BEYOND THE LENS Story by Lissa Alexander The world has enough pretty pictures. That’s one of the reasons why internationally renowned wildlife and nature photographer Paul Nicklen says he’s not interested in chasing celebrated scenes of beauty for his next big project. But mainly, it’s because his work is issue driven, and he’s made it his life’s work to try and protect this planet’s rugged natural landscapes, and particularly, those delicate ecosystems under the sea. Nicklen’s photographs are stunning and profound. He’s captured everything from the effect of tourism on the Florida Manatee to starving polar bears in the Arctic,…

PLAYING WITH SPIRIT Story by Candace Wu Photography by Brian Argyle and submitted by Vince Ditrich Vince Ditrich had his first “pro gig” at age six. It came by way of a birthday present from his father, who hired young Ditrich—brimming with energy and youthful excitement—to sit in and play the drums with dad’s band, The Bridge Brass, at a wedding they were headlining at the German-Canadian Hall.    To this day, Ditrich credits his father as his biggest fan. “He was determined that I would succeed in music,” says Ditrich about his late-father. “I think I was meant to…

MAKING WAVES Story by Lissa Alexander, Photography by Peter McCully Lorne and Yvonne Acheson married 14 years ago, but they’ve only recently married their artistic abilities, and the results, you could say, are cranking. Cranking: A word often used by surfers to refer to great waves. Lorne was a clothing designer in Vancouver for 14 years before moving to Parksville and devoting his design skills to making surfboards. He started off making T-shirts at a print shop in Tsawwassen (where some of the band members from 54-40 worked). He began designing and selling his shirts to skate and snowboard shops before…

OCEANSIDE SKIM AND BEACH CULTURE Story by By Candace Wu, Photography by Peter McCully SKIMBOARDING IN PARKSVILLE A small group of avid young athletes have an ambitious idea. “We want to make skimboarding to Parksville what surfing is to Tofino,” says 19-year-old Ryan Mountain, standing sun-kissed in the midst of Parksville’s iconic beach accompanied by a group of friends who share his passion for the up-and-coming ocean sport.  It’s early afternoon, low tide—the perfect time to skimboard—and Mountain is dressed casually in board shorts and a muscle shirt boasting the acronym “OSBC,” which stands for Oceanside Skim and Beach Culture,…

JUMP START Story By Susan Pederson, Photography by Linda Matteson-Reynolds, Greg Howard, SeaSide Studios and Rob Bau To the untrained eye, it’s poetry in motion. Horses with names like Ziggy Stardust, Mr. Dress-up and Dejah-Vu fly over man-made jumps with the precision of well-trained gymnasts, their grace and beauty palpable as their riders lead them through this powerful ballet. To the judges, and those who lives are steeped in the world of equestrian riding, the Annual Island Classic Horse Show (July 10-13 this year) is wrought with the pressure of competition at its most challenging. With the preparation demands of…

CRANBERRIES – FROM THE BOG TO YOUR TABLE by Linda Matteson-Reynolds Blanketed amongst a sea of red, the tart, juicy and freshly-plucked cranberry floats freely to the top of the bog waiting for the harvest. The cranberry has a remarkable journey from the peat-rich bog to your turkey’s favourite side dish and is an essential part of the traditional Canadian and American holiday table.   It’s cranberry season at Echo Valley Farms, a 387-acre parcel of land nestled between the Beaufort mountain range, Mount Arrowsmith and the Strait of Georgia.   The Walsh family has been well known to many…

MUSIC BY THE SEA – A VIEW FROM INSIDE By Lissa Alexander When the sun goes down on the Music by the Sea House, that’s when the magic inside begins. “We’re creating the view inside, that’s what my job is. I can never compete with that and I don’t try,” says aboriginal carver Jeremy Humpherville, as he motions to the sweeping ocean views from the inside the Judges Row home.  “When the sun goes down I get a chance.” Humpherville and Camelot Homes president Dan McLeod led a team of artists and builders for four years to perfect the Qualicum…

PARLEY with skipper Neal Berger Story and photos by Linda Matteson “The J36 sails like a dream. She’s fast, responsive and well mannered.”  Skippered by Neal Berger, Shingebiss is a regular contender on the Schooner Cove Yacht Club (SCYC) racing circuit. Her name is taken from a sacred Ojibwe tale about a little merganser duck that is faced with the inability to fish from a frozen Great Lake one winter. Despite the adversity, the duck persevered, refusing to see winter as his enemy.  The story shows that those who follow the ways of Shingebiss will always have plenty to eat,…