The Hottest Tickets in Town: Christmas with Scrooge

Despite the stinginess of the old miser who we know as Scrooge, a local theatrical production known as Christmas with Scrooge attracts an abundance of generosity. Newman Family Productions will be presenting Christmas with Scrooge for its 47th year since it started. This musical adaptation will be at ArtSpring from December 20th to 23rd. With a veritable cast of thousands dancing and singing islanders into the past, present, and future over the past half-century, this piece of homegrown theatre, according to Kathy Ramsey, is truly a Salt Spring holiday tradition. One enthusiastic donor called it “the sheer essence of ‘Salt Spring-ness.’” Kathy, who is chair of the Inclusivity Campaign committee and president of BC Arts, added, “One of our anonymous donors gave us enough to drop kids’ ticket prices by $5 from our original projections. Why? Because he couldn't think of a better antidote to the political nastiness creeping into our everyday experiences and felt that island y…
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Chilli and Charm This Saturday

When you think of a holiday kickoff, do you think of a chilli cook-off? That’s how Salt Spring islanders like to do it! In the brisk air of Centennial Park on December 2, chilli fans will gather around tall heaters as the lineup winds its way toward the various chillis to sample. Mouths water as the aromas of spices fill the air. It’s a great opportunity to catch up with community members and listen to the festive melodies of Viva Chorale. Each chilli is a unique, gourmet masterpiece. Last year, tasters sampled seafood chilli with whole mussels; West Indies chilli with lamb and chick peas; a spicy chilli that made the faces of the tender-throated redden; and local lamb chilli brimming with locally farmed veggies. To name a few! The cook-off is from 4pm to 6pm, but come early! The chillis do get eaten. Before you head home, be sure to judge the best chilli, but stick around if you want to be there when the winner is announced. You can cool off your taste buds with apple…
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TV Donated Just in Time for Grey Cup

Today was a great day for Tom Woods and Branch #92 of the Royal Canadian Legion. A 65” high definition 4K Smart TV, still wrapped in its box, was delivered to the Legion by Country Grocer’s Community Relations team. The TV was a donation in honour of veterans for Remembrance Day and was a way that Country Grocer could contribute to the Legion’s facility. And as a bonus, it happened to arrive just in time for Sunday’s Grey Cup game! A new TV for the Legion means no longer carrying the current TV, which is quite heavy, up and down the stairs for different functions. Now they have a TV upstairs and one downstairs. It also adds an extra feature for those who rent Meaden Hall for various events. Country Grocer was able to give enough of a donation to help the Legion purchase a 55” TV, a great offer as it was. But after some thought, the Community Relations team at Country Grocer came back to Tom with a slightly different idea: “If you want a bigger one than that, we can cou…
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Cricket Protein at Country Grocer

Crickets are an old type of food for a new type of world. Earth is expected to be home to over 9 billion people by 2050, and currently, the bread basket of the United States is experiencing severe water shortages. Perhaps that knowledge has helped the idea of eating insects in North America gain some headway. Crickets farms are springing into existence across Canada and the US. And now you can find delicious cricket snacks here on Salt Spring Island. Recently, Country Grocer brought in these packaged goodies, crickets and meal worms, in small sample sizes for customers to buy and try. These insect snacks came from Entomo Farms, owned by the three Goldin brothers who created this business out of an obligation that they felt to help sustain, conserve, and perpetuate Earth, its systems, and life forms. I bought a small pack of barbeque crickets and ate them in one sitting. The crickets were smaller than the ones I tried 20 years ago, so I wasn’t too intimidated. But I adm…
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Eat Lunch, Do Good

Ganges diners have a new place to eat lunch. The Harvest Kitchen opened behind the Core Inn on McPhillips Ave earlier this month. The cute, little kitchen is the result of big effort by a number of people and organizations who have an interest in social enterprise. In the spring of this year, the idea for the Harvest Kitchen was conceived. Simone Cazabon, Food Security Coordinator at Community Services, coordinated a collaboration that involves numerous programs at Community Services, market farmers, Country Grocer, Thrifty’s, and private donors―so far. All of the projects collaborators have an interest in rescuing food and feeding people. The concept for the Harvest Kitchen is ingenious. Most of the food is coming from the Community Services, and grocery stores donate food that either didn’t sell or couldn’t sell due to minor blemishes. A creative cook prepares warm, healthy meals that sell at a great price. The Harvest Kitchen is open to the public, but here’s the twist…
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Foundation announces $100,000 grant to 'The Root'

The Salt Spring Island Foundation is pleased to announce a grant of $100,000 to The Root, Farmland Trust’s new local food processing, distribution and storage facility. The grant is part of a bequest left to the Foundation by May Cree Shaw and will be used to construct and equip The Root’s Shaw Family Kitchen, which will be a hub for preparing, cooking, and preserving locally grown produce. Kees Ruurs, Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, says, “This exciting and innovative project will benefit all islanders by making more local food available, improving our food security and also boosting Salt Spring’s economy. The Shaws were south-end farmers, part of our agricultural heritage, so this is a very appropriate use of their legacy.” The Salt Spring Island Foundation will be awarding $500,000 in grants from the Shaw bequest over a five-year period, beginning with the grant to The Root. Applications for the next $100,000 grant, to be awarded in early 2018, will be…
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Live Americana Music Keeps Islanders In Tune

Tucked off one of Salt Spring’s rural roads is a beautiful barn in a pastoral setting where music fans can have a one-of-a-kind experience. Last summer, Pitchfork Social came into being just north of Ganges. It had formerly been Southend Grooveyard, which was, as you might have guessed, on the south end of Salt Spring Island. Founder David Youngson wanted a space that was less “tight and cramped,” and so he partnered with Zack Hemstreet and Molly Wilson at Bullock Lake Farm to create Pitchfork Social. It’s an intimate yet unsuspecting venue for the high-quality, live musical acts that are making Pitchfork Social legendary—drawing people from on and off island. The Pitchfork Social website promotes the shows as a place “where singers, songwriters, pluckers, pickers and story-tellers share their soul-enriching talent with the most gracious audience of music lovers.” David, who describes himself as a huge music lover, says, “I think, [music]’s an important thing for all of u…
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Protect Seedlings - Beet Leafminers

Coastal gardeners who did a lot of planting in the first really warm weather last weekend had a taste of what it is like to garden in the rest of Canada, where gardens are traditionally planted all at once on the May long weekend. By now, even the most delicate plants can be set outdoors—I hope! I thought I should send a reminder to shade your seedlings and newly seeded beds over the next few days and in any subsequent heat waves. The forecast is for high temperatures of up to 28-30oC (82-86oF) inland, away from cool breezes off the water. Temperatures that fry seedlings right now wouldn’t burn mature plants later in the summer when roots are deeper, leaves shade the soil and leaf cells have adapted to heat. If you are starting carrots, lettuce or parsnip seeds right now, the soil could be too warm for good germination so cover these and other seedbeds to keep the soil surface cool until the first tiny green leaf appears. Use burlap, old towels, newspaper, opaque white plast…
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2017 Salt Spring Film Festival - Koneline: Our Land Beautiful

The following article was written by Connie Kuhns as part of a series of articles about filmmakers coming to the Salt Spring Film Festival on March 3-5, 2017. Filmmaker Nettie Wild will be attending the festival and leading a discussion about the film following the screening. The Filmmaker series is sponsored by Stonehouse Bed and Breakfast. Filmmaker interview: Director Nettie Wild. Koneline: our land beautiful By Connie Kuhns One night at a screening in Powell River, B.C. a man left the theatre “steaming mad” at what he had just seen in Nettie Wild’s latest film Koneline: our land beautiful. “Assumptions just keep piling up depending on who is watching and what they bring into the theatre”, Wild tells me in an email. For a woman who has taken her camera behind the scenes of the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, and filmed the radicalization of drug users on Vancouver streets as they fight to open a safe injection site, her exquisite tribute to the magnificent landscape …
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2017 Salt Spring Film Festival - Show Me What You Care About

The following article was written by Connie Kuhns as part of a series of articles about filmmakers coming to the Salt Spring Film Festival on March 3-5, 2017. Filmmakers Brianne Nettlefield and Naomi Mark will be attending the festival and leading a discussion about the film following the screening. The Filmmaker series is sponsored by Stonehouse Bed and Breakfast. SHOW ME WHAT YOU CARE ABOUT: an interview with Producer/Directors Brianne Nettelfield and Naomi Mark By Connie Kuhns Colin Matty’s poem, Show Me What You Care About, was the catalyst. Performed at the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Championships, his mournful cry for human connection was heard by filmmaker Brianne Nettelfield. She was new in Vancouver, lonely and dissatisfied, and feeling her own absence of purpose and meaning. She sent the poem to her friend and film school alum Naomi Mark and they began thinking about how to answer the poem’s central question. “I think when I saw Colin perform his poem…
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2017 Show Us Your Love - Valentine's Photo Contest

Every season is the season for love. Let’s face it: Love is trending 365 days a year. But Valentine’s Day adds a dash of spice and invokes romance. It reminds some of us to do something different and extra special, perhaps with a bit more flair or creativity, to say, “Thank you for being so amazing.” And if you’re the kind of couple who loves to do that with fine food and wine, then you might want to try to win a dinner for two. Country Grocer has arranged for Auntie Pesto’s to serve up a meal valued at $150 as a gift for two lovebirds at 7pm on Valentine’s Day. That’s right! They’re expecting you. To earn a chance to win this dinner, all you have to do is upload a photo with you and your sweetheart. Show us your love! (Your “clothed” love, of course!) Whether you’re young and ecstatically in love or in your 90s with a twinkle in your eye whenever you see each other, whether you’ve taken your “flirt” down a few notches over the years or you’ve taken your flirt up a few…
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Linda's List: Come the thaw....

As this prolonged cold period is coming to an end, I thought a few notes on salvaging garden crops would be in order. In this last couple of weeks, the minimum temperatures and amount of snow cover varied quite a bit over the region so some gardens will have suffered more than others. Well-mulched root crops with a blanket of snow over the top are quite likely to be fine, no matter how cold it got in your garden. Root crops with little mulch and no snow cover, however, are going to have frost damage on the shoulders of the roots. To see how yours fared, after everything thaws later this week, pull a couple of carrots, beets, etc., and see if the top of the roots look like they have been frozen (a water-soaked appearance). If so, the roots won’t keep for long because the damaged tissue rots and the rots will spread to the rest of the root. To salvage frost-damaged roots, dig them all up soon, cut off the damaged top part and store the roots in the refrigerator. They should …
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Women’s Winter Eve: Festivities for the Ladies

When the days get shorter and darker, you begin to think of winter festivities: gatherings and celebrations, family and friends, gifts and surprises. And the kickoff to all of this festive fun is Women’s Winter Eve―a wonderful event for women to come together. On November 25th, Pharmasave hosts its 15th year of Women’s Winter Eve! The two most important things to know are that it’s a fundraiser for the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation, and it’s fabulously fun! For the second year in a row, you can get great deals on clothing and accessories at the in-store pop-up shop, run by Dorothy Kyle. The pop-up shop is a benefit for the Lady Minto Hospital Auxiliary Society―aka the Thrift Shop! Pharmasave has collected a lot of amazing bits and bobs, but keep in mind that the shop will take cash only. Women! This is all about your fun and entertainment. You can: Pucker up and compete in the Sexy Lips Contest! Relax and receive a manicure, paraffin spa treatment, or a makeover…
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Islanders Devise a Night of Frightful Fun

Halloween is one of two festive nights of the year where parents pull out all the stops and work together to create some magic for kids. And this year is no different. And it’s not just the parents who go gangbusters. A number of businesses, playful adults, and high school students are also behind the scenes. They’re making wall portraits come alive, fireworks fill the sky, and tricks and treats cascade into bags. The week before Halloween, elementary and middle school students are carving 60 innocent, cherub-faced pumpkins―grown on Bon Acres Farm and donated by Country Grocer―into grisly, ghoulish jack-o’-lanterns. Their glowing lights will ward off evil spirits! Instead of going off island for costumes and treats, explore the tickle trunk at Pharmasave. Both stores have the costumes, wigs, and makeup to turn you into an unrecognizable fiend. They’ve got you covered from tip to tail, claw to fang―and a great selection of treats, too! On Halloween, get your first th…
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Video: Salt Spring's 'Green' Offers Zero Waste Shopping Experience

At the beginning, people told Crystal Lehky that she couldn’t make a zero waste grocery store work and that it would never open. But green—her zero waste, low impact grocery store—is open. That says a lot about Salt Spring islanders. These supporters are on the leading edge of solving a world issue with consumer- and retail-led change. And many of those same people were on the cutting edge of the organic movement 20 years ago. Change begins somewhere. But the supply chain isn’t as ready. Ninety percent of Crystal’s calls end with suppliers saying, “What, are you nuts? Why would I change the way I do things?” Since green opened as Canada’s first zero waste grocery store in June 2016, another store opened in Montreal, and another is opening in Vancouver this fall. But Europe has been doing this for 10 years. Some call it a trend; others say it is the future. And many say it’s long overdue. In 2013, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a floating landfill that destroys mar…
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Salt Spring Music and Garlic Festival: Keep the Glow Going!

It’s August. The aroma of freshly roasted garlic is in the air. Laughter and music entice you through the entrance. A trail of children in colourful costumes weaves over the field, and everywhere you look is a happy, friendly face. You have that wild and fantastic feeling you get when you enter a festival. Joel the illusionist wanders through the crowd, stops, performs some magic, and moves on to another group of people. Salt Spring’s very own tsunami circus performs breath-taking aerials. Children gasp as a man rapidly twists balloons into a mermaid and draws on a face. You’re taking it all in when you notice that your taste buds are squabbling. Should you eat Chinese, Greek, or Indian food―or the buttery crunch of the Rotary Club’s corn on the cob? And those aren’t your only choices! You see your parents at the intimate venue of the Arvid Stage. Someone is standing on a box that reads “Soapbox.” She explains her solution to the problem she just ranted about―while eve…
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Local Business Profile: Salt Spring Ice Cream

Salt Spring Ice Cream - Some of the Best You’ll Ever Eat - When my grandpa taught me the “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream” chant, I thought that I’d never scream for ice cream. I hadn’t yet met an ice cream that could arouse those passions. But, decades later, I’ve finally found that ice cream―right here on Salt Spring Island! In May, County Grocer started selling Salt Spring Ice Cream. Unless you go for scoops, you may not have known this. I didn’t find it until Country Grocer filled a front-row freezer with pint-sized jars and hung a sign over it with Salt Spring Ice Cream’s logo. I tried Salted Caramel, Cinnamon Toast, and Chocolate Espresso. Each flavour electrified my palate! Some ice cream crackerjack on this island has captured mouthful after mouthful of “fresh and real,” but who? I tracked Lesley and her daughter to their table at the Saturday market. Admittedly, I had walked by her table numerous times over the years because I had stopped eat…
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Linda's List: Editing, seeding, planting & propping

There are quite a few crops for winter harvest that can be sown from now through mid-August (see below)—but where to fit them into your bursting garden? The main thing I am doing this week is ‘editing’: pruning back plants that have overrun their space, removing what I don’t like, don’t need, have too much of, as well as the odd plant that is growing poorly. Don’t feel you have to keep something just because you planted it. If the flavour is disappointing or nobody in the family eats it, go ahead and take it out. I hate to do it, because it is vigorous and pretty, but my huge yellow ‘Sunbeam’ zucchini has gotta go—the fruit doesn’t compare in quality to ‘Romanesco’ or the dark green zucchinis I am growing and I need the space. You might have too much lettuce or it is starting to bolt, pea vines that are petering out or have pea enation virus (unfortunately quite widespread this summer; for a photo of infected peas, see online. ). If plants aren’t contributing to the productivit…
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Salt Spring Music & Garlic Festival: Jon and Roy

The following article was written by Jessica Harkema as part of a series of articles about performers coming to the Salt Spring Music & Garlic Festival on August 6-7, 2016. For more information and tickets, go to saltspringmusicandgarlicfestival.com Jon and Roy have faced island audiences’ time and time before. With frequent shows at Beaver Point Hall over the years, they have grown to be one of Salt Spring’s favourite guest bands. Since the inception of Jon and Roy in 2003, at the University of Victoria, the “Chorus-driven anti-folk duo” released 5 albums, with their 2012 album earning them a Western Canadian Music Award for best roots recording. Jon & Roy have played hundreds of shows in clubs, theaters and festival across Canada, the U.S., U.K. and have just recently announced their European tour this fall! Salt Spring Music & Garlic Festival producers interviewed Jon and Roy to see what they’re most excited about for this year’s festival. Jon and Roy sure …
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Salt Spring Music & Garlic Festival: The Odds

The following article was written by Jessica Harkema as part of a series of articles about performers coming to the Salt Spring Music & Garlic Festival on August 6-7, 2016. For more information and tickets, go to saltspringmusicandgarlicfestival.com The Odds, closing down the night on August 6th, will bring you to your feet as they rock the evening away. Founded in 1987, the band had their first break in 1990 after the crew traveled to LA doing show cases and finished signing with Zoo Entertainment. The Odds played together for over a decade, and were nominated 5 times for Juno Awards. In 1999, the group split but in 2007, the band members Craig Northey, Doug Elliott, Pat Steward came back together with new guitarist Murray Atkinson. The band continues to play at festivals and events across Canada. In 2010/2011, the band was named Vancouver Canucks House Band during the NHL Playoffs. The Odds took the time to sit down with a Salt Spring Music & Garlic Festival Pro…
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