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Issue 2, 2003

 “Building Bridges in a Learning Canyon” Enters Phase# 2

The “Forming Connections in the Canyon” project, re-named “Building Bridges in a Learning Canyon”, has moved into the “wait and see” mode now that the completed proposal has gone to the Office of Learning Technologies (OLT) of Human Resources and Development Corporation, HRDC.
    The philosophy of life-long learning was used during this development phase of the project; that many learning opportunities exist outside of formal education, and that in fact, much of the knowledge gained by a human being during their lifetime is  from sources other than  school, such as parents, friends, grandparents employers and so on.  
    This is a partnership between three communities; Spence's Bridge, Lytton and Boston Bar  and, as such, priorities had to be identified  for both canyon-wide and community initiatives.   The project is proposing to increase opportunities for canyon residents of all ages to participate in life-long learning activities, to invest in healthy communities, and to develop projects that address economic development with special emphasis on youth and environment.
    The three Community Coordinators , one from each community, helped the Canyon Committee to develop a range of projects that address the identified priorities with not just individual community initiatives but canyon-wide projects as well.
      Canyon wide initiatives will consist of A Learning Canyon Website, which will be designed to address  employment solutions, education, and economic development of the canyon.  Another canyon-wide initiative will be the creation and subsequent marketing of  a Canadian Canyon Circle Tour, creating one of a kind world-class destination packages for canyon tourism.  Partnerships and cooperation between many factions of the  population will obviously need to be formed to realize this vision,  but already many of the businesses in the canyon have shown their adamant support and willingness to work together.  The three communities have also expressed a desire to deal with transportation issues and the project is proposing to develop a canyon-wide transportation co-op.  
    In the individual communities, the coordinators have, through extensive community processes and  mapping decided upon several initiatives that address their own particular concerns.  Spence's Bridge will be implementing projects that will engage the youth in “in-service” learning (meaning for academic credit)   in such fields as forest fire fighting, ground rescue technician training, eco-tourism marketing and services, and development of a strategy to increase awareness of watershed protection.  
    Lytton will be creating a life-long learning centre, development of a Farmer's Market, development of an adult literacy program, and providing “in service” learning  opportunities in the fields of outdoor education, communications (possible creation of a community radio station), and land and water management.
    Boston Bar/North Bend will be creating a life-long learning centre at the Boston Bar School, which will hopefully be a future site of a video-conferencing capacity.  A basic family literacy awareness program will be developed with an emphasis on early childhood literacy.  The creation of an arts and crafts co-op will be strategically located to serve as not only an outlet for the showing and sale of local arts and crafts, but also as an Arts  Learning Centre.   The co-op will be stocked with supplies for local artists and craftsmen and will,  ideally, be run by volunteers.  Service learning activities for Boston Bar/North Bend  youth will be provided in many areas including the development and construction of a series of hiking/mountain bike trails, handling and care of horses, farm maintenance, tourism, greenhouse production and subsequent web-marketing.  Boston Bar /North Bend will also, in cooperation with local First Nations Bands be developing a First Languages Program, which will be following and adapting an island model.  The First Languages project will develop strategies to teach and preserve our First Nations Nlakapamux language, in new and innovative ways utilising audio, video, and written recording methods.
    In all phases of the projects a strong technological element will be fostered, meaning that a majority of the marketing will be digitally created and/or web-oriented. Increasing awareness and access to  technical learning opportunities for all residents regardless of age will be a priority in the development of new projects.
    Of course this is a huge undertaking for organizers and many people will be approached throughout the process for input and aid or to be a member of the Community Management Committee.  With the cooperation and enthusiasm of the entire canyon community this project can become a reality.
    Take a look around you, we, in the Fraser Canyon, are fortunate to have everything that a traveller could want in a get-away; mountains, lakes, rivers, railroads, accommodations and  eating establishments.  An immensely diverse range of activities can go on here, including horseback riding, hiking, biking, rafting, swimming, fishing, camping, gold-panning, exploring historic sites, canoeing, snow-mobiling, dirt-biking, rock-climbing, photography, skiing, rock collecting and tons more .
We can make the Fraser Canyon  a world renowned tourist destination if we all work together.  If this proposal is approved, and there's a very good chance it will be, the three year funding from OLT will just be  the start . With a cooperative effort from every resident ,the Fraser Canyon  can become a  “Learning Canyon” and everyone, now and in the future, will reap the benefits.  An integral element of the project is not only to create jobs and bring economic resources into the community but to increase the capacity of the community to build upon what has begun and to eventually not only  be self-sufficient, but healthy and thriving.  

For more information about the project contact Crystal Kimber, Community Coordinator for BB/NB, 604-867-9094

North Bend Recollections (1926-1938)

No.10                      Between The Tracks and the River                W.(Bill) Young

    Some time ago, I received an e-mail message from a man who sought some information on that part of old North Bend that lies between the railway tracks and the river.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to help him as much as I would have liked.
    As I grew older and my mother allowed me to wander on my own further from “home base” on Chaumox Road, I felt that I knew almost every square foot of North Bend that lay between the tracks and the mountains.  But, I was relatively ignorant of that part of the town lying east of the tracks- apart from visits to the Post Office to pick up the mail.  Why was this?
    In hindsight, there was probably a number of reasons in addition to the distance factor.  First, in those days, the railway yard was usually filled with long lines of freight cars.  Since crawling under, or climbing between, freight cars was a strict “no-no”, one had to walk to the end of the longest line of cars in order to cross the tracks.  Another fact that discouraged a young boy from visiting the other side of town was the strict rule that kids were prohibited from riding bikes along the long railway platform in front of the hotel.  Thus, the fact that one had to dismount and walk his bike along the platform did not help.
    But so much for anymore lame excuses.  What recollections do I have about the eastern portion of North Bend?  Of course, I remember the sturdily built granite roundhouse as well as the “turntable”.   I recall the ice skating rink that lay in front of the first row of houses and adjacent to the tracks.
    The Anglican Church was also located in that part of town not far from the Post Office.  The Hamilton family lived near the church and I seem to recall that they had space reserved in their house for a cell for the rare occasion when someone ran a foul of the law and needed to be locked up for a spell until the suspect could be transferred to a more conventional facility elsewhere.
    The  eastern portion of North Bend had a large, open area or field that was used for community outdoor activities.  It served as a baseball field and I recall  attending several exhibition ballgames with teams from Boston Bar and Hope.  Another use for this area was the Annual North Bend Sports Day- probably held in conjunction with the North Bend May Day Celebrations.  North Bend families would be asked to contribute to a  fund for prizes.  The fund couldn't have been  too large as I remember receiving a grand prize of ten cents for winning a race in my age category.
    On at least two occasions, I recall the field being used for one of the small visiting circus-type shows that travelled the small town circuit in B.C.  All this was great excitement for a North Bend boy.  The main show that I remember was the boxing ring.  For an entrance fee, spectators were allowed in the tent to see the North Bend “toughies” challenge the “travelling  boxer” in the hope of winning a cash prize.  While there was never a shortage of challengers, I don't recall seeing any local person win a fight.
    As I finish writing this account, I have concluded that I have more recollections of this part of North Bend than I thought when I began writing this article. ( I'd like to hear from any readers who may have lived in North Bend during the 1930's: billem@islandnet.com) Next Recollection, “Butcher Green.”

A New Neighbourhood Pub Proposed for the Canyon

    On Monday January 13th, a public meeting was held at the Green Canyon Restaurant, just North of Boston Bar, to discuss the proposed Ainslie Creek Pub.  George and Kelli  Budlanski , owners/operators of The Green Canyon Motor Inn, are planning to open the new establishment in an annex adjacent to the restaurant.  They invited the public to attend and show their support and voice their concerns.  Representatives from the Fraser Valley Regional District were present to hear what residents had to say.   Budlanski opened the meeting with a short speech which follows.
     “We bought this complex 5 years ago knowing we had a huge challenge on our hands.  We have worked extremely hard to upgrade this complex from being called  “The Cesspool Motor Inn” by the tree planters and heli-loggers, to what it is now , as the highway sign says, “The place where it's at”.  Now, we have come to our next challenge, and that is to open a neighbourhood pub, “class-D” license, for the community.    The feedback is that everyone is very excited about the pub and are 100% for it!  They would love to come and have a glass of wine or a glass of beer, play some pool, play some crib, or just shoot the breeze.  But, most importantly, not have to drive home, but walk home instead.
    We are creating 4 jobs, or more, for the local community which we all know is very much needed.  This pub is for the local community and also for the work crews and tourists who pass through the canyon.
    In no way are we intending to interfere with other businesses in the community. Competition is what made this country!  We want Boston Bar to thrive, it's our home too!”
    Budlanski finished off by stating that the “class D” license would allow all types of liquor to be served and that the proposed hours of operation will be 11-11 daily. The finished pub will have a capacity of 85 people; 65 inside and 20 patio seating outside.  There will be no off-sales.
    The meeting was peaceful and most people voiced their support.  Some concerns were raised by a local business man, however, who stated that our  community already has 4 establishments with liquor licenses and do we really need another?  Also, With the instable economy in our community, there is the question of survival for existing businesses,  if their existing clients are wooed away by the new business, how will they be able to remain viable?  
    Residents at the meeting met these questions head-on and simply stated that consumers had a right to alternatives.  General consensus was that “competition is a good thing”, and that people will choose to go where they are comfortable.  One resident also stated that customer loyalty is not something to be overlooked, that if a person has been frequenting the same establishment for many years, he is unlikely to change his habits.  By the same token, many people in town don`t frequent local existing businesses for various reasons and actually head out of town for a night out .  This new pub will give them a local place to go and socialize with friends.      
    Budlanski took many of the residents for a tour of the facility, pointing out the new wooden stools, tables and beautiful woodwork, crafted by two local men. The walls are still bare, but Budlanski plans to hang photos of historic significance to the Fraser Canyon, perhaps some local art as well.  He also pointed out a small area where musical guests could set up to entertain the patrons.  A large screen TV fills one corner of the pub, promises of many hockey nights to come!. The next stage of the process  is submission of the application to Victoria for  approval.  It could be several weeks before Budlanski will know the final verdict.