Posts Written OnDecember 2015

NVIATS helps North Island First Nations people overcome obstacles to employment There’s no better feeling for North Vancouver Island Aboriginal Training Society (NVIATS) staff than helping people who have given up hope. That opinion comes from Sherry Simms, who has worked at NVIATS for 18 years, as manager since 2011. “I think the most satisfying is when you have someone who walks in your door who won’t lift his head to look in your eyes,” she says in an interview. “When they come back after being there for a week or two and they’re smiling and they want to be…

Local kickboxer one of the best in the world at his sport Chase Ingalls is a three-time world kickboxing champion, the current B.C. Men’s champion, Canadian champion and North American champion. The 23 year-old has been into martial arts, “since I taught him how to do a front kick at the age of three,” his father Jodey laughs, but he only started “taking it seriously” about eight years ago. Jodey owns and operates Pure Martial Arts on Pier Street, where Chase also instructs the next generation of athletes when he’s not actually training. “To be good, I pretty much have to…

Jamie Turko – swiftwater rescue specialist, river guide and outdoorsman Jamie Turko knows he’s in the news a lot. He insists he doesn’t seek attention and to be honest, we contacted him regarding this profile article. “I’m not a hero. I’m not famous. I’m infamous,” he says. Some folks might disagree with his comment about heroism. In addition to owning Destiny River Adventures, he is a highly trained and experienced swiftwater river rescue technician who sometimes risks his life to save others. More about that later. Let’s learn more about the man and his background. Born in the Comox Valley,…

Specialty shop is transforming how Campbell Riverites eat It started out as a way to combat boredom, but it’s become a specialty store thriving in Tyee Plaza with an “incredibly” loyal customer base. Signature Oil & Vinegar is a one-of-a-kind store that keeps Campbell Riverites coming back for more. Lisa Whitmore, who owns the store with business partner Sigrid Lees, says the community has really responded to their business which prides itself on being the only place on the North Island where you can get organic, pure extra virgin olive oil. “People are so loyal to our store, they’re incredibly…

Wait … a local charity has ties to a Central American country’s new national health strategy? When Eric Peterson sold his Waterloo, Ontario-based health systems company in 2001, he and his wife – and business partner – Christina Munck had no idea what they wanted to do next, but they had three simple requirements for whatever it would be. “First, it had to be something socially useful,” he says over the rim of his coffee at a small cafe in downtown Campbell River. “Second, it had to be something we were good at. And third, it had to be something we enjoyed…

Local band councillor keeps busy making art in what little downtime he has Curtis Wilson says that while art is definitely in his blood, he didn’t always feel it coursing through him. “I started fairly late, I would say. I didn’t really get into it until I was 18 or 19,” he says. “It was just something to do when I was away at college. It sort of grounded me, being away from Campbell River, as a reminder of where I come from.” But it’s not a surprise that art showed up in his life, even if it did take a…

Campbell River woman devotes her life to providing shelter for orphans Arelene Lihala went to Africa five years ago knowing what she wanted.  “I went there for about a month to volunteer,” Lihala said. “I really wanted to be hands-on with the children, myself.” She was volunteering at an orphanage in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, run by a woman from Alberta. Lihala ended up getting what she wanted there and more. Now it consumes her life. And she couldn’t be happier. “My heart was leading me to step up and say ‘I want to,’” Lihala said. What Lihala’s heart…

There is no greater thrill for Campbell River Genealogical Society members than helping people discover their roots. “It is marvelous”, says Carolyn Henshall, president of the CRGS, whose motto is Lost Families Found. “When somebody finds their family that they never knew or they correct a misconception, it’s really wonderful.” She insists that genealogy is more than a hobby. “It’s really – who are you? How can you know who you are without knowing your past?” The society has more than 100 members, who attend meetings and research family trees, helped by a CRGS library in the Campbell River Maritime Heritage Centre. The…