***Mar 2006 Focus pg 1-32 - Focus Magazine

focusonline.ca

***Mar 2006 Focus pg 1-32 - Focus Magazine

PM 40051145Victoria’s monthly magazine of people, ideas and culture June 2013 $3.95


editor’s letterThe historic election of a Green Party candidateto the BC Legislature should beencouraging to that party and to the rest ofus too. Let’s forget the complaints about “splittingthe votes,” which can be used against any candidate—orvoter—and embrace the possibilitiesinherent in a Green win. It’s a party that foregoesthe old right vs left dichotomy, and for now at least,endorses free votes in the legislature and proportionalrepresentation, and is opposed to corporateand union donations. These are some of the measuresI believe are needed to re-energize our democracy.Curious to know on what else our new GreenMLA will focus his considerable energies, I meethim for coffee exactly one week after the election. Climate scientist DrAndrew Weaver first tells me he accepts that he’ll have to work withand through others to get movement on important issues. He says hehas good relations with individuals in both other parties, will workcollaboratively, but also be tenacious: “If you want to solve a problemin science you have to bash your head against the wall a hundred timesbefore you find an answer…I don’t give up easily; I don’t quit.”Without hesitation Weaver explains his first priority: “We have beensold a pipe dream on natural gas. The market is simply not going to bethere…Russia has more than 20 times the reserves of all Canada combined[and] has just signed 30-year contracts to provide LNG for Chinaand…they can do it through regular pipelines. Australia has just cancelledplans to build a big new LNG facility because the market is dropping.”That’s all going to spell doom to the Liberals’ revenue-generation plansin the not-too-distant future, says Weaver. But he also says there’s asolution: “Clean tech…Rather than focussing on yesterday’s technologyto meet a market that won’t be there, we should be positioningourselves for tomorrow’s technology. What we have in BC is a veryskilled workforce and we have a lot of innovation in the companiesthat reside here—there are 202 companies according to a 2011 KPMGreport—just waiting to break out, but they need to have a level playingfield and they don’t right now.”Instead, he notes, we have a long history of vested interests lobbyinghard for subsidized fossil fuel development, and that dynamic willcontinue for LNG, especially in light of the collapsing market: “Theonly way LNG will work in BC is with massive, massive publicsubsidies…nobody is going to risk the capital otherwise,” says Weaver.Clean tech, collaboration, and civilityLESLIE CAMPBELLWill the break-through win of a green politician reshape BC’s politics?Editor: Leslie Campbell Associate Editor: Rob Wipond Publisher: David BroadlandSales: Bonnie Light, Rosalinde ComptonADVERTISING & SUBSCRIPTIONS: 250-388-7231 Email focuspublish@shaw.caEDITORIAL INQUIRIES and letters to the editor: focusedit@shaw.caWEBSITE: www.focusonline.ca MAIL: Box 5310, Victoria, V8R 6S4Subscriptions (tax included): $31.50/year (12 editions); $52.50/2 years (24 editions)Copyright © 2013. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without writtenpermission of the publisher. The views expressed herein are not necessarily those of the publisher of Focus Magazine.Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement No. 40051145Dr Andrew Weaver, Green MLAHe predicts even the Liberals won’t want to subsidizeLNG to the tune necessary. The prosperityand jobs were a convenient myth, a carrot to attractvoters. (See David Broadland’s story in this edition.)Clean tech—companies involved in wind andsolar power, geothermal, biomass, transportation,and energy storage—would provide, he says, farmore jobs than LNG—“something like four timesas many as the whole oil and gas sector. Oil andgas jobs and LNG jobs are largely construction jobsand those will be met by transient workers.” Cleantech jobs, on the other hand, would be long-termand spread throughout BC. “It’s a much better wayof creating distributed job growth,” he says.BC is blessed, he points out, with large hydro dams—“big capacitators”—that,combined with a smart grid system, can act to stabilizebase demand for electricity. “We could be…providing base demandlargely from the other renewables and using the dams to provide itwhen, say, it’s not windy…that’s how we should move forward. Wedon’t need Site C, for example, because we have the ability with ourexisting demand and all the other renewables.”PHOTO: TONY BOUNSALLDR WEAVER’S SECOND PROVINCIAL PRIORITY is health caredelivery, particularly that of VIHA. “We have amazing staff,” saysWeaver, “but an organizational structure that’s dysfunctional…This isthe biggest single thing in our budget [at 40 percent] so you need tolook at how it’s delivered.”He doesn’t pretend to have all the answers on the health file, but hisworking hypothesis seems to be that the administrative costs havegot out of hand, especially in comparison to staff salaries and equipment.He wants to see the data and trusts it will be revealing. He’ll bepushing for a legislative committee on health care, “filled withpeople who really want to make a difference on this file,” that meetsregularly. “The problem is not the existence of services—because theyexist, but there’s not enough of them,” whether it’s beds in some facilities(he mentions Leger House) or specialists. He also cites therecent dispute between VIHA and doctors at the Health Point CareCentre for seniors that resulted in the doctors quitting, fearing it willresult in even higher costs to taxpayers as the patients’ care suffers andthey are forced to use emergency services more. “There’s got to be abetter way,” he concludes.The third provincial issue Weaver cites as a priority is forest policy,specifically stopping the logging of old-growth forests, which he labelsa “travesty”—both economically and environmentally. Old-growthcoastal rain forests contain about twice as much carbon per hectare assecond-growth forests, so from a climate scientist’s perspective, it’s a nobrainerto preserve old-growth forests. But at the same time, says Weaver,it’s important to provide some sort of incentive like tax credits to millsso they can retool to be able to process second-growth trees.In the US, he points out, legislation to protect the spotted owl (andits old-growth habitat) meant companies modified their mills towardssecond-growth trees. But BC mills haven’t retooled and, as we know,4 June 2013 • FOCUS


“YOU CANNOT HAVE continued growth…there’sonly one end point of infinite growth in a finite system,and that is collapse.” —Dr Andrew Weavermany have closed and jobs have evaporated. Instead—and infuriatingly—alot of BC’s logs are shipped directly to US mills. “It’s stupid,”says Weaver. “So we could have enhanced stumpage fees in BritishColumbia for exported logs; provide incentive for retooling local mills;and keep jobs in Canada.” Admitting some of these decisions may betough, he argues that “they would be fantastic in the long run for thestability of our economy.”Besides the fact that preserving old growth preserves wildlife habitat,biodiversity, salmon spawning streams, tourism, and carbon sinks,there’s the simple reality that old-growth forests are dwindling. “Betterto deal with it now before all the old growth is gone, than to deal withit once it is gone,” says Weaver. “Either way we’re going to have to dealwith it, retooling our mills sometime.”We then turn to sewage treatment. Weaver says, “We have to treatour sewage. The problem is everyone is entrenching themselves in thesepositions and putting walls up…The real problem is we have artificialdeadlines...with no scientific reason for them.”His personal preference is to see tertiary treatment of waste througha distributed network of small facilities. “That would allow you to doit through time [and] place less burden on taxpayers. It would allowyou to actually deal with the problem—we’re not dealing with theproblem with a secondary system—and allow you to deal with thoseareas where you have some really critical issues, like, frankly, in OakBay where the sewage and storm drain are one and the same.”On his blog he proposes “a broader engagement of internationalwaste experts, especially from countries like Sweden and The Netherlands,whose innovative waste treatment systems are often held up as bestpracticeexamples.” He even offers to find sponsors for an international“waste technology event here in Victoria so decision makers and citizenscould better inform themselves of the issues and potential solutions.”Towards the end of the interview the discussion returns to theneed to nurture the clean tech sector to provide economic sustainability.Stressing that last word, and purposefully avoiding using the wordgrowth, the scientist (definitely not sounding like a politician) says:“You cannot have continued growth. There’s only one end point ofinfinite growth in a finite system, and that is collapse. That’s true whetherit’s phytoplankton in the ocean, people on Easter Island, or caterpillarson a tree.”Perhaps, I muse aloud, he’ll inspire other scientists to get involvedin politics—perhaps some of those laid off by the Harper Government.“I’m trying to!” he laughs; “I would love to see more scientists involved—because we argue, but we know at the end of the day that science movesforward by agreeing on something—you don’t just hurl abuse back andforth.” Dr Weaver seems determined to bring civility and collaborationto the legislature, along with evidence-based ideas.Editor Leslie Campbell doesn’t live in AndrewWeaver’s constituency, but like many others in theCRD, she congratulates him and wishes him goodluck on his varied projects.DISCOVERY ISLANDS LODGEQuadra Island’s Kayak InnDiscover affordable backcountry comfortat our truly-green kayaker’s inn nearQuadra’s best sea kayaking!• Friendly, oceanfront B&B• Guest kitchen & sauna• Parks, lakes & hiking trailswww.Discovery-Islands-Lodge.comwww.focusonline.ca • June 20135


eaders’ viewsInspiring a girl to voteI applaud Sandy Mayzell’s mission to educateyoung people, and particularly girls, to thepossibilities of changing our country throughthe political process. I saw no mention,however, of the history of politics and womenof colour. While the “Persons Case” declaredwomen to be persons under Canadian lawin 1929, Aboriginal women, Asian womenand other women of colour waited muchlonger for the opportunity to be seen as agentsand persons in their own right, as well aswaiting much, much longer for the right tovote. Aboriginal women and men were firstgranted the right to vote federally in 1960;and until Bill C-35 of the Canadian Charterof Rights in 1985, Aboriginal women (andtheir children) lost their Aboriginal statusif they married men who were not Aboriginal.When we are connecting our young peopleto information about their rights and responsibilities,we must remind them that therehave been and still are great discrepancies inwhat rights and freedoms are provided tovarious people, including immigrants, refugeesand foreign workers in Canada and challengethem to work toward a political system whereall are welcome to participate in the politicalprocess.Julianne KasmerGive yourself a medalHow dare David Broadland impugn thereputation of Victoria’s chief flak KatieJosephson for her justly deserved Queen’sJubilee Medal. Does he have any idea howhard this $150,000-a-year spin doctor hasto work to achieve the pinnacle of her tradeas an organ grinder? The years she has putin to train all those monkeys, especially thechief monkey, to dance to her tunes surelydeserves this most exalted recognition. Couldthis pathetic excuse of a city council existwithout her at the controls?Patrick MurphyFollowing the moneyI wanted to thank you for your insightfulApril editorial: “Following the Money—Democracy is a sham when donations rule.”I appreciate your excellent analysis andonly wish there were more commentarieslike yours in the press.Sharon GlynnThe best place on EarthI am very late in thanking you for the excellentarticle (March) by Alan Cassels re: thedestruction of independent drug evaluationsin BC and the related firing and smearing ofseven employees. I sincerely hope there willbe follow-up articles [see May 2013] and thatsome semblance of truth will eventually berevealed, and that efforts will be made toaddress the gross injustices involved.I attempted to get information on thissubject from my MLA, Maurine Karagianis.At first I was stone-walled, then I receiveda very vague and unsatisfactory response,saying nothing could be done while an investigationwas in progress. Highly disappointingand it caused me to withdraw my support ofthe NDP and my previously respected andsupported MLA.Barbara BambigerIs the law catching up to BC’s police chiefs?I just read the latest article on the policechiefs by Rob Wipond in the May 2013 issue.It is exciting to hear of a local reporter bravelyfighting a very uphill battle and succeedingin creating a more transparent ethical policeforce. And it is magazines like Focus, usingits limited resources to support outstandinginvestigative journalism, that make it possiblefor Rob to do his very important job. Thankyou, in this age where we are inundated withfree, fast, and cheap news, for producing amagazine with such substance.Janna ReimerCasa BlancaI read Mr Miller’s article on Shutters withgreat interest. This building has always struckme as out of place and reminds me of theOlympic Village in Montreal. The shape ofthe building also seems to amplify the noiseof the floatplanes; the residents are alwayscomplaining about it. Another equally hipproject from the same developer is The Fallsacross from the Sticky Wicket. Here the residentslike to complain about the noise driftingup from the night life on the streets below.Both of these buildings were heavily marketedto moneyed people in Alberta’s oil patch,which is why they look great in a brochureand have little to do with the brick-y red buildingsthat set Victoria’s architectural tone.Owen BrandonGene’s observations on urban planning andurban possibilities are always interesting.“Casa Blanca” is the first one I’ve read thatappears not to have been proofread. MorrisLapidus built the “Fontainebleau” Hotel, notthe “Fountainbleu”. And if any building isgoing to “flaunt” Victoria’s unwritten culturalcode, I’d expect to see in-your-face pome (lotsof room to move there: apple, pear, quince—any fleshy fruit having several seed chambersand an outer fleshy part largely derived fromthe hypanthium) on square, topped with redshingles. On the other hand, or on the otherside of the bridge, going against all that bybreaking out into curvy white is Shutters,flouting (not flaunting) all the unwritten expectationsfor Victoria buildings.Diane McNallyHere’s the challenge, BC HydroI’ve had vague and miscellaneous misgivingsabout BC Hydro’s push and associatedstorm of mis- and dis-information for “smartmeters.” Thanks to Trudy DuivenvoordenMitic (April 2013) for substantiating and supplementingmy possibly preconceived notions!I certainly support your challenge to BCHydro and their clique: “Tell us how society—not business and government—will benefitfrom smart meters.” Bravo!Marilyn Leslie KanPlaying chicken with democracyLast month’s BC election is part of a trendin recent elections—no one saw a Liberal Partywin coming, let alone a majority win. We alsosaw a drop in poll numbers—barely 50 percentof those eligible to vote chose to do so! Whatdoes this say about democracy in the West? Inlast month’s Pakistan election 60 percent ofeligible voters braved violence and sometimeshardship to cast their votes.I think that in Canada (and the US) it isall about strategy and power—it has virtuallynothing to do with leadership or valuesor the truth. Pretty cynical, huh? One of themost powerful emotions used to controlsomeone is fear. Fear goes right to the reptilianpart of the brain, and blocks out reason. Itshuts down the cerebral cortex, where weshould be making significant decisions. Thefact that Christy Clark and her Liberal teamrepeated the same message over and over:“It’s all about the economy and the NDP area danger to the economy”—makes it evidentthat they preached fear. The Liberal ads wererelentless and repetitive. Their campaignwas not trying to inspire, address past wrongswith solutions, or even about a real plan forthe future—it was all about instilling fear.I think that Stephen Harper’s brilliance inthis department should be starting to lookfamiliar. Cast your eyes south of the borderfor more examples.6 June 2013 • FOCUS


Focus presents: Victoria HospiceADVERTISEMENTThe message is loud and clear: To win inpolitics you have to play the fear game. Youwill lose if you don’t. Simple. There are someanomalies, like Andrew Weaver and a fewothers, but I am talking about the trend—the strategies used to win power.This is a dangerous game that essentiallysacrifices the pillars of democracy: governmentchosen by the people. Real leaders lead,they don’t lie to us (spin us half-truths) andmanipulate us. When the reality of day-todayliving hits, when we have to start thinkingthrough and devising real, long-term politicalsolutions (using our cerebral cortex), thevoting public will become cynical and disillusionedwith politics. Will the magic ofChristy’s smile and charismatic “trust me”still make those who voted for the BC Liberalsfeel like “they won” just because the partythey voted for won the election?Can we call this democracy? Is it reallypeople choosing—or is it just an ideal thatsounds good? When there is no leadershipand vision genuinely chosen by the people(this was a power grab not a genuine grassrootsselection of vision and leadership), thedanger is anarchy. Let’s call this what it reallyis: playing chicken with democracy for thesake of control. Perhaps top-down, authoritarian,patriarchal rule is too hard to giveup, even when we know better.Clare AttwellFocus gives hopeJust a note to praise your magazine’s consistentlyinsightful, penetrating and refreshinglysane views! And to encourage you to vigorouslysustain your journalistic integrity!As a Canadian who lived 10 years in Englandand loved the Observer, Spectator, Independentetc, I had reluctantly resigned myself to fondmemories of journalism of that quality….But wait! What’s this? Shrewd and articulate,with clear-headed and clever writers,here comes the plucky little Focus, provingthat world-class writing belongs anywhereand everywhere! You go girl (and team)!Fit to stand with any magazine anywhere,you give me hope—one lone, but impressivelypowerful voice in the midst of thedumbed-down and mediocre!Richard CarlsonLETTERSSend letters to:focusedit@shaw.caMy mother was only at Victoria Hospice fortwo days, but the Victoria Hospice rooftopgarden played a significant role in her shortstay there,” says Marilyn McCrimmon. Her mother, anactive senior who still drove her own car and enjoyedgolf with her friends, was by all appearances healthy.But then things changed.“I took Mom to the hospital emergency on a Fridaynight. Six days later she was admitted to Hospice forpalliative care,” says Marilyn. After the stress of theweek, they were both pleased by the comfortablesurroundings at Victoria Hospice’s 17-bed in-patientunit. “The next morning, Mom said she would like toget up for the first time in a week and she wanted togo outside one more time.”So, aided by Hospice nurses, Marilyn and her brotherhelped her mom into a wheelchair for the short journeyup the elevator to Hospice’s Rooftop Garden to enjoythe blooming flowers and warm sunshine.“The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day.Mom’s brother and his wife, her two grandchildren, acouple she has known for 60 years, and her two childrenand daughter-in-law were all there with us. Wespent two hours talking, laughing, and reminiscing,sitting in chairs around a table shaded by an umbrella.It was an idyllic setting, surrounded by planters alivewith spring growth,” she remembers.“When Mom finally said she was ready to go backto bed, she said, “You know, I’d like to do this againtomorrow.” Of course, everyone agreed and Marilyntook her mom back to her room, where she quicklyfell asleep.As it turned out, she never woke up. She passed awaythe next morning, much sooner than anyone had expected.“But as sad as we all were, we loved that Momwent to sleep with the memories of an afternoonspent in a garden in the sun, with people she loved,A rooftop oasisLinda Jackson (l) and Sonia Deline, family of a Hospice patient, take a moment of reflection in the garden.and the thoughts that she might do it again the nextday,” says Marilyn.It is just for such moments that the rooftop garden,located off the fourth floor of the Richmond Pavilion,was created, says Wendy Wainwright, Director of ClinicalServices for Hospice.“When Victoria Hospice moved from the now-goneBay Pavilion in the early 1990s with its ground-floorenclosed garden, to the third floor of the RichmondPavilion, we knew it was very important to maintainaccess to a garden,” she says. So after a successfulfund-raising campaign, extensive reinforcing of theroof and countless volunteer hours, the 1200-squarefootrooftop garden opened in 1997.“The garden is an oasis,” says Wendy. “It providessolace, and is a place to get centred. It is also a placeto feel the sun and the rain on your face.” The expanseof raised flower beds, benches and patio tables, a waterfeature and more than 50 varieties of plants, shrubs,climbing vines and trees draws people in all seasonsand at all times of the day.Horticulturalist Kathleen Laird oversees the gardenwith her team of four volunteer gardeners. Althoughit is only a few hours a week, her role is very importantto Kathleen because of the significance of thegarden, which is obviously a labour of love for her.She’s quick to point out that just like Hospice itself, thegarden is accessible by all. Wheelchairs and hospitalbeds are easily accommodated, so that anyone, regardlessof their condition, may visit the garden.If you would like to offer a donation to help maintainthe rooftop garden, please contact Victoria HospiceFoundation at 250-519-1744.Victoria Hospice250-519-1744Give online at www.VictoriaHospice.orgPHOTO: TONY BOUNSALLwww.focusonline.ca • June 2013 7


at a glanceWho’s tracking you?Local surveillance round-upAFTER DISCOVERING that local police areconducting illegal mass surveillance throughtheir automatic licence plate recognition (ALPR)program, Focus tried to find out which otherlocal public bodies are conducting video surveillanceon the general public. So far, we’ve foundnothing too worrying—except for schoolchildrenin the western communities.The City of Victoria is using ALPR camerasto monitor parking and issue tickets. Theyretain the images of illegally-parked cars forseven years, but theirprivacy impact assessmentindicates that theyonly retain the dataabout law-abiding driversfor 12 hours.The City has awebcam pointed at theJohnson Street Bridgeto document and displaybridge construction. The City also has securitycameras at its parkades, and at its publicservice centre and Crystal Pool cash-handlingareas, for which the privacy policies are apparentlycurrently being updated and weren’tavailable for our review.ICBC has installed 140 cameras through itsIntersection Safety Camera program, includinglocally at Blanshard/Hillside and Highway1/Tillicum. According to ICBC media repAdam Grossman, these cameras only fire whena car goes through a red light.BC Ferries has many surveillance cameras,but does not currently use ALPR. However,when Focus obtained their privacy impactassessment, BC Ferries had censored key informationabout how long they’re keeping theirsurveillance footage, and who can view thefootage and for what reasons. We’ve lodgeda complaint: If police didn’t have a legitimatelaw enforcement reason to censor such information,what reason can BC Ferries have forhiding it from the public?BC Transit has taken over three monthsto provide a copy of the privacy impact assessmentfor their bus surveillance cameras. They’vebeen “testing” some cameras in some buses inthe past, but this year have been discussingplans to install video and possibly audio surveillancethroughout the fleet.The Greater Victoria School District hasa very thoughtful, privacy-protective policy,clearly designed to prevent surveillance ofour children and to ensure that securitycameras are only used for crime preventionin or around schools at night. Their policyexplicitly forbids video surveillance beingused “during normal school hours except inextraordinary circumstances.” Currently,there’s only one camera on SpectrumCommunity School’s parking lot.In our neighbouring western communities,it’s a different story. The Sooke School District(including Sooke, Langford, Colwood andMetchosin) has eight secondary and middleschools—four of them have video surveillanceinside the schools, and twomore have video surveillanceboth inside andoutside. Even one elementaryschool has surveillancecameras outdoors. There’salso video surveillance onthree district school buses.According to the SookeSchool District policies,they’re keeping all the video footage for aminimum of 30 days, parents are allowed toview the footage, and there’s even a clause forthe Superintendent to authorize surveillanceof private meeting rooms and bathrooms.Yikes. When, how, and why did the westerncommunities public school system become alock-down surveillance state? More to comeon this story.—Rob WipondGlobal psychiatric war hits homeThousands of Victorians affectedTHE INTERNATIONAL WAR raging betweenthe titans of psychiatry and psychology maynot seem like “local” news.However, tens of thousandsof local citizens havebeen seriously injured andnow desperately needcaring attention.The stage was set 20years ago, with the fourthedition of the AmericanPsychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic andStatistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM),the “bible” of mental illnesses. In recent years,Dr Allen Frances, who chaired that DSM-IV’stask force, has been writing publicly about hismistakes and regrets, and warning about theupcoming DSM-5. Frances has apologizedDr Allen Francesprofusely about how the DSM-IV led to diagnosesof ADHD, depression and bipolarspreading through the general population likeflu bugs. And Frances recently lamentedthat DSM-5, finally released this May, is similarly“a reckless and poorly written documentthat will worsen diagnostic inflation” and“increase inappropriate treatment” as it definesnormal, common levels of concern about physicalhealth problems, grieving over a loss, andmild forgetfulness as mental illnesses requiringpsychiatric drugs.Frances’ credibility has lent weight to a broadmovement against DSM-5. For example, apetition launched by the American PsychologicalAssociation and so far signed by thousands ofheavyweights of mental health from aroundthe world warns that the DSM has not beensubject to independent scientific reviews andis “dangerous” to the public. Everyone, theyargue, “should avoid use of DSM-5.”Subsequent media coverage has been largelycritical or even mocking of psychiatry’s seemingdesire to diagnose, drug, and profit from everyaspect of the human condition. In late April,mounting public embarrassment finally ledeven the US National Institute of MentalHealth, the US government’s psychiatric fundingand research arm, to distance itself. NIMHDirector Dr Thomas Insel criticized the DSM-5’s “lack of validity,” and its diagnostic criteriabased in backroom negotiations and “not anyobjective laboratory measure.” The government,Insel wrote, would henceforth be“orienting” its funding more towards genuineneuroscientific research.The British Psychological Society then issueda call to throw out the whole notion thatany mental-emotional distresses should belabelled as “diseases” or “illnesses” at all. TheBPS argued we should be looking at andresponding to all the social, economic, biograph-8 June 2013 • FOCUS


ical, psychological, and biological stresses thatinfluence people’s mental states.Dr David Kupfer, chair of the APA’s DSM-5 task force, struck back and eventually theNIMH and APA issued a joint press releasedeclaring themselves collaborators and notenemies in the proud marching forth of psychiatricscience. However, along the way Kupferwas forced to concede, “In the future, we hopeto be able to identify disorders using biologicaland genetic markers that provide precisediagnoses…Yet this promise…remains disappointinglydistant. We’ve been telling patientsfor several decades that we are waiting forbiomarkers. We’re still waiting.”Kupfer’s confession, of course, was still onehalflie. What most psychiatrists have actuallybeen telling the media and public for years isthat there’s abundant evidence that depression,schizophrenia, bipolar and ADHD arebiologically-based diseases which requireprimarily chemical treatments.How many people are consequently takingpsychiatric drugs here at home? When readingUBC’s 2008 RxAtlas examining drug use inBC, I was struck by some high numbers. Isubmitted requests for more data to the BCHealth Ministry and discovered that between18-25 percent of BC citizens are taking oneor more psychiatric drugs. I was stunned. Ididn’t write about these findings because Ineeded more data to be certain—data I wasblocked from accessing. But recently, studieselsewhere in North America have found similarlevels of psychiatric drug use in the generalpopulation, suggesting BC’s numbers are likelynot far off.So that means a staggering 65,000 to 90,000people in the capital region are apparentlytaking one or more psychiatric drugs that usedto be reserved for a tiny percentage of thepopulation. Most of these drugs are knownto cause dangerous side effects and long termdamages, from diabetes, suicidal-homicidalideation, cognitive decline, memory loss,emotional numbing, and kidney failure topermanent motor dysfunction and comas. Yethow many of these tens of thousands of people—likely persuaded during intimate meetingswith their physicians that their most innerpersonal challenges were “diseases” requiringlife-long treatment with daily psychoactivechemicals—will now be told all of that wasjust a lie?Talk to your doctor.—Rob WipondGENERAL CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT CHARACTER RENOVATIONDavid Dare250-883-5763roadsend.cawww.focusonline.ca • June 20139


talkof thetownDavid Broadland10 Katherine Gordon14Jobs, jobs, jobs and other exaggerationsDAVID BROADLANDWhat do Christy’s LNG industry, the CRD’s sewage treatment plan and Victoria’s Johnson Street Bridge project all have in common?Key elements of the BC Liberals’ blitzkrieglikebombing of the NDP in the recentelection campaign began coming togetherlast February. This included delivery of a reportproduced for the Ministry of Energy, Minesand Natural Gas by the accounting and businessadvisory firm Grant Thornton LLP thatseemed to provide respectable, independentverification that the province was on the vergeof an explosion in jobs related to productionand export of liquified natural gas. The reportpredicted the creation of 114,600 jobs in BC,instantly providing Christy Clark with hercampaign mantra of “100,000 jobs for BCfamilies.” But a simple analysis of the methodologyused by the Grant Thornton reportsuggests that it produced a 15-fold overestimationof the number of jobs an LNG industrywould likely create, planting Clark’s job claimssquarely in the Exaggerated Job-Claim Hallof Fame, alongside the Capital RegionalDistrict’s sewage treatment plan (10,000 jobs)and the City of Victoria’s Johnson StreetBridge project (900 jobs).Unending prosperityInstead of listening to his campaign manager,Adrian Dix might have done better if hehad consulted Wikipedia under “ElectionPromises.” According to the planet’s deepestpool of collective wisdom, “There are strongpressures on politicians to make promiseswhich they cannot keep. A party that doesnot make exaggerated promises might appearbland, unambitious, and uninteresting tovoters compared to the one that does. Sometimesthis can give the exaggerating party an advantageover the truthful one.”Dix opted to be truthful and promised todeliver budget deficits for the forseeable future.Christy Clark promised jobs, jobs, jobs—andunending prosperity. Whom did you thinkwould get the most love?During her campaign, Clark visited a SpectraEnergy (Spectra have donated $125,000 to theBC Liberals since 2007) facility in Fort Nelsonand excited reporters with news that our prosperousfuture was starting that very day: “Todaywe are at the heart of one of the greatest jobopportunities that BC has ever had,” sheChristy Clark with Spectra Energy employeesenthused, charismatically. “Liquefying naturalgas means creating 100,000 jobs for BC families.Both here in Fort Nelson and in theprofessional services industry in the LowerMainland.” Fort Nelson, the Lower Mainlandand much of the rest of BC gave Clark the love.Spectra had announced last fall a proposalto build an 850-kilometre pipeline acrossnorthern BC to a potential LNG terminal inPrince Rupert. They are partnering with BGGroup, who announced—just four days beforethe election—plans to build an LNG plant thatwould consume as much natural gas as BCcurrently produces. Spectra’s project joinedfour others that were proposing to do prettymuch the same thing, albeit on a smaller scale:build a natural gas pipeline from northeasternBC that would connect with plants at PrinceRupert and Kitimat, where gas would then bescrubbed, chilled, liquefied and finally pumpedonto ships bound for China, Korea, Japan andother Asian countries.Each of these five LNG-related proposalsoffered aspirational figures on productionvolumes and the number of jobs that constructionand ongoing operations might create. ButClark’s “100,000 jobs” didn’t come from theirestimates. The Ministry of Energy, Mines andNatural Gas hired two consulting firms, theDeetken Group and Grant Thornton, tocontribute to the development of this number.Focus asked the ministry to show us the methodologyused to derive Clark’s 100,000-jobsfigure. They provided a 23-page documententitled “Employment Impact Review,” producedby Grant Thornton. That review’s executivesummary notes: “Construction of the fiveprojects is estimated to generate, on average,39,400 full-time equivalent jobs annually forthe nine-year construction period. Once allfive projects are fully operational in 2021, thenumber of full-time equivalent jobs requiredto operate the projects annually is estimatedto be 75,200 over the life of the projects.”According to the report, the Ministry ofEnergy, Mines and Natural Gas instructedGrant Thornton to start with the assumptionthat there would be a total of 2400 full-timeequivalent jobs to operate the five plants andthe pipelines that would feed them. Was thata solid assumption? It doesn’t fit well with whatthe actual LNG proposals have been suggestingpublicly, but let’s come back to that point later.After assuming there would be 2400 fulltimepermanent operational jobs, Grant Thorntonthen used an econometric model (BC Input-Output Model) provided by the province toestimate “indirect” and “induced” full-timejobs. The model produced 30 indirect andinduced jobs for each assumed direct job. Isthis reasonable? The Natural Gas Caucus, abi-partisan group of US members of the Houseof Representatives “dedicated to championingthe use of clean, plentiful domestic naturalgas,” estimates 3.5 indirect and induced jobsfor every direct job created in the US gas industry.In the US, 2400 direct jobs in the gas industrywould create 8500 indirect and induced jobs,for a total impact of 10,900 jobs—not 75,200.That’s the first part of the arithmetical exaggerationlying behind Clark’s employmentpromise. When Spectra announced their projectlast year, they said they expected there wouldbe 50 to 60 permanent direct pipeline jobs.That was to operate and maintain a pipelinethat could process 4.2 billion cubic feet ofnatural gas a day, which works out to 14 milliontonnes per year—enough to supply three ofthe roughly four-million-tonnes-per-year plantsthat are common in the LNG industry. Eachof those plants could employ, according toindustry standards, 120 to 140 employees.If all five proposed LNG plants are built asper the actual proposals—and two pipelineslike the one Spectra is proposing are built to10 June 2013 • FOCUS


feed them—940 to 1100 permanent jobs wouldbe created. If that range is then worked throughthe American gas industry’s formula for totaljobs created, we arrive at a bright and shinyfuture of 4000 to 5000 full-time equivalentjobs—not 75,200.The accuracy of the estimate of 39,400 fulltimejobs to build these plants and pipelinesfaces similar challenges. I’ll spare you the details.Suffice to say the report starts with an averageof 11,400 direct full-time jobs and then hammersthat with multipliers. I’ll have more on the artof exaggerating construction jobs later on.The willingness of the Ministry of Energy,Mines and Natural Gas to stray some distancefrom reality is starkly evident in their 2012Natural Gas Strategy: Fuelling BC’s Economyfor the next Decade and Beyond, which states:“BC’s natural gas sector employs tens of thousands...”Statistics Canada, however, put thatnumber at 3500 in 2012. That comparesfavourably with 3300 employed in “heritageinstitutions” (museums), but it’s a tiny dropin a very big bucket when compared with the2,312,500 people working province wide.Sewage treatment AND 10,000 jobsNot long after Victoria MP Denise Savoieresigned her federal seat in 2012 and Victorianswere waiting for Stephen Harper to call a byelection,the CRD began running ads in theTimes Colonist promoting the benefits of theirchosen treatment plan.One of those ads (see below) seemed to saythe CRD was projecting an increase of 10,000jobs during construction, creating a massiveIs foot or ankle pain preventing you from living life fully?Our team has developed an innovativeapproach utilizing the CuteraGenesis Plus Laser to alleviatemusculoskeletal injuries withoutmedications or surgery.Proven Clinical Treatment Plan and Post-Treatment Care provided for Achilles Tendinitis,Ankle Sprains, Neuromas, Plantar Fasciitis, Shin Splints, and Post-Operative Pain/SwellingCovered by most Extended Health PlansDr Bill Mirchoff & Dr Gregg CongdonDoctors of Podiatric Medicine350 - 1641 Hillside Ave • 250-592-0224Learn more at: www.drgreggcongdon.comspike in the local employment rate. Unemploymentin the CRD was then running at about 5.7percent, which meant 11,000 people withoutjobs. The sewage treatment project, it appeared,would be almost like having full employmentthrust on us: imagine the economic benefits!CRD advertisement that ran in the Times Colonist before the federal by-electionImagine Pain FreeThe fine print in the ad, however, revealedthe project would create 10,000 job years,not 10,000 jobs. Still, this was overwhelminglygood news, especially for the 11,000people looking for work and the thousandsof small business owners struggling to survivein the current down economy.As soon as the by-election was called, theads were pulled—at the request of then CRDBoard Chair Geoff Young. Young recently toldFocus, “The CRD had—and has—a policy ofnot getting involved in public input processesduring elections, and I felt that these ads violatedthat principle.”The jobs ad pictured here also seemed toviolate a basic principle of truthful advertising:It clearly implies there would be an increaseof 10,000 jobs during construction, but at thesame time, in finer print, says there would bean average of 2,000 jobs per year. It saystwo different things. Which is true?As it turns out, probably neither is true. CRDCorporate Communications Manager CarlaWormald supplied Focus with the report “CRDEconomic Impact Measure Analysis,” authoredby their consultant Ernst & Young, which justifiedthe “10,000 job years” claim. An examinationof the report revealed that two primary figuresused by Ernst & Young were, um, wrong. Theirwww.focusonline.ca • June 201311


eport, created just before the ads were runlast fall, based the number of jobs on a projectcost of $942 million. But the CRD has beensaying since 2010 that the project would cost$783 million. Moreover, Ernst & Young useda multiplier in their calculations that was pickedfrom a Federation of Canadian Municipalities’table. They picked a multiplier for 2008/09instead of one for 2012. The net effect of thesetwo errors was to double the estimated jobcreation of the project.As we will see in the last segment of thisstory, job multipliers are, in any case, essentiallymeaningless in terms of predicting thelocal impact of a construction project. Choosingthe wrong job multiplier is bad enough. Butgetting the project cost wrong? Bring back thedeath penalty.I asked both Ernst & Young and the CRD’sWormald about how those errors could havebeen made. Wormald acknowledged thehigher project cost was the one estimated inthe 2009 “CRD Business Case” study, which,she said, “does not reflect the status at 2012.”She didn’t offer an explanation as to why theCRD used the inflated jobs figure anyway.Ernst & Young’s Public Relations CoordinatorSarah Shields had a more intriguing explanationof the higher project cost: “The projectcost selected included additional costs beyondthe base design and construction costs identifiedof $783 million. For example inflationon such costs and administration, projectmanagement etc.” Apparently an analyst atErnst & Young thinks the CRD project willcost $159 million more than the CRD issaying. They need to talk.I also asked Wormald if the CRD had estimatedhow many of the project-related jobswould be local. Her response emphasizedthe various jobs—design, the manufacturingof pumps, valves, electrical and electronicequipment—that would not be suppliedlocally, and she added, “In our view it wouldbe naive to think that all the jobs will be localgiven the multidisciplinary nature of theprogram.” She offered no estimate of the jobsthat would be local.Even while it seems inevitable that jobcreation numbers attached to public projectswill be manipulated unrealistically upward bysomeone, the negative economic impact ofthe expenditure of those tax dollars is neveracknowledged. That bothers Harvard-trainedeconomist Geoff Young: “I always have troublelooking at job creation numbers because, ingeneral, creation of jobs by government spendingis offset by loss of other jobs as taxes to financeAfter all the hype, 40 to 50 local jobsthe project reduce spending elsewhere. It istrue that the [sewage treatment] project canbe seen as an injection of some half billiondollars of spending into the local economy atthe cost of spending elsewhere in the provinceand Canada (because of the grants we arereceiving), but I would hesitate to put thatforward as a benefit. Obviously, governmentassisted projects elsewhere, that our taxpayershelp pay for, have the opposite effect.”But it’s a wash, right? We get about as manytax dollars back as we put in. We hope. Butwhat happens to job creation when we endup shipping most of those dollars out ofour city.Putting your tax dollars to work for ChinaBack in October 2011, 45 days before acivic election, City Manager Gail Stephenstold a meeting of Victoria City Council thatthe Johnson Street Bridge project “continuesto be within the budget of $77 million...”Stephens went on to say, “This project isgarnering much interest from the local businesscommunity; as we’ve talked before, weexpect 900 short-term jobs to be createdthrough this project.”Those kind of sounded like local jobs,didn’t they? And where did that number comefrom? Back in 2011 the City of Victoria’sDirector of Communications Katie Josephsontold Focus, “The estimated job creation isbased on the Federation of CanadianMunicipalities’ infrastructure formula of 12jobs per $1 million of capital investment. $77million would mean 924 jobs.”Since then the acknowledged cost has risento $92.8 million. And the jobs? On May 17MP Ron Cannan, standing in for the federalminister, said “this important job-creatingproject” is “expected to create 900 jobs.”Neither the City or Cannan offered anyexplanation of why the $92.8 million projectwould create the same number of jobs as theformer $77 million project. Using the Federationof Canadian Municipalities’ formula, the Citycould now have claimed the project wouldcreate 1114 jobs. That they didn’t was, perhaps,an indication that the job-hyping phase forthis project was winding down. Reality hadalready broken into Victoria City Councilchambers. In mid-April, Councillor MarianneAlto had asked Johnson Street Bridge ProjectDirector Ken Jarvela how many tradespeoplewould be working on the bridge. Was shehoping to hear “900”? If so, Jarvela prickedthat bubble with his response of “forty to fifty”at any one time.What happened to the 900 local jobs?The bascule leaf, the part that can be liftedto allow marine traffic to pass below andrepresents about 30 percent of the constructioncost, is going to be fabricated at a plantin China. That means at least 30 percent ofthe construction jobs have been exported outof Canada.The approach bridges are going to be madeof prefabricated concrete components manufacturednear Vancouver.Most of the design and engineering jobs arebeing done by companies located in Vancouver,Chicago, New York and London.What’s left? Enough work pounding nails,pouring concrete and relocating roads to keep40 to 50 people working for a couple of years.There were never going to be 900 real jobs.Just like Christy Clark’s “100,000 jobs forBC families,” and the CRD’s “projected increasein jobs during construction” of “10,000,”City Hall’s bridge-job number was simplyderived from a set of formulae that are nineparts public relations and one part voodooeconomics. The actual jobs don’t seem tobe that important to those who claim theywill be created. It’s the potential power of theimpact of making those claims just before anelection that compels otherwise reasonablepeople to act unreasonably.David Broadland is the publisher of Focus.12 June 2013 • FOCUS


An appeal to our readersPlease help fund investigative journalism in Victoriaby becoming a Supporting SubscriberWe thank all our subscribers for their generous assistance!Sustaining Subscriber ($1000+)Mel McDonaldRecent Supporting SubscribersGillian Mayo, Michael Fox, Mark Engels, Bev Mitchell, Sharron Villanueva, Paul & Lorie Bennett, Shelagh Stanfield, Jean Blake-Leblanc, Kate CraigRachell McDonnell, Richard Atwell, Sumitra McMurchie, Alfred Lyon, Kevin Cochrane, Chris Darroch, Marylyne England, Vincent HolmesHerma Coutts, Maryl White, Helen Lane, Anthony McCullough, Audrey Woodward, Anne Mayhew, Sherry Rideout, Sandy Mayzell & John GouldMichael Hale, Judith Kirchner, Shirley Sadlish, Christina Nikolic, Kim Henderson, Graham & Anne Miller, Fern Walker, Christina & Bo HermansonBonnie Helm-Northover, William Murphy-Dyson, Gordon McAllister, Margo Pajunen, Sharon Stocco, Touchwood Editions, Rosemary NeeringJudith Gatto, Elizabeth Kaller, Laara Fitzgerald, Susan Moger, Norm Smith, Mark Ammenn, Michael Wall, Jason White, Emily Crane, Cathy DurhamKym Hill, Donna Wallace, Michael & Anne Stack, Roger Smeeth, Cindy Bardy, Judith Larsen, Thor Henrich, Ann Bover, Beveley Ashforth, Marj TrimPeggy Wilmot, Dennis Burdon-Murphy, David & Irma Rodenhuis, Ken & Tamara Bailey, Anne Friedinger, Anoymous, Edward Knight, Bruno KohnJudy Smith, Christine Oliver, Verna Linney, Muriel Andrews, Linda Sheridan, Robert & Susan Macrae, Elizabeth Borak, Lynne Milnes & Joe BlakeJane Brett, Bryan & Dawn O’Malley, Marlene & Ron Dick, John Rykert, Charles von Muehldorfer, Ruth Wittenberg, John & Kathleen CossomAndy Cupido, P.G. Halling, Noreen Sochor, Ben Livant, Ira Hoffecker, Marie Vautier, Syd & Barb Bulman-Fleming, Mary RobinsonJohn Erkes-Mendrano, Richard Krieger, Rita Fromholt, Kelly Mitchell, Walter Boissevain, D. E. McNally, Ivy E. McOuat, Ron Cox, Nicholas & BarbaraWipond, J.N. Braithwaite, Frances and John Westover, John A.H. Carson, Beverley Turner,Norman Clark, Dorothy Field, Robert PeartKevin and Ruth Gillese, Moira and Patrick Murphy, Ann Reiswig, Marilyn Kan, Jean Forrest, Michael Boissevan, Bo Martin, Charlotte BellDorothy Jones, John Briggs, Lola and Alan Mehlenbacher,Frances Foster, Charline Russell, Donna Cameron, Mary and Ted Mills, Ann EllisonJulie Flatt, Elinor Rhynas, Robin Jones, Claudia Parfitt, Lynn Solomon-Greene, Susan Newlove, June Caverhill, James Rowe, Heather MurphyLorraine Elliott, Janet Warren, Brenda Harfield,Glenda Warren-Adams, Stacey Warren-Davies, Chris Heppner, Patricia Kidd, Saul Arbess, Tom McLeanYes! I want to supportFOCUSby becoming a subscriber today.Please print:FIRST NAME..............................................LAST NAME......................................................HOUSE/APARTMENT NUMBER AND STREET..................................................................CITY.....................................PROVINCE...................POSTAL CODE..................................CHEQUE ENCLOSED: 1 YEAR ($31.50 INCLUDES TAX) ❑ TELEPHONE....................................2 YEARS ($52.50 INCLUDES TAX) ❑ EMAIL (FOR RENEWAL ONLY)..........................Cut out, put in envelope and mail to: Focus Magazine, PO Box 5310, Victoria, BC, V8R 6S4Or call us at 250.388.7231 to put it on your VISA or MasterCard. It’s easy!


In May 2012, the Cowichan Tribes,population 4,400, declared a localstate of emergency in responseto a horrifying spike in communitysuicides. Several people had died attheir own hands in just the first fivemonths of the year; 52 suicide alertsin total came into Cowichan’s tribalhealth centre over the same period.Sadly, Cowichan Tribes are farfrom being the only First Nationhaunted by shocking suicide rates.It’s a statistic that plagues hundredsof Aboriginal communities acrossthe country. Among Aboriginal youth,the rate shoots up to as much as sixtimes the national average. “We arelosing our most valuable resources—our children and our caregivers,”Cowichan Chief Harvey Alphonselamented in 2012.The situation has not improvedsince. Suicides continue to rock FirstNations communities throughoutCanada, including Cowichan Tribes,which recently added a suicide preventiontip sheet prominently on its website home page.But a young woman from TsartlipFirst Nation in Central Saanich isdetermined to help change that—and she’s putting her money not onlywhere her mouth is, but where her feet are.On May 17, Kelly Paul, 29, set off on a 535-kilometre marathon run from Port Hardy toVictoria to raise awareness of the issue andto bring a message of hope to the people shemeets in First Nations communities alongthe way.“Suicide has been a taboo subject in ourcommunities for too long,” says Paul. “Peopleare afraid that talking about suicide willencourage others to do it too. But I think wehave to talk about it. We have to create adialogue in our communities about why it ishappening and what we need to do to helpour people survive. I’m hoping the marathonwill help stimulate that discussion as well asbring the message that there is an alternativeto suicide, and resources to help.”Paul, whose brother committed suicidein 2009, is an educational assistant at BaysideRunning for their livesKATHERINE PALMER GORDONKelly Paul’s Island marathon aims at awakening hope among First Nation youth.Left to right: John Sampson, Kelly Paul, Bernice SmithMiddle School in Brentwood Bay, an athlete,and a youth mentor with Power of Hope, anorganization that promotes youth empowermentthrough the arts. Two years ago, afterpondering what she could do to make a differenceshe decided to undertake the HelisetHalé marathon.In the Sencoten language “Heliset Halé”(pronounced “Hel-ee-set Hay-la”) means“Awaken the life within you.” Paul says: “Themarathon seemed like a good way to tie whatI can do as an athlete to my own personal experienceof loss and bring the dialogue outinto the open, in schools and in communitiesalong the way. I want to let people know thereis hope and we can do something to helpprevent these deaths.”Long distance running veterans BerniceSmith, also from Tsartlip, and John Sampson,from Tsawout First Nation in Brentwoodtalk of the townBay, are accompanying Paul on themarathon. “It takes more than oneperson to do this,” says Paul. “Itwould be a heavy load to carry bymyself.” For Smith, whose traditionalname is He‘weth, running ismore than just a sport. “It’s a connectionto my spiritual self. It’s whereI reflect and gain strength for thenext challenge.” Smith adds: “Mymessage is, ‘Honour your life—theCreator gave you your life for areason; you have a purpose, and youare here to live it.”Sampson, who is 42, is candid abouthis own personal struggles: “I toohave battled with suicide and withdrug and alcohol addiction. I knowhow hard it can be to see the future.”Running is a healing place for him:“When I run, I know I am releasingmy past and moving toward my future.I want to share that experience withcommunity members who want tobetter their lives.”All three runners hope that themessage they are bringing will helppeople, especially the youth, understandthat there is a better choice thansuicide. “Sometimes we get stuck anddon’t know how to escape,” reflectsPaul. “We want to bring more positivefeelings to the communities, and new ideasand tools to help them get away from beingstuck on that path.”Bayside teacher Shauna White, a colleagueof Paul’s, helped organize the event. “I had noidea what a big job it would be!” says White.“We had to drive the route several times tocheck for safety issues, look for appropriaterest stops, and time the length of each day’srun. We had to organize presentations at schoolsand community centres, and find accommodationevery night for the whole team, whichincludes three support members as well as thethree runners.”St John’s Ambulance is providing first aidsupport to the runners and Victoria’sFrontrunners store has provided helpful adviceon everything from gear to long-distancerunning nutritional requirements. Need2, asuicide prevention agency, has providedPHOTO: TONY BOUNSALL14 June 2013 • FOCUS


“PEOPLE ARE AFRAID that talking about suicide will encourage others todo it too. But I think we have to talk about it. We have to create a dialoguein our communities about why it is happening and what we need to do tohelp our people survive.” —Kelly Paul, Tsartlip First Nationbrochures to leave behind in the communitiesthe runners visit along the way. “We want thediscussion to continue after we’ve moved on,”says Paul. “That’s vital.”A huge part of that discussion, she adds, ishow to bring back pride in cultural identity.In 2007, University of Victoria professor ChrisLalonde co-authored a paper directly connectingsuicide rates to loss of cultural connection.Describing the negative impacts of colonizationand societal prejudice against First Nationspeople, Lalonde described suicide as the “canaryin the coalmine” of cultural deprivation:“Nowhere are the costs associated with failuresto achieve any viable sense of self or culturalcontinuity more apparent than in the identitystruggles of First Nations youth. The cumulativeconsequences are disillusionment, lassitude,self-effacement and suicide.”Bonnie Joe, Tsawout’s recreation manager,also helped organize Heliset Halé. Joe understandsintimately what Paul and Lalonde aretalking about. The father of her two sonscommitted suicide in 2010: “It left a huge voidin my boys’ lives,” she says. “I witnessed theiranger and confusion and hurt, and saw othercommunity members going through the samething, over and over again. I decided I justdidn’t want to see it happening anymore.”Joe, who has been proactive in creating andrunning youth development programs for theSaanich communities, says helping the youthfind and embrace their cultural identity isessential: “I’ve seen the intergenerationalimpact of the residential school system andhow it has broken the sense of continuity inour families and communities. It is still havinga huge impact today.”As Lalonde and many others point out, theloss of cultural self-awareness and pride thatis the intergenerational legacy of colonizationhas been responsible for many of the negativestatistics that trouble First Nations—not justsuicide, but addictions, disproportionatenumbers of Aboriginal people in prison, andlow educational rates of success.Lalonde and his colleagues researched 150communities in BC, and discovered that languagehad more predictive power in anticipatingsuicide rates than any previously-known indicator.Even more striking: “Rates dropped tozero in communities in which at least half themembers reported a conversational knowledgeof their language.” By contrast, wherethere was little or no connection to language,the suicide rate was typically, as we alreadyknow, six times higher than the average ratein non-Aboriginal communities in Canada.Bonnie Joe believes that things can bedifferent. “We know we have the power totake our kids back,” she says. “We have thepower to love them, embrace them, and tellthem to be proud of who they are as bothindividuals and as First Nations people. Wecan challenge them to find the thing insidethemselves that is special, and to gather theirstrength around it and move forward in lifewith it, whatever it is. That’s the whole messagebehind Heliset Halé—awakening the lifewithin you. The options are endless. Theyjust need to hear and believe that.”By the time you read this, the runners willbe about half way home. All the careful planningand endless hours of organization arepaying off—most of all for the runners, whobelieve that they are helping not only to changepeople’s lives, but to save them.“I truly believe our people, especially ouryouth, need to live and breathe our culture,”repeats Paul. “Being rooted in who they are,having that solid cultural foundation, will givethem a sense of purpose each day, every day.That’s what awakens hope and gives peoplea reason to embrace life. That’s why we’rerunning—for the lives of our people.”Heliset Halé will wind up on June 21(National Aboriginal Day) at Tsartlip. Infoand donations to help with the estimated$20,000 cost at www.helisethalemarathon.com.Everyone is invited to join the runners atany stage, on foot or by bicycle, and to celebrateboth their arrival and National AboriginalDay with the Saanich communities on June21 at the Tribal School at 7449 Saanich Roadin Brentwood Bay.Katherine Palmer Gordon isan award-winning authorbased on Gabriola Island.Her sixth book, We Are BornWith the Songs Inside Us, isscheduled for release byHarbour Publishing this fall.Sensible conflict resolutionfor families, estates,and workplaces.• MEDIATION• ARBITRATION•PARENTING COORDINATIONPATRICIALANELL.B, C. Med., C. Arb., Cert. Fam. Arb.Lawyer*/Mediator250.598.3992*denotes Law Corporationwww.focusonline.ca • June 201315


CreativeCoast culture talks16 the arts in june18 palette28 coastlines 32AdaptationsCHRIS CREIGHTON-KELLYEmerging artists are attempting to thrive outside the mainstream arts infrastructure.They are not exactly dropping like flies, so maybe it is a little earlyto call it a trend. About a year ago, the 50-year-old VancouverPlayhouse Theatre called it quits. In February of this year, Toronto’sQueen of Puddings Music Theatre announced it was closing in the fallafter 20 years of producing new Canadian opera works. Today, I got amessage that Stage West Theatre in Mississauga, one of the last dinnertheatre venues in Canada, is finishing its run after 27 years.It is a generational thing. As new forms and new forums of arthave burst on the scene—digital based; flash mob performances;DIY culture; new style home concerts; commercial shops as venues;post-graffiti street art; new interdisciplinary art practices; artist asfacilitator; robotic art; new circus art—to name a random few, theold formats wither.These days the words “symphony,” “audience” and “declining” areoften heard in the same sentence. Canada is currently home to over40 European-derived symphonic orchestras. They suck up a hugepercentage of public funding for music organizations. Is it not reasonableto ask, in a so-called multicultural society, whether 40-plus is toomany orchestras?In one sense, this changing of the guard (and the avant-garde) is asit should be. In whatever many ways folks may quarrel about art orits cultural context, one thing is certain: cultures change, and so do artmovements, art forms, art contexts and ultimately art meanings. Somedie off; others emerge, fresh, trendy, keen to redefine.Predictably though, there is resistance to these changes within the artsmilieu. The art forms that were present at the birth of “professionalism”back in the ’50s still predominate 60 years later. Yes, a few organizationsare dying off as I mentioned, but in general, emerging artists are attemptingto thrive outside the mainstream infrastructure.How did we get here? The period from the ’50s to the ’80s engenderedan unofficial, cultural nation-building. There was money—andpolitical will—to build a Canadian professional arts infrastructurefrom scratch. I can recall more than one formal meeting where an artsbureaucrat would say, “Well, we do not have a program for that, butif you sent us a proposal we would take a serious look at...” Nudge,nudge, wink, wink.The vision of a full-fledged arts system, created with governmentlargesse, solidified the symphonic orchestras, the ballets, the regional“museum theatre” companies, the public art gallery system, and themajor publishing houses. Even artist-run centres caught the tail end ofthese investments in something called “Canadian Culture.”But since the ’80s, the last three decades have ushered in an everdecreasingsupport for these arts investments. This has happened duringa time when Aboriginal artists and their art forms have been undergoinga renaissance, rightfully demanding a fair share of attention—notto mention the hundreds of art practices and traditions that have arrivedin Canada from every corner of the planet. Why are they not part ofour nation-building?Back in the ’80s, I worked for a visionary program at the CanadaCouncil for the Arts called Explorations. It was designed to be the“The Gap Between the Rich and the Poor” Jason Stovall (2013), 30 x 24inches, oil on canvas (Fifty Fifty Arts Collective)antennae of the institution, looking out for new practices, innovativehybrid art and imaginative stuff that simply did not conform to standarddefinitions of art.It was risky business—some projects were seen as failures; otherslaunched bold art adventures that jump-started art careers which continueto this day. We at Explorations were constantly suggesting to the othersections at the Council that they needed to trim a little from the budgetsof the have-much organizations and pay more attention to the havenots.The Council cut the program completely in the mid-’90s.To this day the whole system remains clogged. An older generationof artists feels entitled while a younger one feels precluded.Let’s look at a few examples from the Victoria visual arts community.First on the scene was the venerable Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.It is over 60 years old and came of age during the nation-building period.In 1967, Xchanges Gallery was born using the tried and tested formulaof artists getting together, securing a large building, dividing it intostudios but saving enough collective space to create a public gallery.Through four different location changes, Xchanges continues to existas a successful artists’ cooperative.16 June 2013 • FOCUS


CULTURES DO CHANGE. And the tangible factors thatsustain art practice—infrastructure, education, accessto tools and venues, funding, critical discourse—are allin the process of redefining themselves.A few years later, in the early ’70s, Open Space was started, burstinginto place with a combination of counterculture energy and a just-startingto-be-aware-ofknowledge that other spaces like this existed acrossCanada. By the end of the decade, the artist-run centre network wasformalized and funding, however paltry, was found to support them.Flash forward two decades to the beginning of the 21st century. Forwardto artist-run centres like the Fifty Fifty Arts Collective. Fifty Fifty asksartists to make a small donation which will “provide space for artists ofall disciplines who have yet to be defined in the mainstream.”Or forward to the Ministry for Casual Living. Running on a shoestringwith dedicated art volunteers, these two organizations haveexisted for over a decade showcasing emerging artists.“Of course, we would love to have ongoing funding support,”Cameron Kidd of the Ministry tells me, “but we work with whateverwe have.” Lately that has been without even a formal space; currentlythey have a window front and part of an alley. “Ideally we wouldlove to have a new space,” says Kidd.He continues, “We have always adapted to our situation. That is apart of the artist-run lifestyle,” giggling at his own pithy phrase. “Wedo not think of what we do in terms of funding…rather with whatartists want to do, which is not necessarily selling art. If we like a project,we will find a way to do it because we believe in it as art.”Surprisingly, he is not cynical about organizations that already receivepublic financing. “If you look at a place like the Art Gallery of GreaterVictoria, it took them a long time to get established, to be taken seriously,to be publicly supported. It does take time and we have time. Weare going to be around for a while yet.”It is a generational thing. An attitude that remains open-minded,realistic, yet confident about the future. An attitude that imagines newways of organizing. Maybe every artistic vision does not need a cumbersomenon-profit society to bring it to fruition.An attitude that re-imagines its projects in relation to its audience,that inspires a new kind of public engagement. An attitude that is morecommunity-oriented. Maybe one does not have to be a famous artistjust to get something aesthetically useful done.Old irrelevant arts organizations will die off. They should. Or theywill be changed. And obviously, the social structures—both online andoff—that surround these organizations are shape shifting as well.Cultures do change. And the tangible factors that sustain art practice—infrastructure,education, access to tools and venues, funding,critical discourse—are all in the process of redefining themselves.Critically, one intangible factor—the culture of how we make culture—is changing along with them.Chris Creighton-Kelly is a Canadian artist and writerwho lives in the Victoria area. Along with FranceTrepanier, he is the co-author of UnderstandingAboriginal Arts in Canada Today.Holistic DentistDr Deanna Geddo DDS• aesthetic work emphasizingyour natural smile• amalgam removal• metal-free crowns,bridges, dentures• ceramic implants404 - 645 Fort St (across from Bay Centre)doctor_dg@shaw.ca • 250-389-0669www.integrateddentalstudio.caSupporting arts,culture and our community.John West & Holly Harper1286 Fairfield Road, Victoria250-385-2033 • www.HollyAndJohn.cawww.newportrealty.comWith 50 years ofcombined real estateexperience, Johnand Holly share yourpassion for GreaterVictoria's unique andexciting housingopportunities.www.focusonline.ca • June 201317


the arts in juneJune 21-22CHRISTOPHER REICHE: VEXATIONSOpen SpaceVICTORIA-BASED COMPOSER AND pianistChristopher Reiche will undertake the colossaltask of a complete solo performance of EricSatie’s Vexations in a fundraiser for OpenSpace. The composition consists of one pageof music, with the instructions that it be played840 times. Thus, a complete rendering of thework can take anywhere from 18 to 24 hours.This year marks the 50th anniversary of thework’s first complete performance, by JohnCage’s FLUXUS Art Movement. At that timeit was done relay style, with performers spellingeach other off every two hours.Reiche’s fascination for the work ignitedduring a 2002 trip to the National Art Galleryin Ottawa. He recalls that, “I didn’t findVexations. Vexations found me.” The worksof Robert Racine were on exhibit, and includeda video of his performance of Vexations in the1970s. Reiche was blown away: “It was like,‘wow…this is a thing!’ A momentous piece ofmusic…it is possible for one person to do it.”It was then that he decided to undertake thetask himself, which he first did in 2009. Heexplains, “I had been duelling with the pieceon a conceptual level, trying to decide whatit would be like to perform it.” He performedit as a house concert, inviting his friends. Ittook 26.5 hours.Vexations is a challenging work for theperformer. The score, Reiche explains, “isnotated in a way that is purposefully difficultto read as a musician. It is needlessly obscure.”A complete performance also requires themusical equivalent of training for a marathon.Satie himself stated that, “To play this motif840 times in succession, it would be advisableto prepare oneself beforehand, in the deepestsilence by serious immobilities.”Reiche interprets this as an instruction tomeditate, attempting hour-long meditationsthroughout the day. “I find it easier to do reallylong things if I’m already used to doing reallylong things,” he says. He also performs musicalmeditations by taking familiar fast pieces andplaying them ridiculously slowly. He findsthat, “if it’s a piece that I’m really familiar withand I want to play it quickly, I get boredwith it at an extremely slow tempo, but partof it is just the discipline of doing the task.”Preventing injury is another side to his preparations.This is done through technique: “I’mplaying my scales every day, you know, buildingup some muscle in my hands. I’m also doingexercise to help build muscles in my hands.”The music of Vexations is haunting andmysterious, and music theorist Robert Orledgenotes the potentially hallucinogenic effects ofthe work on the performer and the audience.Reiche disagrees. When one becomes accustomedto the repetitions, he sees the work as“a really nice, coherent sound world…it justbecomes a pleasant environment to live in!”To help raise funds for Open Space, youcan sponsor repetitions for $10 each or $25for 3. These can be purchased at Open Spaceor www.vexations.brownpapertickets.com.Also see www.openspace.ca. Runs June 21 atnoon until finished. 250-383-8833.—Lisa Szeker-MaddenChristopher Reiche rehearses at Open Space as Wendy Hough works on her large-scale drawingvisual artsContinuing to June 9KOSHASHINArt Gallery of Greater VictoriaThis exhibition presents a rare opportunity to viewone of the world’s largest collections of early Japanesephotography. There are more than 230 works in thisexhibition from the personal collection of Arlene Hall.The photographs in the exhibition reflect the transitionalperiod 1860 - 1899, when feudal Japan was openingto the outside world . Drop-in tours, June 1 & 9, 2-3pm.1040 Moss St, www.aggv.ca, 250-384-4171.Continuing to June 10WENDY HOUGH WALL DRAWINGSOpen SpaceWendy Hough has been working on a large-scaledrawing as part of her Wall Drawings series–throughto its erasure– as the installation becomes an ongoingpublic performance. 510 Fort St, 250-383-8833,www.openspace.ca.Continuing to June 15OH! YOU PRETTY THINGSDeluge Contemporary ArtOf his 15 paintings focused on house cats, artistTodd Lambeth states: “These small scale, representationalworks are meditations of space, time, colourand form and are a deliberate attempt at destabilizingthe icons of modernism…The banal subject of theubiquitous family cat is transformed into images thatcelebrate the humility and comfort of our private lives.”Wed to Sat, 12-5pm, 636 Yates St, 250-385-3327,www.deluge.ws.Continuing to June 15CREATING CON[TEXT]Legacy GalleryDr Carolyn Butler Palmer and her grad studentsgathered interviews with people associated with thelate downtown businessman/arts supporter MichaelC. Williams. Featuring paintings by Angela Grossman,Jack Shadbolt, Emily Carr, and others, the exhibit allowsstories of artists, dealers, collectors, and viewers toinfuse the works of art with more meaning. Wed-Sat,10-4. 630 Yates St, 250-721-6562, www.uvac.uvic.ca,with interviews at http://pnwartists.ca/williams.Continuing to June 29PLAY, FALL, REST, DANCEOpen SpaceArtist-in-residence Valerie Salez invites willingparticipants to reconnect and come into alignmentwith larger forces through the use of music, videotaping,and photography. 510 Fort St, 250-383-8833,www.openspace.ca.PHOTO: JACQUELYN BORTOLUSSIContinuing to July 7POSTCARD FROM VICTORIAArt Gallery of Greater VictoriaAn immersive exhibition featuring video, artifactand works on paper that raises questions of place,class, authenticity and belonging. An array of postcardsof the Empress Hotel from as early as 1900 areincluded in the installation. 1040 Moss St, www.aggv.ca,250-384-4171.18 June 2013 • FOCUS


“Lone Mummer Inside” by David Blackwood (1979), 24 x 36 inches,etching and aquatint on wove paperContinuing to September 8DAVID BLACKWOODArt Gallery of Greater VictoriaDavid Blackwood is one of Canada’sleading printmakers and most popularartists. This exhibition, “Black Ice: Printsfrom Newfoundland,” situates his epicvisual narratives in time and space bylooking at the history of Newfoundlandand the people who settled there.Blackwood’s dramas encapsulate class,gender and intergenerational issues inthe context of its natural resources, immigrationand settlement, religious andpolitical debate, economic and socialconditions, and the environmental threatto the survival of traditional lifestyles.www.aggv.ca, 250-384-4171.Continuing to August 12THE LONG NOW OF ULYSSESLegacy Art GallerySubtitled “Curating Literature afterthe Internet,” and using James Joyce’s“Ulysses,” this student-curated exhibitrelies on materials from the University’sSpecial Collections and Art Collectionswith 3D replications of objects, as wellas a digital environment. Guided by thequestion of self-remediation–how dowe see ourselves as others see us–theexhibit places Ulysses in its contemporarycontext and engages its long,often unanticipated, afterlife. 630 YatesSt, 250-472-5619, www.uvac.uvic.ca.www.focusonline.ca • June 2013May 31-June 26VIVIAN KUHNGoward HouseJoyous rural scenes featuring flora andfauna. Artist’s reception June 2, 1:30-3:30pm.2495 Arbutus Rd, 250-477-4401,www.gowardhouse.com.June 1–8COLD RECALLUVic Library51 large panels depicting the scientificwork of Amundsen and his crewwhile in the Arctic and life with the Inuitpeople. Vintage footage of Amundsen’sexploration to the South Pole is also available.7:30am-9pm/10-6 on weekends.June 1-27SPLENDID DIVERSITYMartin Batchelor GalleryLinoleum prints by Gordon Friesen anddrawings, paintings and handmade printsby Sabina Proulx. Reception 7-9pm onJune 1. 712 Cormorant St, 250-385-7919.June 2-24FINE ARTS GRADS’ EXHIBITSlide Room GalleryGraduates of the diploma program:Anna Curtin, Celine Berry, Jack Coyne,Kyra Franson, Nathan Morales, andJennifer Wilson. Opening Reception June2 at 3:30pm. 2549 Quadra St, 250-380-3500, www.slideroomgallery.com.June 8-20PAUL JORGENSENWest End GalleryFeaturing locations near and far, lushgardens, twisted paths, elongated shapesand detailed patterning, Jorgensontransports the viewer into a whimsicalworld. 1203 Broad St, 250-388-0009,www.westendgalleryltd.com.June 15CLAY CONNECTSMoss Street MarketMore than 30 potters of the SouthVancouver Island Potters Guild presenttheir work: functional, ornamental, sculptural.10am-3pm, 1335 Thurlow Road,next to the Moss Street Market.June 17-July 27THE SHADOWS BEHINDEclectic GalleryUcluelet artist Marla Thirsk evokesthe wild woman spirit through themythology of Red Riding Hood. ReceptionJune 19, 6-8pm. 2170 Oak Bay Ave,250-590-8095, www.eclecticgallery.ca.June 18-222ND ANNUAL MYSTERY SHOWRed Art Gallery40 works, 40 artists. All works 10” x10”–all $295 (includes tax). Preview June18-20; lottery style draw June 20, 7:30pm.$10 at the gallery. 2033 Oak Bay Ave,250-881-0462, www.redartgallery.ca.June 20-July 23PADDLING THE PACIFICAlcheringa GalleryCanoes and paddles created byleading artists from the island of NewGuinea and Vancouver Island combinein a celebration of traditional travel thatis common to both cultures. FeaturingNorthwest Coast artists Rande Cook,Stephen Hunt, Trevor Hunt, MaynardJohnny Jr, lessLIE, Rod Smith, and DylanThomas and Papua New Guinea artistsEdmond Bara, Jack Kain and MichaelTimbin. 665 Fort St, 250-383-8224,www.alcheringa-gallery.com.June 21-November 3THE ART OF KIYOSHI SAITOArt Gallery of Greater VictoriaKiyoshi Saito (1907-1997) was oneof the grand masters of the 20th-centuryJapanese print movement known assosaku hanga, meaning “original creativeprint.” He successfully combined Japaneseaesthetic elements with modernist, cubist,abstract, and impressionist qualities,achieving a rare synthesis of East andWest and of old and new. 1040 MossSt, www.aggv.ca, 250-384-4171.June 21-September 22JAPANESE BANKO CERAMICSArt Gallery of Greater VictoriaBanko pieces produced in Japan inthe late 19th and early 20th centurieshave been described as charming, bizarre,fantastic–and a bit grotesque. 1040Moss St, www.aggv.ca, 250-384-4171June 28AMALIE ATKINSOpen SpaceMulti-disciplinary artist Amalie Atkins,as artist-in-residence, will complete theBraid Harvesters, and install one of herevocative textile and film installations.Opening June 28, 7:30 p.m. 510 Fort St,250-383-8833, www.openspace.ca.Throughout JuneTOTEM POLE CARVINGVancouver Island School of ArtTony Hunt Jr is carving a totem polein the school’s sculpture room duringMay and June, offering the public agreat opportunity to see how a totempole gets made from an idea to finishedform. 2549 Quadra St, 250-380-3500www.slideroomgallery.com.Throughout JuneICEBEAR RETURNSSidney Murals/Peninsula GalleryIceBear has been commissioned torefurbish the mural he completed almost15 years ago. Recent works combineabstract with impressionism, and evenrealism, to create new worlds and alternaterealities. Running in tandem withthe mural repainting will be an exhibitionof IceBear’s current work at PeninsulaGallery, 2506 Beacon Ave, Sidney, 250-655-1722, www.pengal.com.Throughout JuneLINDA DICKSONThe Gallery at Mattick’s FarmDickson’s abstracts often involvepattern, sometimes overt, sometimesrestrained. Artist’s reception June 8, 3-5pm.109-5325 Cordova Bay Rd, 250-658-8333, www.thegalleryatmatticksfarm.com.OngoingTEACHER-IN-RESIDENCEOpen SpaceHeather Cosidetto, as the gallery’snew Teacher-in-Residence, will spendtime with the artwork and the peoplemaking and installing it–and share insightswith visitors. Cosidetto has worked withthe Art Gallery of Greater Victoria; theGrt Vic Public Library; the Emily CarrInstitute and the Contemporary Art Galleryin Vancouver. Weds, noon-2:30, Sats2:30-5pm. 510 Fort St, 250-383-8833,www.openspace.ca.19


“AN OPEN HEART” LAURA DEN HERTOG, 16 X 20 INCHES, OIL ON CANVASthroughout JuneLAURA DEN HERTOGThe Avenue GalleryOf this scene near her home, in the midst of houses and highways, Den Hertogsays: “I stopped in the shade to admire a lovely group of trees in the hedgerowand the most astonishing thing happened. From that particular spot, there wereno houses, nor other evidence of modern life. In that moment, the noise fadedaway and I was aware of the sound of moving water, a small bird hopping in thebranches behind me and the smell of good soil underfoot. Like Alice through therabbit hole, I found myself in another world. I felt my chest open up, my shouldersrelax and tears sprang to my eyes…Painting the scene allowed me to relive thatmoment and ponder working with an open heart and those elusive magic moments.”2184 Oak Bay Ave, 250-598-2184, www.theavenuegallery.com.“FABULOUS” JEAN-GABRIEL LAMBERT, 36 X 72 INCHES, ACRYLIC ON CANVASJune 22-July 4JEAN-GABRIEL LAMBERT: COLOURS OF MEXICOWest End GalleryJean-Gabriel Lambert is a Montreal-born artist whose artistic journey has led himaround the world in a quest for inspiration. Truly captivated by the bold colours foundin Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, his paintings command attention through the use of decadent,dense layers of textured paint. This exhibition of new works features sweepingbrushstrokes and vivid colours echoing turbulent waters and immense landscapesthat teem with movement and life. Lambert’s works are in collections worldwide.1203 Broad St, 250-388-0009, www.westendgalleryltd.com."WITTY'S LAGOON" PETER DOWGAILENKO, 18 X 24 INCHES, OIL ON CANVASThroughout JunePETER DOWGAILENKO & GALLERY ARTISTSMorris GalleryThis painting of Witty’s Lagoon won an honourable mention at the CanadianFederation of Artists’ recent juried spring show. Dowgailenko, a member of both theCFA and the Victoria Sketch Club, is just one of many artists always on display atMorris Gallery, one of the largest galleries in the city. Other artists include Mary Conley,David Goatley, Ken Kirkby, Jim McFarland, Linda Skalenda, D.F. Gray, Joanne Thomson,Tetiana Zakharova, and Roy Henry Vickers. Tues-Sat 10am-5:30pm, Sun 12-4pm.On Alpha St at 428 Burnside Rd E, 250-388-6652, www.morrisgallery.ca.“INTERFERENCE” DONALD HARVEY (1964)June 19-October 26CORE SAMPLES: VISUAL ARTS FACULTY 1966-1985Legacy Art GalleryThis exhibition presents an overview of the University of Victoria’s Visual Artsdepartment from its earliest days as a breakaway department from the Faculty ofEducation to the individually and collectively earned reputations for innovation inpainting, printmaking, photography and sculpture. Eighteen artists, including JohnDobereiner, Donald Harvey, Pat Martin Bates, Peter Daglish, Roland Brener, MowryBaden and Fred Douglas, reflect a range of media and groundbreaking artistic practice.630 Yates St, 250-472-5619, uvac.uvic.ca.20 June 2013 • FOCUS


“Fisgard Lighthouse” by Nancy Ruhl, 16 x 16 inches, acrylic on woodnancy ruhlMadrona Gallery, Victoriawww.nancyruhl.caNicholas Bott: New WorksJune 8 - 22Opening reception: June 8, 1 - 4pm; artist in attendance606 View Street • 250.380.4660 • www.madronagallery.com“Bamfield Harbour” Nicholas Bott, 48 x 60 inches, acrylic and oil on canvaswww.focusonline.ca • June 201321


We make and sell potteryPottery classes for all levelsMiniaturesEarth & Fire Pottery Studio1820 Government Street250-380-7227www.earthandfirepotterystudio.caThe Gallery at Mattick’s FarmpresentsLINDA DICKSONFeatured ArtistJune 2013Artist in AttendanceSaturday, June 8th, 3-5 pm109-5325 Cordova Bay Road(250) 658-8333Open 10am-5:30pm every dayfilmJune 7-9FOODIE FILM FESTIVALOak Bay Beach HotelPresented by Victoria FilmFest: local food and refreshmentsaccompanying four documentaries exploringthe art and creation of food and wine–from sushiand sake (“Jiro Dreams of Sushi”) to a Monty Pythonesquerendition of Australian winemakers, a remarkableyear in Burgundy, and a humourous yet revealing lookinto the intimate life of Zeeland mussels in “Mussels inLove.” Complementary tastings include local cheesesand Burgundies, Australian wines and hors d’oeuvres,sushi and sake and an evening of Salt Spring IslandAles and mussels. $35 each or an Extreme Foodie ticketpackage for five films, a pass for two at Boathouse Spaand Baths and 4 passes to the Vic Theatre for $175(value $275). A portion of the proceeds will assistVictoria Film Festival and the David Foster Foundation.250-389-0444, or visit www.victoriafilmfestival.com.June 26LUNAFESTCinecenta-University of VictoriaLunaFest is a travelling festival of short films by, forand about women. Emmy-nominated Canadianfilmmaker Andrea Dorfman (“Flawed”) will speak afterthe screening. A fundraiser for Bridges for WomenSociety in celebration of their 25th anniversary and forLunafest’s Breast Cancer Fund. 7pm, $15 advance–at250-385-7410 or 320-1175 Cook St–or $20 at thedoor. www.lunafest.org; www.bridgesforwomen.ca.OngoingGET ON THE DOC BUS!Across CanadaOpen Cinema’s founder and director Mandy Leithmakes a pilgrimage across Canada to explore ourcountry’s longstanding documentary legacy and builda documentary community network as she goes. She’llbe documenting the journey. See the video atwww.indiegogo.com/projects/get-on-the-doc-bus,and help fund her journey.danceJune 1 & 2ALLEGRO PERFORMING ARTS CENTRERoyal TheatreChildren and adult dancers of all ages and abilities.June 1, at 1pm & 7pm; June 2 at 11am and 4pm.$23/20. www.rmts.bc.ca, 250-386-6121.June 7-9DANSKO STUDIOSRoyal TheatreThis recital provides an exciting, fun and memorableopportunity for young dancers. June 7/8 at 7pm; June9, 2pm. $22/24.25. www.rmts.bc.ca, 250-386-6121.June 15LYNDA RAINO SCHOOL IN CONCERTRoyal TheatreLRD provides training to non-professional and professionaldancers of all sizes, ages, body types and abilities.$24.75. www.rmts.bc.ca, 250-386-6121.the arts in junereadings & presentationsJune 13CURATORS' TALKLegacy Art GalleryCurators of the exhibition “To Reunite, To Honour,To Witness,” Robina Thomas and Andrea Walsh, willspeak (7:30-9:30pm) on the process undertaken toreunite residential school survivors with the artworkthey produced as children at the Alberni Indian ResidentialSchool in the 1950s and 60s, and what this artworkmeans in the context of healing and reconciliation.Doors open at 7pm for viewing the exhibition priorto the talk. 630 Yates St, 250-721-6562, uvac.uvic.ca.June 2150TH CELEBRATIONCongregation Emanu-El SynagogueA parade celebrating the Synagogue’s cornerstoneplacement will begin at the Freemason’s Lodge at 11:15am, re-enacting the 1863 parade, and continue alongPandora to synagogue. The ceremony, with variousdignitaries, will begin at 12:30pm. An Open Housewill follow–visitors can tour the synagogue. In theevening, a Gala Dinner and Dance will be held at theFairmont Empress Hotel. Keynote Speaker is theHonourable Irwin Cotler; entertainment by HazzanAyelet Porzecanski and the Vic High Rhythm and BluesBand. Tickets at www.congregationemanu-el.ca. Info:250-382-0615 or 250-381-1166. 1461 Blanshard St.June 10STORYTELLING1831 Fern StreetThe Victoria Storytellers Guild invites you to hearand tell stories. 7:15pm, $5/$3 (tea and goodies).www.victoriastorytellers.org or 250-477-7044.June 26POETRY READINGKoffi Coffee HouseCarole Chambers will read from her newest bookof poetry, “She Draws the Rain.” Chambers’ poemsof place and passion reflect her love of people, natureand Hornby Island where she lives; she has published5 books of poetry. Free. 7pm,1441 Haultain St.June 27READING: HOMETOWNEclectic GalleryAnny Scoones and Robert Amos will read from theirnew book: “Hometown, Out and About in Victoria’sNeighbourhoods.” 7-9pm, 2170 Oak Bay Ave, www.eclecticgallery.ca.throughout JuneSYNAGOGUE TOURSCongregation Emanu-El SynagogueMost tours will be led by Canada’s first ordainedMaggidah (female Jewish storyteller), Shoshana Litman,who weaves local history and Jewish customs with talesboth ancient and modern, highlighting the arrival ofVictoria’s first Jews and the development of a dynamiccongregation over 150 years to the present. Tours onthe hour, Weds 12-3pm and Thurs 10am-1pm. $10;children under 12 free. www.congregationemanu-el.ca,1461 Blanshard St.22 June 2013 • FOCUS


theatreContinuing to June 116TH UNO FESTMetro Studio & Intrepid Theatre ClubCelebrating the best of independent theatre. Thisyear’s offerings include Fringe Fest favourites JaysonMcDonald, Tara Travis and John Grady, and profoundlymoving stories from Canadian solo artists includingMontreal’s Johanna Nutter, Toronto’s Chris Cardinaland Whitehorse puppeteer Brian Fidler. Here's just oneexample, running May 29 (8pm),May 30 and June 1(8:30pm)–”Til Death: The Six Wives of Henry VIII” fromMonster Theatre (Vancouver), written and directedby Ryan Gladstone and performed by Tara Travis. Itfeatures six queens, six love stories, six deaths, oneactress. Fingers are pointed, fights ensue and AnneBoleyn still can’t find her body, as the newly dead queensfight over who is the King’s true wife, but when Henryarrives–everything changes in this afterlife meeting ofthe ex-wives club. #2–1609 Blanshard St. $17. Ticketsand schedule at www.intrepidtheatre.com.June 4-16UNCLE VANYAMcPherson PlayhouseBlue Bridge Repertory Theatre presents one of themasterpieces of 19th century Russian drama. AntonChekhov’s play is set on a remote farm in the Russianhinterlands. Uncle Vanya and his niece Sonya haveworked slavishly for years to sustain an estate in decline.Now his brother and his wife return, bringing envy,chaos and disruption. Blue Bridge’s Artistic DirectorBrian Richmond says of Chekhov: “His plays, althoughwritten more than a century ago, still reverberate withan eerily contemporary sensibility as he dissects thehopes, loves and fears of his exquisitely drawn characterswith the precision of a pathologist’s scalpel.”Uncle Vanya is being played by new company memberDuncan Ollerenshaw, currently nominated for Best Actorin a TV series by the Alberta Film and Television Awardsfor his role in AMC’s celebrated series “Hell on Wheels.”Other cast include Jacob Richmond, Amanda Lisman,Chris Britton, Brian Linds, Iris MacGregor-Bannerman,Naomi Simpson, and Trevor Hinton. Returning to BlueBridge is Rifflandia co-founder Kassianni Austen asSonya. $24.50+ at 250-386-6121, www.rmts.bc.ca.June 12-29PLAY SIX: CALENDAR GIRLSLangham Court TheatreIn this comedy by Tim Firth, directed by MichaelKing, a group of ordinary women do something extraordinaryand spark a global phenomenon whenthey persuade one another to pose for a charity calendarwith a difference! 2 for $30 or $19-21 each. 250-384-2142 or www.langhamtheatre.ca.June 14 to August 25SINGIN' IN THE RAINChemainus TheatreHollywood’s most acclaimed movie musical, withall the sparkle and spectacle of the golden age, hits thestage with dazzling dance numbers and memorablesongs including “You Were Meant for Me,” “Make ‘emLaugh,” “Moses Supposes” and “Singin’ In The Rain.”1-800-565-7738, www.chemainustheatrefestival.ca.www.focusonline.ca • June 201323


“SHORE AND FOREST” EMILY CARR (1931), OIL ON PAPEROngoingEMILY CARR: ON THE EDGE OF NOWHEREArt Gallery of Greater VictoriaThis exhibition includes an historical survey of Carr’s artistic career, featuring piecesin all the media and styles she explored and perfected. It also focuses on Carr’s influencesand inspirations, such as European modern art, members of the Group of Sevenartists, First Nations artists, Carr’s spirituality, and her interest in developing an artthat speaks of her personal experience and her connection to the West Coast landscape.Drop-in tours June 16 & 29 at 2-3pm. On June 6, 7-9pm: film screening of“Winds of Heaven: Emily Carr, Carvers & The Spirits of the Forest.” June 8, 1-3pm:lecture & book launch. 1040 Moss St, www.aggv.ca.“MOUNT MACADAMS” NICHOLAS BOTT, 36 X 48 INCHES, OIL ON CANVASJune 8-22NICHOLAS BOTT: NEW WORKS& MADRONA GALLERY'S 3RD BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONMadrona GalleryOver the last 40 years Nicholas Bott has explored western Canada, painting theYukon, British Columbia and Alberta. This exhibition of new works focuses on PacificRim National Park, Gulf islands and Coast mountains. Bott, who has studied art atUBC and the Chicago School of Art, is inspired by the loose style of Vincent Van Goghand the Canadian Group of Seven. He has gained international recognition and aworldwide base of collectors through his use of a bold pallet and his expressiveapproach to capturing the form of his subject. Opening reception with artist June 8,1-4pm. 606 View St. 250-380-4660, www.madronagallery.com.“LONG LIGHT – POLAR BEAR” ROBERT BATEMAN, 1999, 27 X 54 INCHES, ACRYLIC ON CANVASOngoingROBERT BATEMANThe Robert Bateman CentreThe Robert Bateman Centre will display the largest exhibit of original works bythe world’s greatest wildlife artist. More than 160 works by Bateman, spanning sevendecades, will be showcased in the new Centre, which occupies the second floor ofthe historic Steamship Terminal. Visitors will be encouraged to explore their relationshipwith the environment. The Centre will also open a shop later in June called“Thinking Like a Mountain,” and offer a meeting place for collaboration, creativethinking, and networking about in-nature education initiatives. Exhibit $12.50/adults,$8.50/seniors & students, $6/youth. 470 Belleville St, www.batemancentre.org."NOW BEACON, NOW SEA" (2010), DANIEL LASKARIN, 318 X 113 X 84 CM, STEEL, THERMOPLASTIC, FABRIC, ALUMINUMJune 1-8NOW ARTUVic's Visual Art Studios & Audain GalleryThis exhibition celebrates the work and wisdom of UVic's current Visual Arts facultyand offers a rare opportunity to see a group exhibit of dynamic contemporary artby Vikky Alexander, Lynda Gammon, Daniel Laskarin, Sandra Meigs, Jennifer Stillwell,Paul Walde and Robert Youds. All of the faculty are at the forefront of contemporaryart in Canada (many have work in the National Gallery’s permanent collection),and the two newest faculty members–Paul Walde (London, On) and JenniferStillwell (Winnipeg)–are going to make new works specifically for this show. Theexhibition will also include a new series of photographic works by Vikky Alexander,plus two large-scale panorama paintings by Sandra Meigs. Visitors will have theopportunity to tour the Visual Arts building. 250-721-6222, www.finearts.uvic.ca.24 June 2013 • FOCUS


“The Englishman’s Gate” by Paul Jorgensen, 30 x 36 inches, acrylic on canvasWEST END GALLERYPaul JorgensenJust Down the StreetJune 8 - 20, 2013Gallery Hours: Mon - Fri 10 - 5:30, Sat 10 - 5, Sun 11 - 41203 Broad Street • 250-388-0009 • www.westendgalleryltd.comMichael den HertogNew Collection2184 OAK BAY AVENUE VICTORIAwww.theavenuegallery.com 250-598-2184“Sphere of Influence” 36 x 48 inches, mixed media on canvasTo Reunite To Honour To WitnessMay 7 to June 15, 2013Wednesday toSaturday10 am - 4 pmmy art placeLEGACYARTGALLERYGuest curated by Andrea Walsh andRobina Thomas in collaborationwith residential school survivorsPhyllis Tate , 1959630 Yates St.www.uvac.uvic.ca250.721.6562The powerful paintings in thisexhibition were created by childrenwho attended the Alberni IndianResidential School in the 1950s and1960s. The paintings show the powerof children’s creativity when theirvoices were silenced by assimilationistgovernment policies.Curators’ TalkThursday, June 13, 20137:30 - 9:00 pm, doors open at 7 pmwww.focusonline.ca • June 201325


CLAY CONNECTSPottery Show and SaleSaturday, June 1510 am to 3 pm32 potters – great varietyfunctional to ornamental1335 Thurlownext to the Moss Street MarketSouth Vancouver Island Potters GuildCelebrating Local ArtistsGreat selection of localpottery, glass, craftsand giftwareOffering Jewellery Making& Precious Metal Classes2000 Fernwood Road250.361.3372 • www.shesaidgallery.ca“BOWL BY PRISKA STABELmusicJune 1CAPRICCIO VOCAL ENSEMBLEChrist Church CathedralUnder the direction of Michael Gormley, the ensemblepresents the Bruckner Mass in E Minor for choir andwind ensemble. 7:30pm. 930 Burdett Ave. $25/Senior,$22/Student,$10/Children under 12 free.June 1WEST COAST DJANGO IN JUNEFairfield United ChurchFeaturing Pearl Django, the premier gypsy jazz bandof the Pacific Northwest, with Victoria’s Brishen–frontedby guitarist Quinn Bachand and violinist Richard Moody–withReuben Wier on rhythm guitar/vocals and Joey Smith onbass. 7:30pm, 1303 Fairfield Rd. $15 advance (at LarsenMusic, Long & McQuade, Ivy’s, Ditch Records), $20 atdoor. 250-472-0999, www.brishenmusic.com.June 2-23EINE KLEINE SUMMER MUSICMuse Winery/First Unitarian ChurchMost concerts in this chamber music series are at2:30pm. June 2: Richard Violet, flute; Pierre Cayer,oboe; Terence Tam and Julian Vitek violin; Kenji Fuse,viola and Laura Backstrom, cello. June 9: Soile Stratkauskas,flute; Andrew Clark, horn; Csinszka Redai, harpsichord;Katrina Russell, bassoon; and Christi Meyers, violin.June 16 & 18 (7:30): Nikki Chooi and Terence Tam,violin; Lorraine Min, piano; Kenji Fuse viola; and LauraBackstrom, cello. June 22 & 23: Lorraine Min, piano;Terence Tam, violin; Kenji Fuse, viola and Laura Backstrom,cello. $20-27. 250-413-3134, www.eksm.ca.JUNE 8VIC GRANDMOTHERS FOR AFRICACentennial SquareWalk 5 km or 2 km with entertainment by the Gettin’Higher Choir and Mufaro Marimba Ensemble. Fundsraised support African Grandmothers through theStephen Lewis Foundation. Registration: 9:30am. $15.Info: petronel@telus.net.June 8SPRING DELIGHTSSt Mary’s the Virgin ChurchMaestro Pablo Diemecke leads the DieMahler StringQuartet. This final concert of the 2013 Spring/Chambermusic series features Italian and French numbers. 7pm,1701 Elgin Rd. $25 at door, Ivy’s Books or www.rmts.bc.ca.June 8-9WANDELWEISER + BOZZINIOpen SpaceNew Music artists Quatour Bozzini and theWandelweiser Komponisten Ensemble present 4 differentconcerts, 2:30 and 8pm both days. The Wandelweisercollective is known for their use of silence in contemporarymusic. They will perform a piece by Victoria’s DanielBrandes–“a meditation on the themes of grief, memory,hope, and spiritual transformation,” which incorporatestexts from the Old Testament to secular philosophers.510 Fort St. $15 general/$10 student, senior, or member;$25 day pass; $40 weekend pass. Tickets at the dooror at www.OsWandelweiser.bpt.me.June 14-16SOOKE RIVER BLUEGRASS FESTIVALSooke River CampgroundA family friendly event featuring a wide range of localacoustic talent, food vendors and music workshops.3-day festival pass $53.50. Day passes available:$11.50-$35.50. See www.sookebluegrass.com.June 16SEATTLE JEWISH CHORALECongregation Emanu-ElThis auditioned choir of 36 voices created a programin honour of the synagogue’s 150th anniversary, withSephardic melodies, Hebrew songs of awe and longing,as well as popular Yiddish-American tunes, and arousing new gospel-style version of Hiney Mah Tov.$20 at Long and McQuade, Russell Books, Ivy’s Bookshop,and Tanner’s, as well as at the synagogue office,Blanshard and Pandora. 250-382-0613.June 16FLORA SCOTTSons of NorwayFlora Scott (vocals/ guitar) performs her debut album“Then & Now” with tunes written in the 1920s-50s,including an original song “Stay” by Flora herself. WithJoey Smith (bass), Richard Moody (violin). 9-10pm,doors at 7:30pm (all ages), $5. 1110 Hillside Ave.June 21 & 23STARLIGHT POPS: WE ARE FAMILY!St Aidan’s United ChurchDirected by Sue Doman, with classic hits from TheMamas and Papas, ABBA, The Rankin Family, Carole King,and more. The 80-voice choir is backed up by a four-piececombo of professional musicians. June 21 at 7:30pm;June 23 at 2:30pm. $20/$18 at www.starlightpopschoir.comor door. 3703 St Aidans St.June 25HARMONY NOW!Alix Goolden HallA vocal band performs new arrangements of classicrock and pop songs, with rich vocal harmonies, backedby a 3-piece band. 907 Pandora Ave. 8pm, $20 at door.June 28-304TH TALL TREE MUSIC FESTIVALBrown’s Mountain, Port Renfrew, BCThe lineup includes Hollerado, Hey Ocean!, A TribeCalled Red, Sweatshop Union, The Zolas, SmalltownDjs and more. See www.talltreemusicfestival.com.26 June 2013 • FOCUS


Quinn Bachand and Richard Moody of BrishenJune 21-30VICTORIA JAZZFESTVarious VenuesBESIDES THE INTERNATIONAL NAMES at this year’s JazzFest—Herbie Hancock, Courtney Pine, Carmen Souza, and EsperanzaSpalding, to name a few—plus top Canadian performers like SerenaRyder, Michael Kaeshammer and Five Alarm Funk, you can alwayscount on hearing a lot of local talent, often for free.Darryl Mar, Victoria JazzFest’s founder and artistic director (29years at its helm), says that of the 70 bands appearing this year, 38 arelocal. “We include them to help them in their development,” says Mar.“Especially for the younger bands, it serves as a catalyst,” he says, oftenassisting them in getting recognition and picking up other gigs.Asked to single out just a few of his favourites among the locals,Mar is hard-pressed. But he does mention trombonist/vocalist NickLa Riviere and his septet which includes a number of other great localmusicians: Daniel Lapp, Ann Fraser, Alasdair Money, Pablo Cardenas,Ryan Tandy, Damian Graham (June 29, free, 4:15pm, CentennialSquare). La Riviere freelances in Victoria and internationally withtouring groups such as The Paperboys, Michael Kaeshammer, TheHiFi, The Starbirds, and The Yiddish Columbia State Orchestra.Another local performer Mar can’t resist highlighting is pianist/songwriterAshley Wey who weaves eclectic musical influences of folk, jazz,pop and soul into her melodies and improvisations (June 22 and 23 at10pm in the Smoken Bones Cookshack). He also mentions blues andjazz singer Maureen Washington (June 30 at 8pm, Chateau Victoria),and Pablo Cardenas, a Cuban who’s lived in Victoria for many years,performing with his Latin Jazz Combo (June 22, 3pm, free, CentennialSquare). Finally, he says, “one of the emerging artists performing atJazzFest for the first time is Quinn Bachand.” This 17-year-old guitaristis joined by violinist Richard Moody and other musicians in Brishen,performing gypsy jazz music (June 29, 1:45, free at Centennial Square).Of the international artists Mar is most looking forward to are twofirst-timers to Victoria JazzFest: Macy Gray, the neo-soul diva, whowill be performing with the David Murray Infinity Quartet (June 26),and American soul singer-songwriter Bettye Lavette who opens JazzFeston June 21 at the Royal Theatre.See www.jazzvictoria.ca for complete festival program and ticketinformation, or call 250-388-4423.www.focusonline.ca • June 201327


28 June 2013 • FOCUS


paletteA sense of reverenceAAREN MADDENWith light and shadow,Catherine Moffat creates sanctuaries in paint.Picture a girl of 17 standing in front of a gallery window staring ata painting. Intently—with intent, in the truest sense of the word.She is absorbing what she can before she returns from herlunch break, back to pressing down, ca-chunk, on the keys of an oldUnderwood in an office of the Legislature building.That was Catherine Moffat, creating her life as an artist. “I had tostand in front of [the painting] until I learned something that you couldput into a sentence,” she recalls. “Ireally tried to study, and fantasizedthat I was studying under a master;I would give myself exercises todo. It was just so corny,” she laughsdismissively.She may say, but one can’t dismissthe determination and self disciplinethat brought her to where she is now:Since first exhibiting in 1978, shehas had 24 one-woman shows andcountless group shows and enjoyedgreat commercial success. Locally,she shows at Avenue Gallery in OakBay and Peninsula Gallery in Sidney.She has taught at the MetchosinInternational Summer School of theArts and juried exhibitions for theFederation of Canadian Artists andthe Sidney Fine Art Show. This withCatherine Moffatno formal training (“there was neverany money”), only the insight that“you don’t know what you don’t know,” coupled with the desire tofigure out what that was.“That was my gift,” she says—not the ability, but the unrelentingdrive to learn and create her art practice. “I didn’t have it for anythingelse. I’m not a well-rounded person; I’m a single-purpose person.I’ve always been that way.” To the frustration of her friends, she wouldleave a night out early in order to go home and paint. She took herwork to galleries, only, at first, to have it rejected. “You go home andcry, then you get up and start again,” she shrugs.What compelled her to persevere in the early days motivates herstill. Her intent is not to create “art” per se, but to create beauty. Morespecifically, beauty as sanctuary. Chiaroscuro—the controlled placementof highlight and shadow—is the main device of technical precisionthat Moffat applies to this end. Referring to a painting of a dancerentitled “Satin Ribbons,” (see cover) Moffat describes the challengeas simply knowing when “the colour has to stop being one thingand start being another.” Achieving that perfect transition requiresPHOTO: TONY BOUNSALLOpposite page, top: “Lettie” 11 x 14 inches, oil on canvasBottom left: “Cinnabar Vase” 13.5 x 10.5 inches, watercolour on paperBottom right: “Floating in a Sea of Stripes” 18 x 22 inches, watercolourwww.focusonline.ca • June 201329


endless recalculations of colour value. Whetherstill life or portrait, Moffat’s result is an otherworldlyverisimilitude that, through subjectand composition, trades harsh photorealismfor visual repose.“I want to make things that are beautifuland elegant,” Moffat states. Certainly it’s notevery artist’s goal, but for Moffat it is deepseated,stemming, she believes, from atumultuous childhood. “Some people like toshow chaos in their paintings if that’s theirexperience. I’m the opposite,” she explains.“This is the place I can control, have absoluteharmony. The placement, the lighting, everythingis terribly important to make things safeand appreciated and beautiful, with a senseof reverence,” she shares. “I’m not doingpretty things because I’ve never seen the“Teal Pot” 16 x 16 inches, oil on canvasrougher sides. It’s because I’ve made the choiceto create that world for myself—and anyoneelse who might appreciate it.”In the process, Moffat has developed herown visual idioms. She has been paintingeggs forever, she says, and they speak directlyto her interest in pure form and its relationshipto light. A clutch of eggs appeals “becauseyou have great light and shadow.” A shinyred snooker ball appears in different contexts,as does a shadowbox cube; contrastingpatterns in a backdrop or, say, a plate heightenthe effect of the shadow’s subtlety. Intricatelycarved Chinese cinnabar vases provide theultimate challenge in shading and show herfondness for the visual riches of chinoiserie,but she exerts the same effort to achievejust the right colour in a ripe bunch ofbananas. Interplays of colour, line and“design for its own sake” provide Moffatwith endless stimuli.Constantly reappearing in her paintings—as either background to a still life or as subjectin and of itself—is a bold black and whitestriped fabric. It refers directly and literallyback to her interest in light and shadow, butthe stripes further emphasize form. Since seeingLeonardo da Vinci paintings reproduced inbooks as a child, classical drapery has fascinatedMoffat. Indeed, since the Renaissance,its realistic depiction is one of the challengespresented to any traditionally trained artstudent, and it involves none other than theideal placement of light and shadow. “Thestripes just seemed to heighten that. I relatedto it personally somehow, she says.30 June 2013 • FOCUS


Instead of comfortable repetition, however,these mutually defining elements offer constantchallenge for Moffat. For three years, in fact,she has been revisiting one painting of a squareglass jar filled with eggs. The gleaming glasssurface, the shadows on the eggs—“it demandsa lot of subtlety,” she says.Similar patience came into play when, in2005, she made a clean switch from 22 yearsof watercolour to working in oil. “I alwaysthought the things I was painting lent themselvesbetter to oil,” she explains, having alwayspreferred dark backgrounds in her compositions,for instance. That and other challengesspecific to watercolour—creating highlightsby omission rather than applied gouache, “theblush of a plum”—had been accomplishedand she sought new ones.“I remember how very clumsy [oil] feltinitially,” she says. “I would have these littlerevelations…It was very trial and error.” Alongthe way Moffat valued mentorship from portraitartist David Goatley, a close friend who haspainted her portrait twice now.Moffat also credits artistic and personalgrowth to Bob Wright, who passed awayrecently. For 11 years she has participated inPainters at Painter’s, an annual gathering atPainter’s Lodge in Campbell River sponsoredby the Oak Bay Marine Group, which Wrighthelmed. It includes demonstrations and formaldiscussions among artists and with the public.Moffat credits Wright’s encouragement fordrawing her out and giving her confidence.“At this point, I enjoy public speaking—I havefun, I tell jokes, I make people sing—and allof that is as a result of Bob Wright’s generosity.I appreciate him so much,” she says.Lately, Moffat has been further emboldenedto reveal her lighter side in paint. Mostof her artworks, imbued with serenity andelegance, might only hint at her sense of humourthrough a whimsical title but some of her newimagery, like “Pig Racer,” is downright playful.As always, though, that technical precisionprevails. She remains true to her contemporaryself and that girl looking in the gallery window.“Painting, to me, is the fire I hold above myhead when I am crossing the river,” she concludes,referring to imagery from the film Quest forFire, and the vital importance of guarding theflame. “This is my holy place,” she says.The new Designer Series Blendtec Blender makes From Shangxi province, China, an elegantbread dough, ice cream, soups, smoothies, fresh little two-piece black lacquer cabinet.juice and more. 10-year warranty; easy to clean.Best of Both Worlds ImportsTriangle Healing Products2713 Quadra Street770 Spruce Avenue250-386-8325www.trianglehealing.com • 250-370-1818 www.bestofbothworldsimports.comgreat finds for your homeAfter meeting Catherine Moffat,Aaren Madden was stopped inher tracks by the sight of a lemonsitting on her counter. The sunlighton its dimpled skin, the shadowit cast: beauty amid the daily chaos.www.focusonline.ca • June 2013Transform your property with the timelessbeauty of eco-friendly, BC-madeinterlocking brick—3 times the strengthof concrete, and lasts a lifetime.Rooster Interlocking Brick250-889-6655 • www.roosterbrick.comWooden luggage rackTue-Fri 11-5 & Sat 11-3 (except long weekends)Closed Sunday & Monday3370 Tennyson AveAll Organized Storage Ltdwww.AllOrganizedStorage.ca • 250-590-632831


coastlinesDigging the CityAMY REISWIGGrowing food locally is a political act of community preservation.Summer is a-comin’ and those not worshippingthe sun at the beach might be found,as Victoria poet and food writer RhonaMcAdam says, on their knees in their yards,doing their part to earn Victoria its reputationas the City of Gardens. But what kinds ofgardens? Consider the aggregate acres of lawns,hedges and ornamental flowers; then considerthat Vancouver Island only grows about fivepercent of its own food. Something has grownterribly wrong.“But what can I do?” It’s a thought saidoften to one another and to ourselves in theface of Big Concerns demanding attention.Climate change, pollution, poverty and humanrights, to name just a few, compete with issueslike food security for the limited emotionalenergy and time we have for learning how tomake a difference, whether in the wider worldor our own communities.One publisher working to inform us intoaction is Rocky Mountain Books, recentlyrelocated to Victoria from Calgary. Their nonfictionseries RMB Manifestos, billed as “booksto change the world,” takes a stand on topicsfrom the global war for oil to First Nationswater rights, grizzly bears to bark beetles,honeybees to hyperdevelopment. And McAdam,with her recent book Digging the City: AnUrban Agriculture Manifesto (RMB, October2012), is one of their authors speaking up inanswer to “what can I do?” Blending personalreflection and practical advice, Digging theCity tackles food security and the role urbaniteslike us in Victoria can play in solvingthe problems.McAdam, with five poetry collectionsand two chapbooks on her writing record, hasso far been sharing ideas about food in publicationslike Small Farm Canada, Food inCanada, Edible Vancouver and EAT Magazine.She has a Master’s Degree in Food Cultureand Communication from the University ofGastronomic Sciences in Italy (the academicbranch of the Slow Food movement), alongwith graduate degrees in library science andcommunication planning.“I’ve never been a political advocate,”McAdam admits in her sunny living room overlookingthe Gorge. “I’ve been a shy and retiringindividual—that’s why I write poetry,” shelaughs. But after her post-Italy food cultureshock,“MOST PEOPLE DON’Trealize how much of theconventional produce webuy from supermarkets wasgrown in sewage sludge.”—Rhona McAdamand then teaching an online course in urbanagriculture and food security for St LawrenceCollege, McAdam realized something: “Thepeople I stand behind in the supermarket don’tknow this stuff,” she tells me earnestly. “I oweit to them to share what I know.”And some of what she knows ain’t pretty.The demand for year-round cheap importedgroceries buys us the risk of transportationdisruption and ever-escalating fuel costs (andeventual fuel shortage). The lack of local foodproduction means we feed our families andourselves according to what big agribusinesschooses for us. Therein lies McAdam’s tale ofa dysfunctional, profit-based food systemdepriving us of control and, most importantly,of quality food and the knowledge-base toproduce it –or even to understand it critically.For example, McAdam writes: “Most peoplePHOTO: TONY BOUNSALLdon’t realize how much of the conventionalproduce we buy from supermarkets was grownin sewage sludge”—sludge, she notes, that“combines industrial with bodily waste andexcreted pharmaceuticals…the product ispotentially toxic, laced with heavy metals andchemical fire retardants even after treatmentor large-scale composting.”I didn’t know. Neither did I know aboutmultiple problems with, for example, differentkinds of greenhouses, from the toxicity ofhydroponic growing mediums to mountainsof plastic sheeting. “A study of agriculturalplastics in Saskatchewan found the provinceused 239,967 square metres of greenhouseplastic, enough to cover nearly 30 Canadianfootball fields,” we learn, and it gets replacedafter only a few years. Recycled? Landfill? It’sa lot of plastic, and from just one province.Nor did I consider that much-touted farmers’markets, responsible nationally for $3.09billion of economic impact (2008), might bean option for affluent locavores, but, as McAdamwrites, “fall short in serving the lower-incomehouseholds that could most benefit from accessto reasonably-priced fresh produce.”So we land back in the stony field of “whatcan I do?” when even some seemingly beneficialapproaches present their own problems.“It is overwhelming and can be frighteningwhen you read too much,” McAdam concedes.But small steps matter, and she says simplythat we need to scale back our thinking fromthe overwhelming “what can I do?” to themore specific and reasonable “what can I doin the time and sphere I can manage?”Thus, this compact volume offers a harvestof ideas for would-be urban gardeners to choosefrom to meet different needs, timeframes, andbudgets. Readers learn about chicken- and beekeeping,community gardens, container gardens,rooftop food gardens. There’s information onfarmers’ markets, farm stands, backyard-sharingdatabases, school gardens, small plot intensivefarming, permaculture, organic food co-opsand subscription programs. For the more ambitiouslyself-reliant, there are sections on greywater capture, composting toilets, food preservation,even raising tilapia and freshwaterprawns in urban aquaculture systems. Notall are for everyone, but all are options thatcan help us become more food secure.32 June 2013 • FOCUS


And she points to bigger goings-on at variouslevels that are, like the slender asparagus spearspoking hopefully from a half-barrel in McAdam’sbackyard, growing up all over the world.Throughout, we read about organizations andprojects making a difference, including Victoria’sown LifeCycles, Haliburton CommunityOrganic Farm, the Compost Education Centre,Feasting for Change initiative, FoodRoots andGorge Tillicum Urban Farmers (GTUF). “Thereare a lot of good leaders out there, and theiroptimism has to sustain us,” she tells me.Making that human connection is also key.“The most important crop we can harvestfrom urban agriculture is community,” McAdamwrites. “For without a sense of connection toour neighbours and the land we share, therecan be no food security.”So, while on your knees in the garden,consider what you are sowing and reapingnot just for yourself but for the communityand for what our City of Gardens couldpotentially become.Writer and editor Amy Reiswighas enjoyed growing veggieson her balcony but hopes shecan overcome last year’s strangereluctance to cut up the zucchinishe raised, almost like a pet,from a tiny seed.www.focusonline.ca • June 2013 33


focusreporting from the frontlines of cultural changeToo many decibels, too few quiet momentsAirplanes, leaf blowers, whipper snippers, chainsaws, automobiles and a host of other sources of noise are creating agrowing din in our daily lives. The cacophony is creating health risks and, increasingly, quiet refuge is getting hard to find.Part 1: The noise crisis comethBARBARA JULIANIt’s a beautiful early summer morning. You take the newspaper anda coffee into the garden, but someone next door suddenly startsup a chainsaw. While he cutsdown a tree, people starthammering new roof shingleson the house across the road.You escape to a park, but thereworkers are breaking up theconcrete with jackhammersand the people at the nextpicnic table turn up the volumeon their boom box. A visit tothe public library finds it reverberatingwith the clamour ofcell phone conversation. Later,you stroll along the InnerHarbour and are assaulted by the roar of float planes and helicopters.Car alarms seem ubiquitous. Back at home, a loudspeaker inRoyal Athletic Park blasts the birds out of all the trees of Fernwood.Is it getting noisy around here? Yes: Noise is increasing across ourregional district as it is across the planet as a whole. Once labelled a“nuisance,” noise pollution is now identified by the InternationalConference on Acoustics and Vibration as the world’s second worsthealth hazard (after air pollution). Toxic noise produces high bloodpressure, increased heart rate, and sleep disturbance causing reducedcognitive performance.According to the World HealthOrganization, “persistent noise stressincreases the risk of cardiovasculardisorders including hypertension andischaemic heart disease.” HealthCanada reports that “significant,adverse, irreversible effects usuallyoccur gradually in response to excessiveexposure to noise [and] evenshort duration exposure can haveserious irreversible effects.”By contrast, the levels and rhythmsof beneficial sound harmonize soothingly with bodily processes: Thinkof the sigh of waves on a beach, the rustle of leaves in a breeze, the softbuzz of insects. A picture of organic versus mechanical is emerging here.Noise does not need to be loud to be “toxic.” We not only hear butalso feel sound waves, their frequencies resonating differently in differentparts of the body. Both loud noise and sound at low frequency are apersonal and public health risk, and people who live near airports apparentlyget the worst of it. The European Commission considers livingnear an airport to be a risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke.It “estimates that 20 percent of Europe’s population are exposed toairport noise levels it considers unhealthy and unacceptable.”Locally, the Victoria International Airport is lobbying for expansion,supported by the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, even as residentialareas in North Saanich continue to expand. This is a hazard forthe future, but currently CRD bylaw officers identify “social” noise,construction noise and barking dogs as the most common sources ofcomplaint. Loudspeaker noise is also an issue: If people miles away canhear the commentary at a sports event or rock concert which they didn’tchoose to attend, it is clearly louder than it needs to be for those whodid. It is not only the decibels that count, however. The sound is experiencedas an invasion of space, choice and privacy.DOUG ROBERTS, CHIEF BYLAW OFFICER for Saanich, reportsthat in that municipality the top three noise sources are private parties(“we are a college-university town”), humming fans from outdoor heatpumps, and the clamour of delivery trucks and machinery whereverresidential zoning abuts commercial.Poor urban planning, as in placing residential areas next to industrialones, exacerbates noise pollution, but population growth itselfis the root cause, and not one thatwill be quickly or easily corrected.That leaves municipal jurisdictionswith the option of using bylaws tomitigate symptoms, rather than tacklingcauses, by limiting noise emanatingfrom parties, household tools, andvehicles being revved up under somebodyelse’s bedroom window.Coral Henderson, who has workedfor the CRD’s bylaws department forthe past ten years, admits “we arebusier than we used to be.” The CRD is responsible for handling noisecomplaints specifically in the Juan de Fuca Electoral District, and social,construction and animal noise create the bulk of them. Barking dogsare a big issue, as “more animals come with the increasing human population.”But on the other hand, says Henderson, “people are gettingthe message that you can only make so much noise without getting intotrouble for disturbing the peace of the neighbourhood.”People adjust, then, which suggests that stronger measures can beaccepted to mitigate the well-documented health effects of sound pollution.Loudspeakers can be turned down, leaf blowers banned, roadbuffers created (trees and shrubbery being best because they also doduty as air cleansers, shade givers, and bird habitat). It’s all welcomed34 June 2013 • FOCUS


ONCE LABELLED a “nuisance,” noise pollution is nowidentified by the International Conference on Acousticsand Vibration as the world’s second worst health hazard(after air pollution).by those who must live and work in the city but long for the quiet ofa cottage in the woods.THE WORD “QUIET” MEANS NOT ONLY “slight or gentle in soundor motion” but also “free from disturbance or agitation.” It is the secondmeaning which is the key to measuring the “toxicity” of noise. If itcreates a subjective experience of disturbance, then it is harmful.Disturbance is stress, and stress manifests on the cellular and molecularlevel, just as low-frequency sound waves do. Stress means glandsinitiate a torrent of hormones including cortisol and adrenaline, whichforce a desire for “flight or fight” even when neither is possible. Theword “noise” is related linguistically to “noxious,” and noise is experiencedas injurious, an assault or torment that gets under the skin andinto the very biophysics of cellular reactions.We measure the air pressure of sound waves in decibels (one-tenthof a “bel,” named for Alexander Graham Bell) and the frequency ofsound waves in “hertz” (named for German physicist H. R. Hertz).Hearing damage can occur at 120 decibels (dB), and typically noisestarts to make people “highly annoyed” at around 55dB. The soundlevel on the shoulder of a major highway is between 80 and 90dB. InVictoria, areas marked as “Quiet Districts” permit 45-60dB, and tonality,impulsivity and intermittency are also factored into the measurement.Loud districts such as the harbour allow for 70dB, a level consideredtoxic by the International Conference on Acoustics and Vibrations.Ogden Point and the Inner Harbour are noise hotspots, due to aircraft,cruise ship traffic and the buses servicing the ships. Transport Canadaproduces a planning tool for municipalities called the Noise ExposureForecast (NEF). According to a report produced by the James BayNeighbourhood Association in 2011, a NEF for Victoria Harbourshould have been done 10-30 years ago, before the building of majorresidential buildings and the certification of Victoria Harbour Airportin 2000. Residents near that airport have complained of noise up to100 decibels. But in Victoria, according to the JBNA report, “TransportCanada has supported the interests of aircraft operators.”James Bay residents also feel abandoned by the City regarding bothnoise and air pollution concerns. An Ogden Point Master Plan (Part A)lays out technical-commercial expansion plans for the harbour, but theNeighbourhood Association, says President Marg Gardiner, is “notwelcome to present to the City’s Governance and Priorities Committeemeetings.” The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority isn’t helpful either.It receives about $300,000 in revenues from heliport operations, and,says Gardiner, “as residents, we have a very low priority.”Noise pollution in general gets low priority in municipal planning.The City of Victoria does not collect complaints in a file that is readilyaccessible if policy makers want to track trends in emergent noise sources(although Bylaws Manager Mark Hayden confirms anecdotally thatVictoria’s main sources of complaint are the harbour “activity area”LEAVE A LEGAC Y TMCarpenter DominicMason died in 1989.Tomorrow, he’ll renovatethe playroom at the localhomeless shelter.As a child, Dominic and his mother found a homein a shelter. A counsellor there showed him a futurefilled with opportunity. Dominic’s dreams came trueand thanks to his bequest he is helping morechildren build their dreams.Include your favourite cause in your will or estateplan. Contact a charitable organization, lawyer,financial advisor or LEAVE A LEGACY programtoday to learn how.www.leavealegacy.caAlan 250-414-4781 or Barbara 250-721-6207Ad design donated by iD2.cawww.focusonline.ca • June 201335


and the downtown nightlife scene). There are bylaw exemptions forpolice sirens, garbage collection, church bells, parades, festivals andsports events. But one person’s festival is another person’s nightmare;one person’s business destroys another person’s home life. All themunicipalities aim to abate noise “which disturbs or tends to disturbthe quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of the neighbourhood,”but this is where conflict arises: How do we measureand define “peace,” “enjoyment” and “comfort”?DIFFERENT PEOPLE HAVE DIFFERENT tolerance levels, but environmentalpsychologists Stephen and Rachel Kaplan have developeda “Reasonable Person Model” in an attempt to standardize what isconsidered acceptable. The reasonable person is defined as “cooperative,helpful, and satisfied.” S/he is not given to crime sprees, roadrage, and domestic violence—some of the results of overcrowding andan over-cluttered soundscape.A region supports reasonableness if it meets people’s basic need to“explore, understand, and act meaningfully in their environment”without distraction and stress. Where conflict arises, as between hewho wants to boogie in the street and he who wants to sleep, or shewho wants to garden with machines at dawn and she who wants toread, expectations based on the Reasonable Person Model are suggestedas the arbiter. Rachel Kaplan calls for opportunities for “restoration,”which means re-balance of mental, physical and social well-being.The Kaplans see nature itself as the chief means of psychologicalrestoration. Psychological and ecological restoration go together,and conservation of large urban green spaces is the city planner’s besttool for securing both. Wildlife too suffer from toxic noise, and for thesame reasons as we do: Their cellular processes, sleep patterns, stresslevels and ability to communicate and raise young are compromised.Unlike birds, humans cannot just fly away from noise. It seemsthat residents unfortunate enough to live next to an industrial, transportor entertainment hub in a city committed to commercial growthhave two choices: move or buy ear plugs. The question, as developmentspreads, is where will they move to? Noise buffers are only anemergency measure; what is needed long-term is establishment of lowdensityquiet areas for “nature in the city.”Stress, sleep deprivation and invasion of privacy combine to threatenbasic mind-body integrity and “reasonableness.” This is hazardous notonly for the sufferers. It is a community issue; we all rely for safety onthe reasonableness of our neighbours. In terms of urban design, we wouldbenefit from a new category of “mixed use zoning” which mixes residentialwith not commercial, but natural space. (See companion article.)Are we really facing a noise crisis here in Greater Victoria? It dependson where you live. For south Oak Bay, no; for the Songhees and JamesBay, yes. For Esquimalt and Victoria West, faced with increased trucktraffic due to proposed sewage treatment facilities, quite likely.Overall we are not impacted as severely as people in Britain,where one-third feel that noisy neighbours have made their lives amisery and that “they cannot enjoy their own homes.” But if there isone thing the mind-body health revolution has taught us, it is that pleasureequals health, and dis-pleasure equals dis-ease. As far as displeasingnoise is concerned it comes down to the old choice between preventionand cure: We can either plan to preserve quiet now, or wait untilthe citizenry’s howls of desperation become deafening.Barbara Julian is a local writer and blogger. Sources for this article are listed at theend of the online version.Motorists eager to drive past Thetis Lake ParkPart 2: In search of a quiet momentMALEEA ACKEREach spring, salmonberry flowers bloom in profusion in Thetis LakeRegional Park. Pausing on a walk in mid-April, I heard a tree froggearing up for its spring song; a winter wren slipped to a lowerbranch of ocean spray, its watery call piercing the air like an aria.Above the forest sounds, however, like a sleepless, rumbling assemblyline, traffic was audible from Highway 1, a kilometre away. A semitrailertruck geared down, a motorcycle stepped on the gas, and amultitude of cars rushed with them. I couldn’t see the scene, but Icould tell the quality of their engines and the state of their exhaustsystems from the park’s centre.CRD residents are fortunate to have access to 27,277 hectares ofparks, which many view as a balm to the stresses of urban life. But whenanthropogenic noise follows us to places we use to relax and recharge,the consequences aren’t insignificant. The World Health Organization(WHO) warns that traffic noise in particular “is harming the health ofalmost every third person in the WHO European Region,” and is responsiblefor up to 50,000 annual deaths in Europe. The WHO’s researchshows that sustained noise of only 55 decibels can trigger these effects.Many of Greater Victoria’s outlying parks were planned beforeWest Shore development increased traffic to current levels; with anexpected 30 percent population increase there by 2038, these levels—and their attendant noise levels—will continue to grow.The CRD’s Regional Sustainability Strategy (RSS), set for 2014completion, is examining public transit improvements, provisionsfor bike lanes and protection of green space, all of which help lowernoise levels and support livability. Traffic noise reduction, however,is merely a side benefit of responsible regional planning, not a goal,as CRD Parks Manager of Visitor Services and Community DevelopmentMike Waters confirmed. “We are not actively monitoring traffic noiseand it is not a park management issue,” he said, “but I anticipate thatwe’ll hear more noise as the region grows.”Similarly, municipal bylaws, while they help protect the peacefulenjoyment of both residences and parks through limits on the durationand intensity of noise, do not specifically address highway noise.36 June 2013 • FOCUS


Thetis Lake ParkI learned from Sean Wong, biologist with the BC Ministry ofTransportation and Infrastructure (MOTI), that the last study on noisefrom the lower Island Highway was completed in 1993. The focuswas primarily mitigation of decibel levels for neighbourhoods andschools—using soil berms and fencing—in anticipation of the late1990s highway improvement project, which saw widening near ThetisLake and enlargement of nearby interchanges. Noise levels below55dBs were deemed unnecessary to mitigate.Curious about how far Highway 1 traffic noise penetrated, I tookdecibel readings in Thetis Lake and Francis/King Regional Parks andalong the length of Munn Road, which circumscribes the Highlands.Decibels measure the intensity of human-audible sounds. Zero dB isthe smallest audible sound. A reading of 40dBs is typical for a house’sinterior. Conversation happens around 65dBs, a vacuum cleaner hits95dBs, and a police siren 115dBs.Within Thetis Lake park on a windless day, readings ranged from75 dBs down to 45 dBs, furthest from the highway. The sound of trafficnever completely disappeared, however, no matter where I was. Infact, I had to travel past Francis/King Park, five kilometres north toWoodridge Place, in order to escape its voice. Standing besideEagles Lake, I felt my stress levels drop. Yet the readings were similar—42 decibels—a three decibel difference that research tells us shouldn’tbe discernible by the human ear.THE RESTORATIVE EFFECTS OF A QUIET natural environmentprovide a powerful and well-documented antidote to our busy lives,argues Adam Alter, psychology professor at New York University.Natural areas provide an opportunity to engage in what WilliamJames called “involuntary attention,” which requires very littlemental effort, but restores our mental functioning. “Directed attention,”its taxing counterpart, enables humans to complete demandingtasks like driving, conversing with strangers and making decisions.Urban environments, however, even when stimulating, are ultimatelybrain-depleting, writes Alter. We restore equilibrium throughdoses of involuntary attention, which is best supported in nature,where the mind can take in stimuli without need for judgment orproblem-solving.PHOTO: SALLY SCOTTUVic Psychology professor Robert Gifford concurs. “Any input,”he says, “strains our cognitive capacity over time; nature allows forthe recovery (restoration) of the capacity to deal with forced orrequired input.”What if the intrusion of traffic noise into a park shifts our focusback to directed attention and the tasks awaiting us in the urbanworld, preventing the reverie and wandering mind that involuntaryattention allows?We know from studies on non-humans that such noise can adverselyaffect them. The effects of traffic noise on birds and aquatic mammalshave been a concern for decades. UVic’s Ocean Networks Canadaobservatories study the effects of acoustic pollution—noise that shiptraffic makes—in Saanich Inlet and Georgia Strait. For marine mammalswho depend on communication by sound, ship traffic can be deadly.Birds, similarly, rely on song to successfully mate and defend territory.When noise invades habitat, successful nesting decreases, resulting ina loss of biodiversity.TRAFFIC NOISE IS A FACTOR OF TIRE and pavement type,volume of traffic and speed. The higher the volume and speed, themore noise. According to MOTI, in 1951, the daily traffic countfor Highway 1 alongside Thetis Lake was 4,540 vehicles. By2012 this number had risen to 87,950 vehicles. Increases intraffic volume have an exponential effect on what we hear, cautionedOak Bay-based engineer Clair Wakefield, president of WakefieldAcoustics. “Tire noise goes up with speed,” he said, “and all elsebeing equal, if the speed stays constant then noise levels will goup 3dB every time you double the volume of traffic.” For the trafficnear Thetis Lake, this means an increase of 13dB over the last 60years. Though this may not seem like much, it’s essentially threetimes as loud.To try to experience what Thetis Lake park might have been like 50years ago, I took a walk into the CRD’s Sea to Sea Regional Park Reserve,3874 hectares of wilderness that provides a corridor and protectedbelt in the Sooke Hills. Decibel readings on the Mount Manuel Quimpertrail were similar to those in Thetis Lake Park, but the sound came fromwind, streams, birdsong, and the occasional falling tree branch. Evenfrom a peak just south of Manuel Quimper, I couldn’t hear traffic orthe usual hobbies of rural residents. It was very wild, and an easy peaceto get used to. Hiking back down, noise from the first truck at thebottom of the path made me jump.Although the new Regional Sustainability Strategy planning processis attempting to bring representatives from all levels of government tothe table, it can be particularly hard to address the problem of noisepollution when highways, parks and planning are the responsibilitiesof different government entities, which can lead to silo-like decisionmaking.“What happens adjacent to a park happens to a park,” agreesthe CRD’s Waters. “If a park ends up being surrounded by major transportationarteries, there’s not much we can do. We still only managewhat happens within the park.”As our green spaces face greater pressure from a growing region,concerted effort will be needed to ensure that 50 years from now, theSea to Sea wilderness doesn’t become what Thetis Lake—beautiful buthobbled by the roar of the outside world—is for us today.Maleea Acker is the author of Gardens Aflame: Garry Oak Meadows on BC’s SouthCoast and The Reflecting Pool (poetry). She was interviewed about the formerin the January 2013 edition of Focus.www.focusonline.ca • June 201337


thisplaceisland interview 38 urbanities 42 natural relations 44 finding balance 46The police looked uncomfortablethe night they came to MovieMonday. We’d just watched CrisisCall, an absorbing, emotional documentaryexploring often volatile, sometimesdeadly encounters between Canadianpolice and people with severe mentalhealth problems. After the film, host BruceSaunders introduced us to two GreaterVictoria police officers whom he’d invitedto share their perspectives and answeraudience questions.One important point, though, in caseyou don’t know: The weekly film eventMovie Monday takes place in a 100-seattheatre located at Royal Jubilee Hospital’sEric Martin Pavilion, formerly the psychiatrichospital and today still home tovarious psychiatric services. Probably atleast half the audience that night wascomprised of people who had a mentalhealth diagnosis or knew someone whohad one, including Saunders himself, diagnosedas bipolar. The ensuing discussionrevealed a lot about the challenges facedby all sides, but at times it understandablytook provocative, tense turns.Afterwards, one of the local police officerscontacted the Vancouver Island HealthAuthority to complain that he’d felt “attacked” at the “poorly moderated”event. Rumblings circulated that VIHA might pull the plug onMovie Monday. Saunders anxiously contacted other audience membersto write up their own observations of the evening; however, the mostimportant letter came unsolicited: The other local police officerdropped Saunders an email saying he was recommending his departmentpurchase the “excellent” documentary, and adding that he wasimpressed by Saunders’ “community-minded devotion” and felt “verygood” about how “the police perspective was appreciated” by theMovie Monday audience.“You don’t always have witnesses to your dealings with police,”says the 63-year-old Saunders to me with the kind of light-heartedsmile that can only come years after things long since turned out okay.“Luckily for me, there were a lot of witnesses that night.”In truth, it’s always easy to find plenty of witnesses who’ll expresstheir support as the charming, daring, stimulating series approachesits 20th anniversary in June.“It’s an institution that enriches our community,” says Drew Barnes,VIHA’s coordinator of mental health rehab services. “Bruce isreally well respected in the community, and I think a lot of peoplehave admiration for the passion and creativity that he puts into this.”The pharmacist of filmROB WIPONDOver 20 years, Bruce Saunders has built Movie Monday into one of Victoria’s most enduringly popular arts events.Bruce SaundersBarnes enjoys Movie Monday as “justa great film experience.” However, thefrequent presence of films and discussionsrelated to mental health is central to VIHA’slong-standing support. “What a greatvehicle for opening discussion about mentalillness,” says Barnes. “And what a greatway to reduce stigma and to explore mentalillness in a forthright way.”Mark Clarkson agrees. Clarkson, diagnosedwith bipolar, has been so inspiredby Saunders’ efforts he’s become a regularvolunteer helper. Clarkson suggests it’sparticularly valuable that Movie Mondayis held in the (now-former) psychiatricward where ex-patients and the generalpublic can congregate. “I grew up in thistown, and we’d tease kids, ‘You shouldbe in [the Eric Martin],’” explains Clarkson.“So I like the idea that it’s a way of dealingwith the stigma of mental illness, justhaving the movie there at the Eric Martin.”Barnes also suggests Saunders is providing“healthy watching” for our entire community.“I sort of see Bruce…as a pharmacistfor movies,” says Barnes. “Bruce I believehas the capacity to prescribe movies in away that may generate hope, or supportpeople in recovery.”“Basically, I show films I like,” says Saunders less calculatingly,noting that his mind has never lent itself well to the prolonged concentrationrequired for reading, but can easily get “swept up” in agood story with captivating audio-visuals. “I try to mix it up intentionally,so that it’s entertaining as well as thought-provoking. Myterritorial focus seems to have become recovery stories and inspiringand hopeful stuff. But then sometimes you just want to show somethingthat’s fun.” The post-film discussions, he says, emerge naturally.“When you show a film at my venue, there are a lot of people whowill engage with the hypothetical or the vicarious experience thatthey just had. And it’s almost boggling how much people open upwhen they’ve just seen someone doing something similar or oppositeto what they would’ve done.”Whether emotional pharmacist or simply fan, Saunders has builta unique, popular regular event, one that operates effectively andentertainingly in the creative spaces between art, community dialogue,and mental health. Even with a less-than-stellar film or presenter,there’s often a feeling in the room that one is still participating insomething valuable for our community by giving space for lesserheardvoices and perspectives. It survives partly thanks to VIHA, theCanada Council for the Arts, and other donors giving Movie MondayPHOTO: TONY BOUNSALL38 June 2013 • FOCUS


SAUNDER’S PERSONAL STORY reveals much aboutwhy Movie Monday is important not just for him, but forour mental health system and our whole community.a $30,000 annual budget to pay for film rights, guest expenses, anda stipend to Saunders, who does everything from finding and bookingfilms and guests, to event promotion, discussion facilitation, androom clean up. Admission is free or by donation—making it certainlythe most accessible regular movie night in town—and there’s a smallconcession that even has popcorn from a cinema-style popcorn-maker.Film fare is enormously diverse, but there are definite emphaseson artistic and independent films, documentaries, Canadiana, andstories involving people facing psychological challenges like psychosis,depression, or autism. Saunders admits that in the early yearssometimes only his family attended, but nowadays the theatre is halfto completely full nearly every week with audiences as diverse as thecharacters that grace the eight-by-twelve-foot video-projection screen.While Movie Monday isn’t the only local place to see films supplementedwith group discussions, Saunders is in rarefied company inhow creatively he goes about organizing events. He goes to great lengthsto bring in (or at least get on speakerphone) producers, directors, actors,and others connected to the films, and frequently reaches out to localprofessionals, educators, activists, and others whom he thinks mightlearn something valuable from, or offer something valuable to, a particularviewing and discussion. He brought in an indigenous drummerfrom Nunavut for the showing of Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner). Heconvinced a local collector to park a rare model car from the Rain Manroad trip outside the theatre. He tracked down the troubled autisticchild featured in the documentary The Boy Inside, who then came hereas a young man years after the film was made and spoke eloquently.It’s this inclusivity and creativity that impresses Ben Ziegler, who’sbeen a semi-regular attendee for many years. Ziegler says he comesmainly just to see good, lesser-known films. “They often touch ondifferent characters and different ‘states of being,’ shall we say,”comments Ziegler. “They really portray characters maybe not quitein the mainstream, and if you’re open to it, it can be very inspiring.”A professional collaboration consultant and mediator, Ziegler alsorespects the casual atmosphere for discussion created by Saunders,whom he feels is always working to be inclusive, patient, and nonjudgmental.“It’s more than just a movie, it’s a community place, it’sa place for conversation, often on what I think are very relevanttopics,” says Ziegler. “In many ways, [Saunders] is very much a leader.”Such accolades are a source of pride for Saunders, but he puts themin perspective: After two suicide attempts, he says, “I’m just surprisedthat I’m still here.” And his personal story reveals much about whyMovie Monday is important not just for him, but for our mentalhealth system and our whole community.IN THE EARLY NINETIES, SAUNDERS was twice hospitalized atEric Martin. With a loving wife and two children, a house, and asuccessful gardening business (which he still runs today), the nativeVictorian can’t explain why he tried to kill himself by sitting insidehis car with his leaf blower running, and again four years later lyingin his basement under a tarp with a running lawn mower.www.focusonline.ca • June 201339


“I’d been struggling most of my life,” he says.Saunders points variously to contributing factorsover the years such as dropping out of UVic’sart program, his sister’s suicide, a series of surgeries,and Victoria’s dismal winters when hewasn’t working. “I didn’t quite know what theproblem was. Mostly depression…I was justgetting discouraged, depressed, and frustratedthat I wasn’t able to figure it out.” But whilesitting one evening in the psychiatric ward in1993, there came an unexpected twist in theplot of Saunders’ life.“We’re sitting there in our little dressinggowns before bed, and we’re watching a TVmovie with a bipolar guy with a shotgun pointedat his hostage’s head. And there’s this SWATteam taking a bead on this guy, trying to gethim through the window.” Saunders face grinsas he recounts the “crapola” made-for-TV tale,and finally he bursts into laughter. “We’re sittingthere with our mugs of hot chocolate trying tofigure out who to hope for—I had the samediagnosis as that guy!”Saunders continues more seriously. “Theyactually had two televisions on either side of the common area blaringaway. And you’re sitting there with your little diagnosis, trying to getyour head straight. It just wasn’t a very conducive environment togetting well. And even when I was really ill, I could tell what wasgood entertainment and not; I could still enjoy a film.”A fellow patient led him to the hospital’s little-used educationaltheatre, and the proverbial lights came on in Saunders’ head. Whynot show thoughtful films that might actually make patients feelbetter, or learn something about themselves, or start discussions aboutinspired ways to address their shared challenges? And why not invitefamilies, friends, and the general public to attend, too?“[VIHA representatives] were generous enough to give me permissionto use the theatre and try it out,” says Saunders. “Eventually Igot a key, and it got easier and easier. The hospital has been prettysupportive all the way along.”During that period, Saunders also began responding well to relativelylow doses of two psychiatric drugs. “It’s a bit of a duckshoot; it took me years to find something,” he says. “I don’t have alittle Brucie Saunders test control group and me, but it seems to havekept me in a pretty functional zone most of the time…It’s working,so I’m not changing it.”That said, he firmly believes that Movie Monday has been evenmore important to his mental health than the medications, and thisperspective has made him form some strong opinions about improvingour mental health system.“It’s been huge for me personally,” says Saunders of Movie Monday.“My attitude to life generally and my gardening job just all got a loteasier when I had this other thing that was beyond just plugging awayand making the money and doing the job. This was a whole overarchingcreative process that I was engaged in.”Saunders relates this to the story of the inventor Alexander GrahamBell, the author of whose biography he recently brought in. Bell’seccentric, sometimes dysfunctional behaviour might have, by today’smental health standards, got him tranquillized. “[A mental healthMark Clarksoncondition] is not just an illness; it’s a specialway of thinking, and it can be pretty positive,”says Saunders. “There’s a creativity that peoplehave that, if it’s engaged, can really be a hugepart of their wellness program. I think psychiatryoften just overlooks that.”Saunders says he feels lucky to have had“fairly democratic doctors” who have in factencouraged and supported his own creativeapproaches to recovery. But he says he’s sometimesappalled when he hears about psychiatriststaking away patients’ rights even to participatein treatment decisions, which he feels can worsena depressed or psychotic person’s sense ofdisempowerment, disengagement, and isolation.“The worst thing for people is to just beput on the shelf.”So while Saunders believes drugs can help,he now believes more strongly in broader“psychosocial rehabilitation” (PSR) approachesto mental health. PSR focuses on providingsocial supports and art, education, work training,and other opportunities that empower peoplein developing their own recovery strategies.“I value support groups, peer support, peer advocacy, peer mentorship,employment,” says Saunders. “I see people coming in out of thecold and finding out that there are ways of coping, there are resourcesthat we who’ve been through these experiences can help others toaccess. You feel less isolated and often more hopeful. Best case is, thelights kind of come on, and you think, ‘Okay, I can cope with this;these people are, and these are good people.’”Saunders description is actually a good explanation of how MovieMonday itself “works” for some people. For example, regular attendeeWayne Cruickshanks has a bipolar diagnosis, and I ask him how he’ddescribe Movie Monday’s films and discussions, especially thoserevolving around mental health issues. “Reassuring. Validatingeach other’s experiences. Learning from each other,” respondsCruickshanks. “It’s really great. I don’t know what we’d do withoutBruce.”Cruickshanks also values how Saunders frequently helps his peersget a leg up in other ways. “He’s very encouraging to our community,”says Cruickshanks. “Once, Bruce invited me to show myphotography…So I had a little slide show before the movie. Thatmeant a lot to me.”All of this is why Saunders says he wishes more mental health professionalswould come out for events like Crisis Call or Open Dialogue.The latter film is about an encouragingly-successful Finnish approachto emergency mental health interventions that involves multi-disciplinaryteams meeting with families in the patient’s home for wideopengroup discussions. Saunders constantly posters in places mentalhealth professionals frequent, and reaches out to many personally.He once even ran a promotional offer of free popcorn for mentalhealth professionals. (“It flopped,” Saunders says, but then promptlypromises free popcorn for any mental health professional who bringsa page of this article to Movie Monday.)“I’ve always felt that there’s a firewall between the professionalmental health system and peer-driven events like Movie Monday,”says Saunders, wondering aloud if many professionals regard MoviePHOTO: TONY BOUNSALL40 June 2013 • FOCUS


Focus presents: Triangle HealingADVERTISEMENTMonday as just an “amusing little sideline” to real treatment. (Psychosocialrehab is actually foundational to most BC “best practices” mentalhealth guides; however, in practice, our mental health system supportsdrug-centred approaches far more than PSR approaches.) To this day,Saunders still encounters Eric Martin staff who don’t even knowMovie Monday exists. “It’s really difficult to find ways actually tointeract with the system. It’s pretty resistant. ‘Treatment resistant,’I think is the term,” says Saunders, deliberately employing the phrasepsychiatric professionals use to describe people who don’t wantpsychiatric drugs.Nevertheless, Saunders doesn’t want to sound complaining so muchas inviting. “I'm interested to have both sides listen to the other side,”he says. “I don’t think we need to be as polarized as we are. And ifwe’re not as polarized, then we might find some central, commonground that would be good for everybody.”THE OPEN DIALOGUE SHOWING in May proves to be a classicMovie Monday event. During the discussion, Saunders names severalmental health professionals he personally invited who haven’t shown—seemingly less to shame them publicly than to reassure interestedaudience members that he hasn’t given up. Nevertheless, the peoplewho are here, ready and open for dialogue, make up what MovieMonday is really all about, and that quickly becomes obvious toeveryone. An invited medical researcher provides her perspectivesof the scientific literature on the techniques described in the film. Adirector of a Vancouver peer-run mental health organization describesthe feedback she heard when presenting the film publicly severaltimes. Saunders finds ways to acknowledge and validate each person’sperspective as audience members variously criticize the film’s amateurishproduction qualities, emphasize the challenges of dealing with peoplewho hear telephone poles talking to them, and hail emergency interventionsthat involve communicating instead of forcibly tranquillizing.A few audience members just seem to want to be heard for whateverthey have to say—and appear genuinely more at peace once they are.Later, chatting by the concession, I ask Bruce’s wife of 39 years,Laurel, what Movie Monday has meant to Bruce, and to their family.“It saved his life,” Laurel summarizes simply.I pick up Movie Monday’s program before I leave. Late May/Juneevents include a documentary about Canada’s genius (and prescriptiondrug-addicted) pianist Glenn Gould, Philip Seymour Hoffmanand Christopher Walken starring in a feature about a psychologicallyderailing string quartet, Victoria’s Uminari Taiko drummers playinglive ahead of a documentary about a Nagasaki-based group of developmentallydisabled drummers, and Movie Monday’s June 17anniversary party accompanied by a film about elite players of Rubik’sCube. The inspired, colourful madness of the line-up makes me laugh,and I imagine a lot of spirits have been lifted here over these pasttwenty years. Perhaps more than one life has been saved.For more information see www.moviemonday.ca or call 250-595-3542.www.focusonline.ca • June 2013Rob Wipond discloses that Bruce Saunders once paidhim $50 to screen Rob’s short, satirical videos, and yes,that may have biased Rob when evaluating MovieMonday’s inclusivity-fun-factor.Getting the most health out of summerSummer is here and while the Island weather may be unpredictable there’s lotsabout the season that is not. We know that the sun will come out, we’ll kickoff our shoes, we’ll be more active—and we’ll need more hydration.The sunshine is an amazing elixir, but it can also be harmful. There’s no betterway to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays, and see with better contrastand definition than Eagle Eye High Performance Eyewear. This groundbreaking technologybegan at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab where protecting the human eye fromsolar radiation is serious business. Eagle Eye is the only lens technology that isapproved by the Space Foundation. Triangle carries a wide range of the latest stylesfor men, women, and children.We’re discovering that essential to achieving and maintaining optimum healthis having a regular connection to the Earth and its energies. When we connect directlywith the Earth's surface, electrons risingfrom its soil enter our bodies and counteractfree radicals and inflammation.And while summer is the best time tokick-off those shoes and get your toesin the sand, we can’t always do that—but the right footwear can. Juil footwearuses copper conductors from the outsolethrough the foot bed to connect youdirectly to the Earth, and it does it withstyle. Triangle carries a wide range ofJuil styles for both men and woman.Staying active throughout thesummer requires pacing yourself andlistening to your body. The summermay seem endless in June, but it getsshort fast if you injure yourself. Warmingup before your work-out or run is essential.Two great options for your warm-up(and work-out) are the BelliconRebounder and the popular Acu Hoopweighted hula hoop. Both add fun toyour routine while getting you startedat a reasonable pace. If you have overdoneit, Phiten Titanium body supportswork with your body’s energy systemto alleviate discomfort, heal quickly,and relieve fatigue—in a 100 percentnon-medicated way. Triangle HealingTop: Eagle Eye High Performance EyewearAbove: Mojanda sandals by Juil footwearcarries a full line of Phiten products including the Titanium bracelets, Power Sleeves,body supports and joint supports.Optimum health requires good hydration. One of the very best ways to hydrateis with structured water. Structured water is what comes down mountain streams.Natural Action Water has created a system that re-structures tap water addingall the benefits that nature’s structured water carries—assisting in both therelease of and the absorption of vitamins and minerals, while eliminating pollutantsand chemicals.Protect your eyes, keep fit, and hydrate—and enjoy the beginning of what wehope will be a great summer ahead.Triangle Healing Products770 Spruce Avenue, Victoria, BC250-370-1818 • www.trianglehealingproducts.comTriangle Healing Products, its owner, its employees do not provide medical advice or treatment. They provide information andproducts that you may choose after evaluating your health needs and in consultation with health professionals of your choosing.41


urbanitiesThe thin air of bonus densityGENE MILLERWhy do we penalize those who are trying to densify the city core?I’m tempted to devote this entire column to the news that while theMcDonald’s on Pandora Avenue and Vancouver Street charges fourcents less for a large coffee, the McDonald’s on Esquimalt Road nearEsquimalt’s Archie Browning Recreation Centre is a masterpiece oftasteful, intimate restaurant decor, especially the leather armchairs andthe booth seating. Yes, leather armchairs, booth seating.The Pandora McDonald’s is straight out of the prison cafeteriariot school of interior design (the “lockdown” look), and evokes AgentSmith’s disgust in The Matrix when he describes humans as a disease,a virus. The beautifully furnished and finished Esquimalt restaurant,however, communicates trust, love of people, belief in the goodness ofthe human community, faith that someday we will overcome our differencesand all be as—Okay, sorry about that. But if you saw the place in Esquimalt youwould rhapsodize, too.I’m trying to get my arms around something elusive and chimericalthis month: air and space—though these words may be just markersfor the real subject: value. I referenced a few months back the City ofVictoria’s roughly two-year-old policy that allows developers in selecteddowntown areas to buy additional project density from the City. Density,you’ll remember, is the ratio of building square footage to site squarefootage. Under this latest formulation, the developer gets added densityabove 3:1 to a cap of 6:1 and the City gets money.As near as I can determine, the City’s case for this bonus densitycharge is that the City, in permitting densities of up to 6:1, is bestowingan unpaid-for benefit upon the developer (“bonus” says worldsabout the City’s mindset); and in doing so, the City has the right tocollect money because it functions like a secondary property owner—not of the “dirt,” but of a volume of space, up in the air. This rendersthe City the notional “owner” of a purely conceptual spatial volumeand, in selling this development entitlement, the practitioner of analchemy that the rest of us can only dream of: commodifying thin air.If the value of land is determined by what you can build on it, thenthis makes the City’s ownership of a spatial volume, as expressed in itsland use policies, a fascinating subject—legally, business-wise, and philosophically.If you don’t mind some smudges on your clothing, comeon down the rabbit hole with me.Cities evolved from simple crossroads origins to become towns andcity-states ruled by an aristocracy and, in time, rough-cut administrativeunits run at first by powerful bosses and mayors. Eventually, a moredemocratically constrained elected leadership emerged. (The phrase“You can’t fight city hall” is believed to have originated in the US in themid-1800s.)Cities exist to frame and manage the very complex living arrangementsof a human community occupying a tightly-bounded geography;to foster opportunity; be the promoters of urban well-being; and behaveas stewards of the future.In such pursuits, cities make budgetary and policy decisions basedeither on common sense; or support for the community’s mood andvalues; or the ghost-lit pursuit of some civic intention or aspiration.Here are some examples of each: Management of a water supply orcharging for downtown parking or installing traffic controls at inter-sections are common sense. Detaining public troublemakers andpreserving public parkland reflect community values. Licensing catsor charging for downtown density over 3:1 are batshit nutty.Oh, sorry, I’m breaking the writer’s omerta by not saving the crazyfor later.So, here’s the thought: Why doesn’t the City zone everything 1:1 andcharge for all additional density? Why not zone residential neighbourhoodsone-storey and charge for the second storey on two-levelhomes? And you say: “Those are the silliest and most preposterous thingsI ever heard!” Oh, and charging for density above 3:1 is what? Solomonic?3:1 says to developers “You can build three times your site area.”6:1 says to developers “You can build six times your site area.” 6:1 witha density bonus charge says “Please, don’t build in Victoria.”Presumably, logic and desire led the City to say okay in the first placeto greater densities. In other words, somebody thought it was a goodidea for some reason, just as other somebodies thought 3:1 was a goodidea at previous times. Though right here might be a good place toremind ourselves that there are a number of pension-age downtownbuildings—the Central Building, 612 View, Belmont Building, DogwoodBuilding, Sayward Building and the Yarrow Building, for example—with densities approaching and in some cases exceeding 6:1, all ofwhich were put up umpteen years ago without bonus density charges,and all of which were seen in their day to be making a positivecontribution to the downtown. In spite of these historic precedents,wise heads in today’s Victoria believe that a density of 6:1 is a developer’swindfall, and that the City is entitled to capture most of it. Whatit says as social subtext is that developers are sociopathic and criminallyinsane and must be punished for their ambitions.Let’s turn to an obvious but as-yet-unasked question: Why did theCity raise the density cap to 6:1 in the first place? Surely, the Cityconcluded that higher density buildings might result in more peopleworking and living in and around downtown—a good thing. If thiswas the City’s principal motivation, why aren’t those presumed beneficialeconomic and social outcomes (and downstream property taxrevenue) quid pro quo enough? And why wouldn’t the City turn a blindeye to a developer windfall (more theoretical than real, anyway) to getdeveloper juices flowing?The City was for several years getting a strong message from the developmentindustry that given downtown Victoria’s high land costs, densitiesgreater than 3:1 would enhance project viability. The City was also awarethat many developers of downtown projects were using the cumbersomerezoning process to achieve densities in the range of 5:1; and thatdowntown area property owners were pricing their property on theassumption that 5:1 was a slam-dunk via rezoning. Old expectations ofvalue die hard, of course, and even with the City’s new bonus densitypolicy, property owners have hardly backed off their earlier asking prices.So, when the City stacks bonus density charges on top of a propertyowner’s price expectations, the essential rationale for greater densityfalls apart and turns into an invitation principally to take on the greaterrisks of attempting to sell or lease bigger buildings.And last, there is an argument floating around out there that the Cityneeds to charge this bonus simply as a “gimme” because it needs new42 June 2013 • FOCUS


Downtown amenities; and our underground infrastructure is oldand at capacity; and greater density puts more pressure on infrastructure,so developers should make a contribution to improving/increasingthat capacity. Leaving aside the mind-bending circularity of that thinking,why then wouldn’t the City make any and every new development paya bonus, regardless of density, since every development adds pressure;and further, isn’t infrastructure-upgrading precisely what the City issupposed to be doing within its franchise, with its normal tax revenuesthrough the annual budgeting process?In consideration of all of these circumstances, what exactly explainsthe City mordida from new projects seeking densities greater than 3:1?Well, first, the present bonus density payment program is meant torationalize a previous horse-trading system in which developers exchangedaffordable housing units, public art or contributions to the City’s affordablehousing fund for greater density. Folks thought that system lackedtransparency and was open to developer abuse. (Can you believe that?)Second, other cities do it—justifying such charges against high civicprocessing costs, when in fact it’s just the City saying to developers:“Hey, if you’re trying to max your building density, we must be doingsomething right, so share.” Third, the City needs the dough, and it’scheaper for the industry to pay than take the City to court.Of course, this is Victoria, so there are also “dark side” explanationsfor the bonus density policy: first, that it picks up on strong antidensity/anti-heightsentiment in Victoria and by “punishing” developerswith a surcharge tosses a bone to the folks who believe those higherdensities threaten Victoria’s character and really should not be permittedunder any circumstances; second, that by imposing bonus density costs,the City plays to the values of the single-family house-owning “urbanaristocracies” of James Bay, Fairfield and elsewhere. Such values—callit the “Victoria lifestyle premium”—percolate into City land use policyand drive up property and housing costs in the core.Funny how Victoria’s land use policies are trapped in this murk ofliving contradiction, a dreamscape, a social mystery in which the amenitiesand nostalgic charm of an intransigent past and the needs andimperatives of an urgent present battle for validation.Maybe we should modify the old axiom to give it local relevance:“You can’t comprehend city hall.”Gene Miller, founder of Open Space Cultural Centre, MondayMagazine and the Gaining Ground Conferences, is currentlywriting Massive Collaboration: Stories That Divide Us, StoriesThat Bind Us and The Hundred-Mile Economy: Preparing ForLocal Life.SPRING SALE20-80% off storewideBEST OF BOTHWORLDSIMPORTS AND DESIGN2713 QUADRA (AT HILLSIDE)250.386.8325WWW.BESTOFBOTHWORLDSIMPORTS.COMwww.focusonline.ca • June 201343


Voices from the broken landnatural relationsBRIONY PENNThree Peace River residents talk about the changes they’re seeing as resource extraction ramps up.“The feeling you get up here is that the Peaceregion is the sacrificial lamb for bailing outthe economic troubles of the province. For manypeople, we are out of sight, so out of mind.But even people in industry up here are thinking:‘this is getting crazy.’”This is the message that local Peace Rivervalley farmer Ken Boon wants peoplein the capital region to hear. Decisionsabout the Peace will be made in Victoria, yetmany local residents and First Nations don’tsense that urban British Columbians are hearingtheir voices over the clamour of LNG boosters,political fear-mongering about job losses, andcorporate ad campaigns.The craziness that Boon describes involvesthe rapid, aggressive changes to the landbrought on by accelerated logging, mining,conventional oil and gas development, fracking,water withdrawals, pipeline stream crossings,large-scale hydro development (e.g.W.A.C. Bennett Dam and Site C), urbanconversion and windfarms. Three years ago,the Chiefs of Doig, West Moberly, Prophetand Halfway First Nations in this region askedthat a full cumulative impact assessment bedone before any more development. The BCLiberals did nothing, so, in conjunction withthe David Suzuki Foundation and GlobalForest Watch Canada, a mapping project wasinitiated to determine the extent of the damagealready done.When the mapped footprints of each ofthese land uses are overlaid wth each other,and the zone of influence of these changes onwildlife populations is calculated, over twothirdsof the region is what Dane-zaa elderMay Apsassin calls “broken” country for wildlifeand the communities that rely on them. In twoof the five watersheds of this region, thepercentage of broken country is over 90 percent.The final map provides a graphic portrayal ofthis broken country.I interviewed three people from the Peaceto get a sense of what it’s like to live in theregion. The first is May Apsassin, an elderfrom the Doig First Nation. Her territory isin the most heavily damaged, eastern part ofthe region. From the air it is a ragged patchworkof seismic lines, wells, and fracturedfields. Industry tenures wallpaper the region,often overlapping. If the proposed LNG developmentsand the associated flooding of thePeace River for the Site C dam project proceeds,the impacts are set to triple in a region thatis already besieged.May Apsassin is a Dane-zaa oral historianwith extensive knowledge and experiences ofthe Gat Tah Kwa (“Where Happiness Dwells”)region: “Now today we see so much oil-rig,roads, logging—everything they destroy inour hunting area. What about all these animalsliving in the bush? What do they think?“In 1950, there is no oil-rig. We are poorbut no oil-rig, and we were happy and ouranimals are safe in their home. They weren’trun over on the road. The other day we comeback from town and we see dead mooseand her calf on road and not too far anotherdead one on the road…We are getting lowon the moose…“I talk to other elders. They feel very hurtabout oil-rig, road, logging. It is destroyingfor these animals. What about owl? Whatabout eagle? We never see eagle who is specialto us. What they do is kill them on the road.“Towards my area, there are a lot of placesthat I know with berries—high-bush cranberries,low-bush and blueberries—and they pullup berries where they put these rigs and wells.I think about all these berries that we use. Mygrandpa, chief of Doig, used to say: ‘Thereis lots of medicine there.’ I share my feelingswith my younger elders in Doig. How do youpeople feel about these things? They say: It isno good but they fool our family with a littleof the green paper. They pay a little but thengo out and do all those things.”Ken and Arlene Boon are farmers and loghome builders in the Peace River Valley: “Inthis country we are just getting lambasted fromevery direction. It is unreal what is going onhere. We farm in the Peace Valley which wecan’t emphasize enough is a unique place. Togive you a sense of what that means, whenevera massive spring storm hits, the songbirdsall show up in our fields because it is the onlylow elevation land with a milder microclimate.We will have bare ground down here and uptop, they’ll be under eight inches of snow.There were so many songbirds last winter, thetraffic on the Highway 29, which goes throughour place, had to slow down for them. This isthe valley they want to flood for Site C—theonly low elevation valley! Where will thewildlife go? Where will the farmers go?“With all the new roads, lines and pads, wedon’t even recognize some areas anymore.Two pipeline crossings are proposed, one justabove us—big pipelines, 42 inches that willend up in Alberta. Then there is shale gasextraction, which is marching closer everyday. The increase in industrial traffic is alreadyphenomenal on Highway 29; huge convoysgoing by of fracking and drilling equipmentand the chemicals going into the wells thatyou know are having an impact in wildernessareas. If LNG goes ahead, this will triple theimpact. I can’t imagine what this country isgoing to look like in 20 years.“Technology has got way ahead of the sciencein an environmental sense. We already have16,000 holes punched in the ground and wedon’t know what the existing impacts are tothe groundwater. Who is monitoring thedisposal wells where they dump the toxicwastewater? As a farmer you know that watergoes from high country to low country sowhen you fracture, bad water can travel togood. Then what about the quantity of waterused, which once it goes into the frackingprocess, you are saying good-bye to it forever?“We are asking for monitoring and a comprehensiveland use plan. We are like mushroomsin the dark. We hear rumours, like wells beingcontaminated or companies paying hush money,but by the time you find out about these problemsit’s too late. The crazy thing is this activityis mostly speculative and dependent on LNGgoing ahead.”Art Napoleon is the former chief of theSaulteau Band, a musician, and broadcaster,whose home territory is a shared territory ofSaulteau and West Moberly of the Upper andLower Moberly watershed: “Hunting as a wayof life is dying. There is no polite language forit. It is dying, not because of our desires; it isthe reality of what’s happening, which is devastating.I have had to turn off my ‘feelers’ becauseI can’t look at it and simply accept it. To us itis not Crown land; it is the land we were raisedon, our ‘multi-purpose institution’ that we44 June 2013 • FOCUS


O’Malley’sGreenscapesCertified HorticulturistPeace River country: increasing conflicts between resource-based interests and long-time residentswww.focusonline.ca • June 2013went on to get this and that, depending on theseason—huckleberry or bull moose seasons—now you just can’t do it. The land feels dead,as if there is no life. It may not be the case, butthat is what it looks like and feels like—likethe spirit of the land is injured, or on its lastlegs. There are no more tracks or much interactionand many of the animals that were onceall over the place are hard to find.“When I was 15 it was called ‘wild country.’You only got so far by road and then it waswild and you continued on horse. You had towatch out for grizzlies and wolves would bearound. Now it is: ‘I wonder if we’ll see anything.’After three days of hunting last year, we foundone skinny yearling moose.“It was really noticeable last summer; thehunt really went downhill quite drastically. Itis largely because of the huge clearcuts of beetlekill forest that did not have to meet any codes,because they say the only way to get rid of itis to clearcut. So the moose have no cover andnumbers are down. The oil wells are gettingcloser to the ‘rez’ [reserve]. Some of the traditionalhunting sites have already been decimatedby oil wells, flare pits and seismic lines. Thereare a lot of proposed coal mines up JohnsonCreek. They would build a road so that throughtrafficwould be created directly from PrinceGeorge on the back roads. That wouldcompletely open it up even more, yet it isalready devastated.“Seismic lines start getting used as wildlifetravel corridors. If you have a few it’s not sobad, but when they are everywhere the traditionalland users know there is an impact. It iseasier for the wolves to get around. Old wildlifetrails are kind of useless now. Some of themused to lead us to traditional hunting campspots but we don’t use them anymore; it doesn’tmake any sense. Following those trails you’llcome across a new road with heavy trafficcutting across it and you say, ‘Oh shit, I mightas well have drove here.’ It makes no senseto ride anymore, so people have stopped usinghorses. There is a lot of traffic and it isn’t ourprivate playground anymore. The communitiesneed to be patrolling, but people are afraidthat they’ll be hassled. You’re sharing it withall these strangers who don’t have the sameconnection to it that you do. Some of thosepeople vandalize it. They see a cabin and theyburn it down or steal from it. Not to mentionirresponsible hunters who shoot at anything.“Pre-dam, the caribou herds were huge androamed freely. The dam cut off the migrationroute and other factors diminished the numbersto the point that they are considered endangered.They don’t hang out in the places theyused to. People never got compensation for theold flood, yet they want to proceed with a newflood. It is unjust. That whole beautiful valleywould be put underwater and the road wouldbe put around it into some beautiful country.“It is just more loss of land, loss of calvingareas of the moose and pristine farmland—A1 agricultural land. It could be one of BC’sfruit baskets. The fish are already all contaminatedby mercury, so it is just going to continue.Moberly, that river of ours, could back up aways and become more stagnant than it isalready. The water could flow backwards forsome distance; it will be higher with morebackwaters. All the wildlife will be impacted.“It is dangerous to say that it is too latebecause it is an argument the industries willjump on: ‘Well if it is destroyed anyway, wearen’t adding additional damage.’ That willprobably be one of their tactics. It is a finebalance to show that we still use the land, butit is pretty hard to still use the land.”For the complete atlas of land cover, industrialland uses and industrial-caused landchanges in the Peace region see http://davidsuzuki.org/publications/reports.Briony Penn PhD has beenreporting on the environmentsince her first article inThe Islander in 1975 on Garryoak meadows and has beena columnist in Victoria publicationssince 1993.GARDEN SERVICES• pruning• bed tending• lawn maintenance• what have youBryan O’Malley250.389.1783Jaw Problems?CranioSacral Therapy helps!“What had begun as acute, localized pain in my jawhad become a chronic pain reaching out to include otherareas of the head, neck, and shoulders. In only threesessions with Jane, I found total lasting relief from thisworrisome condition known as TMJ.” — Lynn HarveyJane O’Keeffe StewartCertified CranioSacral &Hellerwork Practitioner250-661-6409Jane@Vitalbodyhealing.comAlso helps with whiplash, sciatica, vertigo, headacheshandmade giftsfrom local woodsHeartwood Studiobowls and spoons, wooden utensils,urns, lamps and moreVisit the artist in his studio or online:250-746-5480www.heartwoodstudio.caAlso available at Eclectic Gallery 2170 Oak Bay Ave45


finding balanceAgeing gracefullyTRUDY DUIVENVOORDEN MITICMost of us are lucky enough to be able to choose our health destiny.Afew months ago theCanadian Heart andStroke Foundation releasedan ad that’s both jarring andprofound. On a split screen thevideo streams two very differentscenarios for life in the senioryears—one from the vantage pointof robust health and the otherfrom the chronic sickbed. “Whatwill your last ten years look like?”asks the narrator as the actor lacesup his runners in the left screenbut struggles his foot into a slipperon the right. “Will you grow oldwith vitality or get old with disease?”Wheels roll across the screen, thoseof the actor’s bicycle on the leftand his wheelchair on the right.Dinner on the left happens at tablewith family over a glass of wine;on the right the actor is in hishospital bed, unable to lift a styrofoamcup without help.“It’s time to decide,” the narratorsays grimly.I think of this ad in the chillyminutes before starting my secondTimes-Colonist 10K run. It’s notyet 8:00 am and the skies aresulking, but more than 12,000 participants have gathered downtownand are buzzing with excitement. I’m surrounded by beautiful bodiesof all ages, shapes and sizes. Giant speakers thump out a warm-upnumber and hundreds of balloons bob impatiently on the breeze. Thenwe begin surging forward and suddenly the start line appears underfoot.The race is on.In many ways society is making it increasingly difficult to connect thedots between lifestyle and health, especially lifestyle today and healthtomorrow. Messages like the one from the Heart and Stroke Foundationare drowned out by a million opposing sound bites that would haveus choose convenience—blowing rather than raking leaves, for instance,and tasty packaged pseudo-food over whole foods that require a bitmore prep work. We have become a people who drive everywhere anddo everything sitting down. When faced with a health ailment, we findit easier to choose a quick medical fix over a long-term lifestyle change.But on this late-April Sunday morning Victoria belongs to the runnersand we are a river of energy flowing up Johnson Street, past trafficlights momentarily stripped of their jurisdiction but flashing defiantlynonetheless. Imagine a permanent, pedestrian-only corridorthrough the city that would pay dividends to both health and the environmentevery time it was used. Imagine doing all your errands andsocializing on foot, and then being healthier for it at the end of the day.Healthcare has become a huge,unsustainable industry in thisprovince: It employs 10 percentof our workforce and this yearwill cost us almost $17 billion,about 42 percent of the provincialbudget. And still it can’t seemto stop the steady erosion of populationhealth; in fact it probablyinadvertently contributes todeclining health by siphoning fromthe budgets of other initiativesthat play less direct but equallycrucial roles in keeping peoplehealthy. Think affordable housing,after-school sports and safer roadsfor pedestrians and cyclists.The breeze picks up as we turnonto Dallas Road and now ourchatter gives way to measuredbreathing. We’re on a long gradualhill and the halfway point is stillahead but the pipers, percussionistsand rock bands help boost theadrenalin that carries us along.Well-wishers cheer and the OlympicMountains are magnificent. NearMile 8, a rainbow suddenly appearsover the water.It must be tough to be a healthcareprovider, to tend to an unending queue of people who are mostlyafflicted with the same preventable sufferings. While fate can be crueland is mum on what’s in store for us as individuals, reputable researchshows that 80 percent of cardiovascular disease and 50 percent ofcancer cases are preventable. Type 2 diabetes need not happen at all.The major risk factors for all these miseries are the same: Smoking,a sedentary lifestyle, overeating, poor food choices and a contaminatedenvironment.I’m grateful for the finish line when it appears. And I’m thankfulfor the safety net of excellent medical care in this province. But Ialso realize that, barring some catastrophe, the long-term state ofmy health depends far more on me than on medication and the healthcareindustry. Any vision I have for my senior years must start withchoices I make today.ILLUSTRATION: APRIL CAVERHILLTrudy Duivenvoorden Mitic salutes her running buddyand all-around source of inspiration, Willa, as well asillustrator April Caverhill who’s busy creating the dazzlingoutfit she will wear for the Goddess Run in early June(supporting four local charities). On Father’s Day, June16, there’s a run/walk at Royal Roads to raise funds forThe Prostate Centre of Victoria.46 June 2013 • FOCUS


Leading edge dentistryDown to Earth dentists• General & Cosmetic• Minimal exposuredigital X-rays& 3-D imaging• Invisalign orthodontics• Affordable implantplacement• IV sedation• Non-invasive laserdentistry• All ages welcome250.384.8028www.myvictoriadentist.ca#220 - 1070 Douglas St(TD Bank Bldg)Dr. Benjamin Bell & Dr. SuAnn Ngwww.focusonline.ca • June 201347

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines