Now Showing: The future

By Antony Stevens In the back corner of the projection booth at IMAX Victoria is a rack of 70mm film reels, each weighing between 250 and 500 pounds. The largest is Interstellar which, at eight-feet wide, touches the brim of the platter it rests on. There are nearly 30 of these films, collected over the span of 10 years, sitting idle in this dim room at the Royal BC Museum. Through the projection window, I can see a picture so clear that at first I don’t realize it’s a movie. Jordan … [Read more...]

Watchguards in the Walbran

By Rob Wilson “RESCIND 4424!” reads a hand-painted banner adorning the plywood wall of the camp's kitchen and main shelter. It's a crudely constructed building made of 2x4s, tarps, and ropes, standing a few metres from the Walbran River bridge. Inside are cluttered tables and counters piled with power tools, a 3,000 Watt power inverter, pots and pans, and, near the stove top, a bouquet of dandelions in a mason jar. Covering nearly everything: mouse droppings. A few meters back up the … [Read more...]

Living Small, Thinking Big

By Jessie Zhang In 1999, Jay Shafer, an American house designer, and owner of a 96 sq. foot home, published his first article on the merits of simple, compact living. Since then, the tiny home movement has spread throughout North America. Kate Beddows and Nico Rhodes are two of its Vancouver Island proponents. Video produced by Jessie Zhang and Reid Eccles The couple have contracted Nanaimo's Rewild Homes to build their tiny house. Rewild specializes in custom-made, portable … [Read more...]

Not Everyone Can Do It

By Molly Barrieau “Bonnie and Clyde?” “Honey and Bunny,” adds the other, laughing. Two women sit across from me in a bustling joint downtown, contemplating pseudonyms for the purpose of this article. I tell them I’ll make something up. Jordyn, 19, sports a new purple lipstick, while Erin, 22, wears burgundy-framed glasses around her kind blue eyes. Both are dressed in mid-winter hooded coats and leggings; one leans in to the other and says something, then the two get up to order in … [Read more...]

Gaming Goes Indie

By Drew McLachlan Thirty years ago, if you wanted to create a video game, you started by clearing space in your garage. You had to make some room — for a couple Apple II's, a BBC Microcomputer (if you were lucky), or a Tandy TRS-80 (if you weren’t). You also needed a guy who could turn a six-colour, 280x192 resolution sprite into a convincing minotaur, another guy who could force the occasional beep-bip-beep out of a one-bit audio digitizer, and a 30-pound textbook on 6502, the programming … [Read more...]

Serious Business

By Maggie Rich A lot more laughter has been spilling from Vancouver Island restaurants and bars lately, as business owners offer up their establishments to local comedians. It’s proven a win-win: Comedians' careers are launched, customers love the entertainment, and the bars and restaurants fill. Stand-up comedy on Vancouver Island has its roots in Victoria -- namely, the comedy bar Hecklers. But lately -- maybe it's all the rainy weather, maybe it's just the way laughter works -- it's … [Read more...]

The Raven and the Oysters

By Louis Stevenson The controversial Raven Coal Project began its life in the Comox Valley in 2009, when the Compliance Coal Corporation applied to the BC government for an Environment Assessment Certificate. Public meetings were held and lines drawn in the sand; specifically the sand on the beach of Baynes Sound where half of the value of the commercial shellfish in BC lies on the shore and suspended from rafts and floats in the water. The project's proponents contend that it will create … [Read more...]

“They may put the aquaculture industry in Baynes Sound right out of business.”

To the Introduction: The Raven and the Oysters: Mathew Wright is the Marketing and Communications Manager for the BC Shellfish Growers Association. LOUIS:         How many or what percentage of the oyster growers in the Baynes Sound area does your organization, the British Columbia Shellfish Growers Association, represent? MATHEW:   Sixty per cent. LOUIS:         How many full time jobs does the shellfish industry in Baynes Sound provide? MATHEW:   About 600 full time … [Read more...]

“The water treatment will assure that the quality of this water will protect the shellfish.”

To the Introduction: The Raven and the Oysters: John Tapics is the CEO of Compliance Energy Corporation which has a 60% interest in the Raven Coal Project. The remaining 40% interest is owned by I-Comox Coal Inc. which is a subsidiary of Iotochu Corporation of Japan and by L.G. Investments Canada Limited which is a subsidiary of L.G. International of Korea. LOUIS:           How will the Raven Coal Project be designed to protect ground and surface water? JOHN:            It starts … [Read more...]

Out to Lunch

By Diane Bolt Dirk Becker’s farmhouse in the seaside village of Lantzville on Vancouver Island is warm and rustic, with weathered wooden furniture and a crackling fire in the background. It’s early November and the kitchen floor is covered in patches of squash being readied for distribution. The scene reminds me of the classic British sitcom “The Good Life,” starring Richard Briers and Felicity Kendal as Tom and Barbara Good, a suburban couple who, having paid off the mortgage on their home, … [Read more...]