Old Words, New Post

I wrote this short text last year, as a submission to Rupert Writes 2011. It is the right length for a blog post, was inspired by one of the most beautiful spots around here, and I have tons of pictures to illustrate it. Done deal!!!

Raising Awareness

Kasiks River, August 14th, 2010

Canoe poling

Beautiful Kasiks Rive

It must have been the warmest day of the summer on the Northwest Coast of British Columbia. I could imagine people in Prince Rupert complain that it was way too hot. But we didn’t mind the warmth; we were having lunch on the shore of the Kasiks River, alternating between devouring our food, sun bathing on the beautiful beach, and diving in the frigid waters.

Swimming in the frigid waters

As I was recovering from a brain freeze, Amanda,* sitting on the sandy beach with her friend Debby,* was telling Dan* and I about her participation on Prince Rupert’s Dragon Boat team for the summer. I suddenly got interested. Canoeing on the Kasiks River that day was so much fun. What if I was able to paddle every week? “How did you get on the team?,” I asked Amanda, already picturing myself cruising the Harbour in the huge canoe. “Well, she said, survivors get priority, and then the team recruits new members as needed.” “Survivors,” I laughed.

Nobody else laughed. Through my laughter, I could see everybody’s puzzled, almost horrified, faces. “So priority is given to returning members who survived last year’s training?,” I continued, still laughing but feeling strangely awkward. Relief suddenly replaced horror in my friends’ faces. And as Amanda spoke up, shame suddenly replaced amusement on my own face: “Actually, priority is given to breast cancer survivors.”

End of a wonderful trip

And this is how, on this extremely warm day of August 2010, while taking a break from a wonderful canoe trip on the Kasiks River, I learned about the commitment of Dragon Boat’s participants to raise awareness about breast cancer among the public.

And I am now proud to say that in the summer of 2011, you will see me paddling on the Prince Rupert Harbour, along eight breast cancer survivors and about 20 of their supporters, “to promote and raise the level of breast cancer awareness”** and “honour the memory of those unable to take up the paddle.”**

Prince Rupert's Rainbow Warriors in Nanaimo, BC

Dragon Boat, Nanaimo, July 2011


* Pseudonyms.

** Welcome Aboard: Prince Rupert Rainbow Warriors Dragon Boat Society Orientation Package.

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Posted by on February 25, 2012 in Uncategorized


Coming down the mountain

A glass of wine, hazelnut waferinis, and an idea of something to write about… There are worst places to be.
There are also worst places than the place where I spend the afternoon today. Just a few hours ago, I was coming down Shames Mountain. I was the last one to get on the lift at the end of the day, so I ended up totally alone on the hill for that last run. While looking around at the magnificent landscape, I couldn’t resist opening my arms wide to embrace this immensity, this beautiful place that I live in.

I was going to write about being alone, solitude, and spending time with oneself. But after spending this day at Shames Mountain, I feel more drawn to write about community and cooperation.
Today was the opening day of Shames Mountain as a cooperatively owned ski hill. Many months – 2 years in fact – in the making, it finally got a new go at life this morning at 9am. When I got there early in the afternoon, the parking lots were full. Some people were even parked on the road leading up to the chalet. The pride was palpable. And for good reasons. After months of talks about Shames Mountain potentially not reopening this season – or ever – if the Co-op was unable to purchase the hill, Co-op members were finally able to ski on the… sorry I meant THEIR… hill today.
As a Co-op member myself, I felt privileged to live in a place where people were able to get together and to gather the money necessary to cooperatively purchase this gem. Ski hills I have visited in the past were overly commercialized, lacked individuality and belonged to non-local share holders. According to the Friends of Shames website, “MMC (My Mountain Co-op) is Canada’s first non-profit ski community co-operative.” Now, that is definitely something to be proud of!


Posted by on December 17, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Posted by on March 28, 2011 in Uncategorized