Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society provides grassroots leadership and an inclusive process, with a voice for all community members, to ensure that our community grows and develops in a way that incorporates an environmental ethic, offers a range of housing and transportation choices, encourages a vibrant and cultural life and supports sustainable, meaningful employment and business opportunities.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Cranbrook Community Forest Society is asking for your input

The Cranbrook Community Forest Society is looking for your input!  The Society has been working on a Master Trail Plan for the trail system in the South and Eager Hills area of the Community Forest.  A copy of the presentation made at our AGM summarizing the draft plan can be downloaded at:

Comments can be sent to:

until MAY 31, 2015   

We want to know your concerns, suggestions, opinions !!

Thank you,
CCFS Board of Directors

Elementary Art at the Guggenheim

Council Decides to Sell its Heritage Fire Hall

The decision came suddenly despite weeks of speculation, no courtesy shown to those involved, no final consultation but not past the time a decision should have been made.  Hearing about a decision that was made behind closed doors was not easy and many are shocked that this council would use the Cranbrook and District Arts Council's draft business plan to hide behind in making their decision. Keeping heritage in public ownership is one issue.  The Arts Council proposal is another.
There is no doubt this decision is perceived by many to be regressive and damaging to Cranbrook and its reputation. 
The story has not ended.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Advance Notes for the Council Meeting of April 27th 2015, 6:00pm

It has always been interesting in the past to read about the broad topics concerning our town in correspondence selected for part of the Council Agenda.  As correspondence included in the agenda becomes part of the public record, it is a point of curiosity that there is no correspondence other than a proclamation request included for this meeting. 

The entire agenda and attachments can be read at:

Terry Miller for Cranbrook Community Theatre

Airport Lease Repeal

New Business
Community Initiatives Grant awards

Endorsement of BC Coal Sector

Development Variance
Abel Avenue

Sustainability Builder of the Year Award

Administration Update

Proclamation for MS Week

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Why We need Creative Spaces, Joel Robison

I’m a proud Canadian, a proud British Columbian, and a proud Cranbrooklyn (that’s the word right?). Spending 28 of my 30 years on this earth in one of the most beautiful corners of the world was certainly a treasure that I’m lucky to look back on and feel quite lucky about.

Growing up in a sports centric community is an interesting place, the revered celebrities of our neighborhoods are the hockey players who moved on to the National level and brought home gleaming trophies, cups, medals and awards. When it wasn’t hockey, then skiing, rowing, swimming, and other sports quickly followed suit in celebration. For those of us not graced with much of an athletic gift, it was quite disheartening to see opportunity after opportunity for sporting activities but few for arts. I applaud our local heroes for their hard work and dedication but wish our Hall of Fame was a bit more diverse.
I enjoyed creating while growing up and filled my middle and high school curriculum with as many of the arts programs as I could fit into my semesters, one of the main reasons for this was because that was the only place I was truly exposed to art in a broader sense. Fortunately I grew up in a family where art was appreciated and I was able to develop my talents just as my brothers were encouraged to develop theirs. In school I learned about incredible artists from around the world, including Cranbrook. But after those school hours ended, so did my exposure to the arts community. I spent as much time in those classrooms as I could because there was nowhere else for me to go. My teachers, many who became colleagues, dedicated their time and energy making sure we were aware of the amazing talents that existed within our valley home.
In the last 5 years I’ve worked at growing my “artist presence”. I began in Cranbrook, taking photographs in the forests by myself. Soon after I was working with other locals, taking photos of events and growing my own portfolio. In passing I would find other artists, but it seemed like we were part of an underground club showing our work in secret. Or in my case, strictly online where my audience lived. By the time I had started to share my work with friends and family I had almost as many “fans” of my photography facebook page as citizens of my hometown, now it’s reaching a quarter of a million.

We have the passion, we have the talent, but right now it’s like bees buzzing around a garden without a beehive. Musicians recognized nationally, artists working with some of the biggest agencies and companies, writers publishing best sellers, they exist as “hometown heroes” but sadly, have no “home” in our city.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Warner's Corner, Selling the Fire Hall Now Would Be a Mistake

Selling the fire hall now would be a mistake
Perceptions by Gerry Warner

“Life is short, but Art is long.”
You know who said that? Hippocrates, the ancient Greek philosopher in one of his celebrated aphorisms uttered more than 2,000 years ago, which goes to show that the artistic sensibility has been part of the human genome for a long time except for some of the genomes currently sitting at the Cranbrook City Council table.
And that’s truly sad.

It’s especially sad because we may lose yet another opportunity to revitalize our fading downtown by converting the city’s historic 1929 fire hall into a combination art gallery and cultural emporium that would be the envy of the Kootenays and put Cranbrook back on the cultural map where it belongs.

This is not an idle dream. The Cranbrook District Arts Council has been working towards this for years. They have raised money, drawn up plans and engaged the community with just under 70 per cent of the community backing their efforts according to a poll in the Cranbrook Townsman this week. Despite this, Mayor Lee Pratt has criticized the proposal from the get-go and indicates he would rather see the historic structure sold off to the private sector and money gained from the sale used to patch pot holes or other similar imaginative attempts to repair the city’s deteriorating infrastructure.

But the mayor is wrong. This not an either/or situation. The City has had potholes for 50 years and will have them for the next 50. That’s the way it is with pot holes. We all know that. What we don’t have is an arts centre befitting our city’s population and stature. But we do have a civic-minded group that’s working their buns off to show how such a facility could be developed in the future if we all get behind it.

We did it with the Studio Stage Door, which an earlier council wanted to turn into a parking lot. Now we regularly enjoy some of the best amateur theatre in the province. Last week we enjoyed an incredible concert featuring one of the biggest rock bands of the 60’s. Why? Because the council of the day had the foresight to partner with the school district to build the Key City Theatre and I feel sorry for you if you missed Eric Burdon and the Animals. Two years ago, our little burg drew Bob Dylan to town for a sold out concert of more than 4,000. Why? Because another earlier council dreamed big and fought a difficult referendum campaign to build Western Financial Place which continues to draw big acts from country music stars to monster trucks.

Those earlier politicians had their critics too, but they showed imagination, vision and leadership and today Cranbrook is a better place for it.

So what now? A motion to sell the fire hall to the private sector has already been pulled from the agenda at the last minute indicating uncertainty in council chambers over the controversial sale. Two councillors have criticized the sale and one recused himself from the table when the issue came up at a recent meeting of CBT’s Community Initiatives Committee, indicating more uncertainty and concern. The public is being left in the dark while rumours swirl. And what’s the hurry to sell one of the few heritage buildings the City has left when so many are against the sale and you have an enthusiastic volunteer group waiting in the wings to repurpose the building into a cultural asset that will boost the city’s image and attract more people downtown and more business. But for this to happen, vision and leadership is needed at the council table and normally that comes from the chief executive – the mayor – with council following suit.

Therefore Mayor Pratt, as a former councillor myself, I respectfully ask you to reconsider your position on selling the City’s heritage fire hall. If you sell it you’ll be doing nothing more than selling the City’s silverware. But if you give the arts council a chance to show what they can do, you’ll indeed be a mayor of vision and leadership.
It’s up to you. And if the arts council fails, the failure will be on their hands, not yours.

 Gerry Warner is a former councillor and retired journalist.

Friday, April 24, 2015

What's Happening.....

Saturday April 25th

Raised Bed Workshop
with Luke Kimmel
Cranbrook Public produce garden

Cranbrook Farmer's Market
Ktunaxa Building Gym
10:00am - 1:00pm

Randy the Gypsy Musician
Brandon Blackmore
Cranbrook and District Arts Council Gallery
135, Tenth Av S.
1:00pm - 2:00pm
Admission by donation

Locals Coffee House

Studio Stage Door, 7:30pm
Tickets Lotus Books (maybe sold out)
Tom Bungay, Ian Jones, Carter Gulseth,
Shauna and megan Plan and the Rosie Brown Band

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Fate of Fire Hall No 1 Continues in Jeopardy

The black cloud of uncertainty hangs over taxpayers like an ominous drone that refuses to leave.
Fire Hall #1 July 2010

In 2010 Fire Hall # 1 was still loved and cared for.  The flowers baskets hung at the front much as they always did in summer. The Fire Hall was always known for its flower displays and the Fire Department took pride in this tradition.

But what now?  Many Cranbrook residents are bewildered by this fierce notion on the part of some members of Council to sell the building.  Why, when CDAC's project has been supported by the Federal Government, Columbia Basin Trust, the City's Official Community Plan and a $50,000 study that the City paid for, is this project facing being tossed aside in favour of private ownership? 

An adjudicating Councillor who recused himself from the public presentations of the Community Initiative Application process was recently and reliably reported to have told a support letter writer in the week of April 1st. that the reason he did that would be known in two weeks.  Really?

Why, when Cranbrook lags behind so many communities who have had municipally owned Art Galleries for years is this 'sell' option so favoured?  

Most BC Communities value and promote the arts by owning buildings, frequently historic or heritage, to showcase the visual arts.   Kimberley has Centre 64.  Fernie has the Arts Station. Invermere has Pynelogs.  Nelson, Revelstoke and Salmon Arm all, for example, own buildings specifically for the Visual Arts.  Nelson alone, a community much smaller than Cranbrook owns the buildings which house the Capitol Theatre, the Civic Theatre, Kootenay School of the Arts and Touchstones Museum. These communities take pride in their artists, their work and skills.  In return these communities gain balance becoming attractive to all. 

Why, when previous Councils spent years buying back properties to acquire a contiguous piece of City owned property in the downtown, would this Council wish a sell off a piece supporting one of the City's few remaining heritage buildings?

There is no guarantee that in private hands this building will maintain its unique floor plan, its integrity or even remain.  

Why, when the Cities financial affairs are in stable order and there is no desperate need for $350,000 an amount that wouldn't even deal with half a city block, is there such a fervent desire to get rid of this fabulous city asset?

Wicked Gardening Beds

Community Gardening

Messages from Shannon

A reminder about our exciting workshop coming up this weekend: Luke Kimmel's Wicked Raised Beds. This workshop will give you hand's on experience building a wicking bed and we'll use re-purposed freezers. This technique could, however, be replicated with a number of different materials. The beauty of the wicking bed design is the lower maintenance - in the heat of summer, it turns daily watering duty to once a week. Think of all the spare time that you can dedicate to other things :)

The Workshop is 10-4 this Saturday, April 25 at the Public Produce Garden.
Cost is $45 and includes in-depth hand-outs. Volunteer bursaries are also available if cost is a barrier. Please be in touch with me if you are interested in that option.
A poster and diagram that does a good job explaining the idea of a wicking bed attached.

Registration and more info:

Luke's website:

The Garden is coming alive quickly and looks great already! Stop by and have a wander through if you haven't made it yet. A few things we're looking for this year if you happen to have extras:
- seeds! (pretty much anything that you have in excess)
- perennial herb transplants for the herb spiral (anything you have that could use dividing: we already have a lot of oregano and chives)
- asparagus starts (if you happen to have a huge patch :)
- seedlings (any excess you have as the season goes on - as always, the Garden is happy to take)

You can expect to see a few improvements over the next month, thanks to funding from CBT Community Inititatives (many of which you are welcome to be involved in realizing):
- compost bin transferred and moved along fence
- 2 new gates installed (1 beside playground, 1 beside apartment building)
- shade cloth installed on pergola
- new 'end tables' under pergola
- reinforcement of gravel walkway and edging to slow grass encroachment
- disabled parking sign installed by City directly in front of gate

Sophie will be taking over for me completely at the end of the month and she will keep you up to date on all organized Garden events, including group work bees. We've already got a row of peas in the ground, strawberries transplanted, a new compost built, and a fresh load of manure to top up our garden beds. Thanks to the Boys and Girls Club, KEY program and Leigh Cormier's grade 10 class for accomplishing all that!

Feel free to get in touch with any questions and as always offer up ideas or feedback on what you'd like to see happening at the Garden.

Hope to see you there soon :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Protect Our Fresh Water

"All it takes is one mussel on one boat."
That's the message Brynne Morrice, a filmmaker who splits his time between New York and Vernon, B.C., has packed into this six minute film about the threat of zebra and quagga mussels to British Columbian lakes. Morrice speaks to scientists, political leaders and residents about what havoc the invasive species could wreak on B.C.'s freshwater.

Monday, April 20, 2015

City of Nelson Unveils Latest Sculptures

A Musing from Michael

 "Number please?" from cheery voice of telephone operator soon as obsolete as land line phones
 By Michael J Morris
 When I was a kid growing up in a relatively isolated community in Northern Ontario in the 1940s, we didn't even have a telephone in the house. 
 Then the local telephone company added more lines and we got a party line with another home, and by picking up the phone i heard the cheery voice of the telephone operator ask, "Number please?"
 Soon thereafter, we got our own number which I still recall was 188, and during the 1960s when i was away from home at university and working as a newspaper reporter, operator assisted local calls were still in effect. In fact, 
 I recall phoning the Chapleau operator late at night from wherever I was, and catching up on the local news. The operators knew everything and everybody.
For example, if I was calling Butch at home, the operator may say, "He is not there, He's at the Boston. He just called Roger from there."
 Rotary dial phones and the beginning of the end for operator assisted calls, came to my small community about the end of the 1960s 
 In 2015, the "land line phone" as they came to be called in recent years may soon be obsolete.
 According to an article by Tamara Gignac in the Calgary Herald long time ago on December 27, 2013, "Land line phones — once deemed essential — are increasingly becoming irrelevant as younger users rely on cellphones or technologies such as Skype to communicate." 
 Just try and find a landline phone in the Calgary International Airport for example, and for years I had trouble calling my buddy to tell him where I was in Orlando International Airport. But, progressive city that it is, they now have converted former pay phones into  complimentary one for local calls.
 I use Skype, Facebook, Twitter and email to communicate and still have a land line phone, but I also have a new cell phone.  I primarily text on it, and when I'm having coffee in a restaurant, place it on the table just to show I am "with it" like everyone else in the place.
 Gignac quoted Tom Keenan, a professor in the University of Calgary's faculty of environmental design that In some ways, the 'classic land line' is already following in the footsteps of the rotary dial.
 Professor Keenan predicts: “In the future, as phones merge with wristbands and smart watches, the land line will become a curiosity and houses will be built without them..."
In 2015 I am celebrating 21 years since I taught my first Writing for New Media course at College of the Rockies.My first fearless prediction was that the only constant in society was change -- and trust me on this one, I had a tough audience. Most of my students in that first class were college instructors, elementary and secondary school teachers and a smattering of college students.
 The majority would not even agree that email would come into common use. And that's fact. I had business cards printed with my email on it. Only problem was, I had nobody to email.
 Gignac also quoted Jim Carroll,  a trends and innovation expert: “We live in a world where technology enters our life, becomes a part of our life and then, boom, it’s gone."
 These days I have been reflecting on "Living in Michael's World", the title of a presentation that a colleague made to COTR New Media Communications students circa 1997 about my fearless predictions for the future. Stay tuned, and please feel free to share your thoughts with me. My email is
 I may even share my new phone number with you so we can text each other.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

How Long Might You Live?

Simple Sitting Test Predicts How Long You'll Live
Flexibility, balance and muscle strength are key indicators of longevity.
By Becky Lang|Monday, September 08, 2014

Sit. Stand. Repeat. This little trick — a deceptively simple measure of flexibility and strength — can predict who will live longer and whose lives will be cut short, according to a study by Brazilian physician Claudio Gil Araujo. He uses the test with athletes, but he also uses it to lay out the stakes with patients: To live longer, they must get moving and maintain muscle and balance.

Araujo noticed long ago that many of his patients, particularly older people, had trouble with ordinary motions such as bending down to pick up something off the floor — difficulty indicative of a loss of flexibility. As people age, he knew, reduced muscle power and loss of balance can greatly increase the risk of dangerous falls.

Eat What You Please

Forget Forbidden Food, Eat What You Please

That's Dr. John Sloan's prescription in his new book examining 'bad diet science' and the wellness craze.
By John Sloan, Yesterday,

Today, nearly everybody believes the benefits of healthy eating are as sure a thing as tomorrow morning. This idea has had a devastating impact in the world since it first appeared almost 100 years ago. But in the past 30, and particularly the past 10 years, it's as if a shock wave of health-related food preference and consumption has hit the $3.2-trillion worldwide food industry. The dollar and human cost of the changes in choice and value of primary products, processing and production, product development and marketing, and retail presentation are almost incalculable.
This book describes why we believe in what is presented as "scientific," how we got to misunderstand the terrible significance of eating, and how ideas (once they get rolling) reinforce themselves. It examines where we've gone wrong in thinking about diet, and suggests a way back to being reasonable about it. If you accept my idea that the benefits of healthy eating don't amount to what most people believe today, I think your life may change wonderfully. But you won't find in this book new or reinterpreted rules about what to eat and not to eat.

What's Happening....

'til Friday April 24th
Junior Art Exhibit
Cranbrook and District Arts Council Gallery
135, Tenth Avenue South
Reception Saturday April 18th
12 noon

Saturday April 18th

Stop Bill 51
Day of Action

SPCA Fundraiser
Fur Ball
Royal Alex
The Paw Shop
Tenth Avenue South

The Purple Pirate
Key City Theatre
11;00am and 1:00pm

Sun Valley Song
For the Beauty of the Earth
Two performances 7:30pm Saturday
Sunday April 19th 2;30pm
Knox Presbyterian Church
Tickets $10 Lotus Books

Catholic Womens' League
Tea and Bake Sale
1100 14th Ave. S.
11;00am - 2;00pm

Thursday April 23rd
Mount Baker
Trashion Fashion
Tamarack mall

Small Glories Concert
Cara Luft and J.D. Edwards
Lotus Books

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Art In Our Lives

The shirt on your back, the shoes on your feet, the car you is everywhere and we need to nurture our artists.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

In response to Ms Dodgson's letter to The Townsman regarding CDAC and the Fire Hall

Dear Editor,

In Response to Ms. Dodgson’s letter to the Townsman April 14:

It is unfortunate, Ms. Dodgson, that you did not contact a member of the Arts Council prior to writing your letter.  I thank you for writing it however.  The information contained within your letter is very typical of what many people in Cranbrook choose to believe and so much of it is just plain wrong.

Cranbrook and District Arts Council is a society and not a business.  As such it cannot make ‘profit’ as a regular business can.  Any funds considered to be profit must be put back into the service that we provide. 

CDAC has not asked to be given the Fire Hall as a gift.  We wish to provide a service, tourist attraction and economic stimulator in this heritage building much as the Studio Stage Door does.  The City was donated the Masonic Lodge and the Cranbrook Community Theatre Society have restored it, maintained it at their expense and provide a service and economic generator to the City in return
The new council has removed the funds once promised for the restoration of this heritage building and Cranbrook and District Arts Council has offered to take the restoration on, at no cost to the City.  We have, in fact, been exploring every avenue available for funding and have so far been successful without any help from the City.

The Cranbrook and District Arts Council is much more than a place where art is sold. Visit sometime.
Cranbrook and District Arts Council Society has been in existence for forty years, not ten and prior to that under the guidance of Ms. Muriel Baxter it was the Kootenay Fine Arts and Craft Society, giving it a history of 70 plus years in Cranbrook.

We do raise money. People who have attended one of our functions such as a music recital, bought a calendar, attended an art sale, belonged to one of our groups or participated in one of our events know that.

Grants are paid to many organizations including the City of Cranbrook.  The Spray Irrigation upgrades would not have been possible without two thirds grant funding from the Federal and Provincial Governments and to date that would mean the City has received approximately 20 million dollars in grants for that project.  That is a pretty big hand out. The funding we receive from grants set aside for Arts and Culture are miniscule by comparison and if we don’t get them in Cranbrook, they go to Fernie, Kimberley and elsewhere. You can see the positive result of that in those communities.

Using your argument that we should buy the building, maybe minor hockey should buy the Memorial Arena and library users should buy the library.

You may have voted for this Mayor and Council but do you sincerely believe that they are all comfortable revoking an agreement, that was years in the making, included two previous Councils and one on which many volunteers have put hours of volunteer time into? CDAC for its part has acted in good faith in order to preserve a heritage building that would remain in city hands and become a needed amenity accessible for all taxpayers?  They will not give up now.

Jenny Humphrey.

CDAC Volunteer

Restoration begins on the Little Brick Building

Karl Schmideder skilled mason
 begins the work of reconstructing the corner
of the unique old electrical building
 behind City Hall.
The work of restoration has begun and we are lucky to have in Cranbrook, a skilled mason able to carry out the work.

This unique building became a lightning rod  a few years ago for those concerned about the dwindling number of remaining  heritage buildings in Cranbrook.  Thanks to a group of volunteers, this building will live to see another day and provide added character and use to Cranbrook's small heritage corner of downtown. The final use has not been determined and will be at the will of Council but maybe those valued antique fire trucks might be displayed there or maybe the popular Cranbrook Summer Sounds and Farmer's Market might be able to store chairs and necessities there.

There is still, luckily, a store of old Cranbrook bricks available for the restoration process and many will watch with interest as this old electrical building, one that is linked to both City Hall and The Fire Hall beside it, becomes worthy again.

We thank all those dedicated volunteers who have put much time and energy into preserving this piece of Cranbrook's history.  The story of how it came to be built, the service it provided, the people who worked within it and its importance to both City Hall and the Fire Hall will be valued by many.

Council Meeting of April 13th 2015

This meeting van be watched at:

Friday, April 10, 2015

Letter to Council and Public regarding Fire Hall #1

In recent Council meetings it would seem that some of our present Council, and city staff, are firmly committed to sell our Heritage Fire Hall #1 building.  It appears the time is now for you to ask Cranbrook citizens for input into this momentous decision to determine the fate of OUR heritage building.  I will include a brief description of its inception for those of you who may not have heard of the building’s early history.

In 1929 the new Council, under the leadership of Mayor Roberts, broached the subject of the need for a new fire hall. By early March Council had decided to draw up a by-law to raise $31,000, by the sale of debentures, to build the fire hall and to submit the question to the ratepayers for their approval.

Complete details of the By-Law No. 388 were printed in the March 14th Cranbrook Courier.  Cranbrook citizens were given the opportunity to vote, by ballot, to accept this By-Law on March 25thThe vote carried with a resounding 90% in favour of borrowing the funds so that Cranbrook could now have a fire hall worthy of the growing community. Mayor Roberts and his Council enjoyed the confidence of the ratepayers.

This was to be a totally Cranbrook-built fire hall. The design was by City Superintendent Philpot and the City Works Department, plans drawn up by Colborne, a Cranbrook businessman, and local builder Jones won the construction bid and used locally processed lumber and Cranbrook bricks.

The Cranbrook Courier of November 11, 1929 proudly displayed a photo of the new fire hall labelling it “The Lasting Structure”.  Since then the paper frequently reported on Cranbrook’s fire hall, the men who worked there and the adjoining gardens. It became a place people were encouraged to visit.  For several years it also provided a home for Fire Chief Gordon and his family.

Through the ensuing years Councils had the foresight to purchase the properties belonging to MacPherson’s Funeral Home, the Baptist Church, the Knights of Pythias building, the Masonic Hall and a small home that was preventing the City owning a continuous frontage on 11th Avenue.  How fortunate our City Fathers of the day had this foresight as it allowed our City Hall to be expanded, a small park to be developed, parking for the firemen and lots on which to build our present Police Station.  In 1986 our Fire Hall #1 gained protection by Heritage Designation.

Our present Council, and staff, appear to be in a rush to push through the sale of the Fire Hall.  I was amazed to read Kevin Weaver’s report, on the City webpage, recommending the building be sold and this was before any Cranbrook groups had the opportunity to make presentations to Council. Other recent Councils would have suggested that the question of what to do with this Heritage building be passed along to their Wellness and Heritage Committee for input.  These Council committees were set up to provide exactly this type of feedback to you.  In your rush to put the building on the market you seem to have precluded taking this obvious step.

So now the time appears to have come for you to decide, what should happen to our building.  I have not heard any mention of going back to the public for our thoughts on this.  The citizens of Cranbrook voted to borrow the money to build this civic building. Even if present Council does not legally have to reengage the public, and gain its input, surely you and your present Council members must feel that it’s only morally right to do so.

So please, as a member of Council, don’t be too ready to break up the area of OUR city-owned properties or to dispose of one of OUR few remaining taxpayer-owned heritage buildings. I ask you to carefully consider whether, or not, you undo the careful foresight that has been displayed by the many previous City representatives in your Council positions.

Dave Humphrey

Thursday, April 9, 2015

What's Happening.......

Library Display for April
Courtesy Kathy Simon

Until April 24th

Cranbrook and District Arts Council presents
A Junior Arts Exhibit
with representation from every Cranbrook Elementary School

Saturday April 11th

Midsummer Night's Dream
Globe on Screen
Columbia Theatre

Cranbrook Farmer's Market
Ktunaxa Gym
10:00am to 1:00pm
Fresh produce already!

Back by popular demand
Cranbrook and District Arts Council
Zentangle Workshop with Cindy Hagen
$25 includes kit
phone 250-426-4223 to register

Folk Legend
Ian Tamblin
at the Stage Door
Tickets 250-421-7802

Symphony of the Kootenays
Classic Greatness
Key City Theatre
Piano soloist Susan Gould

Wednesday April 15th

Go Go Grannies presents
War Torn Health Care
Cathy Eaton will share her experiences nursing
in war torn Democratic Republic of Congo
COR lecture Theatre

Thursday April 16th

Canadian Federation of University Women
Artist Joseph Cross presents a Slide presentation of
Places and Paintings of David Thompson
created for the David Thompson Legacy Project
Room 189
College of the Rockies

Saturday April 18th

Swan Lake
Royal Ballet
Columbia Theatre

Young Artists Reception
Cranbrook and District Arts Council Gallery
12:00noon to 2:00pm

Health Perks of Arts and Crafts

From Time Magazine

The Health Perks of Arts and Crafts for Adults

Just as coloring books for adults are starting to fly off the shelves, a new study suggests that older adults who do creative activities like arts and crafts could delay the development of memory problems in old age.
The study, which is published in the journal Neurology, looked at 256 people who were between 85 to 89 years old and did not have any memory related problems at the start of the study. The men and women were followed for four years. The people in the study reported their levels of engagement in the arts, including painting, drawing, sculpting, woodworking, ceramics, quilting and sewing. They also estimated their social life—hanging out with friends, traveling, and attending book clubs and Bible studies—as well as their computer use, which included searching the Internet and buying things online.

People who exercised their artistic muscle were 73% less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment, a condition that can mean memory problems and reduced mental function, than those who didn’t partake in artistic activities. People who did a lot of crafts like woodworking and quilting were 45% less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment than people who did not, and computer users were 53% less likely to develop it compared to adults who didn’t use the computer. Social adults were 55% less likely to have memory problems later on than their antisocial peers.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Kathyn Teneese on Breakdown of the Treaty Process

Premier Clark Just Broke More than the Treaty Process

Her recent moves risk a generation of effort, collaboration and goodwill.
By Kathryn Teneese, 4 Apr 2015, 

When Premier Christy Clark came to visit the Ktunaxa Nation Government Building last summer, she was all smiles. It was the first time we hosted a premier in our new government building. We had recently purchased the former headquarters of a forestry company that was bought out and no longer operates in our territory. There were smiles, handshakes and photos, too, and while we were not able to discuss anything substantive, we had a forum for discussions.

With the Premier's recent decision to pull support for the new Chief Commissioner of the BC Treaty Commission, no one is smiling now. There are more things that are broken than the treaty process in B.C. The province has broken trust and broken our relationship. Premier Clark is dangerously close to cutting the last thread of goodwill with First Nations, squandering a generation of effort to settle old partisan scores -- or was it a "principled policy decision?" As far as we're concerned, neither is helpful.
What we are left with is a reality that the Ktunaxa Nation, currently in stage four of the six-stage treaty process, could be minus one partner at the negotiation table. ......

The cloud of uncertainty that hangs over the province's economy has once again grown darker with the reckless decision to scuttle the treaty process without any discussions with the partners to the tripartite process.
The Premier's recent actions do not appear to be supportive of treaties, reconciliation or First Nations. This is evidenced by her government's support of projects like Site C and the Jumbo Glacier Resort, which are egregiously detrimental to First Nations' lives and culture.
She has seriously damaged any relationships that may have existed in Indian country, and that is a major liability for a province seeking economic development and for a society committed to social justice, recognition and reconciliation.

To read the entire article go to the link above.

Easter at Fort Steele

Fun was had by all on a glorious Easter Sunday at Fort Steele.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Cranbrook’s fire hall is a public building and a public building it should remain

Cranbrook’s fire hall is a public building and a public building it should remain
Perceptions by Gerry Warner   
It was early in 1929 when citizens of the fledgling community of Cranbrook took a big step into the future.

At issue was a false-fronted, wooden building next door to City Hall that served as the city’s third fire hall in pioneer days. A bent-up, old crow-bar hung in front of the building and when a fire broke out someone would bang on it until the loud clanging roused the volunteer fire team into action and they would trundle off with a hose and reel to the source of the flames.

But on March 25, 1929 the far sighted citizens of Cranbrook decided they needed something better and reached deep into their pockets and by a margin of 269 to 27 approved a bylaw to build a new $31,000 fire hall. Thirty-one thousand dollars was a lot of money on the verge of the Great Depression, but an editorial in the March 28, 1929 Cranbrook Courier congratulated the City on its move.
The real civic booster, the editorial said, “is the fellow who at all times is interested in all things for community betterment . . . he realizes that the success of the whole community is his individual success. Likewise, he makes his individual success reach out in good uses for the entire community.”
Oh that we had such far-sighted civic boosters in Cranbrook today!

Then again, maybe we do. At a recent City Council meeting an item was pulled from the agenda at the last minute that would have resulted in the city’s ornate, heritage, downtown fire hall being put up for sale to the highest bidder. This despite the fact that the previous Council had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Cranbrook District Arts Council (CDAC) to potentially repurpose the building as an Arts Centre and Gallery. A new Council, of course, is entitled to set its own priorities, but in moving so quickly to tear up the MOU to explore the possibility of creating the city’s first true, stand-alone arts centre and gallery can the current council claim to be acting in good faith? Hardly.

What’s the hurry here?
Since 1972, the CDAC has worked its buns off to elevate Cranbrook as the artistic centre of the region by promoting local artists, staging artistic exhibitions and bringing renowned artists to the community. Just look at this season alone: “Let Them Run,” an exhibition of paintings and sculpture dedicated to the restoration of the ancient Kootenay salmon runs. “Small Glories,” an in-house folk concert, “Stories of the Yukon,” by a renowned northern story teller and a “Junior Arts Exhibition” by local kindergarten to Grade 6 budding artists.

Not every exhibition draws a good crowd, but this is partly because the cramped, rented facility operates in a space that looks more like an office than a gallery.
But think what it would be like if the arts council operated out of a downtown, heritage building with the space to show major exhibitions like the Touchstones Museum of Art and History in Nelson, a city only half the size of Cranbrook.

In anticipation of Council falling through on the MOU, the CDAC has been furiously fund-raising and applying for every possible grant they can obtain to create a facility that would do Cranbrook proud and give the city a sensibility it now lacks and would add another civic attraction.

It would be as the Courier editorial writer said a facility for “community betterment” and “reach out in good uses for the entire community.” The Cranbrook Fire Hall was built as a public building, paid for by the public and served the public for more than half-a-century. That’s how it should remain. It would be a sacrilege to sell this building off for private use.

Gerry Warner is a retired journalist and former Cranbrook City Councillor.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

News from Wildsight

Branch AGM Reminder and Events

2015 Wildsight Kimberley/Cranbrook Branch AGM

Everyone is invited to attend our AGM on Wednesday April 15th 2015! If you are interested in what has been happening at Wildsight Kim/Cran or perhaps would like to mingle with some great folks, this meeting and mingle is a great opportunity to do just that.
The evening will look like this:
7:00pm AGM agenda – Financials, Elections for Board of Directors, Summary of 2014 projects, and Discussions
8:00pm or earlier depending on length of the AGM portion; mingle with snacks and beverages!
We will be hosting at the Wildsight Kimberley/Cranbrook office upstairs at 495 Wallinger Ave. Kimberley BC
We look forward to seeing you there!

Come out to the Open Gate Garden!

Willow Weaving Work Bees April 18th and 19th 9am - noon

Spring has sprung and that means it’s time to get out and play in the garden together! The first organized effort of the season will be a fun opportunity to learn more about the art of weaving willow. We will be reinforcing the Garden’s defenses against the local ground squirrel population and beautifying the existing chain-link.
  • Weave willow, dogwood & cottonwood branches around the lower perimeter of the Garden
  • Fill additional fence openings with woven recycled rubber
  • Decide on the first priorities for spring plantings

Concerning the Arts and The Fire Hall

This open letter was also sent to us from the Hephers who now reside in Fernie. 

 Honourable Mayor and Council of Cranbrook,

As a former resident of Cranbrook (2001-2011), an artist, and a business owner (2003-present) I feel I have a unique perspective on the arts and the community. I have been heavily involved in arts and communities in Cranbrook, as well as in our new neighbouring home of Fernie. These two communities are so radically different that it is difficult at time to make comparisons or find parallels, but one thing that doesn’t change is that ALL businesses are creative at some level, and having a community that embraces and values the creative process is a huge asset to creating a vibrant and unique place to live.

In simple terms, businesses arise from someone spotting a need, and finding a creative way to fill it. When we were looking for a home for a new branch of our business (which we operated in Cranbrook from 2003-2011) and started looking for a storefront and chatting with people about it in Cranbrook, the kind response we got could largely be distilled to ‘Why would you do that?’. There was a lack of understanding about what we were trying to achieve that was so strong we decided to explore other options. 

Just up the road, Fernie offered a very different response: “Why not!” was the de facto response to our idea. What was our idea? To open a retail space for local artists and create a visible, working studio for my work in historic printing and print-making. In Fernie, all of these things were seen as contributing to the vibrancy, uniqueness, and therefore value of the downtown core and community as a whole. As a result, we packed up our family and moved one hour down the road to settle in Fernie. Despite the fact that the cost of living is higher here, Fernie has provided a supportive, nurturing and fiscally viable community to build our business in. The local arts council has supported us in many ways, partnering with us on projects, connecting us with customers, and including us in ongoing programs and participational opportunities that help us grow and connect in more ways than we can fathom.

The local community was divided about the project that moved the train station across the tracks, and rebuilt it for the purpose of the arts, but there was enough business, public sector, and community support to make it happen, and the community has never looked back. That building currently provides a foundation for artists, workshop space, arts guild space, concert space, gallery space, and even a restaurant. It has been a springboard for many local artisans. A quick count shows at least 4 downtown businesses that got their start as students at the Arts Station (The Arts Co-op, Clawhammer Press, The Pottery Hut and Angela Morgan Gallery) All of these things mean that arts funding that arrives in Fernie ends up being very efficiently used in the community to further understanding, education, appreciation and articulation of many forms of arts. This in turn creates a community that supports and encourages businesses and artisans to create opportunities for themselves. Artisans who create opportunities for themselves bring tourism dollars to the town, as well as cultural enrichment, and quality of life. The bottom line is that the Arts Station contributes to the town in all ways: Fiscally, culturally, educationally.

Additionally, art helps a community to define and identify itself. I feel that the Spirit Tree sculpture and the Reconciliation Sculpture (both of with I was part of designing as an artist team with Paul Reimer) have contributed in tangible ways to help give Cranbrook a public identity. The year after the Spirit Tree was installed (ironically the sculpture itself was paid for by a private donation) a 6-foot replica of it was built for the Cranbrook float to send to parades at every community parade in the Kootenays. Former mayor Scott Manjak, who was in office when it was erected, said that he felt the Spirit Tree did more than any other single thing to help give the community an identity. In Fernie, just one of the projects that happens annually is the Banner Project, which puts a banner with locally made and carefully curated art from the community on every lamp standard in the downtown core and along the highway. These banners help visitors and locals alike see how the community views itself, as well as adding beauty and vibrancy to core areas of town.

All of these things are part of making a community a rich place. Certainly art is not part of everyone’s life, but but there are many people in Cranbrook who are looking for those opportunities. To keep an body healthy you need to provide nutrients to all organs and extremities, and a city is very similar. With a permanent home, the Kootenay Ice have thrived in Cranbrook. Having a permanent home for the Arts Council will be a similar and a significant part of creating a community with rich depth and breadth, a place where businesses as well as artisans will want to build and grow. It also creates opportunities for young families and teens to create, to do something positive and creative. 

Overall, I wish for Cranbrook that this opportunity to save a heritage building and to create a permanent space for the local arts council is not missed. It will without a doubt make a real, tangible difference to the fabric of the community individuals and businesses alike. The Arts Council in Fernie is a big part of why we moved here, and now our business is growing and thriving to the point where we are providing job opportunities to people inside and outside our region, and drawing money to our community from all over Western Canada. Perhaps we would not have had to move if there were similar opportunities in Cranbrook. 

Thank you for your time, I encourage you to make a long-sighted decision and not miss this opportunity to create a permanent home for the arts in Cranbrook.


michael hepher
Clawhammer Letterpress & Gallery

shop: 778.519.5010
cell: 250.946.6400

michael hepher
Clawhammer Letterpress & Gallery

shop: 778.519.5010
cell: 250.946.6400