again from Mountain Mecca & Hippie Heaven!
never have to ask “What is there to do?” in Nelson, it’s more like choosing
between the many, many activities that are available. I decided it was high
time Prez and I took advantage of Nelson’s bounty of culture and decided to
check out the Capitol Theater.
Capitol Theater was originally a garage that converted to a theater in 1927. In
the early 1900’s Nelson was a large and prosperous city. Boris Karloff actually
began his performing career at the Nelson Opera House! Times changed for
Nelson, and for the Capitol. The war meant fewer patrons and the theater
gradually fell into a state of disrepair. It wasn’t until 1986 that restoration
began on the old gem. In September 1987, the doors re-opened and theater goers
thrilled to the loving and delicate renovation which restored the Capitol to
its former art deco glory. Today the theater is home to live productions and
the cool things about the Capitol is, as well as showcasing major Canadian
films, it also provides a venue for local independent productions. This week
the “Fliks” Canadian Film Festival was playing and so I scanned the brochure to
find a film both Prez and I might enjoy. My choice was obvious: “Sharkwater”, a
documentary about sharks. So, we invited the Rippels along and the four of us
had a night on the town!
night it was! The film was beautifully shot; some of the most spectacular
underwater footage I have ever seen. And, at last, sharks were shown as the
magnificent, timid, and misunderstood creatures they truly are. How wonderful
it was to see a film which said the same things I have long shouted from my
soapbox, but with so much more eloquence and visual proof to back it up.
lay a few stats on you:
are the ocean’s apex predator and an essential part of the food chain. Without
them, we can expect to see ecosystems crumble.
have a better chance of being killed golfing than being killed by a shark.
the world’s sharks are gone, due mostly to shark fin fishing.
illegal shark fin trade is second only to the illegal drug trade. It is a
trillion dollar industry.
finning is brutal. Sharks are hauled aboard the fishing boats, their fins are
cut off, and then the shark is tossed back in the water (still alive) and left
to bleed to death. The film showed this and I’m glad, people need to see what
is happening. Shark fin soup used to be the dish of royalty in China and now is
a delicacy. The irony is the fin adds no flavour or nutrients; the soup is
flavoured with chicken, the fin is merely a status symbol.
the film, I could hear the comments of the folks around me. It was obvious eyes
were being opened (finally). After the movie ended, there was a Q&A session
with Paul Watson, the Captain of the Sea Shepherd. He was articulate and
passionate; the audience asked some important questions which Capt. Watson
answered well. He left to a long and hearty standing ovation.
film will be released in “regular” theaters on March 23rd. I ask, no
BEG, you to go see it. Hold on, I’m getting down on my hands and knees, “PLEASE
GO SEE THIS MOVIE!!!!” Yes, there are a few disturbing parts but you can always
cover your eyes. Don’t worry, most of the cinematography is jaw-dropping for
its beauty not it’s content.
meantime, what can you do to help the
to see if any of the Chinese restaurants you visit serve shark fin soup. If
they do, let them know that you will not patronize their establishment until
they stop serving it.
any of your local grocery stores or health food stores sell “shark cartilage”
products, please let a manager know that you find these products offensive. I
can’t ask you to boycott a grocery store (I will, but that’s just me) but they
should know that these products are not welcome (there is NO scientific data
proving these supplements do anything at all).
SEE THE MOVIE “SHARKWATER”…and bring a friend!
going to wrap up now. I usually step down off the soapbox at this point but I
think I’ll stay up here a little longer. I’ve decided to reprint an excerpt
from my Chronicle of July 27, 2005. You may remember I was working at The
Canadian Princess Resort (aka McFishing) in Ucluelet, BC. On this day, I staged
my own little shark boycott…
“…But here’s the event of the
week that I really want to talk about and it involves sharks… and Harry
One of my jobs at McFishing is to go down to the dock and take photos of the
‘big’ fish that come in. It’s pretty fun watching people grinning next to their
salmon and halibut. I grit my teeth when the big Ling Cod are brought in
because their numbers are pathetically low but I console myself with the
knowledge that the fish will be eaten. Last Wednesday, however, I rounded the
corner to see a 6 foot Blue shark hanging off the scale and felt my stomach
plummet. I do not support or participate in the killing of sharks.
Why? You may ask. I mean isn’t the only good shark a dead shark? Love them
or hate them, the world shark population is in serious jeopardy from commercial
fishing. About 1 million sharks are killed each year – by 2017 we could see the
extinction of nearly 20 shark species! And just in case you’re wondering, there
were 7 human fatalities from shark attacks in 2004 – hmmmm 7 vs. 1 million; I
think we’re the dangerous predator. Our toothy friends are a vital part
of the marine ecosystem and without them many, many more marine species will
Oh ya, and I don’t believe in killing anything just for the sake of killing it
and putting it on a wall.
So here I am on the dock, out of sight of the shark killers and gawkers, trying
to figure out how to handle this tactfully – it is, after all, my job to take
the photos and make everyone happy. Should I just leave and feign an illness?
Should I go against my principles and take the darn picture? I mean, it’s not
like it’s an everyday occurrence; it probably won’t ever happen again so why
rock the dock?
Then I thought of Harry Potter…yes you read that correctly.
You see, one of the traits I find so admirable and appealing about the
character of Harry, one of the reasons I think the book is a must-read for
children, is that he often finds himself in situations where sticking to what
he believes in will make his life difficult and turn everyone against him and
yet he does not compromise. Harry knows the truth and cannot pretend otherwise
– and if that is a quality that I admire then that is a quality I should aspire
I decided to stick to my guns but to remain low key so as not to upset the
guests. I handed the camera off to a puzzled dockhand with instructions to take
the photo. He asked me why and I, discreetly, told him. He took the photo but
he also broadcast, very loudly, to the entire dock what an idiot I was. While I
waited for the shark to go away so that I could take the other photos, I
listened to my coworkers and realized that I had instantly become
unpopular. But I was smiling – thanks Harry.
here’s a few more:
Are you afraid of sharks?
next week, I hope this finds you healthy, happy & lovin’ life!