New season of Talk About
gets scoop on fishing derby
By John Twigg
News of plans for a new fishing derby in Campbell River on June 11 was the highlight in the first episode of the new season of my Talk About Show on Shaw TV North Island.
Fishing columnist Don Daniels of the Campbell River Mirror revealed that Royal LePage Advance Realty Ltd. has decided to sponsor a one-day cash-prize derby under the leadership of Realtors Deanna Collins and Mark Raniger with support from their whole office and other sponsors being lined up.
Collins said they're looking at a top prize of about $5,000 for the biggest fish but that other details such as entry fees and subsidiary prizes were still being finalized.
But one thing for sure is that some of the proceeds will go to the Campbell River Salmon Foundation for its salmon enhancement activities and other proceeds could go to some local social causes.
"A major fishing derby has been long overdue in Campbell River," Daniels said in the TV show, noting it had been discussed for about two years and will be "big news for Campbell River".
Daniels, who moved to Campbell River from Edmonton in 2009 specifically for the fishing, predicted that an entry fee of about $30 and major prizes will draw entries from afar as well as perhaps pull in some television sports shows and thus help boost the tourism and hospitality industries in the city and region.
Daniels noted there are several other fishing derbies held every year in the area but they are mainly for fun and small prizes, and while those are important events too the new derby is aiming at more commercial and professional markets.
He said there are still lots of fish around despite concerns about the environment and that the natural cycles seem to have fish populations increasing of late, with the Tyee Club's catch last year coming in at 15 (over 30 pounds caught from a rowed boat using minimal tackle) which was up from only 9 the year before.
"There are a lot more people getting involved in the Tyee Club because it's such good old-fashioned fun," he said.
"We're lucky to live in such a prestige fishing area and let's keep it that way," said Daniels, whose column has been appearing every Friday in the Mirror since 2011.
The show is viewable on Shaw TV's YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/YjCBVZ64urA .
Premiere Dec. 1 of Documentary on Making of Campbellton Neighbourhood Garden
The Campbellton Neighbourhood Association on Tuesday Dec. 1 is hosting the Premiere of its recently-completed 27-minute documentary film on the making earlier this year of the Campbellton Neighbourhood Garden, beginning 5:30 p.m. at Beijing House Restaurant, 1850 Island Highway (in the business hub of Campbellton).
The garden is important for numerous reasons, such as helping the four-years-old Neighbourhood Association demonstrate to people and businesses in the area that its works are useful, and helping the City of Campbell River achieve the ambitious food self-sufficiency strategy in its Sustainable Official Community Plan - plus of course providing healthy, fresh, affordable and organic food to its gardeners, even year-round!
But perhaps most important in the big picture is that the Campbellton Community Garden is a possible template for the sorts of many more such urban agriculture projects that probably will be needed more of in times ahead due to growing instabilities in global economic, social and environmental conditions.
Campbell River, for example, produces only about 3 per cent of the food its residents and visitors now eat, and the food on its grocery shelves would last the city only about three days, so clearly more needs to be done in that area for the benefit of everyone.
The 22-plot garden is in a portion of an underused urban park in an older and mixed-use neighbourhood of Campbell River; It is located on 15th Avenue near Petersen Road. The present facilities, which include fencing, water taps, a locked gate and a locked shed, are in the first of what is intended to be two phases, with the second phase timing depending on demand and donations.
Area D opens community garden
By John Twigg
The Strathcona Regional District's Area D director Brenda Leigh officially opened a community garden at Maple Park, the site of a former school, on June 5.
About 30 people attended the event, including local residents, future gardeners, district staff and media on a warm sunny afternoon, with refreshments and much good will all around.
"This is just the beginning for future uses of this park," said Leigh, who has been the area's director for 21 years.
The district acquired the property in 2003 for $225,000 from School District 72 and initially planned to put a community hall there but that idea was defeated in a referendum in 2008.
A subsequent survey identified the garden as a preferred use and so design began for what has become a state of the art garden, with high fences to keep out deer, two sheds, a covered area with benches, and large plots.
The plots are free to use for the first year because of the somewhat late start in the growing season and most of the plots have now been spoken for though some are still available.
Leigh thanked Michael MCGregor, the SRD's parks and facilities technician, for doing a great job of designing and buiilding the facility, and she thanked other SRD staff too for enabling "a great space".
"This is just the start of great things to come," said Leigh, emphasizing that it's also intended to be a gathering place for community events and possibly a future farmers' market.
The site is large and has a large parking area so other uses are also possible in the years ahead.
To see more photos of Maple Park Community Garden click on read more
Tourism officials expect busy season around Campbell River
By John Twigg
Tourist industry officials in Campbell River are looking forward to a strong season this year thanks to the low Canadian dollar and low oil prices encouraging more visitors from the United States and Canadian provinces.
"We had our first 100-plus persons day on Monday (May 4) and we haven't seen that many visitors in several years," said Campbell River Visitors Centre manager Rhonda Harper, who is beginning her 18th season with the downtown facility and thus has seen more than a few tourism trends come and go.