody Beattie

Count the good things, the blessings in your life! We are lucky to have an abundance of clean air and water in the Cariboo. That alone puts us ahead of half the planet! Not to mention, the many support services available in Canada! This is not even getting personal — family, a special friend (human or furry), food, a place to lay your head. If you are feeling unsupported, reach out, there is support in our small and resilient community! We have our own Stone Soup to share. It is wonderful that The Stew Magazine is here, like a big soup pot, a place where members of our community can throw their bits in and we get to share this delicious feast for our hearts and minds every month, another thing to be grateful for. For this Holiday season, my wish for the Cariboo is that our pots overflow with gratitude and abundance as we celebrate our amazing, resilient community! What is in your pot? — Chanti Holtl

MAGAZINE THE STEW Magazine wants to know: What do you want for Christmas? Send your answers to

Todd Sullivan publisher / editor-in-chief “I’ve been feeling strangely content lately, so maybe just an unpaid intern that we can abuse here at The Stew with jobs like making coffee, transcribing interviews, fetching booze, that kind of thing. Or maybe a new car.”

Juli Harland sales manager / executive editor “Jimmy Choo shoes, but I will settle for an all-about-me romantic evening with my ever-so-awesome hubby man. Because, really, Jimmy Choos are pretty hawt, but you can only take them so many places here in the Cariboo without killing them.”

Angela Shephard fine frugality (crafters beat) “A maid, that’s what I want for Christmas!”

Jamie Horsely tone soup (music beat) “A 16GB iPod Nano. It's so tiny and pretty with it’s touchscreen display and cute little clip. It makes you wanna go, ‘Awwww, isn't it cuuuute?’”

Will Meeks where’s wally (travel beat) “For Christmas I would like socks.”

Carol Davidson stir (health beat) “Jokingly, a generous benefactor to sponsor me for my Ironman training in 2011. Realistically, a generous benefactor to sponsor me for my Ironman training in 2011!”

Torrey Owen vancouver seen (city beat) “Ummmm... I want to be abducted by sexually advanced aliens.”

Additional Contributors: Sage Birchwater, Natasha Stukl THE STEW Magazine is an independently owned and operated monthly arts and lifestyle magazine published in the Cariboo Chilcotin. All information contained in this magazine is correct, to our best knowledge, as of press time. Opinions expressed by correspondents and contributors are not necessarily those of THE STEW or its employees. We reserve the right to edit letters to the editor for grammar, punctuation, content, or length. All letters must be signed by the author. THE STEW Magazine accepts no responsibility for correctness beyond the amount paid for that portion of advertising space occupied by the incorrect item. We reserve the right to refuse any advertising or editorials submission which we believe to be inconsistent with the philosophy of this publication. The contents of this publication are copyright The Stew Magazine 2010.

PAGE 10 | THE STEW Magazine | December 2010

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Experiencing psytrance “Infected Mushroom is coming to Vancouver!” she yells out excitedly. “Tickets are $55 and they will be playing at the Commodore, we have to go!” she loudly continues, distracting me from my book. “What’s Infected Mushroom?” I ask, trying to sound interested and hide my frustration at having my attention divided. “They’re a band,” she says. “I’ve played them for you before and told you it’s them, don’t you listen when I’m talking?” “What?” I reply, still trying to read my book. An instant later I find myself caught in the crosshairs of a look of irritation. My survival instincts kick in. I put my book down, sit astute, and calmly ask her to tell me more about Infected Mushroom. “They are the fathers of psytrance,” she explains. “They’re out of Israel and have been around since the 90s. They’ve made a huge impact on the electronic music scene and their music is the inspiration for many psytrance artists. You like dancing, so we should go! You’ll really like them and you’ll have a really great time.” And that’s how I was convinced to attend one of the single greatest events ever. The concert was on a Friday night and we were a crew of nine people. I didn’t bother dressing up in a costume but other members of the group did. My roommate Amanda dressed as a fox and her partner Steph dressed as a raven — both girls looked great. My partner Laura debuted an incredible, futuristic costume she’d spent four months designing and sewing. We skytrained downtown, got off at City Center Station, and walked a few

Vancouver Seen By Torrey Owen blocks down Granville. Doors opened at 9:00 and by 9:15 our whole group was inside and sitting at a table in a back corner anticipating the show. I still wasn’t completely sure what to expect. The building was starting to fill with people, some costumed, some not, and many with dilated pupils indicative of psychedelic use. LSD, MDMA, Ecstasy, and Magic Mushrooms are a staple amongst psytrance concert attendees. The Commodore staff was quite aware of this fact and graciously gave glasses of water to anyone requesting. To start the night and warm up the audience, DJ Gunslinger did a short set. He was okay, and managed to get some people, including myself, out on the dance floor. After a couple songs, I warmed up and found my way back to my crew to chill before the concert really got hopping. I watched as the rest of the attendees flooded through the doors, the place became packed with people dressed in all sorts of colorful outfits. It was beginning to look like a carnival and all of us were ready to have a good time. Then the headliner appeared. Everyone flooded the dance floor cheering as Infected Mushroom took the stage. Strobe-lights began flashing, repetitive, trance-inducing beats started rumbling through our bodies,

and cries from the audience tore through the building as the night transformed into an indescribable experience. The world began to feel surreal and dreamlike. I was in a state of awe and intrigue as I witnessed the bandleader, Amit Duvdevani begin to guide the energy of the entire audience. He was an artist able to command complete attention and lead the dance floor into a shared rhythm. Songs would seamlessly flow into other songs as Duvdevani used a literal conductors baton to stir and flow all of us as if we were a liquid. I completely abandoned myself to the experience, jumping, twisting, and moving with every beat, somehow reaching a near state of exhaustion but still having energy to continue dancing — I, as well as everyone else, was locked in a trance. It was like being merged into a sea of people, everyone on the same frequency, moving together — an entire room of individuals temporarily transformed into a single flowing energy. And then, almost as quickly as it had begun, it was over. The band left the stage, the lights came back on, and the concert was finished. As we all shuffled out of the Commodore and back onto Granville Street, the entire experience transformed into a memory in what felt like the blink of an eye.

December 2010 | THE STEW Magazine | PAGE 11

Play Your guide to where to go and what to do for the month of December PHOTO BY TODD SULLIVAN

SANTA CLAUS CAME TO TOWN ď ľ Santa Claus rode into town amidst a crowd of elves, gingerbread men, singers, jingle bells, and cheers at the Williams Lake Santa Claus parade held in his honour.

PAGE 12 | THE STEW Magazine | December 2010

The Cariboo has a wealth of artists and artisans to pick from at Christmas. And buying local means not everyone will have the same things!

Every Tuesday at 7:00pm the Wee Chippies Restaurant in Quesnel: Join us for FUN social outings; including Dancing, Dinners, Hiking. Theatre, Barbeques, Community Events etc. New to town? Would you like to meet some new folks? You do not have to be Single to join us. (All Welcome) For more info visit our website at www. and check out our New Video Gallery. QSSG - “Where new friends become good friends!”


TO JOIN THE STEW Are you looking for a part time job where you get to meet interesting people? Do you like talking about things like books, movies, and the lastest pop-culture trends? Do you have your own car? Are you somewhat computer savvy? Do you enjoy drinking with co-workers? Then you might be just what we’re looking for! The Stew Magazine is looking for a part time advertising representative immediately. Interested? Forward your resume and cover letter to Juli Harland at


November 26 through to December 15 in downtown Williams Lake: WLCBIA is hosting the “Great Stuffie Hunt” - 30 stuffed animals are hiding in 30 participating downtown businesses. Pick up your clue sheet at the WLCBIA office on the corner of 3rd and Oliver St, find all the stuffies and get your stamps, then enter the draw to win! First prize is $150.00 WLCBIA bucks, usable downtown. December 1 at 10:00am until December 31 at 5:00pm: The Station House Gallery is holding its Annual Christmas Market, open seven days per week. A great way to support local artisans and pick up unique Christmas gifts all at the same time! Through to Decem-

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LOOK TO THE STARS  Martin Comtois held Hobbit House visitors captivated during his astrology workshops at the annual Hobbit House Open House in November. ber 10 at Williams Lake ReMax: The 4th Annual RE/MAX Community Christmas Toy Train is going on now! Bring in a new unwrapped toy and place it under the upsidedown Christmas Tree at Re/Max Realty. Deadline is December 10. Toys will be distributed to needy families in the community in time for Christmas. December 2 to December 4 and December 9 to December 11: The Williams Lake Maranatha Players present their ninth annual musical “A Pirate’s Life for Me”. Tickets available at Wise Owl Toys and Maranatha School. Adults $10.00,

Fusion Hair Extensions & Custom Clip-ins Before

December 3 at 7:00pm: Join D’arcy Christiansen and Christian Peterson at the Quesnel District and Museum for for a reading and book signing during the annual open house and gift shop sale. Admission by donation. For more information please contact Elizabeth Hunter at 250-992-9580 or email ehunter@city.quesnel. December 4 from 10:00am to 3:00pm: The Williams Lake Veterinary Hospital is hosting BCSPCA Pet Photos with Santa

by Craig Smith / About Face Photography. First picture is $15.00, each picture after is $10.00. December 4 at Troll Ski Resort: Valdy at Troll. Tickets are $25 and include dinner and are available at Rocky Peak and at the door. Fundraiser for Holger Bauer Forest Safety Endowment Fund. December 4 from 9:30am to 2:30pm: Check out the Annual Lone Butte Christmas Craft Sale at the Lone Butte Community Hall. For information call Audrey or Mary at 250-395-4206 or 250-395-1994




Williams Lake’s Wellness Centre Unique Things for Unique Souls

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December 2010 | THE STEW Magazine | PAGE 13

The Christian Church did not fix the date of Christmas at December 25 until the fourth century, and it was not called ‘Christmas’ until the ninth century. Prior to that it was simply known as the Midwinter Feast.


PIANO MAN  Local author, singer, musician, and all-around cool guy, Sage Birchwater broke out some tunes at last month’s Medieval Market. December 4 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm: The Eagle View Equestrian Centre in Williams Lake is hosting a BCBRA Barrel Race starting at 1:00pm weather and roads permitting December 4 at the 100 Mile House Community Hall: Annual Seniors’ Christmas Dinner at 6pm; sponsored by 100 Mile Rotary and friends. Tickets for the popular event are available at Royal LePage. or contact April or Al at 250-395-3665 December 4 and 11 at 10:00am to 3:00pm: The Quesnel Christmas Farmer’s Market at the Arts and

Recreation Center. Come see what the local artisans have to offer! A great way to support local arts. December 4 at 3:30pm: Come and witness Santa’s arrival to Quesnel at the Annual Santa Parade downtown! December 5 from 11:00am to 4:00pm: Eagle View Equestrian Centre is hosting a Christmas Fun day, Potluck Lunch and Gymkhana. Awards to follow starting at 11:00am December 5 from 2:30pm to 5:00pm: Central Cariboo Hospice Palliative Care Society’s Memory Tree Celebra-

tion at Williams Lake City Hall. From 2:30 to 4:30pm we will have our Service, Carol Singing and Refreshments; then at 4:30pm we’ll have the Tree Lighting. For more information call 250-392-5430 December 5 at 6:00pm at the Northstar Church in Quesnel: Christmas Carol Fest. Come join in song to celebrate the season. Will be accepting donations of non-perishable foods for Good Cheer. Sponsored by Quesnel Evangelical Ministerial December 6 from 11:00am to 3:00pm: Annual Walk to End Violence! The National Day of

December 7 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm: Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour will be coming through Williams Lake. The show will be at the Cariboo Memorial Complex in the Gibraltar Room. Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for Seniors. These can be purchased at Red Shreds and the Cariboo Memorial Complex. Tickets can also be purchased at the door for $17 for adults and $12 for Seniors. For more information please visit or phone: 250-398-7665 December 8 at West Park Mall in Quesnel: Festival of Enchanted Trees Auction Night. Join us for a festive evening. All proceeds from the auction will be used to purchase a Vital Signs Monitor with stand and Blood Pressure Cuffs. For more information contact Debbie at 250-992-6765


Pick up Gift Certificates for Christmas! Nail Art • Waxing • Tinting • & More!

December 9 at 6:00pm: Quesnel Interact Club Presents Dinner, Entertainment, Silent Auction at Correlieu Gym. All proceeds to be donated to the homeless shelter. Entertainment featuring Jared Fowler, Tim & Jemma Reeves, Gold Pan City Dance, Dougal from Shaw Cable, Trevor Walker and the Correlieu

Jazz Band. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for students / seniors and are available at the Visitor Centre, Iris and Circle “S” Western Wear. December 9 from 1:30pm to 3:30pm: The Williams Lake Film Club will be hosting a film in the Gibraltar Room.The film is called Mao’s Last Dancer (Australia).The proceeds from the film go to the Learning Disabilities Association.So come out for an interesting experience. For more information please contact Krista Liebe at 250-3989149 or email krista.

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December 9: Clinton


Merchant Madness Day. Lunch with Clinton Cleavages at Legion basement from 11:30am to 1:00pm, Lighting of the Christmas tree and caroling at the Villa tree at 6pm and Shopping local businesses for specials, refreshments, etc from 5pm to 9pm


Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Walk, Ride, Drive from Williams Lake City Hall to the Longhouse in the Stampede Grounds. There will be presentations, entertainment and lunch of chili and bannock provided by the Cariboo Friendship Society.

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PAGE 14 | THE STEW Magazine | December 2010

Merry Christmas (English)! Veliz Navidad (Spanish)! Joyeux Noel (French)! Forehliche Weihnachten (German)! Shub Naya Baras (Hindi)!

December 10 at the 100 Mile House Hospital Cafeteria (Fisher Place Entrance) at 6pm they’ll be celebrating their 18th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Come choose a bulb, celebrate your memories and keep your memory glowing brightly during this holiday season. Bulbs available on site with proceeds to Hospice. For more info please call 250-395-7680 December 11 to December 13 from 10:00am to 6:00pm: Be a part of history at Barkerville’s Old Fashion Christmas. Enjoy decorated displays and delicious home baking. Carol singing at St.Saviour’s Church and a variety of activities. December 11 come have Breakfast with Santa Claus at the 108 Mile Ranch in the 108 Community Hall. PreRegistration is required. Breakfast is from 9am to 12pm. For information or to register please contact Bev French at 250-7917206 December 11 at 5:30pm at the 100 Mile Community Hall: 17th Annual Community Christmas Dinner. Doors open 5:30 pm, dinner 6pm; sponsored by 100 Mile House Christian Community. For more information please contact Leila or Jacquie at 250-706-6808 or 250395-1992

December 12 from 10 am - 4 pm: Christmas Market at the 108 Community Hall. For more information call Ingrid at 250-791-5663


SHOWER EXPERIENCE  Vancouver band ‘Maria in the Shower’ stopped by for a quick visit last month. Catch these cool guys at the coming New year’s Eve bash at the Elks Hall!

December 12 at 1:00pm at the Martin Exeter Hall in 100 Mile House: Annual Food Bank Benefit Concert: Eclectica Community Choir Annual Concert “Sing Ye All”; conductor Dennis Tupman; Admission by donation to 100 Mile Food Bank. For more information contact John King at 250-3954559 December 12 at 8:00pm The 2010 Cariboo Canadian Country Christmas Concert will be held at the Quesnel Senior’s Center. Featuring Sean Hogan, Jamie Warren, Ridley Bent, Duane Steele, Samantha King. A portion of net proceeds go to Quesnel Child Development Centre. Tickets are Adults $32.00 / Seniors $25.00 / 17 and Under $17.00 and are available at Circle “S” Western Wear. December 13 from 8:00pm to 10:00pm: The 2010 Cariboo Canadian Country Christmas Concert will be held at the Gibraltar Room in Williams Lake.The concert will feature Sean Hogan, Jamie Warren, Ridley Bent, Duane Steele, and Samantha King.The tickets are $32.00 for Adults, $25.00

for Seniors,and $17.00 for 17 and under and can be purchased at Willie’s Western Wear and Margett’s Meat Market (Cash only for all tickets). December 17 to December 19 at the West Park Mall in Quesnel: Come check out the Annual West Park Craft Fair. All sorts of home crafted treasures will be on display and for sale during regular mall hours. December 19: Free Public Skate with Santa at the South Cariboo Rec Centre, 100 Mile House. For information contact the S.C. Rec Centre at 250-395-1353

December 21 to December 23 from 10:00am to 3:00pm at the Twin Arenas in Quesnel: Come join us for three fun days of activities for the whole family at the Twin Arenas. Enjoy our snow slide, ice painting, puck shooting challenge, fishing pond, Christmas crafts and even get the chance to skate with Santa! Regular admission rates apply. December 25 from 11:30am to 2:00pm: The Salvation Army is hosting its annual Christmas Day Luncheon at 272 Borland Street. Everyone welcome.

December 28 from 1:00pm to 2:30pm: Cariboo Memorial Complex is hosting A FREE SKATE sponsored by Surplus Herbies. Everyone welcome! December 31: 100 Mile Community Hall along with South Cariboo Community Concerts would like to announce that there will be a Giant New Years Dinner and Dance Party on December 31, 2010 at the 100 Mile Community Hall. Doors open at 5:30pm. Dinner Catered by Red Rock Grill starts at 6:30pm. Dance from 8:30 into the New Year!This is the South Cariboo Big

New Years Event. Tickets only $35.00 per person and are available at Donex, Didi’s, Work and Play, 108 Supermarket. December 31 at the Elk’s Hall in Williams Lake: The Gecko Tree along with Mountain Mystic is hosting what promises to be a fantastic night of food, festivities and music. With headliners “Maria in the Shower” along with many local talents, champagne, dinner and friendly familiar faces, this is a night not to miss. Tickets are available at The Gecko Tree or online at

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December 2010 | THE STEW Magazine | PAGE 15

Say hello to our newest contributor, Natasha Stukl! Send her some friendly emails and tell her how much you enjoyed reading her stuff in The Stew.

Remember that you’re beautiful just the way you are Women everywhere seem to underestimate their beauty, and it can be a rare find to come across a woman who doesn’t have body image issues. For much of my life I was ashamed of my body, thinking I was too fat and too ugly. I obsessed over my inadequacies fearing that no one would ever truly find me beautiful. I kept mental lists of my imperfections, attempting to camouflage or change them whenever and however possible. I was mean to my body, and to myself for being ‘fat.’ I didn’t eat right, exercised too much or too little, starved my body and my brain of the nutrients it needed, and also purged. What’s interesting is that the more I obsessed about my

Beautydooz By Natasha Stukl body, the worse I felt; and the worse I felt, the more obsessed I became about my body. I was caught up in a never ending cycle that not only jeopardized my life goals and dreams, it also put my health at risk. In a world of size zero and size two models, pin-thin celebrities, and an over-saturation of beauty enhancing products and services to “Lose 10 pounds fast,” or “Say goodbye to

stretchmarks,” it’s hard to embrace that beauty really does come in all shapes and sizes regardless of height, weight, age, race and so on. Beauty is the true essence of a woman, with her confidence and character shining through! Unless we can really start to live it and believe fully in our hearts that we are all beautiful, we can’t really be free to be the women we are entitled to be: strong,

clever, sensual, sexy charismatic women! We are so consumed by living up to the ideals of others that they have become our own. We are brain washed into believing that we have to force our bodies into looking like the picture of success that the billboards present. This is completely insane! If we can pull back and tune into how perfect we really are, we can start to see how sick the media and other influences geared toward sickly anorexic / bulimic looking models or unhealthy lifestyles are! You are sexy and beautiful and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! When you are proud of who you are and what you stand for a natural sexiness starts to grow. You begin

to engage all of those around you, you start to dance with life and the people you meet. New people you attract will be drawn to your en-

gaging personality and your fun loving spirit! So to all the sex kittens out there, go claim it, and live it!

Speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves.

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Dentistry is going through a revolution. There is virtually nothing we can’t do anymore. In essence, dentistry is capable of slowing down, halting, and reversing the aging process as it relates to our appearance and our ability to chew comfortably.

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PAGE 16 | THE STEW Magazine | December 2010

We were considering implementing a ‘Flip for double or nothing’ option with our advertising rates, but our accountant [wisely] talked us out of it.

Christensen shares his history as the ‘Flying Fur Buyer’ BY SAGE BIRCHWATER During the thirty years I worked as a journalist covering the news and happenings in the Chilcotin and Bella Coola Valley, there wasn’t a more colourful character in the region than former Anahim Lake store owner, Darcy Christensen. The front of his general store was emblazoned with a multicoloured mural of galloping horses, and above it were the words: “If we don’t have it; then you don’t need it.” Darcy was known far and wide as the “Flying Fur Buyer”, and if you were feeling lucky you could step inside the store and flip double or nothing with Darcy for anything in the store. In March, 2010, I got a phone call from Darcy asking for my help. He had long retired from the retail store business after selling out in 2000 to a distant relative, Norm McLean, and was now living in Williams Lake. He told me he was writing his memoirs and asked if I’d help him put it together. It didn’t take much convincing to get Caitlin Press publisher, Vici Johnstone, on side. She immediately recognized the potential for another regional best seller. The rest is history. Double or Nothing: The Flying Fur Buyer of Anahim Lake, published by Caitlin

FLIP FOR IT  Darcy Christensen at his November 4 book launch in the Museum, where he flipped double or nothing (and lost) with Annie’s Attic owner Lorie Wilson. Here he signs her free book.

Press, hit the book stands in early November. When I first met Darcy in the late 1970s, I owned a trapline in the Chilcotin south of Tatla Lake. I occasionally sold fur to him. During the winter months he was often away flying his bush plane equipped with skis, buying fur and delivering groceries to people living in remote locations in a three hundred kilometre radius of Anahim Lake. Darcy was a legend then. “Anyone who’d wave a mink skin at me, I’d land and buy their fur,” he says.

It’s food. For thought.

When he wasn’t flying, Darcy amused himself in the store with his coin toss antics where a customer could pay double or nothing for anything from a chocolate bar worth $1.48, to a whole grocery order worth several hundred dollars. One day I got a call from the Vancouver Sun to drive up from Tatlayoko Valley to take a picture of Darcy flipping double or nothing for a beaver pelt with a customer in his store. The photo was published in the June 30, 1986 edition of the Sun, accompanied by a story by business columnist, Mike Grenby, who stated: “This store owner likes doing business by flipping a coin. He’ll play any game you can name for any amount you can count.” Darcy told me later that wasn’t quite true. He said he was always careful not to gamble for any amount he

could not afford to lose, and to scrutinize the character of those he entered into these games of chance with. When he sold the store in 2000, Darcy said his business had been in his family for over 100 years. His grandfather, Adolph Christensen, founded A.C. Christensen Ltd. in Bella Coola in 1898, shortly after he and his bride, Maret, arrived with the Norwegian colonists in 1894 via a circuitous route from Norway to Minnesota, then finally to British Columbia. Darcy’s dad, Andy Christensen, bought the store from Adolph in the 1920s. A few years later Andy and his wife, Dorothy Christensen, purchased the Cless Pocket Ranch near Anahim Lake, and opened a branch of the store there as well. In those days there was no road connecting Bella Coola Valley to the Chilcotin Plateau. In fact

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there was no road linking Anahim Lake to provincial highway grid either. Andy transported all the goods for his store by steamship to Bella Coola, then by truck up the valley to the end of the road near Stuie. From there he hauled the goods using packhorses the rest of the way to Anahim Lake up the Precipice Trail. Darcy grew up in the saddle making these overland journeys back and forth between Bella Coola and the Chilcotin Plateau with his family. During the winters he attended school in Bella Coola, then spent the summers on the family ranch near Anahim Lake. On his mother’s side, Darcy’s maternal grandfather, John Clayton, was also an entrepreneur. He was the last Hudson’s Bay Factor in Bella Coola. When the historic fur trading company pulled up stakes

on the Central Coast in the 1880s, John Clayton bought up the HBC assets and was the major landholder in the valley when the Norwegians arrived in 1894. So Darcy’s roots go back to the earliest of colonial times in Bella Coola, and to the earliest European settlement of the West Chilcotin around Anahim Lake. Penning his stories, Darcy scratched into the far reaches of his memory to dig up tales of notable characters he shared that isolated landscape with. Lestor and Mickey Dorsey, Pan Phillips, Fred Engebretson, Maddy Jack, Jane Lehman, Tommy Holte, Alfred Bryant and Thomas Squinas, were all legends in their own right. They were also personal friends with whom Darcy milled lumber, ranched, trapped, gambled, and served in his store. He says a strong motivation for writing his book was to preserve the unique stories, sayings and memories of the people he shared his life with in this rustic outpost region of British Columbia. The cover photo of the book depicting six-year-old Darcy duded up with chaps, cowboy boots and hat, with a cigarette in his mouth, is bound to create some controversy. He says the cigarette was his mother’s idea to make the picture more interesting. An avowed anti-smoker, Darcy makes a statement to that effect on the back cover. And yes he will flip double or nothing for the $24.95 book. So far he says, he’s breaking about even. This story first appeared on on November 14, 2010.

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December 2010 | THE STEW Magazine | PAGE 17

Unrelated to her book, Felicity Klassen spent seven years with her husband Dave, living in their motorhome with no fixed address, and travelling from Inuvik in the High Arctic to Mexico City in the south.

‘Chilcotin Ramblings’ book details lodge history BY TODD SULLIVAN THE STEW MAGAZINE

You could think of Felicity Klassen as an accidental author. When she first started putting together the photographs and stories that would eventually become Chilcotin Ramblings, Klassen worked on it as a family project. “It started just as a family story for the kids and grandkids,” she explains, “and it kind of grew, and then a few people saw it and said, you know, I would like a copy of this.” Klassen currently calls Kamloops home, but her book is on the history of the Chilcotin Lodge in Riske Creek where she grew up. “It’s the 1940s and 50s. And it’s the way of life at Riske Creek at that time. I start out telling my own story, my family’s story, the history of Chilcotin Lodge, which is quite interesting.” The lodge was initially developed to be part of a chain of lodges, an idea that had been adapted from the success of chain grocery stores in the United States. But when the Second World War began, the lodge found itself empty. That’s when Klassen’s parents got involved. “My parents were in Vancouver and they volunteered with social agencies, and that sort of thing. And they went up to the lodge at Riske Creek to develop a place for delinquent boys to go. “Well, again, because of the war, the delinquent boys went off to fight, and so my parents were left there, and stayed, and my father, who knew nothing about furs, traded enough to buy the place.” Though Klassen’s family loved the area, they didn’t quite fit in, she explains. “They were quite misfits in the community. Their idea of a

good time was listening to classical music. Everybody else wanted to go ride horses and go to the next rodeo.” Misfits or not, it’s where they settled, where Klassen grew up, and where she found the inspiration for the stories and the photos in her book. And it’s that combination, she says, that makes the book work. “I think, just the writing wouldn’t be enough, and just the photography wouldn’t be enough. It’s the combination.” Much of the photog-

raphy in the book, which was so vital in her own creative process, came from her father. “My father was a photographer, and I’ve always been interested in photography, and I had some of those close-up of First Nation people, my father had taken them in the 1950s.” Those were the photos that guided her as she wrote. “I could have written more, there were other people that have many stories about them, but if I didn’t have the photograph of them, I didn’t have the same

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sense of reaching their soul, if I was looking at the photograph and had it in front of me as I was writing.” Klassen self-published Chilcotin Ramblings through a company called Blurb, which allows people to design their own books for publishing. “They let you use their templates so you can juggle the text and the graphics, and you can play with that as long as you want at no cost.” But even being a first time author, Klassen has found herself quickly embraced by the local writing community. “I’m astounded at the support I’ve had from other published authors. It’s a very supportive group, not competitive, like some things are competitive, but it’s just been, good

on you, go for it.” Chilcotin Ramblings is available in Williams Lake at the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin, the Station House Gal-

lery, and Willie’s Western Wear. You can also order books directly from Blurb at http://www. detail/1726414.

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We’ve got your New Year’s covered. We’re giving away two tickets to the New Year’s Eve bash being put together by The Gecko Tree and Mountain Mystics. Here’s how you can win. Ticket #1: Find us on Facebook. Push the LIKE button. Wait until December 15, 2010 when we’ll draw one fan, randomly. Ticket #2: Send an email to before December 15, 2010, explaining why you should get a free ticket. We’ll arbitrarily pick the one we like the best, and the best letters will appear in the January issue of the magazine.

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PAGE 18 | THE STEW Magazine | December 2010

Our planned ‘Wine & Dine’ feature for our January issue will feature newer dining establishments, what with it being a new year and all.

Dining out at spots that feel like home It’s finally December, so Christmas is just around the corner now. And with the holiday on it’s way, it’s that time of year when we start think about family and friends, and the place that we call home. Home can mean something different for a lot of people. Home is maybe where you grew up, or maybe it’s where you live right now. Home can be the feeling you get when you hear a certain

piece of music. You can also think of home when you visit some of your favourite dining spots. We put out the call to our readers to help us figure out which local restaurants most felt like home, and we received some varied and worthy answers. Porky’s Deli in Williams Lake received quite a few votes, and with good reason. Just walking through their doors is like walking into your

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Wine & Dine By the Stew Staff mom’s kitchen when she’s in the middle of fixing something fantastic to eat. Their homemade soups and buns really are just like mom used to make. Not to mention the stellar Shepard’s Pie. Ken’s Restaurant in Williams Lake got namedropped as the place to go for your basic, nononsense, cheeseburgers and fries. Grabbing a quick burger with the family is definitely a great way to feel at home.

Veggie Pizzas: Featuring hand-sliced fresh vegetables such as zucchini, spinach, red onion, fresh peppers, and more.

Seafood Pizzas: With such treasures from the sea as smoked oysters, BBQ Salmon, and shrimp

Meat Pizzas: With classic bacon, salami, Italian sausage, pepperoni, and beef

Chicken Pizzas: Featuring BBQ chicken and fresh veggies

The New World Coffee and Tea House also got some love from our readers (and we got a bit of a chiding at not including it in our list of comfort food locales). You can find soups, sandwiches, wraps, and a good variety of smaller snacks, all to go alongside a hot cup of coffee or their wide variety of teas. There’s a reason they were the recipient of the Business Excellence Award in Food Services. Granville’s Coffee in Quesnel received a vote largely due to the ultrafavourite Hungry Hobo sandwich, best shared, with coffee. The casual feel of the cafe and the friendly banter of the staff is a large part of what makes Granville’s homey, but the gooey egg salad and ham and veggies and everything else that is piled on to the Hungry Hobo is certainly something that reminds a person of college late-night snacks.

Juli’s vote goes to Smitty’s in 100 Mile House. Even though the menu has expanded to include gourmet burgers and salads, hearty entrees and all things in between, Juli is still a die hard fan of the stacks of pancakes. “They remind me of being a kid and we’d go to Smitty’s in Vancouver. All Smitty’s smell the same, look the same, it is like being 7 years old and soldiering through a massive pile of cake and gobs of syrup.” Though now she prefers wholegrain and sugar-free, but that’s another story. We even got a vote for the recently defunct Boho Grove -- Todd Sullivan and Juli Harland’s former entrepreneurial project -- that was home to local meat and produce as well as the works of local artists (and the famous grilled apple, bacon, and cheddar sandwich). Though they’ve moved on to producing this fine magazine, Todd and Juli would like to say that they were glad to have been able to provide a place that felt like home, even if only for a short time.

tweet the


We watched some movies and this is what we thought of them, in 140 characters or less

THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS: When imagination meets big budget and sexy actors. Story is kitschy, but fun.

THE EXPENDABLES: A 90 minute bromance-fest. Needed more ass-kicking and less Stallone / Schwarzenegger sexual tension.

Have suggestions for our Wine & Dine column? Send them to!

We believe that just because someone says you can’t fly...

...that’s no reason not to try.


December 2010 | THE STEW Magazine | PAGE 19


If you feel you absolutely must buy a Kinect system, we’d recommend Dance Central. It`s definitely the strongest launch title, and a blast to play after a few festive beverages. You’ll have to use your imagination to picture Todd dancing to Lady Gaga. Well, unless we post videos.


movies Xbox ‘Kinect’ is next stage in motion control We watched some movies and this is what we thought of them, in 140 characters or less

MY SON, MY SON, WHAT HAVE YE DONE?: Lynch and Herzog build a subtle and unsettling meditation on madness. As Lynch and Herzog would do.

TROLL 2: A film about vegetarian goblins (!?) who turn people into plants so they can eat them. Considered the worst movie ever. For a reason. We’ll watch [just about] anything over at The Stew.Want us to TwitteReview something? Send us the movies you think we should check out to


Christmas came early for gamers with an Xbox 360 in their homes. Microsoft released their ‘Kinect’ device on November 4 with a whopping advertising budget of $500 million, guaranteeing that most of you have probably heard about the thing by now. If you haven’t (or if you have, but you’re still not sure what the big deal is), Kinect for Xbox 360 is a natural continuation of a gaming trend that started in 2006 with the release of the Nintendo Wii: Motion gaming. For years, most video games were played in exactly the same way -- with a controller you held in your hands, moving analog sticks, pushing buttons, and pulling triggers, with your fingers and your thumbs. Nintendo’s Wii system looked to change that, by developing a controller that reponded to your every move. Want to play tennis? Just swing the Wii Remote like it’s a tennis racket. Want to play golf? Swing it like a golf club. This ease of use equalled unparalleled sales for the Wii console. This, of course, meant that competitors like Microsoft and Sony stood up, took notice, and said, “How can I get a piece of that?” Both companies followed Nintendo’s lead: Sony launched their ‘Move’ system for the Playstation 3 about six weeks before Kinect, on September 17, but it

was Microsoft who really raised the bar. While Move worked in a way similar to the Wii -- with wand-like controls you held in your hand -- Kinect is, instead, a camera that senses your entire body. You don’t have to hold onto a thing; Kinect just watches how you move. It might seem like a little thing, but in the same way that making the jump from a standard controller to a motionsensitive controller was a huge change, the jump from there to having no controller at all is just as large. The first time you stand in front of a Kinect system, it’s a little disorienting. You can watch as the motion in your arms and in your legs is replicated on your TV screen by your avatar (one that can look like a animated,

cartoon version of yourself, should you choose). But after getting over that initial disorientation, you find there is absolutely no learning curve to the Kinect at all. If you can move your arms and legs, you can play the game. That means hitting the demographic that Microsoft is eager to get at, the same demographic that the Wii has been capturing in the four years since its release -- non-gamers. People who wouldn’t pick up a video game controller if their life depended on it might actually be inclined to give gaming a try if they can play something like, say, bowling, by just moving their arm back and forth. The primary downside to the Kinect is its price. At $149, the camera alone is nearly the cost of an entire gaming console (you can pick up a Wii

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apps. You’ve got the usual suspects for motion control games -- casualfriendly titles like Kinect Adventures, a collection of sports mini-games like Kinect Sports, even a surprisingly entertaining dance title like Dance Central -- but nothing that’s going to really make you stop and notice how groundbreaking this device is. Yes, it’s exciting to play a game by just moving your arms. But once that excitement wears off, you’re left with the sense that the game itself is lacking. So unless you’re one of those must-have, early-adopter types, you can probably avoid the Kinect, at least for the next few months. Because it’s not enough for Kinect to be a game-changer. We also need to be able to see what it’s changing into.

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for around $200), and you’ll still need an Xbox 360 before you can use it; that’ll run you at least another $199, so you’re looking at spending almost $350 just to be able to wave at your TV, and you haven’t even bought any games yet. So unless you’ve got money to burn (or an Xbox 360 console already in your living room), you may want to sit this one out for a little bit. The other thing to consider is this: The Kinect is absolutely, without a doubt, a game-changing peripheral. In the short term, Kinect is changing the way that we interact with our video games. In the longer term, it will surely change the way we interact with our home electronics in general. However, as of this moment, there aren’t any game-changing

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PAGE 20 | THE STEW Magazine | December 2010

The ladies of pop are on the charts and the screen The ladies of pop are definitely laying it down. Rihanna, Ke$ha and Nicki Minaj all dropped new albums last month. Rihanna’s Loud has been very well received as she tries to return to her club sound and build an album free of filler songs. Loud is definitely a far step up from her last album. With two chart-topping singles and a third fast approaching, it’s worth a listen for sure. Nicki Minaj, as well as being featured in a song on Rihanna’s new album, now has an album of her own on shelves. Nicki made history in October when she had seven songs on the Billboard Hot 100 at once. Granted, she was only the credited artist of one of those, it’s still a feat. She’s breaking records and setting trends, and her debut album, Pink Friday, is really, quite good. Then there’s Ke$ha,

goddess of the auto-tune. Her new album, Cannibal, is nothing new. Club beats, auto-tuned, sexy-girl, pop lyrics. The best of it will get some play in the clubs and maybe some airtime on your local pop station. Trust me, you don’t need any more than that. The girls are even taking over the silver screen. Cher and Christina Aguilera star in Burlesque, a movie about a small town girl who goes to the big city to become famous. It sounds as cliche as it sounds. The movie is getting mediocre reviews all over. Apparently the story is minimal and predictable. If you see it, go expecting a big flashy music video rather than a quality story. The soundtrack is more promising than the movie. It’s mostly Christina practicing her deep diva voice. Cher only has two songs on the album, which

Tone Soup By Jamie Horsley is sad because her song, You Haven’t Seen The Last Of Me, definitely shines as one of the albums best. The album ends with a song called The Beautiful People which horribly rips off the signature guitar riff as well as the title of Marilyn Manson’s classic. Hopefully Tron Legacy will be better. The movie, as I’m sure you well know, hits theatres December 17 in 3D and on Imax. Daft Punk have composed the soundtrack which will be available on December 7.

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The whole thing promises to be full of epicness! Blaqk Audio, comprised of Davey Havok and Jade Puget of AFI, are back at the synthesizers as well, with their very original modern electro-pop sound. There are two new songs up on their Soundcloud page ( blaqkaudio). The latest one, Down Here, is a tantalizing teaser for the new album, Bright Black Heaven, which is due out sometime next year. While you’re waiting for that, keep an eye on the Smashing Pumpkins website ( as they continue to release their 44 track album, Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, for free, one song at a time. The second physical instalment, Volume II: The Solstice Bare, has just been released. Each EP contains 4 songs and is beautifully packaged and rather limited. One song from the current EP, The Fellowship, is not yet available for download. But with seven free, new(ish)

Smashing Pumpkins songs, it’s more than worth a stop by their website. Awards were being handed out left right and centre last month. At the Country Music Awards Brad Paisley took Entertainer of the Year without winning anything else. Miranda Lambert was an easy favourite with a record nine nominations (10 if you count being nominated for Single of the Year twice, but it doesn’t count when you’re breaking records) and winning awards for Female Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year for Revolution, and Video of the Year for The House That Built Me. The House That Built Me also won Song of the Year for its songwriters, Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin. Lady Antebellum took home Vocal Group of the Year and Single of the Year for I Need You Now, making them the only artists to win Single of the Year in two consecutive years.. Sugarland won their only nomination as Duo of the Year. Blake Shelton was named Male Vocalist of the Year and along with Trace Adkins won Musical Event of the year for Hillbilly Bone. The American Music Awards don’t need much telling as they were completely predictable. Bieber cleaned up, Gaga took Female Pop. Usher and Rihanna got Male and Fe-

male awards in Soul / R&B. Eminem won Favourite Album and Male in Rap / Hip-Hop. Black Eyed Peas got Favourite Pop Group. Brad Paisley came out on top of his category again winning Favourite Male Artist in Country Music. Lady Antebellum got Country Group and Taylor Swift took country female. That’s a lot of awards. I think we’re in an award-lul now, until The Grammys in February. Maybe Gwar, the masters of shock rock, will earn their long-deserved Grammy this time (hey, it could happen, they’ve been nominated twice before). It has taken them the better part of their 25 years, but Gwar is working their way into mainstream media more and more lately. Lead singer, Oderous Urungus has been appearing on Fox News Network’s late night show, Red Eye, as Intergalactic Correspondent. They’ve been at all the best metal festivals and even recently performed their latest single, Zombies, March! on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Their last album, Lust In Space even landed in the top half of Billboard’s Top 200 chart. Gwar has just dumped their latest pile of filth on us all. Bloody Pit of Horror is available now. Buy it or Oderus will kill you. Also, it includes a song with the word Christmas in the title and is therefore festive.

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Brandon Hoffman comes from a pretty musical family. Dad, Murray, has played with local jazz bands for years, and mom, Sharon, is a regular voice in Quintet Plus.

Monthly Mixology Music a big part of all our lives over at THE STEW Magazine, and these were some of the tracks that helped us put the magazine out this month Todd Sullivan: ‘Paparazzi’ – Lady Gaga ‘Empty Room’ – Arcade Fire ‘Whiter Shade of Pale’ - Procol Harum Juli Harland: ‘I Love the Way You Lie – Rhianna and Eminem ‘Faith’ – Limp Bizkit ‘I Put a Spell on You’ – Marilyn Manson Angela Shephard: Shamanic Dream ‘Her Diamonds’ – Rob Thomas ‘Trouble’ – Pink. Jamie Horsely: ‘Spangled’ – Smashing Pumpkins ‘Nothing Like You and I’ – The Perishers ‘Hell-O-Medly’ – Gwar Will Meeks: ‘Housewife’ – Dr. Dre album Chronic 2000 ‘Stranglehold’ – Ted Nugent ‘Loser’ – Beck Carol Davidson: ‘Christmas at Ground Zero’ – Weird Al ‘Highway to Hell’ – AC/DC ‘Forty Miles to Saturday Night’ – Paul Kelly & the Coloured Girls Torrey Owen: ‘City of the Future’ – Infected Mushroom ‘Killing Time’ – Infected Mushroom ‘Disco Duck’ – Rick Dees

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Local boys bring music to the masses BY JULI HARLAND THE STEW MAGAZINE

What started out as a do-ityourself band recording in a shed turned into a career passion for local Cariboo young men Brandon Hoffman and Cameron Catalano. Originally from Williams Lake, the pair are now the owners and operators of Gladgnome Studios in Burnaby where the pair works with a wide range of musical artists producing, arranging, recording, and mastering their creative projects. The Stew had a chance to catch up with Hoffman, the resident mixing and mastering engineer. producer, multi-instrumentalist, teacher, and instrument builder, as well as recording engineer, Hoffman has his fingers in every aspect of their four-year-old studio. The business all started back in 2005 when, according to Hoffman, “Cam and I both played in a band together when we both lived in Williams Lake. “Our buddy Jeff [Beaulieu] who was also in the band picked up a mixing board and we recorded our first album. We actually did it in Cam’s parents back yard in a little shack. We thought it was the best thing in the world then, and now it’s hard to listen to,” Hoffman laughs, recalling the quality of the recording. Unfortunately the band didn’t last much past that recording, but it was enough to spark a passion in Hoffman for the recording process. “I was in mechanical engineering when we did that [recording] and I was hooked, so I dropped out and went to music school in New

Westminster, finished up a program in Independent Production and they really liked me so they offered me a TA job which turned onto a full fledged job. That was 2006, since then I’ve just been working at the school, building up a client base and finishing off my communications degree,” says Hoffman. And it’s been paying off. Gladgnome has produced no less than a dozen albums in the last four years, including the recent Wells Songwriting Workshop Contributor’s CD compilation which is available on the Gladgnome website and on iTunes. As much fun and success as Hoffman and Catalano are having on the coast, Hoffman says that his long-term goal is to “find some little space maybe in the Kootneys, or the Cariboo Chilcotin, set up a

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little space, maybe even attached to a retail space like a cafe or live bar or something, and just try to keep the artists going through and build the catalogue I’ve been building up. I think if we keep things up online it doesn’t matter if we’re out of the city. Most of our people have come from out of town anyway.” But for now Hoffman will continue to make music both at the studio and on his own with his side musical projects and soak up all the knowledge and contacts he can through teaching, working and plugging into the coastal scene as he works toward the future he is carving for himself and the Gladgnome team. For more information on this kick-ass local duo, check out the Gladgnome website at

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PAGE 22 | THE STEW Magazine | December 2010

‘Master-baiter’ is, to our best knowledge, not an official fishing boat title, and we suspect they may have been yanking Mr. Meeks’ chain. Or perhaps implying that Mr. Meeks was yanking his own chain, so to speak.

The rime of the modern mariner Where’s Wally?

I took a trip to Port Hardy to hop on a fishing boat. Hardy is about as far up as you can go on Vancouver Island, a small logging and fishing town surrounded on one side by dense rainforest and the other by stormy frigid seas. Every year my employer hires a long liner fishing boat to collect live black cod for the yearly ‘egg take.’ We collect around 400 broodstock and hold them until spring at which time we take eggs and sperm to stock the hatchery. Year after year I begged to go on this trip, and year after year I was turned down. Well this year, my boss finally caved. He told me, “Will, it’s not fun. You will be sick the whole time. Bring a bucket.” I am not worried, for I am a man with an iron gut. I have eaten three day old unrefrigerated pizza (shared with the publisher of this magazine), drank Wild Turkey from Styrofoam cups (also with the Todd) as well as the stagnant larvae-ridden beaver-infested water of many Cariboo lakes. As a youth, I rode the zipper 10 times in a row. I have been training for this my whole life. I load my rusty trusty Toyota with the necessary equipment and begin my journey. By purposefully not asking what I should prepare for on this trip I have ensured that the mystery of my journey will remain intact. Let’s face it, the best part of a road trip is the unknown. The mysteries of the road that are yet to be discovered.

By Will Meeks I am prepared for every eventuality or none. The road is treacherous, but easily handled by ‘zappy.’ Zappy, my truck, got her name on account of her front end being held together almost entirely by zap straps. I pass the time by counting bullet holes in road signs. Arriving in Port Hardy, I find the ‘Western Surprise’ (I have changed the name to something more appropriate to this particular vessel and her circumstances), a 75 foot aluminum long-liner. I enter the cabin and go below to inspect the sleeping quarters. Claiming a top bunk with my pack, I head topside again to wait for the rest of the crew. It is well past 8pm before our spirited Skipper and deckhands arrive. They load the life-raft on board with the crane, it falls into place after hitting pretty much everything on the deck on the way. I hope the Skipper runs the boat better than he operates a crane. I follow the Skipper to the wheelhouse as he begins to power up the electronics, navigation and diesel motors. I noticed an antiquated PC tower


tucked underneath the rat nest of extension cords below the bridge and joke, “You run this bitch on Windows?” He replies, “Yeah, Windows XP.” Not more than five seconds afterwards, the wheelhouse is on fire. The Skipper quickly puts the fire out and inspects the damage. The video card and several extension cords have melted together into one foul smelling clusterfuck. After driving back to the Skipper’s house to pick up his home PC and re-installing it for him, I feel that I have really bonded with this big, smelly, hairy, bastard. Computer nerd meets seasoned fisherman. We actually did make it to the fishing waters, Pisces Canyon, a few miles off Cape Scott. We dropped our gear and stabilizers, put the boat on half knot autopilot and hit the sack for a few hours. Yes, you read right, those huge fishing boats you see bobbing around in the middle of the night may or may not have anyone awake on them. I hope you granola eating ocean kayakers are paying attention.

GO FISH  The Western ‘Surprise’, where ‘master-baiter’ Will Meeks spent his time on the high seas. A silence wakes me. The diesels have shut off. We have run out of fuel. An interesting predicament, given our current location, drifting in the middle of the Pacific. A faulty fuel pump has prevented the fuel from being pumped from the aft tanks which actually are full. Once a boat stops moving forward, you can really feel the ocean, we are at the mercy of 50 foot ground swells and 30 knot winds. Of course, I am not scared, being ignorant in the ways of the mariner. This must happen all the time right? After several hours of name-calling and hitting things with large tools, the diesel soaked skipper emerges from the engine room and starts the engines.

We try to find people willing to go on the record with their 2011 Resolutions!

Limping the boat on the dregs of the reserve tanks, we head for Coal Harbour, the closest port. We arrived at the port and had to wait for a fuel truck and six new batteries, apparently the sound card wasn’t the only thing that melted on the trip. Instead of sleeping on the boat, we took a cab to the local Legion where a deckhand’s cousin was getting married. It was a strange mix of people, locals and out of town relatives from as far away as Los Angeles. Two bridesmaids are in the corner making out, and one of our deckhands is arguing with another about how in Alert Bay you are only related from the waist up. We returned to the boat

that evening and caught a few hours rest before the fuel truck came. We made it back out, and spent the next two days setting and pulling lines. Fishing was good and we returned to port in good health. I was proud. I had lived as a fisherman; cut squid for hours until my fingers were frozen, baited hooks until my arms burned, ran the winch (tangled the winch), drove the boat (hit a log), completed my mission, and survived. I had gained the respect of my fellow fishermen having been promoted to masterbaiter in mere days. Smelling like sweat, beer, and five day old fish, I bid farewell to the crew and return home. A better, much smellier man.

December 2010 | THE STEW Magazine | PAGE 23

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PAGE 24 | THE STEW Magazine | December 2010



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THE STEW Magazine 12-10  

The December 2010 issue of THE STEW Magazine

THE STEW Magazine 12-10  

The December 2010 issue of THE STEW Magazine