1982 was an election filled year

January 11, 2018

Just when you think no one is reading what you have been posting on your blog, you get an email from someone.

It was a few ago that I received one from a young woman who is putting together what sounds like a ‘collage’ of information in celebration of a sports event that happened in Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan in the 1980s.

She wondered if she could quote from some of the articles that I had written for the Gravelbourg Gazette early in that decade.

I was delighted because ,having been  a student of history who spent years perusing dusty documents in provincial archives while earning my BA in history and subsequently writing historical articles for publication in magazines, I have always hoped someone in the future would glean some valuable information from this blog.

I guess the future is now.

In celebration of the request I got, here is just the type of article that a history student or writer might glean some valuable information from in the future:

Gravelbourg Gazette

January 1983

1982 was an election filled year

By the end of 1982, Saskatchewan residents might have been thoroughly tired of practicing their democratic voting rights in what seems to have been a record high year for elections in the province.

The provincial election proved to be perhaps that most interesting both throughout Saskatchewan and locally. “The ultimate result of the election is easy to predict — an NDP victory,” a gazette editorial in early January claimed. “The big question is whether the margin will be big, or huge.”

When the votes were tallied up after April election, the winning margin turned out to be huge but the victory went to the Progressive Conservative Party.

The Assiniboia-Gravelbourg riding was subject to some of the most exciting election campaigning in the province. The election personalities included Liberal leader Ralph Goodale determined to revive a party that had once been popular enough to govern the province.

Then, there was Rene Archambault, brother-in-law to the now elected premier, and local businessperson who ran on the Conservative ticket.

Allen Engel, the NDP incumbent MLA, who originally entered politics as a personal protest against the party patronage of Thatcher’s Liberal government, was no doubt determined to stave off a Liberal comeback and keep the Conservatives in the opposition.

Hugh Clarke of the Western Canada Concept Party added an extra touch to the campaign.

After the ballots were counted, all three major party candidates could claim some victory but, at the same time, each had to admit a degree of defeat. Mr. Engel won the riding in a three way split, being one of eight NDP members who would form a small opposition. “Mr. Engel said he would have rather lost the constituency if he could have seen the NDP remain in power,” the Gazette reported the politician’s mixed feelings of success and failure.

Mr. Archambault’s party won the sweeping provincial victory but he was defeated. Although Mr. Archambault could claim that the percentage of Conservative vote was higher than it had ever been in the riding, he was the only Conservative candidate who came in third place throughout the province.

Mr. Goodale having picked up 30 per cent of the riding’s votes gave Mr. Engel a run for his money. But as leader of his party, he has no Liberal MLA’s to lead and is still trying to find a seat for himself.

In the fall, more than a few voters felt confusion while campaigning for town and school board elections throughout the province got underway. For the first time, under the new Local Government Election Act, entire town councils and school boards were elected simultaneously on October 27.

In Graveelbourg, Guy Dauphinais was acclaimed to office but the seven contenders for the six council seats meant there could only be one loser. Several candidates echoed the need to attract new business to the town as part of their campaign platforms while another dubbed it as “almost a motherhood issue.”

When the voting results were totaled, newcomers Marie-Rose Archambault, J.P. Bouvier, and Denis L’Heureux joined incumbents Dr. C.W.L. Draper, Guy Prefontaine, and Claude Piche on council.

In the Gravelbourg School Board elections, the incumbent school board members met with some competition as eight people filed nomination papers for the five positions. At least one of the new candidates indicated that the school board had not been adequately informing the public of its decisions which could partially account for the number of candidates who ran for the seats.

All of the incumbents were returned to office and are Ron O’Neill, Blanche Pariseau, Rose Mailhot, and Leonard Brin. As well, Rene Archambault, a newcomer to the school board was successful in this election, and will officially join the school board at its first meeting in January. This is in accordance with the Local  Election Act.

Almost before people could recover from the town and school board elections, the rural municipalities began holding nomination meetings for their November 3 elections. In the RM of Gravelbourg, Vernon Richmond was returned as reeve by acclamation and Marcel Poirier was likewise returned to represent Division 3. In the elections, Roscoe Bekker was returned to Division 5 nd newcomer Arthur Lorrain won the Division 1 seat.

But the most openly controversial issue during these elections was a vote also taken on November 3 concerning the question of the RM increasing its mill rates by three in order to financially support the recreational complex, the Palestre, in Gravelbourg. The majority of voters were in opposition to increasing their tax rates and the vote was binding.


To read more posts in this eclectic blog of Tanya’s published non-fiction and fiction work go to writingsmall.wordpress.com and tealeaf56.wordpress.com

Tanya’s books are: Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader and Friends I Never Knew as well as Women Rights/Writes and Dreams and Tricksters.  T


Cheap rates, promotions top chamber’s agenda

January 8, 2018

I think a lot of people believe that moving to the Gulf Islands on the west coast of Canada means they will spend their time walking through the ocean beach sand in bare feet, watching Orca whales flipping through the waves and eating blackberries.

Not if you are going to live in a huge or even not so huge house and not if you are going to communicate with your neighbours.

Because if you do, they will ask you sooner or later to volunteer, possibly on several boards, etc.

Sitting on the local chamber of commerce would be one of them especially since it is linked to the tourist information centre on each island. On the islands, the tourist information centre is the go to place for anyone living on or visiting the island as it is run by volunteers who, because they are volunteers and don’t have to take regular breaks like government staff, go more ‘than the extra mile’ for almost anyone who approaches them.

Gulf Islands Driftwood — Pender Islands Edition

Wednesday, August 30, 2000

Cheap rates, promotions top chamber’s agenda

by Tanya Lester

Although the four summer meetings held to get the Pender Island Chamber of Commerce off the ground were “low in numbers,” those attending were “high in enthusiasm,” according to acting president Greg Rowland.

The real estate agent believes it is time for a chamber to once again operate on the Penders to promote business and to provide lower rates of different kinds for members.

It can also act as a lobby group to make sure business interests are looked after, he said. An example would be to speak out about business activity “dropping like a stone” when there is a BC Ferries strike threat.

Rowland explained that the chamber’s new toll-free number…allows it to act as a clearinghouse for potential visitors who might want to know anything from where to ride horses to who provides massage therapy.

A number of lower rates on expenses can be obtained through chamber of commerce membership. There include long-distance telephone expenses, credit card discounts and cheaper gasoline prices.

Besides Rowland, the other acting table officers are Sherrie Boyte as vice-president, Linda Wein as treasurer and Jacqueline Dandeneau as secretary.

For the first year the annual membership fee will be $75 with a cap at $100 in future years.

The next public chamber of commerce meeting will be ….with a free lunch provided for members.

The speaker will be a representative of the Mayne Island Chamber of Commerca, who will discuss how the organization works on that island.

Another guest will be Peter Rowat of the RSL Com, a long distance telephone service provider that offers deep discounts to chamber members.


To read more posts in this eclectic blog of articles and other pieces of writing of Tanya’s, go to writingsmall.wordpress.com and tealeaf56.wordpress.com

Tanya’s books are Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader, Friends I Never Knew, Dreams and Tricksters as well as Women Rights/Writes. The first two are available for purchase from the author or from amazon.com  All of the books are in some library systems.

Tanya works as a psychic specializing in tea leaf reading, tarot, gypsy readings, psychic channeling and mediumship. She is also a reiki master and a fulltime housesitter. To learn more about what she does, go to her web site at teareading.wordpress.com and/or her pages on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.



Jordan off to Toronto film festival

January 3, 2018

It is true that you can find talent anywhere.

I remember attending a Solstice Theatre play on the Pender Islands when I was working for the Gulf Islands Driftwood and gathering news on the Penders during weekends. I think my mouth hung open throughout the production because I was so impressed with its quality.

Sheila Jordan was definitely one to light up the stage (and I am sure still does, even though I’ve lost track of her, having last saw her living on Salt Spring Island).

I was glad to pieces for the Pender Islands Edition about Jordan. The following is one of them:

Gulf Islands Driftwood — Pender Islands Edition

Wednesday, August 30, 2000

Jordan off to Toronto film festival

by Tanya Lester

Sheila Jordan, an active Solstice Theatre member on the Penders, is one of six Canadian filmmakers selected to pitch a script at the Toronto International Film Festival, one of the “biggest” events in the industry.

Jordan will travel to the Ontario capital to appear at a September 12 luncheon attended by 300 festival delegates including producers, distributors and directors from all over the world.

During the lunch, 24 international judges will view two scenes from Jordan’s Honey in the Rock. Others who will present their work are two scriptwriters from Quebec, two from Ontario and one from Newfoundland.

Most will be working as part of a team but Jordan will be going solo with her “script under her arm.”

Jordan applied to the Telefilm Canada Pitch-This competition several weeks ago. As required, she faxed a four-page script proposal to Paris, France.

Two weeks later, she was notified of being among 12 who were shortlisted.

Another five weeks went by before Jordan got the news that she was one of the chosen six.

Telefilm Canada provided her with funding to do a film shoot of two scenes from the script. Jordan rounded up some of the best film people in BC to put it together.

Among them were Vancouver actors Micki Mansell and Doris Chilcott. who appear as “two grannies necking.” The film script is a comedy about two women, Freddie and Mary, who had a love affair during World War II while Mary’s husband was away in Europe. After the war is over, Mary picks up where she left off with her husband. Fifty years later, Freddie once again shows up on Mary’s doorstep.

Jordan has also been provided with film pitching coaches. One of them is producer Sharon McGowan of Better Than Chocolate note.

The Pitch-This winner will receive $6000 to travel to international film festivals in places like Rotterdam, Berlin and Cannes.

At the Toronto International Film Festival, which runs from September 7-14, Jordan will be able to attend as many workshops and film screenings as she can handle at no charge.

Jordan won this year’s best actress award from the BC Festival of Amateur Theatre. She portrayed Constance Ledbelly in Anne-Marie Macdonald’s Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet).

Last year, she was accepted to the Women in the Director’s Chair program at the Banff School of Art.

Five years ago, Jordan’s documentary film called No Surrender attracted 1100 people to Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre. It was about a group of Cheslatta First Nations people who were relocated by Alcan and the federal governments so a hydro-electric project could be built on their land.


Tanya now works as a psychic, who specializes in tea leaf reading and tarot, as well as being a reiki master and a fulltime housesitter. Her website is teareading.wordpress.com and she has pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter as well as being an Alliance member. To access her services, contact her by text or phone at 250-538-0086 or email her at tealeaf.56@gmail.com

Tanya’s books are : Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader, Friends I Never Knew, Dreams and Tricksters as well as Women Rights/Writes. The first two books can be purchased from the author and all books can be found in some library systems.

To read more stories in this electic blog of previously published works by Tanya Lester, go to writingsmall.wordpress.com and tealeaf56.wordpress.com

Pender fall fair — a blue ribbon event

December 29, 2017

Fall  fairs are an event right across Canada that rate up there with the excitement of Christmas for many, many children and even adults across this land.

Think about it. If you have raised an animal for the last year, carefully considered what and how you grew your garden or baked and baked again in order to win a ribbon at the fall fair then you are very excited when the judgement day finally arrives.

Here is my account on one Pender Islands fall fair:

Gulf Islands Driftwood — Pender Islands Edition

Wednesday, August 30, 2000

Pender fall fair — a blue ribbon event

by Tanya Lester

Along with autumn, music was in the air as people from both on and off-island flocked to the community hall to share their expertise or enjoy the islands’ abundance Saturday at the Pender Islands Fall Fair. Over 2000 attended the annual event.

Held in and around the now completed community hall, the fair offered things and on explore at tables and displays scattered all over the outside grounds and on both levels inside the hall.

Tucked away in a corner next to the art exhibit on the second floor was the Nu-To-Yu Store display featuring some of the 18 entries in its competition this year.

To compete for the second-hand store’s prize ribbons, entrants had to purchase something from the store and remake it into something else, said convener Pamella Smith.

Judged by past presidents Muriel Wallace and Cecily Overall, the first prize went to Kathy Oram who remodeled an old suit into a beaded costume.

The second prize also kept in tune with the fair’s recycling theme. Carole Sheaves rescued lawn chairs that even the second hand store was ready to throw out and replaced the old material.

Third prize went to Jean MacDonald for her jean purse. It brought back nostalgic memories of the 1970s when the top of a pair of jeans was sewn into a purse to sling over the arm.

Into its second year offering this competition, the Nu-To-Yu has operated on the Penders for 15 years and has put back half a million dollars into worthwhile community projects.

Outside on the grounds one of the visitors was Jessie Anderson from the BC Women’s Institute in Cowichan Station on Vancouver Island. She attended the fair to discuss genetically modified or engineered food.

“Biotechnology has taken genes from a wide range of organisms including fish, pigs, bacteria, viruses, insects and even humans and transferred them into the foods we eat,” states a BC Women’s Institute pamphlet. “You may already be eating tomatoes containing fish genes or canola oil containing human genes.”

The brochure explains that the Women’s Institute began in Canada when Ontario founder Adelaide Hoodless “lost her baby because of impure milk.”

Anderson said the organization is 103 years old and now has branches in 70 countries around the world with nine and a half million women involved.

It is the only women’s organization that has a seat in the United Nations with world peace being one of its major goals, she added.

Women in more prosperous countries work with women and families in Third World countries through projects like Pennies for Friendship.

Anderson said she attended the fair with the idea of encouraging the formation of a Women’s Institute group on the Penders. She was optimistic this would happen by the afternoon’s end as some women had given her their names and phone numbers to contact later.

Near the beer garden, Pender Island Adventure Society members were celebrating their first-prize win for best float in the parade that kicked off the day.

Their float, whose size was described as being “half the parade,” featured a beach scene, guitars and empty tequila bottles. The membership, which fluctuates between 15 and 100, is made up of individuals who seem dedicated to having a good time.ti

Their inaugural event was a night of camping at Beaumont Marine Park as they welcomed in the New Millennium at the beginning of the year.

Others obviously intent on having a good time were the kids and adults busily creating something new out of recycled materials, not far from a book display on subjects like voluntary simplicity and recycling at home.

Books could also be found at the Farmers’ Institute Bookmobile, a large green wooden cart. People can continue to use the bookmobile from Friday through Sunday when it will be located on the community hall grounds.

Money can be donated to the project by dropping it in a slot on the cart. Books can be left at the Saturday Farmers’ Market or at the hall on other days.

As people dismantled their displays and took prize-winning fruit, vegetables, preserves, cake, pies and the like back to their vehicles, Mike Archer from St. John’s Ambulance ases of wawas pleased to report that his expertise was seldom called upon during the entire day.

He said exceptions were six cases of wasp stings and some minor cuts.

The service came from Victoria.


To read more posts in this eclectic blog of published newspapers articles and other writings, go to writinsmall.wordpress.com and tealeaf56.wordpress.com

Tanya has been working for over 2 decades as a psychic who specializes in tea leaf reading and tarot. She is also a reiki master and housesitter. Her web site is at teareading.wordpress.com   Or you can contact her directly by text or phone at 250-538-0086 or email: tealeaf.56@gmail.com

Tanya’s books are Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader and Friends I Never Knew which can be purchased through amazon.ca or from the author. She also authored Women Rights/Writes and Dreams and Tricksters. These books are available in some library systems.




Equal Times

December 22, 2017

I have such fond memories of driving down the backroads in southern Saskatchewan during my 20s during that winter in the 1980s.  Since I was a small child sitting on the front steps of the house our Dad built us in the clearing in the bush in Victoria Beach, Manitoba every summer night and staring into the large round orange ball of the setting sun, I have always longed to be travelling, moving down the road.

So far I have travelled, often extensively, in 22 countries and I keep rolling on.

In the following newspaper column, I wrote about it in Saskatchewan in the days when the number of countries I had travelled only numbered a total of 4:

Gravelbourg Gazette


Equal Times

by Tanya Lester

When I was driving back from Ponteix, where I was ‘gathering’ stories a few weeks ago, I drove through some of the small towns along the way. I did this on the suggestion of my editor who thought it might be a way for me to get some feature story ideas.

Well, maybe it had something to do with the fact that I had just finished talking with a store owner in Ponteix who said the reason that town’s businesses were doing well was because smaller towns in the area had been closing down.

Anyway, when I drove through those smaller towns, the one story idea that immediately came to mind was one I thought I would have some difficulty writing about. As I drove past some of the dilapidated old store fronts that had been abandoned, I thought, “This town is almost a ghost town.”

The thought scared me in a way. It was such a lonely feeling– a town forsaken. But I still thought a story about it would be very interesting.

Who would I interview, though? “Good afternoon, Ms. Ghost. Nice day, isn’t it? Bit chilly in here, mind you. Maybe you have something to do with it,” I could imagine myself saying to the ghost. “Well, what I wanted to start with was to ask you about the ghosts in this town. How many of you live here, anyway?”

No, somehow I thought I would never really find anyone or any spirit to talk to about it.

But that evening, by mere coincidence, I was reading Briarpatch, a Saskatchewan magazine, and an advertisement caught my eye. If I sent away $3.00 to author Frank Moore, I could get a booklet called “Saskatchewan Ghost Towns”. So, there it was. I mailed away a cheque.

In a very short time, I received my copy of the booklet and a note from the author. “I made the book through a make-work grant to make work for some physically handicapped people for one year,” Frank Moore wrote in part. “The information sat in my basement for a few year then through urging my friends I decided to publish it.”

As soon as I took a look at the book, I started to recognize some towns in the area. This made me wonder what the people in those towns would think about living in a ghost town. Of course, the advertisement had mentioned the book was about not only fully ghosted but partially ghosted towns, too. But, still, would someone feel good about sharing his or her town with a few ghosts?

In other words, living in a partly closed-down town might only make its residents fear that it will someday be a fully closed-down town. If that is something to fear. I guess it would depend on each person living in the town.

I felt better, though, when I read a piece Mr. Moore had written at the beginning of the book. “How interesting for us to realize now, several North American economists are predicting the breakdown of our oil-based society,” he wrote, “Those who will survive will be the people with parcels of land they can work, raise their own food and be as self-sufficient as possible.”

“Even now people are returning to some of those towns and buying salvagable buildings,” Mr. Moore continued. “The back-to-the-land move is well documented by the success of such magazines as Harrowsmith and full enrolements in agricultural short course.”

“Many people are coming to realize the slick, future-shocked city life can’t meet their needs. And so they are looking for an alternative — a place where they can enjoy a sense of community, take charge of their lives, and know harmony with their environment.”

“Maybe the ghosts will live again!”

Keeping that in mind, let me tell you a bit more about the book. In the centre, there is a map outlining Ghost Town Trail. Some of the towns listed as part of the trail have a very familiar ring to their names. They are Hazenmore, Limerick, Melaval and Meyronne. You guessed it, Ghost Town Trail is actually part of Highway 13.

St. Boswells is one town that rates a write-up in the book: “The gentle, caring spirit of the prairie communites sang through so clearly in the many responses to the request for information of the St. Boswells.”

“Serious thefts or pilfering were virtually non-existent, with businesses left unlocked during the temperate seasons,” the piece goes on to say.

“Tools and equipment were often borrowed while the stores lay vacant. But they were always returned with a genuine “Thank you.”

“In the winter, the doors were locked to make sure a door wasn’t left open accidentally and the stock frozen.”

“Said one old-timer: “We had the occasional fellow with sticky fingers — but everyone knew who he was. Most people never thought of stealing or vandalism. Even the littlest child knew better.”

“Basic facts tell us St. Boswell’s was a rural post office in 1910. The CNR rolled in in 1921, and St. Boswell enjoyed a multiplicity of services varying from hardware, general and drug stores to an Orange Hall and a Chinese restaurant.”

“Although St. Boswell’s flourished during the thirties and part of the forties, the community declined. Centralization, World War II, urbanization — all stripped the village fabric. Now, of a once 135 population, one family lives where the school once stood.”

“Location: seven miles southeast of Hodgeville, off Highway #19”.

Bateman is another of the “over 100 fully and partially ghosted town” that gets a write-up in the booklet. But I’ve run out of space so if you want to read more of “Saskatchewan Ghost Towns” just sent $3.00 to: Frank Moore, 2834 Lakeview Ave., Regina, Sask. S4S 1G5. The 44-page booklet is well worth the $3.00 and, with Christmas coming up, it could make a nice stocking-stuffer.






Inner Growth Channel Tuning

December 21, 2017

The appropriate precursor to the following article has to be this:

Shortly before I dated Roger Joyeux a few times, I was on holidays in Salt Spring Island prior to moving there.

During my visit there, I got a reading from Leslie Wallace, a reiki master and psychic. In response to my question about who I would be dating in the future, Wallace responded with ‘he will be so tall, you will need a ladder to be able to kiss him’.

I arrived back in Winnipeg to a brutal spring snowstorm. I was walking towards my house when Roger, to whom I was slightly acquainted, walked by me and we greeted each other. It struck me immediately how tall he was. Tall enough that I would ‘need a ladder’.

Maybe it was hoping that Roger could be a distraction from the weather that gave me the courage to call him. He invited me over to his place which was nearby.

When I arrived he explained he had been doing renovations on his house which he was going to put on sale soon. There he was standing by a tall stepladder.

I knew we were meant to date.

Here’s a story I wrote about how Roger got into psychic channeling:

West Central Streets

April 1997

Inner Growth Channel Tuning

by Tanya Lester

Since Roger Joyeux moved into his duplex on Beverley Street in  1990, he has taken an incredibly long journey but most of this travel has been within himself. “This has been my house of inner growth,” said Joyeux.

His journey began when a co-worker told him about Siddha Yoga. Joyeux started to attend weekly meditation sessions. The door to experiencing spiritual love opened up to him.

During this time, he was working in home care. One of his clients was a 106 year old man who lived in a highrise and due to his age spent most of his time sleeping. Joyeux passed his time reading a book called Opening to Channel.

One day he heard a voice on a telepathic level. “Don’t be alarmed,” it said. Immediately after, the building supervisor did a 15 minute alarm test. The alarm was extremely loud. During this commotions, an angelic spiritual guide came and introduced himself to Joyeux. He was told that spiritual information would be channeled through him after he returned from a Siddha Yoga spiritual event called the Ashram, in India.

Joyeux compared his first channeling experiences to receiving a radio signal which is out of tune. Once he began writing down the messages he was getting, the channel became clear. He now has several binders filled with the story of universal light and creation. To me, it makes sense in the same way that The Bible does. Both are incredible stories. Excerpts from his book manuscript have been published in several issues of The Aquarian, a publication which focusses on healing.

The technique Joyeux uses can be described as automatic writing. He puts pen to paper and it is as if the story writes itself.

Joyeux uses his intuition to encourage spiritual channeling directed to clients. He believes we can all open ourselves to spiritual guidance but the channel will be more clear depending on the number of times a soul has reincarnated.

He thinks it is no accident that he lives in the West End. He sees the area as transitional for many who then move on. In his case, he came to the area after spending time in politics and academics, dealing with people on a societal level. The transition he has made in the last seven years has been to heal within.

In his mid-forties, Joyeux has his honours degree in Political Studies, was once nominated to run for the NDP in the city elections, has worked as a high sky diver and at Harry’s Foods. He now works at the Salvation Army to pay the bills while he completes his first book.


To read more posts in this blog of articles and other genres of writing authored by Tanya Lester, go to writingsmall.wordpress.com and tealeaf56.wordpress.com

Tanya works as a psychic specializing in tea leaf reading, tarot, psychic channeling, mediumship and gypsy card reading. She is also a reiki master who instills healing energy into her psychic reading sessions. She is also a fulltime housesitter. Her web site is at teareading.wordpress.com  She has pages on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter as well as being an Alignable member. To book a reading, get a reiki attunement or have Tanya do a housesit, text or call her at 250-538-0086 or email: tealeaf.56@gmail.com

Tanya’s books are Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader, Friends I Never Knew, Dreams and Tricksters and Women’s Rights/Writes. 

Folk club founders set for 13th season

December 19, 2017

To interview amazing musicians and song writers like Valdy and Bill Henderson, Chilliwack front man, is an enjoyable thing to do, to say the least.

Tapping into my inner-shyness (yes, believe it or not, I do have it and was painfully shy as a child), I suggested to Bill Henderson that I could do the interview over the phone. He said it would be more fun if we met in person.

True. I couldn’t argue with that.

Here’s the resulting story:

Gulf Islands Driftwood

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Folk club founders set for 13th season

by Tanya Lester

There should be no problem spotting the Salt Spring Folk Club booth at the Salt Spring Fall Fair next weekend.

It will be the one with lots of guitars. Rumour also has it that Valdy, known throughout the entire folk music circuit as a legend, and Bill Henderson, whose strong musical energy was first infused in the rock band Cilliwack and then into the folk scene, will be there discussing music with those lining up to buy their season tickets.

Music and photographs of the upcoming season’s headline musicians will also be an integral part of the booth, said Trish Nobile, the folk club’s new artistic director. People buying tickets can familiarize themselves with those in the line-up they do not know and re-acquaint themselves with past favourites.

Heading into its 13th season, the 2009/10 season promises what club co-founder Henderson calls a “roar-from-the-audience” reception that characteristically greets the high-caliber performers at folk music concerts.

Opening the season…will be Corinne West who, according to her website, has “a voice to die for with beautifully crafted songs that are memorable both lyrically and melodically.” Valdy lauds her for being a performer who is “sensitive to the crowd.”

She will be accompanied by Doug Cox, who Valdy says is “a great guitar player.” He is the artistic director of the Vancouver Island Music Festival, a popular destination for Salt Spring Island residents each July.

Returning to the folk club stage… is Connie Kaldor, a “bring-down-the-house” artist when she previously did the Salt Spring Folk Club. Kaldor scored highest in the folk club survey as the performer the audience most wanted to return.

Henderson admires Kaldor’s quality of “being in the moment” with what is happening around her as she performs while having the quick wit to respond to it immediately with off-the-cuff humour.

While the folk club executive is still making final decisions about the December and January acts, a trio consisting of Barney Bentall, Tom Taylor and Shari Ulrich (who once resided here) — aka BTU — will hit the stage… Nobile points out that these are “three renowned musicians” who each offer high-caliber performances separately, so combining their talents should be extremely exciting to watch.

Henderson, who has performed with Ulrich, describes her as “engaging, likes to talk to the audience, connects with wonderfully written songs and is a neat fiddle player.”

The season’s grand finale, as always, is the Gumboot Gala featuring Salt Spring Island’s own Valdy and Henderson. Both indicate, in no uncertain terms, that they intend to perform for the folk club ad infinitum.

The club has a tradition of opening each evening with a local act. The executive is still discussing who will be selected for the upcoming season, but Henderson said there is no way they will ever run out of good island musicians from which to pick.

One of the strengths of the folk club atmosphere is that people watch and listen to the music instead of drinking and talking, said Henderson.

For some local musicians, this is the first time they have experienced this silent attention while performing , and Valdy and Henderson believe it’s an excellent experience for less seasoned musicians.

It is being up there “bare naked with your instrument,” Valdy said.

According to Ron Ateah, who is coordinating the folk club booth at the Salt Spring Fall Fair, there are many other good reasons for islanders to buy season tickets. The six evenings of folk music are held in intimate setting at Fulford Hall. Those purchasing the food (dubbed “five star” by Valdy) before the concert , dine at tables draped in white cloths with lit candles on them.

Holding a season ticket means getting a choice of the best seats and a good spot in the food line-up.

By supporting the folk club, the community at large is also supported. There is always a Copper Kettle representative there so those in attendance can assist people on low incomes living on Salt Spring, and the folk club usually gives a large donation to the upkeep of Fulford Hall each year.

Yet there is one thing that can be singled out above all else as the major reason to go to folk club concerts.

“The music is always spectacular,” said Ateah. “I have never been disappointed with any of the performers. It is traditional folk and beyond…It links Salt Spring with the rest of the world musically.”

More than 13 years ago, Henderson had been touring folk festivals and folk clubs across Canada when it dawned on him that if, for example, Calgary could boast five such clubs, that Salt Spring Island needed at least one. Lynn Strand, who had been involved with one of the clubs in Calgary, agreed.

Henderson knew any folk club on this island had to involve Valdy. The folk legend immediately agreed, having been part of an island club that held concerts in Ganges during the 1970s.

Thirteen years later the folk club has many good seasons behind it and is poised to continue well into the future…

— END–

For more blog posts on Tanya’s articles and other stories from past years when she worked as a writer, go to writingsmall.wordpress.com and tealeaf56.wordpress.com

Tanya’s books are Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader and Friends I Never Knew (both can be purchased from the author or from amazon.ca) as well as Women Rights/Writes and Dreams & Tricksters.

Tanya works as a psychic nowadays with specialties in tea leaf reading, tarot, psychic channeling and some mediumship as well as gypsy card reading. As a reiki master, she instills healing energy into her readings as a bonus to her clients. She also housesits fulltime. To book a reading and/or access any of her services text/call her at 250-538-0086 or email her at tealeaf.56@gmail.com  Her web site is : teareading.wordpress.com


This is blog of the many articles published by and about me over several decades as a freelance writer and a tealeafreader/tarot reader/psychic.