A still from the music video for So Far Gone by Nanaimo rapper Konfidential. A story about the video, which was filmed at the Discontent City homeless camp, was the most read arts and entertainment story of 2018. (Konfidential Music/Facebook)

Nanaimo News Bulletin’s most-read arts and entertainment stories of 2018

Three stories about Chesapeake Shores among Top 10 stories of the year

1. Nanaimo rapper Konfidential films music video at Discontent City, Aug. 21.

In early August Nanaimo rapper Konfidential, real name Tyler Birch, visited Nanaimo’s Discontent City homeless camp to film a music video for So Far Gone, a song that contemplates the struggles of addiction. After a couple weeks the video racked up close to 40,000 views, but Birch wasn’t surprised by the attention.

“Addiction and drug abuse, in general, it’s definitely not slowing down here and just because you don’t have a drug problem, you always know somebody that does or has lost their life recently,” Birch said. “I feel like a lot of people can relate to that, so I had expected [the video] to do pretty well. I thought people would stand behind it for sure. I thought the way we did it was respectful, too.”

Birch said it’s been 10 years since he kicked his own addiction problems, and he wrote So Far Gone looking back on that period in his life. He said getting sober seemed impossible at the time.

“I was just as bad as some of the people down there [at Discontent City], living that lifestyle, but there always is a way out, no matter how hard,” he said. “People might not see it, but if you want it, there is help there.”

2. Famed Canadian musician loses ‘irreplaceable’ hat aboard B.C. Ferries vessel, Oct. 5.

On Sept. 30, after playing to a sellout crowd at the Short Close Song Shelter in Ladysmith, rock guitarist Tom Wilson of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings and Junkhouse lost his hat while travelling on the B.C. Ferries boat from Duke Point to Tsawwassen.

The missing headgear was a black hat manufactured by Beaver Brand Hats, a company which dates back to 1860 but has since ceased production in recent years.

“It’s a very special hat … It’s an irreplaceable hat,” said local concert promoter Cathleen McMahon on a video posted to Facebook. “We are asking for you to get in touch and see if we can get this hat returned.”

The Ladysmith resident’s video was viewed more than 1,100 times but she encouraged people to continue sharing it.

“I’ve done all the things I’m supposed to do, I’ve called lost and found and put out a description of the hat but it has not surfaced,” she said. “If you know somebody who was travelling on a B.C. Ferries boat last Saturday from Duke Point to Tsawwassen and (found) a black hat, a Beaver company hat, and happened to see it and thought it would be a great souvenir, no questions asked just please return it and we’ll get it back to its rightful owner.”

3. Chesapeake Shores begins filming this week, April 16.

In early April cast members of Chesapeake Shores announced via social media that the Hallmark Channel television program would soon begin filming its third season in the mid-Island area.

Andrew Francis, who plays one of the O’Brien children, Connor, tweeted April 8 that filming would start in just over a week.

“T minus 9 days until #ChesapeakeShores #Season3 starts filming!!” he wrote.

Barbara Niven, who plays Megan O’Brien, tweeted that she was getting on a plane to Vancouver Island to start filming.

“Oh my gosh, after all the waiting for #ChesapeakeShores S3 I can’t believe I’m actually at the airport waiting to board the plane to Vancouver Island. Thx to all of you #Chessies for making this happen. It’s going to be a great family reunion. See U soon!” she wrote.

Chesapeake Shores was given the green light for a third season back in January from the Hallmark Channel network. During the announcement at the Crown Media Family Networks’ TV Critics Association press tour, Hallmark stated the show is one of the network’s most-watched original series

4. Las Vegas-based Circo Osorio Circus comes to Nanaimo’s Woodgrove Centre, Sept. 11.

From Sept. 13 to 17 Las Vegas’ Circo Osorio Circus came to Nanaimo for the second time. The tent, which ringmaster and magician Robert Osorio described as a unique design unseen in the Northern Hemisphere, was set up at Woodgrove Centre.

The Osorio family has been performing under the big top since the late 19th century, when Osorio’s great-grandfather ran away to join the circus whenever it came to his Mexican hometown. Three times he left and three times his father had to drag him back.

“A typical love story – he fell in love with the girl on the trapeze,” Osorio said.

Among the acts in Nanaimo were clowning, magic, trapeze, a woman who shoots a bow and arrow with her feet and the “globe of death” – two motorcycles spinning around in a giant spherical cage. Osorio said his father didn’t expect that he and his siblings would carry on the family business.

“My dad immigrated here to the States for us to become doctors and lawyers and to become all the good stuff. But he kept on practising us in the backyard and eventually my two crazy brothers and my sister decided that they wanted to go back in the circus,” he said.

5. Island-filmed TV series gets third season, Jan. 15.

On Jan. 13 it was announced that Chesapeake Shores, the Hallmark Channel’s most-watched original TV show, which is filmed in the mid-Island, will be returning for a third season.

The announcement was made at the Crown Media Family Networks’ TV Critics Association winter press tour.

Parts of the first two seasons were filmed in Parksville Qualicum Beach, with sections of Second Avenue in Qualicum Beach proving a popular filming location.

“Viewers have fallen in love with the heartfelt and compelling storylines as each character navigates the complexities of life, love and choices,” said Michelle Vicary, executive vice-president of programming and network publicity for Crown Media Family Networks. “We look forward to continuing and further exploring the multi-generational family journeys that people of all ages can enjoy and relate to, which makes Chesapeake Shores a fitting series for our brand and the quality, family entertainment we provide.”

Chesapeake Shores is based on the novel series of the same name by author Sherryl Woods. The show stars Meghan Ory, Jesse Metcalf, Treat Williams, Dianne Ladd and Barbara Niven.

The multi-generational family drama follows Abby O’Brien (Ory), a high-powered career woman, divorcee and mother to twin daughters, as she adjusts to life back in her hometown of Chesapeake Shores.

6. Chesapeake Shores filming in Nanaimo, April 20.

Downtown Nanaimo streets were a bit busier on the week of April 16 as crews, equipment and actors crowded sidewalks to film scenes for a season three episode of the Hallmark Channel television series Chesapeake Shores.

Multiple scenes were shot April 19 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre and on Victoria Crescent throughout the morning and evening, which provided some entertainment for passersby who stopped to watch the filming in progress.

The News Bulletin was on hand to capture pictures and video of the activity and the sidewalks were full of crew members and equipment getting ready for another shoot.

The Bulletin was alerted to the ongoing television production when a reader provided a news tip that “Jersey Shores” was being filmed in downtown Nanaimo.

7. Nanaimo filmmakers at work on first feature-length film, March 16.

Darcy Touhey, Devon Kuziw and Maarten Bayliss have been making movies together since their days at Dover Bay Secondary School. Back then it was mostly parodies of the MTV stunt show Jackass, but this year the Nanaimo trio were at work creating their first feature-length film, and launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to help make it happen.

Touhey started writing the script three years ago after feeling dissatisfied with his last short film. That script became Four Walls, a film that captures a day in the life of 17 different characters. Touhey is the film’s director, Bayliss is acting and composing the score and Kuziw is on board as a producer.

Touhey said it meant a lot to be working on his first feature film with his best friends. It’s a project he’s wanted to tackle for a long time. They’re a long way from their Jackass parodies.

“Unfortunately, that footage is lost, but it was pretty good,” Touhey said of the trio’s early efforts.

“That kind of got us started down the road of making movies together and I think, honestly, making movies is what’s kept us together all these years.”

8. Nanaimo child actor Hannah Zirke, 13, being cast in more mature roles, July 3.

Nanaimo child actor Hannah Zirke’s recent roles are a far cry from her recurring work on the Hallmark Channel’s When Calls the Heart.

This spring the 13-year-old wrapped up filming a pair of more dramatic, mature productions. In March she spent a day on the Langley set of the Twentieth Century Fox film Bad Times at the El Royale, a star-studded crime thriller, and in May Hannah filmed what her mother Sarah describes as “the first role where she’s actually getting more lines and it’s more of a real character.”

That role was for Sacred Lies, spearheaded by two of the producers behind HBO’s vampire drama True Blood and broadcast on Facebook’s new Facebook Watch streaming service.

Season 1 follows a teenage girl without hands who has information about who killed her cult leader. The show is based on American young adult novelist Stephanie Oakes’ Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly and the Grimm Brothers story The Handless Maiden.

Sarah said while there are sometimes mature or creepy themes that come up in Hannah’s work, it provides an opportunity for discussion.

“I feel like you should expose children, not to bad things, but you shouldn’t shield them from it because they’re going to be exposed to it sooner or later,” Hannah said.

9. Schmooze Productions presents ‘Chicago’ at Malaspina Theatre, June 7.

Dean Chadwick said he waited for more than a decade to get his hands on the rights to stage the 1975 musical Chicago, and last summer it finally happened when Schmooze Productions presented it at Malaspina Theatre.

“It’s been one of those restricted licences that you can’t get very easily and it finally became available to a group like ours and that was it,” the Schmooze Productions artistic director said. “I saw it live on stage in Vancouver about 10 years ago and it was instantly my favourite. I knew it was just the best show I think I’ve ever seen.”

The musical takes place in Prohibition-era Chicago and follows a pair chorus girls imprisoned for murder who turn their infamy into self-promotion as they plan their return to vaudeville.

“I like the character development, I like the stories, I like the strong women that are in it, I like the dance, the singing, the music is fantastic,” Chadwick said.

“The story I find really relevant in today’s society, too. It takes place in the 1920s but the headlines and the things that happen and the characters could easily be from today’s world, too, which is kind of cool.”

10. ‘Little Feet’ book documents B.C. woman’s horrific 2001 accident, Sept. 19.

This march, mid-Island-raised performer Heather Williams released Little Feet, a book that documents her experience before and following a life-changing accident.

In 2001, when she was 23, Williams was working as a dancer, actress and singer in Osaka, Japan with the inaugural crew of Universal Studios Japan when she was struck by a taxi while riding a bicycle. She ended up in a coma for nine weeks and awoke with a traumatic brain injury.

The accident could have killed her, but Williams survived into a very different reality than what she had known before the incident. She has a vague recollection of what happened and bits and pieces of knowledge about the life she knew before.

She said it was a struggle for her to regain independence and try to find a semblance of her former self from within. Writing the book was very therapeutic for Williams in many ways.

“I’m a dancer. I still feel like a dancer,” she said. “Can I dance like before? No. It’s losing your identity.”

After her release from hospital, Williams endured a lengthy period of rehabilitation back in Canada. The book details the pain of the process and the everyday struggles that continue to the present day.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

YEAR 2018

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Conservation officers hope the public can provide information about who shot and left a bull and cow Roosevelt elk near Spruston Road, south of Nanaimo. (Photo: Facebook)
Pair of Roosevelt elk shot and left in woods south of Nanaimo

Conservation officers hope public can help find who killed the animals near Spruston Road

Police in Nanaimo hope the public can help find Ovidiu Bezdan, wanted for mischief and assault. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo man wanted for throwing merchandise at convenience store clerk

Police in Nanaimo hope public can help find Ovidiu Bezdan, wanted for assault and mischief

Candidates in the Nanaimo riding include Kathleen Jones, B.C. Liberal Party, top left; Sheila Malcolmson, NDP; Lia Versaevel, Green Party. (Photos submitted/News Bulletin photo/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Nanaimo candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

Candidates in the Nanaimo-North Cowichan riding include Chris Istace, B.C. Green Party, top left; Duck Paterson, B.C. Liberals; and Doug Routley, NDP. (Photos submitted/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Nanaimo-North Cowichan candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Mariah Charleson, Nuu-Chah-Nulth Tribal Council vice-president, left, was among those voicing support for Mi’kmaq lobster harvesters in Nova Scotia that are seeing their catch dumped and taken and property damaged. A solidarity rally was held at Maffeo Sutton Park on Oct. 22. (Karl Yu/Nanaimo News Bulletin)
Solidarity rally in Nanaimo sees support for Mi’kmaq lobster fishers

Indigenous people and supporters gather at Maffeo Sutton Park Thursday

Two men were stranded on Snake Island after their small boat was blown away by strong winds Wednesday. (News Bulletin file photo)
Boat blows away, stranding fishermen on Snake Island in the strait near Nanaimo

Marine search and rescue team picked up men on windy afternoon Wednesday

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Most Read