The Playground of the Gods art installation in Burnaby.

The Playground of the Gods art installation in Burnaby.

Local News Briefs: Craft fairs and markets, a tribute concert, and the Playground of the Gods

Get a head start on your Christmas shopping, make a sleigh, Love Ashcroft, and more.

Indoor market

The next Cache Creek Indoor Market will take place on Saturday, November 4 at the Cache Creek Community Hall from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tables and chairs are provided, and electricity is available. Tables are $10, and there is no admission charge for the public. Come down and see what the vendors have to offer, and get a head start on your Christmas shopping.

To reserve a table contact Wendy at (250) 457-9587 or at, or message her through Facebook at Cache Creek Market.

Garth Brooks tribute concert

Musician and entertainer Randy Hillis was due to perform his Garth Brooks tribute show at the Ashcroft Legion on July 7. The concert had to be cancelled because of the wildfire; but Hillis will be appearing at the Legion on Saturday, November 4. Members and guests are welcome to attend, and there is no cover charge. There will also be audience requests and a dance party, and the Legion will be serving chilli and buns starting at 11 a.m. (cost $5).

The Equality Project

The Equality Project in Cache Creek is looking for kitchen volunteers able to assist on Mondays and Tuesdays (and they are hoping to be able to be open on other days as well). If you have a few spare hours each week and would like to help out, call the clubhouse on Stage Road on Monday or Tuesday between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. (250-457-6485).

HUB Christmas craft fair

Book your space and table now for the annual Christmas Craft Fair at the Ashcroft HUB on Saturday, December 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost for vendors is $15 per space and $5 per table (there is no charge for members of the public). To book a space or table, call the HUB at (250) 453-9177.

Make a Sleigh workshop

The Hutch at the Ashcroft HUB is bringing back its “Make a Sleigh” workshop due to popular demand. Participants are guided step by step through the construction and painting of their own decorative sleigh. The $65 fee includes all materials as well as dessert. Registration and payment are required by November 3 to ensure that there are enough materials.

To register email, send a message via their Facebook page (The Hutch), or drop by the studio.

Love Ashcroft

Love Ashcroft businesses are participating in a project to encourage residents to shop and eat locally. From now until November 20, any purchase of $15 or more at any Love Ashcroft business will get participants a ballot to enter into a draw for one of three prizes: $200, $100, and $50 in “Love Bucks” that can be spent at any Love Ashcroft business. Winding Rivers Arts & Performance Society will be offering ballots at the door for anyone purchasing tickets valued at $15 or more for Anne of Green Gables: The Musical.

To learn more about participating Love Ashcroft businesses, go to

Cariboo Cares

More than 18,000 seedlings will be planted in the B.C. Interior next spring, thanks to supporters of Pacific Western Brewing’s (PWB) “Cariboo Cares” campaign.

In September, PWB dedicated 25 cents from every six-pack of Cariboo product sold to help B.C. recover from this summer’s 1,000-plus wildfires that devastated more than a million hectares of forest land.

PWB sales manager Scott Rattee says “The tally of September sales figures is finally complete and the results are fantastic. We will be able to plant 18,640 trees in 2018.” The brewery has contracted with Smithers-based Summit Reforestation to begin planting trees in the spring.

PWB owner Kazuko Komatsu says “Our wonderful, loyal customers who love our Cariboo family of beers purchased enough six-packs in September to allow us to plant a significant number of trees in the Interior.

“The campaign was an opportunity for our loyal customers to join us, to step up and, in a modest yet significant way, help B.C. grow its way back from this summer’s terrible fires.”

Back alley art

Two people have spent the summer on a work experience project that is transforming Kamloops’ back alleys into safe, usable spaces that have become a popular destination for walking, sightseeing, and photography.

The Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association (KCBIA) received more than $19,000 in government funding for its Back Alley Art Gallery Job Creation Partnership project, where the two participants are learning about large-mural creation and other career-enhancing skills.

The participants are gaining work experience in urban design and painting techniques as they work on the murals, which were completed late last month. The murals’ locations for this year’s project are behind Kelson Place, Subway, and Mittz Kitchen.

The first mural, behind Kelson Place at 301 Victoria Street, celebrates the former Leland Hotel, which was built on that spot in 1905. The second mural, behind Subway at 316 Victoria Street, is entitled “The Mystic”, and was created to promote peace and love. The third mural, “The Jaguar”—located behind Mittz Kitchen at 227 Victoria Street—depicts an Olmec/Inca temple and draws inspiration from diverse cultures.

Going to bat for bats

Halloween is over, but bats are still here; and B.C.’s bat population needs protection against white-nose syndrome (WNS). To date, white-nose syndrome has not been detected in B.C.; however, there are reported cases in Washington State, and the disease may arrive here soon.

The provincial government is increasing funding to combat WNS by more than $40,000. The funding will support the North American bat monitoring program and improve B.C.-specific bat monitoring guidance. This monitoring is essential for protecting bats from WNS disease and other threats, and to plan for the recovery of bat populations.

British Columbians in both urban and rural settings are asked to report unusual activity, which includes bats flying during the day in winter (November through May), or dead bats, to the B.C. Community Bat Program online at, by calling toll-free 1-855-9BC-BATS (1-855-922-2287), or by sending an email to

B.C. is home to the most diverse bat population in the country, with 16 out of 19 bat species that call Canada home. Half of these bats are considered to be of conservation concern, including two that have been recently listed as endangered in Canada due to WNS. WNS appears is a white fungus on bats, and can kill entire bat colonies during hibernation.

Atlas Obscura

Atlas Obscura ( is a website that bills itself as showcasing “Curious and Wondrous Travel Destinations” from around the world. Now and then one of the sites is within striking distance of our region, so travellers might want to check them out next time they visit.

There is a place in Burnaby called “Playground of the Gods”, featuring carved wooden poles that at first glance bear a resemblance to First Nations totem poles. However, the sculpture is inspired by the artwork of the Ainu people of northern Japan, and is the creation of artist Toko Nuburi, who comes from the city of Kushiro on the Japanese island of Hakkaido, which is at the heart of the Ainu territory.

Kushiro and Burnaby are sister cities, and on a visit to Burnaby in 1985, Nuburi came across a mountaintop setting that inspired him to ask to create a sculpture for the site. It was completed in 1990; the 25th anniversary of the sister city relationship between the two cities.

“Playground of the Gods” (or Kamui Mintara) draws from the Ainu animist tradition, with the carvings depicting the gods descending to create the world, as well as the associations between humans, the gods, animals, and nature. To read more about the site, located at 464 Centennial Way in Burnaby (and also find out what the author of the entry thinks of the west coast climate), go to

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