Kevin Craig wins Kelowna By election

With a whopping 11% of Kelowna’s residents who are eligible to vote pushing their way off of the couch to go out the door, Kevin Craig has carried the by-election. The 19 years old UBC student who came within 38 votes of winning in the last election cannot be said to have “cleaned up.” So close at under 400 votes.

The questions as to when the residents of Kelowna lost interest in the electoral process, springs to mind. Is there a gradual decline or a eschewing of voting suddenly? What does the refusal to vote mean in terms of the future of the city? How can the relationship between the electorate, the citizens and the city be revitalized? We constantly talk about revitalization of the downtown core, the big structures we are putting in in the name of “progress” but what about the vitality of citizens who feel a part of the social structure of a city.

I am really curious as to what is going wrong. One thing that is happening is that because of the exodus of young people, we do not have the army of volunteers that keep most organization going. Many neighbourhood associations are dying. Many long term groups in the city are hungry for those who have time to keep the board vital. Will it become a place where people live separate from one another, isolate and uninvolved?

Hopefully having a young person on council will help to move the city to creating a more tech and boho friendly city where those under 35 will find employment and enjoyment. It will be interesting to watch.

this gorgeous piece is $1,135 for 50 by 34

this gorgeous piece is $1,135 for 50 by 34

Christmas is coming rapidly with no snow. Tonight I saw 20 Canadian Geese flying against a pink autumnal sky. We have neither low winter temperature nor do we have snow. Between seasons, we are sitting on shoulder season even while the rest of B.C. is headed to winter. The flu, the Olympics are discussed frequently. Many arts groups are creating pre-Christmas sales with beautifully made hand crafted gifts but it doesn’t really feel like Christmas yet.

I will wrap the gifts for my family and ship them off next week because recovery from surgery will keep me quietly at home for the next month or so. The last vestiges of my brush with death will be gone. The long, deep scar from cancer surgery is to be excised and a newer more elegant scar will replace it. I look on it as a new beginning. Setting out in January with my stomach muscle reattached and the extra skin and scarring removed, I intend to concentrate on becoming stronger and less focused on work. Follow along to see if that actually happens.

Beautiful moments blossom in each day. Sitting and drinking tea. Sharing a laugh with my husband. Chatting with friends on facebook. These are what makes life such a gift.

Elections, Elections, Elections… democracy in inaction

Hey now that the Canadian public has expressed their support of the government by largely staying home or casting stingy ballads to keep the minority whirligig going, we in Kelowna are being entertained by watching the U.S. Elections.

The Sarah Palin halloween costume information that came in today from ehow pretty much attests to how fervidly the American public is focussed on the issues. I guess if you can’t count on a job, get medical coverage, or keep your house… you can always play dress up. High School Musical is over the top in attendance because of the 30’s musical phenomenon. When you can’t stand reality, go see a bunch of people sing and dance. You can’t afford clothing for your kids, go watch costumed actors joyously trotting around a stage. Distraction is a great anesthetic.

Here in Kelowna we have a three ring circus of candidates running for city council. Small signs with black and white names, medium signs with candidate’s pictures and one young man has very, very large pictures of his coiffed and manicured self plastered around every corner. We are a conservatively conservative district and name recognition is paramount for victory. It is interesting to watch people RUN for office long enough so that we know the name.

How many times have I been introduced to people and had them say to me, “Oh, I know you. I just can’t think of why.” Hey thirty years in this valley and getting your name in the paper occasionally and now one is famous….. for being famous. No one actual noticed what I was saying, doing, organizing or advocating. See I could run for office with no platform. Perhaps it would be the best way. Oh and a very, very large picture.

Hanging in the Church: Images of Europe

North End installs public art bench

“Reminiscence of Europe: Multi-media and photographic pictures of Rome, Florence, London, Paris.”

One Woman Show by artist Cherie Hanson

Unitarian Fellowship 1310 Bertram Street

November and December

Viewing available to all who rent the space

Open to the public 11:45 to 12:30 Sundays.

All images for sale. Just contact me.

My art work has arrived in Ferrar, Italy and Paola has received the information for the catalogue. The Traces of Memory Show will be in a beautiful castle and from everything I have read is very well publicized. How great it would be to be there with them and to get an opportunity to see Italy again.

But the reality of my life keeps me grounded here. Two major shows are coming up and I need to get together more portfolios for submissions in North America. The discipline is to keep “pitching”. Sometimes it is very hard to prepare a portfolio, to do the work of structuring a show which can take months then to have the portfolio return in less than a month. But the secret is to just keep putting the hook in the water. Sitting by the shore looking longingly at the fish doesn’t create a solution.

At the Rotary Centre, we will be holding a three day art show and sale with the Potters group. Bonnie, my downstairs neighbour, does weeks of work to prepare for this show which fills the hallways of the centre.

I attended the hearing for the Downtown Centre “development” which is backed by the group in town that basically sees economic advantage in the 80’s type growth that dictates tall buildings that do not conform to the look and feel of our beautiful heritage Bernard Avenue. It looks like an alien society, from another planet, landed a development space ship right on the water front.

The water front is rapidly becoming the “right” and domain of those who can afford a million dollar or more apartment. We are swimming against the stream of most of the rest of the enlighted world. Heritage, affordable housing and green building which allows the citizens free access to the natural beauty of the area is the only answer for keeping an environment that is economically attractive. I believe that the central problem is that many of these wall street groupies are so busy that they are not taking the opportunity to read books such as “Whose Your City” by Richard Florida or studies about the new solutions for old cities. Portland has learned so much by just creating a vision, committing to the vision and then devising solutions as they work their way through difficulties. The vertical ghost towns we are creating in a environment that is quite fragile portends an area that is in the long term not attractive for families, older people, bohemians and will be abandoned by the rich. They will simply move on to a city that more mindfully takes care of all of the elements that create a cultural and natural setting they find more admirable. It is inevitable.

City council has over 30 candidates all vying for spots. It is just too much work for most citizens here who don’t turn out in droves to vote. I mean they don’t turn out…. in droves. There is a feeling of lethargy among voters on both the Federal, Municipal and Civic scene. I guess we have to see a tank crossing our borders before we come to think about the borders. Right now, we are just thinking about Desperate Housewives or hockey. Perhaps if we faced the same risk when we vote that so many other citizens of foreign countries face…. we would wake up. After we voted my husband remarked. No one is waiting outside for us to check the stain on our thumbs and kill us for voting. That would get the populous’ attention, hey!