A serious passion around food began for Tara Black and Marion Neuhauser when they met in high school. Cooking was at the heart of both of their families and created loving memories growing up. When Tara married to start her own family, she focused on good food and a career in the industry. Marion finished her studies and had the opportunity as an flight attendant to seek new culinary experiences. Yet both found working for others didn’t satisfy their urge for creative freedom. It was while taking a business course that Tara heard many participants talking about the lack of gluten-free options. She decided to discuss it with Marion on a retreat to Hawaii. Their dream cafe morphed considerably to form a new gluten-free bakery concept. Marion loved the research on healthy solutions and Tara was well-versed at preparing custom orders. Filling a need to help others was greater than their own personal plans. Currently nominated for Best Employer & Best Company in Small Business BC awards.
Exploring the world with a humanitarian organization, Rebecca Sky found herself in rare situations — a group home for abused girls in China, remote villages in the Amazon, teaching tropical medicine in West Africa. Even after a life threatening spider bite which put her in a comma and left her with chronic pain, Sky continued to adventure and reach out to those in need. Her experiences and wild literary mind have since inspired her to write fantasy stories for young adults allowing readers to escape the world around them. After publishing her books online for free three years ago Sky now has over 25,000 fans. When her novel The Love Curse hit 10 million reads on Wattpad last year, Pulitzer prize journalist, David Streitfeld of the NYTimes personally called her for an interview. Now signed with three agencies, Sky’s content has been optioned for film and has the potential to become a new TV series with a media agent who has worked on franchises such as Twilight and Percy Jackson.
As a contortionist for the circus, Rachel Siemens understood the physical demands meant a potentially short career. However, it was shortened even earlier by an injury and so she chose to study kinesiology at UVIC. Rachel became a self-described gym rat and passionate about Olympic Weightlifting. Slowly she worked her way up the Canadian ranks and used Cloud-funding to compete at the World University Games in Russia. There, she saw years of training boil down to six short minutes (three attempts at “Snatch” and three at “Clean & Jerk”) judged purely on technique and amount of weight lifted. With new goals and her coaches wisdom, she is fighting to make the National Team requiring a 91+kg (200lbs) Snatch and a 115+kg (254lbs) Clean & Jerk. For Siemens, Weightlifting is meditation; harnessing her inner strength and moving passed personal issues she is able to let it all go. Rachel inspires others with her blog and coaching while focusing on attending the Commonwealth Games 2014.
All heads turn to Ocian Flo as the lights are dimmed and a soft drone begins. Her impressive set of large crystal bowls come to life. For Ocian, in the beginning, the resonating sound completely moved her. It was uniquely rhythmic with each twist of her wrist and various degrees of pressure. She had studied the body, learned to be a Reiki Master and in pursuit of her conscious evolution, found her ideals for healing could incorporate these rare instruments. Jay Schwed shared with her that the vibrations of the bowls increased the energy frequency of the body and earth around us. Ocian’s confidence grew into a new passion. Her voice, a glass triangle, and chimes are extra musical apparatus incorporated in her performances. Conferences, groups, and non-profits use her sounds in workshops, fundraisers or team events to create enlivening, beautiful and powerful inspiration. Ocian is only beginning to realize her potential from the harmony she instills with clarity of thought and relaxation.