Stigma always stings: page 20 No matter how far away an addict gets from drugs the stigma stays close
Page 4, 5
Celebrating “the Queen of P.G.’s” life
Miracle Theatre offers play where proceeds go to charity
Mary Gouchie’s memorial Thursday, february 7, 2019
Miracle on stage
Prince George’s weekly news
Back to the future TNW is revisiting The Occupation of Heather Rose 25 years later frank peebles 97/16 staff
It really is possible to move forward by going back. Theatre Northwest is celebrating its 25th anniversary by celebrating past touchstones, and when their next play opens tonight, it will also be their very first. TNW is re-mounting The Occupation of Heather Rose, the production that started it all for the all-local professional theatre company. To act the part of the titular character, a young and inexperienced nurse dispatched to a remote Canadian Aboriginal community, TNW also looked back in its own human archives. The role will be played by Julia Mackey, one of the most personally celebrated actors to ever tread the region’s boards. She brought audiences to tears and cheers in her onehander play Jake’s Gift. As with Jake’s Gift, Mackey will be aided in the direction by Dirk Van Stralen. Both of them live and work in Wells, the Cariboo hamlet connected to Barkerville. “Because this is a return to that first show ever done by Theatre Northwest, we want to be good stewards of that opportunity,” said Van Stralen. “But, too, we wanted to put the play into the modern context so we have enveloped the production with everything that’s come since it was written in the 1980s.” The audience won’t get any re-vamping of the script, the words are honoured as they were written by celebrated playwright Wendy Lill (the award-winning writer went on to become a Member of Parliament and is still an effective social development activist). The set and staging, however, are designed to cast the play in a 21st century light. An arrangement of papers on the floor
97/16 photo by Brent Braaten
Julia Mackey stars in Theatre Northwest production of The Occupation of Heather Rose. The play is a restaging of the first play TNW produced. are pages from documents like The Indian Act and the Truth & Reconciliation Commission Report. The leaves on the background trees number exactly 94, one for each of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations. The script references both Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, books that followed an ill-equipped lone stranger plunging into a surreal and dangerous realm. In accordance with those, and the primary story about Heather Rose strid-
ing with false confidence into the desolation of the Snake Lake Reserve, the production team built the on-stage decor “to show how skewed it all is, no 90-degree angles anywhere,” said Van Stralen, “and to further the upside down world of it all, the branches of the trees are made to look like they’re growing downwards and resemble a root system.” Mackey is embracing the role with a sad realization. “What struck me right away was how, even though it was written in the 1980s and it has some dated language in some
ways, just how relevant it is today,” she said. “The issues it brings to the surface are not at all resolved.” The play is a raw, gutsy confrontation of the Indigenous-colonial culture clash that has defined the worst side of Canadian history, but it is also infused with joy and humanity. As with that history itself, there were colonial abuses and institutionalized prejudice but also outbreaks of friendship and rashes of mutual support. “The word ‘occupation’ means a lot of things in this play,” said Mackey. “It pertains to her nurse’s profession, and it also means something that’s been on her mind a lot, and it also speaks of the takeover of colonization. “As a new and very naive nurse, she has a lot of preconceived notions about this world she’s going into and a lot of ill-conceived notions about how to solve the problems she encounters there,” Mackey added. “But what she saw and experienced there helped change her and reshape her views, and it has occupied her mind ever since.” “It may as well have been written last week,” said Van Stralen for how the same white privilege exists today – how mainstream culture doesn’t know what it doesn’t know about Aboriginal culture by virtue of the fact white people do not commonly interact with First Nations on their own turf under the terms of their living conditions. The biases – some indirect and some aggressive – that hold down Aboriginal people and communities are unseen and unfelt by non-Aboriginal people. The Occupation of Heather Rose opens tonight and runs at TNW until Feb. 24. Tickets are on sale now online at the TNW website or in person at Books & Company.
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Thursday, February 7, 2019 | 3
97/16 photo by Brent Braaten
Miracle Theatre and the Prince George Community Foundation are serving up some needed funding for the children of Prince George by presenting the comedy Halfway There, which begins Feb. 28. From left are actors Emma Stoet, 5, Lily Angus, 6, Jesse Blocka, 10, and Case Noonan, 10. Servers from Miracle Theatre and The Community Foundation are Alain Lefebvre, Ted Price, Anne Laughlin, Rae-Ann Noonan and Mindy Stoet.
Miracle on stage
reparations for Miracle Theatre’s next production are well under way and although this is a comedy for adults, one of the biggest goals of the production is to serve the needs of local children. As with past productions, this year’s comedy Halfway There will provide a night of first-class professional theatre. And in keeping with the theatre’s motto of giving to Prince George’s worthy causes, Miracle Theatre will again donate all the proceeds to a Prince George charity. The money raised will help meet the priority needs of local children by launching the Children of Prince George Fund at the Prince George Community Foundation. Miracle Theatre is under the direction of long-time theatre practitioners Anne Laughlin and Ted Price. The current play is the 74th professional production for Prince George audiences that they have directed, designed and/or produced over the past 25 years. Halfway There will mark their fourth play where proceeds are entirely donated to a local charity. Their past three fundraising productions have raised a combined total of more than $144,000. Anne and Ted have set the goal of raising $55,335.58 with Halfway There. When asked about this odd number they explained: “this figure would bring Miracle Theatre’s aggregate community
Seniors’ Scene Kathy Nadalin
donation to a milestone of $200,000 over the previous 38 months. “We want everyone who buys a ticket to know that not only will they enjoy a fun night out, but they will be making a contribution that will give to this city’s children year after year after year. “The Prince George Community Foundation will use the money raised to create a new endowment fund. The money will be invested to provide interest and investment income every year. The principal in this fund will never be spent and the annual investment income will be available for granting each year in perpetuity. This means the funds raised by Halfway There will create a lasting legacy for children in Prince George.” The PGCF manages more than $12 million in endowed funds and has granted out more than $2.1 million to local charities within the community. The Community Foundation grants funds to eligible charities twice a year. Anne and Ted said, “Miracle Theatre hopes that those attending the play will never have had so much fun supporting
a worthy Prince George cause. Halfway There is a comedy about friends for life and it is full of laughter and surprise. As one theatre critic put it, ‘It is filled with Maritime wit and wisdom. It has sugar and spice and everything nice – with a dash of Maritime salt.’ You are sure to laugh from start to finish as the play concludes with a heart-warming message that puts friendship first. “Playwright Norm Foster has been the most produced playwright in Canada every year for the past twenty years. His plays receive an average of 150 productions annually. Foster pens plays that are known for their humour, accessibility and insight into the everyday tribulations of life.” Performances are held at ArtSpace, above Books and Company, at 1685 Third Ave., which Miracle Theatre transformed into a theatre space with tiered seating, full set and thrust stage. The comedy runs 8 p.m. nightly, except Mondays, from Feb. 28 to March 20 with additional 2 p.m. Sunday matinees on March 3, 10, and 17. Tickets are $33 and available at Books and Company or can be ordered by phone by calling 250-5636637. *** February birthdays that I know about: Diane MacLean, Helga Bertram, Judy Jackson, Lloyd Annis, Darlene Meyers, Cy Fortin, Bob Carrier, Judy Fisher, Amy
Vander Ploeg, Ton Vander Ploeg, Sophie Chartrand, Kirsten Redding, Paul Steindl, Iris Frenkel, Verna Wright, Clarence Boudreau, Kathy Iselmoe, Joan McKay, Peter Osis, Aurela Kronebusch, Marlene Johnson, Roman Hildebrandt, Raymond Roch, Helen Dahl, Evelyn Porter, Delores Bircher, Ingrid Maack, Lillian Peter, Edna Stitt, Fred Dettling, Marlys Labonte, Anna Sciara, Rosetta Mauro, Mary Brizan, Betty Pearson, Susan Scott, Helen Wlasitz, Wendy Wlasitz, Edith McLaughlin, Rudy Wortman, Jo Nore, Judy Johnson, John Hepwood, Clifford Haiste, Ed Olichny, Luisa Botelho, Bob Dods, Joyce Antonyk, Neil Peterson, Denise Chenail, Anita Laurin, Louis Matte, Gilbert Stolz, Mel Pearson, James Stanyer, Jack Wagner, Luci Goodfellow, Russel Prouse, Doug Warren, Carol Ventress, Wanda Hauff, Corinne Collins, Rene Coburn, Kenneth Stephens, Barbara Carson, Audrey Kelly, Tena Sevigny, Tom Holgate, Doreen Kather, Bryan Erickson, Gordon Hall, Vicki Shanoss, Lory Denluck, and 91 years for Rosa Fornari. *** Anniversaries for February: 64 years for Keith and Marg McLachlan, 54 years for Ernie and Diana Myers, 54 years for Wayne and Jan Braaten, 54 years for Earl and Lorraine Turner, 41 years for Jim and Brenda Doucette, 25 years for Joe and Janice (Taylor) Anderson, and 17 years for Lino and I.
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97/16 photo by James Doyle
A large array of flowers and a framed portrait of Mary Gouchie stood at the front of Sacred Heart Cathedral on Saturday during the funeral service for the renowned Lheildli elder.
Memorial celebrates Gouchie’s life CHRISTINE HINZMANN 97/16 staff
A memorial was held at Sacred Heart Cathedral on Saturday to honour Mary Gouchie, a Lheidli T’enneh elder who
died in hospice Jan. 24 at the age of 97 after a brief battle with cancer. Gouchie was born on Feb. 15, 1921. Presiding over the funeral mass was Father Rectorino Tolentino and offering the blessing of the gathering was daughter Janet Kozak. Darlene McIntosh, a Lheidli T’enneh elder and cultural advisor, gave the eulogy and described Gouchie as an elder, mentor, friend, keeper of the Lheidli dialect of the Dakelh (Carrier) language, wisdom keeper and matriarch of her extensive family. To preserve the language of her people, Gouchie worked extensively with her people, the city, the university and college to preserve and document the Carrier language. “Mary demonstrated many virtues – humility, kindness, patience and charity, unconditional love and acceptance of all people,” McIntosh said. Everyone who knew Gouchie was blessed, she added. McIntosh said Gouchie met and married Dan Gouchie, had 10 children and many grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren.
97/16 photo by James Doyle
Mayor Lyn Hall speaks about his many conversations he had over the years with Mary Gouchie during her funeral service Saturday. “She loved them all the same,” McIntosh said and talked about how Gouchie would always say if people forgot the past they would never find the future. “Mary was and is love,” McIntosh said.
Mayor Lyn Hall made a tribute to Gouchie, whom he had known for more than 20 years. Continued on page 5
Thursday, February 7, 2019 | 5
‘The queen of Prince George’ Continued from page 4
97/16 photos by James Doyle
Above, Kym Gouchie drums and sings at her grandmother Mary’s funeral Saturday at Sacred Heart Cathedral. Below, Janet Kozak spoke about her mother’s tireless efforts to save the Lheidli dialect of the Dakelh language. Bottom, Buddy Gouchie sang a song at the service.
He offered sympathy and prayers to her family and fondly recalled one particular thing she liked to say when she saw him. He said he was reminded of it by one of Gouchie’s grandchildren when Hall and wife Lorelle visited Gouchie in hospice during her last days. “She would say ‘he may be the mayor of Prince George but I am the queen of Prince George’,” Hall said with a smile, acknowledging that being reigning queen was far more prominent than his role with the city. Hall said that during his time on the School District 57 board he got to know Gouchie better as she would stress the importance of having an Aboriginal school component within the district. Ultimately, Nusdeh Yoh (House of the Future) became the Aboriginal Choice program, that was put in place in September 2010. “I always walked away knowing more than I did before we talked,” Hall said of his many conversations with Gouchie over the years. Kym Gouchie, granddaughter of Mary and well known singer-songwriter, presented her Atsoo (grandmother) story and song, sharing memories of her time with her grandmother and what it meant to her. Jo-Anne Berezanski and Miranda Seymour read poems to honour Gouchie, Buddy Gouchie sang Amazing Grace and then prayers were said beginning with Ron Polillo who read from the Book of Wisdom in the Bible. Father Tolentino concluded the memorial by saying a few words about Gouchie. “The words said by loved ones in the eulogy and the tributes, the newspaper articles published in the paper, all testify about who Mary is to everyone,” Tolentino said. “In my own reading of these stories and listening to the stories shared today and my own understanding of that the life of Mary showed she was a good steward of everything that was given to her in her life. She took good care of whatever was entrusted to her and Mary is just a beautiful person.” He spoke about how Gouchie was a positive role model and shared her knowledge freely, especially when it came to passing on the First Nations language. “But it wasn’t just her native language she shared with others but also the language of love,” he said. In lieu of flowers, the extensive family of Mary Gouchie asked that people please consider donating to the Prince George Hospice Society to honour her memory.
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Downtown Winterfest, Francofun and more Downtown Winterfest Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Canada Games Plaza, 808 Canada Games Way, the annual festival brings a celebration of winter to Downtown Prince George. Bring sticks to join a fun road hockey game, get inspired with our snow sport demonstrations, give the ice slide a whirl, enjoy a ride on the Cottonwood Express train, or witness a spectacular showcase of snow and ice carving art. Indulge your taste buds with fun and tasty food from the outdoor food court or taste the creative variety of traditional campfire treats during the There is S’More Downtown contest. Check out the Winter Market featuring exhibitors and local merchants who will be offering a little something for everyone. For more information call 250-614-1330 or visit www.downtownpg.com.
The Occupation of Heather Rose
Today through Feb. 24 at Theatre Northwest, #36-556 North Nechako Rd., the Occupation of Heather Rose will be presented. It’s the first play ever staged by Theatre Northwest and 25 years later the theatre is bringing it back. It’s a beautiful heartwarming and inspiring play that charts the growth in understanding of a naïve nurse working on the Snake Lake Reserve in Northern Ontario. There is a relaxed performance Saturday, which is designed to welcome audience members who will benefit from a less restrictive audience environment, including (but not limited to) patrons with sensory processing conditions, autism, a learning or intellectual disability, or parents with infants and toddlers. There is a more casual approach to noise and movement within the theatre space. For more information call 250-614-0039 or email FOH@theatrenorthwest.com.
FrancoFUN Festival Today through Sunday, the Prince George French Canadian Circle presents the 34th annual FrancoFun Festival featuring activities throughout the city, including a traditional Sugar Shack, which will be held at St. Mary’s Hall on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature music from the Old Time Fiddlers, Father Garneau and Les Rats of Swomp. For more information call 250-561-2565 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lunar New Year Celebration
Friday from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 483 Gillett St., presented by the College of New Caledonia’s International education program, the 2019
97/16 file photo
Amelie Giroux, 4 1/2, brother Liam, 8, and twin Cleo, at the Sugar Shack Francofun Day in this 2012 file photo. Lunar New Year Celebration is open to all and includes a full program of cultural entertainment and dinner. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children 12 or younger, available at CNC International Education or CNC Students’ Union. For more information call 778-349-1317 or email yangy7@cnc. bc.ca.
Body Soul & Spirit Expo Friday to Sunday at the Ramada Plaza, 444 George St., the expo showcases products, services and resources for growth, and fosters the individual quest for wholeness and self understanding. For more information including for vendors visit www.bodysoulspiritexpo.com.
Salmon Dinner Friday at 6 p.m. at the Omineca Arts Centre, 369 Victoria St., the Sea to Sands Conservation Alliance will be hosting a
fundraiser for the Wet’suwet’en featuring a casual salmon dinner with the Khast’an Drummers performing. Admission is a minimum donation of $20. There is also a vegan option. To RSVP email email@example.com.
‘90s Dance Party Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Roll-ADome, 2588 Recplace Dr., a 90’s Dance Party is being hosted by the Give a Chance Society and the Afro Caribbean Student Association. Tickets are $20 each. This is an adults only event. Cash bar. Best dressed will be awarded a prize. For more information 250-277-8051 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Symphony show Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Prince George Playhouse, 2833 Recreation Pl., the Prince George Symphony Orchestra presents a concert featuring German
Masters, beginning with Bela Bartok’s Romanian Folk Dances and ends with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. In between these two different pieces, the symphony welcomes Canadian Violinist Jasper Wood who will play Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. For more information call 250-981-8456 or email GM@pgso.com.
Wheelchair basketball Every Monday until April 15 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Northern Sports Centre, 3333 University Way, PG LumberJacks Wheelchair Basketball offers a Rec North drop in program. No experience is necessary and all equipment including sports wheelchairs is available. Everyone welcome. Free for Northern Sport Centre members and youth under 13 yrs or $6 drop in rate for non-members. For more information call 250-613-5187 or email email@example.com.
Thursday, February 7, 2019 | 7
Journals tell region’s history H ave you ever found yourself in Europe and amazed at how ancient history is celebrated along with the events seemingly in the recent past? I have had a few opportunities to stand where the great battles of history – Crecy, Agincourt, Vimy Ridge – were fought and breathed the air and tried to hear and feel those events. I have touched the lighthouse built by the Romans at Dover in 2 AD. I entertained the thought these same soldiers possibly being present at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Mindtingling stuff. Last fall, I had the opportunity to hear Jo Chrona, curriculum coordinator for the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC), ask something like: “If you go to Europe to learn about and see the historic places of the Romans and Greeks, and if you are of European descent, your own ancestry; where would the first peoples of Canada go to learn about their own history?”
That single question made me hope that the stories of our area’s history, both pre-European and early-European contact, would be told and made more available to the wider population. Then, only a few months later, I heard Ted Binnema, history chair at UNBC, talk and he asked if anyone would be interested in helping transcribe official Hudson Bay journals from our area. Well, count me in! It may not be an archeological dig, but it is a way I can contribute to our knowledge of our history. Among the jewels I have unearthed: in the official Hudson Bay Journals from
Fraser Lake, February 1889: • Wednesday 27th Cloudy. Thermr at Freezing. John Sutherlands Wife, Annie, died at 4 a.m. • Thursday 28th Weather same as yesterday. Light frost during the night. Several Indians from Stella arrived. Come to the funeral of the late Mrs. Sutherland. Adam and Thomas taking down the rafters from the Old Store. • March 1889 Friday 1st Fine bright warm morning. Thermr 26º A light frost during night. Several Stony Creek Indians arrived. Colin & Peters arrived from St. Creek. Saturday 2nd Cloudy. Thermr 25º Adam and Thomas off after hay. Sunday 3rd Cloudy Thermr 13º above 0. Heavy frost on the ground this morning. About noon, the remains of the late Mrs. Sutherland were taken to the Cemetery and buried attending by all the Indians of the place and many from a distance. Messrs Peters and McKenzie also attended.
My question is why did so many Indigenous from near and far come to this Mrs. Sutherland’s funeral? How had she gained their respect? There are many, many journals to transcribe because Hudson Bay employees were very consistent with their journals. So many stories and books to be written, using these journals as sources. For example, the author saw a huge flock of gulls in May but I thought gulls were a recent thing up north. Bush fires were burning in June already. Fur bearing animals were in short supply, but fish plentiful, weirs were being built. I could go on and I have only transcribed February to August. If you can read cursive handwriting, have a computer, and are interested in helping, please send me an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can put you in touch with Prof. Binnema, or you could contact him at UNBC, and be a part of this wonderful opportunity.
Childhood diseases and how to deal with them
ears ago, me and a few of our friends were all talking about what childhood diseases that we had. We were living in Wells at the time and this is the sort of conversation that you end up having when you live in a small mountain town in the summer in your twenties. After you exhaust all the big conversa-
Home Again Megan kuklIs
tions about life and love and religion, random oddities become the conversa-
tion lubricant when there is no cable and the gas station has lost the VHS of the first Harry Potter movie. Anyway, of the lot of us, most of us had chicken pox, one had mumps and one had scarlet fever. When my girlfriend told me that she had scarlet fever when she was little, it stunned us all for a moment in disbelief.
“Like Beth in Little Women? That scarlet fever?” I asked. Yep, that scarlet fever. Who gets scarlet fever? Turns out that lots of people still get scarlet fever and there is no vaccine. Continued on page 8
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Scarlet fever; not just for early 20th century Continued from page 7
According to Wikipedia, scarlet fever was a leading cause of death in children in the early 20th century so thank all things holy that it is not the early 20th century. I thought of this conversation again when I received a text last week letting me know that scarlet fever was spreading around the Kindergarten classes at my daughter’s school. Imagine my utter delight when a few days later, my son develops a fever.
Luckily, it was not scarlet fever but just a run-of-the-mill pukey virus that laid him out (and us) for a few days and he is now back to his chipper self. To no one’s surprise, our daughter got sick immediately after our son started to feel better and now no one has slept for days. Our daughter is the rockstar of all children who are ill. Since the time that that she was little, she always ran to the toilet to be sick and then would say, “I’m okay. I’m okay,” after she was done. My son has always been a bit of a panicker and tended to
just stand and be sick wherever he was. He seems to be growing out of that (thank God) and he now hits the bucket most of the time. We are exhausted from being up into the wee hours of the morning administering Tylenol and actively monitoring the children for signs of a disease that should be resigned to the pages of Louise May Alcott novels. The thing that you discover when you become a parent is that your own sleep becomes less important than anything else in your life.
You sleep lightly so you can hear your child’s midnight whimpers and unsettling fever dream chatter. You administer medicine, draw cool baths, kiss foreheads and hold buckets of sick and barely even notice the deep fatigue in your own body (that is a lie – you notice your own tiredness, you just can’t do anything about it). Hour by hour and day by day, you do what you can to keep your kids safe and healthy and you hope that what you are doing is enough, while trying to dodge the puke that is aimed your way.
PREPARING STUDENTS FOR AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE
n the world of education today, we are preparing our students for an uncertain future. Some jobs which we have today will not exist 20 years from now. New jobs are being created all the time, the likes of which we can hardly imagine. Our current educational system was primarily designed during the industrial revolution. We needed clerks and factory workers to keep the economy moving forward, along with relatively small numbers of professionals and entrepreneurs. This was sufficient for a time, but it is clearly inadequate for the 21st century. In response to this, the British Columbia Ministry of Education redesigned the curriculum. The question remains, however, as to how we prepare our young people for an uncertain future. We need to keep in mind that “uncertain” does not have to mean “frighten-
Lessons in learning Gerry Chidiac
ing.” Even in our most stable times in history we have faced many uncertainties. Countries went to war, economies crashed, and new inventions created demand for new products. We have always had to adapt. Some people, however, have handled these changes better than others. As I reflect back on my own education, I realize there are many skills I learned in school that I do not use in my life today, and there is a great deal I had to learn beyond the classroom. To believe that our schools can teach our children
everything they will need to know in life by the time they are 18 is, and always has been, unrealistic. Perhaps the greatest weakness of earlier public education systems was the emphasis on skill development rather than personal development. In my teacher training in the 1980s, the vast majority of our studies focused on what skills to teach, and how to effectively teach them. I recall asking my professors, “Is it more important to cover the curriculum or to teach the students?” There was good discussion, but there was no definitive answer. Today, the emphasis is clearly on the learner. What we have come to realize is that our young people are the most valuable investment in our future, and we need to invest wisely. The new B.C. curriculum therefore not only emphasizes skill development in reading, writing and
arithmetic, it stresses the importance of personal and social development. In other words, it recognizes that in order to function well in a changing world, one needs a solid grasp of core competencies, including personal identity, social awareness and social responsibility. Many agree that the most important thing our children need to know is their own value. As I walked through my school the other day, I noticed sticky notes on everyone’s locker affirming this. The Me to We group had written messages like “You’re special” and “You are a gift” and put them up. This communicates to every person they are valuable, and so is everyone around them. Gerry Chidiac is a champion for social enlightenment, inspiring others to find their greatness in making the world a better place. For more of his writings, go to www.gerrychidiac.com
Thursday, February 7, 2019 | 9
‘Great memories’ Cougars dream team player Ronald Petrovicky looks back ted clarke 97/16 staff
For a 17-year-old Ronald Petrovicky, coming to Canada to play hockey in the Western Hockey League wasn’t a total shock to his system. Three years earlier he made the choice to leave his parents behind in Zilina, Slovakia to play for a team in Trencin, 70 kilometres away. He was giving up the comforts of home for life in a hockey club dormitory to follow his dream of playing in the NHL. Petrovicky’s move to Canada was prompted by a disagreement over transfer fees between his club team in Zilina and the Trencin junior team he played for. Unable to work out the situation he talked to his agent and asked to be put on the list of available players for the 1994 CHL import draft and was chosen fifth overall by the Tri-City Americans. He spent a month in Edmonton getting acclimated to North American life and went to the Americans’ camp in Kennewick, Wash., where he started the 1994-95 WHL season. After five months, Petrovicky joined the Cougars on Jan. 24, 1995 during their first season in Prince George, part of a 10-player trade orchestrated by Rick Brodsky, the Cougars owner and general manager. Defencemen Sheldon Souray and Kevin Bertram, centre Geoff Lynch and goaltender Mike Walker also came to Prince George in the deal that sent forwards Rob Butz and Dorian Anneck, defencemen Ryan Brown and Alexandre Boikov and goalie David Trofimenkoff to Tri-City. At the time of the swap the Cougars were last in the West Division with a 1333-3 record. Playing in the tight confines of the Prince George Coliseum under head coach Doug Hobson, the Cougars managed just one more win in their next
97/16 news service file photo
New York Rangers left winger Ronald Petrovicky celebrates his goal as San Jose Sharks defenseman Bryan Marchment skates to the net in a Nov. 11, 2002, NHL game in San Jose, Calif. Petrovicky played junior hockey with the Prince George Cougars and was selected to the team’s 25th anniversary dream team. 22 games that season and finished deadlast at 14-55-3. In 21 games Petrovicky collected four goals and 10 points. The Cats weren’t much better the following season with Dale Marquette as the coach, finishing last again at 17-53-2, but as a
sophomore WHL right winger Petrovicky averaged a point per game with 19 goals and 21 assists in 39 games. “Once I came over here to North America I learned a different style of game, I was more on the offensive side as long as
I could remember but I changed into that third- or fourth-line guy and you have to be aggressive and tough to play against,” he said. Continued on page 10
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‘EVERY YEAR was good’ Continued from page 9
“I never minded that kind of stuff. It was kind of cool that you drop your gloves and get five minutes and get back into the game. Back in Europe you get kicked out of the game and you’re a bad guy.” His second full season, with Stan Butler at the helm, playing in the justopened Prince George Multiplex, was a memorable one for Petrovicky. After an unspectacular 28-39-5-0 regular season, with 19-year-old Zdeno Chara on the blueline the Cats got hot at the right time and gave the city an irresistible dose of playoff fever as they advanced to the third round of playoffs. “Every year was good here, the people were into hockey quite a bit and it was something new for the town,” said Petrovicky. “I have nothing but great memories how great the fans were and how excited everybody was. Then we had that playoff run and the whole town was behind us. That was a great experience, on top of my list as a hockey player when you see four of five thousand people in the warmup and the building is full for the game. “It was great to play here. People were sleeping in front of the Multiplex just to get ticket. That was before the computer era and people were calling Ontario just to get a ticket.” Petrovicky was the only European on the Cougars’ roster his second season un-
til they brought Chara over from Slovakia in the summer of 1996. “I knew him from before because he’s from Trencin so he played there and once he came over here we became good friends,” said the 41-year-old Petrovicky. “We still talk to each other once in awhile. He’s a hardworking guy and I can’t believe he’s still playing. It’s amazing at his age and how physical everything is and how demanding. He’s crying and whining all the time about how fast those guys are. It’s getting faster and faster every year. It’s amazing. There’s less physical play but more speed and that’s the way the game is going.” After a 19-goal 40-point season with the Cougars, Petrovicky was drafted by the Calgary Flames in the ninth round in 1996. His feisty style and above-average hockey skills made him a Cougar fan favourite and he was even more productive the following season, finishing with 32 goals, 69 points and 119 penalty minutes playing in all 72 regular season games. In 15 playoff games he had four goals and 13 points. The rebuilding Cougars traded him to the Regina Pats in the summer of 1997 and he led the Pats in scoring that season with 64 goals and 113 points. He turned pro with the AHL Saint John Flames and after two seasons made his NHL debut in Calgary. Continued on page 11
97/16 file photo
Ronald Petrovicky fires a shot on Kelowna Rockets goalie Rob Friesen during a game at the Prince George Multiplex in December 1995.
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‘people are good here’ Continued from page 10
“The first day after I made the team I got hurt in practice,” he said. “I still played the first game against Detroit but I went for an MRI the next day and I had tore ligaments in my wrist and needed surgery.” Petrovicky drew sporadic duty his two years in Calgary and the New York Rangers acquired him in the waiver draft. He played 66 games in 2002-03 for a starstudded New York team. “It was a great city to play in and a great team, that was before the salary cap so it was playing in the all-star game pretty much with all those big names – (Brian) Leetch, (Mike) Richter, (Pavel) Bure, (Petr) Nedved, (Eric) Lindros, it was unbelievable.” That summer, the Atlanta Thrashers picked up Petrovicky on waivers and he responded with his best NHL season, scoring 16 goals and 31 points in 78 games. During the NHL lockout he returned to Slovakia and played for pro teams in Zilina and Brynas, then came back to Atlanta for another season. He signed a one-year deal with Pittsburgh as a free agent in 2006. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were just arriving for the playoff-bound Penguins and in what he describes as his best hockey experience as a pro, playing home games in the Igloo. He played 31 games but was sidelined with a hip injury which required two surgeries.
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Pittsburgh Penguins Ronald Petrovicky crashes over Ottawa Senators goalie Ray Emery as he tries to score during an NHL game in April 2007. “I had an offer to go to Chicago for a free-agent tryout and I kind of regret it to this day that I didn’t end up going,” he said. “I thought I’d just wait out the camp and somebody will call me and I’ll sign somewhere but nobody did, so I went to Europe and European hockey wasn’t for me anymore. “My style of game, you couldn’t do it over there. Plus, when you’re an import they want you to score goals and get points and I wasn’t doing that there, so it
was tough for me and my family, moving around and not playing well.” After three seasons he returned to North America and was playing a preseason game for the Vancouver Canucks in Anaheim when he strained his MCL and was released. He played four games in 2009 for the Springfield Indians, Edmonton’s AHL affiliate, when he decided he’d had enough and moved back to Prince George. In his six-year NHL career, Petrovicky
played in 342 regular season games and three playoff games, where he totaled 41 goals, 92 points and 429 penalty minutes. His four-years-older brother Robert had a brief career as an NHL centre with Hartford, Dallas, St. Louis, Tampa Bay and the New York Islanders and played 25 pro seasons, mostly in Europe. He’s now coaching in the KHL with Bratislava. After he quit hockey, Ronald worked in housing construction for several years and he’s now a project manager for Winmar, a Prince George property restoration contractor. “My wife’s from here and we always came back (for summers) – I like the town, it’s a nice size and the people are good here,” he said. “It’s not too big, not too small. It’s nicer than anywhere I know.” Petrovicky and his wife Ashley have a 19-year-old daughter, Riannon, a 16-year-old son Reif and a 13-year-old daughter Ella. Reif played minor hockey for a few years and switched to football and basketball. After a year in hockey, gymnastics was more appealing to Ella. Ronald coached Reif’s peewee rep team but he’s no longer involved in hockey and it’s been a few years since he’s played a game. “I’m too old for that,” he said. “Nobody wants a fourth-line grinder. I had enough and I’m stepping away from hockey and I’m taking it easy now. Maybe in the future I’ll find the urge to coach or play.”
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The master in his prime How Bill Belichick outcoached Sean McVay to win the Super Bowl again 97/16 wire service
The Los Angeles Rams’ offense had been dominant all season, so glorified it made coach Sean McVay an exemplar of modern football, causing envious owners to trip over themselves trying to hire any coach who lifts weights and uses hair gel. The Rams had scored the second-most points and gained the second-most yards during the most offense-crazed season in league history. Then came the Super Bowl. Then McVay confronted a football savant who had 33 years and five Lombardis on him. Then came a defensive throttling almost without precedent. Then came clarity at the top of football’s coaching hierarchy: McVay may be a genius, but he’s no Bill Belichick. One of Belichick’s defensive game plans already is on display in the Hall of Fame, from his days as a New York Giants defensive coordinator in Super Bowl XXV. The one he and defensive play caller Brian Flores designed for the Patriots’ 13-3 victory over the Rams on Sunday night may soon join it. One year after
the Patriots allowed 41 points in a Super Bowl loss to the Eagles, they yielded the lowest output in a Super Bowl in 49 years. The Patriots confused Jared Goff, dismantled the Rams’ offensive line, shut down their skill players and left McVay without answers. Belichick surprised the Rams by starting in zone defense after playing man-to-man all season. He produced havoc by changing the role of an unheralded defensive back. He unleashed a torrent of different pass rushes despite barely blitzing. He did nothing the Rams expected and everything to specially stifle a high-powered attack. Belichick made McVay his latest highprofile victim, a fact McVay lamented in both ornate vernacular and plain English. He talked about Belichick’s deployment of “single-high buzz structures” and “quarters principles” in the defensive strategy. And then he admitted what had been plainly obvious during four hours of brutalist football. “It was a great game plan,” McVay said. “There is no other way to say it but, I got out-coached.” Super Bowl LIII was a victory for wisdom over phenoms. The Rams were obliterated statistically, gaining just 260 yards, recording 12 first downs and punting nine times. The only reason the Rams had a chance in the fourth quarter was the defense of 71-year-old coordinator Wade Phillips, who had Tom Brady offkilter all night. But one coach dwarfed the others, and it was the one who now has eight Super Bowl rings as either a coach or coordinator. “Bill’s the best to ever do it,” Patriots secondary coach Josh Boyer said. The biggest spectacle in American culture staged Belichick’s opus, but it began two weeks ago on a quiet field in Foxborough, Mass. In their first practice after the Patriots beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC championship game, when other coaches might have rested players after an arduous, emotional game, Belichick put the Patriots in full pads and went full-bore. He added extra drills and additional practice periods. Mistakes were met with coaches demanding “do it again.” At the end, players toiled through an extra 12 sprints. Patriots players knew to expect two weeks of intensive study. Belichick does not use a set system. He has a basic set of fundamental tenets, but he alters strategy weekly based on his opponent’s features and flaws. Belichick unveiled his defensive game plan to his team early during the off week. Belichick and his staff had deduced that the Rams specialized in “man beaters,” Boyer said – tactics meant to defeat man coverage. Their litany of shifts, bunched formations, and frequent jet motion all thrive against man coverage, which is the style the Patriots played almost all season, and what they used extensively in Kansas City. Against the Rams, though, the Patriots would start the game in zone coverage. The Patriots believed it would limit the effectiveness of how McVay dresses up his simple-yet-deadly scheme, and that it would stagger Goff, a 24-year-old facing Belichick for the first time. The Patriots added a wrinkle within the wrinkle. Halfway through the first week of preparation, coaches switched Jonathan Jones’s primary role from cornerback to safety. Jones, an undrafted
97/16 news service photos
Above: New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick watches from the sideline, during the first half of Super Bowl 53 Sunday in Atlanta. Below: Quarterback Tom Brady talks with Belichick during the first half.
free agent the Patriots picked up out of Auburn in 2016, has toggled between the positions all season, and his versatility is one reason the Patriots value him. All year, Jones had frequently blitzed as either an outside corner or a nickelback. When he crept close to the line, Goff would assume he might blitz. Then he would drop back – not to a corner’s position, but to the center of the field, where he was responsible for a deep quarter of New England’s coverage. When Goff audibled, Boyer said, the Patriots could change their defensive call simply by moving around Jones. The Patriots also devised exotic pass rushes from an alignment meant to stifle
the run and force Goff to beat them. The Patriots walked up two linebackers to the line of scrimmage, effectively employing a six-man defensive line. The alignment clogged running lanes on early downs. When the Rams passed, the Patriots would vary which defenders rushed and which dropped into coverage, frequently using pass-rush combinations they had never shown. Along with the mixed personnel, the Patriots used a vast array of stunts, with pass rushers crossing and twisting along the line. “You name it, we threw the bus at them,” defensive end Adrian Clayborn said. “We just tried to mix it up and tried to confuse them.”
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STREAMING NOW A FLOOD CANADIANS FRET ABOUT NETFLIX’S INVASION 97/16 wire service
When CBC president Catherine Tait compared Netflix’s presence in Canada to cultural imperialism at a conference last week, some audience members could be heard laughing and expressing disagreement. But around the tables of the threeday Prime Time event in Ottawa, many industry members agreed with her, says Corner Gas co-executive producer Virginia Thompson. “I’d say she’s bang on. I think she’s absolutely right,” said Thompson, cofounder of Toronto-based Verite Films, who was at the conference. “We’re now dealing with global players having free access to our country, our market, our audiences. They’re bringing the world’s best programming to us, so it’s a gift. “But on the other hand, there also has to be a commitment to local programming... from the voices of the country in which Netflix is playing in.” Thompson is among several Canadian producers who say they support Tait’s comments, which were made on a panel last Thursday and criticized by some as being “tone deaf” for drawing parallels between Netflix programming and the colonialism of the British and French empires. Tait, who did not respond to a request for comment, also said Canadians should be “mindful” of how they respond to foreign companies entering the market here. “I think what she means, and what is correct in what she said, is that all of the big internet companies that have come in have (done so) in a new a way that is different than in the past culturally,” said Brad E. Danks, a Vancouver-based producer and CEO of OUTtv, who was in the audience for Tait’s panel. “And because of the scale and the scope of it, it’s not something that we’ve
AP file photo
Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin address the audience during the 19th annual Costume Designers Guild Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Feb. 21, 2017. Another season of their Netflix series, Grace and Frankie, will come out in 2020. contended with before. In the past, American content, other content came in through Canadian services, and now with the internet, things arrive without any sort of regulation.” Vancouver-based producer and filmmaker David Paperny noted Netflix is “probably the most dominant cultural force globally” in terms of TV and film viewing around the world. “So the question I guess that Catherine Tait raised is... Should they be regulated, as Canadian broadcasters are, to support Canadian content?” said Paperny, who got an Oscar nomination in 1994 for the documentary The Broadcast Tapes of Dr. Peter. Thompson and Paperny said they appreciate that Netflix is making content in Canada and acknowledged that foreign streaming services are helping Canadian projects reach a wider audience. The rest of the world is now watching
and “loving” Corner Gas thanks to its presence on Amazon Prime Video Direct outside of Canada (inside Canada, it’s on Bell Media properties), Thompson noted. And several CBC shows – including Schitt’s Creek, Kim’s Convenience, Alias Grace and Anne with an E – have received international buzz thanks to their presence on Netflix. But Netflix so far hasn’t fallen under federal regulations that require the country’s broadcasting companies to pay into the Canada Media Fund for the creation of homegrown programming, which is defined as being “Canadian” if it meets six out of 10 criteria in a points system. The California-based company has argued it shouldn’t be forced to pay into such funds, pointing to its 2017 pledge to spend $500 million over five years to fund original content made in Canada, a number it recently said it will “significantly exceed.”
Because it’s a foreign digital company, Netflix also isn’t required to collect or remit federal or provincial sales tax. “They need to be regulated akin to and similar to what goes on in the system,” said Danks. “Netflix is probably a broadcaster and as such should have the same obligations as a broadcaster.” Paperny agreed, noting that while Netflix is benefiting from Canadian tax credit opportunities, the content it’s creating here isn’t necessarily originating from this country. The company is also likely taking away viewers from the country’s broadcasters and thereby reducing their advertising revenue, he added. Paperny would like to see Netflix do what he’s done with shows including Yukon Gold and Chopped Canada, and make homegrown cultural products that reflect “Canada back to itself.”
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Taking care of business
When it’s 30 below and the dog’s gotta go karin brulliard 97/16 wire service
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Warren Gaffney walks his two bassett hounds Ezra and Jubal on a cold day in February 2017.
Let’s say the cold wind feels like a hot iron, boiling water instantly turns to snow, a giant lake is so frigid it is emitting “sea smoke,” and officials are exhorting all humans to stay inside. But you’ve got a dog, and the dog has some urgent needs to take care of. What happens next? “Honestly, it’s a damn nightmare,” said Chicago resident Bridget Devine, who described a routine that will sound familiar to all parents of small children about to go sledding. “In order for them to be safe, I have to put these little boots and jackets on them for every single trip outside,” she said. “These boots are basically deflated balloons that I have to force on their feet, and because I have two dogs, this process alone takes like 10 minutes.” That’s if the dog will wear bootees, which many won’t. Or if the dog will even consent to going outside, which some won’t. This week, owners of dogs, big and small, were confronted a few times a day with the unavoidable prospect of taking their pets out for bathroom breaks – an activity that could be painful for both human and pooch. Some described standing in their warmish doorways while holding onto an extra long leash attached to a dog doing its business outside. Others told of dogs that chose to urinate on the porch rather than venture beyond, or that resorted to indoor “pee pads” for a few days. One pet owner reported that the family dog stuck its nose out the dog door one recent morning, backed away and “took a pee on the table leg while looking at me.” Chicago resident Joseph Berger’s dog, a shepherd-Chow mix named Summer, usually takes three to four walks that last 30 minutes to an hour. This week, they lasted 10 minutes max, or “about nine minutes too long by my count,” said Berger, who works in magazine marketing.
Putting on her bootees is “a traumatic experience for both of us,” Berger said. But particularly excruciating was collecting what she had produced (a substance that, several Midwest dog owners attested, froze like a rock within seconds). “Cleaning up after her was really terrible because I have to remove one glove layer to be able to manage the poop bag,” Berger said, adding that Summer is accustomed to getting a biscuit as a reward when she does something good, such as not barking at other dogs. “Glove off, toss her a biscuit, glove back on. Yesterday and today, that was torture,” he said. Not all dogs are alike, of course, and some did not mind the subzero outdoors. Lucy, a thick-coated border collie mix in Madison, Wis., even frolicked with delight in the deep snow. “I think I require more preparation than the dog does,” said her owner, illustrator Michael Hirshon, 31, who donned long underwear and multiple layers of shirts, sweaters and jackets for a fleeting excursion Thursday morning in minus-30 temperatures. “It took about five minutes, because I knew she had to poop, and she likes to dawdle. So it required a lot of her jumping around. She usually walks around to find the perfect spot.” The polar vortex-friendly dogs did not include Luna, a thin-coated labcattledog-pitbull mix who lives near Minneapolis. After refusing to wear protective socks, she consented to wearing a small hooded sweatshirt belonging to her owner, dental student Andrea Smith. But she only barely agreed to go outside. “She was just hunched over, like, ‘Nope, forget it,’” said Smith, 26. “She will keep minimal amounts of paws on the ground, and she runs inside.” Darren Szrom’s Lab-retriever mix, 13-year-old Diamond, is used to hunting with him in winter weather. But it was “just way too cold for literally man or beast,” Szrom said, and even Diamond wasn’t having it. Within seconds of being let out into the yard, Diamond “was on the deck, laying down on top of his paws to keep them warm like a wild animal would,” Szrom said. “Apparently, a minute was too long.” But it was long enough for Szrom to be able to answer a burning question for those in balmier parts of the world: No, he said, dog pee does not freeze midair. “It definitely hit the ground as a liquid,” Szrom said of Diamond’s urine. “I don’t know how long it was liquid.”
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Music medicine Doc Walker returns for Playhouse show frank peebles 97/16 staff
The Doc is in. Doc Walker is riding back into Prince George but not for the same country shows you’ve seen them do even before you knew they were doing it. The guys in this Canadian country super-achiever group have been performing in P.G. since they were operating under different band names at the now defunct Cadillac Ranch. They were on the same circuit as 12 Gauge, the band that would one day be Emerson Drive (the two would work together later, after they became two of the top-ranked Canadian acts on the U.S. side of the border). They have been back since then, after Doc Walker became a headline act from coast to coast, but not in this form. It’s an acoustic show interspersed with anecdotes, comical asides and insights right from the band. Chris Thorsteinson (co-leader of the group along with Dave Wasyliw) told The Citizen that since the acoustic shows became one of their go-to concert formats, he’s been having the most fun he’s enjoyed on stage in years. “What I think it is is the connecting with the audience,” he said. “As a writer, what you’re always trying to do is connect, and we’ve been pretty true to that over the last 20 years with songs like Driving With The Brakes On, and That Train, and whatnot. There’s a lot of really cool stories behind a lot of these songs, and for me to be able to sit with the crowd and kinda share these inspirations behind the songs, or funny road stories that led to a song, it’s just a blast. It reminds us more of a Bob & Doug McKenzie episode from SCTV than it does a country show.” They have the material and experience to customize almost any kind of show. Doc Walker released their first album in 1997 and their most recent was 2017’s Weathervane. The singles had deep appeal in the country audience on both sides of the border, and they also etched themselves into crossover pop audiences in Canada thanks to tunes like She Hasn’t Always Been This Way, North Dakota Boy, Rocket Girl, Put It Into Drive, That’s How I Like It and their cover of the Genesis hit That’s All, just to name a few. Arguably their top song is Beautiful Life, but there’s a bunch of contenders.
Dave Wasyliw and Chris Thorsteinson of Doc Walker are playing the Prince George Playhouse on Feb. 22. The public response has been one long, sustained high five. They have almost 40 Canadian Country Music Award nominations, a dozen of them for wins. They have also been up for a Juno Award seven times, with one win. If there’s a single reason for the success it would have to fall under the word “material.” They have taken the craft of songwriting seriously, spending more than a decade in Nashville honing their composition skills from some of the world’s best. On a year-round basis, said Thorsteinson, he, Wasyliw and their main collaborators only put the pen down for a week or two. They “never really stop writing” having learned over the years to pace out the process of composing, recording and touring. They’ve also listened to their co-
writers, sought out mentors, and studied the craft. One piece of advice he took in was “the secret to being a good songwriter is being aware of your surroundings at all times, because there are songs everywhere, you just have to see them, find them.” For Thorsteinson, it’s such a reflex now that “I’ll be watching a hockey game and write half a song in my head without touching a piece of paper.” It’s easier than ever to actualize the material, Thorsteinson said, because they live back in their hometown of Westbourne where they’ve built a recording studio. Westbourne is situated on Highway 16 just like Prince George. It’s on the twisty shores of the Whitemud River, which starts at Neepawa where Margaret Laurence’s stories also begin. It takes the
outflows of Lake Irwin and Park Lake and pushes it all northeast in a meandering snake engorged with northern pike and walleye, to where it’s all discharged into massive Lake Manitoba at Lynch’s Point Campground. The place is so definitive for Thorsteinson that he has intentions of opening a waterfront resort. He’s already got the land and he’s developing the landscape for his R&R dreams. Then he will have all the roots any songwriter could ever ask for to inspire the next batch of tunes. Doc Walker performs in Quesnel on Feb. 21 at the Seniors Centre then Feb. 22 at the P.G. Playhouse in our city. Book your local seats at the Central Interior Tickets website. Their latest single, Get Back On My Horse, is out now on radio and video.
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Caitlin Abraham and Levi Davis collaborated on the short film Takla Trap House, which has been chosen as a StoryHive finalist.
Takla trap house Short film chosen as top-10 finalist for StoryHive frank PEEBLES 97/16 staff
Modern stories told by the oldest of
peoples were the subject of the latest StoryHive competition. The film industry development program went looking for Indigenous storytellers with their latest edition, and the response was so strong that the organization bent its own rules. Instead of 10 finalists from B.C. and 10 from Alberta, the Telus initiative shortlisted 30 finalists this time. All of them get $20,000 to take their in-development film proposals and make them a reality.
The region around Prince George was well represented among these finalists, so stories springing from the waters of our local culture will soon be fashioned into indelible screen documents. One of them is entitled Takla Trap House, flowing from the ancient Aboriginal communities near Fort St. James. Director Levi Davis said in his story pitch that “I don’t have any formal training that pertains to film but I love the art of story telling,” and he has transferrable skills from other endeavours. “I am an accomplished professional manager that aspires to get into the digital video industry. I currently work for Takla First Nation and feel the need to tell their stories. Their nation is the headwaters for the Fraser River and with that bring many opportunities to record their lengthy history.” His production team includes former UNBC student Caitlin Abraham who now works for Sasuchan Development Corporation, the economic arm of the Takla First Nation. Their cameras will roll on the Takla traditions of fur trapping, which speaks both to ancient sustenance practices and post-colonial economic forces. “This isn’t about being noble and living in harmony with nature, this is what they do to make a living,” said Davis. “Yet, there remains the conflict they live between trying to uphold traditional practices while industry and the evergrowing presence of the modern world encroaches upon the preservation of culture. As I have never lived on reserve or in a remote destination before, I find this fascinating and believe others will also.” Another local lens will be focused on musician Quanah Style, a transgender performer now based in Vancouver but born into the Cree traditions of the Saulteau First Nation traditions at Moberley Lake. Style has a sister named Niska Napoleon who is also a noted musician and a father, Art Napoleon, who is both award-winning musician and television personality. Style, with a music career also acclaimed, steps into the spotlight with the film Dance With Me. “Lets explore identity, what it means to be two-spirit (trans), and dance through cultural teachings about the jingle dress,”
said Style. The film proposal was to show how a young boy would turn to powwow music and the jingle dress throughout elementary school years in the progression towards understanding the different primal forces contained within. “Now Quanah wants to explore culture and two-spirit identity with traditional knowledge keepers, to decolonize gender roles, and help create acceptance through understanding,” said the film’s production team. “We want to capture the experience of her first regalia making a jingle dress (and) share stories from elders in the prairies about the meaning of the dance and traditional teachings.” The proposed documentary would be told in Cree and translated to English, “to pass on these important lessons to future generations. Lets reclaim pride in our two-spirit leaders and dance like no one is watching.” A third production grant for a local project is going to Hey Cuzzin, a comedy by Prince George’s Joy Haskell. “I want to make a difference in this industry,” Haskell said. “I love this film industry and am passionate about screenwriting.” She has been attending master-classes, has obtained an experienced mentor based in the Los Angeles television sector, and she has a number of projects in development. “I taught Creative Writing in a men’s federal prison and taught poetry slams for youth,” she said, describing her path towards filmmaker. “I grew up dancing, singing and acting. I have a strong musical theatre background. I have put together dance and musical programs.” Creative BC contributed funds to this edition of StoryHive. It was the first time in the organization’s six-year history that the competition was exclusively for Indigenous filmmakers. Each competition starts as a pitch made to a panel of professionals who form a long-list of contenders. Next, those contenders are unveiled to the public and thus begins an online voting period where the finalists are whittled down to a shortlist. In addition to the production grant, the selected finalists also receive training and mentorship opportunities and some are shown on Telus platforms like Optik TV.
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Loneliness a factor in getting good nutrition, experts say 97/16 wire service
Flo Elliott was never a big eater, but her appetite plummeted when her husband died. Suddenly alone after 54 years of marriage, Elliott says she lost interest in food and would routinely skip meals. It would take about seven years to recover that appetite, says the now 89-year-old. “It’s really, really hard after living with someone for so long to be alone,” she says from her home in the eastern Ontario hamlet of Wilberforce. “That was the worst of it. I think I couldn’t seem to enjoy food. I didn’t care, I guess.” Loneliness is a big factor in getting good nutrition, say experts in the field of senior health. Many, including nutrition professor Catherine Morley, are applauding a section of Canada’s new food guide that encourages people to eat with others when possible, to prepare more foods at home and to plan their meals. Morley, who teaches at Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S., notes seniors often have lower appetites but “when they are with other people they do eat more.” A good mood, attractive plating, and colourful, delicious-looking food all play a role in encouraging eaters to savour a meal, she notes. But finding fellow diners can seem like an insurmountable challenge for those grappling with depression, mobility issues or poverty, Morley adds, arguing that this portion of the guide’s suggestion shouldn’t entirely rest on the individual. “The evidence is absolutely there that cooking together as families and eating together as families builds stronger communities, that’s been documented for
97/16 news service photo by Fred Thornhill
Flo Elliott is photographed at her home in Wilberforce Ont. last week, said since she hasn’t had anyone to cook for she’s lost interest in food. quite a long time,” says Morley. “The responsibility that I’m feeling isn’t resting with the person who’s the old person, it’s resting with the community around them.” She cites a 2015 study by the Canadian Malnutrition Task Force that found 45 per cent of older adults admitted to hospital for a non-nutrition diagnosis were malnourished. Aside from financial hurdles, seniors may have mobility and health issues preventing them from grocery shopping, or visually determining whether a piece of fruit is fresh or rotten, experts say. Arthritis can make holding a knife well enough to chop vegetables difficult, while back trouble can limit ability to stand at the stove or sink. “It takes a village in a situation like this,” says Carol Greenwood, an emeritus
at the University of Toronto in nutritional sciences and a senior scientist at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute. “Families are not tight-knit the way they used to be four generations ago when people moved a block away from one another.” Elliott credits her friends and various activities – a book club, historical society, and a community cooking group – with keeping her mindful of healthy eating. She considers herself a “plain cook” but tries to eat well by limiting meat and favouring vegetables. She will buy frozen prepared meals, such as the meat pie she had recently with a baked potato and carrots. Back trouble makes it hard for her to stand for long periods in the kitchen. “The last two or three years I’ve come to realize you have to take care of yourself because you’re not doing anybody any
good being sick,” she says, noting that her adult son lives in Peterborough, which is about an hour-and-a-half drive away. Elliott goes out to lunch regularly with two senior friends who are also living alone, and they call each other nearly every day. Of course, experts say the benefits of eating with others extend to all age groups. The food guide encourages people to foster connections between generations – especially children who learn from behaviour modelled by parents and caregivers. U of T social and behavioural health sciences professor Kate Mulligan says social isolation is known to put health at risk. “All kinds of things happen when we eat alone – we may be in a rush, we may not be focusing on the foods we’re eating, and we may eat standing up, eat at our desks,” says Mulligan, whose work includes drawing links between social well-being and nutrition with the Alliance for Healthier Communities. “Being together allows us to slow down, to focus on the culture of eating and being around food to spend time together preparing food, learning about food, building food literacy.” Morley encourages people to consider the hurdles facing older neighbours and family members who may not be as fortunate as Elliott. “I’d like to see us as a whole culture do that better,” she says. “Let’s think about the people who you’ve seen or live close by. Simple things like: ‘Do you need a lift to get to that church lunch?’ That would be all that’s needed.”
New food guide an improvement
n Jan. 22, Health Canada released the new Canada’s Food Guide, a significantly revised and updated version of 2007’s Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide. The long overdue revision was made to ensure current recommendations are based on current evidence and concerns regarding the previous guide were addressed. The recommendations now being made send the message that a healthy diet does not require a “one-sizefits-all” approach but is personal to each individual and is strongly influenced by eating behaviours. The previous food guide was criticized as being difficult to follow and implement in everyday life, as well as being unrealistic and inflexible for the average person; not every male aged 19-50 wants to, or needs to, eat eight servings of grains or eight to 10 servings of vegetables everyday. The previous food guide recommendations were also not considerate of cultural diversity, sustainability and the traditional foods of many Canadians. Dietitians encourage healthy eating habits, but instead of focusing on behaviours, the previous food guide felt more like a rigid diet plan; one where foods should be weighed or measured to deter-
Food for thought
mine appropriate portion sizes. This was not a realistic strategy for healthy eating and so the previous food guide was not something I, and many other dietitians, used in practice. The 2019 Canada’s Food Guide has ditched the previous rainbow visual in favour of food photography featuring healthy food choices and a selection of online resources for a variety of users and is now available in a mobile-friendly web application. The terminology used in the guide has also changed, dropping the previous food groups for more commonly used terms such as “protein foods.” There are also no longer recommendations for serving sizes or number of servings. The new guide provides advice on how to be a more mindful eater, to allow you to be more conscience of your eating habits, leading to healthier choices. Another approach to behaviour change addressed in the guide involves identify-
ing hunger cues. Being able to identify whether you’re actually hungry or eating due to stress, fatigue or boredom is an important skill in managing a healthy diet. The new guide uses reliable, current evidence on food and health to make recommendations, excluding industrycommissioned reports to avoid the perception of bias. One criticism of previous food guides, including the American version, was that the food and beverage industry had substantial say over the nutritional recommendations being made. However, officials from Health Canada’s Office of Nutrition Policy made the purposeful choice to not meet with representatives from the food and beverage industry to, once again, avoid bias. The 2019 food guide has been endorsed by Dietitians of Canada as “modern, relevant, informed by scientific evidence and in line with the recommendations provided during consultations.” By focusing on not just what foods constitute a healthy diet, but the skills and eating behaviours that are important components of healthy dietary habits, the new food guide provides more useful recommendations and direction, with accessible, user-friendly resources.
The guide also acknowledges individuals with specific dietary requirements and those receiving care in a clinical setting, steering them towards the specialized services of a dietitian, something the old food guide did not do. If you’re looking to make healthy diet changes and need some direction, or even if you’re just looking for some healthy new recipes, the 2019 Canada’s Food Guide could be a valuable resource for you. You’ll find tips on meal planning, eating on a budget, grocery shopping, healthy cooking methods, eating around the holidays and a variety of other topics, as well as accompanying one-page resources. The guide addresses the different environments in which we eat, with specific resources and tips on eating at home, school, work, in the community and out at restaurants. The specific nutritional needs of infants, teens, adults and seniors are also addressed, as well as the nutritional challenges that can be associated with these populations. For more information on the 2019 Canada’s Food Guide, go to food-guide. canada.ca. Kelsey Leckovic is a Registered Dietitian with Northern Health working in chronic disease management.
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Stigma always stings Ask an Addict
tigma stings. I hide in the shadows because people judge me as evil. I am not evil or bad, only suffering and sick. I meet others who think they hold no judgment towards people like me. I once held this same view. I believed I was nonjudgmental, pure in my thoughts. I lectured, wrote about and cared for people who were similar to me: marginalized, ashamed and downtrodden. Stigma stings. People look down upon me; I hear their judgment and taste their disdain. In various medical, healthcare reports, I hear the sting of my shame. Like others, I thought I was 150 per cent OK in my actions, particularly towards those who had suffered. In my world, due to my experience, I believed I stood beside those who were hurt. I was completely, absolutely 100 per cent wrong. I believe that what I believe becomes my thinking, my next level of thought. My thoughts then turn into actions and my actions become reality. I explore beliefs to find out what I will think. What I think is different from what I believe. My beliefs arise from a deeper, often uncon-
97/16 news service photo by Martin Brosy
Ask an Addict columnist said no matter where she goes there is stigma attached to drug addiction, including at the doctor’s office. scious space. In recovery, I uncover who I believe I am, not who you, or I think, me to be. Mind twisting, I know. Stigma stings. I recall two times, first with my doctor. She knows everything about me and I am honest with her. One day, she allowed me to use her cellphone in her private, personal space. I was honoured, touched by this act. When my call ended, I sat waiting for her outside to finish up her work. Suddenly, she came into the hallway and asked me back into her office.
“I am sorry to do this to you, but can you open up your purse?” I grew afraid. What had I done? I opened and showed the contents to her. Nothing was found. “I lost my (prescription pad),” she said. That’s what doctors use to write for controlled narcotics. I felt ashamed. I knew I had done nothing wrong yet I felt ashamed. Stigma stings. Even now as I type, humiliation presses deep into my gut. She apologized after she found her
prescription pad. I never stole or lied to her, ever, yet her fear of addiction came out clearly to me. Stigma, it stings. The second instance reveals my own stigma to me. A few years back, I hired a personal worker to help in my home. This person had been with me for two to three years. She knew my addiction story and one day decided to share her own history with me. In the past, I had without question left her alone in my house. I trusted her. She proceeded to tell me she was also an addict; once addicted to narcotic pills. In that moment, I faced me. I then knew that everything was different. I could no longer trust her to be alone in my house. How horrible is that? She had done nothing to me. Yet here I was facing myself, in her state of being. So if you think you are free from judgment and the evaluation of others, I ask you this: if your child or newborn was to be cared by someone, would you allow an addict or an alcoholic in recovery to do this for you? I think not. Therefore I throw out a challenge, to examine yourself, be true with your beliefs. After all, what we believe becomes reality and I want – no, I need – that to change. Questions for Ann? Send your submissions (anonymously, if you choose) to email@example.com and we’ll pass them along.
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The Lost man a tale of death in the outback
Oline H. Cogdill 97/16 wire service
The Lost Man, by Jane Harper The three Bright brothers, bonded by blood, history and the vagaries of the Australian outback, are the true lost men of Jane Harper’s engrossing third novel, The Lost Man. The Lost Man works as a story about families and also as a tale about surviv-
ing in the outback, a “land of extremes where people were either completely fine or they were not.” Oldest brother Nathan Bright is isolated even more than the norm, banished from the town of Balamara for breaking one of those Australian rules and is semiestranged from his family. He spends his solitary life tending a dying ranch, waiting for those infrequent visits from his teenage son, Xander. He and young-
est brother, Bub, are brought together when the body of middle brother, Cam, is found near the landmark grave of an old stockman, an area icon wrapped up in legend. How Cam, so well-seasoned in the ways of Australia, ended up dead forms the crux of The Lost Man. Solid, believable characters fill The Lost Man. But equally important is the exploration of the outback where “too much space” gives way to resentments.
How to take a case to small claims court b.c. provincial court
The BC Provincial Courtâ€™s Small Claims Court usually deals with cases involving from $5,001 to $35,000. Larger claims generally go to the B.C. Supreme Court. It is possible to make a claim for more than $35,000 in small claims court, but if you do you must abandon the amount over that limit. Although a provincial court judge cannot award you more than $35,000 plus interest and expenses, people sometimes choose to abandon part of their claim in order to take advantage of the simpler procedures in small claims court. This article explains some of the differences between small claims court and supreme court procedures for claims in that range.
Procedures Small claims court offers settlement conferences where the parties to a lawsuit meet with a judge to discuss whether itâ€™s possible to settle the claim without a trial. If thatâ€™s not possible, the judge will usually make orders to help the parties prepare for trial, including orders to exchange all relevant documents and summaries of what their witnesses will say. For longer trials, there may also be a trial conference to ensure everyone is prepared for trial. Small claims court is designed to make it relatively easy for people to conduct their own trials without a lawyer. The small claims rules are written in plain language, they have less legalese, forms are simpler, and the rules of evidence can be more relaxed than in supreme court. On the other hand, the B.C. Supreme Court offers fast track litigation for claims that meet certain criteria, includ-
ing a dollar value of under $100,000 or a trial that can be completed in not more than three days. Fast track litigation is intended to streamline the more complex supreme court legal process and reduce the cost of suing in that court. The supreme court rules also offer a variety of procedures that may help lawyers resolve some of the issues in a complex case before a trial.
Legal fees If you are represented by a lawyer in supreme court and you win, you can be reimbursed for at least some of your legal fees. If you hire a lawyer for a small claims court case you cannot be reimbursed for legal fees, even if you win. However, it is possible that legal fees for a small claims trial may be lower than for a supreme court trial because of the shorter, simpler process.
More information If you are considering launching a lawsuit for an amount somewhat larger than $35,000 it would be wise to consult a lawyer for advice on which court would work best for you. Note that regardless of the dollar value, small claims court can only deal with claims involving: debt, damages (money to compensate for loss or injury), recovery of personal property or opposing claims to person property and performance of agreements about personal property or services. Cases involving other subjects must be taken to other courts or tribunals. You may also wish to read Choosing Small Claims or Fast Track Litigation and Fast Track Litigation, guidebooks produced by the Justice Education Society.
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