Rzeka Czasu: River of Time A Deeply Poignant Narrative


By Deena Kinarthy

The world premiere of Polish-born writer Grace Salez’s poignant and deeply moving one-woman narrative on Sunday night at the Metro Studio, River of Time, with actor Barbara Poggemiller playing the lead role, went off breathtakingly, leaving not a dry eye in the house. Ending with thunderous applause and a standing ovation. Grace Salez is a master storyteller, chronicling her entire life as the child of Polish Holocaust survivors during the Second World War. With warm, inviting dialogue that makes you feel like a close friend or part of this big Polish family, you go along Salez’s journey with her to understand her mother and her mother’s troubled past. This is a play as much about surviving the horrors of war as it is about the delicate relationship between a mother and her daughter.
Poggemiller’s performance is brilliant, she conveys so much with her acting with the only prop ever used- a single chair on an empty stage- proving that good theatre needs nothing much except a good actor and a platform for telling a story.

The pictures of Salez’s family projected on the screen in the backdrop were a nice personal touch, as well as the integrated music and sounds designed by Enrique Rivas.
Under the quality guidance and direction of Director Lina de Guevara, this collective have joined forces to create a powerful, poignant piece of theatre not to be missed!

For more information about this show visit http://www.intrepidtheatre.com

Shylock Not Shy of Controversy: A Review


By Deena Kinarthy

At the Metro Studio Thursday opening night:
Three empty seats face the audience, and then a classically trained Jewish actor (played by John D. Huston), comes onstage dressed in Elizabethan period garb and a hooked nose, and recites the pound-of-flesh passage with pointed venom as a particularly villainous Shylock from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. The actor then removes the nose, and invites the audience to boo at him. John Davies is there for a “talk-back with the audience” after he has just performed this particularly controversial production of The Merchant of Venice.

He then goes on to justify his villainous portrayal of the character, art is art after all, but that to modern sensibilities the production may seem a tad unsympathetic. This production received several threatening letters and reviews. One in particular, he reads aloud, is a venomous review by a Jewish professor Marsha T. Berman in which she accuses the actor of being a self-hating Jew and a racist. How could he perform such a hateful version of this character being Jewish himself?

In Shylock, the character John Davies stirs the pot by tackling controversial and often taboo topics- namely the prevalence of anti-Semitism throughout history and that still exists today with an in-your-face candidness and an equal measure of humour and personal anecdotes. He also talks about artistic integrity and the freedom theatre artists possess to create and interpret works of art. Through various points of views, he poses the controversial argument about censorship in literature and the theatre and the history of antisemitism, quoting Christopher Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta, even posing the question of if Shakespeare himself was an anti-Semite. Huston’s character shows us the various ways Shylock has been played throughout history: clown, sympathetic victim, and then villain. The play-within- a-play creates such a stir of controversy that the entire fabled production is shut down. Because as he describes, at least in North America, we have become so hypersensitive and afraid of offending anyone that it has lead us to extreme censorship. The next step, he says is to rip out the play and burn it from the canon! Which is such an extreme gesture, but nonetheless seems to not phase his audience. The audience at the Metro studio on Thursday night both laughed and squirmed in their seats during several points of the show. But the questions the playwright Mark Leiren-Young poses through this actor onstage: Does every production of every play have to be comfortable? That is what theatre is all about—it should make us talk about issues like this.

John Huston, tackles the role well, showing his acting chops as he seamlessly transitions from various versions of Shylock back to the actor playing Shylock. The bareness of the stage works well in this setting, and the house lights are turned on the entire time Huston speaks, giving us the illusion that this is actually a real talk-back. It is too bad that there aren’t more shows of this production throughout Intepid Theatre’s Uno Fest, which runs until May 28th in several venues across town. Although, I’d recommend getting a copy of the script by Victoria author Mark Leiren-Young if you can get your hands on it- they were on sale after the show. Shylock, which I hear is now being toured in Prague- is sure to have a lasting impact wherever it is performed.

Growing the Canadian Gourmet Sea Salt Industry to Global Markets: The Vision of Vancouver Island Salt Co.

Andrew Shepherd knew there was a market for gourmet sea salt during his many years as a chef. A qualified chef through the City and Guilds of London, England, the Halifax, Nova Scotia native practiced his culinary skills in Australia, New Zealand and across Canada before settling in the Cowichan Valley 10 years ago. Just three years later, in 2009, he started the Vancouver Island Salt Co., becoming the first sea salt harvester in Canada.

Andrew attributes his entrepreneurial skill to his paternal grandfather who owned a successful clothing store. He made his first batch of salt for fun to give to fellow chef’s, but from the early days Andrew saw the potential for the young Canadian Sea Salt Industry to move into the global market place. Now seven years on, he has a major leadership vision for the future of the new industry and commodity for Canada. With 11 other Canadian sea salt companies, Vancouver Island Salt Co. is setting the pace, selling in Japan and soon expanding to Belgium and Austria. “Any way we can assist the other Canadian sea salt companies to grow, we want to,” explains Andrew. “There is room for all of us and it’s a global commodity valued at 1.3 billion all over the world. As leader in the industry we want to set the tone—for all of us—to expand Canadian gourmet sea salt into global markets.”

Now with four-six staff depending on the season, Andrew and business partner Scott Gibson produce 1200-1300 pounds a week and close in on 400 outlets nationally. With the cleanest water in the world, coast-to-coast, Canadian sea salt producers can offer the world some of the best, if not very best, sea salt by maintaining high quality, ethical, and environmental practices.  Vancouver Island Salt Co. focuses every day on improving what they do, by staying on top of the day-to-day operations while keeping an eye on the future. “I am somewhere between a farmer and miner,” says Andrew. “If we want to grow the gourmet sea salt industry and everyone to use Canadian sea salt, it’s not about charging a lot for it, it is about economy of scale and getting it into as many hands as possible.”

The next time you need to purchase salt, make it Canadian Sea Salt, from Vancouver Island Salt Co. or from the other 11 companies. A wish for Andrew is that every Canadian household carry sea salt in their homes for no other reason than the health benefits enjoyed.

For a great choice from Vancouver Island Salt Co. try their world-class Fleure de Sel.

Vancouver Island Salt Co.
~Proud Winner of the Telus 2014 Small Business Challenge!
T: 250-686-3862

CLICK on the picture below to see a photo album for Vancouver Island Salt Co.

Vi Salt Co

Microbiologist Turned Brewmaster Uses German Brewing Technique Thousands of Years Old

Decoction: the liquor resulting from concentrating the essence of a substance by heating or boiling, especially a medicinal preparation made from a plant.

The use of the decoction process or technique creates the distinctiveness enjoyed in Moon Under Water beer. The only known brewery in Western Canada to use this ancient tradition born out of Germany, very few breweries use the method in North America or worldwide anymore. They also employ traditional lagering techniques which take 6-8 weeks. The reason: it takes 6-8 weeks for a brew versus 6-8 days, thus requiring addition tanks and a lot of patience.

Into their fourth year of ownership, Moon Under Water’s story sounds like planetary alignment the universe allowed to happen as Anne Farmer and son Clay Potter lead the family-run business. Clay studied Microbiology at UVic with the vision of working in the medical field. During a Microbiology Co-op at Lighthouse Brewing he fell in love with brewing and went on to do a Master’s Degree in Brewing & Distilling at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. Shortly after finishing his Master’s, Moon Under Water was up for sale and they jumped on the opportunity.

Now open seven days a week with a brand built for sales happening all over BC, they can hardly keep up with the space and demand. They brew seven days a week and since purchasing the brewery they acquired four more custom-built tanks for the intricate German style brewing process. Last year Moon Under Water’s “Lightside of the Moon” was voted by CBC as the best craft beer for the summer. They offer six core beers on tap well as very sought after seasonals  for off-sales and growler fills at the brewpub, and you’ll find the beer in most private and government liquor stores throughout BC in both cans and bombers.

Besides this incredible feel good success story, co-owner Anne says, “People keep coming back to the brewpub for the atmosphere, the high quality award-winning beer, and the food.”

Clay and Anne hope you’ll enjoy some of your time this long weekend at the brewpub or enjoying one of their brews with your feet up relaxing.

Moon Under Water Cans

Entangle Your Long Weekend with Driftwood + Their Newest Brew “Entangled”

The refreshing tropical fruit notes of this ‘hoppy hefe’  are a combination of a German hefeweizen yeast  and  the Mosaic hops employed, this type is a relatively new northwest profile so catching the drift of this creatively titled new beer from Driftwood makes perfect sense! Right? Right! Instead of pine and grapefruit notes from the most commonly found hops of our region, mosaic lends itself to a very unique flavour with notes reminiscent of banana, mango, guava and citrus.

Quality, consistency and flavour are the key elements that make Driftwood Brewery one of the most popular micro-breweries in Victoria. Entangled, New Growth Pale Ale, Farmhand Saison, Crooked Coast Altbier, and of course the ultra-favourite Fat Tug IPA are just four brews that beer aficionados flock to taste at their Hillside Avenue location, and at select pubs. In just over seven years Driftwood has extended its fan base beyond Vancouver Island to the Lower Mainland, BC interior, the Yukon, Alberta and Ontario.  Not bad for the three partners who started off their beer journey as home brewers. “Jason Meyer and Kevin Hearsum were brewers at Lighthouse Brewing Co, and I had been selling & promoting craft beer locally with Lighthouse for over eight years.  They devised a plan to start their own brewery and I saw that as opportunity to work with them,” explains Gary Lindsay, who has the impressive title of Purveyor of Precious Liquids!

Their customer base is very diverse, all having one common denominator – an appreciation for flavour and quality, says Lindsay. He admits that he and his partners didn’t know a lot about running a business when they started out, “But we all share an approach that is uncompromising, but we are flexible enough to adapt to changes. Each employee is a key part of our success and are integral to Driftwood maintaining its reputation. Hiring people that won’t let themselves down translates well to success.”

Whenever they can they use BC hops – their New Growth Pale Ale uses hops from the Columbia Valley, south of Chilliwack. The future bodes well for Driftwood since completing an expansion in the brewery that doubled their capacity. Some new label designs are on the horizon as well as working in new markets in select areas in the US, and even overseas! But one thing you won’t see is flavour styles. As Lindsay says: “We are a pumpkin-free zone!”


An Obsessively Local Beer: Choose Your Beer This Long Weekend

The Longwood Brew Pub opened their doors in 2000 and with the increased requests for packaged sales to liquor stores and restaurants, the commercial brewery component was created and the Longwood Brewery on Boxwood Road in Nanaimo was born. Harley Smith brewed for the brew pub since its opening and eagerly jumped at the opportunity to open the brewery with his wife Tracy McLean and their dog Milo.
Opening their doors just over three years ago, Longwood Brewery started with four core expertly crafted beers—Berried Alive Raspberry Ale, The Big One IPA, Steam Punk Dunkelweizen and Russian Imperial Stoutnik. Their newest addition, Island Time Lager, continues the tradition of using local ingredients is what they call an “obsessively local beer”. All the ingredients in this craft beer are sourced within 20 km of the brewery. From the local H. Davis Farms that grow the barley, to the local Malthouse J White Malting, to the local Hop Yard Cedar Valley Hop Yards, everything here comes from the island we all love.
“We wanted to create a beer that supports Nanaimo farmers, local businesses and puts the “terroir” in brewing.” says Tracy. Growing the hops and barley in Nanaimo created a uniquely local flavour. The Island Time Lager can be described as a crisp, light, malt-forward Pilsner, well-balanced with a light hop flavour.
If customers are interested in sampling and learning more about the specific ingredients in Longwood Brewery’s craft beer line up, they have a popular tasting room and growler bar for patrons to visit and unwind.
Seeking a true “Island Time” long weekend—just find a hammock and Longwood Brewery’s Island Time Lager. Available at the Longwood Brewery, the Longwood Brew Pub, select restaurants and liquor stores.
Longwood Brewery

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