WAT’S UP – Adam Sawatsky

Life done differently

Before we discovered an alternative to Google, we spotted a big orange cat. The cat caught our attention because it was taking up a parking spot at Fisherman’s Wharf. There was something compelling about how confidently it sprawled its orange fur against the dark pavement. Unfortunately the people walking by, who we hoped would talk about the cat on camera, weren’t so fearless.

So we decided to do something different in our search for a TV story. We left the camera in the truck and went for a walk along the docks between the float homes. That’s when we met somebody who does things differently daily.

Pauline Beauvais told us she had found an alternative to saving children and searching the internet.

She says she stops kids from drowning by filling the outside of her float home with a large and eclectic collection of sculptures, including a human-sized nutcracker. “When they come barrelling around the corner without any life jackets on, they get to this and all of sudden they stop.” Instead of careening into the ocean, the kids are spellbound.

But Pauline is paying a price for life-saving and dynamic decorating. “You really can’t be a hoarder when you live on a float home,” she says “because the more you put on, the more it goes down.” That’s why she has no TV, no mobile phone and no computer.

Instead of searching for information online, she found an easel and white board. Pauline just writes a question in erasable ink and posts it on the dock next to her home.

She says her questions have ranged from foreign languages to municipal bylaws. She says there is always enough people walking along the docks that she’ll always get an answer within a couple hours.

Pauline also returns the favour. While internet search engines capitalize on your personal information by selling it to advertisers, Pauline rewards the people who answer her questions with personal stories about her neighbours. She guarantees they will be funny, if not always true. “My motto is, ‘if you don’t hear a rumour in an hour – start one.’”

We don’t have the same luxury telling such stories on the news, so we ask if we can record her on camera. She agrees. When we return to the truck, the cat who parked itself like a car is gone. But we thank it, like we thank Pauline, for showing us the potential of doing things differently.

Adam Sawatsky is co-host of CTV News Vancouver Island at Five. On weekends, he hosts ‘Eye on the Arts’ on CFAX 1070.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chelsey Moore’s character Chloe in the upcoming virtual reality game Altdeus: Beyond Chronos. Screengrab
Vancouver Island actress finds success in a virtual world

Black Creek’s Chelsey Moore lends her voice to a new video game set for release in December

Ceramic artist Darrel Hancock working on a clay jug in his home studio in Qualicum Beach. (Submitted photo)
Qualicum Beach potter Darrel Hancock celebrates 40 years in business

‘It’s wonderful to do what you love and make a living at it’

Artist Daniel Cline discusses his sculpture, Harmony Humpbacks, during the June 20 walking tour of Oak Bay’s 2019 ArtsAlive sculptures. Harmony Humpbacks was purchased by Oak Bay as the 2019 people’s choice winner and is permanently installed at the Beach Drive entrance to Willows Park. (Kevin Murdoch Photo)
Influx of donated art a ‘fantastic problem to have,’ says Oak Bay mayor

Oak Bay goes from zero to 10 permanent art pieces since 2015

Dover Bay Secondary School student Victoria Hathfield’s poem <em>Dear Santa</em> appears in<em> Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas is in the Air</em>. (Photo courtesy Darren Lee)
Nanaimo high schooler has first poem published in ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’

Victoria Hathfield’s ‘Dear Santa’ appears in new Christmas-themed edition of anthology series

Nanaimo graphic designer Amy Pye has written and illustrated her first children’s book, <em>G is for Grizzly Bear: A Canadian Alphabet</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Nanaimo graphic designer releases first children’s book

Amy Pye teaches the Canadian alphabet in ‘G is for Grizzly Bear’

The Vancouver Island Symphony’s Back Row Brass Quintet – including trumpeter Mark D’Angelo, tuba player Nick Atkinson and French horn player Karen Hough (from left) – were scheduled to tour the Nanaimo area with Christmas Under the Big Tent, but the concert series has now been cancelled. (Photo courtesy HA Photography)
Symphony brass quintet’s Christmas concert series cancelled

Performances were to happen at venues in Parksville and Lantzville next month

The Sheringham Point Lighthouse, near Shirley. (Contributed - Lee-Ann Ruttan)
New book shines a light on Sheringham Point Lighthouse

Publication examines history, lightkeepers, and volunteer society

Victoria-based guitarist Eric Harper performs at the Port Theatre on Nov. 27. (Photo credit Tatum Duryba)
Classical guitarist to play at the Port Theatre

Eric Harper to play new songs composed during the pandemic

A sample of some of Lou-ann Neel’s jewelry.
Lou-ann Neel wins the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art

Originally from Alert Bay, Neel’s family is steeped in renowned Kwakwaka’wakw artists

I-Hos Gallery manager Ramona Johnson shows some of the paddles available at the retail outlet. Photo by Terry Farrell
I-Hos Gallery celebrates 25 years of promoting First Nation artwork

K’ómoks First Nation-based outlet has art from all over the country

Most Read