Dianne Hawkins | CEO Chamber of Commerce
Dianne’s genuine and innocent belief, youthful hope and her dynamic breadth of experience drive her sense of purpose to implement and establish dynamic organizations and teams. She has had diverse success as an educator, both in the private and public sectors as well as decades of leadership experience in business as a Chamber of Commerce CEO. Her rare balance of focused and effective structural efficiency balanced with her gracious and positive guidance inspires those she mentors. Dianne’s mastery of administration coupled with her nuanced personal approach asserts value and fruitfulness to the projects she is responsible for. Her practical and professional approach meets her confidence and joi-de-vivre in a brilliantly unexpected way making her an adept asset from the field or the boardroom.
Reuben Forsland | Joi Guitars
From a young age Reuben Forsland was ignited with the passion to create objects of an intricate nature. A stonemason father and a seam-stressing mother introduced Reuben to the rendering of raw materials into the finely designed and the aesthetically ornate.
From a treasury of recycled bottles Reuben purchased his first guitar at age nine. After developing the skills of a professional carpenter and furniture maker of fifteen years Reuben found himself again in a hometown guitarshop considering the instruments that surrounded him. Inspired and instead of making another purchase Reuben put hand to tool and Joi Guitars found its inception. Mentored by local luthier Scott McKee (Island Luthiers’ Guild), Forsland discovered the convergence of his creativity and craftsmanship with determined imagination.
Inlayed with precious metals, stones and shells, not only do the qualities of tone, resonance and differentiation teem from each instrument but the results of process born and bred of something mystical. Each of Reuben Forsland’s instruments is its own story, each one layered in visceral beauty and mystery, exacted measurements and time-honoured craftsmanship imbued with magic. Exploring the intrinsic qualities of varied woods whether
traditional or storied in rarity, Reuben finds ever more imaginative ways to reveal the art hidden within the object.
Over the years the undeniable sound quality of Reuben’s instruments has enchanted an international audience. Receiving commendation from local and international players and luthiers alike, Reuben is renowned for his soring ingenuity and his inspired creative process. The results of his workmanship have received acclamation on the pages of Guitar Aficionado, Guitar Player, Acoustic (UK) and Acoustic (USA) to name a few. Professional players like Joshua Radin, fellow Vancouver Island native Des Larson and Slash (Guns & Roses, Velvet Revolver) are some of those who prize Reuben’s custom creations.
Working from his home-based workshop in the beautiful Comox Valley on the shores of Vancouver Island Reuben Forsland hopes to inspire musicians of all levels to produce music with Joi Guitars as their muse.
Douglas Walker | Sculptor & Artist
Challenging status quo suggestions, the inventive work of seasoned sculptor Douglas Walker blurs the lines between form and function, art and craft, the surreal, sublime, whimsical and joyous toward the often mysterious and ultimately profound. The award winning Canadian sculptor of semi-precious metals includes brass, copper and silver, bound with elements of formed glass and long discarded recycled objects to form kinetic works of engineered magnificence storied with layers of charm and luster.
Acclaimed for his ingenuity, inventiveness and audacious creativity, Douglas Walker produces his pieces to the scale of his own deeply passionate character and soaring eclectic sensibility. From his studio workshop alchemical relationships are made between materials brazen by fire, fused by water and framed by the wind, waves and wilderness of his Vancouver Island home.
Over the last twelve years Douglas Walker has produced over 2500 unique works sold around the world throughout Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia. Featured installations have been showcased in the Comox Valley Airport, the City of Vancouver, Nelson BC, Mason City IA, Kingsbrae Garden NB, winning the People’s Choice Award at Castlegar BC’s SculptureWalk and Best in Show at Mason City IA’s Sculptures on Parade.
Artistic integrity merges with mechanical excellence making Walker’s works renowned for their enduring construction and timeless quality. His musical instrument sculptures age graciously with time receiving patina as they absorb the elements outside or glimmer proudly protected indoors. The compositions seem to develop their dream like quality even further over the years, inviting the viewer on a journey of unlimited imagination.
Experience the sculptor’s most current work displayed in his garden gallery at the home of Douglas Walker and Jann Hall. Their home and studio can be found in the heart of the Comox Valley’s beautiful Black Creek, British Columbia.
Ross is a production artist, photographer and writer based on Vancouver Island, Canada. From feature film production to custom construction projects, leatherwork, fine art painting and installation sculpture, working across a variety of mediums has positioned Ross to be a well-rounded creative director. Drawing inspiration and instruction from a variety of mentors and institutions and working on varied projects around the world as well as from the Vancouver Island landscape he calls home has given Ross a compelling creative aesthetic.