Sunday, July 31, 2011

Portraits of Honour ~ Dave Sopha ~ Kin-Canada ~ Kamloops, BC

There was a time that the fallen soldiers that we would hear about would be from days gone by.  They'd fought in World Wars I and II and other wars of history.  That is not the case today.  Now some of us have our kids going off to war in foreign lands and fighting for others to have the freedom we've enjoyed all our lives.  This is not how we'd like their story to unfold but unfortunately, for many, these loved ones will not return alive.

The Portraits of Honour tour comes to Kamloops, BC
This is an amazing tribute that is travelling across Canada, organized by Kin-Canada and brought to Kamloops with the help of the Kamloops K-40 club.  Donations are being taken to share between the Erin Doyle Memorial Bursery at Thompson Rivers University and the national fund that will help other Canadian soldiers recover from combat.

Faces of fallen Canadian soldiers
When he read that 100 Canadian soldiers had died in the war in Afghanistan, artist Dave Sopha of Ontario decided he wished to pay tribute to them all and began painting. This talented artist has spent thousands of hours on the Portaits of Honour and gives each soldier a face for us to remember.
The canvas is 10' x 50' (approx. 3x15 metres) and now has 155 faces painted with 2 more to be done when the mural returns home. The background of the mural has 110,000 poppies, one for every Canadian soldier who has died in combat.

Master Cpl. Erin Doyle of Kamloops, BC
Master Cpl. Erin Doyle, who grew up in Kamloops, is on this mural. His painting is on the bottom row, third from the right. He was killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2008 on his third tour of duty. He was being honored today along with the others, for his brave contributions that he made in Afghanistan.
Peace symbol on the Portrait of Honor
Dave Sopha includes the dove, a symbol of peace with poppies that help us remember the fallen Canadian soldiers of war.  His portraits have most soldiers looking right at us which seems to offer a personal connection with them, I found the mural to be a very moving piece of art as well as a Portraits of Honour.

Senator Nancy Greene-Raine and Artist Dave Sopha 
Artist Dave Sopha spoke to the gathering at the Riverside Bandshell, telling how he felt compelled to paint this mural and honor these soldiers.  Here he chats with Kamloops Senator Nancy Greene-Raine, also a speaker at the ceremony who spoke from the heart when she talked about the importance of each and every one of those faces painted on the Portraits of Honour.

Quilt made for each fallen soldier
There is a very special lady in Red Deer, AB who makes quilts for the spouse, the parents and the grandparents of every soldier killed in Afghanistan.  Mrs. Mitchell, Erin Doyle's mother and some of his family attended the Portraits of Honour ceremony and she kindly brought her quilt for all to see.

Soldiers of the past pay respect
The ceremony began with the Kamloops Pipe Band leading the representatives from the Anavets and Royal Canadian Legion who carried the flags. The occassion was solemn but it celebrated the soldiers who fight for peace in the world.

Soldiers of today
Several uniforms and RCMP were there and dressed for the ceremony, and gathered in front of the Portraits of Honour, which made for a great photo opportunity. I understood that the three in front had been to Afghanistan, one had given an impressive speech during the ceremony.

Monument in Riverside Park, Kamloops, BC
As I walked away after the ceremony had ended, I had to pass this monument that stands in Riverside Park. Not sure what it was for, I stopped to read it and how ironic this was. This monument stands here to remind us of those that have fought and died in the war and we must never forget.

                                                     "WE WILL REMEMBER THEM"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kamloops Street Rod Association ~ Chrome on the Grass ~ Show and Shine

The Kamloops Street Rod Club has been around for awhile but this is only the third year that they have held their 'show and shine' in Prince Charles Park in Kamloops, BC.  The show and shine was previously held in September at Ponderose Pine campground just east of Pritchard.   This is now a great spot to hold the car show called "Chrome on the Grass" with the grass to walk on and big trees to shade the area, it makes a perfect spot to spend a Saturday in July and enjoy the cars and the people you meet.

The Kamloops Street Rod Association Show & Shine 2011
The car owners pay a small fee to enter the show to help cover costs and the public pay by donation, which goes to the Children's Pediatric Ward of the Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. Thanks to the kind gentleman who paid an extra donation for me as I entered the park, it added to the 'feel good' atmosphere that car shows and donations for the kids seem to create.

Kamloops original owner's 1969 Acadian

Many cars from Kamloops were entered but those that came from far and wide shows that interest in car shows is not just a local interest.  Entrants were from Surrey, Cache Creek, Armstrong and Falkland and those were only a few of the many entrants from out of town.  There is pride shown in their cars and trucks and the owners are nearby to answer any questions you may have about their pride and joy.

People's Choice Award ~ 1950 Mercury Woodie from Vernon, BC

The winner of many awards was this 1950 Mercury Woodie from Vernon that won the People's Choice and the Best Ford awards as well as others.  This beautiful Woodie caught the attention of many of the car show enthusiasts.

1939 Chevy coupe

This 1939 Chev coupe was towing a custom made holiday trailer that made a perfect pair for the road and wherever that road may lead.

1938 Ford Sedan at Show & Shine

This 1938 Ford Sedan looked like something out of an Al Capone movie but there is not much chance this paint job would have seen the streets of Chicago in those days.

1932 Ford Coupe

This little 1932 Ford coupe exemplifies the term 'show and shine' with a shine that would challenge any other.  It got lots of tender loving care during the day.
Be sure to mark your calender for a Saturday near the end of July next year and watch for the announcement for exact dates so you won't miss it.  It is something for all ages to enjoy and your donation to the Pediatric ward of RIH will only add to the experience. To learn more about the Kamloops Street Rod Association, click here for more and view hundreds of pictures from previous shows.

Hot Nights in the City is coming up soon, click here to see last year's show on my Kamloops blog and with any luck you may even see some of these gems in this year's show on August 5th and 6th.  Click here to see the schedule of events.