Posts Written OnJune 2015

In 2002, Mandy-Rae Cruickshank stopped breathing for more than six minutes. Instead of CPR, she was given a trophy. For nearly a decade, the 41-year-old Campbell River woman was among the pre-eminent female competitors in the extreme sport of freediving. She held seven world records, including a 136-metre (447-foot) ocean dive that made her the world’s deepest woman. All of it without a single oxygen tank. “It not only frees you from all the equipment that you have on, but you feel a lot more free in the water, like you belong there,” said Mandy-Rae. “I’ve been deeper now on…

Many artists produce work designed to shock, provoke, challenge, titillate or cause viewers to question their values or perceptions. Jill Paris Rody just wants you to relax. “Her art is tremendously atmospheric,” said Ken Blackburn, a fellow artist and head of Campbell River Art Gallery. “I find it emotional, almost dreamlike.” Which is not to say Paris Rody lives sequestered away, living an ethereal existence while churning out colourful canvases. This is a woman with a very real presence in the community. For every hour she spends creating her own paintings, Paris Rody devotes essentially the same time to teaching…

Industry Hair and Body Care is more than just a salon. It’s a family. And while owner Sam Hubbard’s six-year-old daughter Elle may be a frequent visitor to the hair studio, the family extends well beyond her own flesh and blood, to her co-workers straight on down to her clients. From the moment you walk through the front doors, you’re made to feel like family. Following a tour and a thorough lay of the land, the salon is yours to discover. “Make yourself at home,” Hubbard says. That’s after you’ve been warmly greeted at reception, given a glass of champagne…

It starts one morning in late June. The far off buzzing of chainsaws. And it can mean only one thing, the Transformations on the Shore carving competition has begun at Frank James Park in Willow Point, in Campbell River’s southern end. It’s Campbell River’s premier summer event that draws chainsaw carvers from all over British Columbia, other parts of Canada, the United States and even Europe for a friendly competition. It’s technically a competition but the atmosphere is relaxed and more cooperative than competitive, even though – or maybe because – there are a range of levels from novice to…

Popcorn the albino Burmese, Elsa the savannah monitor, Mr. Pinchy the scorpion, Harvey Dent the bearded dragon, and Stickers the crested gecko. You’d be forgiven for thinking that sounds like someone’s Beanie Babies collection, but it’s not. While they may be full of beans, they’re living, breathing reptiles that are a part of Jennifer Lestage’s family. The young entrepreneur has amassed approximately 60 animals and they all live with her in her home. Lestage has about 40 snakes, ranging from Western hognose to boa constrictors to pythons. She has a collection of lizards – skinks, bearded dragons and water dragons…

Severin Pederson looks like Orianah’s best friend in the world as she rests her big head on Pederson’s chest while her long black mane runs down over her eyes. Pederson has just led the Arabian mare around the ring, successfully had her cross a grounded wooden bridge and walk over a loud, crinkly tarp. Just two weeks ago, Orianah was nervous, unsure, had the odd tendency to rear and wasn’t too keen on the tarp. But after a few sessions with ‘the horse whisperer’ as some of his clients refer to him, she’s showing vast signs of improvement. Pederson has…

Facebook group finds, posts and searches for lost animals A  Facebook group in Campbell River is utilizing the speed of the internet, the connectivity of social media and the power of word of mouth to make the community safe for lost dogs and other animals. “It took a little while to catch on but once it did…” said Nikki Watts, one of the administrators of Lost And Found Animals of Campbell River. It started back in 2012 when Megan Bereskin saw a “quite thin and straggly” dog wandering around the airport for quite a few weeks. “I love animals and would…

It all began when a little 12-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis (CF) sent a letter asking a big hockey player for help. “I said ‘I am Kim and I have CF and this is what we’re hoping to do,’” said Kim Wood. Cystic Fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disease affecting Canadian children and young adults. It is a multi-system disease that affects mainly the lungs and the digestive system. What she was hoping to do, was have Rod Brind’Amour,  at that time a player on the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers, come back to his home town and boost a…