Multiplicity WSSF 2018

WSSF’s Multiplicity Captures Spirit Of Whistler Culture

The World Ski & Snowboard Festival (forever after lovingly referred to as WSSF) is an annual confluence of events whose prime thrust is mountain culture; viewed thru multiple lenses, interpreted in myriad ways and celebrated by an ever-evolving cast of participants and enthusiasts.

When the festival first started, over 20 years ago, I was far more interested in the athletic aspect of it all, specifically as it pertained to snowboarding. That was my jam and everything else played second fiddle.

As I grew older and my horizons expanded I began to appreciate the other facets WSSF had on offer.  Skiing, of course (elderkin and Yin to snowboarding’s Yang) as well as the music that would soundtrack the stoke, whatever your mode of locomotion.  Then came my appreciation for the all-encompassing catch-all for everything rad: ART.  Art on canvas, art carved in stone, on the printed page, in wood, in what-have-you. To say nothing of the majesty that is photography or film!  To me, art is anything that holds within itself intrinsic beauty or curious genius.  Or both.

And so I found myself outside the Whistler Conference Centre (WCC) this Tuesday last with a level of anticipatory eagerness I’d not explored in some time.  The main course, MULTIPLICITY, was paramount on my mind, but the Swatch ART + Soul gallery in the main foyer of the WCC was an appetizer not to be missed. Showcasing the talents of local artists on various mediums, I was struck dumb by the sheer volume and level of artistry at play here in my backyard.  And as I strolled amongst the wooden divides with creative works on all sides, DJ Vinyl Ritchie performed his own auditory artform, stitching beats into the tapestry that unfurled over us all.

Then the call was made over the PA: Would everyone please make their way to their seats as the show is about to begin…

This is the WSSF website’s description of MULTIPLICITY:

The annual event, presented by Mountain Life Media, captures human beings’ rich tradition of storytelling, then elevates it, adding in visual elements of photography, slideshows and video. The result is best compared to a TEDTalk® on adrenalin, with stories brought to you by explorers, athletes, outdoor thought-leaders, and passionate personalities from the mountain world.

That works for me.  I mean, that REALLY works.  A night of people tellin’ tales?  Sign me up. And the event was in support of the Spearhead Huts, a great mountain culture cause?  Sign me the hell up!  And so I did as I was told and found my seat.  Mr. Feet Banks, the Mountain Life Editor (but also a writer, producer, director, reviewer, hoster, bard & boaster) stepped up to the mic and rocked his role as emcee with relish and whimsy.

Multiplicity SpeakersThere were seven speakers on the night, not including Mr. Banks (who you most definitely should include!) and all of them deserve more words than I’m about to give them.  Unfortunately I’m limited on space and suffer from a rare but real case of Linguistic Verbosis.  So in the interest of not turning this worthy tale into a weighty tome, I’m gonna give you the Coles Notes and this statement: you really had to be there.  My apologies to those whose shift I short.

First up was professional mountain biker, Darren Berrecloth, who gave a talk on ‘Fear’ and how to manage it.  It was amazing to me, watching this athlete’s ludicrous lines and ridiculous descents on the screen as he spoke.  He was a perfectly decent, if a tad unpolished, public speaker who had me completely mesmerized. Here was a guy whose footage literally caused me to sweat & fret in my seat as he “handled” the fear, yet it was here talking in front of an audience that Darren felt, if not fear then perhaps a tad out of his comfort zone.  Amazing.

Survivalist Ted Baird was next.  He and his brother were contestants and eventual winners on the History Channel’s hit show, Alone, which I highly suggest you check out.  Ted was great at making me understand how perfectly awful his situation was and how perfectly disgusting eating a gunnel fish would be, let alone buckets of them for days without end!

Alex Warburton spoke next and, of all the speakers, he was the one I was most interested in.  Like the gentlemen preceding him, Alex isn’t a professional public speaker. These are adventurers and athletes after all,  not orators and actors, and I give anyone who can stand up and talk in front of an audience a tremendous amount of leeway in their delivery because… it’s a bloody hard thing to do!  But my point is, Alex could’ve spent his whole time folding clothing and I’d still be stoked to watch.  He spoke of his early days in Whistler and how, “all six of us professional snowboarders lived in the same house” and I damn well know that to be true.  Alex beat me to Whistler by a couple years, but when I arrived, back in 1991, one of the first things I did was look up the pros that I knew lived here (Alex being top of my list) in the phone book.  What’s a phone book, you ask? Nevermind, sonny-boy, suffice to say I found a couple of my hero’s last names on a list but didn’t need to take it any further than this. To simply ride the same slopes as the blokes I idolized in the magazines was enough to fan the flame.  And now, almost 30 years later, the lantern light’s a little lower but baby, it still burns!

Hans “No-Way” Rey is a world renowned trials mountain biker, who spreads the joy of biking thru his charity, wheels4life, which donates bicycles to those in need of transportation in developing countries.  Hans spoke of his ascents and descents down Mount Kenya & Kilimanjaro and his commitment to that aforementioned joy is commendable.

Jill Heinerth spoke of her otherworldly experiences in “inner space”, the caves, cracks and crevasses below the surface of the sea.  The photos that accompanied her talk were simply amazing, and it was hard to believe they weren’t, in fact, alien landscapes.

Johnny Thrash Whistler

A long-time legend with varying degrees of infamy, Johnny Thrash spoke next.  Johnny epitomizes the ski-bum aesthetic and I don’t mean that like a jacket you can put on or take off.  “Ski-bum” oozes out of every pore with this guy. And while the long hair of his youth has been tamed and trimmed, the wild in his eyes remains.  And you know, through his words and photographs certainly, but just by looking into those damned eyes, that Johnny Thrash is the genuine article.  In what I suppose could clunkily be called Johnny Thrashian fashion, part way thru his talk a gentleman streaked the stage, hootin’ and wailin’ as his wang waggled wildly.  Planned or not, the spectacle added flavour to the soup.

Legendary rock climber, John “Largo” Long rounded out the night and, while I hadn’t heard of him before (one can’t possibly know every legend from every sport or discipline, can one?) I couldn’t have been more impressed with his bona fides.  As an amateur writer and chronicler, I look to those who’ve come before and achieved that which I wish to reach for.  To paraphrase and reinforce Feet Bank’s sentiments, Largo is a man who walked the walk, climbed the route, talked the talk and wrote the book.  Many books, actually. And magazine articles and tv shows and documentaries and movies and, when it comes to Largo’s accomplishments, the list is (forgive me) Long.

Speaking of long, this night went on way past my bedtime, and continued at an after-party I would have loved to attend had I not a very real job to do at 6am the next morning.  Oh the questions I would ask these speakers-of-their-truth over a pint or two!  But any regret on my part is just Greed speaking its truth.  I love me some stories, and MULTIPLICITY’s walk-the-walkers and talk-the-talkers combined to tell a tale I’ll not soon forget.

Wild Havens Glamping

Pemberton Business Serves Up Rustic Luxury

Wild Havens is BC’s first pop up glamping provider, providing a unique outdoor experience with their fleet of canvas bell tents.

The brainchild of Laura and Richard Joce, UK transplants with growing roots in the Pemberton valley, Wild Havens was inspired by the glamping experience of a friends’ wedding.

Wild Havens wedding Tents

The wedding, held in fields of lavender and chamomile, drove the couple to find a way to bring the experience to the spectacular natural environment of British Columbia.

As Laura herself says:

“Glamping as a concept is totally new to the Canadian market, hopefully we have brought the concept to BC at the right time and we will be at the forefront of a new craze.

It is inspiring to be part of such an entrepreneurial community and I really feel like owning a small business is a rite of passage in the Sea to Sky corridor. We are part of such a supportive area and community and having the opportunity to be part of that and be involved with other awesome and inspiring local businesses gives me the motivation to succeed and make Wild Havens very successful.

The name Wild Havens came to me in a moment of inspiration, I think as a name it really captures and resonates with the product we are offering.”

For those not yet familiar, glamping basically involves all the romance of traditional camping but with most of the luxury of a hotel room. A true haven in the wild.

The Wild Havens crew offer services ranging from a simple self pitch service with basic decor and air mattress, all the way up to fully serviced camps for weddings or other events. Their partnerships throughout the region mean they can provide almost any luxury or amenity you can imagine.

Wild Havens Glamping

After a hugely successful first season, providing services at weddings up and down the Sea to Sky and also at festivals like Bass Coast and Rockin’ River, this husband and wife team are looking to grow their home-grown enterprise in its second year.

With an upsized fleet of over 40 canvas bell tents ranging from a generously proportioned twin bedroom up to a veritable conference room (more often a chill-out lounge or bridal suite), Wild Havens can now provide for even larger functions and events.

Their brand new offering in 2018? Rooftop tents.

These tents load onto the roof rack of your car or SUV, providing an elevated sleeping platform safely away from bugs or critters. They pitch in seconds and are the ultimate in car camping.

Also new for 2018 are sales of canvas bell tents, direct to the public. Custom designed, built to last, and of the highest quality, they are unique to Wild Havens.

For more information check out their website at wildhavens.ca

Writer: Adam Gordon

Wild Havens Festival Wedding Tents

Batl Squamish Axe Throwing

The BATL for Squamish

If you were picking locations to set up a Backyard Axe Throwing League, Squamish would be an obvious choice and not just for the reasons you might expect.  I mean, sure, there’s a long history of logging and forestry related industry in this beautiful town. We’ve also got the Squamish Days Loggers Sports Festival, showcasing several axe-related feats.  Heck, we’ve even got a 10m high statue of a dude wielding an axe, welcoming you into Squamish! Sam the Logger is a goliath, from his wool-knit toque down to his steel-toed boots, and the tool of his trade is front row centre.  So yes, throwing axes is not a stretch for a town where that used to be a primary source of income and where that aspect of our history is celebrated annually.  But not all fresh-faced folk walking thru Squamish have that majestic tapestry wrapped ‘round their family tree.

Squamish has morphed, over the years, and the demographic for this one-time, one-tune town has evolved as well.  Nowadays, you’re more likely to see climbers and bikers than fallers and buckers. Squamish is the outdoor recreation capital of Canada and whether we gave ourselves that title or earned it in a hard-fought, countrywide battle-royale matters not one whit.  You can’t argue with the canvas we’ve been given! As to what you want to paint with it, the only limit to your activity is imagination. And so we have a populace that loves doing stuff, but we’re in a region where it rains from time to time. To time… to time… et cetera… ad nauseam…

So it’s raining, now what?  What can I do that satisfies my desire for fun, adventure, includes some friendly competition, and identifies as an activity undaunted by Mother Nature’s more precipitous urges?

Enter the Backyard Axe Throwing League, or BATL for short.  BATL was founded in CEO Matt Wilson’s backyard, back in 2006.  And what started as a personal passion became a word of mouth movement throughout Toronto which then grew into a company with 13 locations across North America boasting over a million participants.  And we’ve got one right here in Squamish!

Just off the highway, turn onto Industrial way and (temporarily) forsake Tim Hortons to your left.  Instead take your first right, which is Discovery Way, and you’ll soon discover BATL’s base of operations.  It was here that I spoke with general manager Shea Emry to get a little more information about this amazing pastime.

BATL Squamish opened this past September, and has been going gangbusters ever since.  They cater to group bookings of all sizes but also have drop-in times. And as the BATL acronym implies, there’s an actual league you can register for as well to fully feed your frenzy.

In addition to on-site axe throwing, BATL has a mobile arm of the company called Axewood.  The Axewood crew can set up shop anywhere fun is being had, I’ve seen them at music and beer festivals, even atop the Sea to Sky Gondola!  The community engagement of BATL and Axewood adventure crew is impressive and their mission statement is simple: we want to grow the sport of axe-throwing and show people how much it can be.  So let’s get back to base and get to it, shall we?

When I arrived, the BATL team were taking the aforementioned group of newcomers thru what was going to happen next.  Shea and his team stressed safety above all, highlighting the protections in place and the lines you can’t cross. After that came the specifics of axe-throwing and how best to toss that cute little axe towards the bullseye in front of you.  I say ‘cute’ rather tongue-in-cheekily but the truth is, the throwing axes are not heavy and one does NOT have to be a burly mountain man or woman to wield them. Although… if you’re in competition with the person throwing next to you and a tie needs to be broken, they bring out the big boy and this is an axe more akin to toppling trees!  Although the mechanics of throwing the big axe remain the same.

Once the safety talk and the basics of the sport were addressed, the group was broken down into smaller groups and escorted to individual throwing lanes, each two with a BATL facilitator to give pointers, encouragement and scorekeep.  Oh yes, we’re keeping score here! It was amazing to watch as a newcomer absorbed the information, and threw their first axe. There was some beginners luck for the odd participant, but generally the first toss wasn’t that great. Aaaah, but once you get that first one out of the way you know what to expect, and can calibrate accordingly.  Whether that means listening to BATL staff correct a potential error in your technique or discovering for yourself what needs to be done.

It’s the second toss where the transformation takes place.  I could see in the eyes of some participants that they were a little reluctant prior to throwing.  I’m just here with my partner, my friends, my company, whatever, and I’ll throw some bloody axes but I really don’t think it’s my thing.  When this silent minority threw their first axe I spied a glimmer of what was to come after throw number two: excitement.  So you’ve got the axe back in hand, your eyes are on the target that eluded you the first time around, your motion this time is a little more fluid, you release a tad earlier and-

T-CHOKK!!!

The axe finds wood!  Watching someone go from, “I’m just passing the time” to “This is *expletive* awesome!” is a moment I imagine never gets old.  Then comes the competition, whether with your lane-mates or just yourself.  Hitting the target at large is no longer enough, now it’s time to focus in and-

T-CHOKK!!!

Bullseye.  I’m not being hyperbolic in using three exclamation marks for my sound effects.  The sound created as the blade buries into the wood is loud and it is satisfying.  I watched as the rest of the group chased after that sweet, sweet sound and the smiles on everyone’s faces proved the hypothesis.  Listen, if you haven’t tried BATL Squamish or their Axewood mobile units, I can’t recommend them enough. It’s an activity anyone can enjoy at any time of year, and it’s right here in the Sea to Sky.

Story by: Malcolm Yates

 

Escape Room Whistler Feature

The Great Escape

​The Great Escape

Voted Whistler’s #1 rainy day activity, Escape! Whistler is the brainchild of Whistler locals Kori Klusmeier and Karen Mizukami. Now entering it’s third year of operations, the success of the project is shown by the thousands of satisfied customers to escape since December 2015.

Origins:

Inspired by escape room experiences while travelling in Europe, Kori and Karen mixed serious creative talent with good business sense and a little of the culture that makes Whistler unique to create the town’s first escape room.

For anyone not familiar with the concept, escape rooms are live action gaming experiences that originated in Japan. Groups of players are “trapped” in themed environments and must use teamwork and logic to solve puzzles and escape.

Escape Room Whistler

A new challenge…

As the team at Escape! Whistler have recently created a new room, The Pinball Machine, it only seemed right that we take on the challenge. A huge part of what makes these experiences so fun is that there are NO spoilers, so to maintain the suspense we’ll keep detail to a minimum but we can give away a little back story. While checking out an abandoned old video arcade you discover a cheat code that mysteriously transports you into a video pinball machine.
Any lover of the 80s will be stoked on the aesthetic (there’s a definite Tron/Stranger Things vibe); once you can stop admiring the design, teamwork, communication, logic, and perhaps the odd clue from the ever supportive staff will be required to find your way out.
 Which we did, just, with only a little assistance from Mr. Klusmeier himself.
This newest room has a strong focus on practical engagement, so you should expect to get hands on with the puzzles and challenges.

Get involved

There’s a definite buzz involved in the experience; while it may not be as extreme as some of Whistler’s other iconic activities, there’s no doubt that the challenge of real world problem solving in such an immersive environment really gets the adrenaline flowing.
There are 3 other rooms, each offering a different style of experience and level of difficulty:

  • The Pirate Ship – taken captive by a ruthless band of pirates, you start in handcuffs and must use your ingenuity to escape. The best room for your first Escape Whistler experience. Beginner
  • The Buried Cabin – A true Whistler tale… While spending a night in the backcountry your cabin is buried by an avalanche, sealing the door. How will you get out? Intermediate
  • The Rabbit Hole – While hiking you spot a very peculiar rabbit. After he darts down a hole in a tree, you follow him into a very strange world where up is down and weird is normal. Now you need to figure out a way back to your own world. Advanced

Thanks to relationships with local artists and creatives, the team have been able to give each room a unique vibe you won’t find anywhere else, and because there are no photos permitted in the rooms you’ll just have to go check them out!

Book online at escapewhistler.com.
Tell them WOSS sent you…

Pants-less Event Supports HIV and HepC Positive Youth

Let’s face it, dancing without pants is a lot of fun. Dancing without pants for a good cause, is even more fun. That’s why the PLUR Collective from Victoria, BC are taking their FUNdraiser Pants Off Dance Off (PODO) on the road to the Knotty Burl in Squamish for a night of delicious bass-thumping beats, good vibes,  and a lot of pants-less ass, all in support of HIV and HepC positive youth from across the country.

Formed in 2016, the PLUR Collective, comprised of Sarah Wilson, Geoff Plint, Shannon Lee, Kristie Signer, and Piotr Burek, started their foray into party planning with their first underwear party: Pants Off Dance Off; an event that raises money for Youth Unleashing Power (YUP), Canada’s only national symposium created entirely by and for HIV and HepC positive youth. Now, in its third year, YUP brings together positive youth from across the country for a four day retreat where they get to connect with each other, share their experiences of living with HIV and HepC, and heal as a community.

Inspired by Jessica Whitbread’s “No Pants No Problem” parties, which have grown to international fame in support of HIV positive folks around the world, PODO has become a staple in the Victoria dance scene, raising $3500 for YUP over the last two years. PODO is a queer friendly and body positive event that showcases amazing talent in the house and techno music scene and is founded on the principles of consent and harm-reduction. With beautiful sounds curated by past headliners like Squamish local Freebound, Vancouver duo Epitomic, and underground superstar Kasey Riot, PODO is an ode to raging good music and the curation of impressive electronic music sets.

However, it’s not just about the dancing. The PLUR Collective was formed as a response to the lack of queer party spaces in Victoria and the lack of events that acknowledge the history of activism within the dance community. In addition, the PLUR Collective saw an opportunity to create events that meet along the intersections of social service delivery, art, radical politics, and the “rave”. As lovers of house and techno, the PLUR Collective honors the history of those genres as having come from largely poor and racialized communities; communities that also face the brunt of the HIV and HepC epidemics. They recognize the rave/party as an inherently political act, which sometimes gets lost in mainstream narratives. It is with this understanding that the PLUR Collective aims to create events that not only give back to the broader community, but also build compassionate communities that become emblems of the rave scene.

By focusing on showcasing queer and femme artists, the PLUR collective is committed to providing opportunities for performers and artists that are often excluded from mainstreams events. The collective aims to provide a comfortable space where queer, trans, non-binary, and femme-folks can shake their booties and dance up a storm. Having said that, these parties are for anyone who brings good vibes and a commitment to community action, regardless of sexuality, or gender.

The Squamish edition of PODO will feature Victoria femme-superstar, TigRess, who also happens to be a member of the PLUR Collective, supported by Vancouver’s Kasey Riot, Whistler’s Evan Drops, and Squamish local Beatkeeper. Tickets will be available at the door on a sliding scale of $10-15 and all proceeds will support HIV and HepC positive youth from across the country to attend YUP. As always, the PLUR Collective will be stocked with harm-reduction tips, including safer partying information, naloxone kits, and safer sex supplies. We look forward to shaking our booties with y’all in March!

Ps. Don’t want to dance without pants? No worries, as a body-positive event, we encourage folks to show up however they feel comfortable, with or without pants.

Can’t make it to the party? Consider making a financial contribution to YUP. For more information about YUP, please visit www.youthunleashingpower.ca

S2S Female DJ Cover Story

All Hands On Decks: S2S’s Trail Blazing Female DJ’s

In the mid-2000s, electronic music was an underground phenomenon in the Sea to Sky.

Sometimes parties took place quite literally in the shadows; the shadows of towering trees in the Squamish Valley and below the majestic mountains across BC.

In most places the people making the music – a niche hobby that required rare skills and costly setup – was a male-dominated crowd. But as the scene began in the Sea to Sky, some of the best known DJs building it were women, bringing the party to the riverbanks and red cedars groves as the music scene flourished.

Andrea Graham Title Bar

The most well-known of Squamish DJs might be The Librarian, also known as Andrea Graham, founder of Bass Coast Music Festival and scene pioneer.

Graham taught herself the basics of music producing while living in Whistler, and borrowed some Technic 1200s from a friend in Revelstoke in 2006. Her first booked gig was at Tommy Africa’s in 2007 – but her first time playing in front of a crowd, at a friend’s birthday in Powell River, makes for a better story.

“Sixty of us boated to a deserted ‘island’ and set up a generator and sound system beside the ocean,” she said. “To our surprise a woman in a four-by-four pulled up just after dark. It was not an island nor was it deserted!”

Since it was too dark to leave, the woman let them stay and continue the party as long as they were out by dawn.

The oceanside concert heralded an early career of wilderness concerts.

“There’s nothing better than playing music on a great sound system out in nature,” she said. “Squamish was a little smaller back then and was relatively undiscovered. It was easy to drive out into the woods and find somewhere secluded.”

Graham and other DJs in Squamish hosted mountain parties in the backwoods – taking care of the land, offering yoga, and “really building a supportive and open minded community.”

For Graham, the outdoor concerts eventually inspired Bass Coast, an electronic music festival that took place on the riverside in the Squamish Valley. Whether it was the festival that got too big for Squamish, or Squamish that got too big for the festival, it relocated to Merritt in 2012.

While her festival may be in the interior, and her turntables accompanying her around North America as a touring artist, Squamish is still home.

“It’s interesting, some of the first settlers to this area have shared stories of their versions of playing music in the woods not unlike what we did. It seems to be a rite of passage for the creative community.”

Just Sheila

Another Squamish DJ, who moved to the area to rock climb, started her love of music as a child with a house full of records. She moved on to mixtapes in high school, and then in Squamish discovered the outdoor rave scene and underground dance parties.

“I just decided that was something I wanted to do, rather than someone else, I wanted to play the music,” explains Sheila Cassels, who performs in the corridor as Just Sheila.

It was a tight knit scene, and you had to know who was who in order to get on stage.

Over time Just Sheila became one of those people to know – organizing and playing music for the legendary James Bondage Valentine’s Day party as a fundraiser for the Howe Sound Women’s Centre.

The party – featuring a whole line-up of DJs and skintillating dress code – went on for nine years, sometimes filling a capacity of 600 people.

“People are begging us to bring it back on, but the venue part is pretty hard,” she said.

Big, annual parties become less of a novelty when the town has a nightclub – Cassels said it was once hard to get 100 people out to a party. Now Squamish now has three dance nights a week at The Knotty Burl.

 

“It’s not easy. Now we have a nightclub, we used to go into the bush and throw underground things. It was sketchy at times. It was very fun, I’m so happy I did all that. Now I like to show up and have the turntables set up.”

After being a DJ for 14 years, Cassels now has a busy life with a young son, but still enjoys bringing the room alive for people who love her carefully crafted sets.

“It’s different, people are more used to the sound, and they enjoy it,” she said. “Now it’s a bigger part of people’s lives, going out dancing and enjoying the music.”

 

Terri Kirkham Title

The easy availability of digital music, and it’s growth in popularity, has been a game changer, agrees Terri Kirkham, Squamish-based DJ KitKat.

“That said, nothing beats digging for records, getting to the store early on new release day and the excitement of bringing home a new chunk of wax.”

Kirkham moved out west from Saskatoon, where her friends in the early 2000s were getting involved in the electronic music scene as well. Her parents pitched in for her first setup – and her mom pitched in with the name.

“After about three hours of tossing titles around, I was about to call it quits for the night when my mom asked me what kind of music I play. At that time I was strictly a breaks DJ, so I answered her and she started to sing the KitKat chocolate bar jingle “gimme a break.” Not many people get named by their mom twice in life, but luckily I did.”

With that moniker, Kirkham took her first set from her living room down to Vancouver. She co-hosted a club night and the Lotus Sound Lounge and a weekly radio show.

[mixcloud https://www.mixcloud.com/djkitkat/on-the-radio-live-dj-set-bass-coast-festival-2012/ width=550 height=120 ]

While she began playing shows in the city, like Graham and Cassels, she says playing music and dancing in nature is one of the best things in the Sea to Sky.

“It has always been a bit of a challenge to be taken seriously as a female artist, but the same could be said in many fields of work,” she said.

She notes that hearing “Wow, you are really good for a girl” is not really a compliment.

“That said, I am very proud of what I do, I have so much fun while performing, and I love feeling the response from people on the dancefloor. There is an air of badassery and empowerment by having a female on the decks and I love every minute of it.”

 

Tammra Brougton

Tammra Broughton, known as DJ Sprout, had her start in the middle of a surprisingly similiar scene east of Squamish, when she returned to Lake Louise after a trip across Europe that introduced her to rave culture in 1997.

It was the people and the energy that attracted her, and she bought turntables soon after – but not originally with the goal of becoming a performing DJ.

“I just wanted to do it,” she said. “I’m just one of those women who are like, ‘I really like that, I want to learn how to do it.’ I never really thought about performing. It’s like when you pick up a guitar, you just want to learn to play it.”

Around the same time that she moved to Golden, Sprout inherited a collection of 70s records. The mountains were ready for the music, and so was Broughton.

“Obviously my first parties were disco parties,” she laughs. “The early days were epic in Golden, and I’ve heard the same thing was happening here.”

When she relocated to Squamish, Broughton played James Bondage, Shambhala and opened for the Funk Hunters.

There have been breaks along the way – the scene can be taxing, and it takes an incredible amount of personal energy to organize a safe and welcoming event. After all that work, there were times when a gig went unpaid or someone harassed her on stage.

As a holistic health practitioner, Broughton had to reconcile the love of a party crowd scene with her health and life intentions. Now she brings music and dance into her holistic healing practice work with clients, and this brings more balance to her shows.

“I’m very selective now about where I DJ and why I DJ, and it’s taken on a completely new life of its own. I’m loving it,” she said.

“Music is music. Love is love. I’m learning as I go.”

 

Written By: Haley Ritchie

Files From: Craig Davidiuk