British Columbia’s Great Highway turns 70

Highway 3 which undulates along the B.C., Washington State, Idaho, Montana border from Hope to the prairies, is celebrating its 70th birthday this year. The iconic stretch of blacktop sutures together some of Canada’s most scenic and hostile terrain – from the goldfields of the Fraser River, to the beaches of Osoyoos, to the jagged peaks of Fort Steele, to the devastation of Frank’s Slide.

In summer, the highway is packed with RVs, transport trucks, and thousands of tourists eager for adventure. In winter, the route is less populated. The fruit stands of Creston and Keremeos are shuttered. Residents head for the mountains in search of firewood. The leaves turn colour and fall onto the stubble of empty backyards and harvested alfalfa fields.

There are ghosts along Highway 3 – Chinese miners, Montana gun fighters, local farmers, and construction workers. They pace the blacktop and back alleys of places like Rock Creek and Anaconda – all wanting to be more than just a footnote in a dusty old textbook. Continue reading “British Columbia’s Great Highway turns 70”

The Weal: Canadian diamond shines bright at Carnegie Hall

Adversity is like a furnace. It can burn, consume and reduce solid constituents to charcoal, ashes, smoke and heat. What goes into the fire of sorrow and difficulty always exits as something different and potentially useful.

Ashes can be scattered to fertilize new growth. Charcoal can become an art medium. Heat can warm entire civilizations. Smoke can become the ambient medium of memory and love.

From time to time – in the fires of life – the divine hand reaches down, opens the furnace door and feeds the flames with broken dreams, spent arrogance and misplaced sophistication.

It’s during those times – when the door is open – that sparks fly out.

Arlen Hlusko, a 26-year-old cellist fellow with Ensemble Connect at Carnegie Hall in New York City, is one of the sparks that rolled across the utility room of life, landed in the wall, and set the house ablaze.

Continue reading “The Weal: Canadian diamond shines bright at Carnegie Hall”