Articles

Habitat has a variety of meanings

By John Twigg, Secretary

Campbellton Neighbourhood Association

One of the features of our Communications Age is the development of buzz words, and one of those we'll be hearing more about this week is "habitat".

That's because the first Monday in October is a worldwide celebration designated by the United Nations in 1986 as "World Habitat Day".

So what does "habitat" mean? Well actually a fairly wide range of things, most of which happen to apply especially to the Campbellton area of Campbell River!

According to Wikipedia [now there's a buzzword eh!] the purpose of the day is to "reflect on the state of our cities and towns and the basic human right to adequate shelter. It also aims to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the habitat of future generations."

So according to the authorities Habitat Day is mainly about human housing, which certainly applies to Campbell River with its homelessness issues in the news every winter, but it also applies to Campbellton's stock of aging housing and many vacant-lot opportunities for urban renewal and social housing projects.

Perhaps that's also part of why Campbellton also is home to the local Habitat for Humanity group's ReStore at 1725 Willow Store, where they've been for about two years. It sells reusable household goods and uses the proceeds to help finance the construction of housing for low-income families as a way to advance the group's faith-based fight against poverty. (A more extensive profile appeared in the Mirror Sept. 16, their website is www.habitatnorthisland.com and the local phone is 250-830-1493)

ReStore open house Monday

The Campbellton ReStore on Monday (Oct. 5) will be holding an open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to "help raise awareness of the affordable housing crisis here in Campbell River" as Habitat spokesperson Karen Bezaire described it, though Campbell River's homelessness challenges are already lower than in many other B.C. communities, notably Victoria.

Habitat's staff and volunteers will be on hand during the open house to answer questions about its programs, which have built 26 homes in North Island since 2004, and on Tuesday (Oct. 7) they'll hold another meeting (at the Community Centre) to begin selecting a sweat-equity candidate family to help build and then occupy another new home that next year will be on Daulton Road.

So that's all a good thing but really it addresses only a tip of the growing needs for affordable housing as financial and economic pressures seem to squeeze the budgets of more and more people who naturally gravitate to the least-expensive neighbourhoods.

But getting back to habitat in general, it also applies to making whole communities or neighbourhoods more liveable with things like safer crosswalks, better lighting and of course the new Campbell Community Garden, which opened in June with 22 seeded plots and hopefully next year will add more plots, depending on donations.

Garden open house Oct. 9

To celebrate the garden's success the CNA on Friday (Oct. 9) will be hosting a free barbecue and potluck for the community in the garden from 4 to 7 p.m. (on 15th Avenue near Petersen) which will include recognition of the many sponsors, donors and volunteers who made the first garden possible on short notice - and thereby helped improve the Campbellton social habitat too.

The CNA especially would like to hear from people with suggestions for more community garden sites in the area, because there appears to be a demand for them. Contact Brian Shaw at 250-287-8807 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

But there are other types of habitat that are important too, especially for fish and wildlife and the environment in general as well as for future generations of people.

An example of restoring habitat for spawning fish coincidentally is also evident in Campbellton with recent work by volunteers to restore fish access to Kingfisher Creek, near Haig-Brown House, and more such work could follow from an inventory of the shoreline assets and uses of the Campbell River currently underway by B.C. Hydro.

That is among numerous local environmental habitat improvements being studied, done and proposed in the Campbellton area now, including a joint study by the CNA and the City on public access to the river front in Campbellton, the future of the Myrt Thomson Trail on Campbell River Indian Band lands, and public access in the whole estuary.

So have a happy World Habitat Day for both humans and the man-made and natural environments we all live in, both now and for the future.

CNA to press for more progress this year

The Campbellton Neighbourhood Association will continue pressing for progress on its key issues this year, says returning chair Brian Shaw following the community group's annual general meeting.

Shaw told about 30 people gathered at the Eagles Hall in Campbellton on Jan. 13 that the CNA had a wonderful, fascinating and great year in 2015, with tangible progress on all of its priority issues, and more will be made this year.

"Our goal is to transform an aging community into a thriving business, industrial and cultural area," he said, noting one new way they'll do that is by implementing a membership structure, with businesses receiving decals for signing up for a fee yet to be determined, while residents will continue to be able to join at no cost.

He noted that one of the early goals of the CNA was to improve the street lighting and road safety and last year the City had delivered some new sidewalks, traffic lights at 14th and Petersen and safety improvements on the Petersen Road hill, and in recent days B.C. Hydro had been installing better streetlights at about 20 locations in Campbellton, with more new lights coming soon from Hydro and the City.

River access eyed

Shaw said one of the top priorities this year will be to push the City towards making plans for improving public access to the Campbell River in the Campbellton area, especially at the end of Maple Street but also at the ends of Spruce, 20th and Petersen streets.

The CNA is developing concepts for viewing platforms at several locations, including a multi-level one along the Myrt Thompson Trail which runs southward from the river end of Maple Street. "Giving us better access to the river will beautify the area and bring more people in," said Shaw, who helped found the association in 2011 though it wasn't incorporated into a society until 2014.

Earlier, CNA director Ross Sharp, a professional planner, had told the meeting that a study of the river access concepts he and environmental consultant Pat Harrison have done will be presented to City Council on Feb. 9; it follows an extensive public consultation process.

Sharp also noted there is "a lot of potential for tourism" on the vacant land on 19th Avenue near the Tamarac Street bridge where there are two riverfront lots owned by the Province and one owned by the City but that is only a preliminary concept and no cost estimates have been made yet.

Entrance feature coming

Another top priority for the CNA this year will be developing plans for an "entrance feature" on 14th Avenue between Tamarac and Willow Streets, which Shaw said is the natural entrance route to the downtown for a lot of vehicle traffic but right now there is nothing to cause drivers to want to stop there and no place to do so even if they did though there is a large parcel of vacant provincially-owned land there.

Earlier CNA director Jonathan Calderwood had reported plans to erect a retired Beaver float plane on a pedestal there are "essentially a go" as soon as the City obtains a license of use from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure; he said a site plan has been done, and potential financing has been identified.

It likely will include entrance and exit lanes, parking spaces and some signage highlighting attractions and amenities throughout the city and region.

Garden Phase 2 near

In other matters, the meeting heard good news about the CNA's Campbellton Community Garden, which earlier had been featured in a playing of the documentary film done for the CNA about the making of the garden, located on 15th Avenue near Petersen.

"Considering our late start (in the growing season) we did really really good," said garden committee chair Ann Hazlett, reporting that all 22 plots were taken in 2015 and enough expressions of interest have come in for more beds this year that the CNA is close to proceeding with a Phase 2 addition of another 21 beds.

Secretary John Twigg reported that the CNA had made good progress in its communications last year, with its profile raised considerably by weekly columns in the Mirror and other publicity, and more profile will come from the launching soon of a new website.

Following those and other reports an election of table officers was conducted by Councillor Ron Kerr, with all positions filled by acclamation.

New executive chosen

The new executive includes Brian Shaw returning as chair, Kealy Donaldson returning as vice-chair, Ann Hazlett taking over as treasurer and Laura Twigg taking over as secretary, with Penny Roberts, Jonathan Calderwood and Ross Sharp staying on as directors.

The meeting ended with a discussion of various administrative issues, concluding that the new board has both the constitutional power and the mandate from members to manage its affairs as needed in 2016, including appointing directors to fill vacancies.

Further information from Shaw at 250-287-8807 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Changes coming quickly for Campbellton

By John Twigg, Secretary

Campbellton Neighbourhood Association

Changes for the better are coming more quickly now for the historic Campbellton area of Campbell River.

Though the old original part of the city was neglected for many decades and allowed to become run down, efforts in recent years by members of the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association and other community activists have persuaded the city government and other parties such as B.C. Hydro and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to make increasingly substantial investments in urban renewal, beautification and modernization in the area.

Last year and earlier this year the city installed a set of traffic and pedestrian lights at the busy intersection of Petersen and 14th, they constructed new sidewalks in the residential area of Campbellton, they facilitated the opening of a community garden near 15th and Petersen, and recently they added pedestrian crossing lights at Maple Street and Highway 19A - but those have proven to be just the beginning of even more extensive improvements to come.

Petersen widened

That is certainly evident in the roadway improvements now underway by the City on Petersen Road hill, a notoriously narrow and dangerous stretch for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists - and a problem that the CNA had been lobbying Council and staff on for years to get fixed.

The work includes drainage improvements on the west side of the road, rebuilding the roadway (i.e. new pavement) and widening the road to enable the addition of a wide walkway and the installation of a concrete curb to separate the driving lanes from the new pedestrian corridor - all of which will be greatly welcomed by many users.

Street lights next

Meanwhile the CNA recently learned that next up will be the replacement or installation of new streetlights in Campbellton by B.C. Hydro in consultation with city staff, which follows an article in this space on July 22 by CNA chair Brian Shaw which reported on a study for the CNA of the area's lighting deficiencies by a retired employee of Hydro.

The study found that many of the existing streetlights were outmoded (i.e. arms too short and lights too dim) and that there are dozens of locations completely lacking lights, which problems apparently resonated enough with Hydro officials to cause them to quickly decide to install 22 new lights that will be leased by the city, though the actual installations may take some time to arrange.

And more street lights could come next year from the city, depending on what council decides to do with staff recommendations in budget deliberations this fall for next year's capital projects.

CNA wins award

Meanwhile the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association won an environmental stewardship award from the City at the recent Haig-Brown Festival in recognition of the CNA's role in developing the new Campbellton Community Garden, which is pesticide-free, a model for urban agriculture and a step forward for the city's official food strategy.

The new garden was built entirely by volunteers using materials donated or provided at discount prices, and though it started a bit late in the season it still was planted in time to produce good crops.

But the produce has proven to be only one of many benefits from the garden, with others including improved relations among residents, and the project - which has room to add 24 more plots next year - has helped the CNA too by demonstrating to residents and businesses in the area that the CNA can get good things done.

And as a fund-raising activity CNA volunteers also handled the food and beverage concession for the awards event at the Haig-Brown house, which is located in Campbellton.

Garden party Oct. 9

A celebration of the community garden's success will be held Friday October 9 from 4 to 7 p.m. in the garden (near Petersen and 15th) with a barbecue and potluck free for everyone to attend. The event also will feature recognition of sponsors and donors, and a demonstration of winter gardening.

Also watch for public information meetings soon on a report being done for the city and CNA on improving public access to the Campbell River's shores.

The CNA's annual general meeting is being arranged for mid-January; watch for further details.

For feedback or further information contact CNA chair Brian Shaw at 287-8807 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The borders of Campbellton are flexible

By John Twigg

Secretary Campbellton Neighbourhood Association

So just what are the borders of Campbellton, which is arguably the oldest neighbourhood in all of Campbell River?

As far as we know there are no official boundaries of Campbellton but we do know there was an official street layout registered more than 100 years ago, a copy of which can be seen in the showroom of North Island Communications, and we do know that to this day there is still a loose and varying consensus of where that name Campbellton actually applies.

Should it include the Discovery Plaza shopping centre? Probably not because it sits on land owned by the Campbell River Indian Band but in practice that shopping mall IS part of Campbellton's "trading area".

Should it thus also include Ironwood Road, which also is in Campbellton's reach of commerce? Maybe, but lately CNA officials have decided its unofficial southern boundary should be Nunns Creek, which makes sense topographically and it means the many businesses on and around Homewood Road are inside Campbellton too.

Petersen Road certainly is in Campbellton, being a major cross street for about 100 years, but how far up the hill should "Campbellton" go? The CNA was successful in lobbying the City for traffic light and pedestrian improvements at 14th Avenue and Petersen (a busy intersection of mixed traffic) and now the City is doing much-needed improvements for pedestrians and cyclists up the narrow twisty Petersen hill - so that arguably could be part of unofficial Campbellton too.

And maybe that should include Treelane Road, which overlooks Campbellton and also connects directly to "downtown" Campbellton via Spruce Street, also like Petersen a major cross street through the old neighbourhood.

Similarly, should Campbellton also cover at least part of what is semi-officially known as North Campbell River, i.e. everything east and north of the great namesake river? That would make sense because several businesses there are obviously in Campbellton's trading area, such as the iconic Ideal Cafe, several car dealerships and numerous businesses related to forestry, fishing, marine and air industries, among others such as residential and tourism properties.

As well, 40 artistic banners developed by the CNA were erected recently on the roads and bridges across the river, with financial assistance from the City and the Pacific Salmon Foundation, which somewhat further attests that the CNA does cross the river too. (CNA members also are participating in various efforts to improve nature, park and recreation areas there, such as broom-bashing in Baikie Island Nature Reserve.)

Recently the CNA staked another small claim to its northward reach when it handled the bar service for the successful first-ever Snowden Trail Challenge in which some 120 runners and mountain-bikers did timed races over 25 and 50-kilometre trails in the Snowden Demonstration Forest from a base in a vacant field of PRT Growing Services Ltd., operator of numerous very large greenhouses, all of which are just outside the City limits.

And how about reaching all the way to Quinsam Crossing, the residential/commercial/services development westward up on the highway that is owned by the We Wai Kai (Cape Mudge) First Nation? That band also owns the reopening Quinsam Hotel, the soon-to-be 100-years-old landmark of downtown Campbellton that coincidentally abuts a very large parcel of vacant land owned by the Wei Wai Kum (Campbell River) Band.

But all that said, there is no debate about where Campbellton's northwest border is and that is up the river all the way to the dam and B.C. Hydro power plant and on out to the City's border with Strathcona Regional District's Area D, near the present-day dump.

The historicity of that part of Campbellton was displayed again on the past weekend with the Haig-Brown Festival at Haig-Brown House on the scenic shores of the Campbell River only a short walk from the neighbourhood's commercial core, with the family clearly identifying as having been part of "Campbellton".

The CNA not only managed the barbecue for that event, it also received an environmental stewardship award there from the City for its development of the new community garden near Petersen Road and 15th Avenue.

Presently the CNA is focussed on issues in and around the neighbourhood's downtown core, such as improving pedestrian safety and restoring public access to the riverfront, but perhaps in coming years the CNA's official reach will extend beyond its traditional borders.

CNA chair Brian Shaw welcomes feedback at 250-287-8807 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

MOTI willing to work with CNA and City on 14th Street entrance feature project

There are seven road entrances to Campbell River, with four in Campbellton and the fifth - Willis Road - running through Campbellton via Petersen Road. Each of those seven entrances has different attributes, especially different volumes of the various types of vehicles. The design and operation of those entrances involves both civic and provincial authorities, which means making changes to them is not always a simple matter.

Recently the Campbellton neighbourhood has been seeing some improvements in its main access roads, notably the new traffic lights at 14th and Petersen that after about a year in service now seem to have succeeded in calming traffic.

As this was being written the City has another related and welcome traffic improvement underway on Petersen Road with a road-widening on the hill going up to where it connects with Old Petersen Road, which appears to be a recognition that there is increasing use of Petersen perhaps as an alternate entrance from the Island Highway to the city's downtown and/or because of increased traffic to and from the new developments at Quinsam Crossing, notably B.C. Hydro's facilities.

The Campbellton Neighbourhood Association and others have long been lobbying for safety and capacity improvements on Petersen Road so it will be interesting to see how these changes work out in practice, especially for pedestrians and cyclists, but with the roadbed being so narrow on the twisty hill it likely will never be more than a two-lane road until a major rerouting of the roadbed is done (such as down into and through the School District works yard).

So clearly the main challenges are still how to improve the existing main access roads running through Campbellton, namely 14th Avenue (which for northbound traffic on the Island Highway (Hwy. 19) and for traffic from the airport is the first and closest or fastest route to downtown), 15th Avenue which is small and residential-oriented (and site of the new community garden) and thus not suited to heavy traffic, 16th which is already wide and designated for through traffic and handles lots of trucks and other large vehicles, and finally Highway 19A, the old original Island Highway that bends through the often-congested old commercial heart of Campbellton and on out along the river past Haig-Brown House and up to the dam and Elk Falls park and westward on to the Campbell lakes.

That 19A road of course also intersects with the new Island Highway 19 heading north and south and as such is intended to handle the bulk of traffic, be it logging trucks, transport trucks, tourist trailers, boat trailers and of course ordinary car commuters plus commercial and tourist vehicles and many other modes of modern transport.

The Highway 19 and 19A intersections are now dominated by gas stations and a large vacant field and apparently it will take several years to plan any improvements there but meanwhile there is good news on the 14th Avenue entrance, which arguably is the most urgent anyway because it carries a lot of traffic and has seen the fewest improvements in recent decades. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure officials have recently advised the CNA and the City that they have assessed the CNA's proposal for an "entrance feature" at 14th and Highway 19 and that MOTI will be able to proceed with it through a permit process and not require a lease agreement.

"This is good news," says CNA chair Brian Shaw, thanking MOTI operations manager Angie Allwood for her work on it and expressing eagerness to start promoting the entrance feature proposal in earnest, which the CNA has had in mind for most of its four years in existence.

The CNA proposal, which will be presented to Council in October, involves the City and the CNA acquiring a retired Beaver float plane and mounting it on a pedestal on the vacant parcel of land between the north and southbound lanes of the new highway (aka Tamarac and Willow streets within the city) and fronting on the northwest end of 14th Avenue.

While it will still take some time to raise funds and apply for grants to buy the plane and develop a site layout for the parcel, preliminary studies have shown there is plenty of room there for not only the float plane and a parking lot but also signage, maybe a picnic area and potentially even a new visitor information centre.

So that raises the prospect of the City soon deciding to rejuvenate the 14th Avenue entrance to Campbell River, which arguably is long overdue and would appear to be a good candidate for inclusion in next year's budget, if not sooner.

"If we do this right the 14th Avenue entrance could become a showpiece for the whole city to be proud of," says Shaw, noting it would have numerous spin-off benefits. He can be reached about it at 250-287-8807 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Kudos to Kermit

The Campbellton Neighbourhood Association is pleased to congratulate Kermit Dahl, owner of Associated Tire and Auto in Campbellton, on his recent winning of the Campbell River Chamber of Commerce Board of Governors Award for 2015.

The award was announced recently in the Mirror and featured a photo of him with Chamber chair Corby Lamb, owner of Capacity Forest Management, which also is based in Campbellton.

The chamber announcement noted that Mr. Dahl was being honoured for his outstanding record of community service, especially providing the company's large mobile barbecue to a variety of community events, which also was mentioned in this column's recent items on the Campbell River Salmon Festival's Logger Sports weekend at Nunns Creek Park in Campbellton.

CNA Coming Events

Sept. 6 Snowden Trail Challenge - a series of motorbike races on various routes through scenic Snowden Demonstration Forest in the Strathcona District on the north side of Campbell River. Information at www.snowdentrailchallenge.com. (CNA will be operating a beverage facility.)

Sept. 13 Haig-Brown Festival - City of Campbell River's 14th annual Stewardship Awards for individuals, groups, businesses, industry representatives and youth contributions to the environment, noon to 4 p.m. at Haig-Brown House in Campbellton. Information at 250-286-5727 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. (CNA will be operating a barbecue.) Watch for a CNA Harvest Celebration event associated with the community garden in the Fall.

Art banners reflect new focus on local highway traffic

The new art banners going up on the Island Highway where it runs through the industrial part of  Campbell River are another sign of changing times in the Campbellton neighbourhood.

Forty large two-sided vertical banners bearing stylized images of salmon are being put up by the City on lightposts on Tamarac and Willow Streets as part of the City's overall beautification program, with additional funding from the Pacific Salmon Foundation and the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association plus contributions from the artists, Curtis Wilson and Larry Stefanyk, and others. An additional 10 banners were being sold as fund-raisers for the CNA by vice-chair Kealy Donaldson, co-ordinator of the project.

The vinyl banners are expected to last for several years but their erection now is a timely coincidence with the salmon spawning season in the mighty Campbell River, still one of the world's greatest fishing rivers, plus it coincides with a new push by the CNA on its next major project: getting an "entrance feature" added on the Island Highway near 14th Avenue, on the northwest side of Campbellton near the Eagles Hall.

With the successful completion of the CNA's community garden development, CNA chair Brian Shaw and other directors are turning their attention to preparing a presentation to Council in October that will propose erecting a Beaver float plane on a pedestal on the site.

The proposed location of the new facility is a vacant pie-shaped parcel of land where the highway divides onto the one-way Tamarac and Willow Streets, which the CNA suggests could be used as a pull-out for tourists and other travellers, perhaps with maps and other information like pamphlets on hand, and a preliminary study suggests there is enough room at the site for safe entrance and exit lanes and numerous parking spaces.

That makes sense now because the streets through Campbellton have become the main access ways for much of the highway traffic entering and leaving downtown Campbell River, especially for commercial trucks and industrial equipment but also motorhomes and trailers, pickups towing boats and even commuters from the airport - as well as lots of tourists and local traffic in cars.

The recent occasion of the photo opp for the banners on the bridge over the river also illustrated that there is a lot of varied traffic on the Island Highway now as well as on the highway to the John Hart Generating Station Renewal Project, and to the city's waste dump, the Campbell Lakes, two mines and the West Coast via Gold River, plus northward to industries in Campbell River North, Middle Point, Brown's Bay and the whole North Island.

All that traffic makes a good argument that the City would benefit from having a place where such traffic could easily pull into a rest stop and consider options such as where to have a meal or where to stay for the night or where to go to get a tire fixed. (There happen to be some good restaurants in Campbellton too, plus several tire stores, but those are stories for another day!)

The unique and hopefully compelling aspect of the CNA's proposal is the inclusion of the full-size Beaver float plane, which would be similar to the small jet on a pedestal at the Courtenay-Comox tourist centre but the Beaver would be more fitting to the industrial history of Campbell River because float planes were and still are such integral parts of the local logging industry - the industry the town was built on.

Shaw says CNA directors have located a retired plane that would serve well for that site but it remains to be seen if finances for it can be raised and one possibility is for the City to apply for a grant from the Canada 150 Fund.

"Clearly the City of Campbell River would benefit from having a better tourist reception facility at what is now its main entrance and we believe having that iconic plane there would help cause more people to stop and maybe shop in Campbellton too," said Shaw, noting details can be worked out on such things as number of parking spaces and maybe whether a new sani-station should be installed.

Comments to Shaw are welcome at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 250-287-8807.

 

CNA Coming Events

Sept. 6 Snowden Trail Challenge - a series of motorbike races on various routes through scenic Snowden Demonstration Forest in the Strathcona District on the north side of Campbell River. Information at www.snowdentrailchallenge.com. (CNA will be operating a beverage facility.)

Sept. 13 Haig-Brown Festival - City of Campbell River's 14th annual Stewardship Awards for individuals, groups, businesses, industry representatives and youth contributions to the environment, noon to 4 p.m. at Haig-Brown House in Campbellton. Information at 250-286-5727 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. (CNA will be operating a barbecue.)

Watch for a CNA Harvest Celebration event associated with the community garden in the Fall.

Salmon Fest boosts Campbellton Neighbourhood Association

The Campbell River Salmon Festival's 48th annual Logger Sports competition was a big success again this year, including giving a boost to the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association.

Attendance was down slightly for the three-day event (Aug. 7-9), due mainly to some heavy rain on Saturday, but entries were up about 20 per cent for professional competitors in the various events (it's one of the top prize packages in North American logger sports) and overall the weekend finished as another job well done even though it ran about about two hours overtime due to the extra competitors.

The clear winner on overall points was local logger Dave MacLeod, who also played a key role in organizing and running the event, copped a world championship in the choker race and even closed the event with a hilarious comedy routine from atop a climbing pole before he flew out early the next morning on a job as a faller.

But the big winner was the City of Campbell River with hundreds of visitors from out of town and unique entertainment and cultural opportunities for local people, many of whom attend every year.

This year the opening night was charged up by choker race and mudball-throwing contests featuring the four contestants in the current federal election campaign then closing the night with a well-received performance by local folksinger Doug Folkins, who also is a key member of the event's organizing committee as well as a top competitor in logger sports.

And among the winners was the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association, whose members for the second year operated the beverage garden on a revenue-sharing basis with the Festival, which so far is one of the CNA's largest sources of revenue. The CNA's role and presence also was mentioned frequently by the event's announcer.

The long-running event in fact is a most notable one on the calendar for Campbellton businesses because many of them are involved in forestry and logging or providing goods and services to those industries and have done so for many years.

Among the many local sponsors there are numerous notable stories but one of the best examples is Associated Tire, the only locally-owned full-service tire store in town doing both industrial and commercial retail trade.

Company owner Kermit Dahl and his son David not only staffed their booth full-time with a display of large tires for logging trucks but they also provided their very large mobile barbecue trailer which volunteers from the Campbell River Head Injury Society used to cook salmon for customers during the day as well as for competitors and volunteers at a Saturday night dinner event - which Dahl explained they are pleased to do because it contributes to community development.

And perhaps the best news of all is that the Salmon Festival's treasurer and main organizer Jim Lilburn will be back next year for his 47th consecutive year on the event and he says he is aiming for 50; also returning will be longtime organizer Phil Hicks and several other stalwart supporters.

CNA chair Brian Shaw, who also lent his Mackie Research tent to the event and administered the bar, also is looking forward to next year's Salmon Fest at Nunns Creek on the southern edge of Campbellton.

"The Logger Sports weekend has long been a major event in Campbellton and we're very pleased to have it more involved in our community-building now too," he said.

CNA Community Garden enjoys successful start-up

It's official: the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association's new community garden is now a success.

All 22 plots in the garden (on 15th near Petersen) are now rented, planted and sprouting even though it all started rather late in the spring season and was built almost entirely by volunteers using mainly donated or discounted materials such as rough-cut yellow cedar box sidings, mounds of organic soil and many rolls of wire fencing. Plus the City of Campbell River donated the land (part of an existing under-used park) as well as doing the critical water connection.

The warm dry weather proved to be a boon to the late-starting vegetables such as greens, beans and beets (as well as many other interesting crops including some tree seedlings put there temporarily by Greenways Land Trust to get some better sun) and now the focus has shifted to finishing the gate hand-made from driftwood by Councillor Ron Kerr, enclosing a small shed for tools and adding a sitting and meeting area under the shade of some trees.

While growing food is the main focus of the garden facility there also are several very important social purposes, especially providing an opportunity for Campbellton residents and business people to meet and interact and thereby build community spirit.

And as CNA chair Brian Shaw has noted, the garden also provides the four-years-old CNA and community people with tangible proof that working together on common interests can deliver real improvements that benefit everyone, which he hopes will help the CNA advance some of its other pending projects such as improving public access to the Campbell River's shoreline, adding a tourist feature on the Inland Island Highway near 14th Street and potentially adding a new visitor information centre between Tamarack and Willow Streets on the Old Island Highway.

Next year the CNA is planning to add another 24 plots to the garden (with room for them made by moving a set of swings to a new corner) so there will be another opportunity for new participants to join the existing group; the garden also will have its own management committee separate from the CNA executive.

Meanwhile the CNA will continue its efforts to get lighting and pedestrian improvements throughout the neighbourhood, among other initiatives.

For further information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 250-287-8807 .

The recent CNA column on the uncertain future of the dear old Quinsam Hotel generated quite a bit of feedback, with several writers wishing for a revival of its live-music venue and some supporting the notion of converting it to various community uses, including housing and transportation.

The now-closed hotel property is still owned by the We Wai Kai (Cape Mudge) Band, which moved the hotel's liquor-store licence to its properties at Quinsam Crossing several years ago.

The CNA is continuing to monitor that and numerous other issues in the area and it welcomes input on all of them.

Logger sports event reflects local industry's history

By John Twigg, Secretary

Campbellton Neighbourhood Association

The logging industry has a long history in Campbellton, from as early as the 1880s, and even nowadays it still has a major presence.

That's evidenced by the dozens of corporate sponsors with Campbellton addresses that are supporting this year's 48th annual logger sports competition, which is organized by the Campbell River Salmon Festival Society and runs from Friday through Sunday (Aug. 7 - 9) at Nunns Creek Park on the southern edge of Campbellton neighbourhood.

Whereas the City of Campbell River itself wasn't incorporated as a Village until 1947, Campbellton had an official street layout as early as 1910, it took off in the 1920s with the advent of industrial logging and it boomed through the war years when Elk River Timber company had a major railway logging business terminating at a log dump in the estuary of the Campbell River, vestiges of which are still visible such as a cement abutment on the Myrt Thompson Trail and signs for the ERT right-of-way that arcs around the west side of Campbell River.

Since then the Elk Falls pulp mill has come and gone (1952 to 2009) and many other changes have happened (such as the closure of Raven sawmill) but the logging and other forestry-related industries are still here, albeit changed a lot from the decades of cross-cut saws and double-bit axes to nowadays helicopters and mechanized fellers on giant tires, and workings moved from river-bottom valleys to rocky hillsides.

But the arts of the old days, such as axe-throwing, log-chopping and hand-sawing, are still very much alive in logger sports competitions each with prizes of several hundred or even thousands of dollars.

Jim Lilburn, who is in his 46th year of helping organize the event, says about 100 professionals from as far away as Australia will be competing for $35,000 in prizes, which is the largest prize package in Canada and among the largest in North America. It includes two World Championships and seven Canadian Championships as well as other Open, Intermediate, Novice, Ladies, Youth and Teen events - 44 in all.

"We're a big event," says Lilburn, also the event's treasurer, predicting that about 5,000 people will attend the modestly-priced event, details of which are at www.crsalmonfestival.com.

Some of that high interest is because the event features so many fun contests such as log-rolling, creative chain-sawing and this year a choker-race and mud-slinging contest between the four local candidates in the federal election, but there also are safety aspects, a media contest and a dogs demonstration.

There also are food vendors, trade and community-group booths, a free play area for kids, live music at night, a salmon barbecue and of course a "beverage garden" staffed again this year by volunteers from the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association.

While lots of people spend a lot of time making it all happen, Lilburn is especially thankful to the City of Campbell River and local corporate sponsors who help make the event accessible to a wide range of visitors (including last year a novelty TV show from the Netherlands).

A complete list of sponsors is available on the event's website and newspaper ads as well as on banners at the event but for illustrative purposes some of the larger ones in Campbellton include Associated Tire, Bailey Western Star Trucks, York Machine Shop, Finning Canada, Advanced Marine Power Ltd., North Island Communications and many others including Capacity Forest Management whose president, Corby Lamb, is also president of the Campbell River Chamber of Commerce.

Things to watch for include the performances of local logger Dave McLeod, who won several events last year and also is the Salmon Festival's vice-president, and Doug Folkins, also a local logger who won several events, serves as the Festival's past-president and also performs as a guitarist and singer.

Indeed they're a talented bunch working together for the good of the community, both Campbellton and Campbell River.

So what is to be done with the dear old Quinnie?

The historic Quinsam Hotel at the southeast entrance to Campbellton was a very popular pub and restaurant for almost 100 years but it was quietly closed at the end of May by its present owners, the We Wai Kai (Cape Mudge) First Nation, and since then it has sat empty and looking increasingly forlorn.

While venerable might not be the best word for the facility, given its associations with bootleggers and hard-partying loggers, it certainly was iconic and popular, even right up to its recent closure.

A petition to “Save the Quinnie” was started and some T-shirts were sold but apparently not enough momentum was raised to find either new owners or a new role for the old landmark.

While many people miss the hotel’s restaurant with its large affordable meals, the greatest loss seems to have been the pub and its venue for live music which went on six nights a week right to its big-party ending.

Should the City of Campbell River or some entity like the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association or Campbell River Arts Council step in and try to revive the music aspect, or should we stand aside and watch it become a real estate development?

If not a revived facility for arts and culture, what else could be done with it?

The building has 22 hotel rooms plus the restaurant and large bar but its piecemeal three-storey design may make it unsuitable for restoration as a business or offices complex.

Still its location is so strategic, at the corner of Maple and the Island Highway, that surely some good uses could be made of it, such as maybe a community services centre and transit hub - especially with so much vacant land around. (The land across Maple is owned by the We Wai Kum (Campbell River) Indian Band who are facing similar challenges with their own extensive undeveloped lands.)

One clue to the Quinnie’s future could be its close proximity to the Myrt Thompson Trail along the Campbell River, which is being refurbished as part of City and CNA efforts to restore more public access to the river in the Campbellton area. Maybe it could become an adjunct to the award-winning Museum at Campbell River in a manner similar to nearby Haig-Brown House.

If you have some suggestions you’re welcome to send them to CNA president Brian Shaw at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Campbellton Neighbourhood pushes for lighting improvements

It’s summertime and with the amount of daylight we have at this time of year there isn’t much concern about lighting problems, but it is still a good time to focus on planning for the “darker months”.

The Campbellton Neighborhood Association in 2012 established as one of its priorities, safety in the village.

From the security analysis in our Urban Plan, street lighting emerged as an urgent concern because it found so many streets were poorly illuminated and some even had no lighting at all!

Thus in early 2014 one of our recommendations to City Council was for improved street lighting, and while good progress has been made on several other CNA issues, for all of which the CNA is grateful, as of yet there’s little to show for lighting improvements.

Late in 2014 I was approached by a good friend of mine who happens to be a retired employee of B.C. Hydro who even used to do pole installations and he volunteered to put together a lighting plan for the Campbellton village. And what a great piece of planning it was! There laid out in full colour was a post-by-post map of where 35 lights should be installed, where five new poles and lights should be installed, and where 25 changes to lamp-post arm lengths should be extended (see illustration).

He was hoping we could light up Campbellton by “Christmas” but of course, which year that happens in remains to be seen. Nonetheless for residents and business people in the area it cannot come soon enough.

On a side note, he mentioned that the project wouldn’t cost the City anything except for an increased electric bill, as BC Hydro would capitalize the expense and charge normal monthly rates for the new lights. We know reality though; there will be some associated costs that both the City & Hydro are negotiating.

That idea was submitted in November of 2014 to City Administration and they submitted in turn to BC Hydro, but after a few inquiries we are still patiently waiting to hear back.

Last week that same friend jokingly inquired of me “Have you seen the lighting changes in Campbellton?” and when I shook my head he said “Neither have I. Hope it’s not on the back burner.”

Comments welcome to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Consultants study options for Campbellton projects

By John Twigg, Secretary

Campbellton Neighbourhood Association

A professional study of potential riverfront access projects and other related improvements in the Campbellton area will continue to gather information through the summer leading to a public open house event in September.

Planning consultants Ross Sharp and Pat Harrison have met with a range of interested parties regarding various options such as adding some riverside viewing platforms in the downtown area of Campbellton and improving aspects of the Myrt Thompson Trail, which follows the river frontage southeastward from an access point at the east end of Maple Street.

In a recent presentation to City staff and representatives of other interest groups, Sharp and Harrison discussed issues related to three specific sites, especially the challenges of inadequate parking space at the end of Maple Street but also potential attributes for viewing platforms at the vacant lot near Tamarack Street between the Island Highway bridges, now fenced off, and at the east end of Spruce Street, now blocked by unkempt bushes.

They also mentioned potential for a fourth riverfront viewing platform site along the Myrt Thompson Trail where the river bends, a fifth site that could use an existing cement pad along the trail as an elevated viewpoint and a sixth at an existing but deteriorating platform at the south end of the trail - all of which would be subject to prior consent of the Campbell River Indian Band. (The cement base is a remnant of a log-dumping facility.)

Sharp, a professional planner, and Harrison, a landscape architect with extensive experience in the local area, are aiming to develop a list of specific proposals that the City of Campbell River and the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association can take to the public with a reasonable expectation that they will be well-received, affordable and do-able - and have good prospects for winning grants from senior governments and other entities.

Their public engagement has so far identified that the Myrt Thompson Trail is very popular with off-leash dog-walkers but that some improvements will be needed to preserve the shoreline berms and some areas of the now-narrow walking path will need surface improvements. But there are also challenges, including the now-inadequate parking and some spots along the trail being abused by partying vagrants.

Other factors identified so far include the paramount need to protect the habitat for salmon, with the possibility of some local rules regarding how fishing is done from any new platforms though fishing already is done extensively from private floats and front yards along the river.

Persons with comments are welcome to attend the open house in September or to contact the CNA’s Brian Shaw at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 250-287-8807.