When I was young my class went on a field trip to Britannia Mine near Squamish. We got to pan for gold and take home the flakes that we found. As someone with limited long-term memory this stands as one of the finest memories of my pre-tween years.
I’d like to believe that we all think that gold mining is essentially grizzled old men kneeling by the river panning for gold. Because if that’s the case then there’s really no reason to consult with First Nations people when new mines are started. The old men don’t take up that much space and they’ll only get rowdy once a month in town.
Instead these mines are environmental disasters no matter how you cut it and inevitably land straight where First Nations people have lived for centuries or longer. They also result in the systematic killing of fish and other animals but this is rebuked by the “net benefit” of creating a handful of jobs and a bit of money being spread around the local towns.
Sometimes the universe speaks to us in strange ways. It spoke to me via an invitation to experience Victoria’s Magnolia Hotel & Spa and their Grape Escape package which included a tour of the Cowichan Valley wine region. The message was delivered in the form of slow boats through the islands, a welcoming boutique hotel and meandering country roads and local wineries. The message wasn't loud, but it was clear: slow down.
The Magnolia Hotel & Spa
I arrived at the Magnolia hotel in the early afternoon of a warm autumn Saturday.
The Magnolia is charming and dignified without being pretentious, welcoming without being obsequious, and I have been a fan and occasional visitor since it opened in 2000. Conveniently located in downtown Victoria near to the Inner Harbour, this 64-room hotel has married grand hotel service with small inn intimacy to create a place that makes you feel like you’re staying with an old friend with old money.
2 years ago
It was a culturally rich event from start to finish. Here, you can see what it was like to walk into the beautiful SFU...