General News · 22nd May 2018
Seafest 2018, or How To Make an Amazing Lunch
Start early with a good plan based on what was successful in previous years. It is not possible to do better than our Seafest setting at the Gorge Harbour Marina Resort. The staff were cleaning, painting and polishing for days, and Tammy Allwork and Bill Dougan said Yes to (almost) everything. We so appreciated the support from Richard and Michelle Glickman, and from the Cortes Island Volunteer Fire Department organized by Fire Chief Mac Diver, throughout the days it took to set up, create and take down an event of such stunning size and complexity.
Have helpers who stay calm set up the venue. Those tents are always a puzzle with karmic overtones in their assembly. Doug Hamel, Michelle Hamel, Dennis Newsham, Roy Hale, Howie Roman, Phil Allen, Doug Wyler, Bob Katzko, Dave Warkentin and Pat Whelan helped John Shook with brilliant problem solving—and everyone stayed amazingly calm. While the tents were going up, and down, and up again, a salad event was underway. Mac, Dave, Myra Diver, Koa Diver, Lucy Robinson, Donna Whelan and Jo Mitchel chopped 5 cases of bok choy, 24 cucumbers and a case of green onion. Kirsten Vedulich was given a big box of ingredients and a recipe that made a cup of salad dressing. Her up-graded result was truly amazing. Sandy Hoffman was the gal Friday—taking on every task from table covering to sign planting with skill and good humour.
Be there for the volunteers, not for the profit. Seafest energy is powered by volunteers. Alex Frascona, Johanna Joehnk, Joshua Bome and Kathryn Merrell from Hollyhock arrived from the Cortes Natural Food Co-op with 50 baguettes. After slicing for garlic toast Maestro Jim Kerney and his helper Dawn Ross, they helped mix salad and construct That’s Awesome Prawn Satay, presented by Noah Davidson and Izabelle Perry. John Blaxall was the poster guy of amazing, carrying plates of food to staff, helpers and musicians. Lucky, Caz Ratcliff and Doone Kelly served clams, bread and salad, while Chris Walker helped Brian Cant create clam perfection.
Pay the same good attention to everything. Excellence truly is in the details. The smooth running of such an extravagant event was aided by Max Lee and Ryan Harvey who drove Seafest shuttles the free, supported by a Grant-in-Aid from the Strathcona Regional District. Del Hendon, Yvonne Kipp, Barry Gregory, Sheila Harvey and Bob Tracy orchestrated tickets and plates. Behind the lunch scene was another layer of significant help: Gina Trzesicka posted Seafest stories and notices while Ayami Stryck created the 2018 poster. Rose Fitcyk was the barista by the pond and Doug Brown of Good Libations donated wine and beer to the volunteers. Susan John, helped by Kath Walton, offered a kid’s menu at the balloon tent.
Use real food and support the people who prepare it. Erik Lyon supplied cases of oysters shucked by Mac’s Oysters to those amazing cooks. Ayami Stryck and Lynn Marttila teamed with Filipe Figueira and Tamara McPhail to serve Oysters Dengaku Miso. Penny Tims and Claude Rossman partnered with Ashe Biela and Briffni O’Reilly to offer Oysters Adobo. The team of Christina MacWilliam, Paul Fournier, Gabriel Dimin and Izzy Ruthenberg prepared Mango Pico de Gallo. The equally amazing poaching team of Rick Kolstadt, Deb Peters and Fawn Baron kept pots boiling and timers ticking. The barbecues went gourmand with the Sawmill Bay team of Steve and Linda Pocock, and Henry and Katie offering the classic Oysters Rockefeller. Dave and Janet Nikleva honoured the royal wedding by renaming their Tropical Oysters as Mango Markel. Julia Rendall and Linda Kovacs offered Oysters Motoyaki.
Honour old-time skills and the people who have them. The heart of Seafest are the oyster, prawn and clam farmers themselves. Shucked oysters were supplied by Delia Becker and Scott Remple, and Klahoose First Nation. Victor McClaggan brought beach oysters for the barbecue shucked by Ian Winter, Phil Allen, Garth Walton and Diane Hansen. C-Fin supplied prawns and Dave Niikleva trucked the clams and oysters moving off and back on island.
Provide entertainment so lively and tuneful that everyone wants to dance. Andy Vine coordinated an all Cortes musical line up with sound by Sandy Keith. Laurel Bohart began the day, then Rick Bockner and Amy Bockner were joined by Aaron Ellingsen. Denise Wolda preformed solo, followed by “One Foot in the Groove” with musicians Brian Hayden, Leonard Woywitka, Rick, Drivin’, and Aaron. Next was “Andy Vine and Friends” with Andy and Leonard, Aaron and Drivin’. Kenny Hanuse welcomed the crowd to Klahoose traditional territory and was joined by his sister in several honour songs. David Blinzinger performed next and then the Larry Hanson band closed the show with the audience dancing and shouting for more.
Pay as much attention to break down as to set up. Maybe more. Even if the volunteer firefighters did nothing else but clean up—they would be amazingly helpful. Richard Anderson, Alex Bernier, Aaron Ellingsen, Luka Biela, Eli McKenty, Sasha Cooke and Dave Warkentin took down tents and washed dishes and stoves at the Gorge Hall. Pete Schmidt hauled away the garbage so that by Saturday night, nothing was left on the lawn but good feelings.
What an amazing community this is. More stories next week. Let’s do lunch again next year.
Till soon, Kristen
Comment by Stephen Reid on 24th May 2018
Thanks to all involved. It was an amazing time, we fully enjoyed every bit of it.
Thank you for organizing this amazing event!
Comment by Izabelle. on 23rd May 2018
It was such a delight to cook for such a well organized and coordinated community event! Our volunteers: Joshua and Kathryn were so on it. We could have never pulled it off without such great helpers! Thank you for inviting Noah and I to be part of this wonderful day!