Client: CV Collective Magazine

The CV Collective is a lifestyle magazine showcasing the uniquely diverse and eclectic beauty of the Comox Valley. Covering arts, culture, sport and recreation the CV Collective is a locally minded publication with a Vancouver Island outlook celebrating the best the region has to offer.

CVC // Home

Some say it’s simply where they grew up, the place they remember most or where they count most familiar. Others say it’s ‘where the heart is’ whatever that may mean.  Those who roam might say it’s the boxcar they’re sleeping in that night, the tent they carry on their back or maybe the motorhome they snowbird to Arizona in every winter. Maybe home is where you love, where your family is or where you just happen to be sitting while you’re reading this.

I remember flying back from eastern Australia after what was one of the best years of my life. I had just turned twenty-one. Before that time I hadn’t spent very long living away from my family or outside of Canada. Australia was a freedom of my own making as sweet as the mangoes that grew in the back yard in which I had come to call home. I became part of a beautiful surf community where I did what I wanted to do with people I genuinely cared about, all on my own terms. I had chosen to be there because I loved it.  The friends I’d made out there had become family, the cedar and fir of the BC Coast had given way to palms and eucalyptus, 5mm wetsuits were given up for bronzed bare skin. I immersed myself in that Aussie culture to the fullest. Travelers began to mistake me for a local. Where I came from was pushed to the peripheral. All that mattered was right in front of me. After what seemed not long enough I journeyed back from Brisbane to Vancouver Island.  A long flight with an extensive layover in Tokyo gave me a lot of time to reflect on the year that had been. 

As I flew back over the Pacific it seemed as though the closer I got to where I grew up, the further I came from what had become home.  Mildly confused I grieved what had been a beautiful year away. Down Under was left in the Jetstream but somewhere over the Aleutians I came to a decision. Home would have to become something new, to be my choice, one to make the most of wherever my feet may land.

It wasn’t long after those feet found the Island again before they took me from it. From Montana to Mexico it was a camper nestled on the back of a Chevy s10. In Norway and Sweden it was a burgundy VW passenger van with a questionable alternator. In Iceland a poorly insulated garage, in Greece the hostels, in Switzerland it was some horse stables. As the memories simmer the moments mix but what boils to the top is the people that made them what they were.

The publication you’ve got in your hands isn’t simply a collection of places, stories or products but of people. CV Collective is the result of collaboration and community. It wouldn’t have happened without a lot of amazing people generously joining their time, money and experience to make something beautiful. Maybe home is what happens when you bring the best you have and put it together. Consider this the doormat. Come in, get comfortable and welcome to the collective.

Discovery

An enlightening interview from our last issue led me down a rewarding rabbit trail. The conversation was an enthusiastically shared perspective, the topic being the value of process in pursuit of a finished product. The realizations of un-discovered inspiration in the midst of completing a task. Whether made or found, it’s what happens when we start to look for what’s good about where and how we are on the way to becoming something more.

Process or product, which do you favour? To be fully immersed in the journey, loosely considering the destination or to forget the road, straight to the all-inclusive. No layovers on the way. Do you prefer the creative act in and of itself or the finished work… without the work? Slog out the valleys and meadows or take the heli to the mountains peak?

This trail leads to a dangerous contradiction. The demands of our modern society, the speed of robotic production and invisible bargain work forces often ask that we overlook the valuable human experience of the process. “Local” and “handmade” may be hipster buzz words but are also music to the ears of a consumer drowning in piles of mass produced plastic. “The old fashioned way” frowns at the unrealistic affordability that distant factories have often given us. An over inflated sense of the price tag above the process. In our immediate midst is an answer. The magic is in the making.

For those with eyes for the convergence, here in the Comox Valley process and product marry. Examples range through the commercial to the cultural. From the imagined to the marvelous, marketable or mystical, our combination of immersive natural beauty and inspiring local talent make the value of our home difficult to measure.

Local geniuses like Reuben Forsland produce ornate weapons of mass construction for rock and roll legends like Slash. Internationally acclaimed film makers invest in the fruits of our fields. Famed photographers and award winning chefs call us neighbors. Hollywood set builders brew our beer. We overflow with creativity to the point that we take it for granted; after decades of uniquely crafted local excellence have we perhaps lost the glimmer in our own gold. Do we grow contemptuous of our own treasure? Our own excellence implores us. Re-explore what has become familiar; renew what has become normal.

A visitor will tell you like it is. Virgins to the Comox Valley are caught in awe and wonder at reach of our shores. Just a shred of interest will show you adventure is so close it’s palpable. Supernatural beauty is in every direction. Sport, shop, learn, build or just be. We’ve got what you’re looking for. Whether you’re one of the biased born and raised or a recent new comer to the valley, fresh eyes will show how much is right in front of you.  Here’s to the discovery.

Power

It can be defined as ability, force or potential. Some call it influence or pressure, others relate it to mechanics, something calculable; for still more it’s something unseen or mystical yet everywhere, silently affecting outcomes. We all have it in some measure whether we like it or not, quiet as mist or booming as a roll of thunder. We use it everyday for better or for worse. Power.

The ambitious channel it, the timid hide it – or run in the opposite direction. We are each of us a victor from it, or a victim of it. To understand that you have a capacity for it should diffuse the fear of it. You are powerful. The real question is, now that you know, or you’ve been reminded – what are you going to do with what you have?

Energy is a constant global conversation. Oil is always on the table, LNG, atomic and alternative… but there’s power in the blood. The creative, considered, social and ecological, athletic, artistically energized and inspired kind. As the days lengthen and the solar powered souls of the Comox Valley muster their bikes, boats and ignite their barbeques we offer you our energy. Consider the ignition of the human spirit as we set about the summer season. We offer up an abundance of stoke as we tell these stories to pour it on.

Wavering economics, prevailing politics and what’s trending irrelevantly on social media seems to dominate the scales but in our corner of the edge of the world the sheer force of human connection is real and to be reckoned with. Open up the pages of the valley and get caught up in the force of summer driving the power behind its people.

Let’s face it. When summer comes rolling around the often-soggy corner of spring business tends to take a back seat. Citizens’ of the stoke capital of Vancouver Island are out doing what they moved here for. Creating, playing and exploring. In this issue we explore the energy of the arts, media, film and fashion. Animal forms of propulsion, wind energy of a variety sans-propeller and not to be found in the plains provinces, the philosophies of a fisher-woman and some of the more subtle powers the people of the valley have come to value.

As you soak up the sun, read on and saturate your soul. Charge up your batteries with the energy of human inspiration. We each have it in one way or another, a brand of it that can’t be packaged, exported or exploited without our will. Your power is unique to you, yours to do with what you will, so to quote Voltaire and the great Ben Parker, “With great power comes great responsibility.” What are you going to do with yours?

Movement
Arguably one of the only constants that exist in our world is the reality that nothing is constant. Change itself is one of the few things we can be sure of. Movement is inevitable, yet for millennia we’ve warred over the ideal of keeping things exactly as they’ve always been, or as we might believe they should be. Case in point. Human powered transport is nothing new but a recent ride along Headquarters Road on my ten-speed led to a sudden and disturbing encounter that might suggest that the bicycle is a newfangled nuisance. Taking in the rolling fields and pristine views of Mount Washington and Forbidden Plateau, a cool northern wind blew at my back. Receiving the added propulsion Mother Nature provided, I geared down and put my quads into the gradual incline, pedaling hard towards Merville. Without warning the unmistakable whistle of a turbo’s waste gate blew and a black cloud of vapourized diesel coughed out of a jacked-up truck’s massive exhaust pipe, spewing towards my face. The four hundred-horsepower Dodge Ram driver hammered on their horn, swerving to pass me in an enraged fashion, apparently offended to be sharing the road with a lowly cyclist. Awe struck, dumbfounded but frankly impressed by the sheer audacity of this sandbox display of dominance, I rode on laughing to myself. A sound metaphor portraying the constraints of our time, movement in part but not the whole. Speed has its lure to me just as the odd display of redneck theatricality does but as cliché as it may be, moving toward meaningful change requires the collective strength and inspired brilliance of communities moving together, or at very least sharing the road. The famed proverb scrolled through my consciousness as I pedaled on, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Collaboration trumps competition. We’re interconnected, sometimes more than we’d like to believe. As environmentally exalted as riding a bike may be, my Jetta runs on the same dinosaur bone bi-product, carbon puking, cancer causer that truck puts in its tank. Humility is realizing how much you share with your neighbour. Wisdom is removing our heads from the sand enough to realize that there happens to be two lanes. Tunnel vision is a trap set both for the tar-patch guzzling tory and the insular, wheat grass sipping green supporter. Doing things beyond our individual capacity and limited personal perspective is where greatness begins. Water and snow pack reduction, resource strains, the value of the Canadian Dollar and your favourite restaurant’s menu may have taken seismic shifts in recent days. This summers swimming hole that was once your undiscovered secret has been invaded by a generation of interruptive youths. Things aren’t what they used to be.

Change is upon us as it’s always been. Embracing that stark reality is the first step toward enjoying the dynamism. Moving towards an uncertain future, let’s partner in the kind of movement that doesn’t run each other off the road.
Ross Bodenmann

Ross Bodenmann

Creative Director

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.