Still Standing - CBC - January 4th TV episode Hope B.C.
It was quite the experience to meet Jonny Harris and the crew of the CBC show Still Standing. I had been in conversation with one of the research team, David Kerr, months prior to discuss the idea of being one of the segments in the show and worked with David throughout their visit for locations and directions around Hope. They came to Hope in the midst of heat wave (40 degree days!), which was very unprecedented in our area. My husband (and chef) and myself, met them as they arrived for a meal at our newly launched Reimer's Food Truck.
Sonny McHalsie and myself work together delivering cultural tours of the territory (I tell him where to go and how to get there... (our standing joke) We were asked to meet with Jonny and talk about some of the areas Halq'emeylem Placenames (Ts'qo:ls - Hope BC - means bare and bald and is in reference to the one side of our trees having few branches in response to the heavy and constant winds that set upon our little town. It would be the view as you approach from the river) We met at my friend Deb's beautiful property along the Fraser River. (Sto:lo: people of the River, so very fitting) The view is breathtaking and a great showcase of our towns mountainous and natural beauty. We were mic'd up and at times forgot we were being recorded and Sonny and I went on about our normal banter. When the conversation moved to discussing the Halq'emeylem language and its threat of extinction, I mentioned that I invented a Coast Salish font to preserve the language through art. It took two years to develop each letter of the language in (2007-2009) (There are 18 letters in the Halq'emeylem language) and completed all the letters of the English alphabet in 2020. My art is available in town at a nearby grocery store (Buy-Low Foods) and the crew took the time to go take a shot to feature on the show.
As part of the their visit to town, Jonny performs a wrap up comedic act for an audience of participants and local people who were part of the production. Due to Covid restrictions, the numbers in attendance were limited and it was set up in an outdoor tent; but the winds were very strong and put the tent to test on a few occasions!
Jonny was hilarious! He covered Hope's history, geography, logging, the Coquihalla highway, Search and Rescue, demo derby, our numerous hotels and gas stations and I felt he did a great job to include the unique and friendly community I am happy to call my hometown. As Jonny worked through the people featured on the show, he mentioned Sonny and myself and our role in Indigenous tours as well as my art and that I'd invented a font. In wrap up to our segment he says... "Bonny is obviously good with characters!..." and points at Sonny. We both had a good laugh and the whole show was hilarious. He is a very talented host, the crew was so professional and friendly and it was such a great experience I'm happy to have had.