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The Peace Region’s Arts and Culture Magazine


...FOR more events, photos, and articles & STUFF visit




Upcoming Local Events




Have A Heart, A Really Healthy Heart


Henry See’s the Magic


Lasting Love


The Muse and Music


Venue Map


Where the Art Is


Refresh Now For Flowers in the Spring


Publishing Pieces of the Peace


The Women We Are



A Boyhood Dream Comes to Life


11th Annual Chocolate Festival





Everyone Pitches In


Busy Month for Pan-African Caribbean



RocKIN’ the Peace Returns


The Power of P3


High On Ice 2011 /rainbow_owl

THOSE WHO LIGHT THE CANDLES & SET THE MOOD: Henry See, Shannon Butler, Emily Goodman, Mitch Guindon, Ryan Hennessey, Brian MacMillan, Sue Popesku, Tonya Fines, Randelle Lusk, Bettyanne Hampton, Margaret May, Gareth Hurlburt, Clarice Eckford, Twyla Jordan, Russell Eggleston, Mark Bodner, Pam Clemen, Dave Tolley



Russell Eggleston | | phone you can leave a message (seriously, you will have to leave a message): 250 261 8002 Russell Eggleston Creative Services | RR1 Site 16 Comp. 30 | Fort St. John, BC | V1J 4M6

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The mission of Northern Groove is to get people from in and around our community involved, aware, and connected with all of the amazing things that are happening locally within the world of arts and culture in the North Peace.

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If you have an idea for an article, are planning an event, or have an idea, or a suggestion...hit us up with an email:

we are known to frequent local coffee shops The information in this publication is provided as a public service. Although we endeavour to ensure that the information is as current and accurate as possible, errors do occasionally occur. As some information is supplied by third parties and may be subject to change, we cannot always guarantee its accuracy. Where possible, readers should verify the information before acting on it.

our website is the source for what’s happening in town

UPCOMING LOCAL EVENTS Have an event? Tell us. We’ll tell the universe. Quickly and easily submit your event online: and click on “Event Calendar” or email editor@

Conference Centre Fort St. John Sun, Feb. 6 Face The Music -Guy Davis Workshop, North Peace Cultural Centre Fort St. John Tue, Feb. 8, 7:30pm Home Routes House Concerts presents Wendell Ferguson, Retro Relics/Rabbit Hole Fort St. John

Sun, Feb. 27, 7:00pm Stage North Red Carpet Oscar Night, Lido Theatre Fort St. John

marching orders...

Wed, Feb. 9, 8:30pm Egan’s Open Mic, Egan’s Pub Fort St. John

Wed, Mar. 2, 7:30pm Buckcherry, Papa Roach, My Darkest Days, Bleeker Ridge, Encana Events Centre Dawson Creek

Every Wednesday, 8:00pm Open Mic with Ryan Hennessey Egan’s Pub Fort St. John

Fri, Feb. 11 - Sat, Feb. 12, 7:00pm The Aristocats, North Peace Cultural Centre Fort St. John

Fri, Mar. 4, 6:00pm CDC Talent Show Fundraiser, North Peace Cultural Centre Fort St. John

Every 3rd Thursday of the Month, 6:00pm All Ages Open Mic, Patch Java Fort St. John

Sat, Feb. 12, 6:00pm The Chocolate Festival, North Peace Cultural Centre Fort St. John

Sat, Mar. 12, 7:00pm RocKIN the Peace 2011, North Peace Cultural Centre Fort St. John

Tue, Feb. 1, 7:30pm Memeza Africa, North Peace Cultural Centre Fort St. John

Mon, Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day with Naomi Shore, JD Fitzgerald’s Pub Fort St. John

Thu, Mar. 31, 7:00pm Alan Jackson with George Canyon and the Harters, Encana Events Centre Dawson Creek

Tue Feb. 1, 7:00pm Strawberry Jam, Lido Theatre Fort St. John

Tue, Feb. 15, 7:00pm Writer and Poet Open Mic, Retro Relics/Rabbit Hole Fort St. John


february things to love

Wed, Feb. 2, Face The Music - Memeza Africa Workshop, North Peace Cultural Centre Fort St. John Wed, Feb. 2, 8:30pm Egan’s Open Mic, Egan’s Pub Fort St. John Fri, Feb. 4, 7:00pm Across the Decades with Ken Kirschner, Lido Theatre Fort St. John Sat, Feb. 5, 7:30pm Guy Davis, North Peace Cultural Centre Fort St. John Sat, Feb. 5, 6:00pm Sunrise Rotary Sweethearts Ball, Pomeroy Inn &

Fri, Feb. 18, 7:30pm Pink Panther Strikes Again, North Peace Cultural Centre Fort St. John Fri, Feb. 18, 5:00pm Deadline for RocKIN’ the Peace Submissions Fort St. John Sat, Feb. 19, 1pm-4pm Winter Wonderlands, North Peace Cultural Centre Fort St. John

For the most current list of things going on, please visit the Event Calendar online:

Thu, Feb. 24, 7:00pm Five Alarm Funk, Lido Theatre Fort St. John

While we’d like to fit everything in here, events are published on a first come basis, space permitting.

COMMERCIAL & RESIDENTIAL REFRIGERATION HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING APPLIANCE PARTS & REPAIR Maintenance Contracts . Oilfield Camp Maintenance Walk-in Coolers/Freezers . Mobile A/C Repairs Restaurant Equipment . RV A/C & Refrigeration


Event times and dates are subject to change at any point, check with venue to ensure accuracy.

l 10704 - 101 Ave . p 250.787.1688 . 250.787.1682





love, exciting and new. come aboard, we’ve been expecting you. Dearest Reader, I felt it was time I shared my true feelings (being that it’s February, the month of love and Valentines and all) with you. So, I’ve put pen to paper first (as it’s more romantic), then put fingers to keyboard. I think I’m in love. No, let me get it right out there. I AM IN LOVE. The truth is, I’ve been hinting around this for months and months....but now it’s finally off my chest. The truth is, I’m in love with your art. You may shake your head and think “no, no...I’m not ready for that”...but you need not be shy. Whether you paint, sing, make pottery, dance, write, doesn’t matter. I love what you do. And I want to share that love with the world. You are passionate about what you do, and it shows. All the precious moments you spend perfecting your craft brings you joy. In turn, it brings me joy...and I want to bring that joy to everyone. We can’t keep this just between us any longer. I want you to know that your art, whatever it may be, deserves it’s place between these pages, or gracing the Northern Groove website. It would make my heart sing! I would be able to shout from the highest of mountains how much I love what you do, how you do it, and how much it means to me...and now to the world. And the world will shout back (or whisper tenderly in your ear) how much you and your art matters and the difference in life it can make. So, please...I ask you to embrace your art, and embrace what Northern Groove can do for your art and let’s take our relationship to the next level. The timing may not be right for us right now, but rest assured I will be (to quote Richard Marx whom you may be familiar with while waiting for your dentist) right here, waiting. This is an open invitation. Pursue your passion, pursue your art... and when you are ready to take the next tentative step, to share your love of art...I’ll be here. Love and hugs, Russell Eggleston (PS. If you are ready to step up our relationship now, call me, text me or email me. 250 261 8002, russell@northerngroove. com).




Have a heart... a really healthy heart tonya fines

While February is synonymous with Valentines Day, roses and chocolate, it lends itself to a much more important cause. February is Heart Month and you owe it to yourself to be informed because heart disease is a lot more prevalent than most of us realize. Ladies... please pay special attention! According to the Heart & Stroke Foundation, every seven minutes someone in Canada dies from heart disease or stroke. Heart disease is also the leading cause of death among Canadian women, yet most women aren’t even aware of the risks. So what can you do to increase your chances for a healthy heart? Here are a few suggestions: Get the Scoop The Heart & Stroke Foundation has a fabulous website: Here you will find invaluable information about symptoms, risk factors, patient programs, recipes, community events and much, much more. Bookmark this site please, it’s worth it!

Lower Potential Risk Factors While there are some risk factors that are beyond your control such as age, gender and family history; there are many more that you can control. Smoking, diets high in saturated fat, obesity and prolonged stress can increase your risk of heart disease. The bottom line is to look after yourself, feed your body well and be smart about your lifestyle and habits! Keep Active You don’t have to adopt a plan that parallels training for the Boston Marathon, but you do need to get yourself involved in some form of physical exercise and you have to keep it up. Get your heart pumping, work up a sweat and burn some calories. Your heart will love you for it! Just because there are statistics doesn’t mean you have to become one. Statistics, in my opinion, are valuable tools of information that we can take and use in order to live smarter, be healthier and enjoy a greater quality of life! Cheers!

henry see’s the magic words mitch guindon


images russell eggleston

Here in the Music Capital of Northern BC we are finding it easier to hear about the great artists and musicians in our neighborhood and where to find them doing what they do. What we don’t hear much about are the people that work so hard to support these artists, and what they do to keep the scene alive. One of these people is Henry See. In the time I have known him, Henry has attended practically every music event in Fort St. John; whether it be a big act from out of town or a local musician he’s heard a hundred times. I’ve even seen Henry go to more than one show on the same night because he says they are just too good to miss! You may know Henry from his store Retro Relics/The Rabbit Hole; you may have seen him on a city bus hosting “Music That Moves You”; or maybe you’ve heard him singing and playing a bit of guitar with Lee Taylor in “Beards of Grey”. These are only very recently acquired skills of his. I would need several pages, if not the whole magazine, to adequately share the stories about the places Henry has gone and the varied things he has done. Not only can Mr. See run one heck of an awesome bookstore, he has worked in an aluminum anodizing plant, lived several years in the south of France and has toured the world displaying his hi-tech interactive electronic art (which I really wish I had gotten the opportunity to see for myself!). 10

Henry is an accomplished artist, a budding “young” musician, a great supporter of the arts, and the host to many events at his store. You may already be familiar with the Home Routes Concert Series (which was profiled in the last issue of Northern Groove), but you may not know about the poetry readings that happen monthly that have spawned two anthologies of local writers called DiVerseCities, the second of which is set to come out very soon. The next poetry reading and written word open mic will be on February 15 at Retro Relics/The Rabbit Hole. I encourage you to come out and support it. Two of the past Home Routes concerts at Retro Relics saw a modest eleven spectators. The most recent show with Steve Palmer only brought out five brave souls, though it was a terribly cold evening even for Fort St. John. The musicians that perform on the Home Routes tour are some of the finest entertainers Canada has to offer, and without our support at these events they may actually starve to death! (Okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme of me, but if you’ve seen some suspicious characters busking around town you might rethink your initial impression of them; they could merely be unfortunate musicians on tour!).


Thankfully, Henry would never let this happen and has been known to help them out by purchasing some of their CD’s and T-shirts for resale in his store. I know first hand from my own musical past that touring musicians need to make a bit of money to survive, and from now on I will be doing my very best to keep these wonderfully talented performers coming back to Fort St. John by showing them my support. You will never experience a concert like Home Routes in a pub, bar, theatre or arena. It is very much akin to inviting your friends over to watch a band perform in your living room. There is great music, unbelievable stories of the road, and usually a little jamming after the show. It is without a doubt the most personal and emotional way to connect with an artist and their music. The next Home Routes concert will be February 8 featuring Wendell Ferguson, who combines humour and amazing guitar playing like no other, and is truly a show you do not want to miss. I’ll see you there! For more information on upcoming shows at Retro Relics/The Rabbit Hole, please visit and click on the Events List.


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Serenity Spa 12


LASTING LOVE randelle lusk

Entwined between pudgy pink fingers, the string creaks as it strains to arch Cupid’s bow. Trailing down the narrow shaft, a watchful eye carefully chooses its target. Deliberately the waxy string rolls away from its captor, catapulting the long arrow of love into an unsuspecting soul. February has drifted in to tantalize the senses with fragrant flowers, sweet truffles, provocative lingerie and poetic verses. Whether it be a table for two at a candlelit restaurant or an evening of whiskey and wine with your single pals, Valentine’s Day plucks at our heartstrings as we take a moment to cherish the love we have in our lives. Why do we limit our show of devotion to just one mere day of the year. Why does this celebration have to be bound to the eyes of your one-and-only? We are living in a society that is brimming with loss and disconnect. News headlines scream with pain and suffering. I imagine the burden of Earth is weighing heavily onto the tired shoulders of Atlas, knees buckling, droplets of perspiration forming on his worried brow. How can we lighten this tremendous load? Our world needs love. We all need to remember what it feels to be loved by the world we live in. What it feels to be loved by our neighbors. Take your love to task, start small, make eye contact and smile at a stranger on the street. Bring the intention of love onto your yoga mat and feel your practice crack open your heart. In love there is lightness - let your love shine out. Under the Yoga Tree offers an extensive yoga schedule for all levels, with public yoga classes offered 7 days a week. For an up-to-date schedule visit Private and Corporate sessions available Contact Randelle Lusk, RYT-200 for more information Ph: (250) 263-5828 E:



THE MUSE AND MUSIC words ryan hennessey

& brian macmillan

Hello to all aspiring songwriters and generally curious people! Ryan Hennessey here. Welcome to the first instalment of the Brian Macmillan/Ryan Hennessey Songwriting Forum. We are honoured to have been approached by the Northern Groove team to share our insight, advice and tricks of the trade. So, let’s have fun with it and get started. Okay...where do we start? Much the same as this article, a song has to have a spark, a point of inspiration that makes you say “I need to write a song about this”. Inspiration, however, can strike at sometimes inopportune moments where you don’t have a guitar or a piano or even a place to work. You need a notepad or something to capture the thought, melody, riff, etc. I’ve sent myself emails and even voice messages to make sure the idea didn’t get away. Granted, it doesn’t always work, but anything helps. Songwriting ideas don’t have to happen out of the blue. Artists will take “writing breaks” where they focus solely on the creation of new songs. In recent years, I’ve tried to follow this route as life gets increasingly busy. I can’t make the kids wait an extra hour for supper cause Dad’s writing a new song! Hi all (Bmac chiming in here). Hi Ryan! cool to write this together across the country, our first collaboration. Songs next!, this is a great topic. One that songwriters are constantly working and re-working our relationship with. How do we write songs? Why do we write songs? Like Ryan, I need a spark, something to push me to the guitar, the piece of paper, the piano; whatever it is at that moment. 14

Current technology makes it easier than ever to track our ideas and to be creative. The iPhone is great for this. I currently have 97 little voice memos of words, melodies, choruses and guitar parts. Developing them into a song is another story. I am finding it so important these days to always be observing. Taking note of as much of my day as possible; phrases I hear, people I meet. Every part of our day can spark something that can turn into a fantastic song if we take care at each step. A song used to, more often than not for me, start first with a musical idea; a guitar riff generally. As of late I find myself trying to put the words together create a cohesive story or message. Finding music that will empower the words is next, to enhance their meaning and imagery; after the words, feeling and sentiment have been established. Both ways of composing a song are great and bring about their own results. Thanks, Brian. Keep your eyes and ears open, peeps. Listen and watch for those moments that catch your ear and mind and stick with you. No matter how small they seem, you can undoubtedly turn them into


something bigger. Don’t stop humming those little melodies to yourself, I guarantee you’ll stumble onto something catchy! Ryan Hennessey is a local singer/songwriter who can be found hosting Egan’s Open Mic every Wednesday as well as playing in the local band Big Night Out. | Brian MacMillan (Bmac) is a singer/songwriter/guitarist from Toronto. His latest CD “Shine” is available locally at Retro Relics. Brian can also be found performing live with the likes of John McDermott and Nine Mile. |


100 ST

MAP OF FORT ST JOHN This map of Fort St. John is intended to help visitors and residents better find venues, restaurants, and our supporting businesses.


23 1 9 16



2 9








5 10




12 17 22

1 Systems By Trail

10421 100 St. ph. 250-787-7591

2 Kilnhouse Studio

10510 101 ave. ph. 250-271-0066

3 Retro Relics | The Rabbit Hole 10140 100th Ave. ph. 250-787-8822

4 Whole Wheat ‘n Honey 10003 100 St. ph. 250-787-9866

5 North Peace Cultural Centre 10015 100th Ave. ph. 250-785-1992


13 Pomeroy Hotel | Tony Romas | Chances gaming centre 11308 Alaska Road North ph. 250- 262-3233

7 isabelle’s boutique

14 JD Fitzgerald’s & northern grand QUALITY INN HOTEL


15 Jackfish Dundees




10320 94th Ave. ph. 250-787-2781


9824 - 98A Ave. ph. 250-787-5130

9320 Alaska Road ph. 250-262-3030 9916 101 Ave. ph. 250-785-8070

9830-100th Ave. ph. 250- 261-6961

9404 Alaska Road ph. 250-263-9991

12984 Jackfish Frontage ph. 250-785-3233 10704 101 Ave. ph. 250-787-1688

10344-100th St. ph. 250-787-0361

17 FSJ Community Arts Council

10015 100th Ave. ph. 250-785-1992


19 Under the Yoga Tree

10027-100 St. ph. 250-785-6328

10104-101 Ave. ph. 250-263-5828

9522 100th St. ph. 250-785-3033

charlie lake ph. 250-785-0263


20 serenity spa

21 encan #1 300 hwy 2

22 pome

93rd ave & 96

23 patch

10430 100th s


10631 100th s


203 -9711 100

russell eggleston

100 AVE

We’ve secretly been putting together an exciting team of community minded artists, writers, and producers from across Canada to work on a project that has never been done before in our city. We think it will make a huge impact on how arts and culture in our community are perceived not only here in the mighty North Peace, but all across this great country of ours. What’s actually happening? The team will be creating a set of feature film quality short movies telling the diverse and unique stories of arts and culture happening in small towns and cities (like Fort St. John) across Canada. Our city just so happens to be the perfect first community for the project! Filming begins in January, with the end result of seven short movies being produced featuring some of Fort St. John’s finest local artists. We think the short movie format is uniquely suited to showcase how art works in small communities like ours. By telling the story of 1) the artists who live here, 2) the venues and organizations who support them, 3) the wonderful communities themselves that these artists call home, and 4) the people that support, enjoy, and participate in the arts and culture scene of these communities.


The movies will be available for free via the Where the Art Is website, Facebook, Twitter, and our email list. We’re really excited to promote the wonderfully talented people that are right here in our own backyards.

6 21

na events centre

Dawson creek ph. 250-782-7440

eroy sport centre

6th st. ph. 250-787-8150

h java

st. ph. 250-261-6648


st. ph. 250-787-8150


0th AVE. ph. 250-785-5323

To find out all about the project, check out the website: www.! Our biggest challenge is to spread the word to as many people as possible! If you’re willing, please share this project with your friends and family via Facebook, Twitter, or even a plain-ole fashioned email. The first three artists the project will feature in Fort St. John are: 1 - Amy Te Bulte - Visual Artist 2 - Mat Savard - Musician 3 - Ryan Hennessey - Musician & Open Mic Host If you have any questions about the project, or if your business or organization wants to get involved (we really want you to!), please contact Russell Eggleston at 250-261-8002 or email:

Refresh Now for Fresh Flowers in the Spring margaret may

Cold winter months go by faster with thoughts about warm sunshine and fresh flowers. Although the sun may appear soon, it seems a long stretch before Fort St. John will see flowers lining the downtown streets again. But local painters can transport their thoughts to summer months now by volunteering to paint a flower pot for the Fort St. John Community Arts Council.

the inner workings of the program. New pots are purchased, painted, and varnished. Previous pots are touched up and replanted. Auction pots are touched up, and re-varnished for the spring sale. The process starts in January with the pots on the street by late May or early June. Each pot is sponsored by a business, corporation or an individual. New sponsors are always welcome.

February is Paint- the-Pots Month. Over 50 artists are needed to paint the new flower pots that are added to the vast array of pots and flowers that make Fort St. John so colourful during the summer. Since the Flower Pot program began in 2000, the City of Fort St. John supplies 50 new pots each year to the program to be painted, with the pots from two years prior going up for auction in the spring. In all, 125 pots are freshly planted with flowers provided by the City and placed on the corners in the downtown core each summer.

The Arts Council is offering a new service of refurbishing pots owned by private individuals. The artwork on the flower pots purchased at auction years ago will have faded and chipped in our harsh weather over the winter. Each of the pots has an original painting and each can be touched up to look new again. The Arts Council is welcoming those pots back to the Artpost at 10320 94 Avenue for paint touch ups for a small fee. As soon as you can free up your flower pot from the snow and ice, bring it in for touching up.

The Flower Pot Program is unique to Fort St. John. The partnership of the Community Arts Council and the City of Fort St. John has caught the eye of a number of other communities who have asked about

Artists, long time flower pot owners, and interested sponsors can contact the Arts Council at or call 250-787-2781 at the Artspost. The office is open from 9am-12pm on weekdays.

“The creative industries play a major role in building and sustaining economically vibrant communities, serve as magnets to attract businesses and their employees, and are the main reason for stimulating a marked increase in cultural tourism.”

U.S. Conference of Mayors

10320-94 Avenue 250-787-2781


“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” Thomas Merton (1915-1968)

The FSJ Community Arts Council is working towards a better community through the development of arts and culture.

publishing pieces of the peace: part II henry see

In November 2009, Retro Relics published the first volume of DiVerseCities, an anthology of writing by writers and poets from the Peace. It included poems, short stories, and memoirs from twelve contributors. The second edition of DiVerseCities will be published this spring. DiVerseCities is an outgrowth of the Spread the Word open mic for poets and writers held monthly at Retro Relics/Rabbit Hole. The gathering is now entering its third year. The next meeting will be at 7pm, Tuesday, February 15. If you have poetry, short stories, or short memoirs you would like to submit, please send your entries via email to before March 31.

your schedule... MONDAY BREW ‘N CHEW... classic burger & beer or bellini for $8

special four course menu and a performance by Naomi Shore * RESERVATIONS RECOMMENDED *


girl’s night out...4 bellinis & 4 appetizers for $40

THURSDAY WING THANG... $5 per pound of wings




9830 100th Ave ~ 250 261 6961 19

The Women We Are... emily goodman

Get ready, ladies and gents, because The Vagina Monologues will be hitting the wintry streets of Fort St. John on March 5th at the North Peace Cultural Centre! The production marks the FSJ Women’s Resource Society’s 7th annual fundraising campaign and celebration of the V-Day movement to end violence against women and girls worldwide. The Vagina Monologues is an uproarious and uplifting show based on interviews with hundreds of women from across the globe. The monologues are a series of one-acts inspired by these interviews, each with their own unique story told with humour, sass, taste, and heart. In the end, they blend together to paint a dynamic picture of the female experience, in which the word ‘vagina’ becomes symbolic for womanhood, sexual empowerment, and women’s strength and spirit. It invites us to celebrate women through laughter while honouring the hardships many women continue to endure. Each year, our community’s production of The Vagina Monologues gets bigger and better, taking on a fresh, exciting new form. There are spellbinding new monologues and entertaining special features. I mean, who could forget Lindsay Pratt’s original rap, “Hair Panties”?


We create engaging new events to look forward to, like our V-Day Sing-a-Grams. We raise more and more awareness in our community about both the mission of V-Day and the important services of the Women’s Resource Society. What really makes the difference from year to year is our amazing and evolving cast of local women. Our volunteer thespians give themselves over – mind, body and va... (well, you get the point) to create a hilarious and dazzling stage performance that inspires, exhilarates, and wows. Just when you think you’ve seen the show before, each woman gives her own unique spin and brings out new colours and richness. The diversity of the monologues is reflected in the variety of the women in our cast. Some are new to the stage, while others are “vagina veterans”. They are welders, yogis, teachers, and everything in between, with one shared vision to help support women from our community and around the world.

Our cast truly represents the best of what Fort St. John has to offer. And this year, we will be celebrating these wonderful women by giving you sneak-peeks into their quirky lives on Until then, see for yourself why these ladies rock:

Pam – Environmental Health Inspector with a penchant for women’s advocacy.

Cory – Drum playing, earth loving, sassy grandmother who works in non-profit.

Linda – Comedienne, craftswoman and lover of all things New Age.

Michelle – Dirt biking, snow boarding, stained-glass making welding inspector.

Randelle – Yoga instructor, small business owner, and first-time actress.

Connie – Activist, Pow Wow dancer and proud woman of the Bigstone Cree Nation.

Sonya – Business owner and proud mother of two… with another one on the way!

Kaylen – World-traveling, Spanish-speaking, 6’2” newly minted Bachelor of Science.

As you can see, these ladies make up an eclectic, eccentric, electric, enigmatic group of women. But really, aren’t we all pretty darn incredible? Do we not all cease to amaze our friends, partners, children, parents, and ourselves? The Vagina Monologues shows us that each of our stories can shine, and that we should all embrace every piece that makes us who we are.

Erin – Drama major turned social worker with “community” pumping through her veins. Kristin – Fun-loving, outdoorsy massage practitioner and yoga instructor. Jen – Graphic designer, blogger and FSJ native, who fell in love with a Kiwi. Barb – Health and wellness expert and board member of the Women’s Centre. Sam – Teacher from Newfoundland who loves volunteering and taekwondo.

Mel – Teacher of children with special needs, and our most veteran volunteer.

So join us on March 5th at the North Peace Cultural Centre for an evening of gut-busting laughs, heartmelting tears, and pure entertainment.

Tickets are only $20 and are available at the Women’s Resource Centre, the NPCC box office, and on

a boyhood dream comes to life twyla jordan

Every child grows up with an idol. Someone they have spent tireless hours watching, listening to, studying the movements of. For some it was John Wayne or Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama or Britney Spears. For Jean-Paul Wood, it was none other than the great Inspector Jacques Clouseau. Naturally when he heard that Stage North would be bringing Clouseau to life right here in Fort St John, he knew he had to be a part of it. The big day came and there were a number of reasons why he couldn’t make the audition. He had the kids, he had no car, there was no way he could make it in time. Every solution offered was countered. It seemed impossible. The entire world seemed out to get evil nemesis around every corner who would not stop until his dreams were defeated. He had grown up watching the Pink Panther movies. He knew every character, every movie, every ill-fated moment and he wanted badly to be a part of it. It looked like that wasn’t going to happen. Then in true Clouseau fashion, against all odds, he came out on top. When he burst in the door, tripped on his own shoelace, flew across the room and landed, perfectly upright and deadpan, inches from the director’s face, they knew they had found their Clouseau. He was cast to play the man he had grown up watching and idolizing, Inspector Jacques Clouseau. There is something uniquely special about watching a character come to life through an actor who has studied him for so long. Wood embraces the role of Clouseau with great enthusiasm, skilled awkwardness, and the exaggerated accent that could only be 22

Clouseau. When asked what it’s like to be able to embody your childhood idol, he responded in the calm and dignified manner one would expect from the Chief Inspector of the Surete. It was meant to be after all, his father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate once worked as a dog walker for Peter Sellers. He was destined to play the role. Watch as a boyhood dream comes to life on the stage of the North Peace Cultural Centre in Stage North’s production of The Pink Panther Strikes Again. The show runs Feb 18, 19, 24, 25, 26 at 7:30pm. Tickets are now available at the NPCC box office by calling 250-785-1992 or online at Have dinner with the Pink Panther on February 4th at JD Fitzgerald’s Pub and Eatery when Darren and the staff Party With The Panther from 6 to 9pm. Special Pink Panther drinks, door prizes, fun and more for one night only at JD Fitzgerald’s in the heart of Fort St. John. This is an event you will want to check out. Reservations are recommended at 250-261-6961

11th ANNUAL CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL The 11th Annual Chocolate Festival, sponsored by Peace Arts Gallery Society takes place at 6pm Saturday, February 12th at the North Peace Cultural Centre. Unlimited tasting and a prize for the best in each category! Proceeds raised from this most fun-filled evening go to support the free Kids Art Camp in the summer. Tickets are $10 in advance and are available at the NPCC Box Office or at the door on the night of the festival and auction. BAKERS NEEDED! Please lend your support to this worthy cause by donating a delicious chocolate confection to be sold during our live auction.

Volunteer bakers are asked to donate two identical items for one of the following categories: cakes, candy, cookies, squares, tortes and miscellaneous. One item will be offered for the auction and the other will be cut into bite-sized pieces for “tasters� in ordder to delight palettes and entice bidders. Children are invited to bake for the kids category! Bring your baked donations to the Cultural Centre at 9:00 a.m. or shortly thereafter on Saturday, Feb. 12th. Please note we cannot accept anything needing refrigeration. Thank you for your kind support of the 11th Annual Chocolate Festival!

change... bettyanne hampton

It’s a new year and we automatically think about ‘change’. 2011 couldn’t possibly bring more than last year, could it? Embracing change is easier when we understand what’s in it for us. In my case, it was adventure and opportunity, unquestionably a bonus year for both. Speaking of the Cultural Centre…and change… there’s lots afoot...and there’s lots in it for everyone. An ideally positioned hub, we’re striving for new ways of delivering what the community needs. Building our box office is one of them. We’ve upgraded our systems to a ticket master level and trained staff to meet all manner of box office requirements including events like the Allan Cup and other sporting events, festivals, spelling bee’s, fundraising events, dinner theater, music events and more. Definitely check it out. The NPCC Box Office is definitely in business - online, by phone or walk in.

There’s a cool change or two at artSpace as it gets a new face and a fresh space; a stepped up level of service, birthday party packages kids will love, amazing youth and adult programs and new collaborative programming with the Library, Success by Six, and other community organizations. In the coming month we’re looking at changes to the Café, too. The business is up for tender and some delicious proposals for good eating are coming in. Stay tuned for announcements. I’m excited that business and art coexist in the Centre; that corporate meetings and conferences happen across the hall from theatre auditions, and that the art on the walls is created by local artists who utilize the Centre’s loft to paint and learn and ultimately show. We’re also happy that the Centre can feature exhibits by Federation of Canadian Artists at Peace Gallery North. The collective result is energy…positive, creative and vibrant energy.

The culture of the Centre is changing too and local musicians are playing an increasingly important role. We’re now home to drum lessons, piano students who need rehearsal space, weekly choir practices, and the drumming circle every Sunday afternoon in the concourse. We will be featuring Spotlight artists this spring in a special ‘onstage’ series, with the Box Office serving as an outlet for their (and other local artists) CD’s.

It’s about great tunes playing in the concourse, the bright posters announcing exciting shows coming up; a child with a new library book, a group of friends hanging out after school; or hearing laughter from a cooking class, or the rhythmic clackety-clack of dance shoes on the dance studio floor.

If you haven’t already heard about the City’s Face the Music workshop series, we’ve scheduled more workshops in the next few months. They’re open to the public, they’re intimate, they’re 5 bucks…and they put you face to face with famous or infamous touring artists. Check out New York bluesmaster Guy Davis’ workshop on Feb 6th.

The whole culture of the Centre is about movement, innovation, celebration, and people; a place to hang out, share, see a show, take in a class, book a meeting, shop for art, join friends for lunch, or read a book. It’s the ’touchstone’ for the arts. Everyday at the Cultural Centre, changes, big or small are being embraced.

The Centre is excited to partner with the City as the hotdog/hot chocolate gathering point for Music That Moves You, a now nationally recognized project.

It’s a pretty amazing place.

Everyone Pitches In: Rising Spirit Aboriginal Youth Centre clarice eckford

NENAS, the North East Native Advancing Society, opened Rising Spirit Aboriginal Youth Centre in 2006 to address a need in Fort St. John for a healthy and safe environment for Aboriginal youth to find support, services, and just to hang out. When you walk into Rising Spirit, you encounter a comfortable and colourful space with computers, couches, and a foosball table. The walls are decorated with quotes and pictures. Aimee Chalifoux, the director of the program’s services, explains, “Everybody contributed a little bit of themselves. The Rising Spirit tag was based on a smaller version that one of our youth tagged and we loved it. It’s something that the kids related to. But, that large Rising Spirit piece, everyone pitched in and did a little part of it.” Chalifoux has held the position since 2009, when she moved to Fort St. John from Vancouver Island. Down south, she worked in a transition house for homeless women. She’s always had a passion for front line social work; and you can see it in how she talks about the dozens of youth that walk through the doors of Rising Spirit. “They’re an amazing group of kids. They teach me things all the time. I’m never surprised because I know that they have really big hearts. There must be some pretty amazing communities

around here because they’ve had pretty big influences on their lives.” I ask how many kids use the facility on a daily basis. “We never know. It can be empty and then twenty kids can walk in. Summertime tends to be quiet – that’s when the pow-wows are going on, lots of people are travelling, lots of people have family in Alberta or family down south, so they go visiting or they go on camping trips.” One thing for sure is the amazing influence NENAS and Rising Spirit have on the youth that use the facility. With their extensive job searching and life skills programming which Chalifoux calls “innovative”, the kids get support in all areas of their life. “I’ve seen youth that, when we met them, were homeless and living on the streets. A year later, they’re living on their own, getting a job, and going back to school.” I ask Chalifoux to share a favourite moment. It’s difficult for her to choose: “I have them all the time.” After a pause, she says, “When the kids surprised me for my fortieth birthday. They threw a surprise party for me with cake and everybody signed a card. I cried for days over that card.”

The Welcoming and Inclusive Communities & Workplaces Program (WICWP) is a special collaborative community initiative aimed at supporting and celebrating cultural diversity through community events, workshops, articles and special initiatives. This program is made possible through funding from the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS PROGRAM IN FORT ST. JOHN, PLEASE CONTACT LESLIE OR CLARICE AT 250.785.5323.

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in Our Communities

Fort St. John (250) 787-0361 FEBRUARY 2011

Hudson’s Hope (250) 783-5217

Fort Nelson (250) 774-5215 25

a busy month for the pan-african caribbean association The Pan African Caribbean Association of FSJ is in its 3rd year in Fort St John and is a non-profit organization. Its purpose is it to celebrate African Caribbean cultural heritage and foster social relations with a wider community. They have been involved in Canada Day events, Relay for Life and also celebrate Black History Month. This February is their busiest one so far. February 1st the African Dancers are performing at the North Peace Culture Centre and on February 5th at Guy Davis the Pan African Caribbean Association will be in the foyer with baked items for sale.

baseball as he signed with the Chicago Cubs in 1966. He also pitched with the Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox; then returned to the Cubs in 1982. Fergie is the first Canadian to win the Cy Young award in 1971 He was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987, the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown New York in 1991, and was invested in the Order of Canada in 2007. During the 1960’s he played basketball with the Harlem Globetrotters.

On February 21, Ferguson Jenkins is coming to Fort St John as part of a crosscountry tour in commemoration of his Canada Post stamp for Black History month. Fergie was born in Chatham, Ontario and as a youth played basketball, hockey and baseball. His successful career was in

Fergie’s mother’s ancestors were slaves who escaped the southern United States via the Underground Railroad; and his father was a baseball player and chef with roots in the Caribbean . His visit will include a presentation on black history and following one’s dreams. He will be available to sign autographs, meet the public and for media interviews on Feb 21 with the venue and time to be announced




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rockin’ the peace returns for another year It’s the middle of another chilly winter, and there’s no better time for local musicians to practice up their chops, record a few tunes and submit them to the annual RocKIN’ the Peace Original Music Search. It doesn’t matter what style of music you play; footstomping rock, toe-tapping country, uplifting gospel, smouldering blues, catchy pop, or frantic punk all fit the bill. Following in the success of previous years, the format for the event remains unchanged. Submit up to three of your original songs for judging. Yep, they’ve got to be “originals” in order to qualify, no cover songs and no karaoke, please. The top eight artists, as chosen by a panel of judges, will play live at the North Peace Cultural Centre on March 12, where the audience will vote for their fave. And that fave will walk away with $1500! Entries are being accepted at all Fort St. John radio stations, and you can also submit online at www. But, time is ticking by fast...the deadline for submitting to this year’s RocKIN’ the Peace is Friday, February 18th at 5PM. Full details, rules, regulations, updates, news and highlights from past performances can be found on the RocKIN’ the Peace website.

Mondays 7-9pm Sacred Space 10671 101st Ave For more info: 250-787-9433

It’s Valentine’s Day. Need we say more?

lingerie & intimate apparel FEBRUARY 2011

9916 101 Avenue Fort St. John . 250 785 8070 27

fort st. john hospital & Residential care FaCility

the power of p3: partnering for progress gareth hurlbut

Although we have been covering the Fort St. John Hospital and Residential Care Centre project for about a year, we’ve never really explained the process. I’ve asked Gareth Hurlbut from ISL Health to describe the process and all who are involved. I learn something new every month about this project, but to truly understand what P3 is, and how it is a completely innovative way to design a facility, I think I will let the pros handle it. I’d like to extend thanks to Tom Sparrow and Gareth Hurlbut for the info. - Dave Tolley

for a 30 year concession term, with the structure and maintenance of the building linked to performance of the plant maintenance contractor. This P3 agreement ensures that the assets always owned by NHA are properly maintained and meet specified conditions throughout the partnership. At the end of the partnership, NHA can rely on the assets being at a pre-specified minimum condition.

isl health

The Fort St John Hospital and Residential Care Centre is being built using a public private partnership arrangement known as P3. Designing and building P3 schemes requires a much more tailored approach compared to working in a more traditional manner. P3 is a partnership arrangement in the form of a long-term performance based contract. In this case, between the public owner, Northern Health Authority (NHA) and the private consortium, ISL Health; a team of private sector companies working together to deliver the new Fort St John Hospital and Residential Care Centre for the local community and the region at large.

ISL Health is designing, building, helping finance and maintaining the facility in partnership with NHA 28

One of the unique factors of a P3 project is that there is allowance for substantial design input from the actual users of the facility before the structures are built.

As reported last month in Northern Groove, the clinical staff working for NHA over the last 18 months have been attending ‘Design User Groups’ to review and finalise the design of this facility. This new building really has been designed by the community for the community. What does this mean? The design process has been working parallel with construction of the building, leading to greater coordination between all parties. More complex project management is a result of this unique process. For example, the positioning of the elevators needed to be completed at a very early stage in the design process to allow foundation construction

Pictures (from top left): new hospital takes shape, arrival and unloading of laundry equipment, Area F data cabling, view of Residential Care Houses from the Acute Main Entrance area, exterior panels and glazing in Area 3.

to occur and structural design to be complete. Working with NHA User Groups, ISL Health identified hospital department areas along with public and staff circulation, thus enabling optimal placement of the elevators. Another example is the NHA User Group and ISL Health designers locating the Sterile Processing Department beneath the Operating Rooms, therefore allowing for surgical equipment to be transported to and from the Operating Rooms via two dedicated elevators; one being for used equipment going down for cleaning and sterilizing in the Sterile Processing Department and the other for recently cleaned sterile equipment going up for use again. This design completely separating used, dirty instruments from sterile clean ones, eliminating chances for cross-contamination. The design has also reduced equipment and staff travel times, therefore reducing expected costs. ISL Health is delighted to report that the whole design process has now been achieved and completed, allowing the ISL Health builders on the construction site to concentrate on completing the construction of the building.

The up-to-date highlights of the project progress include: • Buildings nearly sealed: The walls, windows and roof are intact on the hospital, and one of two residential care buildings. With temporary heating systems installed, interior work can continue throughout the winter months. • Departments taking shape: major progress has been made on construction of the hospital birthing centre, which, in terms of construction completion, is the furthest advanced of medical departments. • Equipment on the way: orders have been placed for several items in anticipation of installation, including heavy laundry equipment and lights and booms for the new operating rooms. • Mechanical and electrical systems in place: including 10 large air-handling units, five energy-efficient boilers, two large chillers, and two main switchgears and transformers.

images russell eggleston

Despite subzero temperatures and perhaps the most snowfall of the season so far, the annual High On Ice Festival was a resounding success. Carvers from all over North America, around the world, and our own backyard showcased their talents...which was no mean feat this year as they battled the frosty elements. The issues of keeping ice from melting (as in the past) was furthest from everyone’s minds this year, replaced by how to keep warm whilst chipping, cutting and carving. Another year, and another incredible celebration of ice, snow and artistic talent at the city of Fort St. John’s world class High On Ice!

Events are our Speciality!

If you are involved with an event or group and would like us to help promote it, all you have to do is contact the Visitor Centre! Phone: 250.785.3033 Email: 9523 - 100 Street, Fort St. John Open Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm through the Winter and Spring

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wednesdays Open Mic with Ryan Hennessey

live music fridays FEB 4 Mardi Gras: Mat Savard & Ryan Sebastiano FEB 11 Adam Kirschner & Ryan Sebastiano FEB 18 Ryan Sebastiano & A Name Unheard FEB 25 The Suspicious

250.263.9991 FEBRUARY 2011

in the same place



Northern Groove - February  

Northern Groove for February 2011