by Esther Dyck
HAVE YOU HEARD? - You are invited to a commoners party on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at the Rainbow Room, Rodmay Hote from 7:00—10:00 pm. Admission is free, but donations are gladly welcome.
The Chamber of Commoners (not to be confused with the Powell River Chamber of Commerce) is the heart of Powell River. Our community, non-profit, and other people-based groups are coming together to talk with each other and to exchange information and views in an informal setting. The Chamber of Commoners is a social gathering, not a meeting. Join us!
SNACKS PROVIDED. CASH BAR - WINE AND BEER
Door Prizes! Organization Speed Dating! Catch up with everyone all at once!
All interested groups & individuals are welcome to attend and share your activities and ideas.
Please RSVP as soon as possible to firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a limit to the room occupancy and space is filling up!
We would love to see you there!
Chamber of Commoners FAQ
Why are we the Chamber of “Commoners”?
In old England land shared by all in the community who needed it was called “the commons.” Those who used it were “commoners.” Today, the commons refers to all things we share: music sports, visual arts, media, land and public services.
Who is sponsoring this event?
One advantage of the diverse horizons and backgrounds in Powell River is the possibility of open cultural exchange.
The new Powell River Diversity Initiative (PRDI) starts this year in creative and exciting ways to make Powell River an even more welcoming and inclusive place to live and visit.
During the next five months, the Powell River Employment Program Society kicks off a series of fun events where people of all ages, both long-term residents and newcomers, can share their stories in a variety of ways.
At a potluck dinner in March, families will enjoy a great movie on a theme that will encourage sharing their own stories and experiences. In April, teenagers will be invited to express themselves at their own chili dinner and a movie.
PRDI plans to collect culturally diverse recipes, with their accompanying stories, from interested community members at these events and elsewhere. This “Community Secret Recipe Book” will then be published!
An art exhibit, the “There and Here Art Show”, will be the PRDI’s culminating event in May. Community members can display their paintings, collages, prose and poetry, and photography depicting their cultural homeland or scenes of their current habitat in Powell River.
The PRDI team invites everybody in the community to take part in this “cultural exchange.” If all work together, this project will be a delicious success, a feast for all the senses! If you have a secret recipe that you dare to share with PRDI and the whole community, please call Miyuki or Vincent at (604) 485-2675 or send an email to email@example.com
The PREPS received funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development for this project.
The Open Cultural Exchange Project team is excited to participate in this great diversity project with all of you!
—Miyuki Kamiya, Assistant Coordinator, PRDI
by Eva van Loon
Growing out of the International Peace-Poem Society which began in Hawaii in 1996, the new International Peace-Poem Walkers’ Association (IPPWA) chose as its motto, “Peace and poetry at a human pace.”
The idea of IPPWA is to walk the International Peace Poem--just parts of it, as the whole thing is now over 90,000 lines in length--from one community to the next and to take part in peace-related activities at each destination.
The purposes of the new society include public education about peace and peace-building, as well as publication and promotion of peace poetry. Initial directors are Allan Brown, Randy Pinchbeck, Barb Rees, Lyla Smith, and Eva van Loon.
IPPWA takes on the sponsorship of the Youth Peace-Poem Competition and the publication of the PRIPPA annual anthology of winning poems from that competition.The Live Poets’ Guild, who started the Competition in 2008, will continue to co-ordinate both activities.
The Competition ends with an Awards Ceremony, April 8 at the Max Cameron Theatre, with poetry, lyrics and music. Well known singer-songwriter Valdy will conduct a song-writing workshop and perform with some of the Competition’s participants.
IPPWA welcomes new members and look forward to public support and ideas from the public for showcasing the ideals of peace and poetry.
Kat’s Meow means the voice of Katherine Ray, present owner of what seasoned PRites remember as “Wilshire’s” store, will soon be heard as a community builder. This new stage is a venue for people to express their art, music and passions to the accompaniment of good food and drink.
Katherine’s favorite job of all time was floor director for Celebrations Dinner Theatre and, armed with that experience and a degree in English and history, she wants to produce plays about Powell River and its environs in historical context. “Instead of ‘Crackberry’, let’s stimulate the rebirth of Cranberry as a healthy neighborhood, vibrant with new and old denizens involved in small-business development, proliferation of the arts, and green growth,” she says.
Starting about mid-March, stop in early in the morning for a delicious new breakfast menu and great coffee. Featured throughout the day will be exceptional homemade soups, Jeannie’s homemade chocolates, cereals, baking, and desserts.
March 20 promises “sexcitement” with the 3rd annual Erotica Show filling not only Cat’s Meow but Katherine’s place next door, Salon 6766. Very popular in its first two years, this year’s version will rock Cranberry with art, sculpture, and such whimsies as erotic baking.
Powell River Live Poets’ Guild will meet at the Kat’s Meow March 24 and 31 from five p.m. to seven. Bring your own or others’ poetry, or just a listening ear. This is a supportive rather than critical group--it meets to have fun!
April 8, poet Hilary Peach, the founder of the highly successful Poetry Gabriola event, brings her musical poetry show “Suitcase Local”, all about the adventures of a traveling woman boilermaker in the small towns of Canada and America. The following evening, April 9, Kat’s Meow will welcome a musical performance whose identity she cannot yet confirm, but will be well worth pencilling into your calendar. Read more »
by Caitlin Bryant
ON THE BILL IN 2010: The exhibition is taking shape. Here’s a small taste of what to expect.
We will, of course, have our usual bar with bubbles, beer, wine and martinis.Jeannie Keays will be cooking up some aphrodisiacal, erotica-inspired, gourmet handmade chocolates. The sexy Manzanita oyster bar will be open for business, serving up oysters naked or sauced, with everyone’s favorite shucker, Al, and his special, yet-to-be-announced helper. Robert Scott Macmillan (www.central-nervous-system.ca) will be showing many new paintings this year. He will also give a debut performance of songs from his “black catalogue”, songs about love, deception and other blues.
EXHIBITION: Saturday March 20, 7.30pm—12:30am $5 suggested donation… must be 19 or older. VENUE: We are moving this year! Find us in the space soon to be known as The Kat’s Meow Café at 6762 Cranberry Street (the old Wilshire’s Store). This venue now boasts a stage, great wall space, sexy vibes, and an xxx long bar. PREVIOUSLY: A huge thank you to our friends in Townsite who welcomed us with enthusiasm and lots of helping hands. Join us up the hill this year!Passia Pandora (www.crimsonqueengallery.com) is one very exciting guest contributor who’ll be showing a large body of work. Her professionally framed photographs will also be for sale and, lucky for us, Passia offers lower prices for those choosing to buy directly from a show ($180.00 for framed and matted 11x18 prints). As usual, so much more comes out of the woodwork in the month leading up to the show! Keep your eyes peeled and ears to the ground!
Documentary-film lovers will have their fill in the 2010 collection at the Powell River Film Festival. As well as the films featured on Thursday and Friday, the Saturday program will be a full one, with lots of community participation and a light lunch available to tide you over.
HomeGrown, directed by Robert McFalls, introduces the Dervaes family who, on their urban homestead on 1/5 of an acre, have honed their intensive cultivation practices, increasing output to 6000 pounds of produce annually.
by Connie Polman Tuin
With its Employment Services program, Powell River Association for Community Living (PRACL) supports adults with developmental disabilities with all aspects of employment; career development, job search and training, or supporting independence on the job.
It’s important to match the right person to the job. Our skill- and interest-assessments maximize the chances of successful placement, for both client and employer. Employers benefit by gaining valuable employees; clients benefit by acquiring meaningful employment. There are no guarantees, but our placement-success rate far surpasses the failure rate.Employment Services supports employers, too, by offering free job coaches to assist and train new employees. The goal of our long-term commitment to successful placement is on-the-job support for employees by both co-workers and employer. For employers who have difficulty thinking of where to place someone, our service will come to the business and assist in identifying opportunities. For example, we asked one business what was not being done in the store. Management provided a list of items; then we put a job description together, customised for a particular client. That employee has worked there for five years, loving every minute. Customising benefits clients who need jobs designed specifically to their skills and abilities. While they are expected, as is any employee, to do a good job and to value that job, customising acknowledges that some people may not meet the entire job description but, with a little customising, can fulfill the job.
by Corey Matsumoto
When a community’s overall health and well-being is evaluated, the strength and diversity of its local economy trumps all other factors. A community that can’t provide jobs is likely not going to keep its population. Likewise, a community consisting only of large corporate stores like Walmart, Canadian Tire, and Shoppers’ Drug Mart won’t inspire the return of tourists, who likely have exactly the same scenery at home.
A diverse, thriving local economy bustles with unique owner-operated businesses—clothing shops, delis, bakeries, cafes, shoemakers, artisans, bike shops, hardware stores, gardening centers, furniture repair shops—each with a variety of products to offer. The big-box economy that Powell River is moving towards, although attractive to thrifty consumers (I admit to being one of them), places all such shops under one roof, condensing the workforce while killing variety and service. If you’ve ever compared a shoe-shopping experience between Canadian Tire and Pagani’s, for example, you know what I mean.
Worst of all, once big-box-store economy succeeds in total domination of the markets by using its massive buying power, putting small businesses out of business, the sky could be the limit for pricing. I believe this is the Big Box end-strategy that thrifty consumers fail to foresee. As a North American society, we’re selling out our local small businesses for short-term gain—just as we’ve already done to many of our natural resources.
It is, therefore, vitally important to support our local small businesses whenever possible, even if it means paying slightly higher prices for the goods we need
The key to a thriving local business economy is simply a community that supports it. The question is, Does the general public realise the importance of supporting local small business? Furthermore, do they realise how hard it is for small business to compete with the big-box stores? Read more »
by David Parkinson
For those of us opposing prevailing forces in society, it sometimes feels as though we toil in obscurity. To work to preserve the environment, create a more just food system, alleviate poverty, or further any number of worthy causes is to work against the grain of a culture consumed with consuming. It takes a sort of willful attention-deficit disorder to tear one’s eyes away from the media and political spectacles to begin to see the dim outline of a world shaped around more human values.
As the whole shaky structure begins to crack, though, we need to look for ways to engage people who lose faith in the world that has been handed to them. People need hope, assurance, that they are more able to take charge of life than parents, teachers, political leaders, and the TV have led them to believe.
Simple things are what we need more than anything else: the faith that we are part of a world which offers a decent life for all creatures; the hope that things are getting better, not worse; and charity, not in the sense of scraps of wealth doled out to the pitiful poor, but in the sense of caritas, a widespread recognition that we all have roughly the same needs and wants and that we need to show basic kindness to others, especially those who suffer more than we do.
We so easily allow ourselves to be distracted by the apparent complexities of the world, losing sight of the easy things we can do to make life less painful for others. We look to Victoria, Ottawa or even further for great authority figures to supply solutions. So we imagine that we care and that we are passionate about solving the problems of the world, while conveniently letting ourselves off the hook for doing the actual legwork. Read more »