Is flooding the wave of the future

Barry Coulter's prominent story pix, favourite character, and shout-outs of 2014

Barry Coulter

As you can see from our Year in Review pages and here online, 2014 was an action-packed year. But aren’t they all, really?

A daily paper is like an endless river of news, and over the course of a whole year the weeks and months can become blurred together. But at year’s end, many stories stand out, which give the year past its own character and tenor, making that year distinct, unique and memorable.

You’ve already read about some of my colleague’s favourite stories of the year in the past couple of issues. Here are some of mine.

Elections are always an exciting, especially municipal elections. Last month’s election in Cranbrook featured a record number of candidates for Council, mayoral candidates with different philosophies, new voting machines, and such different visions for the future of Cranbrook that it seemed there was a lot at stake. The results came as a surprise to many, including me — a complete change-over of council and mayor, and now the future awaits. It was one of the most intense municipal elections I’ve seen, in any of the communities I’ve lived and worked in. The new mayor and council have four years to make their mark, and we’re all excited to see where they’ll lead us.

I’ve written in years past how Cranbrook is a town historically marked by fire — it’s become a metaphor for me. That changed this year — it strikes me that flooding issues are the wave of the future. We reported on residents’ concerns about the backing up of Idlewild Lake — a man-made body of water that is designed to be dredged occasionally. Elizabeth Lake, a body of water fed by creeks and underground springs, also flooded, bringing some of Cranbrook’s infrastructure problems to the fore. I don’t think it will take many years before we know whether this watery activity is a one-time time thing, or if we can look forward to these as yearly events, perhaps as a result of climate change, for example.

My favourite person of 2014 was Nelson the Cat, who became the poster boy for animal abuse down at the East Kootenay SPCA. This past spring, Nelson was subjected to hideous acts of torture, and abandoned in a ditch, where he was found and rescued. When I visited him, he was recovering from being shot with a pellet gun, having his throat slashed at, and having a broken leg. He was active and personable, though suspicious, and while he was expected to make physical recovery he would undoubtedly be traumatized by the sick acts he was subjected to. The story of Nelson the Cat went viral  online — it’s good to know so many people are compassionate and outraged by such acts.

I had the pleasure of talking to some great musicians in 2014: Oscar Lopez, the Italian rock star Zucchero, Ashley MacIsaac, Lisa Brokop, Charlie Pride, Kenny Rogers — all who were charming, gracious and interesting interviews. These are my favourite kind of interviews, and I’m looking forward to doing many more in 2015. Cranbrook is and should be a great music town. And by the way — I know our new Council is budget conscious, but I’m going to be upping my campaign to get the acoustics approved in Western Financial Place. I’m going to be arguing in these pages about the economic and social benefits of doing so until everyone’s so sick of me they’ll fix the sound just to shut me up. Stay tuned (pun intended).

Lastly, a shout-out to the local theatrical community, a vital crowd which as much as anything else makes Cranbrook unique and sets above and apart. Cranbrook Community Theatre had a monster season, starting in December, 2013, with “Visiting Mr. Green,” directed by Tanya Laing Gahr. CCT’s one-acts — “The Exquisite Hour” and “Next” (Elizabeth Ross and Bob McCue, directors) — last January were dramatic gems. David Stock’s “The Foreigner” in April was a comedy tour de force, which sold out every night. And for the first time ever, a play was shared between Kimberley’s Off Centre Players and Cranbrook’s CCT — the Terry Miller directed “Calendar Girls,” a great, thought-provoking comedy featuring some courageous and gifted actors. Miller also directed the great comedy “Halo” in the autumn. A fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society. The play ran at Centre 64 then moved south to the Studio Stage Door.

CCT also celebrated its 40th anniversary as stewards of the Studio Stage Door heritage building in Cranbrook.

Speaking of Terry Miller, the local prolific director was the recipient in 2014 of Theatre B.C.’s prestigious Eric Hamber Award, which honours life-time contributions to community theatre.

Brent Carver, Canada’s greatest stage actor and originally from Cranbrook, spoke to the Townsman about being recognized for his career and body of work with the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement. Carver was quick to praise the vitality, exuberance and traditions of local theatre.

Mount Baker Secondary School put on “Urinetown,” directed by Mary Hamilton, a fabulous romp. Selkirk Secondary in Kimberley produced “Legally Blonde,” directed by Sven Heyde.

And coming up right away at the Key City Theatre: the most famous play of the 20th century — Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting For Godot,” opening January 21.

Happy New Year, everybody. See you in the streets and see you in the seats.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
81 new cases of COVID-19 detected in Interior Health Friday

One additional staff member at Kelowna long-term care home tests positive, no new deaths

A case of Covid-19 was identified at Cranbrook Montessori Pre-School last week.
Covid identified at Cranbrook Montessori

A case of Covid-19 was identified at Cranbrook Montessori Pre-School last week.… Continue reading

The 2020 Wasa Triathlon was cancelled. Above, the bike portion of the 2019 event. Bulletin file
Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon committee is going ahead with planning 2021 event

Lots of uncertainty, but the committee has decided its too early to cancel

Bootleg Gap Golf Course has been sold to Simkins Golf Management Inc. for $3 million.
Bootleg Gap Golf Course sold to Simkins Golf Management for $3 million

After the decision was made to sell back in October 2019, Council… Continue reading

Dorothy Kilgallen, circa 1952 (irishamerica.com)
Booknotes: Fearless reporter among the greatest of all time

Mike Selby “Success has not changed Frank Sinatra,” wrote journalist Dorothy Kilgallen… Continue reading

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Dec. 6 to 12

Mountain Day, Dewey Decimal System Day and Lard Day are all coming up this week

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Montreal Alouettes’ Michael Sam is set to make his pro football debut as he warms up before the first half of a CFL game against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Sam became the first publicly gay player to be drafted in the NFL. He signed with the Montreal Alouettes after being released by St. Louis, but abruptly left after playing one game. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Study finds Canada a ‘laggard’ on homophobia in sports

Among females, 44 per cent of Canadians who’ve come out to teammates reported being victimized

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Most Read