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General News · 24th May 2019
Kristen Scholfield-Sweet
Seafest 2019 was a gift of bounty from the sea. It was also a gift from this island’s shellfish growers, volunteers and community organizations to our community members and visitors. My first thanks go to John Shook who created calm waters everywhere, and to Dave Nikleva who motored back and forth in those horrific ferry lines delivering and then picking up clams and oysters. Our all local oysters were provided by Sawmill Bay, Phil Allen, Erik Lyon, Julia Rendall and Dave Nikleva. Prawns came from Alain, Miki and Sascha Bellemare. Processing was by Outlandish Shellfish Guild and Sawmill Bay on Quadra. Oysters were shucked courtesy of Mac’s Oysters in Fanny Bay.

Every gift needs a place for the party where the gift can be given. The gift of Gorge Harbor Marina Resort, given by Richard and Michelle Glickman, managed by Bill Dougan and Tammy Allwork, and aided by amazingly helpful and patient staff, makes this seafood party special before it even begins. Whaletown Community Club and the Cortes Volunteer Fire Department were our partners this year with gifts of good effort and humour. Grazyna (Gina) Trzesicka was perfect with publicity; Rose Fitcyk designed the poster; Max Lee and Ryan Harvey drove the Seafest shuttles.

The day was unwrapped by 70 volunteers, some starting the day before. Bob Tracy started 2 days early picking up tents. Christian Grebenart, Peter Henbury, Robert Thomas, Howie Roman, Yuri Ikoma and Dennis Newsham helped erect tents, while Rose, Ashley Zarbatany, Pam Sparks, and Mary Kerwin—aided by Ysaline and Anaelle Perriard—chopped and peeled and rinsed for hours. Lella Gmeiner was helping everywhere with a cheerful “What can I do next?”

While 13 vendors and 2 non-profit organizations, who so enhance the atmosphere of the festival, started setting up—the cook teams began to arrive. First under way were the oyster poachers, captained by Richard Andrews. Helmut and Jan Kron, Nori Fletcher and Sachia Kron thought themselves birds, flying from one boiling pot to the next. Erik Lyon kept the supply of oysters flowing. Ayami Stryck, Kath Walton, Gabriel Dimin and Ann Mortifee fixed oysters in Dengaku Miso sauce. Penny Tims, Claude Rossman, Gordon and Charlene Gram readied Oysters Adobo. Josh Foisey, Sisi Jenifa, Sue Crothswait and Christine Robinson prepared poached oysters in white wine, butter and garlic sauce topped with parmesan and cilantro aioli. Pam and Mary, who came from Oregon to cook, began boiling pots of little potatoes while Lella started mixing Asian Citrus salad with Nuoc Mam Pha San dressing. Diana Manson proved invaluable help in that cooking area. Yifan Li started Sichuan Xiangla Prawns, aided by Ashley, John Blaxall and Deborah Koch. Barry Glickman and Amanda Thorton prepared steamed clams in a buttery garlic lemon juice. Jim Kerney was helped by Alex Bernier to begin toasting garlic bread from the Cortes Natural Food Co-op. Hollyhock sent 6 helpers who sliced and served and entertained, all with great skill and still more good humour: Mary Bejaro, Angelo Rosso, Kate Reid, Fleurette Couture, Alicia Gibson and Marion Ham. Moving this whole process along smoothly were ticket takers Del Hendon, Barry Gregory, Leona Jensen and Caz Ratcliff while Noba Anderson brought plates of food to the cooks and musicians, and Peter Schmidt managed the clean up during the festival. The barbecue teams were also under way. Oysters were shucked by Genoa, Phil Allen, Garth Walton, Ian Winter and Diane Hanson. Linda and Steve Pocock of Sawmill Bay served Oysters Rockefeller; Julia Rendall and Linda Kovacs, helped by Dawn Ross, Leeann Campbell and Marina Robertson, prepared Ginger Snaps and Oysters Motoyaki; Dave and Janet Nikleva, Michael Landry and Dereck offered Tropical mango oysters.

A party of gift giving is nothing without music to celebrate. Andy Vine arranged a schedule of 16 musicians that included Laurel Bohart, Subtle Dawn and Dannfverr Johnson, One Foot in the Groove, Rick Bockner, Breffni and Michel, Ruby and Smith and the Larry Hansen band. Scotty Martin, the sound man, enhanced music as delicious to listen to as the cooks made the seafood tasty to eat.

Every party has a moment, and ours came as we watched Aaron Ellingsen power washing frying pans and stoves at the end of the day. The cleanup crew had been cooking, and the cooks get to go home and not clean up, so now there was no crew. We understood Doug Hamel had taken dirty dishes to the Hall. We went at 5:30 with foreboding and a steely determination to start working again, to find Doug and Lella washing everything while discussing dreams and Carl Jung. The best surprise present ever, but then, you cannot tell a gift how to come.
Bouquet of roses to Kristen
Comment by Ashley on 25th May 2019
And a BIG thank you to you Kristen! It was amazing watching you juggle all the things you did leading up to and including during the festival. Your calm faith that everything would all work out was inspiring and totally warranted. A huge bouquet of roses to you for all the work you did putting on what was a really fun day!