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.
Prepare yourselves Victoria… this local band which has been graphed together over the past few years is gaining steady momentum – meet Secondhand Habit. In 2013, fully formed with new members, they wrote their single “Love Letter,” which has a gut wrenching must see video. After receiving two showcase spots in Canadian Music Week 2014 (Toronto), they decided to give back in some way for the opportunity. They added more dates as a mini-tour and donated the money raised to the Canadian Diabetes Association. Their sudden tour idea received a very positive, eye-opening response. Inspired by Foo Fighters and 90’s Rock, the band has a modern punk blues sound. Originally the band had a Ska feel however, that is all about to change with their soon to be released album in 2015. Secondhand Habit was picked up this year by a record label, Blackstream (through Universal) and will soon travel to Alberta to record. The band indicated that they are serious but not taking themselves too seriously
… a perspective embodied by each original Caleb Speller piece. Art hid Speller from pressures at school and after graduation his travels to Hawaii, Thailand, and Australia aided in a deeper connection to himself, his beliefs, and the world. While rebuilding custom bicycles, Speller earned a Visual Arts diploma at Camosun College which introduced many new mediums. His focus became ceramics, watercolour, and photography, yet unorthodox. Gaining confidence, he knocked on doors in the creative community and his work was invited to display at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria during the Warhol exhibit. Speller’s inspiration continues to grow, whether it’s carving hockey pucks into print blocks, building a studio from found materials, or studying plant life from his garden. His newly assembled table book showcases images of his work and how he is shaped by surroundings, accessible materials and the recesses of his mind’s visual dictionary. There is no destination, he is active in the present.