The Hidden Waterfalls of Nanaimo

Story and photos by Spenser Smith I moved to Nanaimo, British Columbia, a city full of winding streams and rivers, in 2013. It was a big change from my home province, Saskatchewan, which has its own beauty, but not generally of the wet kind. In fact, all of Vancouver Island was a revelation. One of my first ventures was to Little Qualicum Falls, 58 km. north of Nanaimo, and for the first time I witnessed the strange phenomenon of water flowing over a vertical drop. (Vertical drops are also … [Read more...]

The Man in the Pictures

By Chelsea Mark “Hard to look at these, I miss him still.” My mother’s sad tone seeps through as I read these words in her e-mail, accompanied by photos of a man who wears the same smile that she often does. The build of his body is similar to that of my Aunt Joan – tall and lanky. The man sits surrounded by friends in the myriad of photos, drink in one hand, cigarette in the other. Family is a topic that sets off a range of emotions in individuals. When I ask my mother about her dad, … [Read more...]

Pet Project

By Sarah Torgerson If it weren’t for all the signs hanging on the chain-link fence gracing the perimeter, one might mistake the building at 2200 Labieux Road in Nanaimo for just another time-worn house from the ‘70s (albeit one oddly located in a light industrial area). Inside, however, the crowded reception area is a bustling hub of friendly hellos, visiting pet-seekers, and a handful of roaming pups, searching out dangling hands for a pat on the head. It’s a warm and welcoming place, … [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...]

Deadly cocktail

By Benjamin Everett Over 40 fentanyl-related overdoses have been reported in Victoria and Nanaimo since December 20, 2015, 12 of them fatal. The victims have come from all walks of life, but Paul Hasselback, Medical Health Officer for Central Vancouver Island, says that “it’s the younger ones that are the most tragic.” Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate analgesic, most often compared to morphine, though its effects are over 50 times more potent. Typically used to treat severe pain, or to … [Read more...]

AbOut Tier 3

by Natalie Gates Walking through the bustling hallways of Nanaimo District Secondary School (NDSS), Brett Hancock offers easy smiles and fist pumps to almost every student he passes. Smirks form on their faces as they greet him back. “I learned a lot traveling, but I sure as hell didn’t learn much in high school,” he says. “The goal with these programs is to let them learn valuable things — like the acceptance of others, empathy, and respect.” Hancock wears pointy leather shoes with an … [Read more...]

From camp to campus

By Natalie Gates Noor Mohamed Maalim, 23, breezes in two minutes late in a crisp, white button-up shirt. With an easy grin and friendly greeting, he plops down two boxes of pizza on a table before his fellow club members. He grabs a marker and struts to the whiteboard where he jots a list of priorities to be covered at the VIU World University Service of Canada (WUSC) meeting. He has obviously done this before. WUSC is a Canadian non-profit organization working in international … [Read more...]

Starboard spectacles

By Ben Chessor The ocean has always been an important part of Vancouver Islanders' livelihoods. It fuels local tourism — including the whale watching industry — and gives flavour to our best restaurants. An orca even appears on the logo of the province’s most popular sports franchise, the Vancouver Canucks. Because the ocean plays such a large part in the lives of Island residents, whenever some of the Salish Sea's most majestic inhabitants make an appearance, their neighbours are bound to … [Read more...]

9/11 in Nanaimo

By Anja Hamerski Screams. Panic. Dust. Shrapnel. That was a Tuesday morning in New York when the two main towers of the World Trade Centre were destroyed. September 11th claimed 2819 lives, of which 23 were police officers and 343 were fire fighters. In memory of those who died, and to honour the brave fire fighters who lost their lives trying to save the innocent, Nanaimo has erected a monument to 9/11 displaying a piece of the towers. The steel fragment traveled a long way from Hangar … [Read more...]