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Comox Valley celebrities have plans for 2014
Have you made a new year's resolution?
We polled 10 Comox Valley people about theirs and this is what we learned:
Andy Everson is a member of the K'ómoks First Nation. His grandfather was the late Chief Andy Frank of the KFN. Everson is well-known for his Northwest Coast art and his involvement with the K’umugwe Dancers. His New Year's resolution is to maintain balance in his life.
"I will strive to balance my personal, physical, spiritual and artistic pursuits with family and community responsibilities," says Everson.
"I tend to get pretty focused on one thing at a time — whether it's an art project or training on my bike or preparing for a potlatch — that everything and everyone gets pushed to the side until I move on to the next thing to focus on. If I can find a way to balance out all my pursuits with the people that surround me, life would be that much more heavenly."
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Captain Thunderpants (A.K.A. Kevin Flesher) is a singing, storytelling space pirate, who is also the town crier of Cumberland and Trashy Duke in the Dukes of Dodge. Captain Thunderpants is a children's entertainer and has created award-winning educational programs. He is a character on the Cumberland, and Comox Valley, scene.
His resolution is, "To learn to say 'no' at least once in a while, so that I don't come unravelled like an old carpet."
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The Honourable Iona Campagnolo was B.C.'s first female Lieutenant-Governor, a position she held for six years from 2001. She had a long career as a Canadian politician, as well as a career as a broadcaster and activist, before she retired. She was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1973 and promoted to Officer in 2008. She received the Order of B.C. in 1998, as well as many other honours and designations over the years, including being inducted onto the Comox Valley Walk of Achievement.
"I resolve to continue to act in support of human rights at all levels of society; including right to liberty, asylum, security of the person, health care, and the protection of the best interests of all children," Campagnolo says of her New Year's resolution.
"As I age, I am conscious of a swiftly altering world that poses threats to the future of the human family. While I always embrace change rather than fight it, I continue to remind myself that there are some irrevocable truths that must be sustained across the generations. It might be easier for individuals to cease the struggle, but the easy way is simply not acceptable in a complex world."
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Sandy Fairfield is the educational co-ordinator for the Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS). She writes a column about wildlife on behalf of MARS, which appears in the Comox Valley Record every two weeks.
"Not to 'sweat the little stuff', focus on the things that I can change," says Fairfield of her resolution, adding she tends to be a perfectionist and worry wart. "To try and challenge myself and embrace change, and not be such a dinosaur. (I promise my sons I will learn to 'love the computer' and not call it an evil necessity!)
"Finally I need to push myself out of my comfort zone and take up new challenges."
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Marty Douglas has been a licensed realtor since 1970. He has chaired the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board, the B.C. Real Estate Association, the Real Estate Council of B.C., and the Real Estate Errors and Omissions Insurance Corporation. He was recognized by the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce as Citizen of the Year in 1992. Douglas also enjoys acting and has long been involved in Courtenay Little Theatre, most lately in the production of The Drowsy Chaperone.
"In the words of Courtenay Little Theatre's holiday production of The Drowsy Chaperone, I resolve 'To live while I can!' " says Douglas.
"The main character, Man in a Chair, has a monologue about whether we should 'live' or 'leave' when faced with circumstance. I chose to 'live.' That shouldn’t be interpreted as 'I’m going bungee jumping nude at New Year’s' but more likely, 'Yes I’ll try your vegan chilli but can I add bacon?' "
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Col. Jim Benninger is Wing Commander of 19 Wing Comox. He enrolled in the Regular Officer Training Plan in 1983, and has been posted to various locations around the world throughout his career. First posted to Comox in 1997, he has returned here a couple of times, most recently in 2011 when he was appointed Wing Commander in June of that year.
“I resolve to lead 19 Wing in achieving its vision to be the best wing in the RCAF by ensuring that our members, together with their families, remain highly motivated to serve Canada and Canadians, regardless of the challenges 2014 may bring," says Benninger.
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Well-known Comox Valley nurse Helen Boyd is the founder of the Care-A-Van. Using a retrofitted RV, volunteer health professionals travel to homeless people in the Comox Valley to ensure they receive the medical care they need.
Boyd's resolution is, "To continue developing interventions that prevent individuals of the Comox Valley from becoming homeless and to the strengthen our relationships with members of this incredible community who believe in the work of the Care-A-Van program."
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Sue Medley is a multi award-winning singer/songwriter, who is a household name in the Comox Valley. She toured with Bob Dylan and John Mellencamp and performed at the Juno Awards and on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The blues/rock/country musician also volunteers her time to perform for various Comox Valley initiatives such as Pastoral Care Week at St. Joseph's General Hospital.
"My New Year's resolution is to actually do my weekly to-do list!" says Medley.
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Peter Coleman was recently elected Comox Valley Board of Education chair. Before moving to the Comox Valley, Coleman was a trustee in the Surrey School District. He has been a teacher and administrator, first in the public schools and later in the post-secondary sector (BCIT and SFU). He lives in Comox.
"I would like to take my dog out for walks more often," Coleman says with a laugh when asked what his New Year's resolution is. "Because she loves her walks and she only gets out once a day. I have an excuse — I'm waiting for hip replacement surgery so it's painful for me to walk her but I'm hoping in the New Year, that that will be fixed and I'll be able to walk her more."
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Peter Gibson is the president of Mount Washington Alpine Resort. The Courtenay native helped make the dream to build the resort a reality and was integral in setting up the ski school and on-site rental and retail operations at the resort. He was made director of skiing when the resort first opened its doors in 1979 and moved up the ladder until he became president in 2001.
"My New Year's resolution will be to be skiing the Boomerang," says Gibson, as staff eagerly await enough of a dumping to open this season. "That's the last lift that gets open in the wintertime and I'm just trying to be optimistic."