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E L O H T I B B A R / S C I L E R O RETR 11


That kid’ll

look like me

High On I ce??? Wha t the heck does that mean?

in a year!



One more year till 2012... dot dot dot




POET & WRITER OPEN MIKE Tuesday, January 18, 7pm.

HOUSE CONCERT - STEVE PALMER Thursday, January 13, 7:30 pm


Thursday, February 8, 7:30 pm



INSIDE THIS MONTH... 4 - Events List 7 - Editorial: Art for Art’s Sake 8 - Exercising the Right to Play 10 - Home Routes: Wendell Ferguson 11 - Unusual Clues in a Classic Comedy /rainbow_owl

CONTRIBUTORS: Henry See, Shannon Butler, Eliza Massey Stanford, Jim Peltier, Sue Popesku, Holly Arntzen, Tonya Fines, Randelle Lusk, Clarice Eckford, Gwyntie van Tuyl, Sarah Lyons, Margaret May, Staci Busche, Russell Eggleston, Mark Bodner, Pam Clemen, Dave Tolley, Bettyanne Hampton

12 - Haunted by a Resolution 13 - Home Routes: Steve Palmer 14 - Coloured Ice 15 - Be the Change You Want to See 16 - Venue Map 17 - North of New York: Guy Davis

COVER PHOTO: Russell Eggleston

18 - Get In There and Wreck It

PUBLISHER: Russell Eggleston | | phone you can leave a message (seriously, you will have to leave a message) on: 250 261 8002

22 - NPSS Orphanage Fundraiser


26 - Cold Weather, Tight Family

LAYOUT & DESIGN: Image Build Team |

30 - Music that Moves You Winter Edition

Northern Groove Magazine Published By: Russell Eggleston Creative Services | RR1 Site 16 Comp. 30 | Fort St. John, BC | V1J 4M6

20 - The Grand Three Hundred 23 - A Midsummer Night’s Dream 24 - High On Ice Winter Festival 28 - FSJ Hospital: The Next Phase

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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”

JANUARY THINGS TO GET YOU OUT OF THE HOUSE TUESDAYS, 8pm: Pubthumpers Trivia with Cassandra Mervyn & Steve Ryan, Egan’s Pub, Fort St. John WEDNESDAYS, 8pm: Open Mic with Ryan Hennessey, Egan’s Pub, Fort St. John SATURDAYS, 7pm, New Singer/ Songwriter Group, Patch Java, Fort St. John Tue Jan 11, 7pm, Strawberry Jam, Lido Theatre, Fort St. John Tue Jan 11, 7pm, One Giant Night of Comedy, Encana Events Centre, Dawson Creek FOR COMPLETE HIGH ON ICE EVENT SCHEDULE...SCAN THIS QR CODE OR VISIT fO34iY Thu Jan 13 - Sun Jan 16, High On Ice Festival, Centennial Park, Fort St. John Thu Jan 13 - Sun Jan 15, Midsummer Night’s Dream, North Peace Cultural Centre, Fort St. John


Thu Jan 13, 7:30pm, Home Routes House Concert, Steve Palmer, Rabbit Hole/Retro Relics, Fort St. John

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

Fri Jan 14, 7pm, Music That Moves You, North Peace Cultural Centre Bus Stop, Fort St. John

Sat Feb 5, 7:30pm, Guy Davis, North Peace Cultural Centre, Fort St. John

Fri Jan 14 - Sat Jan 15, 7pm, Laugh Your Ice Off featuring Johnny Gardhouse, Lido Theatre, Fort St. John Fri Jan 14 - Sat Jan 15, 8pm, Ryan Hennessey, JD Fitzgerald’s, Fort St. John Sat Jan 15, 1pm, Caroline Woodward book signing, Rabbit Hole/Retro Relics, Fort St. John Tue Jan 18, 7pm, Poet & Writer Open Mike, Rabbit Hole/Retro Relics, Fort St. John Thu Jan 20, 6pm, All Ages Open Mic, Patch Java, Fort St. John Thu Jan 20, 7pm, Prism, Lido Theatre, Fort St. John Fri Jan 21, 7:30pm, Ashley MacIssac, North Peace Cultural Centre, Fort St. John Fri Jan 21 - Sat Jan 22, 8pm, The Ramblers, JD Fitzgerald’s, Fort St. John Sat Jan 22, Snowed In Comedy Tour, North Peace Cultural Centre, Fort St. John


Thu Feb 8, 7:30pm, Home Routes House Concert Wendell Ferguson, Rabbit Hole/Retro Relics, Fort St. John Fri Feb 11 - Sat Feb 12, 7pm, Aristocats, North Peace Cultural Centre, Fort St. John Sat Feb 12, 6pm, Chocolate Festival, North Peace Cultural Centre, Fort St. John Mon Feb 14, Valentines Day with Naomi Shore, JD Fitzgerald’s, Fort St. John. THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW THAT WE DON’T CONTROL. THIS INCLUDES: THINGS FALLING FROM THE SKY LIKE RAIN AND SNOW AND METEORITES, TOUR BUSES BREAKING DOWN, FOOD POISONING, DETAINMENT AT THE BORDER, LOSS OF APPETITE, MILD DIZZINESS, AND OBSCURED PERIPHERAL VISION. Event times and dates are subject to change at any point, check with venue to ensure accuracy. For the most current list of things going on, please visit the Event Calendar online: While we’d like to fit everything in here, events are published on a first come basis, space permitting.







ART FOR ART’S SAKE russell eggleston

- editorial

I can’t stop thinking about what a strange bunch artists are. I define an artist as someone who is creative and passionate about something. It makes no difference exactly what the art is (music, food, carving ice, dance, etc) or if the individual making art has been doing it their whole life, or if it’s their very first day. If you love creating something - you’re an artist. But that doesn’t change the fact that artists are kinda crazy. I mean, who in their right mind would spend so much time and energy working on something only to get such little immediate return? Why work so hard? That’s the question. hold onto that thought for two seconds. Here’s another story on my mind. Almost five years ago... I produced the very first Northern Groove magazine. Lots and lots has changed since then. Now there is an amazing team, and we’re way more effective, but the initial passion that drives what we’re doing is exactly the same: help inform, connect, and promote local arts and culture in our own get the word out. In this last year, we’ve really put ourselves to the test. I’ve gotta say that this has been the most ridiculously

stressful, most flat-out busy, hair pulling, and honestly crazy year I’ve had yet. But at the same time - this year has also been filled with incredible joy, huge creative energy, passion, amazing friends, and fun like I’ve never experienced before. I’m very lucky to be able to spend so much time talking with amazing artists from our own backyard and finding out their story. Every person in this magazine is an artist -- all of whom spend disproportionate amounts of time working on the things they love. I’ve been very lucky to have found something that I love, and even luckier to have found a way to spend so much time pursuing it. In that sense, I’d probably have to admit I fall under my own definition of an artist, and am probably as strange as they get. So okay, back to the question. Why do artists work so hard? Is it worth it? Well, I already know the answer for me, but why don’t you ask any of the people in this magazine? Is pursuing your own “art” worth it? I’d be willing to bet we’ll all tell you the exact same answer. Thanks for a great 2010, and happy 2011!

Proud Supporter of


in Our Communities

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

Hudson’s Hope (250) 783-5217

Fort Nelson (250) 774-5215 7




What would Fort St. John look like if we treated music the way we treat sports? As I was going around and around the walking/ running track at the Pomeroy Sport Centre (formerly the Enerplex) the other day, it struck me that the whole facility is designed around participation and play, not around performance and the accommodation of spectators. It’s pretty astounding that in the first month of the tracks use there were 550 people per day using it. There are more now. When you go up there, you see babies in strollers and octogenarians with walkers. The place is full of hockey moms getting a walk in and aging runners putting in the miles. The point is, they’re all just there “doing it”. How they’re dressed isn’t important, neither is the level of fitness. The rest of the facility is geared more towards the competitive athlete, but as a training facility, not a performance venue. That’s what the North Peace Recreation Centre is for. The walking track gets you out of the house and into a very public place to just enjoy the very natural act of walking. Fort St. John has always been “ into sport” and now the citizens are becoming very physically active. We’ve always been “into music”. Now is the time for the citizens to become very musically active. I would warrant that most of the people reading this have just as many hidden musical instruments in their houses as they have hidden workout machines. You know what I mean. Garages and basements are full of treadmills, bowflexes, weight benches, mountain bikes, and cross-country skis. Other parts of the house hide pianos, guitars, drums, fiddles and flutes.

That can happen in sport, too. If you’re lucky, however, you continue to PLAY the sport for the love of it. Likely as not, you play with other people and you (and we) reap all the positive benefits of simply getting out and playing. Music is something many of us learned how to do in our lives. Someone, somewhere gave us the idea that we weren’t going to make the team, so we stopped playing. This is a shame. How can we develop the kind of attitude towards participatory music that we have so successfully developed to participatory sport? In what ways can we encourage people to come together to play music? Notice I’m not saying perform music. Most of us don’t perform our sports. Thousands don’t show up to watch Wednesday afternoon senior’s curling. We participate in these activities for the pure joy of the sport. We should do the same thing with music. How about some facilities for people to just get together and jam? Could we use school spaces for this in the evenings? How about at the North Peace Cultural Centre? Couldn’t these things be funded in the same way as drop-in fees are for the Pomeroy Sport Centre? What if musical drop-ins were a common thing in FSJ? How about “music clubs”? There are choirs in town. The North Peace Community Choir has more than 40 members. You just put down your money and sing. Could the City sponsor some practice spaces for musicians? Might that break the ongoing cycle of solitary practicing at home, followed by the terrorfilled performance?

It’s pretty well accepted that our culture has fallen under the spell of the star performance. We’ve all heard Eric Clapton, Garth Brooks, or Miss Quincy perform.

Not everyone wants to perform at open mics. Maybe a lot of us would like to know about informal jams; real low-pressure affairs where it’s okay to just love playing, no matter what the skill level may be.

Some of us, when we’re young, even dream of emulating them. We buy the instruments, take the lessons (formal or informal), and then, most of us give up on performing when reality hits.

Fort St. John will really be the Music Capital when it becomes a common thing to see all kinds of people showing up in the most unlikely places with instruments and voices to just exercise the right to play.




“Wendell Ferguson is recognized by his peers as one of the top pickers in the country and is known best as having one of the quickest wits in the game. A talented and funny guy to say the least.” (Country Music News) What do you give an overweight, asthmatic 7-year-old boy for Christmas? Model airplane? Etch-A-Sketch? Erector set? Well lucky for us Wendell Fergusons’ folks gave him a guitar. From the first time he heard Chet Atkins’ recording of “Mister Sandman” he was hooked, and only one thing ever held his interest...the guitar. He’d already been taking lessons for 3 years when The Beatles came on the scene and he was soon hard at work lifting their licks, along with Ventures, the Stones, Les Paul, and, of course, the aforementioned Mr. Atkins. Fast forward to today. Wendell has won the Canadian Country Music Association’s “Guitar Player of the Year” award 6 times. Along with 3 more wins for “Back-up Band of the Year,” plus an Ontario Country Performer and Fan Association award for “Career Musician”. To quote Ferguson “Not bad for a guy who hasn’t worked a day in his life”. Years of touring, radio and television appearances and recording with some of the biggest names in both the country field (George Fox, Duane Steele, Shania Twain, The Wilkinsons, The Dixie Chicks, Chely Wright, Deana Carter, Gary Allen, Patty Loveless, Tracy Byrd) and the folk arena (Gordon Lightfoot, Sylvia Tyson, James Keelaghan, Katherine Wheatley, The Arrogant Worms, Quartette, Jane Siberry, Vance Gilbert, Brent Titcomb) have given his songwriting a unique perspective.

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


“The man writes sharp, witty and head-spinningly brilliant tunes. He’s a cross between Roger Miller and Ray Flack. He has more in common with Mark Twain than Shania” 
(Twangzine) He started to find his own “writers voice” back in ‘92 when he founded the contemporary country band “Coda The West”, and wrote or co-wrote most of that act’s material. Five Top-40 hits resulted in CCMA nominations for “Duo or Group of the Year”, along with a Juno award nomination. In 1999 Wendell decided to step out on his own to reveal both his notorious sense of humour and his notable guitar work with the release of his CD “I Pick, Therefore I Jam.” The album garnered rave reviews and was nominated in the CCMA’s “Vocal Collaboration of the Year” category for his duet with Prairie Oyster’s Russell deCarle. It was also listed in RPM’s Top 100 Albums of 1999 and Country Music News’ “Best of the Year”. Wendell released a follow-up album in 2003 “Happy Songs Sell Records, Sad Songs Sell Beer” and in 2005 he released his Live album, “The $#!T Hits the Fans” which was nominated for a “Album of the Year” Award at the 2006 CCMA’s. 
“This gem is a collectors item, not just because it’s obscure, but because it’s so darn good. Five Stars!”
(Real Music Magazine) Ferguson now makes his living splitting his time between performing his own hilarious act and being a sideman/session player for everyone and their aunt. He’s presently working on an instrumental album called “Taking Elevator Music to a Whole New Level” that should be released shortly. Wendell shows up at Retro Relics on Tuesday, February 8, for an intimate show. Tickets are $15.



The comical and well-loved Inspector Clouseau of the famous Pink Panther films is preparing to solve another bizarre mystery in Fort St. John on the stage of the North Peace Cultural Centre. Peter Sellers created the original role of the clumsy, though seemingly, brilliant Inspector Clouseau who established a following of Pink Pantherites throughout the world. Stage North features The Inspector, along with 35 other actors, in “The Pink Panther Strikes Again” opening Friday, February 18 for 5 performances. This dangerous caper finds Inspector Clouseau the target of the evil Paul Dreyfus, once his long-suffering boss, now turned into a raving lunatic. Dreyfus holds the world at bay with THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE and threatens to vaporize continents if the nations of the world do not deliver Clouseau to him…alive, or, better…dead. Have dinner with the Pink Panther on February 4, at the Uptown Grill. Richard and Melanie, owners of the Uptown Grill, have long been Pink Panther film buffs. They have a special Pink Panther mystery drink, the contents of which will leave you clueless. Reservations are suggested.


Stage North Theatre Society welcomes all volunteers who wish to try acting, directing or technical theatre work. For every person on stage there are 3-4 people behind the scenes making the production a success. Stage North has had great success this season with “Chicago the Musical” as an opener which sold out the last 2 nights. The “Snow Follies” Improv Dinner Theatre drawing a hearty crowd and “Miracle on 34th Street” left audiences filled with the true spirit of Christmas. Coming up right after the Pink Panther is Oscar Night on the Big Screen. Follow Stage North at www. or phone 250-785-6214 for further information.



So what’s it going to be this year? Give up smoking? Drop the F-Bombs from your vocabulary? Lose the deadbeat boyfriend that all your friends loath? Or is this the year you are finally going to lose those last 10 lbs?! Behold the New Year’s Resolution! It’s that time of year many of us hold ourselves hostage to some promise of giving up, letting go of, or eliminating something from our lives that we believe is not serving our best interests. So if our intentions are entirely noble and we really do want to succeed with our resolutions, why do so many of us fail at them and end up indulging even more in the very things we want to overcome? Why is it that year after year on January 1st we find ourselves reminiscing over the past year with friends and family, ending the evening by going around the room declaring what our resolution is for the coming year? Why? Well it is fun and something of a tradition with a lot of people, but sometimes we engage in the “sharing” of what our resolution is without really considering the “doing” part of it! Or maybe it is just in our nature to try to do better, be better, work harder 12

at something that we believe we have fallen a little short on in the previous year? Wanting to improve yourself isn’t a bad thing. I believe it is a good thing, a really good thing. However, I believe it is only a good thing if we allow ourselves to be “human” when we set out to do so. What I mean is this: there will be bumps in the road and days when you won’t follow through and you know what? That’s okay! If you are truly working at it and sticking to a plan, give yourself credit for THAT! Forget the guilt...guilt will only bring you down mentally and keep you from reaching your goals. I believe you can greatly increase your chances for success when you surround yourself with support. Hiring a Health Coach or Personal Trainer makes you accountable to someone else and may be just the motivation you need to stick to it when things are getting a little tough. So go ahead and engage in the tradition of the New Years Resolution...but this year, set yourself up for success! Cheers!



Since the 1960’s, Steve Palmer has performed in almost every size of venue; from rock arenas to pubs, coffee houses to churches. His early FolkRock groups opened for many legendary rock acts including Led Zeppelin, The Who, and Cream. Now, with over 40 years of road experience, he has gone back to his acoustic roots. With 3 critically acclaimed albums – “Here To Nashville”, “Roots and Strings” and 2008’s “Morning Road” to his credit, Steve is performing at Folk Clubs and Festivals throughout Western Canada. This month, he brings his show to Retro Relics in the format of an intimate house concert Thursday, January 13 at 7:30. Tickets are $15, $20 at the door. For more information about Steve Palmer, please visit

Gonna be a $1000 STAR!




& images eliza massey stanford

The first High On Ice festival many years ago took place in the spray park in Centennial Park, where a few interested people took part in a workshop taught by Peter Vogelaar. It was a great experience and nearly everyone there continued to sculpt every year and learn from Peter and the others who came to Fort St. John to create display pieces and compete in what has now become an internationally sanctioned event. During those years of attempting to carve, I learned a lot about ice and how it behaves in various temperatures, how to glue pieces together all the while adding a few specialized tools to the tool box. Last year my painterly interest was piqued by the work of Gordon Halloran, an artist in the Lower Mainland, who was working on large commissioned pieces with enormous budgets using coloured ice. The work looked amazing, and it was a shame they were done in cities that were too warm to preserve the art for very long. Halloran has to rent large freezer warehouses to do his work. Up here we are lucky enough to live in a large freezer type environment for much of the year, so I thought why not try this out in the backyard. After experimenting with various colouring products, I finally discovered how to do it and then began freezing trays of coloured water which would then be cut up and refrozen back into the trays in a variety of arrangements. The whole process is incredibly time consuming, slightly less so when the weather is cold because the ice freezes faster. But working outside when it is minus 25 can be a bit trying after an hour or two!


I often ask myself why I am putting so much time into a medium that is so temporary, and I have to pose that question to the ice carvers themselves who create the most amazing masterpieces that will only melt away when it warms up. The answer is complex: perhaps it is an opportunity to push the technical limits in regards to the physical properties of ice, or a chance to make a beautifully transparent work of art in an intense weekend alongside your peers. Andy Goldsworthy is one of the masters of creating art for art’s sake, using only found materials from nature to make his arrangements, then photographing it to preserve the end result. Ice carving can fall into that same realm. It is the experience of making something that will not last that makes it more precious. Colours add an interesting component to ice, partly due to the pigments and the freezing process having an interesting relationship. Layering colours in the trays, the settling of pigments on the bottom, carving back into the ice, placing one colour next to another and stacking one colour on top of another all result in something rather exciting and different. It is rather like collage with ice, and it is great fun to make and I am only scratching the surface of what is possible.



The advent calendar has been emptied and in its place hangs a glossy date book showcasing lush landscapes and secret gardens. Another holiday season has come and gone, and a brand new year has been ushered in. For many people, the turn of the calendar is a time for celebration and inspiration. Many of us set goals or vow to do away with nasty habits. Whether you are looking to shed a few holiday pounds or emotional baggage, yoga is the positive way to move into the beginning of a new year. The physical practice of yoga can be challenging and will move your body and mind into a healthy and detoxified state. However, the physical asanas or poses of yoga are only the tip of the iceberg in the eight-limbed practice of yoga. Yoga is an ancient philosophy built on social values and responsibilities for the purpose of bettering the world we inhabit. In 2011, challenge yourself to kindness, to patience and to understanding by instilling the basic YAMAS (ethical restraint) of yoga into your everyday life. The 5 Yamas of Yoga: 1. Ahimsa – Non-violence Refrain from violence toward others, towards society, towards the earth and towards yourself, whether it is physical or emotional. Practicing ahimsa teaches you to manage your aggression and fear. Acting with ahimsa, rather than re-acting with anger and aggression will teach you to cope with life challenges from a positive perspective. 2. Satya – Truthfulness Truthfulness means speaking from your heart with honesty and sincerity while using words in a positive tone that will not hurt the feelings of others. Think before you speak. Speak to your true intention. Speak up for yourself.

3. Asteya – Non-stealing Practicing Asteya means refraining from stealing time and emotional energy from those in your life. Avoid seeking attention to feed your ego, as healthy relationships in your life will provide both parties with energy and love, without force and effort. 4. Bramacharya – Moderation Traditionally, bramacharya translates to the practice of celibacy. In today’s yogic society, yogis are no longer expected to embrace celibacy but to rather act with integrity in relationship to one’s sexuality by exercising self control and by refraining from sexual obsessions. Lack of selfcontrol can lead you down a distracted path overgrown with pain and jealousy. 5. Aparigraha – Freedom from greed and desire Allow yourself to release your grip on people, situations, objects and the future, for none of these things we truly own or control. Attachment to these creates constant need and cravings to the ego. By becoming aware of the endless cravings and dissatisfaction of the egoic self we will find happiness with what we have and will be better able to put our energy into wholesome ambitions that come from the heart. Embrace the practice of yoga on the mat and off the mat. Let your world become flooded with love while strengthening your body, relaxing your mind and opening your heart. Discover Yoga: 8-Week Beginner Yoga Program – Monday’s 7:158:15pm, Jan. 10th to Feb. 28 (pre-registration required) 30-Day Yoga Challenge – Jan. 3 to Feb. 1 Unlimited-use Memberships, 10 Class Pass Cards, Private and Corporate Sessions Available Contact Randelle Lusk, RYT-200 for more information: (250) 263 5828 | Address: #4 10104-100th Street Visit for an up-to-date schedule



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.


24 1 10 17



2 9








6 11




13 18



10421 100 ST. PH. 250-787-7591


10510 101 AVE. PH. 250-271-0066


1-9016 100 AVE. PH. 250-262-3282

4 RETRO RELICS | THE RABBIT HOLE 10140 100TH AVE. PH. 250-787-8822

5 WHOLE WHEAT ‘N HONEY 10003 100 ST. PH. 250-787-9866

6 NORTH PEACE CULTURAL CENTRE 10015 100TH AVE. PH. 250-785-1992


9320 ALASKA ROAD PH. 250-262-3030


9916 101 AVE. PH. 250-785-8070


9404 ALASKA ROAD PH. 250-263-9991



9830-100TH AVE. PH. 250- 261-6961


12984 JACKFISH FRONTAGE PH. 250-785-3233


10704 101 AVE. PH. 250-787-1688

10344-100TH ST. PH. 250-787-0361

18 FSJ COMMUNITY ARTS COUNCIL 10320 94TH AVE. PH. 250-787-2781






CHARLIE LAKE PH. 250-785-0263

10015 100TH AVE. PH. 250-785-1992

10027-100 ST. PH. 250-785-6328

9522 100TH ST. PH. 250-785-3033

9824 - 98A AVE. PH. 250-787-5130 10104-101 AVE. PH. 250-263-5828


22 ENCAN #1 300 HWY 2


93RD AVE & 96


10430 100TH S


9935 100TH AV


10631 100TH S


203 -9711 100

NORTH OF NEW YORK.... bettyanne hampton

100 AVE


Whether playing Broadway or singing in a dusty down south road house, this bluesman delivers the goods. This coming February, Face the Music and the City of Fort St John have the honour and unprecedented opportunity to invite the arts community to meet, work and learn from the real deal. Son of famed actors Ruby Dee and Ozzie Davis, Guy’s lineage is obvious, but he’s the new generation...doing it right and keeping it real. Whether Guy Davis is appearing on Letterman, the Conan O’Brien Show or acting on Broadway; in radio programs such as “World Café”, in concert in front of 15,000 people or 100, or teaching an intimate gathering in a workshop, Guy feels the instinctive desire to give each listener his ‘all’. His ‘all’ is the blues.


The routes and roots of his blues are as diverse as the music form itself. It can be soulful, moaning out a people’s cry, or playful and bouncy as a hay-ride. Throughout his career he has dedicated himself to reviving the traditions of acoustic blues and bringing them to as many ears as possible through the material of the great blues masters; African American stories passed down by people like Zora Neale Hurston, Garrison Keillor, and by the late Laura Davis (his one hundred and five year-old grandmother). Though raised in the New York City area, he grew up hearing accounts of life in the rural south from his parents and especially his grandparents. These memories made their way into his own stories and songs. Davis reminds you that the blues started as dance music. This is blues made for humming along, stomping your foot, feeling righteous in the face of oppression and expressing gratitude to your baby for greasing your skillet.

7 22


DAWSON CREEK PH. 250-782-7440


6TH ST. PH. 250-787-8150


ST. PH. 250-261-6648


VE. PH. 250-787-0673


ST. PH. 250-787-8150


0TH AVE. PH. 250-785-5323

Throughout his life, Davis has had overlapping interests in music and acting, and the opportunity to combine music and acting on the stage was realized in his Broadway musical debut in 1991 in the Zora Neale Hurston/Langston Hughes collaboration “Mulebone”, which featured the music of Taj Mahal. Rolling Stone Magazine tagged yet another Guy Davis performance of “Payday” a “standout musical moment”! Musically, his seven albums have all hit the top of the blues charts and solidified his position as one of the most important blues artists of our time. Acoustic Guitar magazine viewed “Call Down Thunder” as one of the “thirty essential CDs from a new generation of performers”. The San Francisco Chronicle adds “Davis’ tough, timeless vocals blow through your brain like a Mississippi dust devil.” His latest album, “Legacy” was picked as one of the Best CDs of the Year by National Public Radio (NPR), and the lead track on it, “Uncle Tom’s Dead” was chosen as one of the Best Songs of the Year. This of course is ironic as FCC rules won’t allow it to be played on the air, but it’s a fitting tribute none the less. The only other artist on both lists was Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys fame. Bluesman Guy has contributed songs on a host of tribute and compilation albums including collections on bluesmen Charley Patton and Robert Johnson, tradition-based rockers like the Grateful Dead, songwriters like Nick Lowe, Bob Dylan’s 60th birthday CD “A Nod to Bob”, and has played alongside performers Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, and Bruce Springsteen for a collection of songs written by his friend, legendary folksinger, ‘Uncle’ Pete Seeger, called “Where Have All the Flowers Gone”. “I’m excited to work with Guy again”, says Cultural Centre’s Bettyanne Hampton. “He’s a powerhouse performer. His shows explode with passion and rhythm. What’s also exciting, thanks to the City of Fort St John, is the rare opportunity to talk with and learn from blues legend/actor Davis in a personal, intimate setting… bonus!” Guy Davis performs at NPCC Feb 5 at 7pm and participates in Face the Music Sunday Feb 6th at 1pm. Reserve your seats for both at North Peace Cultural Center Box Office 250 -785-1992.

GET IN THERE AND WRECK IT! gwyntie van tuyl

‘Get in there and wreck it!’ As an interior designer, this simple phrase is one of the most effective pieces of advice I have ever received. While I was in my first year in University, my illustration professor announced to the class that today was the day to literally destroy whatever we were working on. We were taught to think of the design process as a playground, throw some sand and make a mess. This doesn’t mean that we should break out the sledgehammers and start with an open space, but rather let go of assumptions and explore possibilities. This simple phrase has become a building block for all my design concepts. Often the simplest thing such as a single colour, piece of nature, or a shape gets the wheels turning. An artist can find inspiration from almost anything by isolating a



feeling and letting themselves become enveloped by it. The design process is similar, in that a certain shape or colour can spark the imagination, and then be integrated into the space, bringing the various elements together to create a space with meaning.

art or personalities to give inspiration for an interior space. There truly is no end to the process and as time passes and tastes change, we are fortunate to participate creatively. We have been given the ability to take a blank canvas and try something new.

The sculptor Henry Moore said, “There’s no retirement for an artist, it’s your way of living so there’s no end to it.” The same is true of an interior space for any designer. We constantly look for cues in nature,

When was the last time you got in there and wrecked it?

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THE GRAND THREE HUNDRED words holly arntzen


images russell


When we did Voices of Nature in Fort St John, it was twenty below all week long, with a light dusty powdering of snow. White tail deer were moving through the woods on Bear Flats where the living is good, and the mighty Peace River flows. Back in town, at Alwin Holland school, three hundred students learned some nature rules which they shared by singing for family and friends. They gathered together in the school gym and sang a different kind of winter solstice hymn of rivers and rainfall, salmon and frosty snowmen! On a stage transformed (it was cloud-white, with a sign proclaiming “Voices of Nature� in coloured Christmas lights) stood the grand three hundred in their tie-dyed tops. A giant fidgeting rainbow sang to the northern skies, their voices ringing and celebrating with their moms and pops.

The message: We can do this! We can get this right! We made magic that day, all of us, each in our own little way, starting small to make big change. Rethink, recreate and rearrange. What we did was within our power. The teachers set the stage, hour by hour; the musicians led the singing; kids gathered momentum and steam like a jet engine revving up and beginning to scream. The grand three hundred set the walls to ringing! Essays, songs, solos and actions were given and received with great satisfaction on the part of presenters and receivers. Everyone that day was a great achiever! Holly Arntzen and Kevin Wright form the core of the Artist Response Team (ART), a production house that specializes in music and entertainment that educates about ecology. ART produces Voices of Nature Community Outreach Projects throughout BC and Alberta. They hope to return to Peace River country to do another school program. They are currently looking for a male-female performing duo that is interested in learning how to deliver Voices of Nature programs in local schools.

On December 9th in Fort St John, we gathered and sang together all day long, through the afternoon and into the night. We sang of stars and galaxies, compost and recycling, and you and me. 20


relax renew regenerate



First 100 people to sign-up save an additional $10... (only $59/month)



reservations 250.785.0263



Want to know what kind of mischief them kids in our community have been up to? Well, a group of hardworking students and teachers have been spending their extra time and weekends making over 200 pounds of fudge, thousands of butter tarts, and over 200 dozen cookies.

russell eggleston

The reason? To raise the funds needed to travel to Ghana in West Africa to help build orphanages for a community in need. How great is that? But don’t just take my word for it... See it for yourself in a video...simply scan the QR code on the left or visit:! ... and as a sidenote, the cookies really were delicious.

VOTE DAN DAVIES FOR NPSS STUDENT COUNCIL PRESIDENT 1990!! Dan Davies has been making a difference in Fort St. John politics since getting involved in the student council of North Peace Secondary School in 1990. This happened to be the year the new high school opened. Since then, Dan has become a councillor for the City of Fort St. John, and is currently seeking the nomination to become the Prince George - Peace River Conservative candidate.. Find out more about Dan at his website: or by scanning the QR code with your smartphone. 22



Dr. Kearney Middle School presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with a bit of a twist. The classical Shakespeare drama/comedy will surely have you at the edge of your seats by combining the tale with modern pop music and dance. The show tells the story of four lovers, trying to live in harmony. Hermia (Alex Bacso) is told she has to marry Demetrius (Mason Temple) when she’s in love with the ever charming Lysander (Trystan Mcleod). As the two attempt to run away together, they tell the love-stricken Helena (Kirah Sharp). Who wouldn’t go along with a plan that would free the one you secretly love, unless the one you love loathes you, as it is with Helena and Demetrius? When a sneaky fairy sends his servant Puck (Aaron Duke) after a flower that will make the holder fall in love with the first person they see it gets a little messy. I won’t spoil the ending for you, you’ll have to go see the play to find that out. Dr. Kearney’s musical theatre class has been dancing their feet off preparing for the show. The first practice was October 6. Since then, they’ve been practicing during school, after school and on weekends.

The cast of the musical is made up of students, except for directing, choreographing and a few make-up and costume helpers. Over 27 students will be shaking it up on stage, raising their voices, and creating some backstage theatre magic. A Midsummer Night’s Dream should have you singing along to some familiar songs like Celebration by Kool and the Gang, Take a Chance on Me by ABBA and even Wild Thing by the Troggs. The show is directed by Mrs. Liza Rhymer and choreographed by the ever-talented Amy Beard. The big show is on January 13, 14, and 15 at 6pm sharp at the North Peace Cultural Centre. It’s a show you don’t want to miss!

HIGH ON ICE WINTER FESTIVAL 2011 words margaret may


images supplied

With the arrival of the New Year, we find the High On Ice winter festival upon us. The Arts Council has been busy with preparations for the Ice and Snow carving competition and have another exciting lineup of professional carvers participating. Last year’s big winners, Aaron and Sarah Costic, will be returning from Ohio. Junichi Nakamura of Japan, one of the world’s most renowned carvers who amazed us all with his incredible dragonfly carving in 2008, is also returning with his partner Takashi Ito. The confirmed teams include: Dean Murray and Victor Dagatan from Wisconsin; David Ducharme from Nelson and Jesse Forrester of Fort St. John; Aaron Costic and Sarah Costic; Christopher Huessy and Nick Cassidy from Oregon; Mark Davis and Edwin Winslow also from the USA; John McKinnon and Denis Klein from Nelson; and Takashi Ito of Victoria and Junichi Nakamura. This truly is an international event! The professionals will be joined by amateur snow and ice carvers, who are growing in experience and ability every year. Be sure to come out and see these talented artists at work in Centennial Park. The festival opens the evening of Thursday, January 13 and the carvers will be hard at work from Friday through Sunday afternoon. Try our QR Code with your smart phone

January 13-16, 2011

24 Ice & Snow Carving Competition • Ice Fishing Derby • Ice


Slides • Sleigh Rides • Bonspiel & Mor


Several professional carvers will be coming to town early to work on commissioned pieces, which are always amazing. These include the popular ice slide, which will be bigger and better than ever and is a huge hit with the young of age and at heart. The festival wraps up Sunday, January 16 with the awards ceremony and the spectacular fire and ice display at the Centennial Park. Registration forms for the amateur snow and ice events are due by January 7 and are available on the City website or you can get more information by calling or e-mailing the Arts Council at 250-787-2781 or

TUESDAYS PubThumbers Trivia

hosted by Cassandra Merwyn, music by Steve Ryan



250.263.9991 in the same place



clarice eckford

Tukeni Obasi and Panebi Oboh, who operate Maple Education in Fort St. John, are host to the nine girls and eight boys who came from Nigeria to start their Canadian education at North Peace Secondary School. Maple Education, an educational consultancy firm, facilitates the journey of dozens of Nigerian students to Canada while helping them apply to universities all over the country. A tight-knit family atmosphere is part of that experience – the high school students stay in Tukeni and Panebi’s homes, while the university students stay in the dorms at Northern Lights College. As well as acting as host mothers, Tukeni and Panebi help the students prepare for the cold weather. For all of the students, this will be the first time they’ve experienced subzero temperatures. Three of the high school girls helped me to understand how the winter months affect their stay in Fort St. John. Tokoni Okara, Victoria Henshaw and Funke Oyelowo lived in different parts of Nigeria, but have quickly become friends while living in Tukeni’s house. With a tongue-and-cheek tone, I ask the girls to tell me the difference between weather in Nigeria and Fort St. John. Tokoni immediately jumps in, “It’s about thirty-five degrees in Nigeria and about minus twenty-nine degrees here.” In the winter months, Nigeria experiences “Hamatan”, which Victoria describes as “really crusty and dry.” The girls tell 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.


me that, even during Hamatan, it rarely gets below eighteen degrees Celsius and usually stays windy, hot and dry. “In Nigeria, when it gets to eighteen degrees, people wear sweaters and jackets. Here, people wear t-shirts.” However, in the northern elevated parts of the country, the girls have seen frost. Victoria explains, “Where I’m from, there’s this ranch and when you climb to the highest part – I can’t call it snow because I’ve seen real snow – you see flakes, tiny little flakes and before they get down, they’re already melted.” Through the conversation, I also learned how the Nigerian students talk about where you’re from versus where you live. Or, as Funke says, “You’re not born where you’re from.” The confused look on my face prompts Victoria to explain further, “There are thirty-six states in Nigeria. So, most people actually live in cities. But, they’re from villages – they know their parents are from villages. Even if they’re born in a city, they know, ‘Okay, I’m born here, but I’m from there.’” The girls have spent most of their lives going to schools in different cities. “I live somewhere and I school somewhere else.” So, it’s not surprising that the Nigerian students who all live in one house right now will end up in universities all over Canada. While many are applying to University of Alberta, Victoria and Funke will be in the Toronto area and Tokoni will travel to Victoria to be with her sister. The girls enjoy their experience in Fort St. John. I asked them if they want to try different winter activities like skiing, skating, snowmobiling, and ice fishing. Tokoni excitedly admits that she wants to go snowmobiling. Victoria adds, “Anything new to me is good. I can do all the winter stuff here that I can’t do elsewhere. People are friendly here, which is good.”


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At Olio’s Pizzeria classic, old-world tradition, quality ingredients and our own unique recipes combine to create some of Fort St. John’s finest

ITALIAN BOY tomato sauce, italian sausage, cappicolli, pepperoni, green peppers, green olives, mushrooms, mozzarella

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250 262 3282 JANUARY 2011




dave tolley

The new Fort St. John hospital is certainly one of the most significant projects we’ve seen progress throughout the year in our city. For Northern Groove, it’s been interesting to have an inside scoop... to actually see what has been happening onsite and behind the scenes.

The design team is now looking forward to beginning work on the transitional planning phase. “This consists of working through all the necessary steps required for moving all departments, equipment and patients over to the new hospital facility,” says Angela De Smit. Although this process will take quite a bit of time, it is really exciting for all of those involved. It’s time to take all the elements of design and put them into action: prepare conceptual drawings of what it will all actually look like, finalize interior and exterior design, receive new hospital equipment, and complete the final layout.

isl health

This year, we’ve been able to expose Northern Groove readers to the people involved with making ths project happen; to put faces to this huge undertaking and personalize it. By doing so, we’ve been able to introduce you to the people who are designing and constructing this hospital for us. People who have worked at the hospital for years have become members of the clinical design team and have had direct involvement in the functional design and layout of the new facility. Through their input, they get to put a final stamp on how they believe this hospital should be designed and how it can function most effectively. It’s true...the future of care in Fort St. John is actually being designed by the community for the community!



have worked extremely hard to achieve these goals. In January, all of the teams will be able to see the results of their many hours of work and dedication. The Northern Health recruitment team will enhance the ability to attract and more importantly retain knowledgeable and skilled staff. In doing this Fort St. John will have a state of the art facility with the best personnel from all over the world. At the end of January 2011, Cannon Design will have final drawings, presentations, 3D renderings, and a multi-media presentation that will be showcased to the key group of clinical designers from Northern Health, allowing them to see the final product. The clinical team will have an opportunity to see a clear vision of what they’ve been involved in and helped to design. As well, it will give everyone the opportunity to troubleshoot potential problem areas, dealing with them now instead of in the future. Each department has been focused on their own area through the development phase, but now with a vision of the project as a whole, everyone has an opportunity to see how all the departments will interact in a streamlined and efficient manner for optimal patient care and treatment.

The new facility will include such features as: • Direct access to the emergency department, birthing centre and residential care; • The residential care facility adjacent to the hospital; • The development of a state-of-the-art birthing centre in the southeast area of the facility, slated for completion by March 2011. • Elderly-friendly levered door handles and faucets to allow for easy usage by people with arthritis. • Signage and door numbers that are colour-specific for each department for ease of navigation throughout the facility

Something very new and ground breaking in the creation of this hospital by the P3 partnership, is that the team is actually designing as the hospital is being built. At this stage most of the structural and mechanical development is complete and the final drawings can be handed off to the construction team to begin work on the next phases. Teams from both the clinical side and the construction side have been working diligently, focused on obtaining this goal. The next big step towards completion is arrival of medical equipment. Already the sterilizing equipment has been arriving and soon after that comes the laundry equipment. It’s not surprising to think that although this hospital won’t be fully functioning until 2012, there is so much happening right now. One simply can’t imagine how much equipment is needed and the types of new technology that will be arriving in Fort St. John over the course of the next year. (Northern Groove will check out some of the incredible technology for the new hospital in upcoming articles). One of the project achievements that deserves serious recognition is that everyone involved has worked incredibly hard to make each and every timeline. Most projects of this nature would still be a year away from where this team is right now. Hundreds of people

The benefits of the new facility include: • Enhanced ability to retain and recruit staff and specialists to the North Peace; • Increased residential care beds from 87 to 123, reducing the number of times that community members have to leave Fort St. John in order to access residential care services; • Two designated palliative care beds in the residential care facility to enhance community palliation for those who require additional support; • Space in the emergency room area increased by two-thirds, greatly assisting with the flow-through of the department.

MUSIC THAT MOVES YOU WINTER EDITION words russell eggleston images russell eggleston

& staci busche

One Tuesday in December we gathered a few musicians, a bunch of strangers and an accordion; packed them all together in a public transport bus (piloted by Wendy Whitford) then drove around town, sang songs in subzero weather and drank hot chocolate. Add it all up and it’s another evening for the history books for the City of Fort St. John! It was all made possible by the efforts of the forward thinking crew at the City of Fort St. John through the “Music that Moves You” project. Together the City, BC Transit, the North Peace Cultural Centre, and the amazing musicians of Fort St. John have created a project that is catching a lot of attention from both our own residents and other communities as well (yes, the event has even shown up in a blog in Prince George)! Simply put, this is an absolutely unique event, that we hope everyone has a chance to experience in one way or another! We expect to see you on the bus for the next one on January 14 as we celebrate High On Ice with more portable tunes!

“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.

FRI JAN 14 Ryan Hennessey SAT JAN 15 Ryan Hennessey FRI JAN 21 The Ramblers SAT JAN 22 The Ramblers MON FEB 14 Valentines Day featuring Naomi Shore







Northern Groove - Jan 2011  

Northern Groove Magazine for 2011

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