BC Tour – Installment III
Last stop; paradise. Early this morning we landed on Haida Gwaii. What a mysterious and magical place this is. But first let’s bring y’all up to speed.
Took the ferry over to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island on Tuesday afternoon. Janine had an in-studio radio interview at Radio Malaspina and then we hunkered down to our accommodations before sound check at The Cambie. The show was sparsely attended, but we we moved people (and merchandise!) and performed well. Thanks to Paul who made us sound great. Thanks to the bar staff who kept us well-watered. Thanks go to Josh Gellman who worked so hard to get us out, rocked the promo, and who performed a really great Spanish tune during the show, took us to a breathtaking river, and gave us a lift to the ferry docks.
A tip: if you’re ever in Nanaimo; check out Demeter’s Coffee Vault! This place seems completely unlikely for the area, but the coffee is incredible, and the chef is a serious talent. Great breakfast; especially the freshly-made croissants.
After returning to Vancouver we spent the afternoon roaming Commercial Dr., eating Fresh Slice pizza, and drinking Turks coffee before heading over to Cafe Deux Soleils for setup and sound check. We performed with a great band from Edmonton called The Consonance who opened the show and brought their share of audience members. We hit the stage to a full room and the band sounded great. Our friends Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland were in attendance and we asked them up to perform one of Melissa’s songs that we know, which sent the crowd over the top. All in all, good show in Vancouver. Three song encore.
A tip: Melissa and Luke have formed a duo projects called White Horse and it promises to be one of the best Canadian musical things ever! What we’ve heard so far is beautiful. Check them out!
Last night we didn’t sleep much. Spent the night at friends, but got to bed way too late and had to wake up way too early to catch our flight to Haida Gwaii. 7:45am flight that got us here roughly around 10am. A really friendly guy named Mike was sent by the festival to pick us and Jaffa Road up at the airport in Masset and gave us a tour of the town and then drive us down to the even smaller town of Tlell where we’ll be staying for the festival. Mike showed us the beautiful totem poles in Masset and told us horrifying details of some of the history of the Haida nation. At the height of their population, there was 20,000 Haida living on the west coast of the Americas, and after the white mans genocide against them there were only 500 left. Since around 1969 the population has grown again to around 5,000 and after having all the totems on the island burnt and destroyed, they erected the first new totem on the lawn of the Anglican church. For more information on Haida Gwaii, click here.
During our tour we met Captain Ron, a fisherman who insisted we come down to the dock and onto his boat, and then proceeded to give us about 40 lbs worth of fish that he caught today. Half a sockeye salmon, a full chinook and a full 15 pound spring. Life here revolves around fish. Bald eagles and ravens that are as fat, healthy and plentiful as seagulls nesting the waters of Stelco in Hamilton. We passed about 20 deer on the highway on route to Tlell. What a place this is. We feel exceptionally blessed.
So now we’ve checked into our accommodations at the beautiful Riverside Bed and Breakfast on a river here in Tlell. After warm showers and a good long afternoon nap, we’re off to a barbecue with other artists and volunteers for this Edge of the World Festival. One of the volunteers at the festival is going to help cook this fish feast because none of us musicians know what the hell we’re doing. It’s gonna be delicious. We’ll keep you posted as we go.