Tyler Wallace, a.k.a. “the homeless artist,” paints Daddy Cool’s from Main and Collison. (Jana McLeod/Haida Gwaii Observer)

Masset Magic: Festival fun and calls for more Kwuna

Haida Gwaii has the most unique populace.

We are home to, and attract some really interesting folks. You might have noticed a very gifted painter sitting in various places, doing the most accurate renditions of our landscapes. I introduced myself to him and asked his name. He answered, Tyler Wallace, “the homeless artist” and said he was here to stay. I welcomed him and complimented what he was working on, looking down Collison Avenue at Daddy Cools and TLC — it was amazing! If you see him be sure to say hi and have a peek at what’s transpiring on his canvas.

The amount of talent here is always mind-boggling. Attending the music fest and seeing the shining stars is such a treat! For me it’s a real triumph. Usually the thought of getting out into a crowd of people is about as exciting as an upcoming lobotomy. I wasn’t sorry for my decision to go. It was so cheap. I felt appreciated with the one-time inexpensive entry fee.

I loved the Snotty Nose Rez Kids and yelled “Skoden” with the hyped-up audience. I admired the Kuun7laanaas Jaanaas dance group for dancing in record heat, making it look so seamless and graceful. I watched Mama Mihirangi and The Mareikura bring the house down with the womens’ haka, so spiritual and powerful! The throat singing of the Jerry Cans gave me goosebumps.

And finally, I laughed so hard at Sphenia Jones (sometimes I call her mom because I miss mine) and Elsie Bramble. The corny and naughty humour is just what the doctor ordered. To all the organizers, perfumers, and volunteers, haw’aa for such a fantastic time. I did miss Kiefer though. I’ll let you know how the mini music fest in Port Clements goes.

When Badfish finished their set, lead singer Behn Cochrane pleaded with the audience to offer feedback about the Kwuna. The line-ups and ridiculous schedule of this ferry is slowly “killing the community of Sandspit.”

I tend to agree. My husband is an employee of Haida fisheries and the Kwuna is a hit-and-miss of huge line-ups. As Haida Gwaii gets busier and busier, the hope is we can come to a solution. We, on this side, enjoy the freedom of attending community events, but even visiting Moresby is risky. I have noticed a few times that a call-out to local fishing charters was needed to rescue stranded people. You can join the Facebook group “BC Ferries Kwuna scheduling issues” for ways to assist, or leave a review on the Better Business Bureau website under “British Columbia Ferry Services Inc.”

Local MLA Jennifer Rice is apprised of the problems with this service. I spoke with her assistant at length about it. She shares her birthday with my daughter Trish, and Leila Riddall tomorrow, so have a good day to you all.

Leila is really deserving of a great birthday. She is a warrior for those who cannot speak for themselves. If you follow her accomplishments in the advocacy for our furred and feathered friends, you’re as impressed as I am. We need to start listening and taking action. We love to watch the eagles soar, we need to protect all our creatures.

This means driving out to the beach or to the end of the dock to dump our fish guts or freezer-burnt foods. Seems like common sense to unwrap everything, but we keep neglecting to and this is costly to the environment. Let’s take pride in the pristine lands of Haida Gwaii. Last year we lost a few taan needlessly, I know we can do better.

God bless, take care.

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